Pheaa

  www.pheaa.org
  www.pheaa.org

Pheaa Reviews

Updated November 20, 2014
Updated November 20, 2014
27 Reviews
2.3
27 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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James L. Preston
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great! Wonderful coworkers; family atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Support - IT Help Desk in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Administrative Support - IT Help Desk in Harrisburg, PA

    I worked at Pheaa as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people were amazing and everyone was like family. I had previously worked as a loan counselor and the atmosphere was completely different. You could joke around and have fun while at work instead of being forced to stare like a robot at your computer screen. As an intern I knew my area well, but if I had any questions I didn't need to worry about being looked down upon for asking for help!

    Cons

    Nothing, and I mean that honestly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please IT department, keep doing what you're doing!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Loan Counselor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Loan Counselor in Green Tree, Allegheny, PA
    Current Employee - Loan Counselor in Green Tree, Allegheny, PA

    I have been working at Pheaa as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Aggressive recruiting practices going so far as entering the 'hood' to man the phones.

    Cons

    Fire employees without any record of incidence.
    Recruiting drop-outs without prior experience.
    Metrics have precedence over objectively resolving calls.
    Poor training lead to misinformation being dispenses thus falling short of one-call-resolution.
    Management shows contempt for employees by refusing to encourage their growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    High turnover is not a way to run a company assuming attrition is better than retaining qualified candidates.
    If you're burnt out----make a bee-line to the door. Don't take it out on employees who want to help borrowers.
    Please have some allotted funds reserved for employee appreciation whether than have them dig into their pockets for events.

    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    A Sweat Shop, stay away

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

    I have been working at Pheaa full-time

    Pros

    Free downtown parking near the work site. Great cafeteria, ATM machine, coffee shop and break rooms. Health care and retirement plans are very good.

    Cons

    If you are a capable person, you will be forced to pick up for those who are incompetent. The incompetent are allowed to sleep at their desks and accept no responsibility for their actions. Further, those who have been here longer are entitled to a hefty salary while you must settle for whatever you can get. There are no merit increases and capability has nothing to do with compensation. Any posting about on call rotation is a lie. Once you become responsible for a project, you own it 24x7x365. Those who have been here longer know how to work the system by not accepting responsibility, so they get none. (Hint hint, you get it). This is the typical state government workplace. Working quarters are cramped, noisy and uncomfortable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn that business is business. This is more than a state agency. Compensate those who you know get the work done. Hold the error prone employees to some standard.

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

    Not worth it

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

    I worked at Pheaa full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Shift diff was nice
    - Decent coworkers
    - Learning about my own student loans was very beneficial

    Cons

    - Management wasn't helpful
    - Had less qualified coworkers promoted ahead of those who were much more qualified.
    - The nature of the job just wasn't worth the money

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Decent place to start your customer service career path.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Harrisburg, PA

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

    Pros

    Relatively easy to get hired and to get the experience in customer service. Learned a lot about student loans which is always helpful.

    Cons

    Very strict when it came to everything. You won't ever get a raise with the union. No benefits either. Hours were horrible for anyone new coming into the position. No time for family.

    Best to work here for the experience and move to another customer service position with better pay and benefits.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Call Center at It's ABSOLUTE WORST!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Loan Counselor in Chester, PA
    Current Employee - Loan Counselor in Chester, PA

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

    Pros

    It's a job. That's about it. Though I'm making more than I ever have in a long time, it still barely pays the bills.

    Cons

    This is typical of most call centers, but PHEAA "takes the taco" for the WORST EVER!

    1) "Management" has absolutely no clue whatsoever how we peons suffer throughout the day. This is most likely because "management" NEVER HAD TO DO our job!

    2) Phone call standards are "pie in the sky"; much like every other metric the dimwits in "management" formulate.

    3) Don't count on becoming a "state employee" anytime soon! Even if you've worked at PHEAA for the requisite six months, "management" will find just about every reason under the sun NOT to "promote" you. "Management" NEVER smiles UNLESS they're escorting someone to the door or talking behind your back.

    4) When you start, you are a lowly "clerical wage employee" until you "make state". Don't worry! You'll also be treated like a third-class citizen.

    5) We supposedly have a Union. It takes forever to receive a welcome package and ID card, BUT they'll make sure that they deduct their "fair share" from your bi-weekly checks.

