AT&T/SBC employ several hundred people at one of their main vendors in Johnson City, TN. This employer, with the approval of AT&T/SBC, engages in deceptive and intentionally confusing practices. The main focus is on the deceptive sales of new bundles and packages, as well as DSL, Cingluar cellular service, and other services. The customers are intentionally blindsided and are not told accurate information on costs of these products, and in many instances are intentionaly lied to.
The numbers that are sent out on disconnection notices and on the phone calls from LACC (Live Account Collection Center) bounce customers back into billing, and there are other specialty numbers that do not work. This results in excessive hold times for the customers as well as inaccurate information. AT&T has been aware of this problem for 2 months.
The employees are inadaquately trained, and the entire first week of training for the earlier training classes was on nothing but selling DSL. The employees are lied to up front about the sales aspect of the job, resulting in a large number of firings as well as transfers to other departments. If you do not meet a quota of sales, or are caught not attempting a hard sales tactic on each and every customer that these products are available on, you are terminated.
To use an example, one of the most common practices is for someone who comes in with a phone bill that is 29.51, for example, including taxes to be told they can save money by adding the personal choice package for 28.95 and it will be cheaper. Of course, this does not include taxes or the excessive federal access charge.
In reference to the federal access charge, this charge is not mandated by the FCC, but is intstead merely allowed. How this works is that all telecommunications companies must pay into a fund that is used to maintain equipment, and are allowed, at their choice, to charge a federal access charge. AT&T chooses to charge this and has trained employees to tell customers that this charge is REQUIRED by the FCC.
The advertisements for 12.95 internet service and the 39.95 All Distance Select package are deceptive, due to the fact that they are online only offers, but the ordering system has been down for over a month. AT&T is aware of it, and has made no move to fix this, but when the cusomers call in we can, of course, sell them the 14.99 internet package (which most customers do not qualify for) or we can sell them the 49.95 All Distance package.
The working conditions at this call center, which is based in Johnson City, TN, are horrendous. As an example, they made the attempt to cancel lunches, and to schedule people for 8 and 9 hours without giving them a 30 minute unpaid meal period. This is in direct violation of the Tennessee Department Of Labor And Workforce Development policies.
In addition to this, there are constant wage claims due to inaccuracies which may be intentional. Most of the 'Incentives' that are offered for selling DSL and other products are never paid. There is inadequate parking, and employees are regularly towed, and some of them are now being forced to park off property in a church parking lot and take a bus to work.
Today, alone, the ambulance arrived 3 times, and we were told 1 was a slip and fall incident and the other 2 were heat related. Several weeks ago a Fire Department crash unit arrived due to an illness and had no space to turn around, resulting in moderate to severe damage to 5 vehicles. This resulted in a fine. The fire deparment would not be able to get a ladder truck anywhere near the second building, and neither building has adequate emergency exits or any sort of sprinkler system. We have handicapped people having to walk from the gravel part of the parking lot, which is the furthest part away (roughly 1/4 of a mile) due to a lack of enough handicapped parking.
There are over 800 people working in this building, on projects as various as Litton Loan Servicing, Saxon Home Mortgage, Dell, and several AT&T projects. These are the sorts of clients that Advanced Call Center Technologies, more commonly known as ACT, employ.
Note that AT&T visits the premesis on a regular basis, and are fully aware of the way the place is run. Furthermore, the aspects of the business which rip off customers, which are reported in more detail elsewhere on this site, are acknowledged and mandated by AT&T.
Also, please note that I worked on this project for over 6 months until I quit this week due to the fact that I have moral problems with the way this is being run.
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