Circles
2.0 of 5 42 reviews
www.circles.com Boston, MA 500 to 999 Employees

Circles Reviews

Updated Apr 8, 2014

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2.0 42 reviews

                             

21% Approve of the CEO

Circles CEO Nicolas Vegas Chumaceiro

Nicolas Vegas Chumaceiro

(14 ratings)

21% of employees recommend this company to a friend
42 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Mixed perspective

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Circles

ProsStrong history and good work environment

ConsLack of vision and unclear path to long-term success

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Just Awful

Customer Care Professional (Former Employee)
Chelmsford, MA

I worked at Circles full-time for more than a year

ProsThe benefits package available was fantastic but that's just about the only positive thing I can think of.

ConsI worked for Circles as a Customer Care Professional for a little over two years. At first it seemed like a great place to start my professional career, however, in a mere matter of months the company's true intentions became clear. I don't have time to write a 10-page essay so I'm just going to list everything wrong with the company.

- Policy Changes: The company changes it's policies, metrics, and goals every two to three months without any forwarning to it's employees.

- Employees 'Circle' in and out: Seriously, the place is a revolving door. Don't expect to make any long term friends because chances are half of the people in your training class will be fired within 6 months.

-Holidays: I hope you don't enjoy spending Christmas or Thanksgiving at home with your family because you will likely be randomly selected to work at least one major holiday during your employment with this place.

-PTO: You don't have 'sick days'. You have 8 PTO days available per year and they don't reset come the new year; you have to wait for them to 'drop off'. IF you go over the 8 you will be issued a warning. It only takes 3 warnings for them to let you go and they will fight you for unemployment regardless of the reasoning behind the time off.

-Management: A bunch of clueless 20-somethings with no leadership potential at the peak of their professional careers. I can't even count the number i've times i'd asked a TL or useless "MOD" for help with an issue to receive an "I don't know", or "Let me get back to you".

-Customers: Your customers are the 1%. Rich, priviledged, rude New Yorkers who can afford concierge services and are not capable of understanding why you cannot get them concert tickets to a show that has been sold out for 6 months.

-Career Growth: Circles did absolutely nothing for my resume except draw interest from like-minded, inbound customer services positions. If you don't want to spend your 20's kissing butt for pennies on the dollar, work at Mcdonald's; you will likely see a promotion a lot quicker than you will within this feudal enterprise.

Advice to Senior ManagementClose your doors.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Steer Clear.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Circles full-time for more than a year

Pros- Paycheck (a small one, but a paycheck nonetheless!)
- health benefits, which is hard to come by in this day and age.
- If you're lucky, you'll have some friendly teammates who are willing to help you out (either with a work issue or a shift trade)
- Overtime is usually offered during peak times, which helps supplement the low pay (a bit)

Cons- Pay is low.
- There was a mass exodus of the management staff during my last days. It left the higher-ups to scramble to hire new people from outside the company, rather than promoting from within.
- Talented, hard-working employees get fed up with the low pay, favoritism, and clueless management, so they all go get better jobs, and the only employees left are the ones who don't care. Quality and Customer Satisfaction suffer.
- Metrics are not explained in the interview or training. You're expected to "up-sell" on every call. People with little to no sales experience struggle and are penalized.
- Very hard to get time off. You're expected to know in October of the previous year what days off you'll need. Unless it's something like a wedding, there's no way to know that far in advance. If you can't get the day off, you could call in, but your attendance record will suffer. Got a flat tire on the way to work? Death in the family? Too bad, you should have planed ahead.
- Very hard to move up in the company
- If you take too many bathroom breaks outside of your 2 scheduled 15 minute breaks, you'll make "the list" (a list of all the people who take more than 5 minutes outside of the 15 minute breaks)

Advice to Senior ManagementStart promoting from within. Work to retain and nurture talented employees.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Circles is Square

Service Professional (Former Employee)
Chelmsford, MA

I worked at Circles full-time for more than 5 years

ProsCoworkers and paycheck. That's really all that place is worth.

ConsEverything...they don't care about employees...they just don't care.
Work your butt off and you get fired. Give very little and you get promoted.
Gotta pee alot...get fired.
Travel department or other sp's screw something up with your client...you get in trouble for it since that client will most likely fill out a review called a VOCM and complain about that bad experience. If that client is attached to you...it's your fault and your held accountable and then eventually fired since this scenario happens all the time.
They don't care about an explanation of how something is not your fault, their words are "we don't want to hear excuses" These "excuses" are being given to them by your direct Team Leader...who is aware of the situation and is trying to stand up for you. Doesn't matter.
You are stepping on egg shells daily.
On FMLA? Your on the quick path to being fired. They will make up reasons to get rid of you.
Work far from work and it's a blizzard? Doesn't matter. You better get your butt into work or it will count against you.
Stay far far away from this place. It's fun and different at the begin, but as soon as those 90 days trial days are up...the place gets real .....very quickly

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep tenured employees. Learn how to run a company not run it into the ground.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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This was a great company to work for.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Circles full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThey live by their values of the work/life balance

ConsLocation, chance for better positions at some locations was zero

Advice to Senior ManagementYour management needs less on thier plate.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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I'd Rather Work at McDonalds

CCP (Current Employee)
Chelmsford, MA

I have been working at Circles full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThere are two pros: The health benefits and co-workers.

