Thanks to the Magic Man for pointing out this story in the Bloomington paper about the closure of the local branch office of DialAmerica Marketing. I worked there for seven long years. Truly it is the end of an era. Like the guy in the story, DM allowed me to keep body and soul together working part-time while I pursued my crazy dreams. To the dozens of people who are now out of a job with no advance warning — I feel for you.

Dial America announces closing Monday

By Marcela Creps 331-4375 |
June 3, 2008

While being a telemarketer may not be someone’s dream job, for Arthur Cullipher’s job at DialAmerica offered him great flexibility — until Monday.

Dial America, a marketing firm on Bloomington’s east side, announced it was closing.

The closure was effective Monday, according to Mike Sparks, human resources manager. When asked how many people were affected by the closing, Sparks refused to answer.

“We handle these situations individually with our employees,” Sparks said. “We handle those things internally.”

Cullipher said he’d worked for DialAmerica for about eight years. As a phone representative, he said they made calls for a variety of companies from newspapers to Internet service providers. However, Cullipher said he’d noticed a change. He said initially the company had three dialers, which automatic dials customers, and more employees.

“We moved down to one dialer near the end of last year, and we’ve been working on this one dialer for a while and getting a bunch of temporary clients that were much more temporary than clients we had in the past,” Cullipher said.

Cullipher said he found about the closure Monday evening, but he said first-shift workers weren’t notified until this morning when they arrived at work.

Culipher estimated about 50 to 60 people worked at DialAmerica, at 2952 E. Covenanter Drive. Nearly everyone was part-time, except for managers and secretarial staff, he said.

“I know that a lot of people traveled from Bedford and from Heltonville and from parts distant to come to this job,” he said.

Cullipher said he has been looking into other telemarketing positions and is also trying to start his own business of selling various special effects items. As a filmmaker special effects artist, this was Cullipher’s only paying job.

“I also have a 7-year-old son who I was taking care of every day,” he said. “So I needed a good deal of flexibility with that.”

  1. this was great place to work while in school and i feel for the many great people i got to know while working there that lost their jobs…I wish you all the best

  2. I'd REALLY rather NOT say!

    I worked at DialAmerica on and off for quite a few years, and was one of the best in the company. They started out really well, with things like National Geographic in the evenings; various other wierd products for business to business which people did want–like the “Corporate Controller’s Handbook of Financial Management” –seems like they had to have one of those expensive books every year. and others. They even ended up getting Intuit and Turbo Tax on days. The commission was pretty low on “Geo”, but you got a lot of them! On the Intuit products, commission was as high as $13 a sale on some, if I remember right! Then the new “telemarketing laws” started kicking in. Things went from bad to worse. There were huddled talks between Mike and some of his managers. One dialer that had started up (136) ended up closing. Programs started dropping like flies. Then came the “Zero Tolerance Policy”. Then people started getting fired for “a complaint about you made to corporate”, selling to “someone underage” (we HAD verification for that), and other seemingly made up stuff. I heard that several people ended up filing a ‘class action” lawsuit against “the Dial”. Finally, in the end, all they had were some books in the evenings, and a $300 handless headset on business-to-business. So the famous “Dial” ended up going the route of Transcom, TeleServices Direct, JAK, and a few others in Bloomington. Now there are just a couple of “fund-raising” companies, where hiring and firing is just a sneeze away, and the “charity” gets a whopping 15% of the donation (IF THAT)! Charities are still able to get around those telemarketing laws and “do not call lists” for now…but soon they will have their day as well. I’m not so sure about the “survey research” companies. There are a couple of those left as well, but none of those seem to pay commissions like “the Dial”. Lots of people made a decent little living doing this kind of thing just part time, and of course annoying the heck out of people, but like the typewriter–it will all soon be a “thing of the past” I think, for charities, surveys, and all the rest. Movies like “Boiler Room” gave telemarketing a horrible image, but it really wasn’t like that. It’s hard for students and people who needed a job that paid well, though. There’s not much else left in Bloomington, and I.U. isn’t the big job market it portends to be either. .

  3. I'd Really Really Rather Not Say!!

    I too, am really sad to hear that Dial America has closed it’s doors. I started working days in 2002 and then eventually switched to working evenings until I left in 2004. Just around the time the new telemarketing laws took effect which totally changed the work environment and the opportunity to make great commissions. For the most part the people were great to work for and with.

  4. Did you want someone’s individual earnings, or the company’s earnings? You know, DialAmerica is still in Business! The headquarters is in Mahwah, NJ, and concact info is at They have Call Centers in CA (San Diego) FL (Jacksonville, Port Richey, Ocala, Orlando, GA (Athens), IL (Oak Brook), NE (Omaha), NJ (Mahwah), NY (Buffalo, Rochester) OH (Columbus, Fairlawn, Middleburg Heights, Westlake), PA (Erie, Pittsburg), SC (North Charleston), TN (Johnson City, Knoxville–btw Laura Beldavs is at one of these in TN I think, as Mgr!), and TX (El Paso). So for all of you who LOVED working there–it seems like the ONLY one they closed was in Bloomington, for some reason–maybe IN laws got too tough! So go to the site, and if you feel like moving, maybe you can still work for “THE DIAL”! Anyway, write to the corporate hdquarters in Mahwah if you want a company statement for that year. When I worked there from 97 to 98 I made around $14,000 for the year working 28 hours per week.

  5. I made good friends there and had really liked my team leaders, superiors & Boss Man.
    It was a crummy thing to get dropped with no warning. But, l know they all hated to drop alot of us too.
    Great working with the whole crazy bunch! And Thanks friends for introducing me to Sushi and chocolate covered coffee beans.

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