Is VIPdesk.com a scam?
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The great thing about living in this country is that if one company is making money with a given product or service, there will be many others that follow the same model and can make money as well. That's great for free enterprise and all that jazz. But it's even better for folks like you and I are the are always on the hunt for legitimate ways to make money at home. If you read my review on Arise.com you're going to find the following review eerily familiar. But stick around because there might be things you like about VIP Desk that you disliked about Arise. Either way if you're interested in some type of customer service, telephone rep type of business, you should enjoy this article.
What is VIPdesk? and what services do they offer?
It was during the 1990s that VIPdesk took off as large businesses started to realize how much money they save by outsourcing. Of course it does, duh, they don't have to pay benefits! In any event VIPdesk is a corporation that is extremely active in the work-at-home community, their leaders participate in national panels and seminars, are members of the BBB (for what that is worth), work closely with the Small Business Administration, and they get awards from them as well as recognition from many women's work at home organizations. Take this for what it is, it simply helps establish a level of credibility. What we here at workathomenoscams.com are looking at is what the experience is like, what you can expect to find when working for them.
With VIP desk they have two employment programs. One is a Brand Ambassador (independent contractors) who are hired to to run call virtual service centers for many well known companies, like we talked about in the Arise.com review a few weeks ago. You work certain hours answering customer service calls, usually during the peak hours and weekends.
The other situation is their Concierge Services job where you are employed by VIPdesk (and qualify for benefits). The Concierge Services team members are responsible for doing services like restaurant, ticket and travel reservations, event planning, scheduling, and even things like creating reward programs for the company to offer their employees. Pretty much anything the company wants to put together, the Concierge Services team do.
VIP Desk also offer a third program called VIP Experiences, which is really just larger scoped projects performed by Concierge team. In might for instance involve designing an entire customer loyalty program and things like that.
How can I apply for a job with VIPdesk?
The application process is long and in depth. You start off by submitting an online resume and answering a detailed questionnaire that lets recruiters match your skills, education and work experience to their job opportunities. A second round of questions may be needed as the recruiters for specific companies want to make the best match. Only online submissions are accepted. A phone screening will come only after you make it through the first rounds. Due to the large number of resumes they get, they only have time to talk to those they know have the right background for this. If you make it that far, you have the chance to ask all your questions you want, and they will be happy to spend as much time as you need to talk with you.
What kind of pay can you expect?
The pay range for either the Brand Ambassador or Conceirge Services is from $9-14+/hour, but they prefer not to get into that until you have gone through several screening levels, so will not see that on the VIPdesk website or I didn't. Either way, I don't know what the big secret is. Most of know going that most work at home opportunities are pretty basic in pay. But for some reason they like to be allusive about it. In any event, there are incentives, and volume bonuses offered on a regular basis, and it looks like there is an overnight hour adjustment in pay which is nice to see.
Brand Ambassadors get paid by productive minutes on the phone, Concierge Services get a flat hourly fee. Payment and tracking software system between VIPdesk and your computer makes it easy to get paid, all you need to do to is send a pay invoice request form in every two weeks, and you get paid by direct deposit.
What sort of income can I expect?
Well with these things you can't always put a finger on that. They have full and part time hours and it is possible to pick up extra shifts from time to time. With the Concierge Services, pay will be more predictable, you work 8 hours a day at $12/hr and 5 days a week that would be $480 /week (pre-tax). It can vary up and down, depending on incentives and number of hours. With this job, you qualify for benefits if you work full time, so that is something to add into the mix.
A Brand Ambassador, independent contractor's pay for the same shift will vary since you only get paid for the productive minutes you are on the phone. Again, incentives and bonuses can kick in.
Since this is a home business, what will I need for my home office?
Brand Ambassadors, the most common form of VIPdesk work will need to go through the same home office set ups that are described in the Arise.com review. You need a high speed computer and hig speed internet connection, you need a file cabinet that can be locked since some of the information you deal with is financial and personal. You need a separate land line phone and head sets that can help screen out surrounding noises. That makes sense, I know when I am talking to a customer service rep I do not need to hear your latest Lifetime Movie in the background, besides the barfing factor, I'd question who it is who is talking to me!
To keep your home business legitimate and the feds happy you will need a couple of things. VIP Desk requires that Brand Ambassadors get a background check (around $50) and incorporation papers, (which can cost around $100). As always consult with your tax advisor, CPA, or anyone else that knows more than me about this. Trust me it will make your life easier in terms of taxes and setting up your corporation. At first glance it may sound like a lot of work just to make money at home. But trust me once it's initially set up, it's easy and more importantly it can be a greater tax benefit than you had working as an employee. Either way seem my Work At Home Tax Article for your reading pleasure. It will also be wise to check out your specific states policies on this kind of employment.
if this doesn't sound appealing at all to you, you can just stick with the Concierge Service Consultants position. They need the same equipment, but since you are an employee of the company will not necessarily need the incorporation papers. But that my friends is a question to be sure to ask if you make it to the phone interview.
