• Report: #25017

Complaint Review: West Teleservices Corporation, West Telemarketing, Western Corporation & Donald Lawson (Mgr)

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  • Submitted: Sat, July 20, 2002
  • Updated: Tue, February 19, 2008

  • Reported By:Sunnyvale CA
West Teleservices Corporation, West Telemarketing, Western Corporation & Donald Lawson (Mgr)
225 Fox Hill Rd # D8 Hampton, Virginia U.S.A.
  • Phone: 757-850-6200
  • Web:
  • Category: Employers

Donald Lawson (Mgr) - West Teleservices Corporation, West Telemarketing, Western Corporation Manager Donald Lawson Cheats Employees & West Teleservices Condones Gimmick Products; Company As A Whole Screws Employees But Screws the Customers Even More Hampton Virginia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Agree to disagree

*UPDATE Employee: Westathome

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I have seen and experienced all of the accusations. I was a supervisor.

*UPDATE Employee: Get Educated

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: WOW

*UPDATE Employee: Re: Donald Lawson (Mgr) .... Follow Up From Original Post

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: WEST TELEMARKETING also under MWI- Look under "Corrupt Companies on Ripoff Report!!!!!!!!!

*UPDATE Employee: Even West high end sales is a rip off

*Consumer Comment: Get Educated

*UPDATE Employee: I agree, hire people who suck at taking orders, the highest turnover rate

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Last April of 2001, I had to end employment from my current job in
the wake of the computer industry crash so I re-applied at West
Teleservices in Hampton, VA. I was rehired by West as a Teleservices Representative
(TSR) to work on the Direct Line call floor. Knowing the conditions
of the Direct Line floor with it's vandalized graffittied (sp?)
cubicles, broken headphones, non-working computers, high-school
employees who do not know how to act in a working environment, I had
originally applied for the Microsoft line in hopes in doing some
type of technical work and the co-workers in that line group are in
a separate call room and act more mature. However, unfortunately,
the interviewer told me that the Microsoft line group would be
available to me only after I had worked Direct for 3 months since their were no current open positions. I thought to myself, I could suffer on the call floor Direct line for three months and so I took the TSR position.

Everything for the last 3 weeks went smoothly, I passed the new hire program and passed the OJT test in one day and Quality Assurance (QA) gave me close to a perfect score on all my monitored phone calls. Then on the 4th week as an employee, disaster struck. As I went to clock in, the timeclock would not accept my badge. So I went
to the Podium and told them I could not login.

The podium manager checked my badge number and just at that time, the call floor manager, Donald Lawson, walked up and asked me what my name was, then he said, "You have been suspended ... go check your mailbox". I thought to
myself, "Suspended? For what?" So anxiously I checked my mailbox and there was a letter from him, the call floor manager, that stated I was suspended until I had a meeting with him ... which was basically about 3-4 days suspension.

I walked back to him and asked what I was being suspended for ... he would not tell me because he said he could not discuss matters like this among other employees because
it was "confidential". I had been saving money to get $800 worth of repairs done on my car's brake system because the whole system needed to be replaced, plus other bills and now I had lost four days of pay which I could not afford, so needless to say, I was aggravated.

I went to the meeting on whatever day it was in which I had to look for him because he was not even at his desk at the time of the appointment so it got delayed for an hour. He pulls out some papers with some highlighted dates and some names and began telling me that I and two other employees had conspired together to "rip-off" the
Spectrum system to where I got paid for hours that I did not actually work.

He handed me the names and I told him I did not know
these people. I know better than to make "friends" at West; I like to come, do my work and then leave. IN fact, I knew no one at West, not even the manager for my section. I did what I was suppose to do and then left. I explained to him numerous times that I did not know these people and that I did not conspire to get paid for non-worked hours. In short, he was saying I was embezzling from the company, which was a major offence.

So he said he was going to issue me a PIN and put me on probationary period and if it happened again I was fired. I told him, its a problem with your system, I am not guilty of anything, I just signed up for my hours and somehow your system has a bug in it. Then he told me that the Spectrum has a 3 second period where when an employee signs up for shifts, basically the system sits in limbo, your changed shift information is neither saved nor confirmed, so if someone attempts to sign up for hours
that I have already technically taken, they can still sign up for those hours but what will happen is it will go on my schedule to work those hours.

