#ShareOfTheDay: Call Center/BPO industry application experiences

For those who have known me since my RoxyIsFerox.com days, as well as checking my Roxy On a Beastmode FB page, it is no longer new to you guys that I have been into Call Center/BPO industry for 8 years now. Some may raise eyebrows upon me because I have been into this industry and never got promoted, and some may lambast my grammar construction. However, despite the fact that I have never been promoted, I am still proud to say I am still in this industry for eight years now and still feeling GR8 (great)! I never had any qualms as to not being promoted, and besides, it is one’s choice if he/she wants to be promoted, apart from the fact that it’s the competencies and attitudes counts. I am not the only one who has been into this industry for a couple of years and never been promoted, nor thought of applying for Internal Job Post. Before you shame me, accusing me of “sugar-coating”, some of you should ask yourselves if are you happy with the current position you are right now? Or you just wanna get off this industry and start a new life?

Do not brag about maturity that you may have as well, because #realtalk, you have your side of immaturity, and if you ever got promoted to your post, most likely, baka malakas lang din kapit mo sa bisor mo, at ‘yung bisor mo, malakas din kapit sa HR. Hahahah! I have seen a lot of those got promoted to being Quality Analysts, Subject Matter Experts, Team Leaders, Operations Managers etc., and while I give kudos to those who keep their feet on the ground, some have gotten their promotion up to their heads and acted like an asshole, which, ang sarap lang pagtatakungin. At mas masarap pagtatakungin ‘yung malakas maka-social climber, malakas maka-judgemental, na para bang nakalimutan ang mga panahong naging ahente sila. Sila na perfect! Sila na anak ng diyos, right?

I am not jealous. I am simply not happy about people who never had any sense of equal treatment among subordinates and friends.

Anyway, I would like to share to y’all guys that I came across this Facebook page, soliciting answers from FB users about from which Call Center/BPO they have failed first. A lot of netizens has responded to the question, and there are a lot of Call Center/BPO companies they have mentioned, and for reasons that, some, are cringe-inducing. I am not cringing on the answers, I am cringing on to the reasons why interviews from various Call Center companies mentioned. Some of them are just quite lucky because they did not go to college or graduated circa 2003-2007, because it was really hard-as-hell to be accepted in the Call Center/BPO industry during that period. Call Centers such as Convergys even has a school discrimination so much, you could even read on their advertisement on Inquirer JobMarket that they are stating their school preference. A fellow applicant of mine (at that time we were still applying to the now-defunct Zynergyz in Makati on Q2 of 2006) shared to the rest of us that he received a rather harsh remark from an HR interviewer (Sykes or Convergys, I guess?), saying “Oh! What a shabby work experience blah blah blah blah blah….” after looking at the resume of my fellow applicant, with work experiences such as being a service crew for Jollibee. Another rude incident was shared by one of my fellow applicants during the same time, at Zynergyz, that her OFW husband received a cold response after a short interview from an HR interviewer in Convergys-Makati, “…okay. Re-apply after 6 months…”.

It is a good that that more and more Call Center companies are no longer as harsh as those bad ol’ days. However, still, some bitchy interviewers from some Call Centers also exists, and I experienced mine in IBEX Global, and during that time, I was already a 5-year experienced employee. Bitchesa talaga ang bakla! Minaliit talaga ako! Another bad experience I had was when I applied in Telus-Cubao two years ago, for Sears Account, and at that time, I was already a probationary employee of iVentures (now BackOffice Inc.) Pinagmukha talaga akong may “attitude problem” ng baboy na interviewer na si Ana after stating to her of my reasons, that shift changes every single week during our nesting at iVentures (like, your shift this week is at 7PM MNL time, the next week is at 3AM MNL time, and week-offs change weekly as well, something I never experienced in my previous centers like IBM-Daksh, Transcom, EQOD or even Concentrix), and that Telus is more accessible because it takes only a jeepride from the gate of Provident Village to Araneta Center-Cubao, particularly Ali Mall, and few walks to Telus. Pinagdikdikan pa sa mukha ko ng “baboy” na iyan na may mga Call Centers balang araw na mas malapit at mas convenient, and the more na nangangatwiran ako at lumalaban ako, nagki-cringe siya.

What if, EGS  will be the only Call Center that Marikina has? What if EGS is not my choice? What does more she wanted from me? Wala na ngang halos magtayo ng Call Center sa Marikina mula nung nag-Ondoy and mula nung lumayas ang Sykes (previously ICT Group, before its acquisition from Sykes) sa Riverbanks Marikina, “potassium” pa si Ana (pota na assuming siyang botcha siya! Hahahah! payat ako eh, ano?)?! Marikina is a flood-prone city, so it is less likely for Call Center/BPO companies to establish their centers here (I hail from Marikina City BTW!).

