PITTSFIELD, Maine — Global Contact Services abruptly laid off 65 employees at its call center on Friday.
“This is very unfortunate. It’s been a very good center for us,” said George Simons, vice president of marketing for Global Contact Services. “We were excited to be in there. We had a good experience up there.”
Simons said Monday that a major client unexpectedly pulled its contract with the company, forcing the closure. He wouldn’t say which company it was nor would he say why the contract was pulled.
“We were actually called on Thursday and told we would have to cease doing work with [the client] the following day,” Simons said. “We’ve heard that other [competitor call] centers that did work for the same customer did get the same phone call.”
A Global Contact Services call center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., also was closed, said Simons. He added that the company once had 13 locations and now has eight domestic call centers plus one in the Philippines.
Calls seeking comment at the Pittsfield call center were referred to the corporate office in Salsbury, N.C.
According to its website, Global Contact Services’ clients include AIG, Bank of America, Valero Energy, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, American Express and HSBC.
“Unfortunately, it’s strictly based on the volume of work. We just didn’t have anything to offer [the Pittsfield employees],” said Simons. “Usually we consolidate and offer our agents something else, but there was no opportunity to do that in this case. It left us with the feeling there was too much unknown to keep it open.”
Simons didn’t know what if anything former employees would be offered for new opportunities or compensation.
“We usually try to do what we can,” he said.
Simons said he was sympathetic to the employees and the Pittsfield area.
“We’re in the business to grow. We don’t like closing facilities,” he said. “It’s no fun to step backwards. It’s extremely hard on the community.
“When we first went into Pittsfield, we sponsored their egg festival. We had fun with that.”
A press release on the company’s website stated that the Pittsfield call center was up and running in just 39 days. It opened on March 17, 2008.
On Monday, the doors were locked, the inside was dark and the parking lot was nearly empty, except for customers of the neighboring Family Dollar and Shop ’n Save.