Here's an opportunity to work at home, when you want to, or anywhere on the road, as long as you have your laptop and access to a high-speed Internet connection. You'll also need a headset/mike combination. Since these operations are typically 24/7, Night-Owl operators are welcome.
Customer Service Call Centers are a growing business. Many retail consumer companies out source this function, and increasingly, call centers are moving back to the US. For a number of reasons, mostly cultural, Americans prefer to deal with folks back home, instead of in India or Eastern Europe.
As a call center service person you may be dealing with things like catalog order entry, customer account requests, credit card payments, or processing returns.
There was a report on this business on CNN last year and a good article on this subject was published in the October 1,2007 Las Vegas Review Journal. You can find it on the RJ's website (www.lvrj.com/). The article referenced companies using this type of service, including Home Depot, Williams-Sonoma, Zappos, AAA, Dell Computers, Capital One, Delta Air, AT&T, Netflix and Apple. Typical pay is $10-$14/hr. Specialists, such as computer technicians or financial specialists can expect as much as $30/hr. Multi-lingual skills will add to your paycheck here. Benefits such as insurance and 401Ks are available.
CNN and the Review-Journal mentioned two companies that provide call center outsourcing to retailers: Arise and Working Solutions.
Arise (www.arise.com/Content/work-at-home.asp) claims to have over 150,000 employees serving 42 corporate clients. These clients include: Walgreens, Virgin America and AAA.Working Solutions ( www.workingsol.com) says they have clients in Retail, Healthcare, Travel and Telcom. Both companies require applicants to take an online test to qualify. The tests are multiple-choice and include a speech test, so you'll need headphones with mike to apply.
Caveat: If you do a Google search on home businesses or on-line customer service, you'll get about a million hits. At least 999,990 of these are scams. Legitimate ones will always require a test as part of your application. A web site that gives helpful tips on finding legitimate customer service jobs is www.ehow.com/how_4415720_legitimate-online-customerservice-jobs.html.