What kind of training do I need?
I have to be honest here, this confused me with this site. I read off site that people had to take a two week unpaid training course, and I have no problem with that, since that is the way it works. There is nothing wrong with paying for education. Lots of good qualified people with background in the areas like travel and event planning, will need specific training in call center procedures. Companies need to be sure the people answering the phone on their behalf know what they are doing! My hunch is, if you have call center training already, you might be in better shape for this. But they could be more upfront about the training requirement.
The one thing I like about VIP Desk is websites is that it's filled with webinar opportunities, training materials, tips and advice, not only for virtual call center work, but advice on work at home jobs in general Including avoiding scams. In my opinion there can't be too much of that information being shared. So I applaud them for that. It probably explains why they get invited to a lot of conferences related to working at home, etc.
Obviously you didn't think I was just going to sing praises without pointing out the flaws did you? You should know me better than that. So let's get into it.
1. Some people have complained the pay is not great. But in my opinion it is not horrid either.
2. Start up costs. Depending on the option you select there are some start up costs. Personally that's not an issue for me because I understand to run a business you need money. I also think the fact that VIP Desk gives you the job option also kills that complaint. But nonetheless there is going to be some people crying about some of the start up costs. Regardless if it's justified or not, that's a con for someone that doesn't have that money or understand the difference between a home business or job. So we need to acknowledge it.
3. You need to be Indiana Jones. I do not know what it is about the websites for these virtual call centers, but you have to really dig deep to find out some basic details about the nitty gritty of actual employment. You would think since this place gets so many resumes and applicants, that putting out more details on pay, training, scheduling etc. might weed more people out ahead of time. Then again I'm not the smartest of dudes so maybe I miss a lot of the information on these sites. Either way, I just don't see the need for all the allusiveness and secrecy. A lot of people aren't like me where I'll dig for the truth. They may just end up jumping to conclusions that a company that is so allusive is a scam. So I think they should do a better job of being more upfront about the information.
4. Another con as far as I am concerned is having to deal with rude people as part of the job requirement. Apparently it is often the biggest complaint. Even with the training you get, there are people who feel that anonymity gives you a ‘Rude License.' As a Brand Ambassador, your customer service calls will bring in some of these folks. Now the Concierge Service position, if you work for a company whose contact people are demanding, rude, pushy etc, you are stuck. It is not so easy to switch to new companies. So you will have to do a patience test on yourself, and your ability to let that stuff roll off your shoulders. Your calls will be routinely monitored, as VIPdesk must make sure their representatives are professional at all times, so mastering the obnoxious caller will be a must.
Personally this is why I never did any phone work. I'm too much of a big sensitive dude to deal with that. I find it's a lot easier for me to deal with rude comments on my blog or email then it is getting a phone call like that. Maybe it's because I can give myself time to calm down before responding. Or maybe it's the fact I can click on the delete button and vamoose, rude person be gone. Either way, it's something to be aware of.
5. The technical requirements may be a con for some people with older and slower machines. I noticed during the application process, they will want to check your computer to see if it is fast enough and bandwidth large enough. This leads me to believe you can be rejected based on your computer set up. So anyone who is really looking for this kind of work at home business whether with VIPdesk, Arise.com or any other, would do well to make sure your computer and internet connection are up to snuff. If they get the volume of resumes they say, you do not want to give them any excuses to exclude you.
When you look at pay for this kind of thing it really depends on what your needs are. Do you want something you can do evenings and weekends from home to boost your income? Are you a work at home mom and want to make a little extra? Are you unemployed? Do you need more substantial income levels to replace a full time salary? In some cases this will just not be enough income, others it will be a temporary solution and others it will be a perfect fit. The bottom line is you need to be assured that the company is legitimate and that you will get paid. From everything I discovered, I can say that this is the case.
As a home business opportunity, you will not make your fortune no matter if you work as a Brand Ambassador (Independent Contractor) or in the Concierge (company employee), but you should be able to bring in some steady income. If you are lucky enough to get a concierge job, you can do other things while you are waiting for your calls, since you work for one company it won't be as intense as the Brand Ambassador schedule, where there will be more calls, more often. Hey, you might even be able to fill in some surveys or click on ads!
At the end of the day, this is a real legit opportunity. Is it worth it to you all depends on your own situation. You have to make that decision. Don't let me or anyone else tell you what's good for you. Personally I'm all about exploring all legitimate options and having multiple streams of income. I feel confident in saying that VIPDesk is definitely a legitimate means to that end if you're willing to deal with some of the minor cons I referenced above. None of them seemed too much of a hurdle to me with the exception of dealing with rude people. lol
So let me know what you guys think. I'm sure there will be people that have their experiences and opinions to share. So feel free to fill in any gaps or add on to anything I covered about this company above.
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