Call centre staff say public was lied to about reason for closure

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM NCO STAFF

I would like to give a more detailed response or should I say update on the closing of the call center (NCO Financial LTD.) and also it’s a response to the recent post made by ANR about & I quote PM Says Major Employer Threatening To Close Over Lack Of Customer Service Skills” which was posted on Facebook on June 18th at 5:05pm

We are unsure of how, when or where he got this information. Couple years ago NCO was working under EGS (Expert Global Solutions) but later the shares were acquired by ALORICA a couple of years ago. Our managers fought hard & endlessly for a raise in salary & also insurance. After about 3 months of inquiry & back and forth we finally got through with the Insurance also the salary increase which was raised by cents, for example, I was being paid $10.10EC per hour it was raised to $11.00. We weren’t happy with the amount but at least we got something.

Couple years ago Alorica grew more and opened an Amazon customer service in Antigua under NCO Financial. We were all happy & joyful for the new employment that was made available. During this year our General Manager had a meeting with us; informing us that we who are employed under Metro PCS program will be moved over to Amazon in stages and once we performed well Amazon will take over the entire site also build their own call center in Antigua. We were told it’s because of our lack of performance under the Metro PCS program. But on the 19th of June 2018, we had a general meeting with all of the employees including the Human Resources from Alorica & a Metro Pcs manager. Where we were then told we are closing because of the “COST” to maintain the building. Meaning the rent, Internet & APUA bills because the income is less than our expenditure.

So, therefore, we were lied to and the public was given the wrong idea of the closure. It’s not because of the “Lack of Customer Service” it’s because they rather open a Call Center in Jamaica to acquire “cheaper labour”. Meaning that they would be paying the Jamaican employees less money so therefore;  they will be saving thousands monthly.

Furthermore, in Antigua, we estimated the pay to be about $3.80US per hour needless to say the Jamaican currency is much lower with respect to EC (Eastern Caribbean Dollars).

Example:$1.00USD = $131.206JMD
Example: $1.00EC = $48.55JMD
Thank you for your time & patience will be looking forward to seeing this posted as soon as possible. Also for this information to be given to the Prime Minister to look into this saddening situation because about 300 employees will be unemployed.

55 COMMENTS

    • First of all how dare you try to undermine Jamaicans when you know nothing about them or their capabilities. I highly suggest you stfu about what you know nothing about or aspire to..

    • I guess the labour in Jamaica is of good quality else the company would not have had a similar business establish there. Also the overhead cost is much cheaper than Antigua & Barbuda.
      Always remember that every country do have their good and bad in the labour force. For example, America companies always establish their business in countries where the overhead cost is more feasible. One thing I would say working for an American company they will provide constants training for you where is needed.

  1. I can see exactly how poor customer service was the reason for closure. Just look how poorly written this letter was. I can just imagine how terrible these reps speak to customers. Just look at the awful mode of dress and rude attitude these persons display when boarding/disembarking the bus outside Liat. I can just imagine the callous behaviour at the bus station. I do feel for these people loosing their jobs, but I think it is their own doing. We have no pride as a nation anymore when it comes to work. CEO’s from abroad will not accept this. They will go to Jamaica, India, Philippines and get cheaper and better labour.

      • MISS SKY OR MR, i find it highly disrespectful of your comment though it may be true bear in mind seeing us on the outside and seeing us on the inside of the building is two different things you know not of what we do on the inside of our organization yet still you want to judge or customer service. answer this question do you speak to the ppl outside of work the same way you do to the ppl at work. be real if you dont have nothing good to say shut your mouth we have mothers, fathers, college student including myself and people trying to make a living working here that will be out of a job, but guess what heyyy!!! you perfect and have a job. SMFH JA

    • firstly mr or mrs. how someone behaves outside their work place does not have anything to do with “customer service”. Do you even know the meaning of customer service??? Customer service is the assistance and advice provided by a company to THOSE PEOPLE who BUY or USE its products or services. i hope you do realise that we do work for americans who speak standard english. If the company is saying that the main reason for closing is customer service then why was the customer servicer not dealt with?? No one is asking for your sarcastic sympathy towards these people and the struggles that they are going through…..
      If you don’t know something then i would advise you to keep your mouth shut and mind what is yours
      thank you

      • @ Unknown..Is that so? I think you’re absolutely wrong.. The way a person behaves in public is a reflection of that person.. This is one of our main problem,many of us do not want to hear the truth,when we are confronted by the truth, we attack with Rum shop arguments. Its not easy to be a PIG when you’re on the outside then suddenly turn into a Lamb on the inside ..I await my attacks ,frankly could not care less..

