media logos

Uh oh, Helio: 100 jobs cut in “restructuring”

You might not be able to not call them a phone company for much longer. Okay, maybe that’s a glum prediction for the MVNO, but Earthlink’s current problems aren’t being helped much by the money-sucking cell provider. The company is making cuts, and even though they remain stead in their stance that Helio is safe for the time being, they won’t remain at full capacity. About 100 jobs have been cut from the company, which could be the precursor to a larger move.

The reason for the layoffs, according to the company, is “in an effort to streamline its operations and refocus its field sales team towards direct sales.” We can see that, we suppose. They are, after all, losing money, so it’s probably best to rethink the game plan. And to buy more time for the thinkers, some people just had to go. We don’t like the idea, but we understand it.

Problem is, the cut represents 1/7 of Helio’s staff. That’s enormous. So if you’re a current subscriber, or are thinking of subscribing, we don’t think you should be expecting much in terms of customer service. That’s always the first place they cut positions.

There are some bright signs amidst the firings, though. The company claims that its best month yet was July 2007, and they are on track to bring in $100 million in revenues. Good for them. They also plan to open more kiosks, though we think that’s a mistake. There is nothing worse then being engaged in a high pressure sales situation at a kiosk. It makes us never want to do business with that kind of company.

We’d really like to see Helio stick around. Despite their baneful contracts, they have cool devices and surprisingly reliable service. If they end up expanding, we can see a prepaid version coming along, which would be a boon to us consumers.

[GigaOM]