Cable TV Customer Service Center Relocating

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Charter Communications will soon close its Reno customer phone center, company officials announced.

Forty full-time workers were told their Reno employment would end starting Sept. 1 when their duties would be shifted to a company center in Vancouver, Wash.

But company officials said the employees would be guaranteed jobs at Vancouver and a call center in Irwindale, Calif., if they could move.

Those centers serve more than 1 million customers in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of northern California.

Craig Watson, a vice president of the Long Beach, Calif.-based cable television company, said the Vancouver center would be able to answer customer calls more quickly because of its superior technology.

"The system in Reno is out of date ... This change will help maintain response time our cities expect of us," Watson said.

Charter did not break its new 15-year contract with the city of Reno by moving the call center out of Reno, city officials said.

But Andy Barbano, chairman of the Reno Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, criticized the move.

"This is Charter running all the way to the bank by sending jobs out of state and possibly overseas," Barbano said. "They can abuse Reno and Nevada for another 14 years."