Brothers question call center's business practices

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PHOENIX -- Two Valley brothers found work in the classifieds but say there was a lot more than business going on behind the scenes.

Foul language, intimidation, harassment -- all ways these brothers say one Valley company ran their call center.

After finding the position posted on Craigslist and a local newspaper, both men now say they wish they never would have applied.

"It said Tempe business, now hiring for all positions including warehouse...sales," Jacob Munoz said.

It was an ad for work that sounded perfect for Jacob.

A day after seeing it, the 18-year-old was hired by Atlas Supply in Tempe, a company which also goes by the name West Builder's Supply.

"I was gonna get paid commission and hourly and the hourly I think was $12," Jacob said.

When Jacob began his new job selling construction tools over the phone, he said everything was going fine.

Jacob's brother, Anthony, also got hired by Atlas Supply, but after a short time, both began thinking the job was a joke.

"It wasn't professional, it was just different," Jacob said. "It was just a bunch of guys chilling is what it was."

Anthony even said he witnessed his co-workers harassing people over the phone.

"They would cuss them out and threaten them and tell them that they were gonna go over there and see them," Anthony said. "I just knew from there I didn't want to work there."

After just hours on the job Anthony quit, but Jacob worked there for two weeks.

After sticking it out for the money, Jacob said he has yet to get paid the $12 an hour or the commission money he was promised.

"They told me around October I was gonna get paid, around the end of October, and I still never got it and still to this day I don't got it," Jacob said.

3 On Your Side contacted Atlas Supply and left several messages over the phone.

Weeks later, we hadn't heard from them, so we decided to stop by for a visit.

"Do you know when we can get in touch with him?" 3 On Your Side asked. "We want to talk to him about some of the business practices."

"The only thing I can do is take a message and have him call you back," an employee said.

Although her sons are still out hundreds of dollars, Maria Casas said she wants to get the word out about Atlas Supply and employment ads targeting young workers.

"Somebody has to make people aware that there are people out there that take advantage of people who are trying to do something decent," she said.

The owner of Atlas Supply finally contacted 3 On Your Side and sent this statement via e-mail,

So far, no agreement has been reached.

As far as those harassment allegations, the company owner writes:

I looked thru our past records and could not find a Jacob Munoz that said he worked for us at the end of 2008. I did find Anthony Munoz application who worked for us two hours at the end of May 2009. As our contract says anyone who works for us must complete a forty hour work week or they receive commission equivalent to the commission scale they signed per our agreement. Anthony did not sell anything and received nothing as per the agreement.

As far as the allegations they made of harassing and high pressure sales tactics. We call businesses nationwide and sell them construction tools. I and my top managers keep a constant monitor on our sales end and if we discovered any of this proper action would be taken immediately. I hope that these two find gainful employment somewhere in this economy. In closing there are over 50 people that find fulfilling work here. Not only do they receive a paycheck, but they support families, children and keep the local economy going in these harsh economic times. Thanks for the opportunity to state my side.

Sincerely, Atlas Supply Bill Rozakis