Cingular Wireless Opens Its Ocean Springs Call Center

The questions called in regarding Cingular Wireless phones came from Alabama customers. The answers came from Mississippi agents sitting at computer terminals in the company's brand new customer service center.

Catherine Allen represents Cingular Wireless. She said, "Day number one has been challenging, but exciting, and very rewarding thus far."

Cingular Wireless gutted the old Highway 90 Wal Mart. It transformed the Ocean Springs building from a discount store, into a computer based call center. Monday was its opening day.

As Dorothy Moran walked through the new center, the Cingular Wireless representative said, "I see a wonderful start of the call center that will handle our customer service calls in a very efficient, and very exciting way."

Frederic Holifield is one of the newly trained customer service agents. As he set up his terminal, he joked, "You hope that whenever you get on the phone, your mind doesn't go blank." Holifield's first day of work started at noon. He was on the last shift of the day. "It's the start of a new career," Holifield said. "I'm retired military and I believe this is something I'm going to enjoy, working with people, customer service."

Ocean Springs was one of six new regional centers opened by Cingular this summer. Patrick Reynolds is one of its managers. "We brought in a lot of people," he said. "We trained them well. So far, everything is going great."

At a time when Jackson County could use a business boost, the company expected to add 600 jobs and $40 million into the economy. "Without that," state representative Billy Broomfield said, "we don't know where our people would find what is conducive to putting bread on the table and continue to pay the bills. So we're ecstatic about what is happening in Ocean Springs and Jackson County on this day."

So far, Cingular Wireless has hired 430 people to run its Ocean Springs operation. Between now and October, the company expects to add 200 more customer service representatives.