From Buffalo, NY — 04/30/2010
I started out in a call-center environment in claims (CSR) which, as you would imagine, sucked balls. Honestly though, knowing what a call center - in any industry - requires, who would ever rate any similar job, at any company, highly? It's a terrible job, with poor benefits and life/work balance, that you have to endure to get out of it. It's called paying your dues, and nobody is going to grab their pedestal and bullhorn and trumpet how lovely a job CSR (or basic customer service rep, on the service side of the house) is.
Now I can't speak for other supv's in CSR, but all the ones I had as a CSR were entirely fair and honest in their dealings with their own associates. I don't tolerate bullsh*t easily and would not have stayed on as long as I did if it were as sucky as others here portray. Now I can't speak for other supv's beyond hearsay, so I won't, because we tell our policyholders we don't rely on the claimant's hearsay to make our liability decisions.
In the Buffalo office, the management is essentially clueless. I'm not talking immediate management (my direct supv and TCR1 manager), I'm talking extreme upper-level (speaking to you, D.RW and NA and SC). We took a nasty bath on NJ PIP and our profit sharing reflects it. Now call me a moron for drinking the Kool-Aid, but the NJ numbers are beginning to improve, and with it hopes for a greater cash payout grow for next year. Not to excuse at all the disgusting job the above mgmnt and JMcG did in our NJ operations.
There are definitely things the company as a whole can improve on.
1) Dependability as a rating sucks beyond the call center positions. I can begrudgingly understand the need for such a statistic at CSR and service, but when you get to management or upper level liability, it's a retarded number that needs to be retired.
2) Better/faster vacation accrual. When you are told at hire you get 2 weeks vaca a year, you do, but they don't tell you it's an accrued number. If you want to take a vacation in your Year 3 in February, you better make sure you have previously-accrued vacation hours available. Sucks to be you if you actually waited a year and took the full 2 weeks in the first month of your Year Two.
3) Get rid of ARX rating. It's steering, plain and simple. It increases CSS numbers, but in that sense you are getting rated on the same metric twice. Want a higher CSS? Sell more ARX. Don't rate on ARX itself because it's retarded. Doesn't seem to bother our policyholders/claimants in Connecticut that we, by CT Insurance Dept regulation, can't be rated on selling the ARX in that state. We still try but it's a more honest attempt.
4) Be more flexible in the hiring/promotions process from CSR/CSRB to TCR1. And similarly, from TCR1 to TCR2. It's not all about the numbers, it's about the brains behind those numbers. You may suck at ARX but be a phenom at average liability. Recognize this. Isn't the goal of extreme upper level claims to minimize ALP (average loss payout) while being fair to what we owe?
Would I recommend this company to others? I don't know. It depends on what their bullsh*t tolerance level is, and what kind of prior work experience they have. I think it's a fair environment at the end of the day, as long as you have a reasonable and rational expectation of what your job is. Much of the griping I read here is from people who sound like those who end up being walked out the door for not knowing they took a job in a call center environment. There are a LOT of negatives about this company, but also a lot of positives, and you have to be fair and honest about it just as you need to be - in claims, at least - with your customers.