A former door-to-door sales rep for Bell Canada says he still feels guilty for misleading customers on everything from price to products, under pressure to meet quotas and earn commission.
Krys Weiss contacted Go Public after reading about sales pressure on staff at Bell call centres.
“We misled people at the front door, too,” says Weiss, who sold Bell’s “Fibe” TV, internet and home phone services two years ago in Toronto-area neighbourhoods. Bell subcontracts all its door-to-door marketing to third-party companies.
Weiss describes how he and other other sales reps would be dropped off in a neighbourhood and expected to hit about 60 houses a shift. Working mostly on commission, he says he was desperate to get people to sign up for a “triple play” — TV, internet and home phone.
“You want to do whatever you can to finalize that sale,” he says.
Weiss says he was coached not to mention fine print in contracts, to fudge on prices and internet speeds.
“I wasn’t telling the whole truth,” he says. “I was only telling the small things and leaving out the big things that could be potential harm for them.”
Sold internet to senior with no computer
Weiss only lasted two months on the job, and now says he regrets pushing Bell products at the door. He feels particularly badly about a senior citizen he convinced to buy TV, home phone and internet — even though she didn’t own a computer.
“She told me she never used the internet. Didn’t know how to utilize a computer. But I had to sell her the internet in order to get the triple play,” says Weiss.
“I wasn’t doing the right thing.”
More door-to-door sales reps speak out
Others who have sold Bell products door-to-door have told Go Public that they, too, misled customers, especially on price.
A former sales rep in Moncton, N.B., says he was trained to tell customers their price was guaranteed, when in fact, Bell’s terms of service allow the company to increase prices during a contract.
“The customer thought they were getting a guaranteed price for three years, but they weren’t,” he wrote. “They were getting a guaranteed monthly credit.”
In an email, Bell spokesperson Marie-Eve Francoeur wrote, “The conduct described by these former marketing representatives would be in complete violation of the strict standards we set for our suppliers of door-to-door marketing. We would of course take action to investigate and correct behaviour like this.”
Credit check ‘done without asking’
The former Moncton sales rep also wrote that Bell requires a credit check be done on anyone who signs up at the door, which requires a customer’s consent, but that checks were usually “done without asking.”
Francoeur wrote that “credit checks … may only be completed with the customer’s permission” and says Bell “will look into the issue and ensure compliance with our policies.”
Go Public and Marketplace are rolling out an investigation into door-to-door sales tactics used by sales reps for Bell Canada all week. Tune in to the full hidden-camera investigation on Marketplace (8 p.m. Friday on CBC).
‘I was played’
Go Public and Marketplace teamed up to investigate door-to-door sales tactics for Bell. A story earlier this week about a Bell customer who says he was misled at the door, prompted almost 200 Bell customers to write Go Public, claiming they too had been misled, either at the door, in a retail store, or on the phone.
CBC had previously heard from several hundred other Bell customers, echoing similar complaints.
Brandon Fox of St. Thomas, Ont., says he signed up for a $100/month contract with Bell at…