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Epson to shut down its Canadian call centers in favor of moving them to the Phillipines

Epson America Inc. will be the next company to join the likes of IBM, HP and Dell in outsourcing its tech support and call centers to the Philippines.

Epson has decided to move its customer call center in Richmond Hill, Ontario to a to a third-party call centre provider. The changeover will begin immediately and is expected to take about six months to complete.

All consumer-grade products appear to be affected by the move. The Customer Relations department is also expected to be hit with changes.

“As a result of this move, 300 full-time, part-time and contract positions in Canada will be affected over the next six months,” Epson said in a statement to DailyTech. “All employees impacted by the restructuring will be offered comprehensive severance and benefits packages in addition to personal and career counseling.”

Many companies are outsourcing its call centers in an effort to reduce costs. The Philippines have become a recent popular choice for reasons such as its large, English-speaking population.

“The service level provided by the North American customer call centre has been excellent,” the Epson statement explained. “However, as part of its ongoing review of operations to continue providing the highest quality service while also remaining cost competitive, Epson identified a third-party provider that is better equipped to handle increased customer calls with more efficient processes.”

Moves such as this one continue to help make the foreign outsourcing industry hot.

According to a Philippines Government-sponsored study, Projections for 2006 peg a 52 percent increase in outsourcing revenues, with investments in the industry surging by 42 percent. By 2010, up to 1.2 million people would be employed in the sector, up dramatically from the 233,000 people at present.

It is estimated that business process outsourcing will bring $3.8 billion in revenues to the Philippines this year, nearly quadrupling revenues from 2001.

“Outsourcing is a sector with much dynamism,” said Philippines Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri. “Companies are also getting more creative to respond to industry demand.”

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