ConsThis is the worst company to work for. I have never been so micro-managed, constantly scrutinized, and belittled. Goals are unrealistic and practically unattainable. Everything management wants you to do contradicts itself. They want you to take as many calls as possible, yet they want you to create a gazillion service requests, and close as many of those requests as possible. I can't be on the phone with a client and create/close all of the requests at the same time. If I'm creating/closing a lot of service requests that prohibits me from taking calls and then I am reprimanded for not being on the phone. If I happen to take a lot of calls, then I am still wrong because I haven't created enough service requests.They have quality assurance specialists that listen to and grade your calls. You are supposed to do and say certain things on each call, yet the call monitor form in no way correlates with getting a good survey back from the clients - which is more important because that is what your bonus is based off of. Management tells us our clients are busy professionals who need Concierge to alleviate their work load, yet when they call in, they want us to yap their ears off with meaningless questions to "build a relationship". If they're so busy, why on earth am I trying to hold a long, drawn out conversation that's only annoying them?!

Policies change on a daily basis. 2+2=4, right? It might today, but not tomorrow. You very well may receive an email that it equals 8 today, but you are given no time to read your emails because you are constantly being harassed to take another call.

Want a bonus? You better hope that everyone in the whole company does their job right, because even if you did your job correctly, and you receive a negative survey from a client in regards to something unrelated to you, you are still held accountable.

The systems are so outdated and so slow. They want you to be productive and take as many calls as humanly possible, yet the computers can't keep up. I spend more time re-booting my computer and trying to get my programs to work than I do actually working. If you don't mind working in MS DOS, or Internet Explorer from 1998, then apply today.

Do you have a family? There is no work/life balance. You could be deathly ill with the measles, diagnosed with cancer, or need an organ transplant, and they'd still expect you to be at work. If there's a blizzard and the roads are terrible, they expect you to leave 3 hours prior to your shift starting to ensure you are at work on time. And if you do leave 3 hours early and you're still late, they won't commend you for trying, they'll tell you you should've left 4 hours prior instead, and still hold it against you. Even with a doctor's note, every call out, late arrival or early departure is held against you.

Want a day off from work? Unless you know every single day you need off a year in advance, forget about it. PTO is near impossible to get, especially on the weekends.So many dates are blacked-out, including every single Holiday and nearly 2 weeks surrounding each Holiday. So if you have any family outside of New England, forget ever seeing them for Christmas or Thanksgiving or any Holiday for that matter (unless they travel to you) because you can't take any time off to travel.

Ever given birth? Drink a lot of water? Suffer from IBS? Or simply have bladder issues? Then this job isn't for you. If you have to go to the bathroom outside of your half hour lunch break or two fifteen minute breaks, you will get in trouble for avoiding work. Again, it doesn't matter if you have a doctors note.

Want to move up in the company? Unless you are in the upper management social circle, you will never be considered. It's a dead end job that is more of a hassle and major source of stress than anything else. I'd rather work at McDonald's cleaning the bathrooms.

Advice to Senior ManagementWork as a CCP for one week and things might change, real fast.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Will never be an employer of choice

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Chelmsford, MA

I worked at Circles full-time for more than 5 years

Pros-The pay and bonus structure was fair, although it could certainly be better for all they ask from you.
-great health benefits and they cover a good portion of the cost. they also provide a percent for a 401k match after being employed for a certain amount of time.
-if you get the opportunity to move into a different role other than a service professional, it is nice to spend time learning about one topic or getting to know people you end up speaking with on a regular basis.
-you can certainly take the knowledge there and apply it elsewhere.
-dress code is lax

