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Gateway: no support crisis at firm

Europe outsources when it needs to

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A senior executive at Gateway in Europe said today that the company's ability to field support calls was based on seasonal differences, and there has been no crisis at the firm. That follows an allegation from a Gateway insider that the firm's support staff was at full stretch last week after it pulled the plug on three of its outsourcing firms, on instructions from the US to slim down costs. Mike Maloney, senior VP of consumer business at Gateway in Dublin, said that suggestion is completely untrue. "The US would never dictate something like that," he said. "We're a separate profit/loss unit in Europe". That meant that Gateway Europe decided its own policy. However, Maloney said that the support lines had been very busy over the last two weeks, and explained the company's policy on outsourcing support. He said: "We use a number of outsourcers to help us and we use them for flexibility. Our business is very seasonally based." It would not be possible to maintain the same level of permanent support staff the whole year round, he explained. "Typically, most [support] calls come in January and February," he said. Gateway Europe switched off the outsourcing contracts when the call level began to fall. "It was planned to happen and there's no change in our policy," he added. He said that while Gateway Europe preferred to handle all of the support calls itself, the seasonal variations meant that was not always possible. "It's been very busy over the last two weeks," he said. ®

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