Verizon will lay off more than 400 workers at a Chandler call center in March as a result of changes in the telemarketing industry, including the National Do Not Call Registry, a Verizon spokesman said Thursday.
The center, 2080 W. Chandler Blvd., is a former MCI facility that employs about 650 people including 461 telemarketers whose positions will be eliminated effective March 24, said Verizon spokesman Bill Kula.
“These were outbound telemarketing calls, placed to customers to solicit their consumer business,” Kula said.
Workers were notified earlier this month about the layoffs and will receive a severance package that ranges from six weeks to six months depending on length of service, Kula said.
“We attempted to relay the information in a respectful fashion, in face to face meetings so that they would hear this directly from their boss,” Kula said.
Although the telemarketing positions will be eliminated, about 190 jobs will be kept at the facility to provide services for the hearing impaired, Kula said.
The Chandler layoffs are unrelated to the expected elimination of about 7,000 jobs over the next three years as a result of the Jan. 5 merger of MCI and Verizon, Kula said.
Instead, the cutbacks are because of competition, changing market conditions and federal Do Not Call legislation, Kula said.
“When the Do Not Call regulations went into place, it significantly impacted the types of calls that could be placed to customers. The Do Not Call legislation sought to reduce the volume of cold calls that people received,” Kula said.
Verizon is helping the workers find other employment, with a job fair scheduled at the West Chandler Boulevard facility on Monday, Kula said.
Verizon Wireless has a separate call center in Chandler that employs about 1,300 people and will be among those accepting applications.
Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn said he wasn’t concerned about the job losses,
calling Verizon’s move “just the nature of the industry adjusting to whatever the market is.”
“It’s telemarketing, too,” he said. “It’s jobs, but telemarketing is a field that changes whenever the market changes.”
City officials have touted the other Chandler Verizon facility — even giving the company and its new building a plug in a video shown before Dunn’s State of the City address Wednesday.