Unethical Collusion an Price Fixing Practices within Central States

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Comments (2)

Rob Kujawa in Springdale, Arkansas

20 months ago

In all my years in sales at CSMI (18), I have never encountered any "price fixing". I have always had the flexablity to work with customers to make sure they were able to stay comeptitive within their market. I can only recall a few times having to even get approval for any prices I gave out. And those were during times of extreme price changes within the industry. I have never had anyone tell me or anyone I know of at CSMI where prices were to be set. That is not to say I could (or would) give out any price I felt like and not expect to have an explanation when or if asked about it (by management or even a production worker). That is the great part about being an employee-owned company, we are all accountable to each other for our actions and need to make smart business decisions for our territory and our company. I have always felt I "owned" my territory and took care of it like it was my own business...because it is.

Some people need a little more "hand holding" because if left on their own, they could easily set prices too low or too high. We are not here to "buy" business or to make extremely high margins. So, any good manager needs to keep in touch with what is happening to make sure his sales team does not go out and start undercutting the competition because that is our only option. So, if having to get a managers approval is what is meant by "price fixing", then I would guess that probably does happen in some cases.

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Bryan in Schaumburg, Illinois

20 months ago

Not what I meant at all. Price fixing is when the VP of Sales for Central States gets a call from one of his buddies at American Building Components complaining that a Central States sales rep has beat ABC in a certain territory on price, and the VP of sales for Central States forces his sales rep to raise pricing, thereby giving the competitor an edge. This had happened with myself personally on several instances. I had also fielded complaints from other Business Development Managers that it was not only a common practice with the VP of Sales, but the President of the company would have similar conversations with Whirlwind, Everlast, and McElroy. All competitors. This is collusion AND price fixing. Integrity at it's lowest. If other competitors found out about this practice, they could bury Central States with an anti-trust lawsuit. I had personally brought this price fixing issue to my supervisor, and was terminated shortly thereafter.

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