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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Comcast Training Materials Leaked 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-to-be-a-jerk-in-3-easy-steps dept.
WheezyJoe writes: The Verge reports on leaked training manuals from Comcast, which show how selling services is a required part of the job, even for employees doing tech support. The so-called "4S training material" explicitly states that 20 percent of a call center employee's rating for a given call is dependent on effectively selling the customer new Comcast services. "There are pages of materials on 'probing' customers to ferret out upsell opportunities, as well as on batting aside customer objections to being told they need to buy something. 'We can certainly look at other options, but you would lose which you mentioned was important to you,' the guide suggests clumsily saying to an angry customer who doesn't want to buy any more Comcast services." Images of the leaked documents are available on the Verge, making for fun reading.
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

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  • ... for pirating their upsell "do you want fries with that."
    • by Gordo_1 (256312)

      Not that most here will care very much, but that's technically a cross-sell. An upsell is when they ask "would you like to biggie size that?" or something along those lines. A cross-sell generally adds something onto your existing purchase, whereas an upsell replaces your purchase with something more expensive.

      I think it's worth understanding these things if only because the deeper your knowledge of these strategies, the better off you are to combat them when they're inevitably used against you.

    • by punkr0x (945364)
      I have no doubt if McDonald's was the only place to get food, they would be much more aggressive about their policies.

      Sure, you can buy just a burger, but the Big Mac combo meal is only $10.99... a single burger will cost you $23.
      Your fries are cold? Well I see here that you ordered the basic meal.. for just $5 more you get the premium meal, which gives you a maximum fry temperature of 160 degrees. Actual temperature may be less depending on time of day and drive-thru congestion.
      Oh you want ketchup?

  • Grabbing Hands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlecDalek (3781731) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:10PM (#47708959)
    The grabbing hands, grab all they can...
  • by slowdeath (2836529)
    Why is this a surprise? Or even 'newsworthy' on slashdot? This is just good business. When I go to a store, any store, they try and sell me more stuff. Ask me if I found everything I need. Have I tried this new brand of drink? When I have a meal in a restaurant they ask me if I want coffee or dessert. If you don't want it, just say no.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:20PM (#47709011)

      Sure, but in those stores, they don't hold credit - damaging overcharges and fees over your head, either. Comcast has your ass in a sling, and wants to keep it there- and will, until you threaten to sue.

      Sound like your local Walmart, still?

    • by Fulminata (999320) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:53PM (#47709165)
      Yes, but the description above indicates that they are trained not to take "no" for an answer.

      It's not good business to irritate your customers, unless it doesn't matter because you have them locked into your service due to a virtual monopoly.

      Looking to find and fill a genuine need for your customer = good.

      Trying to sell them something they obviously aren't there for (such as additional services when they are looking for tech support) = bad.

      Continuing to bother a customer when they tell you that they're not interested = terrible.
      • by penix1 (722987)

        Shit... Now I'm in the position of defending Comcast...

        Trying to sell them something they obviously aren't there for (such as additional services when they are looking for tech support) = bad.

        If you read the document, you would see that upselling BEFORE the tech support issue was solved is enough to get you a "0" score. Upselling doesn't occur until their issue is resolved and the call is on track to end.

        Trying to sell them something they obviously aren't there for (such as additional services when they ar

        • by ruir (2709173)
          Any URL for the documents?
        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          Upselling doesn't occur until their issue is resolved and the call is on track to end.

          And that's still a problem. If I call to have a problem fixed, then that's all they should do. The dozens of ads per day they insert into the video, the 2-3 pieces of snail mail I get per week, and the annoying calls that I can't stop because I have a "business relationship" with them are more than enough "upsell" for me.

          Luckily, my providers (DirecTV for video and Verizion FiOS for Internet) don't do any a lot of this crap (DirecTV does insert a lot of ads for themselves). The only "upsell" I get from a

    • by Livius (318358)

      Because sales, particularly if an employee's performance/compensation is based on it, becomes predatory, and is the opposite of jobs described as technical support or customer service.

      Because some people don't understand that no means no.

    • by thaylin (555395) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:56PM (#47709187)
      Wait so this is similar because when you go to a store, whose employees sole job to sell you something, it is like when you go to technical support, expecting someone whose sole job is to support your issue? They are 2 distinct types of employees. When I go to a store I expect to be upsold. When I contact customer service for a problem I do not expect to be sold something.
      • Wait so this is similar because when you go to a store, whose employees sole job to sell you something, it is like when you go to technical support, expecting someone whose sole job is to support your issue? They are 2 distinct types of employees. When I go to a store I expect to be upsold. When I contact customer service for a problem I do not expect to be sold something.

