A week before it will release third-quarter earnings, HSN is doing belt-tightening, laying off 59 employees, many of them in corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla.
We got tipped off to the news not from the No. 2 home shopping network, we can assure you. One of our readers gave us the heads-up, pointing us to the Tampa Bay Times’s story last Thursday about the cutbacks.
HSN spun the layoffs, which represent 2 percent of its workforce, as a restructuring as the company moves toward fostering more digital sales. The home shopping network said it will be hiring digital folks.
The Tampa Bay Times had this canned quote from HSN on the job losses: “We appreciate the service of these individuals and are committed to assisting them in their transition to new employment. We are offering severance and outplacement services for those employees impacted.”
Those workers have our sympathies. We were laid off in 2009 during the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression, and were out of work for two years, so we surely sympathize.
Our tipster also told us that HSN is closing the call center at its fulfillment facility in Roanoke, Va., although the warehouse there will stay in operation. Those call center employees will now work from home, a practice that HSN has aggressively instituted.
As you can read in this story from the Tampa Bay Times, rather than outsource its call centers offshore, HSN has a good portion of its reps who handle order work out of their homes in the United States.
One of these HSN W.A.H.(Work At Home) employees told us that she and others were trained, if asked, to tell customers that she works at a call center.
The W.A.H.’s were given this admonishment because customers might not like it if their personal information/credit card information was being given to someone who is at home instead of in an HSN facility, according to the worker.