BUT if someone else signs up for them too within the 3 second window, say if they are at another Spectrum kiosk on the other side of the building, then we both get the schedule when only one of us was suppose to get it. He said if my name showed up once, it would not have been an issue, but my name showed up three times but when I looked at the paper he had, I told him that of course they are here three times ... THEY ARE ONLY A SECOND APART!!!

I told him that the hours I signed up for were the only ones in the Spectrum so if I am at a computer and the other two people were at another Spectrum on the network and we are all looking at the same screen, and we are all selecting the shifts within the 3 second window, then all three of us are going to get the shift. I told him
that is a problem with YOUR system, not me, so how can I be punished for YOU ALL's mistake.

He wanted to end the discussion then because he knew I was right. I am a computer technician so I know how
software works and I know there is a glitch in their Spectrum system ONLY because he told me there was a glitch in the program. How would the average TSR know about the 3 second period in which the computer does not save your shift? There is no way any West employee would
know about it. So after this heated meeting, he reinstated me so I could work and he tried to make me sign a paper saying that basically I was guilty of what happened and issued me a PIN.

I refused to sign it because I was not guilty of that. I demanded to have a meeting with the other two people who he said I conspired with but he refused, he said it was "confidential". Oh please, spare me the James Bond. How are they just going to accuse people of embezzlement and not have a full trial? For all I know, those other
two employees may not have existed at all. Does he think I am stupid or something?

After that discussion, I immediately got back to work because I wanted to make my money so I could leave that God-forsaken place. At first I was cool about working there, but after being falsely accused, I did not want to work there anymore. I then setup an appointment with the Human Resources and he was about as much of a joke as the call center manager was. I explained the situation and
got no where. He just sat there smiling the whole time like this was a joke and he was not taking this seriously. He just blew me off as well when I said I wanted to have a meeting with the two other people he said I was "guilty" of doing this with. I got no retribution in pay and was getting no where fast. So I took my complaint to the EEOC.

I did not know how to file this to the EEOC. I did not know if it should go in as a discrimination, a complaint of working conditions or whatever. So, I just put it in as disrimination because employees of West know that the majority of West employees are minorities and I felt that West was taking us as a joke and taking advantage of this fact. Well, the EEOC kicked it back to me and said it could not be filed as a discrimination charge because most of the employees are Black.

At that point, I just gave up and let West win on this one because I could see it was going to be a long and hard process. I worked 13 hours a day, everyday after that just to get the money to get my car fixed and then I put in my two weeks and got the heck out of there.

Majority of West employees at the Hampton facility are Black and either high school or freshmans in college, so naturally, they don't know their rights, and don't even care as long as they get a paycheck every two weeks. So many problems go overlooked or not reported. In the light of my ordeal, I began making friends at West and found out that there were many problems that should not be going on at a working facility. I talked with a Black handicapped woman in a wheelchair on one of my lunch breaks and she told me her story of how the handicapped bathroom is not properly equipped.

She said the bars on the walls over the toilet were too far apart so when she tried to position herself, she either fell out her chair or could had a hard time. She said that she had asked security to help her and they declined. I asked if she reported that, she said "no" and I told her well it does no good telling me, you should repport things like that. Her reply was that she did not want to go through the hassle and plus she cannot find another job like this where she could sit and work.

Unfortunately, it is this lack of taking the time by the minorities, in which I am guilty of as well, which unfortunately works at West's advantage.

And the bad thing is that West not only screws over its employees, but also screws over customers who call in for many of the products here on this board such as ABSlide, SMC, Making Money w/ Don Lapree, 30 Minute Money System, those hair removal products, miricle ion bracelets, etc. And I feel ashamed to see that I worked for a company which seems like sparks alot of rip-off reports; how bad the services actually are; I had no idea the products were THIS bad.

And the employees KNOW they are gimmicks yet, West condones the "assistance" of these gimmicks because it brings profits so it might as well be treated as an "accessory to the crime". When I worked for West in 1996, it did not have many branches, now I go to their web site and it has dozens. That's just to show you how profitable they are getting; they even opened a call center in India! So they are planning to take this gimmick con art world wide! They and all these companies here have to be stopped.

Anyway, I'm ramblin. Sorry for it being so long but I had to get this off my chest.

