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Report: #145248

Complaint Review: West Corporation, West Telemarketing, West Business Services - Universal City Texas

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: san antonio Texas
  • West Corporation, West Telemarketing, West Business Services 2103 Universal City Blvd Universal City, Texas U.S.A.

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I am a former employee of West Business Services also known as West Telemarketing and West Business Services amongst other names. They are a staple in the community of San Antonio. I think that nearly everyone in the community has worked there or knows someone who has. They have two rather large facilites in the San Antonio area.

West is famous for your typical employee abuse. I learned this nearly 10 years ago when I worked there as a high school student. Needing employment quickly, I decided to try West again, this time as an inboung agent for Cingular Wireless. My first time at west I was an outbound telemarketer for AT&T long distance services.

Now, traing was a complete disaster. They had a man in from Reno, BOB, who was making up the material as we went. We were expected to take the little bits of disorganized information that he gave us and immediately sound professional on the phones for the customers of Cingular Wireless. Almost 70% of our training group quit within 5 days of performing as a Cingular agent.

The management in the program is a joke. I know that the operations manager is a college educated person, however, a degree does not mean that someone has the ability to manage a concept, operation or most importantly a group of people. She is highly defended by the company although I would estimate that nearly 95% of her staff would tell you that she fails her team.

Now, on with the rip-off. West Corporation has a terrible problem with payroll. It is too common that the employees, who barely make enough to survive on to begin with, are shorted hours from thier payroll. Now they have it in writing on the payroll discrepancy form that you should receive your money within 2-3 business days. That is not the case, in most cases it takes 30-60 days to receive a check, or a "reason" that you will not be getting your money. I personally am waiting for some money from MARCH!

Now, as far as the policies in customer handling! Wow - does Cingular and West know how to run thier customers through the mud! Did you know that if you establish service with Cingular over the phone and use your credit card - that if you need a refund for an overcharge (which happens all of the time) or if you return your equipment you are expected to wait up to 90 days for a refund of YOUR money! I would advise that you NOT deal with Cingular over the phone. An additional risk of doing business with Cingular over the phone is that you are most likely dealing with one of West's call centers, and in turn, you are giving your credit card number to people who the company has NO background on. Also, that person who has your credit card number has access to all of your information on your account. (social security number, DL number, Date of Birth, etc..) That information could be very damaging should it fall into the wrong hands Buyer Beware!

In summary, avoid the West Corporation at any expense.

Also, call Cingular and demand that your account be handled only by qualified and investigated individuals! West Corporation hires ANYONE! Protect yourself!

Concerned
san antonio, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/06/2005 04:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/west-corporation-west-telemarketing-west-business-services/universal-city-texas-78148/west-corporation-west-telemarketing-west-business-services-harsh-employee-treatment-dis-145248. 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Deja vu!

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

POSTED: Saturday, August 28, 2010
Sounds an awful lot like the Tulsa branch in so many ways.....
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#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Very harsh company, disorganized, and deceptive.

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

POSTED: Tuesday, August 04, 2009
First of all, Jeff is totally true in what he says. West corp. could care less about any work at home employees. I can totally relate to Jeff's comments. I worked for West for quite some time and I've seen some pretty unfair, unjustified treatment to myself and many of my co-workers. It's truly amazing that this company gets away with what they do. And to all current employees of West corp. I am glad you're happy with the company, but don't think for a minute that West Corp. gives a hoot about you and they won't screw you too. Be cautious is all I can say, and don't let it get you down when they treat you unfair. This company is notorious for it.
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#12 UPDATE Employee

To Jeff in San Antonio

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

POSTED: Saturday, February 16, 2008
Slandering is illegal. You can be sued for this. You come off as an angry child who didn't get his way. You may want to have facts in hand before you go off half-cocked about a business such as West. Maybe you should look in the mirror before you speak - you obviously don't know much about the subject at hand and are speaking just to see your writing on the net. Immature to say the least.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

Not A Monster

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

POSTED: Saturday, August 20, 2005
I believe that you all are making West out to be the monster in the situation and not looking at it from both ends. I am a current employee, and a past employee, and yes West does background checks on new employees it is one of their new policies. They have also restricted the use of cell phones, PDA's and similar devices inside the buildings, and also restricted the use of pen and paper in certain line groups due to instances of credit fraud.

To get the complete picture you have to look at both sides of things. West is hired by companies, such as Cingular, to do a job, and they are told how the job is to be done, and how the employees are to be trained. So yes, some of the blame for payroll glitches and such can be blamed on West, and of course having an employee who doesn't think there's a harddrive in a computer is just plain stupid, but most of the time West is just following orders. I got lucky and was hired into the ShopNBC order capture group that we have in Baton Rouge which has been very successful for many years. I believe that the way the training is set up for ShopNBC works very well and should be an example for other training. We had 1 week of Direct training, then 1 week of classroom training, then one week where we spent 1 hour in class, 4 hours on the floor doing OJT, and then 1 hour back in class reviewing our performance with QA. We don't get paid as much as some of the other line groups, and our ALC is expected under 200, but we're trained so well and we actually keep more of the employees that come through training.