        You may not expect it but many companies, that sell to customers as opposed to those who manufactur a product and sell through retailers, expect anyone who regularly deals with customers to try to upsell. Some are low key and others pushy. Airlines for example ask if I need a hotel or car at my destination. When I say no there is no they say thanks have a nice flight. Trying to camel SiriusXM was a nightmare of "no I don't x free months. Just cancel it" before the retention guy cancelled it.

    • by jopsen (885607)

      Why is this a surprise? ..... When I go to a store, any store, they try and sell me more stuff.

      If you go the service desk for any reasons (the equivalent of calling tech support) the personal there is not instructed to try and sell you more stuff :)

    • I don't upsell in my store and its succesfull and I refuse to upsell unless the customer asks me if there's anything else I can recomend. I give them one example and thats it. Knowing your customer base and products is the key.

    • It would be news for nerds if someone would be kind enough to summarize what to say to get special discounts for internet service.

      • Please disconnect my services.

        Why?

        I am going with Century Link.

        6 more months of new user discounts.

        Been doing this since Hughsnet and Century Link came to town several years ago.
        I hate to say this, but Comcast is much better in my area. Hughsnet reminds me of dialup. Century Link is more like DSL. In this area their customer service has vastly improved too, amazing what even inferior competition can do for a market. I used both trying to cut Comcast. I came back to Comcast and now use the competition to wr
    • Obligatory car analogy: Would you like it if you took your car in for blown head gasket and they tried to up sell you on a paint job or new tires?

      The problem isn't so much that the sales people are trying to make sales(it's what they do), it is that the customer service and tech support is being recruited for that too. If I am calling support for something that means they have failed to deliver on my existing service(billing or technical). That is not when I want to be asked about upgrading a currently unsa

      • Not only that, but they're being told not to take no for an answer. Using your car analogy, it would be like this:

        Mechanic: "So your car has a blown gasket which needs to be replaced. I also noticed what might be a tiny spot of rust. Would you like a whole new paint job?"
        Customer: "No thanks. Just the gasket now."
        Mechanic: "Are you sure? Your car would look great with a new coat of paint."
        Customer: "No paint. Just the gasket."
        Mechanic: "We could even change the color."
        Customer: "Just the gasket. I do

    • by sjames (1099)

      The difference is they don't keep badgering you about it. They especially don't try to block your path on your way out the door.

      They also aren't generally the only store reachable from your home.

    • This is not good business.

      This is institutionalized harassment. The training materials suggest squeezing the customer, selling them things they don't need, and convincing them they'll lose something of value--manufactured, if necessary--if they don't buy things. The employees have 1/5 of their job performance predicated on sales success. It's pressure on the employees to put pressure on the customer.

      This is actually illegal. High-pressure sales tactics will get people taken out in handcuffs by the

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:12PM (#47708967)

    This is totally normal for ISPs. up-selling, attempts to retain customers at any cost. At comcast it was pressed on our call center tech support guys fairly hard but moreso on customer service reps in the billing/accounts department. at AT&T there was literally a whole department called "the save team" who got financial incentives to retain customers. if you called to cancel, you would be put on the line with the save team. they could get credit for a save if they could transfer a customer back to technical support "oh, our tech guys can fix that problem for you and your service will be fine, plus i gave you a month credit" (or something to that affect). and then the tech staff would get this transferred call about how their printer didnt work. completely unrelated, and after being bounced around and on hold, then being told "uhhh. we cant help you with that", they got right pissed and demanded to cancel again. the save team rep, already got a notch on their saved belt but the customer still quit. it was a corrupt system right to the core :)

    • Great example of the perverse incentives of capitalism. Selling provides a higher return than investing in technical innovation.

      • Great example of the perverse incentives of capitalism. Selling provides a higher return than investing in technical innovation.

        At least that's the perception of the bosses, which is why the programmers who create the product are regarded as simple "hired help, interchangeable, not worthy of respec, etc." See Dilbert. Or get a cattle prod (you can probably order one from the BOfH).

