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  Reply # 1592687 14-Jul-2016 18:04
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Dunnersfella:

 

Was your commission at the end based on turn over, or on a share of profit?

 

What was the general vibe when DSE got into the appliance market in a serious manner?

 

Who did you see as the biggest brick and mortar competition? JayCar? PB's? Harvey's? Noel's? JB's?

 

 

Originally pure sales, so if you sold $6,000 worth of anything that day, you'd get a set percentage of that. Then later it changed to being a % of profit, 1.5% I believe. However that "profit" is a highly debatable number, because it wouldn't have included kick backs head office got. So while we might appear to lose money from a TV on special for example, in reality head office were getting paid by the manufacturer. That's standard in the industry.

 

Thankfully anything sold at a loss didn't count against your commission, so you didn't lose any commission.

 

Returns did, but then again you could return the item under someone else's staff code who wasn't going to get commission that month anyway. There were quite a few ways to manipulate the numbers to hit higher targets, lol.

 

The vibe when we got into appliances? Having seen the profit in those, I could understand it. Sell one high end coffee machine and the profit was probably about the same as selling 10 or 20 laptops. But we all saw it as a strange move because people didn't know to look for those products at Dick Smith, and while the profit seems great, stores like Briscoes discount them like crazy. So while we could understand the reasoning, mostly the vibe was 'Oh this could go badly'. And they did not sell fast at all.

 

Biggest brick and mortar competition? haha I should have got a commission with all the customers I sent to JayCar. It probably came down to each individual location, because in general most customers are fairly lazy to drive far. However if there's a Noel's in the same shopping center or area, they'd be major competition. In our case, it was Noel's, Harvey's, Smith City, Power Store, The Warehouse and The Warehouse Stationary.

 

PB Tech is good, but the average consumer we served didn't know such a place existed.

 

All the competition between brick and mortar stores is crazy though, and online too. Companies like Canon provide them with items like a camera, at a healthy margin, then one store slashes the price, then another, and soon enough nobody makes any money from the camera. Then you push the accessories. The whole sale culture is a weird one, and great for consumers, but if things continue I guarantee Dick Smith won't be the only major electronics retailer to go bust.




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  Reply # 1592714 14-Jul-2016 18:50
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Random facts.... The number of people who a came in asking for a male to male USB cable was huge (or a UBS cable, hehe). After asking what they want to plug in, it was always a huge mission to explain that it won't work.

 

Same with selling people an adapter to plug their screw-in satellite dish cable into their TV; convincing someone that it won't work unless their TV has a satellite freeview tuner, which they wouldn't need an adapter if it had, was an uphill battle. Almost always followed by "But my (insert relative or friend here) has this setup and it works great". Outside I was very polite and helpful, but inside I was totally face palming many times every day, haha.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1592716 14-Jul-2016 18:59
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Were there any directives or instructions to staff around how to handle customers who tried to claim some form of reparation under the CGA, particularly around persuading them that they may not be entitled to anything.





Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)




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  Reply # 1592718 14-Jul-2016 19:06
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floydbloke:

 

Were there any directives or instructions to staff around how to handle customers who tried to claim some form of reparation under the CGA, particularly around persuading them that they may not be entitled to anything.

 

 

Thankfully, absolutely none about persuading them they may not be entitled to anything.

 

Basically we would just book it in as a repair, and note that it was a CGA claim. Some manufacturers were better than others at covering this, but if we felt it was reasonable that it should be covered and the manufacturer wouldn't, we'd usually tell them to bill it to the store.

 

Or in some situations, we'd split the cost with the customer, or in some cases say to the customer we can have it assessed but you're unlikely to be covered for this. Just as an example for that last one, a laptop where the bottom was literally falling off. Where the screws that were once holding in went, who knows, but it was just in a terrible condition.

 

It largely came down to own our judgement, there were no outlined steps to follow or any specific directives regarding the CGA from the company. For better or worse.


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  Reply # 1592773 14-Jul-2016 20:30
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This question is rather abstract, but... What was it like working there while it was being wound down? Living in Lower Hutt and working in Wellington city I went into the Queensgate and Featherston Street stores quite a bit and was generally impressed that the staff we still very professional, but went also went into a couple of Auckland stores when I was there after Christmas and the attitude there seemed very much "Can't be f---ed."