Well, before some of you will shame me for the bitchy shoutouts above, I would like to let you know as well that being meek to those rudeness does NOT constitute to becoming professional. Sometimes, Call Center/BPO companies with rude and irrationally bitchy HR associates need to be called out and ranted at. Or up to the extent, escalate it to NLRC (National Labor Relations Commission) or even DOLE (Department Of Labor and Employment). If they wanted to be dealt professionally, they should treat applicants professionally as well. Applicants/Employees are also CUSTOMERS, and since word-of-mouth is more powerful besides social media,  expect a great load of backlash. Have these guys heard of KARMA? Para naman silang hindi na-orient. Adult na sila, hindi pa nila alam ang KARMA?

Below are the Call Center/BPO companies to which I applied circa 2003-2007 (prior to joining IBM-Daksh in 2008) and I failed.

> eTelecare, 2003
– the first center I applied to. On my first apply around March or April 2003, I walked in to their office in Citibank Plaza in Eastwood. That time, I had no idea what Call Centers are, and I was not willing to work on a graveyard shift.
> Teleperformance, 2003
– I failed their mock calls because I did not rebut. Malay ko ba? I don’t know how to handle
objections properly.
> SVI Connect, 2003
> All Asia Customer Services Pacific, 2003
– I felt, I could not make it to the initial interview of 9PM. Gabi kaya ‘yun, duh!
> People Support 2003
> Hello Corporation 2003 / 2005
> C-Cubed (before HTMT, now Hinduja), 2003
> HTMT (now Hinduja) 2006
> ClientLogic (now Sitel) 2006
> ICT Group Marikina (2006)
> eTelecare, 2006
> AB Systems, 2006
> Accenture, 2006
sakit sa eyebrows ng written exam nila hahaahaha!
> LWS, 2007
– abstract exam, and they prefer only with work experience.
> Dell, 2008
– just a day before my orientation with IBM daksh. I failed in Versant)

Sometime in 2006, I had my 40-hr Call Center training program at Informatics in SM Megamall. Still, I was not lucky enough to be accepted in a big-playing Call Center companies. I almost ended up in the now-defunct Zynergyz Marketing in Makati; unfortunately, I just started in the middle of the week and I was only having 3 days of training, and they have weekly evictions. I was the unfortunate one to be evicted on my first week.

In December of 2007, I had a 100-hour Call Center training program in ExcelAsia in Makati. Fortunately, I made it to IBM, though I was thinking of applying at E-Performax since the latter is ExcelAsia’s one of their partners. However, since there is something on me that needs to be polished, IBM-Daksh enrolled me to their “Power English Now”, a pre-employment training program in partnership with People2Outsource. I had a total of 3 training programs then, huh?

Anyway, even after joining in Call Center/BPO industry, for some reasons I applied to different Call Centers, and I’ll not gonna deny, I started applying again due to the following reasons:

> Performance Improvement Plan… ang kinatatakutang PIP. Alam n’yo na ito mga agents, at mapapa-apply na lang kayo kesa naman hainan kayo ng termination papers.
> Suspected Fraud… pumipitik sa sale online tool namin, claim namin as our sale after magbigay si customer ng item number at nakikita mo pa ‘yung exactong item number sa tool niyo. Ayaw mong ma-PIP sa upselling di ba? Wala ka na ngang incentive, mapi-PIP ka pa?
> Na-powertrip ng mga bisornaging mainit ako sa mata ng Supervisor at OM namin after binangasan ko sa FB ‘yung pinapaboran nilang TL matapos mang-terminate ng ahente ng wala man lang pasabi o reprimand, basta na lang nang-escalate ng pagpapa-Time In sa kapwa ahente. When they found me sleeping on my station, they got the chance of giving me NTE for dismissal.
> Hindi pumasa sa training sa Dish sa Concentrix. I almost made it because I passed the role play exams, but I was one of the unlucky batch na nataong nabago ang system ng Dish. Their basis in 2013 for passing the trainee is Role Play Exams + Live Calls. The On-The-Job Trainers there did not like my tone of voice and they have their preferred vocal tone.
> Nag-pull-out ang account sa huling company na pinasukan.

So, below are the companies I applied to, which I failed, since I joined the Call Center/BPO bandwagon 2008 onwards:

> 24/7 (Q4 2008)
> Sitel
– (Q1 2009) I failed the Ops Interview, because the Ops Manager asked me to give her
instructions on connecting the computer to the internet. Malay ko ba sa mga terms ng mga cables, ports, modem etc?
– (Q4 2009) nilaglag ko na lang ang sarili ko… materterminate na kasi ako dahil hindi maka-
graduate sa PIP kaya… hayun!
> Stream Eastwood (2011)
– I turned down their offer. $12K basic +$3K allowance is too small for a 3-year experienced
agent like me.
> Hinduja (2011, bagsak ako sa panel interview)
> JP Morgan and Chase (2012)
> Thomson Reuters (2012)
> EnfraUSA (2012… potah! ayos naman ako sumagot, hindi pa ako tinanggap)
> TPG (Q4 2013… hindi ako feel ng Aussie interviewer sa final interview)
> IBEX Global (Q4 2013) – see my rant above
> Telus Cubao (Q1 2014) – see my rant above
> Transcosmos (Q3 2015)
– at that time, I was employeed Backoffice at that time, thinking of applying to another Call Center company after becoming totally pissed-off with TigerDirect campaign. After a series of questions, sinagot lang sa akin ng interviewer “Okay, thank you for your time” after I told her na nag-18 units ako na Education Course sa Marikina Polytechnic College, eh siya naman si interviewer, panget naman din ang English.

