American Water Customer Service Reviews | Glassdoor

American Water Customer Service Reviews

Updated May 4, 2017
14 reviews

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Customer Service

2.4
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American Water CEO Susan Story
Susan Story
8 Ratings

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Pros
Cons
  • Expect to work a lot; work/life balance could improve (in 14 reviews)

  • Not all of upper management are bad some are amazing but you find out quick who arent and no way to stay off the bad ones teams (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. ""It is What it is""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I CANT SAY THIS ENOUGH.....Their Training. The trainers and how they train is amazing.
    Benefits -Insurance was great! Hardly paid anything to doctors and Rx were usually free.
    You got Sick time, Personal time, Vacation time and Emergency time. They do also have FMLA after one year. Which does help a lot of people with medical issues who run out of time.
    You get a set schedule for about 6 months at a time. It's nice having that instead of keeping up with a changing daily schedule.
    The building is pretty modern and up to date with quiet areas and break area to eat and purchase snacks.
    They have family events....bring kids to watch movie or meet Santa and some times summer family days at a water park or bowling alley or baseball stadium.
    It's a pretty repetitive job which is usually one call resolution so not a lot of having to follow up so no checking voicemails or having to send a customer back and forth emails all day.
    Dress code is pretty lax jeans and tennis shoes are ok but keep it decent. They don't discriminate on crazy hair colors or Tattoos or piercings since we don't see the customers.
    I met with Susan Story the CEO and she was always very friendly.

    The people. I have to say I will miss the people the most out of this job. The other CSR's who work here and have been here a while like I was were more like family. There are people who met and married because of this job. It's a large company with a lot of employees who move around a lot from shift changes every 6 months so you get to know each other pretty quick and you make friends just as fast.

    Cons

    Over years the company changed. At first it was a happier environment. There was more morale more incentives.
    Here a majority of the time you are a number not a person. If you don't have time or Fmla you will be terminated even if you have a medical emergency. As if your life was not more important than your job.
    Some people should not have been made management. Hiring outside the company rather than inside first will hurt the business if they are clueless to what they are doing. I used to be pulled off the one by a supervisor to do her job because she didn't know what to do or say to the customers. Which i really didn't mind since she was a nice woman who treated her agents great. But it still made things very difficult.
    No more Help Que. before we had one so you could get quick assistance if needed for irates you are not allowed to hang up on regardless what they say or call you. Now you wait forever to see if a supervisor will even take the call if they want it.
    Micro Management a lot of the times and even supervisors gossip agents to everyone. Not all of upper management are bad some are amazing but you find out quick who arent and no way to stay off the bad ones teams.
    It is union based but this can be both pro and con.
    Sometimes upper Mgmt doesn't think things thru. Like threaten a lay off and when it hits the media it's instantly pulled back and was an error.
    The motto for the company should be "it is what it is" since it's said so much.
    Bad turn over rate. I wouldnt learn new hires names til after they were there a couple years. Most didn't last long.
    Mandatory OT ways over the years was horrible. You never knew when it would be enforced or for how long. So if You had reservations or an event right after work you could find out 15 mins before the end of your shift or some times less that you were being held an hour or so and if you didn't stay it came from your time and if you run out of time you can be fired.
    Replaced a security guard with security call poles when building is right in front of crack head hotels and would close late.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on your agents and their well being. Give more opportunity for advancement. Give them more support to lean on to handle the customers. They are your front line.


  2. "Csr"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great training program, good benefits and pay after first move

    Cons

    Union base job for call center


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Okay money. Lots of stress."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of overtime availability.
    Fairly decent medical insurance and 401k matching + 8.25% automatic deposit from AW.
    Nice CEO that came in after the toxic culture established, might clean things up eventually.

    Cons

    Customer base is in areas that AW bought up that were pretty bankrupt, this means you will be talking to people mainly from places like Gary, IN, Chattanooga, TN, Peoria, IL, St. Louis, MO. A co-worker said it felt like she was working for the Department of Children and Families. One pod (section) I was in, out of the supervisor and 7 co-workers, one had had a heart attack and 2 or 3 + the supervisor had heart stents put in.