    6) MANDATORY retirement contribution is 6.25% of pre-tax pay. For the "rich ones" who work here, that amount can be elevated to 9% (or thereabouts). Once you change elections, you cannot go back.

    7) PA payroll taxes are "highway robbery"!

    8) Don't expect to be treated as an individual. All you are is a robot that they use and dispose of when you can no longer "produce" (or heaven forbid, don't "master" a concept within their time frame).

    9) Training SUCKS! The Trainers themselves are awesome, but don't expect to have the proper tools to do the job; EVEN IN TRAINING.

    10) Eight weeks of training is certainly NOT enough time to comprehend and effect all of the crap they throw at you all at-once.

    11) The Federal student loan system is seriously flawed. No wonder the student loan debt in this country is astronomical!

    12) Don't ever expect the "right hand to know what the left hand is doing" ... EVER!

    13) Change is good... BUT EVERYDAY?!

    14) Morons are promoted. Don't expect to be promoted for having common sense, know-how and "people skills".

    15) The computers and 500 different systems that you have to access in order to do your job SUCK!

    16) Job security?! NO job is "secure" these days, I know. PHEAA signs contracts with the Federal Government to do exactly that which the Federal Government CAN'T DO effectively... manage student loans! If we don't "meet our contracted numbers" as a company, the Feds can rip the contract out right from underneath us!

    17) Ever heard of the expression, "too many chiefs and no Indians"?! Well, if you haven't, apply at PHEAA!

    18) Turnover's sky-high (gee, I wonder why?!), but it's just "business as usual" to the eighth-wits who "run the show".

    19) Compassionate? Understanding? TRULY invested in the employees' success? Not here! You'll be treated better at McDonald's!

    20) Minus the physical exertion of course, PHEAA's nothing more than a labor camp! In fact, there's really no real difference between the two.

    21)They'll deny it up one end and down the other, BUT payroll's so incredibly inefficient that it takes ONE MONTH to produce FIRST PAYCHECKS!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) GROW UP! There's more to life than stupid numbers and QA grades!

    2) Look in the mirror. POSITIVE change begins with YOU!

    3) Walk a day in our shoes for a change. I guarantee you'll appreciate us much more deeply.

    4) If it weren't for us peons, there would be absolutely NO justification for your salaries. Remember that.

    5) As "manager" or "supervisor", your job is to SERVE your people! It's almost 2015. Get the drift? I can spell it out for you. Pre-school children would most likely understand where this is going.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    May drain your soul after awhile...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in State College, PA
    Former Employee - Customer Service in State College, PA

    I worked at Pheaa part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours (at least when I worked there during school), and the people I worked with were cool to chat with.

    Cons

    There's an inevitable burn out working at a call center where you're taking 80+ calls in a shift. Once I reached my limit I was done and had to leave. It's a meat grinder being on the phone all day, and some people are built for that - I wasn't. It gave me a job during school that was flexible, but I moved on the second I could.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to break the monotony of call center work (if that's even possible).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Be Warned...

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

    I worked at Pheaa full-time

    Pros

    It's a job. They pay you to show up until you can't take it anymore.

    Cons

    If you can handle being treated like a teenager in high school by some of the supervisors who insist on micro-managing, then this may be a good place for you. Pheaa needs bodies to fill the seats so the calls get answered, but they don't care much about customer service or employee moral.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Training is always an issue, but when your trainers spend the entire class period discussing their personal lives and not actually training, you have a building full of reps who know nothing about student loans. Since it's all about the calls being answered, the quality of each call doesn't seem to matter to management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good job if you're truly a Cust Svc phone person

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Pheaa

    Pros

    Steady pay, ability to work OT at times, benefits after transitioning to the more permanent side of things,

    Cons

    Although you're on a team, b/c you must all cover phones you'll go on breaks and to lunch w/o your team members, it's one customer after another on the phone and you hare expected to have everything resolved and notated in the account while keeping your "talk time" numbers down. Constant threat of losing your job if your numbers aren't good or if you are not complying with company cust. svc requirements (that change often).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat employees more like people and less like numbers. Sometimes the people giving out the best customer service are threatened with being let go for taking too long to listen to the client on the phone to find the best resolution for that case.

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Call Center Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Harrisburg, PA

    I worked at Pheaa full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Talking to different people every day was nice, as well as helping people with their student loans.

    Cons

    Being treated like a child is no fun, and neither is working for the call center portion of this organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treatment of employees in the call center needs to be better!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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