Here's a fun switch: Calling a customer service center and getting someone with a Scottish accent on the line. Actually, that will only happen if you live in the U.K., as U.S.-based Amazon is expanding its overseas interests, creating 500 permanent and 400 temporary jobs at its new Customer Service Center at Waverley Gate, Edinburgh, Scotland.
The new center will handle both internet and telephone customer queries for Amazon.co.uk, including technical support for Amazon Kindle and MP3 services.
The new Edinburgh facility is getting a boost from local government. It's being supported by a 1.8 million-pound ($2.9 million) grant from Scottish Development International to help train new staff and support the construction of the new premises, expected to open in August 2011.
According to Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, "Amazon has a substantial presence in Scotland and this announcement is testament to the quality, strength and skills of its Scottish workforce. This news provides a significant boost to the local economy, creates 900 jobs in the heart of Edinburgh, and demonstrates the company's commitment to working in Scotland."
The company already has a substantial presence in Scotland with operations in Gourock, Glenrothes and South Queensferry. In January, Amazon announced that it would create an additional 950 jobs in Scotland -- 750 jobs in Dunfermline and 200 jobs in Gourock.
"As our business continues to grow and we move into new areas like grocery, sports and clothing, our customer services support needs to expand as well," said Allan Lyall, vice president of European Operations and Customer Service at Amazon.
Amazon seems to be getting a lot of support from Scottish development organizations. It makes one wonder if similar programs might work in the US, on a state by state basis, perhaps?