    Management might be planning to outsource the calls or change the structure. They have trained an external collection agency at every facet of the job. This is in part to the fact that a sizable percentage of the call center (~20% of 250 on avg I'd guess) because they are on FMLA or are new and stressed out from \ can't meet the mandated overtime. Two years ago before Christmas there was a layoff scare, and last Christmas they had no overtime for the paycheck before Christmas. This is all while they were reaching newer and newer highs on the NYSE.

    Lots of mandated overtime. If you are new, expect to be mandated to the fullest they can, and with random 2-3+ hour gaps.

    Used to be 365 24/7. In 2015 they went M-F 7-7 to cut down on hours. This has created a very busy environment almost every day of the week. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, customers will have to hold 15+ minutes at times. This also means, even if you're working a 12 hour day, you will likely also have a half hour lunch, or if you get off at 4-6P, you will be mandated an extra hour at the end of your shift.

    Prepare to deal with broken things and not have them repaired. When I came on board, we learned the old system that had been in place for years, and we were taught workarounds in the system as standard procedure; not to be quicker, because certain functions had remained broken for 5+ years.

    The union is weak but antagonistic. Their Alton, IL branch has negotiated slightly better salaries and advanced positions, but the pay is still fairly weak until overtime is factored in, $12 an hour.

    Advice to Management

    Outsourcing the calls is probably the best right now. Otherwise you just have 30-60 people calling out a day on FMLA and the others building up enough stress to do the same. Pay a few more dollars per hour to when eventually you get enough people not calling out / quitting, people can work a 40 hour week and maybe pick up 4 hours of OT and live a livable wage. Change the way decisions get made and who has executive power. It takes far too long to make changes and for some odd reason it's extremely expensive; like in the case of fixing any SAP bugs. Who got you guys into THAT mess?

    Anyway, your call center employees are literally made sick by the job, far too many. It was never like that at GEICO or other call centers I worked at.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "CSR"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits and all the over time you want for the most part

    Cons

    Upper management does not care about you


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Good Call Center Job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good pay, opportunity for overtime, friendly and laidback environment

    Cons

    little to no opportunity for advancement


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Customer Service Rep"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Water full-time

    Pros

    It was a job that paid.

    Cons

    No work life balance, lower seniority members get mandated so much they are forced to quit or get fired. Mandating 20 hrs of overtime to the same people are not fair. Very cliquish.

    Advice to Management

    Needs to review mandatory time needs.


  8. "long hours"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Pensacola, FL
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They had wonderful benefits, great training and nice people to work for. Long lunches as long as they aren't in queue, Decent shifts available. I had all morning shifts, those are hard to come by in other call centers.

    Cons

    Pay is no were near what it should be. Hours are crazy, this is a great job if you don't mind never being home and spending your off days working mandatory overtime. Never assume that you are done when you are scheduled to leave, most likely you will be working one or more hours past your assigned shift. They love to take new hires who are still trying to learn everything and throw them into PA, you have no support, no one to help you or ask questions to. You go from full assistance in a group of others who are new to being on a team with no one around no management to help but yet they want to get on you about your handle time and your after call work. Its a no win situation!

    Advice to Management

    Pa takes more training then a week, find a new way to bring in people for that department, if you still have it. Hire more to cover all the extra calls and pay your employees more, If you don't run them into the ground then you wont have a turn over like you do. By the time I left there was about 10 people left from my training class. Management for other departments seem to have an attitude that we should all know what we are doing and shouldn't bother them, management should be approachable at all times and employees should feel like their doors are open to them


  9. "Customer service representative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay and health benefits

    Cons

    Company organization and communication

    Advice to Management

    Communicate with local office needs to be more timely And followup with customer requests needs to be done in a more timely manner


  10. Helpful (1)

    "CSRs are made to feel like trash"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Alton, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    very competitive benefits, great co-workers

    Cons

    no work.life balance, gross amounts of mandated OT, little regard given to excelling at your goals. Managers with no people skills and no transparency.

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of the employees that you trust to be on the front line for your customers.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Large Water Utility"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Supervisor in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Supervisor in Pensacola, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits and excellent compensation

    Cons

    Changes that are made at the upper management level do not take into consideration the challenges that the front line supervisors and management teams will have to face to implement them. What was once a caring work environment has become hostile.

    Advice to Management

    More honesty with your front line employees