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Z-Tel to close Minot office

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
MINOT, N.D. n "It's been a flurry of bad news in the telecommunications industry lately," said Sarah Bialk, director of investor relations for Z-Tel Communications, Inc.
So bad, in fact, that Z-Tel announced last week that as part of its new restructuring efforts it will be closing its Minot, N.D., office effective June 15. Officials said some functions will be moved to Atmore.
Z-Tel announced last Thursday that as part of its plans to reduce approximately $2 million per month in expenditures that it would eliminate 350 positions and close its Minot facilities.
Z-Tel officials say they have no plans to cut any jobs from the Atmore facility.
This closing, according to officials, is part of the company's refocus from residential service to small business and wholesale services.
The shift in focus will move all residential call services and telemarketing that were handled in Minot will now be incorporated into the Atmore facility. Atmore will be responsible for all measures of customer care for Touch 1 and Z-Tel's estimated 400,000 plus customers.
Bialk said Minot representatives were responsible primarily for handling outbound telemarketing calls and taking incoming calls from potential customers interested in the service.
Currently, Atmore representatives are responsible for handling customer service calls, customer support, Member services n introduction of new customers to the Z-Tel's services n and the support of Touch 1 customers.
Other than the increased work load, Bialk said that little is planned to change in Atmore.
Bialk said she is proud of the relationship that Z-Tel currently has with Atmore, and looks forward to continuing that tradition, even through these rough economical times.
While deeply saddened by the loss, Bialk said herself and Z-Tel representatives are only looking out for the best interests of the company.