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The curious case of the BONUS not a bonus August 24, 2011

Posted by eddiefitz in Bonuses, Carphone Warehouse, Kelvin Close, News, Pay, Preston, Stanford House, Targets, Warrington.
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Apparently a bonus cant be paid on insurance selling or saving a cancellation because of FSA rules. Fair enough so far, (if that is the case), because it is “incentivising.”
BUT when the employee doesn’t save enough insurance cancellations then 10% of the employees overall bonus is affected and can be lost.

But, hang on, IF bonus on selling insurance is banned because it is incentivising, then isn’t NOT Saving insurance also incentivising if it is part of the overall bonus conditions?

If you are affected or can shed light on this curious rule then please get in touch


Green light? Red card more like… December 9, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Bonuses, TalkTalk, Targets.
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A Carphone Worker correspondent at Preston has got in touch to let us know about the latest change with massive consequences for take home pay…

Another issue with the talk talk ‘green light authorisation’ process has occurred this week with no prior warning and massive consequences for individuals bonus. They have scrapped the process for green lighting adherence for 15 minutes or less meaning if you are stuck on a call and go on your break 14 minutes late it will show you as not adhering to your breaks, thus potentially putting you out of adherence and risking part of your bonus. Everyone is concerned about this as it could have massive implications.  I have tried to talk to my manager about this but as usual been given a pre programmed ‘I don’t care ‘ response.

STOP PRESS!  Further update from our correspondent:

I found out this afternoon after further questioning that they have reduced our adherance target 2% now (what I work out to equate to about 10 minutes from 95 to 93%, still only giving you approx 35 minutes leeway, ten minutes late for a break puts you 20 minutes out on your schedule!) and claim this will account for any changes.  This is rubbish as we always have a queue so unless you are lucky enough to have all your calls end exactly when your break starts you have no chance of logging out in time unless you ‘fudge your stats’  i.e., claiming to need to call the customer back in ten minutes, droping the call or deliberately making yourself over 15 minutes out.   This will have a massive impact on customer service also and could leave employees falling foul of quality guidelines etc.

Want to do something about this sort of thing?  Get in touch…

TT Home Movers: CWU member elected in campaign for fair targets September 15, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Preston, TalkTalk, Targets.
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Workers in Home Movers have elected CWU member Gemma Fitzpatrick to represent them on the company’s “Chat back” forum – an employee consultation body.  Gemma’s election marks a stage in CWU members’ campaign to address a number of issues faced by workers in the TT Operations department.  As we have previously reported, their concerns include bonuses, targets, holidays, and performance management.

In particular, workers are concerned about changes in the bonus structure which make their bonus payout dependent on the statistics relating to the Service Level Agreement.  Because this is in turn affected by how much work is coming in, it is not something that the workers have any control over: however well they work, if more work in total comes into the department, they may still lose their bonus as a result.

Gemma told Carphone Worker, “As union members, we think the company needs to listen to what we have to say.  And as an elected representative of workers in Home Movers, it’s my role to listen to what everyone has to say, and put those views across clearly to the company.”

Michael Parkinson, CWU rep in Home Movers told us that “ultimately, we want to be negotiating with the company, not just being consulted.  That’s what sets a well organised union apart from a consultative body.”

Briefing for CPW CSA workers – bonuses and targets August 17, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Bonuses, Carphone Warehouse, Stress, Targets.

Download a PDF version of this briefing here

Do you work in CPW Customer Support or Fanatical Support?  This matters for you!

Several people who have been at this company for years, people who are respected as workers, have walked out the door.  Everyone says, “this used to be a great company to work for…”  Most people are looking for another job.  Lots of people are stressed, off sick, or getting headaches.  Some workers are taking home several thousand pounds less a year than they were a couple of years ago, even though they’re doing the job better. (more…)

300 seconds… Prepare for stress! May 21, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in TalkTalk, Targets.
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300posterUnlike gory fantasy film 300, Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk Average Handling Time (AHT) target for customer calls involves very little glory.  Instead, workers – and probably customers – must prepare… for stress.

If we cast out minds back in to the depths of mythical time (or just a few years – sorry, got a bit carried away there) we can remember the day when the AHT target was 369 seconds. Enough to give a little leeway for the advisor to deliver a quality First Time Fix – which is what every customer wants.

What has happened since then?

a) customers have learned to speak 30% quicker since 2006 so the reduced target is understandable

b) since technology and procedures have been static over the last three years, and staff turnover is low, advisors will now be familiar with all customer issues.

c) nothing relevant.  They are just putting on the squeeze and not thinking about what this means for workers or customers.

Carphone Worker believes that it is neither a) nor b).

One Carphone Warehouse employee told Carphone Worker yesterday that “you can cut the atmosphere with a knife” on the calling floor.  When targets are too high, it’s no good for workers, and no good for customers.  As we noted in a previous post, overly intense work pacing and lack of control over work are demonstrably unhealthy for call centre workers – and of course it’s no good for the customer either, as workers are stressed and watching the clock.

Workers can either accept that the pace of work will continue to intensify, or they can decide to stick together and say enough is enough.  No more managing people out of work, no more higher targets, for lower real pay, and less sociable shifts.  An active, organised union is a tool for workers to achieve those things.  It’d be legendary, eh?

The Irlam ’49ers – more targets head skyward May 11, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Irlam, SMC, Targets, TTT.
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Service Mangement Centre workers at Irlam were told last Wednesday that their targets are to increase from processing 40 ‘tickets’ (basically, reports of problems that need to be fixed) a day, to 49 tickets – a summary increase of nearly 25%!

Some workers have expressed scepticism that the targets are even achievable, based on past performance. (more…)

Target changes in TT WiFi and 2nd line – what’s the score? April 15, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Bonuses, Pay, Preston, TalkTalk, Targets.

Q: When is a target not a target?

A: When you’re not supposed to hit it!

OK, it’s not very funny.  It’s even less funny if you work at Preston’s TalkTalk WiFi and 2nd Line Broadband  department.  Since – appropriately enough – April Fools Day, they’ve had their target structure change, with the probable effect that many workers are looking at losing a significant chunk of take home pay every month – perhaps up to £50 a month, equivalent to £600 a year.

Local CWU officer Glenn Slater who has also been advising workers in Tech Support has produced a briefing for the WiFi and 2nd Line Broadband.  Read the WiFi/2nd Line briefing here.