Just days after reviewing its wireless data plans, Verizon held a meeting with a wide audience of customer service representatives on Wednesday to inform them of upcoming “restructuring” and “streamlining” measures that will almost certainly lead to significant layoffs. More details will be shared tomorrow, May 25, according to a pre-recorded message received by employees. More than 6,000 employees attended today’s call — The edge spoke to some of them – but the consolidation measures could have an impact on the numbers that goes much further.
The warning comes just a month after Verizon released first-quarter 2023 earnings, which fell short of Wall Street estimates as subscriber numbers continued to shrink. Company lost 127,000 postpaid subscribers in the quarter. In March, the company named Sowmyanarayan Sampath CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, which oversees customer service.
Those involved in today’s call were told they could accept an offer of redundancy (two weeks per year of service) or, in certain cases, apply for positions to “move to the next stage of your career ‘. This is evident from an internal document provided to The edgethose roles revolve around customer experience, loyalty and technology positions.
The company gave affected employees a June 7 deadline to make a decision on their preference, according to people on the phone. Those applying for new positions have no guarantee of being hired, and for those not taking an option, June 23 is the date Verizon will notify employees of their future with the company.
About on the Verizon subreddit, some speculate that the company is taking these steps so it can shift even more after-sales service and customer support to third-party suppliers abroad. According to people familiar with the matter, Verizon has largely stopped hiring for customer service roles.
The developments come shortly after Verizon announced modified mobile plans that were greeted with a lukewarm reception by some customers as they no longer bundle into premium services like Apple Music or the Disney bundle. Carriers are dealing with stagnant revenues and they are trying to make money with 5G in any way, after years of hyping the faster network technology. Verizon has said it plans to flip the switch on the C-band spectrum in more areas around the country in the coming months.
Over the years, Verizon has touted its extensive network coverage and award-winning customer service. Making the choice to limit investment in that US experience could be detrimental to both the company and customers seeking help.