First of all, the application process can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the position. In my case it took months. They are very impersonal and prefer to make contact only through emails until you are assigned a recruiter or supervisor. Even then, you may not be able to get a hold of them.
JUST to apply, they require you to have an old fashioned telephone land line equipped with a specific type of phone AND a CORDED, hands free head set with noise canceling microphone and a mute button.
This is not something that people just keep lying around. I had no way to borrow it so I had to buy brand new. The cost associated with JUST applying for Alpine was over 100.00. On top of this, I had to transport myself to another city to donate hair strands for a drug screening.
They DO tell you the potential for the cost up front but my complaint is that I did everything right and they WERE going to hire me but they changed their minds based one petty thing that was THEIR mistake. On top of that, they are very hard to communicate with.
First of all, applicant's are required to pay a flat fee of $35 for the screenings (I think this was a background check) which is payable by credit or debit card through a secure, web-based system. This fee is non-refundable.
*something went wrong with this payment. Since I finished the entire online process, I told them over the phone it was complete. So, she asked me for the confirmation number and hung up with me. I had already said I'd go back to that page and look for it to send. When I went back to the page, I realized it was incomplete because somehow, their system would not take the money out of my bank account. I double checked my account, which had more than the required 35.00.
THERE WAS A TIME LIMIT ON WHEN I COULD SEND THAT NUMBER, so I told them about the mistake and they did not repond.
*Here is a copy of the email I sent:
"I must say that I am disappointed and frustrated with the way I have been treated during this application process.
1.I was told that mailing the paperwork within 24-48 was the ONLY way your company could receive it and I spent $16.00 to make sure you got the mail on time. Now, I'm finding that it I am able to fax it to you for free
2.Your company lost my private information that should be handled securely.
I have the "Employee's Instructions" page that printed out along with the A-4. I also made a check list of all the paperwork I filled out to be sure I included everything. AND I double checked it all when I went to get your form notarized. So, I know for a fact that I sent everything required of me. You also ignored my statement that I sent document once already and you spoke down to me as if I simply didn't know what an A-4 form was, looked like or what it is for.
In response to the 35.00 payment for the background check, I read through my documents and saw "status incomplete" in regards to the payment. I have more than enough money in the bank and the system simply isn't processing the payment (I tried several times). I DID send an email about this and nobody got back to me. I have proof:
This message was emailed to Cindy on 8/28/2008
"I tried paying the $35.00 again this morning and I still get the same message: "Sorry, your payment could not be processed at this time.""
*Needless to say, through all this hassle, the deadline passed. I was hoping they'd be logical and accept my information anyway since the payment eventually DID go through and that money was paid.
But no. They emailed me I sent it passed my deadline. That I could only re-apply and pay all the fees all over again. I asked why that is because it was a problem in their system, it was not my fault. They also did not explain the confirmation number very well. I was completely up front about my mistake which only occurred because I was not properly informed.
There was no reply to address this. Finally, someone sent a final email was that simply said my phone call with the recruiter was recorded and had me saying I had completed the screening. After that, they ignored every email and sent and call I made.
This is supposed to be a legit, hourly 9 to 12 dollar per hour job. Even if the whole process goes right, their poor attitudes and lack of explanation makes it not worth it unless you are seriously disparate and happen to have a couple hundred to invest in the meantime. By all means, apply but in the beginning, get the names of the people in higher positions right away so you know who to call. As soon as it gets fishy, call them on it. ...and RECORD ALL THE CALLS. HAVE COPIES OF ALL DOCUMENTS THEY SEND YOU. ALSO MAKE COPIES OF THE EMAILS THEY SEND YOU and paste it to your word documents because, yes, the emails can disappear!
I am a respectful and forgiving person. It would be nice if they could just admit they made a mistake and that they could have handled all the other little things before that differently.
I have thought about applying again one day, just to see if it's even possible to get to the end of the road or if this is something they pull on unsuspecting applicants regularly.