In my time with Rogers, my time in the Belleville Center I was a customer care person and in Trenton I did telemarketing. My pride does not come from my sales after all of this time. It comes from the customers I allowed to better enjoy their service with technical support help, dedicated customer service and going the extra mile to ensure an excellence in customer service. I insist during my time although I was exposed to unethical practice I did not up sell to vulnerable customers if I could avoid it & I made an effort to represent Rogers with integrity.
“You make people buy crap they don’t need.” That is how my ex Christopher used to describe my sales job at Rogers Communications in 2013. After a while I was somehow able to compress and let go of all the unethical things happening around me in a Rogers Communications Telecom line. Looking back I should of said more, I should of kept blowing my whistle. In 2016 though after my website that talked about the internal struggle of call centers was taken down I guess I gave up on my struggle. It is 2 years later now and with CBC speaking up I am inspired to share about the unethical practices I saw used on a Rogers Telecom call center.
“Your departments really need re-structuring” – This used to be a constant statement used by Rogers Telecom employees. Why did we say this? Well the function of Customer service and retention/cancellation really should be to improve the customer experience. Apparently the way to do that was by adding $$ in to Rogers pockets. In Customer service after if we did resolve the customer inquiry we were expected to make a sales offer to bundle the customer’s services or we got low performance evaluations.
“It doesn’t make sense!” The customer is calling in ticked off because something isn’t working or there was a glitch on their bill, or someone else added something to their bill that should not be there. However we are to please them then sell to them. It felt like the company had no integrity. Yes it did feel like if you didn’t make sales quotas 2 a day that you could lose your job.
(Formally we never had our jobs threatened however by using a shift bid system if you performed low you could get a poor shift choice and then the company would sort of shake you off by circumstance either by low attendance, late attendance or intensive micro-management to seek reasons for termination. Some telecom centers now exclusively do bids based on seniority to help staff retention I think that is the way to go.)
“That wasn’t a sale, what are you doing?” – What, no don’t transfer them to our sales processors they didn’t qualify, or said no or you pushed too hard! In order to boast a high conversion metric I saw colleagues and manages fudge sales numbers. In fact it is kind of the reputation of the sales center in Trenton Ontario. Just mentioning the company and people would be like “Oh the sketchy call center!” It did not feel good to work for someone whose reputation was a bunch of con men, criminals and exploitative management.
(For legal reasons I am avoiding use of the telemarketing vendor’s name)
Sketchy Sales Coaching! – You know the scam in affiliate marketing claiming you win free face cream? Then if you forget to cancel, you are automatically signed up for a subscription that costs you hundreds of dollars. Well guess what? “You won a discounted home phone service., for 6 months low key” We were made to pitch the home phone that way in the Trenton Call Center because people found it worked. “It works because it is deceptive!”
High pressure sales tactic aka sales scamming– Remember the posters that say “No means no!” Well Rogers Telecom must of never seen these posters. We were trained as a fact to only hang up once we got three no answers from our customers! 3 No answers! That is too many! We were also so pushy that some customers would say yes to certain sales team members just to get them off of the phone with them. I had team members bragging about selling internet to elderly & disabled customers who didn’t even own computers. It was disgusting. Also no one was instructed not to be pushy to vulnerable members of the population and sometimes sales went through to non-account holders just because we got the yes.
Economically in decline products – Rogers Employees were blamed for something called a product life cycle in Business. Meaning over time products tend to decline because something else improves, or loses its effectiveness. Cellphones have replaced home phones in certain places & Internet is replacing cable. Rogers Communications did not have to blame their employees for a naturally occurring cycle. Still if you didn’t argue with your customers who wanted to cancel their packages you were dinged on your quality evaluations by you management.
“Of course you are losing TV/home phone subscribers.” We can argue with cancelling customers all we want. It does not change anything. The offers need to be changed to suit the needs or wants of the market and when you can no longer meet them. The decline is just an organic occurrence. Netflix exists, so why pay so much more for HBO?
What do I want to see change from Rogers Telecom operations after the CBC expose?
The company itself is not evil and it does not have to be seen that way. I would like to see Rogers Communications separate their Customer Service & sales departments. Meaning your customer service department can activate someone technically but they are not expected to up sell on calls and they certainly should not have sales targets. We need to make cancellation easier, especially when it comes to accommodating elderly, people on fixed incomes & low income people. Lastly they need to stop exploiting the elderly. A loss of words is not a senior citizen’s way of accepting an offer. It is there way of being confused.