The article says that at-home call center workers who may handle hotel or airline reservations, roadside assistance, tech support and sales calls may be in need. It also points out that with so many retirees and those approaching retirement who have seen their retirement savings dwindle as a result of financial market declines, many older people are getting interested in signing on as work at home call center agents as a way to replenish their savings and earn extra cash for household expenses.
Several work at home call center agent employers were cited in the article, including Hilton Hotels, Alpine Access, Arise Virtual Solutions and LiveOps. The article reports that Hilton expects to hire more work at home call center agents in January and that Alpine Access expects to hire 250 more agents this year and 1,200 in the first quarter of 2009.
The work at home call center agent jobs often require some experience and may not be all that easy to get, especially with increased competition with retirees and recently displaced workers. Alpine Access claims to have hired only 2 percent of applicants this year. Additionally, many of the openings are part time opportunities without benefits and with hourly rates ranging from $8 to $14 an hour.
Some of the positions also have strict requirements with regards to equipment and at-home work environments. Some also require an investment from the employee. Arise Virtual Solutions requires its work at home call center agents to be incorporated businesses, which can involve paying an incorporation fee, which the Journal says costs about $100 in most states but can run higher. Additionally, Arise requires its applicants to pay $99 for its 18-hour online training course. If an applicant doesn't pass the course - most do - the money is not refunded. Work at home call center agents who work for Arise must also undergo client-specific training, which can cost from $25 to $200 more. But, a work at home call center agent quoted in the article claims the fees were worth it.
Alpine Access work at home call center agents are employees of the company, whether they are hired on full or part time. They also have access to medical benefits, partly subsidized for full-time employees and available at full cost for part timers. Alpine Access pays its agents during training and the only costs the work at home call center agents are responsible for are setting up their home offices and a $45 pre-employment background check.
As with any work at home opportunity you are cautioned to do your homework and check the company out. You can perform an advanced search with the Better Business Bureau online at http://search.bb.org. The Journal suggests you look for companies with a high BBB rating and few unresolved complaints. You can also do a Google search on the company you're considering to see if there are bloggers or others who may have written about problems or good experiences with the companies you are considering. You'll also want to fully understand what payments you will be responsible for before applying and whether you will be able to provide the work environment the company requires of its work at home call center agents. For some, telephone or internet access are not compatible and those services are not available in the local area.
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