TDS Telecommunications

  www.tdstelecom.com
  www.tdstelecom.com

TDS Telecommunications Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
74 Reviews
3.3
74 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dave Wittwer
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Room for advancement if in Madison; average pay and benefits (in 7 reviews)

  • Good benefits, working hours and working conditions overall (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Know those horror stories you see in the news about Comcast and customer service calls (in 9 reviews)

  • Better tools to help do job, CRM that actually benefits the rep not upper management (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    TDS is a great company to work for. Still goes by the old school play book. They appreciate their employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Knoxville, TN

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

    Pros

    TDS offers a great compensation package. They still have a real pension plan for their employees.

    Cons

    I have encountered any cons to TDS yet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none.

  2.  

    Accounts Payable Specialist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accounts Payable Specialist in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Accounts Payable Specialist in Madison, WI

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications

    Pros

    Great vacation and benefits. My managers were good people who understood your work/life balance.

    Cons

    The management system is very tiered, you always have someone to report to for anything to get done. I also found my particular job to be very tedious and boring because there was not much variety. I also found company morale to be very low, it seems like everyone hated their jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish there was more of a "flat management" approach so that all employees will feel more welcome and not afraid of their superiors. I think this would help with company morale. It also seemed very difficult to move up. Everyone I spoke to was able to move laterally but not vertically.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Micromanaged to a point of being ridiculous.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Advisor in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Sales Advisor in Knoxville, TN

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits, 401k Company Match is good, Pension Plan, Good work life balance.

    Cons

    The micromanagement is the most ridculous thing I have ever witnessed. If you need to use the restroom you have to click a button, you have to be on and off a call in no longer than 10 minutes, no more than 2 minutes in between calls, managed on how long you talk, how much you make the company per call, managers watch your computer screen from their desks, when people are let go they seem to like to embarrass them by personally walking them out the door without letting them gather their personal items, the pressure from management to push products they want sold on a particular day is ridiculous, no matter what the customer is calling in about they are to get a sales pitch about a new product and not doing so will get you written up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lighten up on the pressure to get on and off a call in such a small time frame so our customers can actually feel like they are being helped and not rushed off the phone if they cannot be sold anything, do not take pride in firing people, it is a failure of management when an employee cannot get the extra help they need to be successful, pay a better wage to let people have a better quality of life.

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

    Avoid working in Information Services

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Madison, WI

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good paid time off and sick pay benefits.

    Cons

    Inconsistent and unethical practices are standard fare from the CIO and her immediate staff. Her main focus is to cover herself when meeting with her superiors and peers. She micromanages to such detail that projects start late and are in a rush to get done. She is also a bully who who has no problem publicly shaming employees. She does not respect her staff, nor any meeting's agenda.

    When they don't like employees in the IS group, management pulls them into a meeting at the end of the day and tells them that they are being given the opportunity to resign or be put on double-secret probation, which will ultimately leave them fired with a "black mark" on their employment record. They are given until the first thing the next morning to decide. People in this situation typically choose to resign. These are not bad employees being forced out for cause. This morally repugnant practice allows the company to avoid paying out any kind of severance package. And, apparently, it's completely legal.

    Many, many very good, well respected IS employees have jumped ship or been forced to "resign" under the CIO.

    It is not beyond the CIO to tell underlings to twist/distort the truth about project failures and risks when reporting status to other areas of the business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start cleaning up your shop from the top down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Tax Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tax Intern in Middleton, WI
    Former Employee - Tax Intern in Middleton, WI

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications as an intern

    Pros

    Good relationship with team members.

    Cons

    The management is not very good.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Does not value employees

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

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Pay rate is above industry standards for telecom field work

    Cons

    Poor management and unethical management practices. Company repays many years of loyal service with layoffs. Company does not invest money in new technology causing service offerings to lag behind competitors. Medical benefits not very good compared to others in the industry. Little room for growth in field services.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a closer look at what your lower/middle management is doing - they are lying to you about the statistics of the people that work under them in order to protect their friends when it comes time for layoffs

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Madison, WI

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    It's better than being unemployed (just barely).

    Cons

    Horrible middle managers who rule by fear and intimidation. Most unprofessional management I've every worked under. The idea of "team work" is given lip service but its not a reality. Must watch your back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should take a look at what a poor job your middle managers are doing to foster team work and how poorly they your employees. Believe it or not, it only reflects your poorly on you. Somehow this company has managed to survive all these years, but have you noticed that most of your employees who show any signs of ambition do not stay at your company for very long?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Sales force is overlooked & overworked.