        • The idea of an ongoing struggle between results-oriented managers and technical visionaries is not new. Economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen noted it in his 1904 book The Theory of Business Enterprise.1 Eighty-some years later, John Kenneth Galbraith cited Veblen's view to describe a dynamic still at work in a more modern economy:

          "The businessmen, for good or ill, keep the talents and tendencies of the scientists and engineers under control and suppress them as necessary in order to maintain prices an

          • by Amouth (879122)

            From this view of the business firm, in turn, comes an obvious conclusion: somehow release those who are technically and imaginatively proficient from the restraints imposed by the business system and there will be unprecedented productivity and wealth in the economy."

            From Bridging the Gap Between Stewards and Creators [mit.edu].

            We had that for a short while, example would be bell labs.. then the business got greedy and killed innovation.

            You know it's interesting when you look at organizations, people seem to think that innovation is focused in start-ups but once they get large you can't have it, but this just isn't true. If you look at a lot of the really successful organizations (compare Market Cap vs. Head count) you will see a trend where the culture values the thoughts and ideas of the engineers, the problem solvers, over th

            • by schnell (163007)

              example would be bell labs.. then the business got greedy and killed innovation.

              The Slashdot crowd can't have their cake and eat it too. "Classic" Bell Labs did a tremendous amount of innovative research that transformed the telecommunications and computer industries. But they did it precisely because they were a regulated monopoly that had no competitors and fat, government-regulated margins. In essence, the old AT&T spent lavishly on Bell Labs projects that in many cases they not only didn't make money on but were actually forbidden (like UNIX) to make money on because they had

    • by sheetsda (230887) <doug.sheetsNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:38PM (#47709107)

      "...attempts to retain customers at any cost."

      I use this to my advantage.

      1. A competing trash service sent me a flier offering the same service at about 60% of the price I was paying. The current service matched the price for 1 year. Even if they're not making a dime on me they're dividing their fuel cost one more way.

      2. Last month I called Time Warner and told them I wanted them to match the introductory price of competing internet service (~75% of regular price for 1 year). They did. This is the second time I've had my price lowered to an introductory rate without being a new customer.

      When these prices run out I'll call again and get the rate lowered again. Or I'll cancel and go to the competitor. Either way, these add up to about $360 saved this year for two 15-minute phone calls. Pretty good $/hr.

      • by rainmaestro (996549) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:30PM (#47709371)

        Must be nice to have competitors. One ISP in my area that provides anything beyond DSL speeds. Bundled utilities that you can't split: water, sewer, stormwater, waste pickup and recycling all in one bill. Even if you go with WM privately, you still pay for county collection as part of your utility bill. Same for recycling.

        • by evilviper (135110)

          One ISP in my area that provides anything beyond DSL speeds.

          DSL isn't dial-up. I don't see why people act like 5Mbps internet access is unacceptable, substandard and inhuman.

          Besides, they know people want better, and keep their prices low to compensate... That should help you negotiate a better deal with your cable company, who doesn't know you really want the higher speeds.

      • I used this to ditch them.

        When they were the monopoly high speed provider in my neighborhood, they tried to push the Triple Play package even though I was set on Internet Only. As a new customer, they had a $100 connection fee where the teck comes out to "Verify" the connection and assist with router install. Could not get the fee waived for a self install even though I already had a router, wireless set up, NAS, Net printers, etc. Modem was an Actiontech Dual PC modem, so the only item need to connect was

  • I recently had to get my cable TV fixed, as the cable box wasn't syncing for more than a minute after being plugged in. After about six calls the "customer account executive" finally determined that I should bring the box in and swap it. During the last of these six calls, the rep asked me if I wanted to upgrade to 105 Mbps Internet. I told him my computers are too low-end to make good use of that, and when I see speed problems, it's usually on the other side. I forget what else I had to embellish my "no th
  • T1 call center is a dead-end job that nobody does by choice. Who cares what the performance goals are, do they fire for not up selling? yes/no

