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Alleged shocking insight into working in a SpinVox call centre

I was having a read of the comments on one of the original SpinVox Debacle posts over at PaidContent when I came across one authored by ‘ex spinvox 2’.

I won’t reproduce it here in full but if it’s any way near being accurate, it’s simply shocking.

Trouble is, since we’re hearing nothing from SpinVox to refute or rebut these statements, it’s difficult to know what to think.

The commenter alleges that SpinVox’s employment of call centre agents represented, “exploitation [that] was/is borderline slave labour”. The commenter further alleges that agents would earn, “£3 for every hour and this could end up being as little as £0.00 for the hour if SpinVox’s quality scorers interpreted the message differently to the agent.”

The main thrust of the argument alleges that, in order to garner fiscal efficiencies (in favour of SpinVox), the SpinVox quality control team in Donegal, Ireland, would set extremely high quality standards, impossible to meet, thereby ensuring agents were never compensated over and above their basic rate.

Have a read the full comment and see what you think. Hit the link above and do a text search for ‘ex spinvox 2‘ to find it.

There’s some particularly illuminating statistics toward the end. The poster ends by suggesting that, if you really want to see how allegedly bad things are, working for SpinVox, visit their Philippines call centre.

I trust someone from the mainstream media will pay a visit.


  1. As I commented elsewhere, SpinVox as a brand is no different than Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks, WalMart/ASDA, in that consumers in the socially networked world demand transparency on corporate social responsibility, in terms of environmental impact, and yes, the impact on poor workers in developing countries.

    It is not just about whether SpinVox claims of AI and highly automated speech reco. It is also about how they treat the people who do work for them. We want to know that coffee beans are fairly traded. We want to know that Nike factory workers are not exploited. McDonalds touts its UK locally produced beef sourcing. Etc. Etc.

    Why does SpinVox think it can build a branded service and that consumers won’t care to know (and have transparently verified) the conditions of the mass minions who do some (?) of the transcribing?

  2. I totally agree Terence. I think they should respond generally. Can you imagine Vodafone going for days without responding?

  3. So, these call centers aren't run by SpinVox. SpinVox has a contract(s) based on performance standards, which I don't think is unusual(?) SpinVox pays the call center, the call center pays the employees. not to underscore the importance that all employees should be paid, or aware of the stipulations of the job before entering into it, just saying that it seems to me that it would be the the call center management who were in the wrong here, not SpinVox.

    I think it is easy to hop on the 'SpinVox is evil' bandwagon at the moment, and blow things out of proportion.

  4. , since that pc:UK article has – at time of counting – 117 comments, and is still the most commented article on pc:UK (and, as such, tops pc:UK's “most popular” list), here's a link to the comment (to save anyone having to search):

    Same comment can also be found on the “Are Spinvox call centre staff putting voicemails on Facebook?” thread on TechCrunch:

  5. You can't understand the SpinVox story without understanding the Spin. Few companies have harnessed the power of PR and social media more than SpinVox, and it has succeeded in large part because of the publicity, and now it looks like it is all spinning out of control due to the dangerous flip side of all the hype.

    At the center of all the spin is CEO, Christina Domecq, one of the most publicized UK business leaders in recent memory.

    To understand the phenomenon, you need only take a few minutes to read this interview published just a month ago (June 23). You'll be amazed, given what has transpired since.

    CONTEXT: she gave this interview just before a very well publicized, expensive and self-centered company-sponsored two-week bike race across the US which took place just days before she asked employees to take stock instead of salary due to SpinVox lack of cash.

    CONTENT: Compare what she says in this article to independently verifiable facts. For example, she states,

    “I started my first business in technology-based services in New York at the age of 20. This company, NHWC, provided IT services and training to some of the world's largest corporations, including Kraft, Nabisco, Pepsi, Pfizer and Kodak. As CEO and owner I employed over 120 staff with a turnover in excess of $14 million and sold the business in August 2002.”

    Now look at the facts. She bought a franchise, borrowing $1.4M from family, received massive amounts of publicity, and then franchse went out of business, with turnover of less than a tenth of what she claims.… (page 2)

    Seems like deja vu all over again, doesn't it.


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