TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Business Monitoring of Phone Calls

Re: Business Monitoring of Phone Calls
13 Jan 2005 06:52:39 -0800

Justin Time wrote:

> But when a notice that the call may be monitored "for quality control
> or training purposes" is played and you do not object to that fact
> when connected, then you have waived your right to privacy.

The article pointedly mentioned that monitoring continues even when
the caller is put on hold. I would think the caller has a very
reasonable expectation of privacy while on hold; and side
conversations to others while on hold should not be heard or recorded.

> Monitoring of telephone calls on company facilities is not an
> invasion of your privacy, it is an attempt to stop people from
> abusing their employer from stealing both time and resources. When
> you look at it in that light, it paints a completely different
> picture.

There is nothing wrong with an employer expecting an employee to do
his/her job -- up to a point. Should there be cameras and microphones
in the restrooms to hunt for disgruntled workers?

However, it appears that many employers take this monitoring and turn
a phone center into a very regimented assembly line, with every error
stroke, every side comment, all counted as demerits against an
employee. I DO think that kind of labor environment IS against the
public interest -- laws were passed many years ago to prevent that kind
of electronic sweatshop.

You might want to view the movie "Modern Times" to get another

When I had a problem with some businesses I had to have extensive
conversations with a specific service rep. During such business
conversations the rep and I occassionally digressed into personal
issues. One rep was originally from my hometown and we chatted about
that briefly. Another rep was studying at night for her master's
degree and we spoke about that to and changes in the business. In
both cases such conversations were a welcome diversion from the issues
they were trying to solve for me, indeed, it could be said they were
taking a brief couple of minutes to soothe a customer's ruffled
feathers. That is good business, not employee goofing off.

The intensive monitoring controls you describe have been abused in
companies that like to practice "1984" management. It has been known
for years that such practices do not improve productivity. Companies
who try that go out of business or end up the target of nasty lawsuits
and adverse publicity.

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