Cons-there is a serious disconnect between service professionals and management. management just has no idea if they are coming or going. they ask one thing from you and then change it 5 minutes later. they will take people who should be taking calls and have them research/fulfill previously taken requests but on the flip side the people who should be doing the research are taking calls instead of doing the job they were hired for. it is a huge time waster having people do jobs they arent used to doing and then wonder why people are calling back in due to late or poor results from their requests.
- if you are lucky enough to have a manager in a different site when you are in a role other than service professional you will have a hard time getting any kind of support. if you need a real-time answer to something you will likely have to make a judgement call and hope its the right one and hope that you dont get penalized for it later.
- when you take calls, you are constantly being harassed by a separate department to hurry up and get back on the phone to take another call, whatever work you are doing doesnt matter just hurry up and get back on the phone. they want you to do the work while trying to take another call which requires multiple screens open. how can they expect you to do both and pay attention to the person on the phone???
-there is a lot of favoritism which makes for a frustrating and bitter work environment. if you dont suck up and have management liking you then you will be in trouble for anything and everything. if they like you then you certainly get away with a lot more. favoritism is also a huge part if you ever go up for any kind of movement in the company. you will go no where if you are a hard worker and go above and beyond if you arent loved and a favorite by management.
- they are not forgiving when it comes to being late or absent. the policies are different for each site as well which is not fair. one office is located in canada so they are able to call out a lot more bc their law mandates it gets reset at the end of the year however; this policy doesnt carry over to the US offices who are given a rolling calendar year with the same number of absences. if there is a blizzard - they have asked people to stay off the road, circles still expects you to risk your life and go in to answer calls. they will even penalize you for being late after risking your life to get there.
- time off is next to impossible. you have to know more than a year in advance and when you need last min time off you will be very lucky to actually get it which means you end up having to call out if you really cant be there. time off requests during the PTO bid is the only time your seniority actually matters bc the time off gets approved in that manner not first come first served.
- the turn over rate is extremely high but its not surprising with their extremely strict attendance policies and outrageous expectations. their client wants to provide the best customer service possible but they refuse to do anything to keep their tenured employees around that are actually knowledgeable.
- they refuse to hire quality people or keep quality people around if they have them.
- with the turn over rate being what it is and the quality of people they hire to just have a body answer the phone, you will find yourself constantly picking up the slack for others not knowing how to do their job or simply refusing to do their job because they are lazy and dont think they get paid enough or they think too much is asked of them. because of that, customer results severely suffer and then you are constantly dealing with an angry person then trying to fix problems caused by others.
-the job is simply more hassle and stress than its worth. you will always be sitting there wondering "when are they going to come fire me" or "who is next?" you are always seeing someone go to a meeting and then they dont come back and a manager is coming back for their belongings.
not a desirable work environment for anyone. i could seriously go on for days about all the negatives to working there.

Advice to Senior Managementget it together, do more to make your employees happy, keep tenured people around, be more selective in the new people you hire. make it a less stressful work environment.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Poor Job Description

Customer Service Professional (Former Employee)
Boston, MA

I worked at Circles full-time for less than a year

ProsCould be a fun job, talking to lots of people and learning about new events and cities, etc

ConsMetrics were not explained in interview or training. Very stressful and not how job was explained in the interview

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to retain employees who really like the job but are not super human you should change the metrics and focus on real customer service

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Most of the people are good but there are issues in the management structure and very few ways to move up.

SDS (Former Employee)
Chelmsford, MA

I worked at Circles full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe small team I worked with was great. We all worked hard for each other and were happy to assist when the workload ramped up. Small groups like this exist all over the company but there's no telling where you'll end up.

ConsUpon entrance into the company you are told about the "good old days" where the founders would bring their dogs in and a beer cart would be brought around every Friday. This is far in the past. They call it "experiental marketing" but it is actually a concierge call center. Very few skills learned there are transferable because they are so specific to the positions. There is infighting between departments and downright loathing for specific groups.

Many companies allow employees to sit in on meetings but Circles is very secretive in its plans. Transparency is shouted through the halls but there is not a shred of proof it occurs. Some high performers advance from the bottom to the near-bottom with a ceiling very close to the floor. In the upper levels of management people shift positions/get new titles often but mainly because of their own complaining or because someone recently quit/was fired (which happens often). Despite this, very few people are considered for these positions because friends of the upper crust are quietly ushered in.

Training for new hires is good but the caliber of people is so low the attrition rate is no surprise. The goal of the company is superior customer service, but with people jumping ship so often it is difficult to meet goals with a freshman roster. They still focus on taking as many calls as possible rather than quality customer service - people are reprimanded for not taking enough calls regardless of how happy customers are. People are also scolded for taking an extra minute on lunch/break which is understandable given the fact it is a call center but too much like elementary school.

Advice to Senior ManagementThere needs to be a complete shift in the way the company does business and treats its employees. Start with no longer focusing on number of calls because this is archaic. Figure out a way to fairly compensate ALL employees and make career pathing an actual goal.

Basically, change almost everything.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Beware, and work for a place that wants to help you grow.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Circles full-time for more than a year

ProsCool people to work with when you are a front end service representative.

New vending machine.

Close to home.

TL's are realistic they hate this place as much as the employee but stay for the paycheck.

Easy job you know what is expected of you and you know where you stand.

ConsNo longer give incentive pay for working overtime used to be $20 extra for every extra hour work on top of overtime pay but that was back in the day but now you will be lucky to get an extra $5.

Most new people coming into the company don't even make it out of training. Your class may start with 20 but after 4 weeks it is down to about half and then when you reach the floor you are pretty much on your own and if you make it to at least 6 months there will probably be about 3-6 people left in your class. If you are up for the challenge go for it.

Systems are outdated. Desks are nasty and people smell. There are boogers left on keyboards and bitten off fingernails all over the place.

If you want to take vacation you must know a year in advance or you will never get it off.

Anniversary system change you no longer get $400 along with your 4 week sabbattical.

Employees are known to take personal leave of absences once they get on a final and they never return....this is an on going problem that upper management can't seem to resolve....

Advice to Senior ManagementFeel sorry for them to be honest. All they care about is numbers and they always have the mindset that everyone can be replaced.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Circles reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Circles CEO Nicolas Vegas Chumaceiro. All 42 reviews posted anonymously by Circles employees.