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  Reply # 1592774 14-Jul-2016 20:35
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This could be a hit on reddit nz!




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  Reply # 1592775 14-Jul-2016 20:36
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Oh and only a matter of hours before it becomes a headline on stuff too




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1592781 14-Jul-2016 20:39
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Just read everything. I was in NoelLeemings for around 3 years, everything you're saying is practically identical, even down to the spiv bonuses being awesome and head office whittling them down more and more until it was just not worth it. Seriously awesome coin if you could lie through your teeth and brow beat customers into a sale (million dollar club) but sugar if you just sold based on honesty. 

 

Anyway, I really felt for you guys I know sales is a thankless, sugar and mind numbing job, respect the fact you guys were professional until the end. 

 

 

 

My question is (if I may) what did staff know before the public, or did you get the info pretty much as soon as the media did?

 

 

 

Furthermore, if so what was their threat to you? I presume withhold your pay if anyone blabbed? 




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  Reply # 1592795 14-Jul-2016 20:51
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andrew027:

 

This question is rather abstract, but... What was it like working there while it was being wound down? Living in Lower Hutt and working in Wellington city I went into the Queensgate and Featherston Street stores quite a bit and was generally impressed that the staff we still very professional, but went also went into a couple of Auckland stores when I was there after Christmas and the attitude there seemed very much "Can't be f---ed."

 

 

Ah that seemed to vary from store to store, and staff member to staff member. An un-official private Dick Smith facebook was quickly setup, because of course head office had deleted their formal one, and some of the stories that came through on there were mixed. Some staff staying professional, and some stating how very un-professional they were being.

 

In our store, almost all of us stayed very professional actually. And while everyone got sick of being asked "When are you closing?" and "Have you found a job?", personally I didn't see a problem in that, the customers were generally being really nice and were worried about us. It seems stupid to be rude to them, and aside from that, to give the attitude of 'Can't be f---ed." right before you're about to leave and go apply for jobs... I don't understand that at all.

 

Maybe the staff didn't think they might serve someone who turns out to be interviewing them one day, or that they wouldn't need a good reference from the boss... but a bit of it was just staff dealing with their loss.




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  Reply # 1592797 14-Jul-2016 20:52
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joker97: Oh and only a matter of hours before it becomes a headline on stuff too

 

haha, that'd be interesting! :D




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  Reply # 1592801 14-Jul-2016 20:58
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tehgerbil:

 

Just read everything. I was in NoelLeemings for around 3 years, everything you're saying is practically identical, even down to the spiv bonuses being awesome and head office whittling them down more and more until it was just not worth it. Seriously awesome coin if you could lie through your teeth and brow beat customers into a sale (million dollar club) but sugar if you just sold based on honesty. 

 

Anyway, I really felt for you guys I know sales is a thankless, sugar and mind numbing job, respect the fact you guys were professional until the end. 

 

 

 

My question is (if I may) what did staff know before the public, or did you get the info pretty much as soon as the media did?

 

 

 

Furthermore, if so what was their threat to you? I presume withhold your pay if anyone blabbed? 

 

 

Agreed! The commission schemes rewarded you if you were pushy, if you border-line misinformed customers about their consumer rights when selling warranties, and things like that. If I ever come across those sales people when I'm shopping, I just wouldn't want to deal with them.

 

I think to be in the million dollar club, you had to be pushy or dishonest with someone. Either the customer, or the company (like claiming in the system that items were not new to give a valid discount, and using that discount to give a free warranty, or discounting to get attach rates up, refunding under other staff codes etc)

 

Staff knew only about an hour or few before. An email came through stating to halt all customer orders immediately. Then we knew something big was up, and within a couple of hours, it was announced. Staff that weren't at work that day would have heard it on the news, radio, seen it on Facebook or somewhere, likely before they checked their staff email account to see the news.


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  Reply # 1592818 14-Jul-2016 21:55
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Did all staff have access to view purchase orders and/or invoices?  Did everyone know that there were rebates from the suppliers?

 

Did you ever get training, be it for product, customer services, arguing against CGA ... ?  Was there any policy around the CGA?