    • So have you ever worked in a call center before? Have you ever been verbally abused by a customer over the phone? Do you know what it means to smile and act like that customer didn’t just say that huh? Guess not so you need to try STFU. We put up with a lot from these customers, we shove our pride and attitude aside just to ensure we provide that excellent customer service that we have been TRAINED to provide. You people are not in our shoes, you don’t know what we have to undergo let alone you don’t know what we are about to face. 99.9% of the time we get customers whose accounts have to be fixed just because the representative from other sites don’t know what their doing, we are the best Customer Service agent this Alorica company is ever going to have so forget you LADY/MAN.
      KUDOS TO MY GM. YOUR THE BEST AND THANK YOU FOR THE FIGHT YOU PUT UP FOR US. DON’T WORRY OUR GOD WILL SEE TO IT THAT WE SURVIVE.
      For you whoever you are I should be able to see you and slap you across the head.

      • I have to add my little bit on this issue. I am in St. Kitts and I had to call AMAZON with a problem and the rep who answered me was so very polite I had to complement her, and I must admit that she walked me through everything, and it worked we;; for me. I then asked where are you answering from and she said Antigua, I asked her name and she told me and she was P O L I T E. I was so impressed, I asked her if she ever thought about entering the Miss Antigua and Barbuda Queen Pageant and she told me NO. I was very impressed with her and I must say for us to say something bad about the reps you must have experienced some problems. I sincerely hope that the government would be able to save the closure of the Call Centre.

        ST. KITTS

    • How ferocious are you to say something like this your not far from the rest, your just like one of these resentful human being, they have done there best and they do have one of the most fabulous, delightful and generous customer service that can be known to man.
      If you don’t know the story don’t tell the tales, just read and “ferme ta gueule” !!!!!!!!!!
      Hope you do realize over 300 people will be unemployed and i hope you are one just now too.
      KARMA IS A CHIENNE!!!!!!!

    • Tbh they provide excellent customer service at NCO. They speak very well. It is not nice of u to judge and do not know the reasons for certain things. Call Centre staff are not the only ones that catch the bus to go to Coolidge. To try to be on time for work it is very crucial for them to catch a bus at a certain time. As for the dress code it is a very laid back environment. They arenot meeting with Customers face to face, therefore dress code is not stressed that much. However, there are some people that choose to dress really lovely in their work attire. Also, a point that was missed in the letter is; the clients (Amazon, Metro PCS and Fleetcor) really do love the customer service that is being provided by Antigua but Alorica (the BPO) deems it too costly to continue production here.

  2. i really believe people need to know of what they speaking of before they speak out.
    i am currently one of the over 300 workers who will soon be unemployed with a one year old. and believe we need a public apology for labeling us as incompetent do do our work and stating we dont have any customer service. when clearly that not the reason why ALORICA wants to leave Antigua. “http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/alorica-sets-up-to-triple-its-size-in-jamaica/ “. i truely believe you all should read this news article and try understanding this situation Little more ands top running you all mouth useless

  3. I hope you die in your sleep and choke on your deceitful words you
    Fils de pute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU KNOW HOW HARD PEOPLE WORK, before i find you with the VOODOO keep calm and approach with caution…..

  4. Its funny how many people do have an opinion on this topic 1 way or another. However some people are just expressing their understanding based on opinions and not facts. As an agent their for a long time many of us who are soon to be without a job can be honest about the truth. 1 a company that can pay less elsewhere will go for that option and 2. the number of people who never appreciated that job in the 1st place is more than the public would ever know. Always too sick to go to work but would submit sick leave to go have fun and then complain about money not enough. that place has more sick leave than everybody cause way too many people in there just want a pay check.

    I am a young woman with a child and therefore needs my job to survive so I know to prioritize my fun. I go out when my shift allows it but I have been to lots of events where people I know are on sick leave and they are not too sick to be out there partying.

    sadly those of us who are serious about the jobs are the one that are going to suffer the most.

