I am an employee of Rip Off America. If you think being a customer is bad try being an employee. They run advertisements for employees constantly. They do pay a fair wage and run their wants ads in areas where they know people are looking for decent paying jobs. They advertise $12 hr. When you arrive for your interview, you learn its hardcore HIGH pressure sales or collections. Most people end up in sales. If you do not fit whatever profile they are looking for in a sales person they act like they are doing you a favor by send you the customer service or billing/collections department to interview with those managers. Then tell you that this is the best place to go if you are not a hard core sales person.
The hiring process is a joke. Anyone off the street can get hired if you can pass the background check. There is no drug screening. They run their background checks in house so you usually get a phone call back within a few hours to a day that you are hired. Once hired you are given a packet of papers to fill out which contain most of the normal things and the company's policy. You must sign or no job. You are NOT allowed to get a copy of anything that you sign with the exception of your work-schedule.
They make you sign a form that if you quit or get fired before the end of 90 days...that your last paycheck will be reduced from your hiring hourly wage to minimum wage. You are also given a form to sign stating that if you loose or break your headset they will deduct $70 from your paycheck to replace it. You do not get a new headset. You get the used leftovers from god only knows how many employees had that headset before you.
You get two 15 minute breaks during an 8 hour work day. You work every other Saturday for 10 hour shift and still you only get two 15 min breaks. If you take one minute more than your allotted break time you are subject to termination. You are told you must make 150 or more calls per day and collect $700 or more per day or your job is in danger. They do not care how you get the money. Just get it!
Now for the training, it's very minimal. There are NO formal training classes that are offered. They have you sit next to people that are their top bill collectors and listen in on their calls. You do that for 3-4 days. Some of the top collectors do know how to train and teach. Some do try to really teach you what you need to know.
However there is one women that is the TOP collector and has been top collect for every month since she began with protect america. She is very arrogant and rude. She does not want to really be bothered with training and her attitude tells all. She is also the best friend and butt kissing buddy of the supervisor. She sits right in front of the supervisor. She maintains her top collector status by lying to customers to get them to pay. Because she is the favorite of the supervisor she is given special lists of customers to call which is a source, that the rest of the collectors do not have access too. She also looks for any reason to be-little and steal the payments from new employees trying to learn as well as the old employees. Make a small mistake and she will pounce on it.
Collectors are also not to sandbag meaning holding on to payments and then entering them to boost your numbers. Susan has specifically told the department she will reprimand or terminate anyone she catches doing this. However, her senior billing rep Alisha does it ALL TIME TIME! Since this women has trained most of the current employees to include me she even showed me what she was doing. As she said this is to make sure she makes her quota every hour. Of course its funny how Susan never sees anything wrong that her senior billing rep has done!
The really sad part is that the favoritism is so blatant. The supervisor, Susan has no respect or sense of confidentiality or privacy for her employees. She discusses personal employee issues with her top collector. I have over heard many a conversation about why someone was missing from work. Or her favorite senior billing rep tattling about how stupid some new employee which she help train is and how they are not doing their job.
Susan the manager is a very crude, rude women. She admits this openly. She does not return customer calls when they leave voicemail. She does not even listen to her voice mail when employees call in an absence from work. Employees are to call her work phone for a time stamp, which she admits she never listens too. Then call her cell phone and then call the work and cell phone of the next manager. You then have to continue calling until you personally speak with Susan. If you do not follow through this whole process then you have a no call/no show.
After you have finished your training you are given a book with no real info in it. You would think upon hiring you would be bombarded with employee manual and operating and procedure manual. Considering that billing and collections deals with the laws and rules for the entire country when it involves customer contracts and payments. No such thing exists. You can not even get an employee manual. Everything is word of mouth. The reason I was told is that things change too quickly. The reality is that if they put rules in writing then they would be held accountable for following those rules. The way employees get any info is that Susan stands up and screams out whatever she thinks you need to know or you get an blurb type e-mail. Susan's reason for this is every time I think I have told everyone something, I remember that I have a whole to department because people come and go so quickly!
So you start calling customers. Your job is to make them pay their bill. They are supposed to be courtesy and auditing account calls. You call on not only the accounts that are behind but also on the accounts that are current pretending you are auditing the account. You are to remind the customer and try to convince them to put there account on automatic payments if its off automatic payments. You call and continue calling daily until you get them to pay or the account goes to 3rd party collections. Many want to cancel their account. You give them the cancellation instructions. Even if they mail in their letter or fax it there is no guarantee their letter will arrive on their account in time for it to cancel.