 

What were your co-workers like to work with?  Were they all like-minded?  And bosses/management - were they approachable?  How often did you get to see management?  Did they have yearly back-patting meetings with slideshows on profits/sales?

 

What was staff turnover like?  What sort of jobs did leaving staff 'upgrade' to?  Where did most of the staff seem to come from, in terms of background?




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  Reply # 1592835 14-Jul-2016 22:54
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MadEngineer:

 

Did all staff have access to view purchase orders and/or invoices?  Did everyone know that there were rebates from the suppliers?

 

Did you ever get training, be it for product, customer services, arguing against CGA ... ?  Was there any policy around the CGA?

 

What were your co-workers like to work with?  Were they all like-minded?  And bosses/management - were they approachable?  How often did you get to see management?  Did they have yearly back-patting meetings with slideshows on profits/sales?

 

What was staff turnover like?  What sort of jobs did leaving staff 'upgrade' to?  Where did most of the staff seem to come from, in terms of background?

 

 

No they were only for head office to see, although once I did receive remains of cellphone company rebate invoices used as packaging, lol. The figures were large, so I guess they were the cellphone companies paying for the connections made. The rebates from suppliers were not known to staff.

 

Training? There was online training regarding customer services and product knowledge. Extended warranty training did cover the CGA a little, like comparing what a customer gets under the CGA vs what they get under the extended warranty. Certainly nothing in there that I felt was misleading about the CGA, which was good to see.

 

Various manufacturers would have reward schemes too, like you'd collect points for selling a specific brand, and then you could use those points for free products, or pressie cards. Sometimes companies would straight up give you bonus cash in your commission for selling them. So always be wary of asking a sales person which brand they'd recommend, or listening to them push a specific brand over another. It's quite likely they are getting points or extra cash for selling that specific brand.

 

My co-workers were thankfully very like minded, and great to work with. They were the reason I stayed with the company; it makes all the difference who you work with. And there were a lot of really good people in the company. But there were also the odd not good / poor attitude / rude people too. Management in a store level was constant contact, they're out on the floor selling with you. The area manager, we'd see them once a month I guess. But there was weekly conference calls. The area manager was easy to get along with, and helped me get my commission when the system had glitched and thought I was just under the target.

 

Head office however was a different story, and when they visit, it was good to mention what you thought were problems, but they'd never give a proper response. You'd always get the PR reply. But in the last few years, head office didn't want to hear anything negative.

 

Profits and sales were emailed to stores on a regular basis, but it was a public company so I think those were reported to all shareholders. As staff we didn't get to see any secret figures, other than the occasional time I was accidentally emailed things. Nothing exciting, just like the budget for an expo or such.

 

Turn over was fairly high in some stores, especially when commission became harder to get. But that's what head office wanted. They wanted the people who couldn't perform, to leave. They basically wanted everyone on minimum wage, fighting for their commission. Which I understand is ideal from a company view, but in the real world it doesn't work... you don't have enough sales for everyone to get their commission, no matter how hard they try. And you end up with Sharks for sales people, those who will make sure they get their commission each month no matter what.

 

Even though I was paid at a higher rate, I didn't get a raise in years, where as back in the days when Woolworths owned it, when minimum wage went up everyones wage went up. New owners took over; only those that would be below the minimum got an increase, and maybe some managers, maybe.

 

As for staff leaving, it varied greatly what jobs they went to really, but mostly non-retail jobs.

 

Where the staff came from, for many it was their first job, which is good in a way. You can try and teach them good habits, rather than trying to un-teach them bad habits. But it did vary. I worked for a major international videogaming store before this, splitting my time between working overseas and here.


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  Reply # 1592842 14-Jul-2016 23:12
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Thanks for that awesome reply :)

Once I visited a dse store with my brother looking at TVs as he was shifting. An employee showed us "cost" prices of some of the tellys from a nearby terminal. There wasn't much in it but of course I was taking this with a grain of salt.

So I guess everyone had acces to the supposed cost prices?

gzt

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  Reply # 1592847 14-Jul-2016 23:31
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On notebook/laptop who were the best brands to deal with for customer resolution and satisfaction from your point of view?

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