  5. I am not going to be upset with anyone who posted on this site. what I can recall is the PM saying the company has to pay One hundred thousand dollars ($100.000.00) monthly and that is a lot of money. That is one person getting a huge chunk part of the reason why the hard workers are getting peanut. The PM said he spoke to the Land lord who has agreed to cut the rent in half. I see that rent and utilities are the biggest problem here. I think the PM was loose with his mouth as always when he spoke about the poor customer service from the staff. I know of many who have left on their own accord because they could not deal with the abuse from the other end of the phone. These workers are underpaid for the type of abuse they suffer on the job.

    The author of this letter gave the real reason for the move don’t make this more than it is. It is factual as a meeting was held. Antiguans are not the only people working at the center.

  6. To SKYY…do note that our dressing is base on what activity our work place is having, i’m sorry if ur job does not have casual wear for some events such as carnival or Christmas time, to me you are a very small minded individual’ who doesn’t know anything about what is going on and there for think you should shut ur damn trap. you cant work a week in a call center where u are forced to smile while being called a bitch for $10 ECD an hr. who are you to say anything about CSR at NCO. what position do u have? CEO? know ur facts before u run ur trap. the way agents act outside the walls of nco is different from inside.

  7. I worked for a month there before resigning and you don’t have to go to university to notice the wrongs in that organization. From my observation, the environment is totally different from what I experienced at the other call centers in Antigua. People shouting over your shoulders, music playing in the background, the the lack of leadership skills in the supervisors the trainer who I don’t care to mention Centhelia and the dark skin HR who I don’t even care to remember her name but I think it’s Donna. People always it’s a nice start for a highschool graduate but certain type of people cannot work there or won’t last working there and it doesn’t even have anything to do with the pay. While I was there for a month I kid you not almost everyday someone was turning in a resignation letter. It’s sad that a lot of people will be unemployed and I will keep each and everyone of them in my prayers.

    • so FYI we dont care about your point…. u working there for a month clearly state u didnt past training much less probabtion and you are lack of customer service for you to be talking about donna much less centhi so u can take ur post and go to university…. music in the back playing is to motivate from the customers we deal with day in day out…. if u got on the floor and took a call u would understand what we deal with…. guess that 100 question quiz u didnt past why your not here for today…. we the staff dont have a problem with the music and we employed for years…. so go and get your self and glasses to see reality… we have the best managers any one ever wanted…. have your self a good life…. AS ONE DOOR CLOSES ANOTHER ONE OPENS

    • Oh hell no ….centhi is one of the best Trainers in NCO , you were there for a month 😂😂so shut the hell up . big up to centhi keep doing a great job

  8. The negativity isnt needed..i worked at Nco for over a year before getting a better job opportunity. I surely learnt alot there interms of speaking properly and using empathy. I knew customer service wasn’t the issue for the closure at first hand. The staff is under paid and its surely hard to work for $11 a hr when someone on the other side of the phone teeling you about your mother and granny. I surely learnt alot here to handle my current job and im thankful for that. I pray there is a quick turnaround for the staff or the government step in to assist the situation. If anyone from management reads this, you guys can provide recommendation letters to or even certificates with great attendance/performance to agents. There is no need to be negative here with 200 plus people jobless..

  9. Mr or Mrs sky I dare you to come handle one of the calls we get on a daily basis just one and i guarantee you that you will wanna leave as soon as you give your intro. I find it highly disrespectful you open that dirty mouth of yours and talk about our dressing…..my nigga we don’t even see who we’re talking to so the fancy jacket and tie is for wha? You know nothing about customer service and if you may know one of our sites rank 5th place in customer service out of the 35 or 38 different sites so please calm your tits…..trust me if it wasn’t for the reputation of the company you would get some bad word see but may the lord be with you.

  10. The name of the organization wasn’t stated in the original story, however, people in the comments speculated it was a call center and the writer of this piece made themselves known. Anyway,the comments from the apparent affected workers are disgusting and appears the people employed there are truly from the bottom of the barrel. Oh and y’all saying y’all young or single mothers as if anyone should care. You all really chose to have kids on that likkle salary?

