CapTel

  www.captionedtelephone.com
  www.captionedtelephone.com

CapTel Reviews

Updated November 29, 2014
Updated November 29, 2014
113 Reviews
3.0
113 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Robert Engelke
50 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Casual dress code (I've seen people show up in pajamas) (in 21 reviews)

  • Flexible scheduling, good for people who aren't social, health benefits for full time employees (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • The voice recognition program is EXTREMELY flawed (in 9 reviews)

  • have to work at least one weekend shift every week (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    The job is boring, but easy and meaningful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Captioning Assistant in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Captioning Assistant in Orlando, FL

    I have been working at CapTel full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The work is very easy. You basically sit a a desk for your whole shift (and/or stand if feeling sleepy), and take calls as they come in. You get to completely choose your own schedule. You get your own personal headset, giant water bottle, and magnetic badge. They are very forgiving when it comes to attendance issues or others. Positions for supervisor and training positions open up regularly as company continues to expand. Decent pay, there are dental, medical, and vision benefits.

    Cons

    Overly critical monitoring system. I say this because the software we use creates its own errors at times, but they still affect our daily monitored scores negatively. Expectations during calls can seem unrealistic at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be nice to be able to say "call me" and other phrases come out accurately. This can probably be fixed with a specialization of software for CapTel for more common words and phrases we say. Macros could also be updated, as some are rarely used, and others would be helpful, such as one for "too" or "I know".

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Quite Deceitful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Captioning Assistant in Madison, WI
    Current Employee - Captioning Assistant in Madison, WI

    I have been working at CapTel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    flexible scheduling. indoors. time-off policies--if you don't want to work when you come in, you could ask to go home with no penalty and if there's enough bodies to man the phones.

    Cons

    monotony. pay. But more importantly, in regards to the title of this review, I found the company, and its treatment of employees via HR, quite deceitful. Here's a company that makes the majority of its profits from government subsidies encouraging its employees to secure health insurance in the Marketplace; in fact, in my case, even as a full-time employee, the company, through some trickery, refused to offer me health benefits. I became eligible for benefits two weeks before open enrollment, but even as a new hire, I was eligible to enroll out of open enrollment period. In my HR meeting, however, I was told that "details needed to be worked out with all that's going on with Obamacare." Since I was not given any details regarding health insurance, other than that vague statement (this by the way after the "we encourage all our employees to shop on the Marketplace"--because it's cheaper for the company to not have to subsidized its employees' premiums), I waived coverage, thinking when details are hashed out I'd receive more information. But no! Because two weeks later, open enrollment for the company's health insurance began, and because I'd signed my waiver and turned it in already (because during my HR meeting and the period in which I became eligible), I was now ineligible to enroll in Captel's group plan for the next year. I am quite curious as to how many other employees were told details still needs to be worked out, only to have us waive coverage, and then realize a surprise has been sprung on us.

    Now, this is nothing new for a company which sucks at the teats of the government. Captel has been sued by employees for its unfair clocking practices, which subsequently brought a new hourly tracking policy. Furthermore, there have been attempts by employees in the Madison office to form a steering committee to test the waters and see if unionization might be able to secure gains for its employees. And let's be honest, when employees start thinking about unionization, something is seriously wrong.

    As someone who has worked in both the Milwaukee and Madison offices, I can say the culture is quite different in both places. Milwaukee, maybe because of its distance from the corporate headquarters, is much more laid back. Whereas, in Madison, with its proximity to headquarters, every supervisor, it seems to be, is intense and is always on a power trip. I've personally witness two supervisors chatting about trying to find enough justification to fire an employee they did not like. And, I have to say, it doesn't take much for them to find enough reasons. One, monitors, which are random, can be not so random. That is, supervisors could monitor a CA until they find a stretch of captions where the CA has made enough mistakes to put her below the acceptable threshold and then go through the steps of sending that person home with a write-up. Or, two, there are rules that are not enforced consistently by all supervisors: sups on power trips and vendettas could easily call you out for a violation. And I've seen them achieve this by devious ways. For example, at random times of the day, supervisors do "floor walks" to make sure CAs are doing their jobs. I've seen supervisors, look over the tops of cubicles, which by the way are six fee tall, to try and catch people in violation of company rules. Maybe this is all to repeat what others have said regarding how easily it is to get fired from this job and how CAs have absolutely no power.

    Which brings me to my last point. CAs are replaceable. However, as the company has seen with its attempt at expansion, there comes a point when a city can only provide enough bodies willing to tough it out. That explains why the company expanded into Milwaukee, when the company couldn't find enough people to work its Madison shifts; and the same when it expanded in Orlando, FL, when Madison and Milwaukee couldn't provide enough people to man its shifts. For a job that pays higher than minimum wage, a job that's indoor, which for Wisconsin matters, a job with a flexible schedule, to still struggle at finding enough people to man its phones, there's something seriously the matter here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Not terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Captioning Assistant in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Captioning Assistant in Milwaukee, WI

    I worked at CapTel part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    This was an easy "nonthinking" type of job. There isn't a dress code and don't mind if people come to work in their pajamas.

