Firstly, I am a former employee. So those that feel such a person has some other agenda, that's too bad. The truth won't come out by current employees due to fear of being fired. I installed Uverse Television, internet, and phone. The job has a time placed on it based on the number of things being installed. For example, if you have 3 tvs and 2 computers, installers get more time for the job than a home with just one tv, and a laptop.
As greed goes, the mamagement said after "thousands of drive alongs" by managers, the times were to be cut. They told us in a message that they will begin telling the customers that installs take about 4 hours. This in itself is fraud, because thats like a painter telling you how long painting your all your interior rooms will take based on how many bedrooms there are in your house, and nothing more.
So we are given jobs based on GPS and the computer drops a job on to us, when we hit the dispatch button on an application given us called MSOC.
The job is given to us, and we do the install. Being that we are judged based on speed, quality, and a couple other things, we did what we could to be fast, and yet not have you call back to the main number within 10 days, leading to a repeat against us as a tech.
Managers are under near matching requirements regarding efficiency, and quality (quality is a blend of jobs requiring a return repair within 10 days, and total jobs)
So managers will yell and threaten jobs over quality and efficiency. Techs are monthly judged into a group of 5, or "quintile" list. Those in bottom 5th regarding quality and efficiency are Literally "chased down" by managers, have their jobs visited by managers, who are supposed to do things to assist techs, but truthfully and in documentation, are doing nothing more than getting evidence to attempt to fire the tech over the smallest infractions, that ALL the techs are doing to save time. Literally.
They then take a small issue, and turn it into a major Job error and use it, along with photos of jobs long completed, as reasons to fire you.
The union, has a long poor history of allowing the headcount drop. THIS is due to the need for their old time members to have jobs to retrain into (ours), as the old telephone worker is becoming more and more obsolete (who has a plain old phone anymore?)
HOW does this effect billing?
Well, people with very high efficiency but lower quality, will tend to be higher in quintile than a man who is slow, but has very good quality. Many times, it is the "slow" tech, than is fixing the jobs of the fast tech, who was able to hold off the customer from calling back in before 10 days, but having the customer call the tech directly!
So to keep efficiency high, Techs will bill for things never done. Such as saying they had to run cable lines you already had installed before they got there. Uverse was supposed to have a totally free install for a customer with 2 computers or less, and 3 tvs or less during 2007-2011.
There is a required coax and/or telephone cat5 line that feeds the router. This is like a main line. THERE IS NEVER EVER a charge for that, unless the customer requests the location of the router (or "RG") to be moved AFTER the date of the install.
Many techs bill for that. as well as every single tv you have. If you have many tvs, but ALL of them had a cable going to it, they are not supposed to bill. Most techs bill anyhow past tv number 3.
Managers will turn a blind eye to this till some high up says something due to a complaint by someone with power. Then people are written up...but again, those written up will be the ones that are quintile 5 and on "performace improvement plans" or "PIPS". the PIP is actually suggested to be 3 months, but the local managers stretch it to 6 months, making many people unable to get off them, leading to their being fired. So to get off the pip, the tech who didnt bill crazilly, will start doing so.
And Boom, huge billing.
Other websites such as uverseusers.com openly talk about this. The techs openly discuss billing and openly say how they bill for everything
Also, by billing a customer on a repair, I can assist my fellow techs and the repeat wont be held against him. As we are all friends, the tech is therefore pressured to find "some reason" to bill the person. The managers told us to "get into the ear" of fellow techs if you get a repete, and tell them to bill if they should have.
But the reality is, The issues that plague uverse such as breaking equipment and software update issues, or outside field issues (those are different techs, and different departments) ANY repeat is held against us. So if it is found that the customer's issue was a bad Set top box, the repeat is held against the tech. That is very common in areas with refurbished set top boxes.
Also hardware makers had to be changed as it was found that the maker was causing freezing. Such as the Battery back up, which went from having a grounded plug, to a non grounded one. This happened after many many techs had repeats against them, leading to job loss, as repeats are never removed for such issues, even though there is a provision for such.
We leaned to bill, without telling the customer, by billing on the computer, and sending the email to the customer, which very well may never be seen by the customer, as it goes to a newly created email. Many times people dont even use the new emails assigned to them! especially elderly, who got internet for visiting grandchildren. Such people are easy victims for uverse techs.