October 12, 2022

Opportunity: Customer Support, New Ventures

Ginny Fahs

Ginny Fahs is Director of Product R&D in CR’s Innovation Lab, where she leads a team pioneering new ways for consumers to take control of their data and digital lives.

We’re seeking a customer support specialist to join Consumer Reports on a contract basis. This is a good opportunity for a mission-oriented professional who wants to experience a startup social enterprise, help bring experimental products to market, and help grow young products that show promise.

Scope:

  • You will be supporting Permission Slip and Upkept, two young products in CR’s New Ventures portfolio.
  • As part of this overarching scope of work, you will help respond to inbound questions and requests for support.
  • In your work with Permission Slip, you’ll help make sure consumers’ data requests make it to companies and work with companies to help process these requests;
  • Manage inbound inquiries from consumers and companies, and triage issues as appropriate;
  • Keep detailed records of issues and interact with consumers and companies to get them resolved;
  • Recommend tooling and process improvements to make support operations more efficient;
  • Uncover and report bugs in our consumer apps and partner with our development teams to get them resolved;
  • Gather and synthesize feedback from users about their experiences using Upkept and Permission Slip;

Qualifications:

  • Sharp attention to detail and ability to multitask
  • Reliable, diligent, and professional
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Highly motivated and able to work independently
  • Proficient with technology and Google Suite applications
  • Prior experience working on a customer support team preferred
  • Curiosity about privacy, data rights, consumer protection, or public interest technology a plus

This is a contract opportunity, working remotely with colleagues in Eastern and Pacific time zones. Time commitment is estimated at 30 hours per week.

Interested applicants should get in touch, explain their interest and qualifications and attach a resume or CV. To apply or request more information, contact digitallab@cr.consumer.org

Background

About New Ventures:
Consumer Reports is a trusted and nationally recognized non-profit with an 85 year history conducting policy work at the federal and state levels. CR’s New Ventures team discovers, incubates, and grows new products and services designed to solve thorny consumer problems. Working on the New Ventures team feels a lot like working at a startup—we’re a small, nimble, collaborative, and creative team that’s dedicated to impact. But we also work regular hours and offer the stability of working for an established non-profit. We respect work-life balance and work on a double bottom line—generating impact and revenue.

About Permission Slip:

U.S. consumers have little control over the collection and sale of their personal data, which leads to profiling, manipulation, price discrimination and other practices that cut against consumers’ best interests. Regulations such as California’s CCPA and Europe’s GDPR seek to restore power to individuals but depend on consumers’ ability to meaningfully exercise their data rights.

In 2018, CR helped pass the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Mid-2020, we conducted a participatory study to understand how the CCPA is working for consumers and learned just how tough it can be for Californians to use the privacy rights the CCPA grants. Next, we decided to research what emergent, consumer-facing services might be possible under the CCPA. We launched two pilot programs focused on the CCPA’s “authorized agent” provision (§999.326.), which allows consumers to designate a third party to issue data requests to companies on their behalf. These studies ultimately grew into a new experimental service: Permission Slip.

With Permission Slip, we continue to lay practical foundations for consumer data control in the U.S. The work is crucial because, without good tooling, even highly-engaged and interested consumers are unlikely to be able to control their data or benefit from the many hidden insights it contains.

About Upkept:
Upkept by Consumer Reports is a mobile app that gives homeowners the ability to fully track and manage their biggest investment, their homes. With custom maintenance plans, automated reminders, and step-by-step guides for completing every task, Upkept is the perfect tool for new and first-time homeowners. Upkept has received accolades from Fast Company, Apple, The Webby Awards, Apartment Therapy, and more.

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