Well, I wouldn’t mind not passing in the likes of 24/7, JP Morgan and Chase and Thomson Reuters. Given na talaga, mahirap pumasa sa ganyan, lalo sa JP Morgan, so much they will even check your credit card standing. They have their way of checking your accounts.

Lastly, below are my Call Center/BPO experiences, including the training ones:

> Zynergyz Marketing, Inc. – 2006, for Dish Network outbound sales calls. N ote: Years later, I realized that getting booted out from that company is a blessing in disguise,
especially after realizing Zynergyz was actually a fly-by-night Call Center company. Even AscendAsia. Magpalit man ng pangalan ng mga center na hinawakan ni Jester Condez, puros
mga scam pa rin. Kupal pa rin naman siya even after leaving the BPO/Call Center industry.
> IBM-Daksh (now Concentrix) – 2008 to 2012, for United Airlines Mileage Plus
> Transcom Worldwide – 2012 to 2013, for Sears Canada. I was initially profiled to TalkTalk when I applied in March 2012, but I was not let my TL to resign immediately from IBM-Daksh, so I talked to recruitment of Transcom about it, and I was accepted again by Transcom on the end of April 2012 — the last day of my 30-day rendering — and got profiled to Sears Canada.
> EQOD Inc. – 2013 (February to November), for Tag Mobile
> Concentrix – November 2013, for Dish, and it was just training stint.
> BackOffice Inc. – 2014 to 2016, for TigerDirect.
> StellarBPO – February 2016 to present, for Jetstar. Three months later, laterally transferred to Simply Energy.

Please take note that I am simply listing only my Call Center/BPO experiences — from hiring process to employement. That does not include my experiences outside the said industry since the Call Center Group Page mentioned, only asks about Call Center/BPO companies alone.

Now, for those with the same unfortunate experiences in being screened by different Call Center/BPO companies, but you constantly targetting Call Center/BPO companies as your employer, the best thing I can say to you all is, continue fighting for what you are aiming for and do your best. If there is a need for you to work on with the way you answer, your pronunciation, grammar constuction, try enrolling yourself to TESDA-accredited centers that offer Call Center Training programs like ExcelAsia and Informatics. If not Informatics or ExcelAsia, that is fine, as long as there is an institution near you that offers Free Call Center training for you to hone your English Communication skills and the way you answer interviews, and in the event that, one of their partner companies had their in-site jobhunt on your institution, do the best that you can. Focus on what is needed to pass, and especially, to what the interviewer asks you.

Do not be afraid and do not feel bad if you kept being enrolled and being passed to different institutions. It could be a waste of money on your part, but you will eventually learn and master as long as you guys desire to be improved. As I have stated, those who never went to college or graduated from college circa 2008 and above, you must be more fortunate than us. I belong to the batch that graduated circa 2003 to 2007, and I am telling you right now that during that time, applying was as hard-as-fuck. Kung inabutan ninyo ang kapanahunan ko, tang-ina, baka maka-100 kayong Call Center na aapplayan. Lastly, it is no doubt that making it into Call Center/BPO industry is pretty just a sheer of luck and dasal lang, because no matter how flawless your grammar as well as your pronunciation, how logical you are in responding to interviews, still, you are still likely to face the cruelty of a bitchy interviewer — either babaratin ka or worse, FAILED.

However, do not make Call Center/BPO as “be-all” and “end-all” of the entirety of you. If you happened to be a freshie, try considering companies that are not Call Center/BPO. Malay niyo, you can find your niche. You can find your calling, something where you can find “fulfillment” other than Call Center/BPO.

Anyway, the last two paragraphs is the same thing I advised to the FB users on the Call Center page I shared. I have been into this industry, I think I am still entitled to impart some advise kahit ang tindi ng kalokohan ko, right?

To self-righteous Call Center employees out there, better stay away from this page. I am telling you, self-righteousness, grammar bashing, and shaming me for what I am is not tolerated on my blog. In case I shamed Ana of Telus-Cubao, well, I am simply venting out my experience from her, and Imma’ gonna admit I still haven’t moved on from that experience. You wanna bash? Go vent it on your FB account, or create your own blog. Trolling on other’s blogs and FB pages is not my cup of tea.



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