Apple Customer Service through Kelly
At home job training for Apple Customer Service
This was my second attempt at working from home. In August of 2013, I found a job listing on Monster for Apple Customer Service. Although I am a die hard Windows user, I actually had worked with Apple products at a previous job, so I went ahead and sent my resume.
Within a couple weeks someone from Kelly contacted me and we did a phone interview. This was how I found out that I would not be working directly for Apple, but rather for Kelly Services, a company who did contract work for Apple. I don't recall the woman's name, but she seemed very kind and professional. I passed the interview.
The next step was going to a local Kelly branch and signing paperwork for them to do a background and credit check. This makes sense, since for this job they would be sending me a brand new iMac to work on.
I have no criminal background but my credit is not without flaws. I have a student loan on there as well as some hospital bills from years ago. I passed anyway and was given instructions for training.
Training lasted about two weeks and consisted of around 70 new hires meeting in a chat room daily (9-5) Monday-Friday. We would watch power points and videos but mostly we were put into breakout rooms (divided into groups in different rooms), and given projects. The projects ranged from amusing to ridiculous. To this day I don't understand the point of them, as they had no beneficial value whatsoever to the job we would be doing. For example, one day we had to come up with ads for selling ipads, which we built on a whiteboard. Another time we had to create a slideshow about someone from the past time traveling to the present and how they would react to Apple products.
The break out room projects were a steady theme throughout training and quickly became annoying. Some days that was all we did, attend breakouts and work on projects with our fellow trainees. Towards the end some petty bickering took place, as we were all so sick of the training.
The other thing I recall about training is that about 1/3 of the trainees were constantly talking about how awesome Apple was. They seemed to worship this company and their products. There is nothing wrong with that I guess, but it seemed somewhat petty in my opinion. I like a lot of my technical equipment, but it's still 'stuff.' I don't worship 'stuff'.
Working for Apple Customer Service via Kelly
Once training was complete I began working the schedule I had been hired for, which, because of my 2 year old son and no babysitter, was 3rd shift.
Their starting pay was $10.00/hour. I was ok with this due to being able to work at home.
It started out OK. My shift was from 11pm-7am. It was somewhat busy towards the beginning of the shift but towards the end, we would go hours between calls. The customers, true to customer service call center form, were almost always angry and yelling. Sometimes this was justified, sometimes not.
I wouldn't be so bold to say that I'm the best Customer Service Rep in the world, but I think I'm pretty good, at least compared to a lot of the ones I've spoken to. I am always kind and willing to do anything I can to resolve issues. I never lose my cool or try to rush people off the phone. I take a lot of pride in my work and my ability to catch on quickly.
For about a month, everything was ok.
Here is why working from home for Apple and Kelly sucks
The trouble began in September 2013, about two months after I was hired.
The way their software works has major flaws. When a customer calls in, you have to obtain their name and type it into a search engine. Usually a profile comes up with documentation from their previous calls attached. According to the Kelly quality team, you have to open and use the same case created by the last rep, if they are calling about the same issue, which 80% of the time they are.
Most of the cases I opened contained notes from 3-8 reps. I would then add my own notes into the case.
The customer would receive surveys via email asking them to rate their experience with the call. This survey would then be applied to anybody who happened to make notes in the case.
For example: A customer calls in to ask how much an iphone costs. Rep A notes this in a new case. Later on, the customer calls in to purchase the iphone. This time they talk to Rep B. Rep B is lazy and rude. The customer receives a survey via email and gives low scores based on his interaction with rep B. These scores also now apply to rep A, since he/she made notes in the case also.
I realize that this sounds insane, but I promise you, I am telling the truth. It's possible that since then they found a better system, but I doubt it, as I have now read complaints dating back at least a year before I was hired stating the same.
I began getting coached for low survey scores based on this. Every coaching session was the same. The supervisor would tell me that he/she had looked over the incident, I had done nothing wrong, but since the system was set up that I am penalized for other peoples shoddy work they had to have these sessions with me. I was told during almost every session that I was doing a great job.
Even with this happening, my survey score average was still between 7-8 on a 1-10 scale. Pretty good, right? Wrong! Kelly requires you maintain an average of 9-10 to stay employed by them. I have no idea how anyone would possibly do this. By mid October, out of the 70+ employees I had trained with, maybe 20 had not been let go for the survey scores.
My second to last night working there I had a long coaching session about getting an 8 on a survey. The manager agreed that this was ridiculous but again, said she had to coach me per Kelly rules.
The 'Personal Positioning' statements
Myself and the other employees dealt with a steady stream of emails about what management called 'Personal Positioning'. What this really means is suck up shamelessly to the customers. We would be given loads of examples of these statements to use on our calls every day. They were all similar but the one that sticks in my mind had us telling customers that we were jealous of their Apple product and wished that we had one too. I had an extremely hard time with this and most times could not bring myself to do it. We were also told that every time someone called in and complained we were to send them a free product, like an ipod or something. Again, I had a hard time with this on some of the calls. Some of these people didn't even own Apple products and their complaints had no merit. I did this one much more often than the personal positioning.
All of the iMacs they supply to employees have a built in webcam which the supervisors can activate from their end at their leisure. We were advised during training that this would not happen, but I'm fairly sure it did, due to certain statements they would make. For example, I took a break once and came back with a glass of water, and the manager said something like, "Did you have a nice break? Get yourself some water?" This was in addition to other creepy statements which finally caused me to put a piece of duct tape over the camera. I was let go that very night over my last survey score, an 8.
Although some of the supervisors were great, there were also some who could not spell or compose a sentence. I have no idea why anyone would make someone like that a supervisor, especially for a work at home job where the only communication taking place is online via chat and emails. I actually made a screenshot of a statement made by one of the sups and will attempt to attach it to this hub.
Some words from a Kelly supervisor
As I mentioned earlier, I was let go for receiving an 8 on a survey. I filed for unemployment the next day. During the telephone conference I had with the unemployment rep and Kelly rep, the Kelly rep mentioned that I had not contacted Kelly to request additional assignments. My reaction was something like, "Are you kidding me? You think I would work for you again after that bunch of nonsense? As if!"
I received unemployment for two weeks and then got hired by another work at home company, Alpine Access, also known as Sykes. I actually still work for this company, and will be writing a full review of this job as well. I will link to it from this pod once it is complete.
Although I do not recommend working for Kelly/Apple at all, if anyone is still interested at this point, your best bet is to search for them from monster using keywords like 'Kelly' or 'Apple Customer Service'. Additionally, you can find Kelly contact information using the link below.
If You're Brave Enough to Want This Job...
My next work from home job, Sykes powered by Alpine Access!
- Working from Home for Sykes powered by Alpine Access
I currently work for Sykes as a Technical Support Representative. I have worked for them for 10 months. Here is my review of the job and the company.
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