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No Union, Please

To the Editor:

I have been happily employed by Reserve America [“I’m Sorry, All Agents Are Busy Organizing,” Newsfront, Feb. 3] for two years now. When I was hired, the conditions of employment, including the point system and pay scale, were carefully explained to me. I have no negative attendance points accumulated; in fact, because of RA policy incentives, I have been able to bank points for future use. At this time I can call in sick for five days without accumulating any negative attendance points. Since I do not call in unless I truly need to, and pride my self in being on time for work and from breaks, I have been able to maintain my banked points throughout my employment.

In my experience, all the members of RA management are very approachable, from the team leaders and floor supervisors on up to the Call Center supervisor. I can walk into their offices at any time and they will listen and do their best to help. They will also know me by name. In addition, I have found the suggestion box to be a successful way of bringing about change.

Having reached the peak of my earning potential as an agent, at $8.50, I have chosen not to pursue jobs within the company that would increase my wages. I am not interested in further responsibility. RA always posts any available positions in a clearly visible spot and appears to hire from within, as far as I have been able to tell.

Frankly, I fail to see how the union would improve my situation at RA. I am 49 years old, and in my early 20s I worked in a union shop. Coming from a long line of family members who were union workers, organizers and stewards, I am not inexperienced with unions and how they work. I do know that if a union were in place, I would make less money because of the required union dues. If I were to vote for having RA become unionized, my vote would be a definite no.

I hope this letter brings another perspective to the Reserve America/Union conflict. I assure you that I am not alone in my opinion. There are many agents who are content with the policies and management. It is unfortunate that the union actions will polarize the agents and add stress to our work environment.

Becki Cramer


What Part of ‘Cancel’ Don’t You Understand?

To the Editor:

My experience with AOL was kind of the opposite of what was described in the article [“AOL Forever,” Jan. 27]. When I signed on, the going deal was for a 30-day free period. But the very day I signed on was when my card got billed, and they refused to send me any kind of a refund for that. And when I finally did cancel, they didn’t prorate the remaining days of the month for which they had already charged.

Perhaps I was lucky that I didn’t happen to log in again after the moment I canceled, or my cancellation might have been canceled as was described in the article. The “saver” challenged the wisdom of my canceling when I cited certain features I felt were better in another ISP I had tried, and claimed that similar features were planned for some future version. And I’m glad I didn’t fall for that because who knows when it would happen or whether AOL’s version would satisfy me. Anyway, I’m mentioning this just because it’s kind of a different wrinkle than what was reported in the article. And I realize that your raison d’etre is not airing griefs against AOL, but you have to admit that you did sort of open the door.

What bothers me is that online service people ask for your card number up front “for identification purposes.” Well, I appreciate that, but they ought to be enjoined from actually billing anything to the account until the introductory free period has expired and the customer specifically and explicitly authorizes charges.

One thing I hate is those excruciatingly long “accept” statements. You have to read pages and pages of fine print in an extremely small window or else your “signing” a contract you haven’t read and for all you know, you could be selling your first-born son. I think the contract ought to be much simpler, and include a note that the customer must acquire a confirmation number or else there’s no proof that he canceled. (In AOL’s case, if they sent me proof of cancellation via email, I’d have to log on again in order to receive it, and then I suppose the cancellation would be canceled. That’s an unnecessary catch-22.)

Anyway, thank you for the excellent article.

David Kratz


Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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