RainMaker Goes Up West

CBC News is reporting that RainMaker Call Centres is taking over the space in Bloomfield abandoned by Help Desk Now.

A couple of points not included in the CBC story:

  • The company already operates sites in Tignish and Summerside (reference)
  • Their primary client is Trendwest WorldMark Resorts (reference). RainMaker calls Trendwest the “3rd largest family oriented resort company in the world.” What that really means is that they sell timeshare vacations.
  • RainMaker says they have “different culture and work practices” than Help Desk Now. Presumably this extends, at least in part, from the fact that they are an “outbound” call centre. This means that they’re not answering the phone, they’re making calls. To sell timeshare vacations.
  • The call centre “solution” that RainMaker uses they bought from a company called Genticity, which is based in Charlottetown. The ACOA website says says that Genticity “received $450,000 in private equity investments, a $219,600 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and a further $100,000 investment from Technology PEI.”
  • The Chair of the Board of Genticity is Jamie Hill, formerly of Online Support, PEINet, Cycor, etc. (see here and here and here)
  • Other customers of Genticity, highlighted on their website, are Island Waste Management Corporation (owned by the Province of PEI), On Line Support (Founder and former President: Jamie Hill), and iWave (Chief Executive Officer: Jamie Hill)

I’m not saying all this adds up to anything more than a bunch of facts. But I think a thorough examination of the public money that’s gone to call centres and related companies and the return on the investment in terms of tax revenue and employment, would be a useful exercise. Such a review may demonstrate that our public money has been wisely applied. Or not. I’d like to know.

You must admit there is some irony, especially in this slow tourism year, in our public money going, at least indirectly, to support a company whose primary business is selling vacations in places that aren’t Prince Edward Island.

An interesting side note: the most recent financial statements of iWave Information Systems Inc. (available from SEDAR) show that iWave paid $9355 for the Internet domain named iWave.com.

Comments

Marcus's picture
Marcus on August 9, 2004 - 23:03

Ah, but how to bring the “IT industry” or create an “on-ramp to the information superhighway” for the denizens of Atlantic Canada, particularly its rural areas….

This is government’s way of saying they have gainfully employed people sitting in front of computers supposedly doing something. Frank McKenna received national accolades for this approach and is still reaping the benefits from such wonderful foresight.

So to get jobs out in the frontier to let folks have their 900 hours or whatever it takes, give thousands/millions to the companies and the political problem goes away — sort of.

Until threads like this pop up I guess. Where’s Tom Kent when you need him?

ken's picture
ken on August 10, 2004 - 21:08

Bringing jobs to PEI, a place where so many have left for jobs elsewhere. Every PEI politicians fantasy is to be credited with bringing jobs to PEI. Other than call centres what kind of jobs could politicians lure here?

Whistleblower's Whistleblower's picture
Whistleblower's... on January 12, 2005 - 15:29

That’s a fine example of an inflammatory, poorly written and needlessly reactionary garbage post. /golf clap I’m not sure if my favourite part was the ridiculous hyperlinking, the tin-foil hat connection drawing, the sad attempt at trying to sound like you haven’t already decided that ‘we [the taxpayer] wuz robbed’, the complete lack of anything ironic about Rainmakers business being located on Island soil, or the completely uninteresting and admittedly rather sad side note.

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