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

    I have been working at TDS Telecommunications full-time

    Pros

    Company has a long history & is a recognized provider on both the ILEC & CLEC sides of the fence. They have done what they can to launch new technologies such as MIP Hosted solutions & cable TV.

    Cons

    Working in the offices or maybe as a ILEC sales rep may be a secure career option. However, any employment on the CLEC or "TDS Metrocom" side of the company is very temporary for most. I have witnessed many sales reps work hard for a company that is constantly changing the rules, reps that in the end are terminated & escorted out like a criminal. The average sales position w this company survives 12-16 months at the most.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice to management, they don't take advice from their sales force. They have it all figured out already. I have never met the CEO, but I've always heard good things about him. Sometimes companies get to big to see what everyone below you is doing or not doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Downhill Fast

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consumer Specialist (Retention) in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Consumer Specialist (Retention) in Madison, WI

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Cheap benefits, large amounts of paid time off, free parking, West side location

    Cons

    After spending five years with the company I can say that the entire experience was a mixed bag. The good was really good and the bad was just awful. Benefits are still better than you'll find most places. Think $70/mo for single insurance coverage with NO deductible, usually $20 co-pays at most. Vision and dental are 'meh' at best like most places. Time off is amazing. After five years I had three weeks paid vacation, one week of personal time, and sick time is earned separately and generously as well.

    Management is horrid. Okay, so about 2004 they had a big upswing in business and they promoted all these people because they had to fill desks. They aren't necessarily well versed in leadership, listening, empathy, or really any management-like skills. I speak ONLY regarding the sales departments and retention departments--anything customer facing they could not care a lick less about you. Know those horror stories you see in the news about Comcast and customer service calls? It happens every day at TDS. You'll be berated about your numbers. When they're good they aren't good enough. When they're bad they'll replace you. There is no coaching to help bring you up to speed. Once you fall out of their good graces, you're done. I don't say this as some bitter employee who got canned after several years, I say this as I witnessed hard-working, honest people (not all of them, but most) get walked out the door. Instead of helping them succeed or finding a role they can work successfully in, management finds it easier if you're just gotten rid of--because there's always a training class lined up.

    The customer service area is rotting from the inside. Every other person is on some bogus form of FMLA because of stress. I shouldn't say bogus, because it IS very stressful, but it's a vicious cycle. You're mad nobody else shows up so you go get FMLA yourself and then you're gone. Then someone else suffers. It's never-ending. And people brag about being on FMLA. It's widely abused here so if you're a hard worker you'll find no pats on the back from management and no support from your co-workers. With the cheap benefits and higher-than-normal pay most people will find ways to take a day or two each work week unpaid as FMLA because the money still comes in.

    You can earn money here to be sure, but you'll pay for it in stress and sanity. After five years, it wasn't worth it for me anymore. Now, before you go assuming I'm just bitter, I'll say I have at least a half dozen friends who still work for the company in NON customer-facing roles on the TDS corporate side of things and they love it. There are many versions of TDS...There's Metrocom which is a dying CLEC brand in a few markets, Telecom which is their main grouping of customers for phone and data and TV, and then there's the corporate end of things located in Middleton. If you have the education and experience, I hear it's alright over there. Don't say I didn't warn you about a customer-facing position however.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating your employees like disposable assets. You lose so many good people on a weekly basis who have just had it with the games. Think of all the talent that walks out of your door that truly wanted to make the company a better place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Manager in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Associate Manager in Madison, WI

    I worked at TDS Telecommunications full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers were great with a genuine interest in doing the right thing. Good benefits, working hours and working conditions overall. HR manages by the books.

    Cons

    In recent years, focus has shifted purely to managing to numbers. This was needed but was not executed in an effective way. Customer service has suffered a severe decline and customers are leaving. Management mostly consists of a network of people making decisions in their personal best interest versus the good of the company or it's employees. The company has never been a leader in new technology, however, they're not keeping up nor being competitive and they're rapidly losing market share. Company employees are being replaced by contractors in the field and customer service jobs outsourced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold managers accountable not only to numbers but to actually managing their teams and addressing issues. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge out in the field and promote from within more often. Those who have done the front line jobs can do a far better job of supporting the company than hiring (and promoting) inexperienced people externally who truly don't know and don't care.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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