Thomas L. Cardella & Associates
1.9 of 5 14 reviews Cedar Rapids, IA 50 to 149 Employees

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If you get fired, it's because of something you did, stop blaming everything else.

Agent (Current Employee)
Coralville, IA

ProsI'm going to state some of the pro's of working for Thomas L. Cardella & Associates in Coralville, IA. Just so you have it straight out.

-Great pay. (Base is $7.50 per hour + $3.25 per hour Attendance Bonus just for showing up and being on time! Its $3.75 AB for shifts starting after 3 pm.
-Great bonus structure for the Affinion Group Campaign. You have the potential to double your paychecks!
-Management is extremely helpful. All you have to do is ask. If you don't ask, how do they know what you need?
-Overtime is encouraged and occasionally it's mandatory, but you get paid 1.5x your normal wage.
-Excellent training program.
-Friendly co-workers. You will never feel left out unless you intentionally exclude yourself.
-Daily and nightly games and competitions to win extra breaks by getting sales and upsells.
-Fun, fast paced environment.
-Bonuses for referring friends to work there.
-PTA starts accruing the day you start. You get 5 days in your first year, 8 days you second, etc.
-PTA rolls over! If you don't use all of your PTA from one year, it rolls over into the next year until you hit 120 hours(two weeks) at which point it is use it or lose it.
-You have 4 days a year that you can miss work as long as you bring in documented proof that the reason you stated you missed work was the actual reason you didn't come in. SO, with that being said, if you get in a car accident, take a picture to show your boss. You get 1 day every three months that you can do this.
-You can take unpaid time off as well as long as you request it ahead of time.
-Fantastic open door policy.

TLC&A really does provide you with all the tools you need to succeed in a call center. They give you wonderful training, provide you with top notch supervisors who actually take calls and know how to guide you in the right direction. They expect you to be the best in customer service. Many would put this as a con, but I feel that a company that expects more out of it's employees will last longer than a company that expects very little. It's the expectation that Tom has that makes the customer service TLC&A provides top notch.

The company is expanding. It is opening up a call center in Cedar Rapids that will hold 600 seats. It will be consolidating programs under one roof. It will be more organized. This company is growing, constantly adding new clients. The most recent account that TLC&A has picked up is Verizon. The Center Manager is constantly walking through potential clients, at least 2-3 times per month.

I'm confident that if you apply yourself, take constructive criticism to heart, and grow and learn quickly, you will succeed with this company. There is opportunity to move up quickly, you just have to be willing to apply yourself.

ConsSome cons of working at TLC&A:

-The benefit package is a joke. For a single person it is a $5,000 deductible for approximately $160 per month. For a family, it is a $10,000 deductible for approximately $190 per month. There are no employer kickbacks for insurance through this company.
-Management can be flirtatious at times.
-Gossip is rampant.
-The same cons as any other call center:
     -Negative customers.
     -High volume calls.
     -Long, exhausting hours.
     -Sore voice after a long day.
-Only allowed to ask for one holiday off per year.
-Must know approximately 2 weeks in advance when you want to take your paid time off.
-Only get .5 hour lunch break. It's not long enough to de-stress before heading back up to take more calls.

I feel I also need to state the reasons most people are let go from TLC&A:

-Swearing on the call floor at any time. (Immediate dismissal.)
-Having your cell phone out on the call floor at any time.
-Being late 6 times in a ROLLING 90 day period.
-Being rude to a customer. (Immediate dismissal.)
-Intentionally hanging up on a customer. (Immediate dismissal.)
-Failing calls for the same reason for 6 days in a rolling 90 period. (You can fail multiple calls a night for the same reason and have it count against you only once, but if you fail multiple times for different reasons, each reason has it's own 6 times against you.)
-Not meeting or exceeding the conversion goal for two months running. (Let's be honest, at this point you are costing the company more money than you are making them.)
-No call/No show. (Immediate dismissal.)
-Failing a drug screen. (These are random, and yes, it is an immediate dismissal.)
-Putting through a sale that a customer previously agreed to and then decided they didn't want.

I'm going to put it this way, if you aren't motivated to keep your job, you won't be here long. This job takes focus, energy and persuasion. You are selling products. And if you are addicted to your phone, this is not the place for you. You are dealing with people's confidential information. Would you want someone who has your name, address, date of birth, and credit card information to have a means to steal your data? I know I wouldn't. People are trusting you with their information, at least act like you are responsible for the 8 hours a day you spend at work.

Please keep in mind, management is not the one who fails calls. These calls are screened by a separate company that is contracted by the client (if you work the Affinion Campaign). If you fail it, or the sale is cancelled, it's because they listened to the call and found an area where you omitted or changed the verbiage of the script that then changed the context. They cover TLC&A and Affinion's hind ends legally so they don't get the pants sued off of them if a sale is put through that shouldn't have been.

I cannot stress enough how important professionalism is in this call center. Tom expects to have the best customer service around. His goal is to knock out the competition and be the best. He is ruthless when it comes to bad customer service and unprofessional behavior and language on the call floor. You only get one chance one this. Every great business has high standards for their employees. You are held accountable for your own actions. Everyone is fired for a reason, you aren't let go just because the supervisor doesn't like you. If you get fired, you screwed up.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't be so flirtatious. Keep that out of the work environment. It tends to breed favoritism.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Horrible place

    Sales (Former Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    I worked at Thomas L. Cardella & Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros: those working for Office Depot, need to know that if you currently work for Office… Cons: They don't care what avoided you from coming to work (car crash, etc.,), you will be… Advice to Senior Management: Take management classes...... No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Dehumanizing employment jail

    Agent (Current Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    I have been working at Thomas L. Cardella & Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros: some of the co workers are supportive and friendly Cons: lack of values, favoritism, lack of respect towards employees, attendance bonus,rate… Advice to Senior Management: Invest in the good employees instead of letting quality people go like I have seen over the last 6 months, that you have recently lost.… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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