Bell Pressures Call Center Staff To Upsell Customers At All Costs: Bell Employees

I may be in India at the moment, but a story on the CBC was brought to my attention by the people that I am working for this week. Which really shows you how much play it is getting in the media. But in short some Bell employees and ex-employees claim that Bell pressures their call center staff to upsell customers all the time. As in every time they call in:

A longtime Bell Canada employee describes working in the company’s Scarborough, Ont., call centre as “a non-stop nightmare,” where she says she is forced to sell customers products they don’t need, don’t want, and may not understand, to hit sales targets and keep her job.

Andrea Rizzo, 50, has worked for Bell — Canada’s largest telecom service provider — for 20 years, and says the pressure to upsell customers who call in has become relentless.

She says employees are expected to make a sale on every call.

Rizzo is currently on stress leave, and worries about the repercussions of making her concerns public, but says the status quo has to change

The pressure comes in the form of those who listen into these calls:

Rizzo describes how coaches randomly listen in on customer calls without her knowledge, and rush to her desk if she’s not sealing a deal.

“They’ll sit next to you and say, ‘Don’t tell them that. No, put the call on hold,’ or ‘No, tell them you have no other options, this is the best choice they’re making,'” says Rizzo. “Some of them will take over the call and actually talk for us.”

She says she’s also coached to talk quickly, not to let the customer speak, and to bury the price of products and services.

“We’re supposed to mention the price really quickly and then jump to, ‘We can get a technician out for this day and this time.'”

And what’s really bad is that they are coached to not talk about the skinny bundle of TV services that Bell is legally required to offer.

That’s not cool.

Now Bell denies that it’s doing any of this. But based on my previous interactions with Bell, for example this interaction where I had a problem and they tried to sell me services before they would get around to trying to fix my problem, this story is entirely plausible. Plus I have heard stories like this from people inside Bell and from clients who experience this upselling first hand. In fact, it’s this behavior, along with the fact that they have contracts that start out at an attractive price before the price skyrockets a few months later that stops me from jumping from Rogers Gigabit Internet to Bell’s Fibe Gigabit offering. Now one would think that the bad press that Bell gets because of stories like these will encourage them to change their behavior. But I seriously doubt it. The way they do business based on what I hear from inside and outside the organization really gives me cause to pause, and this bad press is unlikely to change the way this company behaves. It make me wish that the Canadian government would do something about this as it is unacceptable that Bell is allowed to get away with behavior like this.


2 Responses to “Bell Pressures Call Center Staff To Upsell Customers At All Costs: Bell Employees”

  1. […] this week it came to light that Bell Canada was forcing it’s call center staff to upsell customers at every opportunity. Since then customers have been coming out of the woodwork to say that that report is 100% […]

  2. […] the days since I posted this story and this story on Bell Canada’s sales tactics, I’ve gotten lots of emails and Tweets […]

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