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Work From Home As a Call Center Agent

Aug 14, 2008
With fuel prices soaring, more and more people are asking themselves the following question: "Are there any real work at home jobs that are not scams"? This stems from the fact that a simple internet search for "work from home" or "work at home" yields all sorts of results. Some of them are just flat out scams. Others, like affiliate marketing, multilevel marketing, and the such, are not made for everybody. And lastly, there's a fundamental difference to be made between a work at home opportunity and a work at home job.

Examples like the aforementioned affiliate marketing or multilevel marketing are work at home opportunities. As such, they require some form of investment. Affiliate marketing business opportunities are typically free to join, but in order to be at least moderately successful at them, you will need to invest in tools, just like any other business. Multilevel Marketing requires a minimal fee to join, but also requires investment of both time and money in order to succeed.

Work at home jobs are different. First of all, a work from home job doesn't require that you invest money. When was the last time you had to pay to apply for jobs? Secondly (and this is just like the "normal" jobs), there's a very thorough selection process, which results in an acceptance rate that can be as low as 3%. Clearly, you won't be hired just by filling out an application. Thirdly, you will most likely have to undergo training before you can really make serious money, and that means that at the beginning your earnings will be modest.

Truth is, there are real, scam-free ways to make money working from home, and one of the best ways to achieve that goal is through an at home call center job. If you've had to call any company's customer service department, chances are that you have been re-routed to an overseas call center (most of the time in India). But due to the negative publicity garnered by this approach, and thanks to the Internet and better call-routing technology, more companies are outsourcing their order-taking, sales and problem-solving calls to home-based workers in North America.

Companies like LiveOps, Working Solutions, Alpine Access, and Arise handle incoming calls through their home-based agents. Those agents handle incoming calls, such as inquiries from shoppers buying products, orders from infomercials, and travel and health care products and services. Companies who request those services include 1-800-Flowers, J. Crew, Office Depot, ExpressJet, the Internal Revenue Service, and so on.

Another interesting option is JetBlue. Every single one of Jetblue's (roughly 800) reservation agents works from home. Those hundreds of home based workers are the reservations system. There is no backup. "If you call 1-800-JetBlue you're going to get someone in their home," said Jet Blue's CEO David Neeleman.

You will generally be required to pay for a background check. Many of those companies provide services where sensitive client information is handled by their agents, and they are concerned about hiring anyone who has been involved in previous criminal activity. You will also be required to get a dedicated phone line; using your home phone will not be an option. Typically, you will have to provide your own equipment.

Should you want join the work at home workforce, here are a couple of helpful suggestions:

Carefully evaluate offers. Will you be paid on salary or on commission? How often? What equipment (hardware/software) will you have to provide? What support will you get from the company?

Stay away from promises of overnight wealth or get rich quick claims from home. They will only enrich those who sell them.

Do not send money except for your background check! Legitimate employers don't charge you to get started or for anything else.

Don't send money for work at home directories or start-up kits. Free information and job listings are available online.

Be flexible - consider freelance work or projects as well as full-time employment. At least it will get you started.

When conducting work at home job searches on the Internet, be patient and be prepared to spend a lot of time weeding through scams and junk listings before getting to legitimate openings.
About the Author
Wilfrid Baptiste is the founder of Your Finish Rich Plan, a
finance blog
that provides information on

work at home call center jobs
, as well as other financial topics.
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