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YOUNGSTOWN Call centers pare back services



Published: Wed, September 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Managers said they don't want to offend by calling consumers on the anniversary of the attacks.

By CYNTHIA VINARSKY

VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Some area call centers are suspending calls to homes and giving employees the day off today to participate in Sept. 11 observances.

InfoCision Management Corp., which employs more than 800 employees at call centers in Austintown, Boardman and New Castle, will close its telemarketing, fund-raising and volunteer recruiting departments.

"We don't want to risk disturbing the privacy of anyone who was affected by that day's events," said Steve Brubaker, senior vice president. "We feel we need to be sensitive to people who just might not want to be disturbed."

Brubaker said InfoCision employees who take incoming customer-service calls for banks and other large corporations will be working today. They do not place calls to homes.

Cutting back

TNS Intersearch, a market-research company that employs about 300 at its Liberty call center, will suspend consumer surveys this evening, said Dave Sluka, center manager. Most of its daytime employees conduct business-to-business surveys, he said, and those operations will continue on a smaller scale.

"We want to give people a chance to attend memorial services and church services that evening, or to watch the retrospectives the television networks are planning," Sluka said. "Most people will not appreciate getting a call at home that night."

Craig Davis, a spokesman for the Cellular One call center that employs about 300 in Boardman, said workers there take mostly incoming calls from customers, so their work will not be affected.

Lauren Kallens, an MCI spokeswoman, said she had no information this morning on whether its 1,100-person Niles call center would be suspending outgoing telemarketing calls. The center also accepts customer-service calls from all over the country.

The Associated Press reported that other large telemarketers, including DialAmerica Marketing Inc. of Mahwah, N.J.; Telemax Teleservices in Omaha, Neb.; and Sitel Corp. in Baltimore are halting outbound calls.




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