Comcast will build a new call center in the Spokane area that brings 675 jobs to the region, the company announced today.
The Internet and cable television company hasn’t announced the location, but is looking at property in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake, said Ken Watts, general manager for Comcast in Spokane.
It’s one of three new customer-service centers Comcast will open this year. The others are in Albuquerque and Tucson. Together, the three facilities will create more than 2,000 jobs.
Watts said the Spokane center will handle inbound customer retention and sales calls. Jobs to be filled include customer service, human resources, training and management, according to a news release. The jobs include benefits such as health and dental insurance, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, and tuition reimbursement.
He declined to give specific pay ranges, but said total pay and benefits for employees at the Spokane call center is expected to be $27 million a year.
Comcast will be hiring about 80 people every six weeks to staff the new center.
The new call centers are part of a company-wide push to improve customer service, Watts said.
Comcast has had some high-profile customer service failures in the recent past, including an incident where an unnamed representative changed a Spokane customer’s name on her bill to “Asshole Brown” after she tried to cancel her cable.
The company’s service record was mentioned repeatedly in connection with its bid to take over Time Warner Cable, which itself has significant problems in that area. That $45 billion deal collapsed two weeks ago.
“Customer service has changed drastically, and we need to be a leader at customer service,” Watts said today. “We need to have a new approach on customer service.”
Besides the additional jobs, the new approach includes additional training, he said.
Comcast chose Spokane for the new call center before the Time Warner Cable deal ended, Watts said. The call center was expected to have helped Time Warner customers transition to Comcast service, he said.
But the city also was chosen because of the quality of its work force, Watts said.
Comcast expects to announce an interim location for the call center soon as well as a permanent location. It’s anticipating a $7 million construction project to build an 80,000-square-foot facility.
The company already has three large call centers in Western Washington.
With the addition of the call center in Spokane, Comcast will employ about 900 people here.
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