    Cons

    There are broken desks, chairs and computers everywhere. Finding a comfortable work space is near impossible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in better furniture and you might get more out of your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    It's a stepping stone.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CapTel

    Pros

    Easy to apply and qualify for caption assistant. Paid training for 3 weeks. Helps deaf people. Provides hourly wage until you figure out what you're doing with your life. About 30% downtime to chat, study, or meditate.

    Cons

    Upper management decisions and leadership has confused many people and very low approval rating for them. They cut break time down to the legal limit. Very strict on tardiness or absence. Can be hard on your throat to speak as much as you may need to sometimes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continually improve your education in managing relationships, ethics, coaching, and most importantly leading effectively. Continue to strive to grow as human beings.

  6.  

    Tolerable, for some.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CapTel full-time

    Pros

    It is a job. Pays well above minimum wage. No hard physical labor. Physically safe. Supervisors are cool people. Scheduling is good compared to most shift work - you more or less pick your hours, and they don't change unless you want them to. If you are an introvert with great coping skills, it is a pretty decent job. Some people stay for years.

    Cons

    This job will put a dent in your mental health. Almost no human interaction. Extreme boredom/frustration. Calls can be stressful. Call content can be downright traumatizing, and you will never be able to talk about it with anyone, even a therapist. You will actually have very little time, if any, to read etc between calls unless you are on third shift, unless the call flow slows down or they hire more CAs. Very slim chance of moving up before you snap, but you might not want to, supervisors don't get that much of a raise and seem to have a lot more stress and responsibility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clear up contradictory info on what is expected of us. Pay us a little better rather than spend money on horrible catered "parties" etc.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Stressful but a good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Captioning Assistant in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Captioning Assistant in Orlando, FL

    I worked at CapTel full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very structured, night supervisors were helpful. I had 3 breaks because I was working 40 hours a week. People were nice to me, they had a holiday party and gave good holiday pay.

    Cons

    High stress because calls are unpredictable and so is call monitoring. I actually had nightmares that I was late or didn't clock in for my break, or my pause pedal stopped working. I was great at it but I burned out on it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I basically lived in fear of getting a bad call monitor, or being late. I get that it needs to be structured but I saw people drop like flies because they couldn't handle the strict policies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Easy work for the pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Captionist in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Captionist in Orlando, FL

    I have been working at CapTel part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunity for advancement. Set your only schedule and flexibility with leave.

    Cons

    Work can be very redundant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None really

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    This is a job where the amount of positiveness you bring to it makes it a fun place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CA Supervisor in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - CA Supervisor in Milwaukee, WI

    I worked at CapTel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Workload is manageable. Good pay for college kids. Offers full-time work if you are willing to work it. Internal job-postings are frequent, so there is room for growth. You get to provide a helpful service to the clients.

    Cons

    The entry-level position of Captioning Assistant can be pretty isolating. Some employees are disrespectful of the property and occasional damage and messiness in the workplace are a result of that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try making more opportunities for guidance in employee development within the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a bad way to make some cash, but you will not want to stay here for long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Captioning Assistant in Madison, WI
    Current Employee - Captioning Assistant in Madison, WI

    I have been working at CapTel full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Easy work. Laidback environment. Pay is okay for what you're doing. Sedentary (if that's a pro to you). You can read/sew/draw/do whatever at your desk in between calls, which I really liked because I love to read. Regular breaks. New break room/snack options are varied and plentiful. Some of the calls are colorful/hilarious/delightfully weird. Your labor is, in theory, helping out people with disabilities, if that appeals to you or motivates you. Supervisors and co-workers are generally down-to-earth, cool people. You pretty much set your own schedule. No drug test.

    Cons

    Mind-numbingly boring and monotonous. The work is not rewarding or fulfilling at all. As a captioning assistant you are essentially a trained monkey sitting at a computer, working pedals and speaking into a headset. You feel like a soulless robot after a while, an interchangeable part in a machine. And make no mistake, you are 100% replaceable. Anyone with a functioning nervous system can do this job. After 4 months of full-time I was seriously losing my mind. Pay is okay but very hard to live on if you're coming from an already low-income background. You get incremental raises but they are insubstantial for the most part. Even though the time between calls is your own, that time is often maddeningly short and sporadic. If you have higher interests/passions the work will start to drive you crazy after a very short amount of time. Most calls are boring as sin and some are even downright depressing.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Waist of gas and time ! DONT INTERVIEW

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Captioning Assistant in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Captioning Assistant in Orlando, FL

    I worked at CapTel full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Easy interview
    -Easy 4 week training paycheck
    -Easy job for college student during summer time
    -$50 gift card for each person you refer to interview

    Cons

    -You will be treated like a child
    -Young trainers who think they are teaching a kindergarten class
    -You cannot go to the bathroom without penalty
    -They have a LOW SCENT policy "No scented lotion or perfume when you come to work"
    -They make you label your food
    -Forced to share a locker with a stranger
    -Base pay is too low for everything they DEMAND of you. $9.50
    -Benefits suck for full-time employees. Similar to Medicaid benefits :/
    -HIGH turnover rate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Train your trainers on how to communicate with adults. We understand that Captel was their first job and they moved up into administrative roles, but they may need some training on real person interaction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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