Orange retail staff could face the sack if they fail to hit their individual sales targets in a New Year shake-up, they claimed last week.
Orange denied it has instigated onerous terms for staff missing sales targets. A spokesperson said: “We have a fair system in place for our staff about reaching their targets. We believe that the deals in store are extremely competitive and that our commission structure is fair.”
But, Orange staff insisted area managers across the country had informed store managers in a conference call to take a tough stance on individual sales figures in a bid to remove poor sellers and maximise new contract, business and broadband connections.
Store managers in several regions, including London and the Midlands, claimed to have received the same information.
Staff claimed if they fail to hit individual monthly targets, they will be given a performance review by store managers and set new targets. If they fail again, they will be given a last chance. A third consecutive failure could lead to staff being sacked.
The move comes less than a month after Orange reported to staff they had smashed 2007 figures by signing two million new customers in 2008.
One Orange staffer said: “The motto in my area now is if you fail to hit your figures you will be let go. Three-strikes and you’re out. It’s not the Orange way, 2008 turned out to be a great year, so why change it? There is a lot of pressure. Targets are based on spending 100 per cent of time selling.”
Another Orange staffer said: “Nothing official has been written down, but the area manager has spoken about it. But as long as we hit the targets we don’t have to worry.”
Staff also complained last week Orange undermines them with its web deals, claiming line rental can be obtained up to £10 cheaper online than in store. They said customers use the shop floor as a “demo house” before buying online.
Customers get £120 cashback credit on their accounts from stores when buying the Samsung G600 and the LG KF300. They get £180 online for the same handsets, staff noted.
Orange online customer service Click2Chat also confirmed contracts on handsets connected to 18 or 24-month plans are cheaper to buy online.
One Orange staffer said: “The company gets the sale regardless, whereas we risk losing sales, and so miss targets.”