I worked for Quicken straight out of college when I was 22. I knew nothing of mortgages let alone finance. Two weeks into my "Quicken University" Mortgage training (which focused on sales) I was put of the phone to get people's SS# so I could pull credit reports. I had to get so many a day so I didn't care if the "client" told me they were in bankruptcy I'd still pull the credit just to check one off my list. 3 weeks later I was on the floor full time (and by full time I mean at least 12 hours a day) Taking people's information and passing it on to my team leader because quite frankly after 5 weeks I still wasn't sure what to do with it, and of course I still had a quota of phone numbers, credit pulls, and credit card numbers to hit. The first month or so was awful as people were asking questions that any "mortgage expert" should know so you become good at ways to conceal your ignorance while you press the mute button to yell the question to someone near by. However, one message was made very clear to me, "Just get the credit card number" I was told all things could be figured out from there. The very first time I "presented" a loan a senior banker (he'd been there 6 months longer than me!) was put on the phone with me to listen in. The senior banker and my team leader wouldn't let me get off the phone with the client(who had made it very clear he had no interest in giving the deposit) The poor man eventually got so desperate to get off that he gave a fake credit card number. I was also encouraged to lie to the customers, "whatever it takes" I routinely told people that I was married, had kids, had worked at banks or other mortgage companies, that I'd been at Quicken a long time, that I had bought many houses and my personal favorites, that I was "one of Quicken's top bankers" or "I'll be your banker for life". Ha! All of these were completely untrue. One girl in the cube next to me once was having trouble getting a credit card number so she told the guy that he'd get the Quickbooks software every year free if he did the loan. He went through with it...I wonder how that turned out. Truthfully, the bankers don't really care, no one lasts there long enough for it to matter. Sadly, once you're there 6 days a week 12 hours a day you start to forget you're dealing with real people, the whole thing becomes a game. If you can get away with it then do it and that includes overcharging people.
I personally left in Nov. of 2006 after being seriously overworked and underpaid. The feather that broke the camels back however was when Quicken introduced their option ARM loan, (which was basically a negative amortization loan masquerading as something better) and I refused to sell it because it was a bad loan. My division boss emailed me and demanded to know why I was one of only 3 people who had yet to sell it. I was given two weeks in which time I had to sell one or be blacklisted ("Just tell them that house values go up by so many percent a year so they'll never be upside down" hahahahaha I guess I was on to something back then) Anyways, after two weeks I hadn't sold one and was taken in for a talking to...I quit after that. I was an amazing day and the first time I'd seen the sun in 10 months.
Although to be fair, working there was a surreal experience most of the bankers were under 25 years old, the rest were typically under 30 (even my boss was 27) I spent my days throwing around Quicken provided balls with the other kids while on the phone, dutifully put my customers' sensitive information in the monster faced shredder bins, waited for the occasional days days in which they would bring us donuts or hotdogs, watched as workers dressed as fairies or mice would walk through the office, had pie throwing contests, a battle of the bands where employees formed musical groups, the Gilbert awards, a mock Oscars for employees, I won tickets to baseball games (provided I come back after the game was over of course) won gift certificates and of course had free slushies, popcorn and cappuccino all day. All this was very cool although I not sure what purpose it served as it does nothing for the customers and it certainly provided me with nothing more than a distraction. Although, I guess if you are offering a job no adult would be willing to do and your only option left is kids you have no choice but to cater to your audience....
Oh and as a final note it's funny to see that Dan has had to hire people to handle the PR nightmare that is on this website. Good luck with that! It's certainly a job that will take 12 hours a day.