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Congressmen join effort to sway Amtrak plans to close call center NEWSWIRE

By | December 13, 2018

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Members of California’s congressional delegation have joined the effort to save Amtrak’s reservation call center in Riverside, which employs about 500 workers.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that 37 of the state’s representatives in Congress have agreed to sign a letter asking Amtrak to change its plan to close the Riverside center on Jan. 18. Employees have been offered jobs at Amtrak’s other call center in Philadelphia, although the union representing the California workers continues to negotiate with Amtrak about how much the company would offer to cover relocation expenses.

Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, released a separate letter on Wednesday asking Amtrak to delay the closure for at least six months, allowing Congress time to address the situation and giving employees time to weigh the relocation offer.

Amtrak has said the closure reflects decreased traffic at its call centers, but employees in Riverside contend traffic is being diverted to a third-party contractor in Florida, which Calvert said would be “completely unacceptable.”

About 100 people rallied on Wednesday at Riverside City Hall to protest the closure.

7 thoughts on “Congressmen join effort to sway Amtrak plans to close call center NEWSWIRE

  1. Arthur Hazeldine,

    It doesn’t cost any more to run a call center in California than elsewhere, and Amtrak is not the only company with a call center here, even one of the Xfinity/Comcast call centers is located in California(though good luck actually getting in touch with that one). What Amtrak could do to reduce costs is go the JetBlue route, have all of your call center employees work from home…all of the JetBlue customer service people work out of their homes in Utah…or Amtrak could be even smarter and completely shake up management by eliminating the waste that is the BoD and replacing the current leader with someone less expensive and with more common sense.

  2. I believe tha 800 USA RAIL was once an award winning example of excellence in phone based customer service in the entire travel industry. I hope that CEO Anderson tealizes that there are still large areas of the country (including individual train stations) without internet or cell service. And that a reliable high quality call center(s) with short wait times should be maintained indefinitely. I am oncerned that this shift will make it less convenient to use the 800 number, and that some potential customers won’t ride as a result.

  3. Replace the CEO Anderson with someone who understands rail travel…someone who isn’t trying his best to derail Amtrak. Someone who understand the value of an excellent call center and customer service. Then they can afford to keep the call center.

  4. If it takes 500 people to handle Amtraks call load,with a 20 minute wait time, how many would they need to get the waiting time down to a responsible level?

  5. With the high cost of operating a call center in CA, or for that matter in PHL, why not eliminate both those locations and put a single new national call center in a low cost, centrally located area like Texas, Kentucky, Iowa, Nebraska or Missouri?

  6. Arthur Hazeldine,
    Why would it make a difference if a call center was “ centrally located”. The reason Amtrak is wanting to close the call center is to eliminate good paying union jobs and contract out the work. And at the same time slow the reservation process to drive off customers.

  7. I agree, it was a way to cut jobs, another one of “propeller head” and his crowd stupid ideas. I still call to make a train reservation, would rather to an agent than try to do it online, that way if I have questions, I can find out what I need to know

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