The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:40 PM
Hippy Hollow Hippy Hollow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Anyone know anything about work-from-home alphanumeric data entry jobs

The wife is looking at part-time work from home. She saw a recent posting for a part-time job with AT&T that involves data entry. She sent in a resume and got a response from a manager asking her to do an interview via IM.

Anyone know more about these kind of jobs? It's "alphanumeric data entry."
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-14-2009, 11:01 PM
fubbleskag fubbleskag is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
transcribing voicemails?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-15-2009, 12:26 AM
Alex_Dubinsky Alex_Dubinsky is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,859
What other kind of data entries are there? Logographic? Or did they outsource that one?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-15-2009, 12:35 AM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 16,345
Are you sure that the job really is with AT&T and isn't some sort of phishing attempt? Because it seems to me that they could outsource this sort of work to India more cheaply. And why would they mess around with the interview process for such a low-level job?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:13 AM
NajaNivea NajaNivea is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Who does job interviews "via IM"?

Last edited by NajaNivea; 09-15-2009 at 08:13 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:29 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
I work from home doing audio transcribing, mostly of market research focus group sessions. So yes, this sort of 'work from home' work opportunity exists.

Although I never actually had any phone, face or IM contact with the people that run the typing agency I do work for, I had to send in my CV and do a couple of typing tests before I was accepted into their typing pool. I'm self-employed and invoice them on a monthly basis, which goes some way to explaining why the process wasn't as rigorous as you'd expect from a employer being on an employee.

I would expect a company such as AT&T to be equally vigorous in the way they bring on typists. I wouldn't say that wanting to do an IM meeting is necessarily a red flag as 99.9% of the communications I have with the agency I work for is via email.

That said, she should take all the standard precautions to ensure this is a genuine job opportunity.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:52 AM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
At the very least, you should try to get some verification from AT&T themselves. Look up a relevant phone number (i.e. from the AT&T human resources website), and call to make sure your interviewer really works there. Be tactful... don't just start ranting about some crazy scammer.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:58 AM
Maia's Well Maia's Well is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
I can't answer about that job specifically, but here's a link to Clark Howard's page that shows some legitimate work at home opportunities. The site also had warnings about many of the dubious or outright fraudelent offers:
http://clarkhoward.com/topics/workathome_help.html

Hope that helps, and tell her good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:52 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 25,148
If they ask you to pay for anything up front, it's a scam.

Regards,
Shodan
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:18 PM
Hippy Hollow Hippy Hollow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
I don't think that this is a scam. I just wondered what the heck they wanted her to do, and what "benefits" they offered. (AT&T has a marketing research division here in Austin and I've done work with them.)

Is it like reams of "010001110101010111011010101010000110" that they want her to type?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:23 PM
Maia's Well Maia's Well is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
If they ask you to pay for anything up front, it's a scam.

Regards,
Shodan
Good point, and usually an excellent rule of thumb. I remember, back in my acting days, there was an "agency" in Atlanta that was a scam. They'd present themselves as agents, but tell you that you needed a portfolio and "training", which they, of course, would provide for the reasonable fee of hundreds of dollars.

However, I was surprised to learn that many of the legitimate work-from-home companies charge an application fee, some of them charging as much as $99.00 for "background checks". (See clarkhoward.com link I posted above.)

I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to discover these legitimate companies have invented another way to make money.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:28 PM
Maia's Well Maia's Well is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
I don't think that this is a scam. I just wondered what the heck they wanted her to do, and what "benefits" they offered. (AT&T has a marketing research division here in Austin and I've done work with them.)

Is it like reams of "010001110101010111011010101010000110" that they want her to type?
I don't know the answer to this, but if you find out, please let us know. I am also interested in the answer.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-15-2009, 10:01 PM
fubbleskag fubbleskag is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
I don't think that this is a scam. I just wondered what the heck they wanted her to do, and what "benefits" they offered. (AT&T has a marketing research division here in Austin and I've done work with them.)

Is it like reams of "010001110101010111011010101010000110" that they want her to type?
not likely; alphanumeric just means basically "letters and numbers" (as opposed to numeric, or 10-key, which is just the number pad)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-15-2009, 10:52 PM
qazwart qazwart is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
The wife is looking at part-time work from home. She saw a recent posting for a part-time job with AT&T that involves data entry. She sent in a resume and got a response from a manager asking her to do an interview via IM.

Anyone know more about these kind of jobs? It's "alphanumeric data entry."
My only suspicion would be if your only true contact to the company was via this IM. I can easily setup an IM account and claim to be anyone. Is there a way you can actually verify this is with AT&T? Any actual emails? You have a phone number or address?

Long time ago, I worked for a large computer retailer, and someone allegedly from AT&T ordered a whole bunch of top quality premium PCs. This was back in the days when these machines approached the $10,000 mark. The vendor wanted the PCs shipped to AT&T's warehouse in Manhattan. It was a tremendous order too. Around 200 or so PCs all together which was quite an order.

When we billed AT&T, they denied they had ordered any PCs. The Purchase Order we had received that we thought was from AT&T ended up being bogus. And, the "warehouse" was one of those rent by the month, cash only places storage facilities. The scammers had the PCs shipped there, picked them up, and disappeared.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-16-2009, 12:33 AM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia's Well View Post
However, I was surprised to learn that many of the legitimate work-from-home companies charge an application fee, some of them charging as much as $99.00 for "background checks". (See clarkhoward.com link I posted above.)
Yes we do (transcription company). When I originally asked about it years ago, I was given some mumbo-jumbo about an application fee being legally necessary to establish our transcriptionists as independent contractors instead of employees...I guess. It's been a while since I was given that explanation, and my memory's not perfect.

I do know that it serves as an excellent barrier to entry. While it does suck for someone who obviously doesn't have a job to have to pony up the money, it ensures that the vast majority of people who won't take the job seriously don't apply. We still get some flakes who waste our time, but not nearly as many as if we had no fee.

It also helps pad the cost of having someone spend their time hiring and training transcriptionists, although I believe that's a very incidental benefit of the fee.

I'm keenly aware that asking for money up front looks and smells very much like a scam, and it's really hard to tell a trainee they just aren't able to meet our needs, because it would be entirely reasonable and rational for them to call bullshit. And due to the time spent training, we can't exactly refund that money.

Still, if you're serious about taking jobs, you can usually make the fee back within a few days with us. I know at least one or two of our most reliable and prolific transcriptionists make more money than I do, and they sure as hell earn it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.