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Comcast closing Sacramento, other Calif. call centers | News

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Comcast closing Sacramento, other Calif. call centers

SACRAMENTO, CA - Comcast has announced it is closing all three of its California call centers because of the negative business climate in the Golden State.

The move affects roughly 1,000 employees in Sacramento, Livermore and Morgan Hill, according to Comcast spokesman Bryan Byrd.

Byrd said the jobs would be shifted to three other call centers in Seattle, Portland and Denver effective Nov. 30 and that employees in good standing would be eligible to transfer.

"The high cost of doing business in California makes it difficult for us to run cost-effective call centers here," Byrd said, declining to cite specifics.

Employees of the Sacramento call center in Natomas were notified of the shutdown during a brief group meeting Tuesday morning at the Sacramento Convention Center.

The Livermore and Morgan Hill announcements were made separately.

Comcast later backed away from the verbal statement blaming the business climate in California for the decision to close the only three call centers in the state.

"The reports carried in the media earlier today... are incorrect," Comcast said in a written news release.

The revised statement said Comcast is shifting call center operations to focus on customer needs rather than geography.

Although the result will be fewer call centers, including none in California, Comcast insisted the result would be better customer service for California customers.

The company declined to discuss the severence package being offered employees, but several Comcast workers leaving the Sacramento meeting said it included a $1,000 payment plus a $3,000 relocation allowance if they moved to one of the out-of-state call centers.

Most Comcast employees who spoke to News10 said they were in no position to move.

"A lot of people are going to be out of luck," said Kiyana Askew.  "And it just sucks."

by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net