Unfortunatly I think West SHOULD be more SELECTIVE about the companies they represent. For instance.... We do take Direct calls on all of the line groups at our facility and we have a few products we have had problems with lately(which I will be posting about also). The one which I believe West should terminate their contract with is the Natural Cures book by Kevin Trudeau. One day I got more complaints calls than I got calls for anything else. Also the customer service number is not ever toll free. Another one is Light Relief..... the customer service number has been disconnected and the address is a PO box.

My point is West is not entirely to blame. West only facilitates these companies for cheaper than they could. It's their scripting and policies that ultimatly go into the finished product. West has done some things to help remedy some of the problems it's had in the past, such as the TAG sales for the 30 day trials(now you need a firm YES or NO).

As far as the ATT and Cingular thing, learn to read you bills and get the insurance on your phones, it's worth it! And if you are having problems with the people on the phone your local radio shack or walmart probably has a cingular division, most of them do. Or look up another store in the phone book. You already know that when you call they are gonna try to sell you something or they may not be able to help you so why not stop on your lunch hour or a saturday? You can't be that lazy can you? :)

And, even though it is my job, if you see a 1800 number for something you want to buy on tv, please go on the internet and google it and buy it, it is so much easier! Except for ShopNBC, we have great stuff!

And remember, in the corporate world it's dog eat dog, so someone is always gonna be "the man"
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow, I never heard of these problems before....

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

POSTED: Saturday, June 11, 2005
I have to tell you, I've never heard of these problems before at West. I would see if there were anyone you could speak to in management at the site. Those are some pretty serious problems that you have presented. We didn't have those problems at the Tulsa, Oklahoma site.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

West has definately lost my respect!

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

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
West is definately different at various sites, however, the Universal City site is the worst I have seen so far!

As far as production goes, one of the operations managers fudged his resume to make himself sound better. He added time to his resume about how long he worked with the company and stated that he completed assignments which he knows nothing about. There was a time when there was no operations manager for the Earthlink Tech and Care group when this manager 'reported' numbers to a sister site. Because of this reporting, and the fact that the program/hiring manager was located at that sister site, he got the job. Everyone else did the job for him though, he just sent off the numbers. He had no clue how to train, manage, supervise or operate the production floor in any capacity. On top of this, he can not handle pressure. He always has to have someone with him on every meeting, but he wants the glory for the findings. No praise will ever trickle down.

Another production issue is the COS or podium operators. These individuals came from God knows where and have no clue how to assist agents. Many of these individuals were promoted to this position since their line group was closing. Of course this meant that the current qualified employees could not advance. Being that we are and EEO/AA company, I find this very disheartening. A promotion without a posting is completly against the EEO/AA guidleines.

The Supervisor position is a joke! All a Supervisor or PTL does is issue PINs, performance improvement notices. They have no time to help agents meet their goals, no time for team meetings, and now that they are being sat down to take calls, there are not enough to even complete this task. I know of quite a few former PTL's who quit because of too many child like policies and because of the Operations Manager. Also, a few of the PTL's were promoted from another line group and have never had any technical training. How can a supervisor be effective if they don't know what they are supervising?!?!

That last statement goes for the quality group as well. We have two quality advisors on location, however, only one of them has ever had any technical and customer service training. How can you grade someone on what they are supposed to be doing if you don't know yourself? The untrained quality person came from another line group within West. That quality teams line grou pwas closing and all of those quality members were given the option to become an agent on a different line group or take unemployment. How did this person slip through the cracks and get a quality job on this highly specialized group? I will tell you, its the Home Girl Network! Her boss loved her so... I digress.

This leads me to the Quality Supervisor herself. She also came from another line group, one that failed due to quality I might add, and does not know the customer service or technical skills to handle a call herself. This person was put in charge of many qualified quality agents who could have, and had been, running the department for over two years. This sounds like a winning move to me!

Then on to training. The training department had been run by the same quality agents who were shafted out of the quality lead and now the training manager too! A training manager was put in place who was a nice individual, but clearly did not know how to take charge and also had no clue how to run this Earthlink group. He was released shortly after and the job was then posted. The position has now been open for about two months, no one has filled it yet. This means that trainers are being managed, no let me rephrase, babysat, by two people from two different locations, one out of state, and neither know what they are doing on the Earthlink side. Another slap in the face it what this becomes.

