Working in a call center can be a good way to make money, if you find the right company to work for. There are many reputable places that are ethical and upstanding, but there are many others who may use unfair tactics to cheat their employees out of their earnings. Here are some tips on spotting those unfortunate employers who add to their profits by taking from those who need the money most, their own workers. Telephone jobs are plentiful so here are ways to avoid the bad guys and work for the place best suited for you.
Checking out the employer
Many fly by night places will rent an office or hotel room only briefly then quickly staff their business. They are usually outbound sales (telemarketing) operations that hire you until their leads run out, and then they close up shop and go somewhere else. If you work for a place such as this, keep track of each and every sale you get, in as much detail as possible. Why? Because operations that aren’t honest will "forget" to mark the sale, and hope that you don’t notice. There are many versions of this "mistake" situation, and it’s always to their favor, not to yours. They may forget to record that the customer went to a presentation, too, if you get credit for that sort of thing. When briefly working for an outfit like this, I used to call back and ask my customers how the presentation was, to make sure they were happy and to see if my employer was giving me proper credit. Many times, the employer was in the wrong.
To avoid getting caught by their employees, some employers will resort to long and drawn out explanations of their payment policy. It can be so confusing, involved and overly detailed that even attorneys would have trouble reading and understanding it. It can be done by large and well-established companies, to keep employees from fully understanding how they actually get paid. Then, there are revisions to the pay plan, sometimes weekly, and almost never to the benefit of the employees.
Working for one company for three years, when the economy started to become shaky, the company decided to keep themselves from going under by getting creative with payroll. They increased our sales quotas and kept bumping up the conversion rates higher and higher. Many of us went from making several hundred dollars per week to barely minimum wage, as they pushed us harder and kept tweaking or stats. There is a long list of employees who quit in disgust, due to feeling worn out and cheated. The company then hires new employees, who never knew of the "glory days" of making good money, so they work for less money willingly until creative company accounting begins to squeeze money out of their pockets, too.
What to do
If working for a dishonest employer, the best thing to do is find another job and move on. In the meantime, make sure the current employer pays you what they owe you, and be firm about it. Fighting doesn’t do any good, so if they don’t want to pay you for what you deserve, threaten to contact the Better Business Bureau and stay calm. Don’t engage in long, drawn out debates. Keep it short and sweet, and be professional even if they aren’t. It’s self protection, and dishonest employers rely on your being passive about money discrepancies. Don’t be victimized, and move on. Learn from the experience when finding your next position elsewhere.
There are great jobs out there working on telephones. It pays to be proactive, informed and your own advocate when necessary. There are many kinds of jobs out there, so find whatever niche is best for you. After years of being in sales, it feels good to find a wonderful employer that is especially reputable and respectable. When the right employer comes along, they will be upfront with you about payment, without beating around the bush. They will answer your questions without vague insincerity. Don’t settle, and soon, your work will make you feel inspired, not drained. Life is too short to work for crooks and shysters.