    • Your comment is very ignorant and I don’t work there.
      This people is the finest example of ignorance you’ll ever see in your life.

    • Have you ever heard of BUDGET? Have you ever heard of SAVING? Guess we got to be working for big money like you (that’s if you are making any) to have kids? So what if we have single parents mothers, so what if we make kids, buy a car, buy a land, build a house. WE WORK FOR OUR F-ING MONEY AND IT’S OURS AT THE END OF EVERY TWO WEEKS. One thing we can say is our money is always on time some earlier than some but it’s never late. You people are so sickening. You must know what the bottom of the barrel feels like for you to can say we’re coming from there. Hope you won’t ever get to be in our situation. KUDOS TO OUR GM WE ARE ONE.

      • Well make your way to the back of the line with your low earning ass. I don’t understand how y’all want to live big…wait, I’m sorry…make it APPEAR that you all are living big knowing full and well you aren’t working for shit. And don’t act like it’s not every two seconds y’all go and ah borrow money.

        • So here I am defending my company that I work for. You need to STFU it’s clear you don’t have anything of intelligence coming out of your mouth. You must work for all them banks and loan agencies to know we always borrowing money. Clearly if we were working for shit these banks and loan agencies won’t lend us their money. Again if we do it it’s our money WE WORK FU UM. Hope your ass earn your high income money the right way and didn’t #%*@ your way to the top you disgusting peasant.

  11. the call center has been in Antigua for a number of years, only now they are finding faults interms of customer service. the right reasons are still sealed in envelope we are waiting on the media.

  12. To all the persons who have commented claiming to work for NCO, your responses prove exactly what your customer service skills is like. Persons are giving their negative views about the company and just look at how you guys are responding. Proves that you all are indeed just going to NCO get the paycheck rather than displaying true customer service skills. Why would anyone consider reopening the xompnay after reading these comments?? It’s one thing to stand up for yourself and the place you work for but where is the class and maturity?
    Customer skills is not only portrayed at work, it’s how you deal with people in general. And if you guys learnt decent customer service skills you would be practicing it inside and outside of the work building.

    The words that you’re finding the energy to type says alot and nobody should want that type of behavior apart of their work environment. Maybe you guys will learn a lesson so that whenever you get another job you will actually appreciate it and use your skills not only inside but outside the work place!

    The situation is sad but there also must be a reason why the owners of NCO cannot find but ONE reason to keep this company going.

  13. I am very disappointed with those people who ‘claim’ to be NCO WORKERS but are writing in saying no one is talking to them.

    That is just wrong, dishonest and flat out NOT TRUE!

    NCO is one of the best companies I have ever worked for. Yes it’s a call center job and when the customers call it’s usually because they have a problem and they are not nice on the phone to say the least. However, the company itself has been very meaningful to work for. Starting with our GM, that woman has done NOTHING LESS THAN HER BEST FOR NCO. Fighting for higher wages, for insurance. She ensure that we had a comfortable and driven work environment. She was always there to offer advice as well as the other managers.She believes in transparency and always tells us what’s going on, not just with the closure but with anything else through the years.

    If there was anything we wanted to do for work fun days she would take our suggestions and make it happen.
    We had work out sessions in the work parking lot because many of us couldn’t afford or had time to go to the gym. We had a trainer and nutritionist. We had hikes and beach picnics all the time.
    We Halloween parties and competitions, back to school dress up day where everyone wore their old school uniforms. Our staff Christmas parties were great. The Managment made sure that although callers were rude and we took a lot of crap on the phone, we had a strong sense of morale. I have worked at other places and NCO is the only place I have worked at that promotes charity work in and around Antigua. We have donated thousands in supplies to the old Holberton Hospital, we have visited and donated over many years to Sunshine Home for Girls and also to the Prison

    If there was any competition put on by headquarters. She would push us to perform at our best so someone in the Antigua office would win! And we did !!! Many times! Giving us .. local people the opportunity to travel abroad/ overseas and to the US for training and just the experience. Now some people may say ok so you get to go to America, so what? But the fact is, some people in Antigua … and yes born Antiguans DO NOT HAVE THE MEANS OR STABILITY to qualify for a US VISA so if not for this company some of us over the years would not have been given that opportunity. The company paid for everything including us going to Barbados for the visa and the the poor man, these things count.