The training director is a clueless individual with little will to help. Whatever makes her look better is all she is about. She has visited the Universal City site twice and has been shady both times. For instance, the Earthlink line group has the position of Subject Matter Expert as a promotional option. This director told all trainers that this position had never existed. I was one at one point in time so I knew this to be a bold faced lie. Many promises were made just to shut the training department up and then she was gone as quickly as she had come, but not before belittling her staff and releasing any that questioned her! What-a-director!

Payroll, OMG! If I had not had this happen to me I would not believe it. I finally got my money, but it only took 3 months! A paycheck discrepancy can last forever and if you don't ask about it every day, nothing will happen with it. At least half the production floor has paycheck discrepancies each pay period, every two weeks. I often wonder how much interest is made on the money while it sits in West's bank account before it hits my bank account. That number could be ludicrous. Payday has to be a nightmare for any staff member. And someone else is always to blame. Payroll claims they are never wrong, the agents are to blame. Well, I can assure you this is not true! If managemeent would just....nevermind. That is mean.

In conclusion, I hope that I have helped shed light on a company trying to rob its employees of their souls.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow, that West needs some help....

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

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I'm sorry that you've had all those problems there. I can agree with you on the time constraints on helping customers. When I was with West on the Cricket line, they mandated that us "seasoned" reps, basically everyone in Tech Support and Saves, be crunched down to 240 seconds for our AHT. Believe me, they heard about it really good. I don't mind striving for a low AHT, but the goal is to help the customer, and many calls cannot be handled in 4 minutes or less.

You would think people would know how to use a cell phone at least even if they don't know how to use a computer. But there we were, trying to troubleshoot people's phone in under 4 minutes. It was hectic. And some of the supervisors had no clue as to what was going on sometimes.

Usually those who cannot handle the job in training won't make it to the floor. And those who can't handle the floor won't be there very long.

I completely understand your frustrations with West. Each line has their own requirements though.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow, that West needs some help....

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

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I'm sorry that you've had all those problems there. I can agree with you on the time constraints on helping customers. When I was with West on the Cricket line, they mandated that us "seasoned" reps, basically everyone in Tech Support and Saves, be crunched down to 240 seconds for our AHT. Believe me, they heard about it really good. I don't mind striving for a low AHT, but the goal is to help the customer, and many calls cannot be handled in 4 minutes or less.

You would think people would know how to use a cell phone at least even if they don't know how to use a computer. But there we were, trying to troubleshoot people's phone in under 4 minutes. It was hectic. And some of the supervisors had no clue as to what was going on sometimes.

Usually those who cannot handle the job in training won't make it to the floor. And those who can't handle the floor won't be there very long.

I completely understand your frustrations with West. Each line has their own requirements though.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow, that West needs some help....

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

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I'm sorry that you've had all those problems there. I can agree with you on the time constraints on helping customers. When I was with West on the Cricket line, they mandated that us "seasoned" reps, basically everyone in Tech Support and Saves, be crunched down to 240 seconds for our AHT. Believe me, they heard about it really good. I don't mind striving for a low AHT, but the goal is to help the customer, and many calls cannot be handled in 4 minutes or less.

You would think people would know how to use a cell phone at least even if they don't know how to use a computer. But there we were, trying to troubleshoot people's phone in under 4 minutes. It was hectic. And some of the supervisors had no clue as to what was going on sometimes.

Usually those who cannot handle the job in training won't make it to the floor. And those who can't handle the floor won't be there very long.

I completely understand your frustrations with West. Each line has their own requirements though.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wow, that West needs some help....

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

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I'm sorry that you've had all those problems there. I can agree with you on the time constraints on helping customers. When I was with West on the Cricket line, they mandated that us "seasoned" reps, basically everyone in Tech Support and Saves, be crunched down to 240 seconds for our AHT. Believe me, they heard about it really good. I don't mind striving for a low AHT, but the goal is to help the customer, and many calls cannot be handled in 4 minutes or less.

You would think people would know how to use a cell phone at least even if they don't know how to use a computer. But there we were, trying to troubleshoot people's phone in under 4 minutes. It was hectic. And some of the supervisors had no clue as to what was going on sometimes.

Usually those who cannot handle the job in training won't make it to the floor. And those who can't handle the floor won't be there very long.

I completely understand your frustrations with West. Each line has their own requirements though.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

They do perform pre-employment drug testing, but NO CRIMINAL BACK GROUND or EMPLOYMENT HISTORY BACK GROUND INVESTIGATION.

AUTHOR: Jeff s - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
As far as pre-employment drug screenings go, there are none. I currently work at West doing tech support for Earthlink, but I was completely shocked that I wasn't asked to do a drug test.

So far I've heard the training classes were horrible. In fact a few people requested to be retrained. Fortunatly, I ended up with a very good trainer that actually knew what he was talking about so I was able to hit the floor pretty strong. However unfortunatly, there were a few students who ended up coming to class under the influence needless to say they never made it to the floor.

