View Full Version : Don't expect any new call centers here

06-09-2006, 11:19 PM
Call centres no longer turning to Edmonton
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 6, 2006 | 9:46 AM MT
CBC News

Call centre companies once flocking to Edmonton say it's no longer an attractive place to set up shop because of rising office rents and fewer people wanting to answer phones.

Two years ago, Edmonton was being touted as the "go-to capital" for the world's call centres. There are currently 170 companies and 12,000 people working in the business in the city.

"Edmonton in particular was a real sweet spot," said Dave Vanden Bosch, who heads the Alberta Call Centre Association.

At the time, the city offered a low dollar, low taxes, cheap office space, and lots of people to hire. Some corporations were pulling their call centres out of such places as India and the Philippines and moving jobs to Edmonton.

Hard to hire

Ipsos-Reid had 200 people on the phones in Edmonton for six years, but closed the call centre at the end of February.

Spokesman John Wright says the company left because leasing office space got much more expensive and the dollar went up. Worse, the company couldn't fill its cubicles.

"It's almost impossible to find people and that affects our ability to do our work," he said.

"From the moment the announcement was made, we had calls from other call centres, from service centres, from malls."

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation is reviewing the situation.

"Yes, some of the excitement has died down," said spokeswoman Lisanne Lewis.

Established call centres and those who pay a bit more are doing fine, she said. But Lewis admits the Edmonton market might be tapped out.


07-09-2006, 07:57 AM
No big surprise...

Note the URL - CBC loves EDMONTON....not.

Sonic Death Monkey
07-09-2006, 08:17 AM
How many call centres do we need anyway? How about attracting companies that has REAL work instead of the low-pay-low-skill call centre McJobs? Besides, all the reasons why the call centres flocked here in the first place all reek of "discountville".

07-09-2006, 08:48 AM
Good news bad news I guess...a price I'm willing to pay for a city finally steam rolling along economically.

If being a "go-to capital" for world call centres means needing lots of cheap, vacant office space (presumably because no one else wants it), then I would suggest passing on that "title"... :)


07-09-2006, 09:05 AM
I, am glad that "some of the excitement has died down."

Maybe the fact that EEDC and the City aren't as willing to do anything and give anything to attract these "McEmployers" to Edmonton? The Dell land and tax deal still rankles.

I agree real, sustainable jobs are what Edmonton needs not "sweat shop of the new century" call centre "smile and dial" jobs.

07-09-2006, 09:13 AM
I would rather see the computers being built in Edmonton, not just people calling to buy them or complain about exploding batteries....

Sonic Death Monkey
07-09-2006, 08:11 PM
Exactly. When I first heard that Dell was going to set up shop here, my first thought was that this was going to be a huge boost for the local IT market. But then when it turned out to be just a call centre and tech support then I was like 'bah'.