Optimum's parent company to close CT facilities, shed nearly 600 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Optimum's parent company to close CT facilities, shed nearly 600 jobs

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Optimum said it's cutting back on call centers and office staffing. (WFSB) Optimum said it's cutting back on call centers and office staffing. (WFSB)
SHELTON, CT (WFSB) -

The company that owns Optimum said it's cutting back on call centers and office staffing.

Altice said it evaluated changes and determined it can close its Shelton and Stratford facilities.

Layoffs amount to nearly 600 positions between the two locations.

It blamed technology changes, which have reduced call volumes.

Changes in technology allow them to handle calls based on the issue, not the region.

Altice said Connecticut residents will not be impacted in terms of their service.

It said job changes do not affect workers in the field or the techs that come to customers' homes.

The company released a statement to Eyewitness News Tuesday morning:

"Altice USA is committed to Connecticut and to serving the local communities with best-in-class products and service. As a company driven by technology, investment and innovation, we are introducing some exciting changes to our offerings, including speed increases and new products, which are focused on delivering a superior experience to all of our customers.

Over the last few years, there have been investments and enhancements to our Optimum products and services, making them more reliable and providing more customer service touch points than ever before. As a result, we have seen a significant improvement in customer call volume and patterns. As we look to strengthen our operations in the nation's most competitive market, we are aligning our contact center organization to meet the current needs of our customers." 

Altice said it continues to employ hundreds of workers in Connecticut.

David Cadden, a professor of entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, called the announcement upsetting but not unexpected.

"Earlier this year, Altice USA, a Dutch-based firm, acquired Cablevision for an excessive $17 billion," Cadden said. "It also acquired Cablevision's debt. In such acquisitions, one of the first activities is to reduce the acquired firm's operating expenses. One of the easiest ways to do that is to cut labor costs. Altice USA argued that improvements in technology enabled it to curtail customer-service operations. While this may be true, the driving rationalization for its actions was economic."

Cadden also said it wouldn't be surprising if additional layoffs are in the the company's future.

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