Freeserve, the UK's No. 1 for the Internet, is investing in the Middlesbrough area with the opening of a new contact centre for its Customer Service, Technical Support and Administration operations. 200 staff have been employed to work at the centre.
The new centre is operated by Garlands Call Centres, recently recognised as
the UK's Best Large Contact Centre at the 2002 National Customer Service
Awards. Garlands is the second largest private employer in the Tees Valley
area and has two existing call centre sites in the Hartlepool Marina area.
It is the first time that Freeserve's Broadband customer service, technical
support and administrative support functions have been centralised in a
single centre and in recognition of this significant move, Eric Abensur, CEO
of Freeserve opened the centre personally.
The site is located at:
Centre North East
73-75 Albert Road
Middlesbrough TS1 TRU
Eric Abensur, Freeserve's CEO commented "We are delighted to be moving the team to one centre. It shows our commitment not just to the region but also to our customers. We see broadband as an important part of our business but we have always stated that our focus remains on providing great service to existing customers so they stay with us as they move to broadband. This new call centre is set to play a critical role in servicing the needs of those customers."
"The continued growth in Garlands' business and the national recognition we
have achieved in the last 12 months for quality work is a great credit to
the management and staff of Garlands Call Centres," said Chey Garland, CEO
of Garlands Call Centres. "We are also proud of the strong links we have
built with our local community, especially through the success of our
community-based initiatives, and will continue to invest in the region to
the best of our ability."
Freeserve was recently declared Best Consumer Application and Best Unmetered
ISP by the UK's Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA).
Notes to Editors
About Freeserve ( http://www.freeserve.com )
Freeserve is the leading ISP-portal with an integrated offering of
UK-focused content, e-commerce and services and Internet access. Freeserve
has 2.574 million active registered accounts and 4.3 million* unique users.
In February 2003, Freeserve was named Best Consumer Application and Best
Unmetered ISP for its AnyTime product by the UK's Internet Service Provider
Association. In September 2002, Freeserve was named Best Unmetered ISP for its AnyTime product by Practical Internet magazine and In October 2002,
Freeserve was named Best Internet Service Provider and Best Web Hosting
Provider by readers of Computeractive magazine.
Freeserve is part of Wanadoo SA, a leading European online media and
services company which has as its major shareholder France Telecom, one of
the world's leading telecommunications companies. Wanadoo SA is a leading
Internet media services provider in France, the UK and a co-leader in Spain
and is also present in the Netherlands and Belgium. Including Freeserve,
Wanadoo S.A has 8 million active registered users and 20 million unique
visitors per month to its portals.
Freeserve was launched in September 1998 as part of Dixons, Europe's leading
consumer electronics retailer. Dixons Group remains a minority shareholder
in Wanadoo S.A and Freeserve distributes its access software in the UK through Dixons' network of over 1,100 Dixons, Currys, PC World and The Link stores, plus Orange, MVC and Littlewoods stores nationwide.
*NetValue, December 2002
Established in 1997, Garlands Call Centres was named the UK's fastest
growing large call centre by Marketing Magazine in its 2001 Telemarketing
League Tables. Garlands has a blue chip client list that includes leading
businesses in the telecoms (mobile and fixed), utilities, multi-media
entertainment and financial services industries.
The company handles both inbound and outbound customer contacts via phone,
email and the Web for customer retention, cross selling, upselling, customer service, customer acquisition, credit management and customer lifecycle
Garlands is passionate about its people, believing that people are key to
providing the best customer service. The company provides comprehensive and
innovative programmes with a holistic focus to develop the skills of its
staff - programmes that extend beyond the call centre and into the local
Garlands Call Centres was named 'Best Large Contact Centre' at the 2002
National Customer Service Awards. It was also a winner in the category
'Intelligent Application of Data for Telemarketing' at the 2002 Marketing
Direct Intelligence awards.
Garlands CEO, Chey Garland, was named Tees Valley 'Business Executive of the
Year' in both 1999 and 2001. She has also received national recognition in
2002, notably as 'Business Services Entrepreneur of the Year' at the Ernst
and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finals, Best Business Leader in the 100+
employee category at the Sage Business Awards and as the runner-up in the
Verve Clicquot Award for Business Woman of the Year.
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