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

Re: Business Monitoring of Phone Calls
14 Jan 2005 13:41:22 -0800

Justin Time wrote:

> And to the observation from someone else regarding "the message isn't
> played on outgoing calls" is truly specious. As part of my employee
> orientation is a notice that the use of company facilities for
> personal reasons may be grounds for disciplinary action. The point
> that responder failed to note is who owns the facilities that are
> being used? If I use the companies computers to run a side business
> during company hours, should my behaviour be excused becasue a notice
> wasn't played or flashed on the screen every time I logged on?

First, do customers know they're being monitored when a rep has to
call them back?

Second, while your argument about employer owned facilities is correct
in terms of the letter of the law, in today's world it leaves
something to be desired.

Years ago company's provided plenty of pay phones, in a private booth,
for employees to use; usually several on every floor. Employees who
had to check on Aunt Ethel could run out to the pay phone, make the
call in privacy, and return to work.

But the workplace has changed and the above is no longer possible.

First, phonebooths are gone, and many payphones are gone, too. It is
one thing to run to the hall, another to run to the street. Telecom
geeks have to remember that not everyone out there has a cellphone to
use nor wants to have one; so please don't respond and say "oh, well
why aren't you using a cell phone?".

Secondly, many of today's workstations track employee usage to the
second. In the old days, if an employee ran to the hall to use the
phone, the boss would either not even notice, or not care because it
was only a couple of minutes. Today the monitoring computer (or
doorbadge unlocks or CCTV) catches anything and everything. It is
easier for the employee to use their desk phone.

Another factor is the dramatic increase in payphone charges vs. desk
phone charges. In the old days, more people worked locally and a call
to Aunt Ethel was a local call. Even if "long distance", it was
usually just a few more nickels, maybe a quarter. Today they kill you
on such calls from pay phones; in contrast, your employer is paying 2c
a minute on such calls. This dramatic rate differential will give an
employee pause on deciding to use a payphone or work phone.

Lastly, getting a call listing is not the same as monitoring the

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