Workers Complain about Bedbugs at Hot Springs Call Center


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Jeanine Salzman has worked at Startek, Inc., a Sprint customer service call center in Hot Springs, since April but quit Friday after she says the place became infested with bedbugs.

She said, “There’s been a problem with people getting bit on their legs, including myself, and we didn’t know what it was, and that’s been going on for a month now.”

She wasn’t able to take a picture because phones are not allowed in the workplace but says the bugs can be seen all over work desks and chairs.

A human resources manager at Startek addressed the issue in a memo sent out to employees last week saying: “We have made a change to our pest control policy and will now be working with Orkin to help us eradicate the presence of bedbugs in our engagement center.”

“I’ve had to replace my daughters beds, I had to replace my bed. I’m still sleeping on an air mattress,” said Salzman.

Salzman said bedbugs were carried back to her home, costing her more than $2,200 in damages. “My daughter was actually getting bit in her eye, the corner of her eye. She had the corner of her eye swell up.”

A representative from Startek said the company is aware of what Jeanine says is an ongoing problem.

“The facility is under treatment, and employees are still working while we are undergoing the treatment plan,” said Kelly Hilton, senior director of global communications.

But in the meantime, Salzman says, she left looking for another job.

“I have bills to pay. I’m a single mom of ten years, and I’m going to start applying to other places, but what do I do in the interim? I need a paycheck,” Salzman said. 

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