Rogers Employees Reveal High Pressure Sales Tactics Used on Seniors and More: Report

After hearing about high pressure sales tactics from Bell employees, we now have another story detailing similar scenarios for call centre employees from Rogers, speaking to CBC News.

According to emails and interviews with CBC’s Go Public, Rogers employees claim they are under “extreme pressure” to hit sales targets or risk losing their jobs.

An unnamed Rogers employee in Ottawa said “You’re supposed to look at a customer’s account and sell them cable, home phone, home security, a credit card — whatever is missing.”

This employee says even if people fall ill, sales targets remain unchanged unless someone goes on short-term disability, adding “so you’re at home, trying to get better, but stressing about how you’re going to keep your job.”

The Ottawa worker says the pressure to meet sales targets means he has even resorted to target seniors for internet service, and lying to others: “We’re giving internet service to customers who actually do not have a computer.”

He also says he has omitted informing customers about installation fees for TV and Internet, plus activation fees for wireless, on top of adding extra products and services to a customer’s bill without their knowledge. “It feels really bad…But you have all this pressure on you. All your managers are around you, telling you to sell, sell, sell.”

Another Rogers employee from this same Ottawa call centre, Jessica Robinson, also told the CBC how employees are expected to sell products and services on every call, even to those calling in to cancel services. She quit working at Rogers after seven years at the call centre.

Robinson says “When I had my interview … they actually asked me ‘If an elderly lady calls in to cancel her sports package on her TV because her husband just died, are you going to convince her to keep it and add more?'”

She went on stress leave three times, which was attributed to the high pressure sales environment. “They teach us how to be empathetic. To say things like ‘I understand how frustrating that must be,’” explains Robinson, adding “I’m like, why? We’re the ones screwing them over.”

Ex-Rogers employee James Woodward told Go Public, “Managers know these reps are unethical,” claiming they turn a blind eye, “So they try not to listen to those calls.” He says he has also misled customers, especially at month-end when he was short of meeting his sales targets.

Woodward says “I would get five cellphone activations in a day and sell a bunch of cable products, and then my manager would say, ‘No credit card?’ It was always what I didn’t do.”

Other Rogers employees said the company will “drop” calls on customers when they call in to cancel services, because it will affect sales targets, which is “why most customers have to call in three, four, five times to get a problem resolved,” says one unnamed Rogers employee at the Ottawa call centre.

Rogers provided the following statement to Go Public, saying “While we do not believe the concerns raised represent our values or sales practices, we take them very seriously and we will work with our team to respond to these concerns.”

Last week, Ottawa-based advocacy group, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to hold a public inquiry into high pressure sales tactics from telecoms.

PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel, John Lawford, said “a formal inquiry into the entire industry’s sales practices is required,” adding “We are concerned that such aggressive and potentially misleading sales practices are endemic in retail Internet, wireless, subscription TV and wireline telephone markets, in particular in relation to bundles offered by the major providers.”

Have you ever experienced high pressure sales tactics from Rogers call centre employees?

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