DIXON – In yet another sign of the changing way in which companies and customers interact, CenturyLink is dropping its downtown business office.
The retail store at 207 W. Second St. will close at the end of the day May 2, said Jack Moore, the company's market development manager for its Illinois-Indiana-Michigan market.
The office has two employees, who will be given the opportunity "to bid on any other jobs that they would be qualified for," Moore said.
For customers, though, all it means is they must mail in their bills or pay them online. A phone number will be provided for customer support, he said.
The company provides home phone, high-speed Internet, and DirecTV services in the Dixon area; no change is planned there. In addition, CenturyLink owns the building, where switching equipment will remain on site.
Only the business office is closing, Moore said.
According to its website, centurylink.com, the company has 270 employees in 12 sites in Illinois. Rockford, Moline and Chicago are the nearest to Dixon.
But the only other business office in the state is in Galesburg; there are only five such offices altogether in his territory, Moore said.
"I wish I had better news," he said. "It's just one of those economic realities. It all comes down to competitive pressures in our industry, revenue-expense challenges. ...
"It's just a different way of handling the business."
CenturyLink is not alone in its decision. Almost exactly 3 years ago, on April 30, 2011, Comcast closed its Dixon business office at 115 N. Galena Ave. because more of its customers were choosing to pay online or by phone, a spokeswoman said.
That office had only one employee, who was offered another position within the company, she said at the time.