Ayesha
Sunnyvale, California

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on West Telemarketing/West Teleservices

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/20/2002 10:01 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/West-Teleservices-Corporation-West-Telemarketing-Western-Corporation-Donald-Lawson-Mgr/Hampton-Virginia-23669/Donald-Lawson-Mgr-West-Teleservices-Corporation-West-Telemarketing-Western-Corporati-25017. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Agree to disagree

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

Wouldn't say we were losers. I work in the IT field AND tend bar and do quite well for myself on both counts. There is indeed life after West.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Westathome

AUTHOR: 888texas - (U.S.A.)

Don't dog this company because you are losers in general! I have worked happily for this company for 10 1/2 months. Everyone that I came in contact with have been professional and concerned with me as an agent. And not once was my paycheck wrong. I work from home and appreciate this company immensely. Maybe you should just find another company to dog on!

And, if you are working still working for this company I hope they realize how you really are and let you off the hook to move on and be a loser somewhere else.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I have seen and experienced all of the accusations. I was a supervisor.

AUTHOR: Intimidation - (U.S.A.)

We need to ban together to stop this unfair treatment of low income people that can not afford an attorney to fight a big corporation. Anyone who wants something done should file a ripoffreport. Lets make some noise!! Together we can stand much stronger then any one of us by ourselves. Lawyers will contact this website to help join everyone together.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Get Educated

AUTHOR: Being Real - (U.S.A.)

Yes most black people who work for West are single mothers in college, teenagers, and people who just want paychecks. Their moms told them to get out and get a job and that's what they do. Some men might be paying cild support and need to job by the order of the court. With this being the case many do not feel the need to educate themselves as long as they get a paycheck. I feel we need to become better equipped with first rate knowledge and language skills. We just can't walk into an office and plead out case with the proper attire and jargon. They will just look at us and laugh. Learn to not only fight but fight professionally. So yes Ayesha I worked there and I agree with you completely. We need to know our rights and stop being so scary to get our faces out there.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

WOW

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

I worked at the hampton call center for 4 years and never had problems except for the occasional paycheck discrepency. I Believe Lawson must have started after I was there because the boss then was a woman. I started on the physic line and then moved over to FSG. I will admit Direct response has more problems than most lines but I feel its because the kids there are really young the avarage age of a west employee in hampton is 18, Im 34 lol, overall its an easy job and a fast way to make some good money, I picked up $12 and $9 hours regulary and usually made around $800-1000 every 2 weeks with not too much of a problem, I was always able to pick up shifts and have mine taken if I needed time off. I have heard about the WAHA program but havent tried it? Are you making money with it?
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Re: Donald Lawson (Mgr) .... Follow Up From Original Post

AUTHOR: Shaunie - (U.S.A.)

Thanks for all the responses. I was the one who wrote the original post about Donald Lawson giving me a pin with the "unknown" employees and so I used a fake name "Ayesha" in case someone from West would find my post. But now I don't really care if they find out or not.

I had no idea I would receive any responses. So if you want to respond to me about it you will have to use this post because my first post is from a Rip Off account I can't even login to anymore because I forgot it so I had to create this new one under my real name "Shaunie". But anyway, West sucks and I have worked there again since I quit and although the place is clean, the people haven't changed and Donald Lawson is STILL there. He's been at that ragged place for over 12 years (so it says on his profile) so I am not surprised the old goat is still there.

I don't see how anyone could work for a company like West Telemarketing for so long and have a normal conscience knowing that not only are they intentionally selling snake oil products but also they intentionally run through employees like water because 1) They hire any and everyone. I know some people who have been in jail a few times who work there. And Donald Lawson is Black so I don't see how he can live selling out to his own people.

West needs to come down down down down. Now they have moved to India as well so I have learned. I understand it will be putting a lot of people out of jobs if it ever were to come down but a scam is not the way to do it.

However, West also processes calls for legitimate clients as well such as the Home Shopping Network, Shop NBC, Betty Crocker Bake and Fill pans, Pizza Hut, Office Depot, AT&T Wireless, Microsoft, Sprint PCS, etc. So how in the world can someone fight against something like that? It would affect a lot of good companies as well. It also provides income to home bound people such as handicapped people or work at home Moms ... so how in the world can one bring down the scams without affecting the legitimate ones?

