Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Call-centre gold mine: $195 per hour

Published:Wednesday | April 20, 2016 | 4:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I must highlight some fallacies that the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture, as well as the other uptowners, namely Diane Edwards, Davon Crump, is putting forth in the media about call-centre jobs.

Working at some call centres is definitely modern-day slavery.

Let me tell you the truth about the conditions under which some business process outsourcing (BPO) sector workers have to carry out their duties. On a particular day last week, at a call centre where I work, agents had to use the restroom for at least one hour without tissue or paper towels. This was highly unhygienic.

A couple of months aback at the same call centre, persons were unable to use the bathroom facilities, as there was no water. Imagine a call centre with hundreds of workers and people unable to use the restrooms, especially pregnant women and those with urinary issues.

I do suggest that the relevant ministry and its uptowners start looking into things like these if they want the BPO sector to thrive. Conditions like that I have mentioned contribute to the high turnover rates.

Another issue I should point out is one wherein at the said call centre, the cafeteria was infected with roaches. I remember going to purchase juice, and saw when a cafeteria worker handed someone change and out fell a roach from the money. Persons are unable to venture elsewhere to purchase food, as most are only given 30 minutes for lunch.

Each call centre should have a nurse's office. There are some centres, such as one in Montego Bay, that have a nurse on call and a doctor visiting every Thursday to provide service at a discounted rate. I know this because I worked at one but had to leave because of the low wage being paid. When I left about a year ago, I was being paid $195 per hour.

Ms Edwards should not be comparing data from India or any of those countries. The output by agents in Jamaica is way better than those she mentioned. One of the reasons for such is that Jamaicans try to excel in whatever they do.

The next major factor is the pressure being placed on agents to be perfect. This can be seen on accounts handled in the Philippines and other countries that oftentimes end up with the Jamaican agents.

The way I see things, those who really have the so-called power to speak on things such as the BPO sector are sugar-coating issues. However, I'm pretty sure that current and former agents of the BPO sector can say otherwise.

By the way, Mr Crump would believe that wages are fair, as it does not affect him at all!

CALL-CENTRE WORKER