Nationwide Mutual Insurance fired five Iowa call center workers for regularly hanging up on customers in an attempt to boost their stats, but one of them contends that the practice is widespread and they were only fired so Nationwide could deny their upcoming paid and unpaid leave, reports the Des Moines Register.
“I didn’t think about the fact that it could be someone that was needing help right then and there, that their daughter may have just got in an accident and was in the hospital and they were needing help,” testified Lindsay Gillum. “I wasn’t really thinking about the customer. I was thinking about myself and my stats.”
“There were other people who were doing the same things who are still working there and still hanging up on people,” Jordan Doyle testified. “There were five of us, all together, that were fired. Three of us were pregnant, about a month away from our due date. One of the girls that was fired, (it was known that) she was trying to get pregnant. And the fifth girl was taking short-term disability.”
Doyle contends that the practice of hanging up on customers is still systemic. “Like, 90 percent of the people who work in that call center do that,” she said.
Jordan Doyle was accused of hanging up on 34% of her callers in a two-week period; Lindsay Gillum, 8%; Amy Halupka, 50%. The customers calling in were trying to file claims after fires, traffic accidents, and other insurance covered incidents.
Nationwide sell its insurance through affiliates like ALLIED Group, Farmland Insurance, GatesMcDonald, and Scottsdale Insurance. If you get hung up on when calling any of those companies, don’t feel bad, you’re just doing your part to help an agent make quota.