Pros: sit in a desk all day
Cons: sit in a desk all day, erratic hours, unreliable management aside from tms, poor wages for the emotional toll of the work being done
I spent about 10 months at stream. During which I was moved to and retrained for 5 different positions, all of which were pseudo-optional.
If you do decide you want to "wait and see if anything is available," instead of going along with the change being forced on you you will either find yourself out of a job or working at the lowest paying filler contract they have at the location.
The point system in place is set up so that once you reach 8 points they are able to terminate your position, half a point for signing in anything more than 4 minutes late for work and half a point for coming in late from lunch.
A full point is assigned for any unscheduled absence of if you are more than 4 hours late. Absences for medical reasons are excused if it's a series of days, however you will still receive 1 point for the initial absence. If you show up anyways and then have to take a leave of absence this starts over again and it would be an additional point.
As for the pay, it's better than minimum wage and the physical workload is nonexistent, however the job itself gets to be extremely stressful depending on the type of contract you are working on. Usually the companies you will work on contract for have their own in-house customer service and technical support agents, they are paid much higher(starting at 15 an hour+ in some instances) for the same job you're doing for slightly above minimum wage.
Technical support is usually better in regards to customer interaction because these are people whose issues you can usually fix and they will be grateful for it, even if they came into the – more... call angry. Tech Support also pays better with the cap being 12.25 when I was working there.
Customer service is much worse. You'll end up stuck on call after call dealing with people who want to yell at you because they think you're part of whichever company you're working on a contract for. The cap for this is up to around 11.25, I believe, and some contracts pay lower.
For customer service it ends up with an 8 hour work day of dealing with people who a lot of the time are not seemingly mentally competent. I've had a number of people who basically yelled demands at me the whole time and ignored my rational explanation of why I'm not able to give them money they have no right to. When I suggested the customer went into the retail location they had had the problem with she explained that last time they had called the police on her and will do it again.
These are the type of people you will deal with daily.
The best part about the job there was that the TMs(team managers) are often enough very eager to help you because they've been in your shoes before and know what you're dealing with.
Other than that there isn't really anything pleasant about the company.
Communication between locations is poor at best, if you work on a contract for a company that supports a wide variety of products expect to have people misrouted to you and need to transfer them. Sometimes this goes easily, sometimes you end up having to argue with someone on the other side of the planet who will tell you they cannot help you because they don't want to do their job properly.
If you have aspirations of making it to Team Manager or any other positions it basically relies on whether or not they like you, vs if you can actually do your job. A few agents will get groomed for the position and given a supervisor role, even if they are otherwise incompetent(I've had one who couldn't answer a basic question about the product we were supporting, I was sure I knew the answer but wanted confirmation, he told me I should look it up on my own, and it was a part of my job to know it.) Unless you're a part of this group you will have no chance of being promoted. There are people at the location I worked at who have been phone agents for 5+ years.
Part of being moved between contracts was taking a pay cut as I went from tech support level 2 to customer service. The people who elected not to go when we were told this was going to happen were fired.
You'll be told that they're doing everything they can to accommodate you but as anyone who has worked there before will tell you it's a joke. You'll end up getting screwed over one way or another and lied to by management.
Another facet of working there is shift bid.
Your placement is primarily based off of seniority. I've done a shiftbid where I had higher customer service ratings than quite a few agents(around 80%) and should have been near the top of the list, but because seniority weighs so heavily on these shiftbids anyone who had been there over a year had an unfair advantage, regardless of their numbers being around (50-60%).
Due to the nature of the job you will be required to worked any day of the year, holiday or not, depending on the contract it could be at any time of day(some go 24 hours).
There are usually only a few shifts with weekends off so the vast majority end up with you having days such as Wednesday-Thursday off.
That's really all I have to say about Stream.
If you have no other opportunities it's an okay place, but don't stay for more than you have to. After 3 months you receive a performance evaluation where you will be given a 75 cent raise. This is the only raise you will ever receive as a phone agent, unless you have a change of position and are promoted to a higher position.
The only thing I came away from it with were some skills for dealing with people and that's about it. – less