I have a regular job some where else now but I work WAHA (Work At Home Agent) to earn some extra income. I find it interesting that the last person said that West was using WAHA agents to avoid paying taxes. It does not surprise me knowing the crooked ways of the company. I swear everywhere I turn there are issues with this company. I have been a WAHA agent for going on 4 months now. And yes I signed a contract stating I am an Independent Agent responsible for my own taxes. I am curious as to why you say that Work At Home Agents are not Independent Contractors.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

WEST TELEMARKETING also under MWI- Look under "Corrupt Companies on Ripoff Report!!!!!!!!!

AUTHOR: Melinda - (U.S.A.)

EVERYONE on here needs to also look under "CORRUPT COMPANIES" Under here. You will need to enter state " Nebraska". VERY INTERESTING!!!! I have posted several discrepancies w/ WEST Telemarketing Services/ WEST TEL, West Business Services ( as of 11/2004; company filed bankrupt and once again changed name. )

I'm still waiting for "ALL" my pay I worked for and earned, company refuses to pay & had terminated me over definition of " INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR/SELF EMPLOYED; NON- COMPLIANCE TO THE REBUTTALS, ( REFUSED TO SCREW INNOCENT CONSUMERS ), and TURNED WEST TELEMARKETING CORP into the IRS for TAX FRAUD for nearly 2,400 + WAHA ( Work AT Home Agents ) that they refuse to pay taxes on...by slyly stating these folks are
Independent Contractors/Self Employed; which they are not!!!!!!!!

REMEMBER, ALSO GO UNDER CORRUPT COMPANIES in NEBRASKA!!!!!!!!! EYE OPENERS!!!!!!!
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Even West high end sales is a rip off

AUTHOR: Adam - (U.S.A.)

I work at West in Erie PA, and I completely agree that it is a horrid company. We're not presented with a list or manual of things we can get "PINned" for ( basically getting written up ), the security guards aren't responsible if someone smashes the window out of your car in the parking lot, but they can apparently write you up for speeding in the parking lot or smoking too close to the doors, scheduling has repeatedly treated me like shit because I'm a full time college student, and currently has me working a full shift, going to two classes, then working another full 8 hour shift, bringing the "no sleep" total up to 35,36 hours straight. And the best part is they say "no conflict" and refuse to change my schedule.

On the college student note, they recently had "mandatory" training on some new products: Midwest Anxiety and Depression ( ripoff ), Hot Cross Buns ( Exercise ripoff/gimmick ) and the Nordic Track Incline Trainer ( ridiculously overpriced treadmill ). The sales manager and one of the operations managers hawked about the "awesome" commission rates of 0.03% ( $11.50 for a $2500 treadmill ), and sent out a memo stating that if you didn't show up to training, that West considered that your "voluntary resignation". They naturally scheduled me without asking me my available times, and I had class during the training period. I complained and said that I couldn't make the training session, and with my full credit load at Penn State, I couldn't attend any of the listed classes. I opted to have someone give me a one on one run down of the new products, instead of the insane eight hour training session. I received a letter from Denny ( one of the Ops Managers ) stating that if I didn't attend one of the five, I was fired.

Luckily, I found a loophole in their occurance system, and retained my job without attending training.

I just keep reminding myself that I just have to put up with this until I get my degree.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Get Educated

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

I feel that Ayesha from Sunnyvale, California shoud contact as many former employees as possible and consider a class action harassment lawsuit. Contact Civil Liberties office.

Nina from Hampton, Virgina needs to take an english course, and learn to spell. I would help with career advancement, otherwise she is destined to flipping burgers. The correct spelling is 'their' not 'thier'.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

I agree, hire people who suck at taking orders, the highest turnover rate

AUTHOR: Nina - (U.S.A.)

I work for West teleservices in Hampton, VA. I agree that thier management sucks. They screw up paychecks every payday, they fire people for no good reason, and hire people who suck at taking orders. They care more about satisfying thier clients, instead of thier customers or employees. The Hampton site doesn't offer to do employee verification, so I had to fax my info to the main office in Omaha, I have been waiting on a response for 2 weeks now!! Which is delaying the thing I needed the employee verification for!!! Most people who live in Hampton, have worked for West at one time, and West has the highest turnover rate in Hampton also. They make good money, but they screw customers and employees all the time.
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