    My comment is directly for the ‘workers’ of NCO who keep writing negativity about the company …NO COMPANY IS PERFECT, BUT NCO WAS AND IS ,FOR NOW, A VERY GOOD COMPANY TO WORK FOR.

    We also perform very well MR. PRIME MINISTER! For our parent company,we have always been in the top 5 and most recently the top 3 call centers that they have.WE SHOULD NOT BE BRANDED AS BEING CLOSED FOR POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. FOR THAT UNTRUE STATEMENT TO COME FROM THE PM WAS VERY HURTFUL ANS DISAPPOINTING.

    NCO Is one of, if not the largest employers on the Island which brought in great revenue.
    Another American company is leaving and it’s NOT BECAUSE OF POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE !

    TO MY CO WORKERS AT NCO .. PLEASE BE HONEST! The GM and the management had a meeting with us and told us exactly what is going on! Including info about our severance. I will be sad to go because it was a good place to work and the management made sure of that. Good luck to everyone in the future.

  14. What else can the PM do? Didn’t the government try to meet them halfway in terms of cutting cost? Second ,all this dramatic post about not knowing where the PM got his story about lack of customer service ,i think you guys need to re-visit your own words..He obviously got it from your Employers.. In the above article,and i quote”” We were told its because of our lack of performance under the Metro PCS program”” ) Simply means -you the staff were given excuses as to why certain things were happening,one been cited as “Lack of performance”..It is very deceitful of you guys to be claiming that you do not know where he got that from,when it was said to you ,maybe not in the exact words but with the same meaning,i am sure they did not point out to you what was your lack of Performance.. I am almost certain that the PM did not just formed his own conclusions but was told so by your Employers.. It may not be the truth, the company may just be using excuses but trying to paint a picture that the PM was spreading false rumors is very Dis-ingenious..

    • Well seeing as there are more than just one program at NCO and it is the Entire call center that is being closed down that would most likely be as to why persons are saying that they dont know where he got information from since the GM stated that she did not give ‘Poor Customer Service’ as the reason for closure

      • @Annoyed- I swear for no one, but a little logical thinking should tell anyone that the PM has absolutely nothing to gain by making such an allegation without merit.. I would think the management who are the decision makers would be the one’s to make false allegations against the Employees(if it is false) to appear justified..She(GM) may not have used the exact words “Poor Customer Service”to the PM,but from the above article,it states clearly that they were told “Performance was in question” someone do not have to spell everything out for another to understand the meaning,Its called Reading between the lines.. From the comments of some on this site,who said they are employee’s of the company ,leaves much to be desired..I rest my case.

  15. Is the company not taking any of the staff to Jamaica to help get the company there off the ground? How many will be going to Jamaica?

    • I heard something about the company already has a similar business in Jamaica. They are just adding to it by going there for cheaper overhead cost. The Jamaicans and anyone else that work here can go along with the company to Jamaica. The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) will able to get the other nationality in.

  16. Call center is a very corrupt place to work. The comments under this article from the workers are an exact simulation of what happens when the call is ended with the customer. Ofcourse, there are a select few who do their jobs effortlessly but unfortunately this is not the case with many of the workers. I worked at call centre and I managed well because of my resilience but management practices left much to be desired. The high turnover statistics of the company alone shows that there were a myriad of issues that were not being dealt with. People keep talking about the workers got too little a pay for the conditions they had to work under but money is not the ultimate motivator. Motivation can be had both intrinsically and extrinsically. I hope that you guys can finds jobs sooner than later.

  17. Smh the pm did not just jump up & say bad customer service from NCO is the reason …that was what was told to him by NCO employors so ease off the man …2. At NCO the customers are very rude & ignorant I’ve had customers calling me slut, biatch , hungry , black nigga , whore & all kind of disresptdul names all of it however I never once blamed NCO for the customers , I just read the script & hang up or automatically hang up . they do let us know how customers are but I’ve had great customers who wanted to get to know me but I couldnt give them my name or number . I’ve experienced it all . NCO is still a good place to work ..I am deeply saddened by its closing

  18. $3.80US per hour is ridiculous! Especially with the cost of living. Alorica pays $12US/per hour for basic customer service in the US.

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