HR Strange But True!
June 16, 2003

A Utah telemarketing firm has lost its contract with Qwest, thanks to a representative who left a threatening, expletive-laden message on a Colorado couple's voice mail, the Denver Post reports.

"We terminated our contract," Qwest spokeswoman Rebecca Tennille said. "Basically, we're outraged at the behavior of the employee. Once we were notified, we immediately started working with the customer and local authorities."

The Post interviewed the couple, who identified themselves only as Mike and Mindy, and came away with this account: Mike received a midday phone call in which he heard a pitch for Qwest long-distance service. He said he asked the caller if he could sell Qwest high-speed Internet service. When the caller said only Qwest itself could sell that, Mike told him not to call back until he could sell it too. Mike then hung up.

"I didn't raise my voice or anything," he told the Post.

Yet minutes after the call, Mindy heard this angry message in the couple's voice mail: "Yeah, did you understand that? (Expletive) hanging up on somebody like that again. (Expletive) I'm coming in your (expletive) house, you (expletive). What the (expletive) you gonna do? I'll (expletive) kill you."

The couple called Qwest and the authorities, who continue to investigate the call. Mike told the Post that a Qwest manager who looked into the matter told him the company had found two calls to the home, one from the telemarketing center and another two minutes later from a cell phone. Qwest declined to confirm that for the Post.

Meanwhile, the telemarketing company, Salt Lake City-based Teleperformance USA, said it fired the man involved.

"Teleperformance USA strives to maintain the highest standards of professionalism at all times," spokesman Steve Perring said. "The individual in question has been subject to disciplinary action and no longer works for the company. The company regrets any distress caused by the incident and will extend its full cooperation to any investigation by the authorities."

Apparently, that was not enough to stop Qwest from canceling its contract.

Source: The Denver Post

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