There is one women that handles the posting of letters. She is an airhead at best. She is known to pick up papers and lose them between the desk where the letters are filed and her desk. She tends to wander and socialize a lot. So if your letter did not get posted she is probably the reason why. If you letter arrives at 59 days verses the 60 day requirement to cancel. Protect America will NOT allow you to cancel.
The idea is not to cancel your account. As I was told in meetings with management, Protect America does not make any money off of the initial contract. They make there money off of the renewal contracts. They are hoping many of the customers are not bright enough to read the contract and will not figure out how to cancel their account. Many customers do not realize that unless they send in the letter of cancellation that those draft payments will continue indefinitely!
Make sure you request a copy of your payment history. If you over pay your account you will not get a refund unless you request and demand a refund. Protect America is NOT a moral company. They are all about making money at any cost and expense to the customer and to the employee.
The billing department has made serious errors in billing customers. Applied many months of payments to the wrong account and then upon discovering the error and fixing it they are not honest and truthful with the customer. The representative is NOT allow to tell the customers involved what the truth is but you must get the customer that had no payments taken from his account to make good and pay his now 4,5, or 6 month behind bill. All the time trying to make it appear as if it's the customers fault their credit card did not work.
I have seen many accounts where customers have cancelled their accounts and overpaid as much as three months. These customers do not get their money back unless they demand the over payment returned.
The employee turn over rate is so high that it is not funny. I have lost count with how many people I have seen come and go in my time with this company. It must be more than a dozen in less than six months.
Even their time clock rules are arbitrary. They make you sign a paper of rules. Its states you can not clock in more than 5 minutes before you shift start and no later than 5 minutes after the schedule start of your shift. Its how the time clock works...more than 5 minutes makes you early and gives you overtime. Overtime is NOT allowed! Clocking in more than 5 minutes after the start of your shift makes you late and the time clock takes your time to 15 minutes after the hour.
So with this rule they tell you how to clock in and clock out. They have been writing up employees for clocking in at 1 minute after their start time as late! Make up you mind and apply the rules fairly. This is their way of finding ways to get rid of people. Since you do not have a copy of the policy for yourself, there is really nothing to prove your case.
Also apparently Susan promoted one girl Alisha in the department. So called top collector to senior billing rep Funny that no one even knew such a position existed. There was no posting so that any other qualified applicants could apply. Apparently she is either self appointed or Susan promoted this woman and forgot to tell the rest of her entire department as well as the other managers. Again this is blatant favoritism.
Even worst is that apparently the senior billing rep is not required to adhere to schedule changes that the rest of the department is required to adapt to or loose your job. The other problem is that there is another representative who is the best friend of the senior billing rep named Jackie, people have been complaining about her since she started. Apparently she also does not have to comply with schedule changes. Funny how both of these people sit in front of the Susan that manager and seem to make sure they are good friends.
It gets even worst. I would love to know why some people were hired at $9 and others at $10. Could it be race or age that is the problem? Its definitely not experience! As many people in the department has discussed. We all started with about the same experience level, as well as very few have been there long enough to account for a company wide increase in wages. My best guess is that Susan favors older employees and pays them more or employees that she feels need the money. Younger employees she pays less, especially those that are less than 21 years old. Hmmm....if this is the case, then this would be discrimination and an EEOC violation?
Now this is suppose to be a security company. So I would love to know why I work in a building with NO security? No security officers check points to insure that only employees are entering and leaving the workplace. Not even secure doors that we have to badge in or out of or even maybe scan our hands to get in and out of a door. The turn over rate is so high you have no clue if the person going into work with you is truly an employee or some pissed off wacko coming to get even cause they are tired of Protect America. I have heard rumors of what happens when you piss off customers which left me feeling very unsafe in this workplace.
So to the buyer beware.
To one looking for work, please bypass this company. They are as bad if not worst than the long list of complaints clearly indicates.
To Steven Grimm since you read these posts. I would suggest a thorough investigation of your billing and collections dept and the poor training, favoritism and horrible management by Susan Boivie. Maybe you should conduct exit interviews of all employees that leave you. If you would really know what is truly going on. Somehow, I don't think management really wants to know the real reasons for the high turn over rate.
I can clue you in. The people you hire that are worth keeping you run off. Those same people have skills and the ability to go elsewhere, leaving you in some cases with the less desirable people that have no place to go and can not get another job. Keep in mind most decent employers perform real background and drug tests!
round rock, Texas