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      They will give you the worst shifts, and poor reviews (yes, including up to "firing") for not performing to their satisfaction.
  • by scoticus (1303689) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:37PM (#47709103)
    I worked tech support for Time Warner about 5 years ago. We were not 'required' to sell, but we were most certainly pushed to. We were reminded constantly, and people who did sell a lot were praised while the rest of us got the 'why aren't you more like this guy?' treatment. Our calls were randomly selected for review, and if there wasn't 'sufficient' effort put into selling, we were criticized heavily. In these reviews, it seems selling was weighted more heavily than whether we actually solved the issue properly or according to procedure, since nobody really gave you guff for failing to satisfy a customer's tech needs as long as you didn't piss them off. You would think that sending onsite techs out to jobs that could have been solved over the phone would get you in trouble. But as long as you sell, sell, sell, you got a gold freakin star. You ever wonder why you are on hold for so long? Because techs are trying to sell shit after they fix the customer's problem instead of hanging up the damn phone and taking the next call. Multiply that by 30+ calls per tech, 3 or so minutes per call, and you see what a giant waste of time that is. I left that horrible job after six months. I spoke with one of my old coworkers who lasted a little longer than I did, and he said nearly half of the 'veteran' techs left shortly after I had, some of them quite spectacularly. ID badges were thrown, "fuck this sales bullshit" was heard often. These bloody companies have dedicated sales staff, why load down techs with this shit?
    • by MBC1977 (978793)
      Because techs can provide targeted and pertinent up-sell suggestions to customers due to being onsite and being able to see exactly what a customer needs. (Full disclosure, I resigned from TWC not to long ago). Hate to beat a dead horse, but a good tech who also understands the sales process and how they can assist in it; is far more valuable to the company (any company), than just a plain tech guy who fixes the issue and moves on.

      If you don't up-sell, your competitor will.
  • What type is the blood, and how do they get the organ and speakers compact enough to install in a call center?

  • by paiute (550198) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:59PM (#47709203)
    Does anyone have a script a customer can stick to when dealing with Comcast?
    • Does anyone have a script a customer can stick to when dealing with Comcast?

      The Comcast call center script, with points values, was leaked a while ago. If you want to annoy the other person then you can just read off what number and the section heading as they go through it.

      Just don't forget to record the call, otherwise they'll do things like charge you for something that they said was free [techdirt.com].

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:30PM (#47709365)

      Does anyone have a script a customer can stick to when dealing with Comcast?

      I used to work in and run call centers for years. (don't anymore, but I manage software that's used in them in some ways) They want to make money off you. You want them to do what you want? Cost them money. The following works every time, I do it myself.
      The key is to:
      A: Do not be reasonable or polite, they count on that. Remember you're in the midst of a con. The person you're talking to is reading a scripted con, that they relies on you being polite and normal. Being not polite and not normal ruins the process.
      B: Do not get upset or use poor language, that's a free ticket to hang up on you. Passive aggressive is the key here.
      C: Waste as much of their time as possible.
      D: Never let them put you on hold. That gives them a mental break, this is a test of endurance. They've been it for hours, you're fresh and can eat chips and drink soda while you ruin their day.

      For example, if you want to disconnect.
      Comcast: Thanks for calling in... long nonsense fill speech later... How can I help you?
      You: I would like to disconnect my service effective immediately, if you waste my time and/or do anything other than disconnect me immediately, I will request a supervisor, I will accept nothing less than a supervisor, I will not allow you to put me on hold, and I will make this call miserable for the both of us until my service has been satisfactorily disconnected.
      *at this point 90% of agents will just do it and take the hit on their stats to not deal with you, but if they wont, read on*
      Comcast: I'm sorry to hear that sir, but I will have to transfer you to our disconnect department...
      You: *cut them off* Please get your supervisor, do not put me on hold. Thank you.
      Comcast: But my supervisor can't...
      You:You're wasting both of our time, call your supervisor over, I'd like to speak to them immediately. Inform them that if THEY can't disconnect my service, I'll be asking for their manager as well. This will continue until my service is disconnected, I will not be put on hold.

      I doubt the supervisor will even get on the phone. Continue down this path, ask for higher and higher level supervisors. There is a chance you will run into a hardass. Don't worry, take down his name, hang up, call back, get someone else. You're shooting for the weakest link. You will find it, they will get sick of talking to you. You'll ruin their stats for the night and they will eventually just say "Screw it" and give you what you want. Their stats are the only measure by which they keep their jobs. You're a loss either way by acting like this so eventually they'll take the hit on the Sale/disco instead of letting you screw up their call times or keep the manager from browsing Slashdot. Remember, the person you're talking to doesn't hate you, doesnt like doing what they are doing and doesn't care if you buy anything. They are required to keep their average call times under X minuites, to make Y sales per month, to have under Z disconnects. Make it clear which stats they are not going to be able to save on this call and which ones they could make up for them on... namely, this could be a very short call and they could stop talking to you, who's clearly unhinged sooner.