Now as far as getting a print out of your punches, you just need the ask the RIGHT people and its no problem. Just ask a trainer or a PTL that doesn't seem to be doing anything at the moment don't bother asking the podium.

Now to my little rant about west. With any of the tiers of technical support they are required to handle calls in a rediculiously short time of 624 secounds. I don't know about you but its pretty hard to get some customers to setup their computers to use the internet in 10 minutes when they can't tell a computer from a George Forman grill. This time constrant makes the agent feel rushed and my not help the customer with everything they need at that moment. Another thing I've noticed is that nothing works. the pc punch program takes your password whenever it wants, the one program you depend on to document calls crashes every other hour, and the program used to log on to the phones is full of bugs. To make matters worse quite a bit of the supervisors are gone now, leaving techs with little to no backup.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

They do perform pre-employment drug testing, but NO CRIMINAL BACK GROUND or EMPLOYMENT HISTORY BACK GROUND INVESTIGATION.

AUTHOR: Jeff s - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
As far as pre-employment drug screenings go, there are none. I currently work at West doing tech support for Earthlink, but I was completely shocked that I wasn't asked to do a drug test.

So far I've heard the training classes were horrible. In fact a few people requested to be retrained. Fortunatly, I ended up with a very good trainer that actually knew what he was talking about so I was able to hit the floor pretty strong. However unfortunatly, there were a few students who ended up coming to class under the influence needless to say they never made it to the floor.

Now as far as getting a print out of your punches, you just need the ask the RIGHT people and its no problem. Just ask a trainer or a PTL that doesn't seem to be doing anything at the moment don't bother asking the podium.

Now to my little rant about west. With any of the tiers of technical support they are required to handle calls in a rediculiously short time of 624 secounds. I don't know about you but its pretty hard to get some customers to setup their computers to use the internet in 10 minutes when they can't tell a computer from a George Forman grill. This time constrant makes the agent feel rushed and my not help the customer with everything they need at that moment. Another thing I've noticed is that nothing works. the pc punch program takes your password whenever it wants, the one program you depend on to document calls crashes every other hour, and the program used to log on to the phones is full of bugs. To make matters worse quite a bit of the supervisors are gone now, leaving techs with little to no backup.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Not True - trained in San Antonio to confuse our customers and to dodge giving credit when credit was due

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

POSTED: Tuesday, June 07, 2005
To the person that worked the cricket line group, I am not saying that every center for West produces as terrible of experiences as San Antonio.

I am speaking from experience, we were trained in San Antonio to confuse our customers and to dodge giving credit when credit was due. Maybe this was not the case on the cricket line group.

I also know for FACT that West, at least in Universal City and San Antonio performs NO BACK GROUND INVESTIGATION! They do perform pre-employment drug testing, but NO CRIMINAL BACK GROUND or EMPLOYMENT HISTORY BACK GROUND INVESTIGATION.

As far as payroll, the payroll will be as correct as your manager makes it. In Universal City you DO NOT get a copy of your punches unless you have a paycheck issue.
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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I used to work for West Corporation too....well I still do actually...

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

POSTED: Tuesday, June 07, 2005
I used to work for West Corporation in Tulsa, OK at their call center. I worked under their Cricket Communications Technical Support team.

As for as the training went, we had good qualified people who knew what they were talking about. They made sure we understood the major parts of the system before trying to take calls.

As for hiring, I will admit that they do have a high turnover rate. Not because the training is hard, but because either: 1) employees don't show up for their job or 2) the company's policies nip them in the butt. Of my training class, only about 3 out of 25 of us remained after about 3 months. It was mostly employees' faults, not West's. They have strict attendance policies.

As for the management, I didn't have major problems with them. I just had problems with some of West's policies, which isn't always too friendly to employees who have small children under the age of 5.

As for payroll, I never had problems with getting paid correctly. Check their policies on Payroll for times on getting paid correctly. You should have ALWAYS gotten a printout of your punches from your podium for your department.

As for Cingular running their customers through the mud, that's the employees' problem, not West's. West does NOT train Customer Service agents to run customers through the mud. As for refund policies on cusotmer accounts, those are CINGULAR'S policies, not West's. When I worked on the Cricket line, the refund period was 7-10 business days. Money would be refunded the same way it came, unless it was cash, which was refunded through a check. If employees are taking customer info and using it ILLEGALLY, then it is the EMPLOYEES who are in the wrong, not West. You are NOT trained to steal customer's info.

If you didn't know already, most cellular phone companies use companies like West Telemarketing Corporation to do their Customer Service calltaking. West DOES do a background check on ALL employees as well as check your last places of employment.

I think you may have some isolated experiences with West. I actually still work for them, but as an independent contractor from home. I've never had too many problems with them.
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