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PACKARD BELL FIRES 120 WHO AREN’T CERTIFIED

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Packard Bell has fired 120 workers at its customer-service center who failed to get computer-industry certification, and it is looking for replacements.

Spokesman David McWilliams said certification is required for continued employment at the center, which fields thousands of calls daily from customers with questions about running their computers.McWilliams said when employees are hired, they are given 90 days to get their A-Plus certification, showing they have basic computer skills.

The Magna center is preparing to begin a new fee-based service, in which customers who want more personalized assistance will be billed either at the rate of $2 per minute or a flat rate of $29 per call.