UPDATE 1-Dell to cut nearly 900 jobs, close Canada center

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:45pm EST

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(Adds spokesman's comment, customer service details, byline)

By Philipp Gollner

SAN FRANCISCO Jan 31 (Reuters) - Dell Inc DELL.O said on Thursday it will close its call center in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada and eliminate most of the facility's 900 jobs in the second quarter as it consolidates customer-service operations.

Dell, the world's second-largest personal computer maker, also said it had decided to scrap plans to open a second customer service center in Ottawa. Most of the Edmonton center's workers will be laid off; some will be offered jobs at other company locations, Dell spokesman David Frink said.

Dell has about 25 call centers worldwide. The Round Rock, Texas-based company announced plans in 2006 to spend more than $150 million and hire more than 2,000 workers to improve customer service after buyers complained about poor after-sales support from the company.

Dell said in May that it would cut about 10 percent of the work force, or about 8,800 jobs, over 12 months to improve profit after founder Michael Dell regained the helm a year ago. The company has changed its consumer-sales strategy, selling PCs in about 10,000 retail outlets after 23 years of direct-only sales via the Internet or phone.

The job cuts are "just part of the changes we are making across the company to enhance our efficiency," Frink said. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Leslie Gevirtz)

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