Telmate Reviews | Glassdoor

Telmate Reviews

Updated January 18, 2017
60 reviews

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2.1
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Richard Torgersrud
27 Ratings

60 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free food days and health care premium is covered by the company (in 8 reviews)

  • Very smart people with great ideas and innovation (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • go on linkedin and take a look at some of the employees that have been there for a while - they don't have the most impressive backgrounds (in 3 reviews)

  • junior members who have been here a long time and corrupt leadership have the most power (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "I could be happy here a long time, with a couple of changes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Telmate full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Improving culture that rewards talent
    Excellent new hires, especially those in the director/manager levels
    Flexible work schedule
    Informal office with more perks than my prior employers
    Opportunities for advancement

    Cons

    No profit sharing or other type of employee part-ownership in the company
    A few old habits (and bad apples) remain

    Advice to Management

    Set up a stock option or profit sharing program with employees - make everyone invested in the success of the company.
    Keep working on improving the culture - get rid of the incompetent and the unhappy.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "I should have believed the reviews.."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Telmate full-time

    Pros

    -I actually like what this company does. They're adding competition to a market that is too easy to exploit and offering great solutions to people that other companies might hesitate to market towards.
    -Onboarding was nice- swag pack, Telmate U course was helpful to understand the business and well done
    -Rank and file employees are nice
    -Company is solid and appears to be growing. No fear of layoffs or shutdown.
    -Paid vacation from christmas to new years
    -Paid healthcare

    Cons

    -The HR department is woefully understaffed and it shows. The HR dashboard websites are all out of date and nobody even got a schedule of company holidays for 2017. The VP of HR position is open and there is no leadership whatsoever to regulate company culture.
    -Absolutely toxic management. You will not believe the behavior of things you see here from higher ups. Yelling, screaming, the works. Extremely unprofessional.
    -Due to being associated with an undesirable industry, I believe they have "settled" on lower quality talent rather than pay a premium to attract great people to work with jails.
    -The CEO does not even work on site...terrible example! Totally out of touch with the home office. He doesn't even live in SF.
    -Only the SF office truly gets the advertised perks. Notice the lack of happy fun pics from the call center or LA office.
    -Not a great salary, no bonus program, no profit sharing and lots of cost cutting. The owners are multi millionaires but your travel and expense reports will be dirt cheap standard. I expect in time the free meals will disappear too, they have already been reduced in frequency.
    -Not really a tech company. Most of their business just comes from inmates placing calls.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step back and ask yourselves what truly motivates employees to do great work. Be willing to invest in your staff. Set a professional example... and quit being so cheap!

    Telmate Response

    Jan 22, 2017 – VP of Engineering / CTO

    Responding to a review such as this one is challenging. On the one hand, you felt strongly enough about the company to take the time to write this review and I appreciate that. It appears that your ... More


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Don't regret a career decision by working at this company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Telmate full-time

    Pros

    The People other than top management,

    Cons

    Top management isn't concerned about the people. When they get top people, they place little value in them and if you get on the wrong side of one member of the management board, she will attempt to get your fired (this is backed by multiple examples) and unfortunately, has the full backing of the disengaged CEO so nothing is done about her toxic ways. The incentive for me to write this review is because it's a horrible environment full of tremendous turnover and I feel very sad for how people here are treated and don't want talented people to waste their their time figuring this out for themselves. Management will tell you that these reviews are written by a few disgruntled people who write repetitive reviews but this is not the case and demonstrates how they make excuses and don't actually listen or even worse, care.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have advice to management because they do not listen or place value in these reviews or their top people. The management board constantly fights among themselves and talks harshly about each other. It's a constant power struggle while they throw each other under the bus on a daily basis. Most talented people have already left and the irony is that the culture continues to get worse. Most of the people who have worked here long-term are friends of the CEO, and are in upper management roles not because of their skills, but because of their relationship with the CEO and have financial incentives to stay but are disgruntled and rude, and treat their employees and their colleagues like dirt. The advice is to candidates to not work for Telmate because the problems and issues you read in these reviews have continued for several years and have not gotten better because of a disengaged CEO who yells at his staff and constantly threatens to fire them from the comforts of his boat or mansion, doesn't listen to his people or appreciate their work and a management board that is not focused on the right things and when they get important advice multiple times over on improvements, they do not listen. This is not a rewarding place to work and talented people will be very unhappy here. This, I promise you.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Jr Network Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Junior Network Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Junior Network Engineer in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    It has snacks. There is free breakfast once a week. There are group events that people can also attend to.

    Cons

    I think there is a lack of communication amongst employees and upper management which can also cause some problems for people.

