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Verizon Wireless Call Center Worker Speaks Out

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Interview With Erica Brown – Coord 1 – Technical Customer Service VERIZON WIRELESS CALL CENTER WORKER SPEAKS OUT Q: How long have you been working for Verizon? I’ve been at Verizon wireless call center in Rochester, NY for 10 years and six months. Q: What’s the biggest issue you and your coworkers face at work? Inconsistency with management, with supervisors – no one is consistent. Somebody will tell you one thing and it’s another thing. My [performance appraisal]… you have to perform 6 consecutive months in a year. If you fail one month in a row, regardless of what your stats are, you fail it for the year. That’s definitely not fair. Q: If you could change just one thing, what would it be? It would definitely be the way the performance appraisal is graded… We have surveys now [that the customers fill out]. We can give a survey and if our supervisor feels that we didn’t do all we could do, even if we did do everything we could, the supervisor would still consider that as a failed call. One time a customer pressed a “1” by mistake, he meant to press a “10”. But management went through the call anyway and there were things I could have done differently on the call and so management said it was a good call, but it wasn’t a stellar call, a top of the line call, even though the customer was happy with me. Q: What would allow you and your coworkers to have a voice about your conditions at work? I think the union would be a really good thing for us because right now [the company] makes the rules, they change the rules, and we just have to abide by it… For example, they changed the calls from 29 to 27. They made that change because we had the new system… We don’t know the new systems that well – it crashes a lot. So they lowered the calls to benefit them because our overflow was really high… They say they want us to spend time with the customer. A couple of months ago they wanted you to get the customer off the line and take the next customer… We can’t keep up with all the changes. If we had a union we would sit down and come to an agreement and everyone would abide by it. Our managers told us unions won’t help us. I said we, the employees of Verizon Wireless, would be the union. We will have a committee. We will come negotiate with you guys. So how is the union not good for us? A lot of people want to do it, but we need to break through the fear. If we unite and organize we can make this company a better place to work.
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