Article from Kansas City Star - July 30, 2005
Disney to close area call center

250 jobs cut in Overland Park
Company cites shift to online ordering


A Walt Disney Co. telemarketing center in Overland Park will close by February, eliminating about 250 jobs.

Disney Direct Marketing’s Onstage Teleservice operation, as it is known, takes orders for Disney’s catalog merchandise and reservations for Walt Disney World.

“Both of those businesses have had a fairly dramatic shift from calls to online — both for shoppers from our catalog and reservations to the theme park,” said Disney spokesman Gary Foster, explaining the decision to shut the operation.

The center, at 11200 W. 93rd St., employs about 200 part-time and seasonal hourly workers and 50 full-time workers and managers. Foster said some would be offered opportunities to work at other Disney call centers. The rest will receive severance packages, he said.
Last year, CitiMortgage closed its call center in Overland Park, eliminating 123 jobs. Pegasus Satellite Television, once a major seller of DirecTV services, shed 304 jobs when it shut its call center in Lenexa about the same time. And at least 150 of the 1,400 employees at AT&T’s Lee’s Summit call center have been laid off in the past year.

Foster denied rumors that Disney was outsourcing the Overland Park call center’s jobs to India.

“That is not correct,” he said. “It really is just because of the shift from calls to online.”