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ISP help desk operator culls 120 staff

LineOne and Virgin users could be put on hold

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iDesk plc - which provides call centre services for UK ISPs including LineOne and Virgin - is slashing 120 staff in a bid to reduce losses.

Most of the job cuts will come from front line staff who deal directly with customers, prompting fears that the service received by Net users could deteriorate.

Around half the job losses are expected to be voluntary - the rest are due to be announced on Friday.

According to insiders, iDesk is axing staff to stem further losses at the company, which has been hit by the downturn in the telecoms industry and an increase in ISPs bringing their call centre operations in-house.

No one at iDesk was prepared to confirm the number of job losses at the company.

However, a spokesman for the company confirmed that iDesk would employ 150 people following the restructuring. The Register understands that as many as 300 people - including part-time staff - are employed by iDesk.

Yesterday, Chief Operating Officer, Kevin McKenna told staff that he was quitting the business. iDesk said the "new streamlined approach" means the company no longer needs a COO and CEO.

In a statement, Steve Berry, CEO of iDesk said: "iDesk remains committed to the support of exceptional customer services - this has been our core business from day one. In today's dynamic marketplace we are simply being more innovative in our approach to delivering that cost-effectively.

"A recent review of our business, which we undertook to ensure we are well positioned for growth, included a full review of our cost structure. This has led to some tough decisions, such as the deployment of our technical support services to markets outside of the UK. This reflects a market trend towards global solutions, serviced from anywhere around the world but delivered seamlessly to the customer.

"We are doing everything possible to deploy those staff affected by the changes in alternative roles. Where that is not possible we are dealing with the situation as fairly as possible," he said. ®

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