Working for a MLM company international call center (two evils in one)

I’ve been working for this company whose name I don’t want to mention (it’s a MLM travel club) since October and this is my last week so it’s time to wrap up this experience with a list of everything that was wrong with this job. I’m very curious to know if some of the company’s practises are common.

In order to be fair, I will start with the positive aspects: -Call center is located in Central Europe and we were working in an multilingual environment (providing support in multiple languages, as well) so it was a vibrant friendly atmosphere at least in the beginning. -My direct supervisors were very honest and open with us about company policies and decisions. -The number of calls was low in some periods. There were days at work that we did nothing at all. -The salary was relatively OK to afford living in the country’s capital, above minimum wage.

And now everything that was wrong with this job (and this company) : 1) TRAINING. We received a 4-week training that made me feel quite confident until I got on the line and realised I wasn’t familiar with the most common issues the costumers bring up. During the training there was a lot of effort to sale the company’s concept instead of providing actual scenarios and scripts for escalations (we didn’t have escalation agents, only sup who would repeat exactly the same thing to the costumer). For example, it took one month until someone accidently found out that we could report technical issues (the company doesn’t have tech support lines). 2) UPDATES/INTERNAL COMMUNICATION. Our trainer was trained with us (we were a new team, by the way) so for any questions we would need to contact teams in other locations that were working in different time zones so it was taking days for replies (if at all), while in the meantime costumer calling again and again. Newsletters and product updates were disclosed to the costumers a few days before so we were always behind on information and new processes (note that we were contacted both by regular costumers but also by the company’s independent representatives who needed support with running their “businesses”). Since internal questions were addressed via chat or email, it became very common that we received conflicting info depending on which department of the company we were asking. Different location call centers followed different policies to the point that costumers were asking to be transferred to an agent in x country to get an exception even though I had received the instruction not to make that exception. Sometimes it was about issues and processes that might cost costumers hundred of dollars and I felt constantly insecure about the info I provided. 3) THE PRODUCT AND POLICY. Unreasonably high prices, a super complicated compensation plan, outdated systems, constant changes, sketchy business policies and thousands of dollars in unpaid commission. The whole program felt like a scam and I felt like part of my job was unethical. 4) THE COSTUMERS. Of course there were a lot of costumers that sooner or later realised they fell in the trap and needed to take it out on someone that was me or my colleagues, of course. Personal insults, heavy sarcasm and complaints, complaints, complaints. Without resources and escalation processes and since I couldn’t be sure which info was accurate, I lost my confidence after a while so I was treated as ignorant and stupid by the majority of our angry costumers. I had calls with people begging for their money and others with people demanding solutions here and now when I could find 0 mentions of the thing they were talking about in the company’s internal resources. Soon I realised that my job wasn’t costumer support (the company has no idea what this word means anyway). I was there to give the runaround and take the shit for all the issues the company is facing, when they didn’t care to train me for it (the company doesn’t know what crisis management means either). Then, we had a very strict verification policy and various procedures that took effort on the costumers’ side due to outdated systems. Since many of our calls were from salespeople who weren’t happy that they had to print something or send an email, they were constantly trying to ask for favors and exceptions. Some of these people work with the company for years so were aware of faults and glitches and they were trying to blame the system for everything so they could get discounts on the ridiculous travel club subscriptions. The extreme cases were super manipulative and draining. Of course we had the more common offenses, too, like not knowing their credentials, awful sound, generally entitled, not familiar with technology etc. etc. 5) THE WHOLE CALL CENTER THING. Everyone in this thread knows what I’m talking about. AHT, quality assurance (that felt like a joke), ridiculous script and cheerful tones (I had people literally crying for their unpaid money and I had to thank them for calling and wish them a great day, haha), the beep in your ear, monitored breaks and lunch time. There was another situation that got on my nerves like nothing else. I didn’t get to read any posts about experiences in multilingual/global support centers but I was hired to work primary with my native plus English, if necessary. It came out that the workload in English was more than in my native but I didn’t really mind personally. But then, there was a shortage of agents speaking other European languages we were also supporting and they decided to assign these language skills to everyone in the team and support using phone interpreting as a temporary measure until more speakers of these languages are hired. It was fun in the beginning, but no. Six months in and we still need to work like this even when more people got hired for these languages. The costumers get upset because they pressed 3 for Spanish and they have an English speaking agent on the line and they need to wait more for interpreting (if they speak minimum English, of course) and then we have super long calls with mediators who aren’t familiar with the company’s terms. All that so 0 costumers are in the queue, even if the x language speaking agent would be available within a minute. Of course, this wasn’t mutual for every language so I would get two extra languages I don’t speak in my skillset but no other agent supports my language team (of two people) that was also very busy in rush hours. This situation created negative vibes between different language teams and ruined the initial relaxed dynamics. Finally, another call center trait is the general feeling that everything happens slowly and doesn’t follow any logic. Period.

Any similar experiences from international call centers or MLM support?

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