      • by timholman (71886) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:16AM (#47709765)

        For example, if you want to disconnect.
        Comcast: Thanks for calling in... long nonsense fill speech later... How can I help you?
        You: I would like to disconnect my service effective immediately, if you waste my time and/or do anything other than disconnect me immediately, I will request a supervisor, I will accept nothing less than a supervisor, I will not allow you to put me on hold, and I will make this call miserable for the both of us until my service has been satisfactorily disconnected.
        *at this point 90% of agents will just do it and take the hit on their stats to not deal with you, but if they wont, read on*
        Comcast: I'm sorry to hear that sir, but I will have to transfer you to our disconnect department...
        You: *cut them off* Please get your supervisor, do not put me on hold. Thank you.
        Comcast: But my supervisor can't...
        You:You're wasting both of our time, call your supervisor over, I'd like to speak to them immediately. Inform them that if THEY can't disconnect my service, I'll be asking for their manager as well. This will continue until my service is disconnected, I will not be put on hold.

        This is way too much effort, unless you happen to enjoy yanking some chains over the phone.

        Here's how you quit Comcast:

        (1) Disconnect every piece of Comcast equipment in your home.
        (2) Load it in a box, and put the box in your car.
        (3) Drive to the nearest Comcast customer center.
        (4) Dump the box on the counter and tell the rep: "I wish to terminate my service immediately."

        No one will argue with you. You have completely bypassed Comcast's customer retention process by doing this. Pay the amount due on your bill, get a receipt with a complete list of the equipment you've turned in, then go home.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        call your supervisor over, I'd like to speak to them immediately. Inform them that if THEY can't disconnect my service, I'll be asking for their manager as well

        There's no legal obligation for them to transfer you to their supervisor. You can ask a dozen times, and the "supervisor" or "manager" you get, will keep being the guy in the next cubicle over.

        http://www.icmi.com/Resources/... [icmi.com]

        • call your supervisor over, I'd like to speak to them immediately. Inform them that if THEY can't disconnect my service, I'll be asking for their manager as well

          There's no legal obligation for them to transfer you to their supervisor. You can ask a dozen times, and the "supervisor" or "manager" you get, will keep being the guy in the next cubicle over.

          http://www.icmi.com/Resources/... [icmi.com]

          Did I ever say there was? You're not trying to get a supervisor, you're trying to waste their time. I am fully aware that you get transferred to the guy in the next cube in a lot of cases. But, you refuse to be transferred, nearly all call centers have a policy on "Warm transfers" meaning, they have to first get your permission and then transfer you in person (i.e. this is frank, he has x problem, etc...) But you refuse to give permission. I guarantee their policy doesn't govern that.

          The end result in the c

      • I go for the "befuddled foreigner" approach.

        "Please cut service. I no pay."

        "Please cut service. I no pay."

        "Please cut service. I no pay."

        "Please cut service. I no pay."

        "Thanks you. Glory to Artsozka!"

      • by iCEBaLM (34905)

        A: Do not be reasonable or polite, they count on that. Remember you're in the midst of a con.

        No, no, no, a hundred times no. Always, always, always be polite first. Even FLAs (front line agents) have small, non-inconsequential, amounts of power that can cause you headaches. If you are rude and/or a dick right off the bat, they can do things like screw with your account, or "forget" to document some important part of the call that can cause you a lot of pain down the road to fix. There are times to get belligerent, the beginning of the call is *not* one of them.

        B: Do not get upset or use poor language, that's a free ticket to hang up on you.

        This is true, almost all companies ins

        • When going in, you don't know whether politeness or rudeness will work, really. However, if you start polite, and get nowhere, you can get rude. If you start rude, and get nowhere, you're not going to have much luck getting polite.

          I have moral and social reasons to start polite, too, but I think the tactical advantages are convincing on their own.

  • Tech Support.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SlowCanuck (1692198) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:20PM (#47709313)
    I used to work for Fedex tech support - we were supposed to: - Have the call answered by the second ring - Not up sell anything - Be polite and courteous at all times - Troubleshoot anything that is wrong with the computer - the job started back in the day before all software had TCP/IP, and we had to dial in, Oh and Win95 was supported. - All our calls were to be logged and notes made for helping the next guy if they ever called in again. In the same building we had AT&T WorldNet, they had to: - Not answer unless the customer was on hold for at least 1/2 and hour - Priority was given to new customers setting up - When they closed for the night - all calls were left in Que and answered in the morning, if still there. For some reason AT&T always had openings?!?
  • Someone moves to an area where Comcast is basically the only game in town for broadband, and at every step of their signing up for residential service, they have their lawyer in tow, reading and challenging everything. "Equipment rental, no, early termination fee, that's not going to work for us..."

