I Can't Speak For All Centers, But the One I Worked For... PLEASE READ ENTIRELY!
Pros: great co-workers, casual dress code, laid back workplace
Cons: poor scheduling, non-secure site, no recognition, no chance for promotion, poor training issues, issue with raises, no seniority, and extremely poor complaint resolution
Great co-workers : As with any call center, the other reps you work with are great, friendly people. Yes, supervisors and management (for the most part) included. HR were particularly nice... too bad they're 100 miles away.
Casual dress code : Not all that important, and actually detracts from productivity, but it's nice to be able to dress in your normal clothes.
Laid back : In and of itself, the job was actually a good job, you were helping people out all day every day... not like you were doing surveys or forced to try to sell anything (even though they say you are supposed to, it didn't count against us).
CONS : Poor scheduling : Schedules printed a month in advance could change immediately without consent. If you didn't check it (which they disabled the ability to do from home) it was your fault. I have never been late for work in my LIFE before they started this nonsense, well there goes that.
Non - Secure site : Strangers were walking in off the street to use our bathroom... Very unsafe.
No recognition : In my time with Advantage, I brought up the fact that there was VERY low morale and suggested an "employee of the month" program no less than 4 times. I was ignored completely. All that would have been necessary was a piece of paper and 20 seconds to print it off.
No chance for promotion : All higher level jobs are in different centers, you have NO chance of promotion despite job performance and knowledge about the job itself. Enjoy the bottom rung.
Training issues : Weekly reviews happened about once every 3 months, mandatory weekly training sessions – more... were completely ignored leading to reps confused or unaware of new promotions and processes. If you missed a day with a special AM training or something, it was rarely made up, so you never got that training... don't ever get sick, I guess... this especially sucks for students and part-timers. I WAS a trainer at prior jobs... this disregard for basic training is amateurish at best and completely inexcusable at worst.
Raises handled poorly : You get a raise at increments of time (1000 hours, then 2000 and so on). If you passed the threshold for a raise, it was ignored until they felt like giving it to you... could be MONTHS. You will get the money they owe in the end, but you MAY have to do all that work yourself. New hires off the street were making more than I was after 2 months.
No seniority : Not a student? Hope you like night shifts. There is no shift bid and they will schedule you whenever they want to. Looking at a past schedule here... Mon/Tues/Fri 13:00 - 22:00,
Thurs 12:00 - 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 17:00. This was not uncommon and could change at any time. Also, after working a week of all closing shifts, a lot of the time you were scheduled first thing in the AM the following week (sometimes the very next day). Days off were frequently spaced out as follows SUN-MON off, work all week, with the FRI-SAT of the NEXT week off. People would get the appropriate number of days off, but it wasn't uncommon to have to work for up to 10 days straight between them.
Poorly handled complaints : This one will get wordy, so I apologize, but this is the MOST IMPORTANT PART. There is no in house QA (there is a reason why, but I won't say... rest assured it's ridiculous though, and hearsay as I wasn't there personally) or HR dept. One of the more "questionable" co workers at my center was sexually harassing a temp for about 2 weeks before he quit of his own accord. This issue was raised but nothing was done to resolve the issue as the rep had already put in his notice. Should have been fired ON THE SPOT, but no on-site HR, remember? Disputing QA scores was next to impossible as the supervisor (not a QA) who would go over the issue had no idea what the issue was (didn't know our job), and usually defaulted back to "well, the QA is probably right." I have horror stories about getting in trouble for doing my job properly, but I'll spare you the details... by the way, your QA scores directly affect your raise amount.
In The End : Above, you have read what I loved and hated about this job... not very balanced is it? In truth, I did like the job and would probably still be working there if not for a mishandled situation they threw me into that I had no control over. I sincerely hope that this gets to the top of the food chain, as it were. I don't feel that anyone there should be fired for the way my situation was handled, but I feel it will be beneficial if someone is dispatched to investigate these claims. Based on my writing style, and my specific complaints I have no doubt they know who this is and can probably think of a few ways to get a hold of me if they should so desire. I would be more than happy to discuss this with someone HIGHER UP in the company and try to explain what went wrong and why I had to quit this job.
I'll leave you with this as a clue.
From Wikipedia, RE : Constructive Dismissal
"In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge, occurs when employees resign because their employer's behaviour has become so intolerable or heinous or made life so difficult that the employee has no choice but to resign. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is in effect a termination. For example, when an employer makes life extremely difficult for an employee to attempt to have the employee resign rather than outright firing the employee, the employer is trying to effect a constructive discharge."
And that's all I have to say about that. Good day. – less