    Advice to Management

    Things to consider


  6. Helpful (10)

    "Run don't walk, or the bad karma will stick to you"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Telmate (More than a year)

    Pros

    Plenty of snacks and food

    Cons

    -no leadership
    -no accountability if you are an employee/ friend of the owners
    -no review consistency
    -the higher up, the less accountability
    -most sleazy business model in the SF bay area
    -Telmate has tried to fill glass door with ENTIRELY fake company reviews, this was a directive of someone new. What could be more sleazy--oh, the very business model the company is predicated upon. Charging the poorest Americans the highest allowable phone rates to speak to their relatives/loved ones who are incarcerated. Talk about bad karma...is this really what a moral employee wants to work on? Answer NO! Only immoral or oblivious employees stay here, and most of them know the owners.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the comm.s part of the business while you can.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Great company with great opportunities and potential"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Telmate (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great products, awesome potential and some very brilliant and very talented colleagues. The company encourages learning, personal development, innovation and are ok with employees saying their mind.

    Cons

    There seems to be no diversification happening. All the eggs in one basket, I think is not a good idea. Employees are not part of the profit sharing even though it is in start up mode and no bonuses..:-((

    Advice to Management

    I think we could move into many other areas related to the prison system like: Food and clothing, bail, jobs etc. Please use technology to impact every aspect of a prisoners life instead of just concentrating on telecommunication.

    Telmate Response

    Aug 24, 2016 – VP of Engineering / CTO

    Thank you for taking the time to write about your positive experience at Telmate and also for providing some valuable feedback. A profit sharing program is something that is actively being ... More


  8. Helpful (6)

    "The talented people are leaving!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    free food a couple days a week :\

    Cons

    Priorities are out of whack! There is so much instability here from executives/leadership that the direction/health of the company is in jeopardy. There is one leader that we need to multiply because he has vision and experience that means something. Everyone else needs to be replaced. The marketing team is lost without their CMO because no one on that team has enough experience to run a marketing department for a company even though they all try and all want to. And the engineering team? wow, anyone can be an engineer here. Which probably explains the glitchy products. There are a handful of good people left and they are wasting their time here...they deserve better.

    Advice to Management

    there are a lot of people saying the same things here....i think it's pretty obvious what you need to do.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Tough to Grow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    vp of engineering, 18th floor views, prime location

    Cons

    Backstabbing, cheaters on teams. People will take your work and call it their own. Not very collaborative even though the environment is disguised as collaborative. People will tell you that they will communicate X with the team and that you will work together, but they end up stealing your ideas and stepping on your toes to squeeze you out and try to advance their career. TRUST NO ONE.

    Horrible work/life balance...I think it depends on the team you are on. My team is insanely rigid even though our own manager is never in the office or available. There are a good amount of people here that work remote occassionaly, but they don't really work and that gives it a bad rap for the rest of us who know that wfh can work and we can get stuff done. wfh is not a huge deal for me, but I think the bad seeds that try to do it and don't do it effectively just make things worse overall for the rest of us -- it puts greater strain on the rest of the team when you don't pull your weight.

    Advice to Management

    I think teams need specific roles in order to collaborate effectively. I think we call ourselves collaborative, but here that means we are too fluid and can be responsible for everything -- even things that might not be in our wheelhouse / better suited for someone else on the team. The challenge with this is that we'll have everyone trying to do everything. It creates too much of a tug-of-war. We can define our roles within projects and still be collaborative -- that way we can reduce any overlap (so we'll be more efficient) and there won't be a power struggle because everyone thinks they're responsible for aspects of a project that they shouldn't be.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Love working here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Telmate (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Great people!
    - Interesting line of work, challenging to keep you motivated to learn more
    - Convenient and beautiful location
    - Excellent new leadership
    - Encouraging growth and supporting work environment

    Cons

    - Struggling to hire
    - Wish we had more perks, but it looks it's being worked on


  11. Helpful (6)

    "More change needed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    18th floor in SF financial district = stunning views and central location

    Cons

    Not everyone is created equal here. HR plays favorites and takes out only their friends for events/meals that they expense. If you're not in good with them, good luck. They talk so much trash about employees. Leaders will only like you if you nod your head and suck up. If not, they will try to squeeze you out by not listening to or addressing any of your ideas.

    You can get by here by just smiling and nodding your head. :(

    You can work hard, try to contribute, try to show positive outcomes to your proposals, but in the end this is a popularity contest and if you're deemed one of the "cool kids" then you will get a lot of attention and traction with your ideas. If not, GOOD LUCK!

    Advice to Management

    The environment is too cliquey...maybe some employment engagement programs, something to up the morale and bring people together. Also, keep getting rid of bad seeds.



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