ED Magedson – Founder
PRC, LLC19500 S. Dixie Highway Internet United States of America
PRC, LLC is company that provides outsourced call center services to various companies. It is a dead-beat employer who promises to world to it's employees and does not deliver. Everyone at the Cutler Bay, FL (Miami) call center is aware of this company's bad employment practices. There is a reason PRC has one of the highest turnover percentages out of all businesses in Miami-Dade County. The employees call it "People's Recycling Center." Their high turnover rate is the reason why there is such a long wait period to receive the employee benefit package.
PRC lures in job candidates that are low on employment options. Unfortunately at the time I was one of these people and I was hired to work on their DirecTV account. DirecTV outsources its call centers, and PRC provides the largest percentage of DirecTV's call center employees than any of DirecTV's other outsourcers.
I was told by the HR department that the minimum amount of money that any of their employees in the DirecTV call center make was about $35k/yr. They said that if you breathe and have pulse, that this was the minimum amount that you would make. If you put time and effort into the job, then you could make $40-$60k/yr. Furthermore we were told that the best sales reps made $70-$80k. A recent newspaper article even quoted them as saying that their DirectTV sales reps make $35-$50k.
This proved to be completely false. It became very clear to me after a month of working there that it was not a place at which I could continue working long-term. Every DirecTV sales rep felt the same way, however not all of them have been lucky enough to find another job. Everyone hates working there.
The best sales reps who put it all on the line made around $35k, but on average, the sales reps there make about $24k. The positions are $9/hour, plus a promised "lucrative" commission. The commission was far from lucrative, as the company does everything that they can to manipulate the commission numbers so that the employees have very little chance of making any sort of commission.
The company continually changes the commission structure in order to dupe their employees out of more money. Each time they make changes, commission payments get lower. It's been some time since I've resigned, but I'm sure that by now they've changed it so it's almost impossible to make a decent living.
When I first got there, the main factor affecting the commission bonus was the percentage of calls that the rep converted into sales. If you converted a higher percentage, you got paid more money per each sale. If you converted below a certain percentage, you got paid nothing but the lousy $9/hr on your paycheck. During my time there, the structure changed so that it not only relied on the percentage of sales that you converted, but a percentage of people with poor credit you sold to, as well as the percentage of expensive packages and equipment that you sold. If you didn't make a percentage of all of those factors, then you made no commission.
The call center's "force desk" manipulates the call queue so that they still make their sales quota with DirecTV, but they distribute the calls among their sales reps in a manner that doesn't allow any single employee to sell too much.
They have multiple ways of doing this. Everyone in the Cutler Bay call center suspects that these "practices" exist, however former high-up, unnamed employees have confirmed this.
First of all, they route calls over to the sales center that actually should be going to the customer service department. This way, a sales rep receives the call, realizes that they have to transfer the call to the customer service department, and that counts against a sales agent's percentage. Why would a customer service call affect a sales commission? Well it does, and all the sales reps just accept it as an unchangeable unfortunate situation.
Another thing that they do actually proves that DirecTV is linked into this racket. When DirecTV advertises through the mail, they send different phone numbers to different potential customers based on their income, the economic status of their geographical area, and their pre-checked credit score. Simply stated, this financial information is obviously of interest to them because some customers are less likely to afford DirecTV's rip-off rates, prices and fees (which I know are the subject of many other rip-off reports on this site themselves). Customers whose credit scores are below a certain level have to pay an outrageous initial fee to start their services; from $200-$1200 based on the services they request. Only a small percentage of callers below this credit level actually end up signing up with DirecTV.
So what PRC does is route the calls that are made to the phone numbers from the "poor credit" or "low income" customers to the sales reps whose percentages they need to lower in order to lower the commission payouts to meet their budget. Doing this not only lowers the commission for the highest earning reps, but it sends the toughest sells to the best reps. So the company benefits from this practice in both of those ways, while being completely unfair to the hard-working reps trying to make a decent living.
Some of the more vocal sales reps have actually voiced their knowledge of these employment practices to management, who constantly stumble over their words and make poor excuses for what happens with the call queues. Most of the reps on the floor don't have higher education, but it doesn't mean that they're stupid!
Not lost in all of this are the dishonest sales practices in which the sales reps are cornered into engaging towards unsuspecting potential customers. Company policies essentially bend the truth in order to mislead customers while still covering their asses legally. In most cases, sales reps feel pretty awful about misleading the customers, however they must do so in order to make any sort of a decent living.
Bending the truth is the only way to sell DirecTV's rip-off services, and the reps must make sales in order to make that living. The $9/hr before commission comes out to $18,720/yr. Of course, that is before taxes. On average, the reps are only allowed by the "mysterious" force desk to make about $100 per week in commission. This comes out to just under $24k per year. If a rep doesn't use these shady sales practices to make sales then they essentially cannot survive on the wage provided by the company.
I'm sure that the shady sales practices are encouraged by DirecTV, which is why that company has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. These shady practices include implying that the promotional sign-up prices will last forever. Of course, this is not the case. They manipulate their phone disclaimer (which is essentially fast-talk double-speak fine-print) to cover their asses once the customers' prices go up after the first year. Also, customers are told by the sales reps that their initial fees will be refunded to them hassle-free should they change their mind prior to installation. From what I have gathered from stories from friends and from the ripoffreport.com website, this is not the case. Customers are also falsely assured that they will not be charged extra for certain services/products when, in fact, they will be.
It should be noted that once I left the PRC, I never recieved my final paycheck, which was very minimal anyways due to the timing in which I left; about $90. My calls to the payroll and Human Resources department have gone unreturned to this day. I even happened to see the man in charge of the call center's payroll at a restaurant one day and confronted him about the situation. He assured me that it would be rectified the following week. I still have not been able to get a hold of him since then. I have essentially given up on that. That's okay. I left for a new job in a positive environment and my paychecks are more than twice as large as they were at PRC. Despite the fact that I currently work about 55 hours per week on average (as opposed to the 40 at PRC), it's nice to know that I am no longer coming home extremely perturbed everyday at my overall employment situation.
Rumor has it that there are a class action lawsuits and government investigations in the works regarding this company and their employment practices. I would certainly be interested in the outcome of these proceedings.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/29/2010 12:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/prc-llc/internet/prc-llc-rips-off-their-directv-sales-employees-internet-635457. 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.
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