    .
  • I'm not surprised at this, it is par for the course for many telephone support agents. I used to do telephone support for Hewlett Packard, until they let me go because I couldn't meet the sales quotas. Not because customers disliked me, not because I couldn't fix customers pc's, but because I couldn't meet a goal of $80.00-$100.00 average revenue per call. Most companies treat their support departments as a revenue drain, since the price of support is no longer built into the purchase price of the item s
  • by Orgasmatron (8103) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:53AM (#47709897)

    And has been for decades. Every customer contact is a sales opportunity. EVERY contact.

    After the dot com bust (the first one), I had bills to pay, so I ended up in a call center for the local cable company. It wasn't quite the low point of my life, but it was in the running.

    The call center was brand new, and the high speed data side was briefly allowed to operate normally, but soon company politics pushed out the (technical) director, and replaced him with a MBA (and EEOC-bingo winner).

    We were all trained to sell, instructed to sell on every call, and evaluated on selling. This was policy from day one, but widely ignored in my department until the MBA took over.

    I earned a reputation for solving problems. Incompetent or uncaring employees would fail to fix things over and over again, pissing off customers. After months of continuing problems, they would call to yell. Usually, they'd end up getting more excuses and empty promises. Sometimes they'd get me (or one of a handful of other fixers).

    I'd mute my microphone until they were done venting, then I'd figure out what the hell was wrong, and get it fixed, often with a generous service credit to appease them for the months that we'd dicked them around.

    Over a few months, I solved hundreds of problems (some going back for many months or years), probably prevented at least a couple of suicides (monopoly, it was us or nothing) and maybe a mass shooting or two (yes, some of them really were that angry).

    One thing I know for sure is that none of those problem calls wanted a fucking sales pitch. "Mr. Smith, now that I've fixed the problem that has prevented you from using the service that you've been paying for these last six months, and you've put your guns away, can I upsell you into a premium package?" Yeah, right. Maybe they'd be interested in an upgrade in a few months, after we'd re-established a bit of trust, but not right away.

    One of my randomly selected evaluation calls happened to be one of my problem calls. The recording followed the call through our system, so it started with 20 minutes of him yelling at one of the sales girls, then her calling me in tears asking to transfer the call, then him yelling at me, then me figuring out the problem and fixing it, then him thanking me, almost in tears himself.

    I had an awesome score on that call, but still failed the review because selling was mandatory. I told my supervisor that he'd better screen my review calls from then on because I had no intention of following the policy. He could either run interference for me and keep me around until one of my interviews panned out, or he could write me up for my second and third strikes as they came up.

    I was gone before my next review came up, so I have no idea what he decided.

    I kept in touch with some friends, and still lived in their service area. The call center went downhill from there. They switched to a voice attendant, so even the people that were happy when they dialed their phones were pissed off by the time they managed to talk to a human. I know I always was. (At first they had a backdoor, swearing three times would get you to a human quickly, but word got out and they disabled that feature.)

    Moving to a non-monopoly town (three[!] fiber lines in my yard! 75 meg up/down for cheap!) was the wisest move of my internet life.

  • I've worked in the telephone tech support business for 10 years. I have performed tech support for fortune 500 companies you would instantly recognize.

    towards the half-way point of my stint, upselling became a *required* part of the job, a metric on which your performance was measured.

    First incentives were put in place to weed out those who didn't upsell: shift bids started being held every 90 days instead of "as the business needs dictated" with top sellers given first picks. This caused those who didn't sell to get terrible shifts, requiring many to quit due to life obligations.

    Then those who failed to sell were given bad reviews, causing them to lose out on annual salary increases.

    When I left poor sellers were being written up, put on notice, and eventually terminated.

    Note, that positions these people were initially hired for were inbound technical support jobs with no mention of selling anything. These people would be manning the technical support lines for major corporations that you have heard of, and no one calling any of them would expect to be given any kind of sales pitch.

  • I used to do tech support for Cox (by way of a outsourcer) and they started doing the same thing (this was about three years ago). The reason, straight from (Cox's) own mouths, was that customers were more trusting of the tech support agents than they were the sales department.

    We (on the team) were quick to point out that we would be flushing that very credibility away if we started trying to sell people stuff, and it would make it more difficult to deal with the customers in our actual jobs as tech support

  • If so, please include 20% upsell in your comments in this thread.
  • It seems to me that customer service should try to fix things that are broken rather than sell additional services delivered to a customer with a broken set up. Why would I want something new that requires a working system when I can't get what I'm paying for now with a broken system?

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