So is my future as a telemarketer over? Right now, it looks that way.
But it would be foolish never to say never. Some of these boiler rooms have short term memories, while some have the memories of an elephant. They are like snowflakes, each room having their own set of rules and standards. Not that there’s totally anything wrong with that.
These businesses will get more and more desperate, with mandated healthcare cutting into their profits in the years ahead now that President Obama has locked up a second term in the White House. And that will probably lead to more scrutiny from the states that license telemarketing organizations. More scrutiny will probably lead to more states licensing telemarketers. Twenty seven states currently do, but I could easily see the industry having to meet federal licensing within ten years. Then, unfortunately, you’ll have to be licensed to do anything work related. That’s the sad reality that lies ahead.
This business pretty much destroyed the first two decades on my adult life. Only because I allowed it happen. The best thing I can do is not to allow it to happen anymore and take responsibility for what did happen.
That doesn’t mean this blog is going to wither and die, either. You never know what news may crop up.
So which states require an employee to have telemarketing licensing, you ask?
Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Note that a lot of these states in this list are Republican controlled states, with the exception of some of the northeastern states such as New York and Vermont. Maybe those Republican states, like Florida, see it as a money making venture for themselves.
As for the Northeastern states, they probably have purer reasons to require boiler rooms to do this. It is a good business practice, after all.
While the whole National Magazine Exchange fiasco was going on in my life, something pretty odd has been happening on Craigslist, or at least here in the Tampa Bay area.
The number of sales jobs advertised has been reduced by at least 50%, if not more. Did all the boiler rooms get a little gun shy over the 2012 Presidential elections? Is the economy and the so called “fiscal cliff” the country now faces the culprit in the job freeze I’m perceiving?
For instance, here in Pinellas County there was an abundance of telemarketing jobs in the electric industry. If the economy gets worse before it gets better as many currently speculate, look for the electric jobs to rapidly disappear if oil and gas prices climb.
There’s a travel office in Pinellas County that claims their business is recession proof. That cannot not true. If people don’t have any money, they aren’t going to go on vacation, are they?
So maybe things get worse before they get better. But it doesn’t deter my efforts.
It hasn’t escaped my attention that I may be beating a dead horse here, but after doing a little Internet browsing this morning, I’m discovering yet another reason why not continuing on with National Magazine Exchange was a fortuitous move on my part.
It gets back to the whole licensing issue yet again. According to a page I’m reading on Ehow this morning, it is illegal for a company to state a preference as to how to pay for a good or service.
That’s exactly what NME does, or so I’m led to believe by what I saw and heard Monday. They do not give employees any other option but to ask for payment of magazines by a credit card. If NME offered other options, they did not reveal that to me as an employee on Monday. And since the business they do originates from Florida, that’s a violation of state law. It’d be a violation of state law even if they were in another state and called Florida residents.
Also, all sales scripts have to be submitted to the state of Florida for their review and approval. I had no idea prior to this morning that this was a requirement, nor do I know if NME does this. Since they’re violating state regulations in one area, I would doubt they would comply in another area.
I don’t wish any of the long time employees at NME any ill will. But they should know that if the Florida Department of Argiculture and Consumer Services can crack down once, as they did in March of this year, they very well will crack down again.
If you’re an employee there (or anywhere else) and you’re reading this blog, get out while you can. YOU can be charged or fined for continuing to work under these conditions. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So I sat in one of these cubicles in a classroom series at high noon yesterday. They give you this manila folder and sign a whole bunch of papers that you never see again, nor do they give you the time to read the information in depth. The words are never spoken to us, but you get the impression you’re there to sign, sign, sign, and shut up about what you sign.
They go over this script you use that has so many ifs, ands, whens, and buts in it that it looks like a Chinese puzzle written in English. They want to establish rapport with the caller, to be their temporary buddy.
If the sucker…I mean caller… doesn’t get any cute ideas about just hanging up in the ten minutes or so you have with them, the employee is required to use four rebuttals in a certain order to try an encourage a sale. Once they agree, you hand the call over to a verifier, who might spend another 30-40 minutes talking the caller’s head off.
Now here was another “deal killer” for me: As a employee at National Magazine Exchange, should I fail to do my job properly after a two week grace period, I’m subject to having my pay docked per infraction from $2 to $12 depending on the severity of my transgression, which could be anything from inappropriate conversation to badgering and profanity. While NME may have a Code of Ethics (which, oddly enough, doesn’t include getting a telemarketing license or being licensed), a fine system seems like it could be easily abused without some kind of appeals process for the employee. If such a process exists, it wasn’t mentioned in the first day of training, which leads me to believe it does not exist.
If you’re there to make money, how focused can you be if you have to worry about losing money? Time to regroup and re-evaluate the game plan for me.
I know this is becoming a bit of a bad habit, but completed one day of training of National Magazine Exchange and have already decided not to return. History repeats itself, as this is exactly what happened in 1997, by my choice.
Why couldn’t I commit? While I hate the idea of telemarketing licenses here in Florida, any place who doesn’t offer those is a sitting duck. Think Direct Marketing is one of those places. I could do well there, no doubt in my mind about that, but everything doesn’t matter if the state of Florida decides to bust this place. Not being a licensed established only assures that has a chance of happening. If I get caught selling with no license, as was proven with the Universal Marketing Solutions bust back in March, I would be at risk of being fined or criminally charged.
There are numerous other reasons that I decided this would be a no go that I’ll go into this week in depth. I’ll give you one now though. I was told coming into today that after the first day that I would be coming in to work at 1pm. During the first day of training today, I was told that wasn’t true: that I’d have to come in at 12:45 at the latest.
So why couldn’t they have told me that from the onset? I could get to their offices at Bryan Dairy Road in Largo at 1pm. But the way the buses run in Central Pinellas, 12:45 would be another matter entirely. Seems as if I accepted this moving of the goal posts, it sets the precedent to where I’d have to accept other attempts to tamper with my hours. Unacceptable.
I knew I shouldn’t have answered that call a week ago Monday…