BPO worker cries injustice
Hi, please withhold my true identity.
I used to work for a BPO based in Cebu City, IT Park Lahug
My job was a Player Support Specialist – initially assigned and trained for Account Support for one UK’s leading MMORPG game.
For the past few months in the company. I have enjoyed all the benefits that the company could offer. I really enjoyed the benefits and I continued to work with love and loyalty for the company.
By November, I was informed that the client will be initiating a battery of tests and interviews for those interested to move into the Technical Support department.
I immediately volunteered but it turned out that almost everyone volunteered as well. So in the next few days, we were asked to answer a series of exams and we did so using all the technical skills we possessed. It was a tough exam as one comparable to an engineering board- exam. Mostly, covers game development and Quality Assurance Bug-Tracking.
After the exams, only 10 who passed out of 30 to 50 who took it.
Nervously, we’re asked to proceed with the interview process. It was also tough since it covers about server security, black-hat DDoS, game development aspects etc.
Out of 10 – 6 passed including me.
So we went through the training phase, with the Technical Support team leader and Quality Assurance Tester from UK. After a month, I passed and was endorsed for production.
In the production floor, We were asked to answer technical tickets from multiple queues and make some Quality Assurance Tests within the game-environment and provide the variables and codes used. On top of that, we are also monitoring the system and all of the modules and servers involved if they are any anomalies on its current status or if there is a server outage. If anything goes wrong, we immediately do emergency call-outs to company executives.
As you can see, It is a tough-job. We are overwhelmed with tasks and tickets. We are a 6 man team and we need more manpower.
Unfortunately, after just a week in the production floor. A team-mate AWOLED shortly and forcing us to adjust our schedules and increase our workload. We felt that this is too much.
Although, we notified our supervisors if there is going to be an additional manpower but there isn’t.
Adding insult to injury, we were suddenly informed by our manager that we are now TASKED in handling all of the Account Support queues as well…
We were shocked and furiously demanded that there needs to be a consideration since account support requires time for investigations and cross-referencing. Given our current workload at the moment. Doing extra work and additional score-card to pass is a serious abuse.
We again communicated with the management and they informed us that –
WE WILL BE PAID AS AGREED IN OUR CONTRACT
So Account Support is purely doing account support work – SAME PAY with ours
So Technical Support doing Technical Support, Quality Assurance, System Checks and Account Support – SAME PAY
Flabbergasted with this changes, but we are powerless since we also need our jobs. It’s either QUIT or WORK. So we continued working, we received several complaints that we are not properly investigating the accounts and that some accounts have been given to the wrong owner.
We admitted the mistake and told them that it may have been due to our current workload. But instead they scolded us and insisted that we need to follow strict guidelines in recovering players accounts.
By the start of 2014, things started to break down. As teammates continued to score poorly with Account Support/Recovery. I am also one of the folks who failed. I have been given several warnings due to this and I felt really bad.
By the start of summer 2014, we were shocked by the news that another TEAM-MATE filed an immediate resignation pending his application with the company. That teammate was my good friend who has been critiscizing the management. He’s fed up and left the company.
This increased our workload and we have to make some changes to our schedules once again.
So we continued to work this one out. We just needed the money to support our family.
During that time, I requested a time-off from the company after which my daughter were admitted to the hospital. When I got back, I started working and was faced with another delimna. My father fell from a wooden ledge while fixing the roof drain pipes. So the next day, I called-in and told them that I won’t be coming over. I had to attend to his needs. I requested a time-off from the company during that time.
It was one fine day when I spoke with one of my colleagues and was told that I am under investigation for FRAUD and that they believe that I have violated the IT Security Policy.
I received a death-threat email from one of my websites.. stating that I should NOT come near the office or they will have me murdered. I received that on one of my mailbox. I trembled with fear, felt really really bad about it. I asked my supervisor about it but he declined to comment.
I tried tracking the IP Address and I was able to track using the HEADERS of the email.. The IP Address attached on this message.
Going forward, I did NOT dare to be anywhere near to the company. So a month later I was asked to attend an HR hearing. I FORCIBLY did so with fear that someone might shoot me. So I went inside. I spoke with the manager/HR Head regarding the issue.
They asked me questions and I answered them.
The hearing was finished, I felt relieved of how I have been treated. I have been treated nicely. So I exit the building and proceeded to where my cousin parked his motorcycle. When I got there.. we drove off straight out of IT Park, on the intersection, two men with jackets and bonnet approached us, 10 meters from us. So I immediately tapped my cousin to do U-Turn instead and proceed straight through “The Walk” and out through the IT Park main-gate. I looked back at the two shady men. They hastily ran as if trying to chase us but then stopped when a Marshall guard passed by.
The experience was horrifying, until this day. I never considered visiting the building.
By December, I received a MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION from a complaint made by by the company.
They have filed a CRIMINAL COMPLAINT against me under R.A 8484 Access Devices
The complaint stemmed from alleged modification of several player accounts and the lost of in-game wealth.
I felt horribly bad, so I immediately consulted legal counsel and we were given the evidences presented by the company. The evidences include a CCTV Footage, a Facebook Message sent through a former team-mate where I joked on actually modifying the accounts gaining tons of money, and the logs indicating my modifications.
This raised several questions
1. The CCTV Footage does show me working with my supervisor monitoring our work
2. The Facebook Message? Well, to be honest.. I AM BROKE .. NO $$ .. NO BANK ACCOUNTS .. DEBTS LIABILITIES everywhere… seriously . it was a joke for GOD’S SAKE
3. LOGS in the system by which the accounts have been modified
– Yep, since DAY ONE . I have been doing modifications of this accounts .. (Sooo??)
— The Accounts is Protected with a BANK PIN — We dont have permission to DISABLE them
— The Accounts are Protected with IP Address/HWID algorithim which requires personally identifiable information in order to disable
NOR THE TWO OF THESE WAS EVER DISABLED BY ME
NOR ANY EVIDENCES PROVIDED TO PROVE SUCH
After about a few months, I have been informed by my counsel that the company set some clarificatory hearings..
One night, I was informed by my counsel that the PROSECUTION has ruled and found PROBABLE CAUSE to hold me liable for Computer Misuse and Computer Related Fraud..
— I lost my job becuase of this
— I cant sleept at night
— mental focus and breakdown is imminent
— I cant believe this INJUSTICE
— I can no longer provide FOOD or MILK for my kid so I had to bring her over to the province temporarily.
— I SOLD everything including my lifelong worth of savings to POST BAIL
THIS IS TOO MUCH – THIS LAW IS FLAWED
CALL CENTERS SHOULD OPERATE WITH PROPER IT SECURITY SYSTEMS IN PLACE AND
PROPER MONITORING SYSTEMS IN PLACE ..
PROSECUTORS SHOULD ALSO BE TAUGHT HOW TO HANDLE THESE SORT OF CASES ..
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY – ABSOLUTELY – INJUSTICE
There is NO call-center employee organization out there who is willing to help.. I am really lost .. really .. being posted on a NEWS PAPER people calling you – A CRIMINAL
I HAVE BEEN RAISED IN AN ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE RELIGIOUS FAMILY.
I grew up serving the Lord in our local parish.. I joined the Squires and then the Knights of Columbus.. I am a God-fearing and law-abiding citizen of the republic… It seems that at this very moment.. I feel really lost..