Worst job I ever had in my life...

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pover-tee in Madison, Wisconsin

99 months ago

So basically it took me a year to figure out that our manager has been lying to us for all this time, constantly promising that big money and lots of leads are just around the corner... My sales numbers are in the top 25% of the office now and I don't don't make squat- my manager keeps pulling the carrot on the string setting higher and higher goals at which point I'm supposed to finally be able to make a living.

I wish I'd figured out what a scam this was earlier so I wouldn't have wasted an entire year of my life and gotten nothing in return for it. Now the economy is in recession and I don't know how long it will take to find a real paying job.

If you work for Sears Home Improvement you can make just enough to get by during the summer months, and during the rest of the year you are going to end up spending more money driving to bogus appointments than you will make... here is how it works:

Manager sends you and another person 2 hours from home to sell a door. If you're average your chances of selling it are 1 in 5, if you're really good it's 1 in 3. The door commission is $300 if you sell it and nothing if you don't.. Plus it has to be split with the other guy, so you're both driving 125 miles in your own car for a 1 in 5 chance of making $150.

You sell $4000 worth of windows and your commission is $400. When you get your commission statement you see an extra charge for $500 that zero's out your commission to nothing. You ask your manager about it and he says the installing subcontractor says he found 4 rotten sills that Sears charges $125 each for so you're not getting paid. (never mind that the subcontractor only gets paid $20 each for doing them). You file a commission discrepancy about it and nobody ever answers it. Sears made their money on the job and the employee was paid nothing at all- zero, zilch, nada. Never-mind that you spent $40 on gas driving all over the place in the process.

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kdpaula in tampa, Florida

99 months ago

So i cannot believe this so called company. I applied online on monday, set up an interview for wed..when i got there the guy just simply said "well, those appointments online never get thru to us, and tells me to come back the next day (today) when the hiring manager is actually there. He just tells me this like its nothing, like i didnt drive all the way there and waste my time. so in good faith i show up today at 2 as he scheduled me, when i get there a lady pages the hiring manager and states he will be in the office in 10 because he was dealing with a customer. Well i waited and waited, for 45 minutes! i was gettin ready to leave when the same guy that rescheduled me the day before said the so called manager was still with a customer and if i could come back tomorrow at 11? ARE THESE PEOPLE INSANE? I have never in my life experienced such an unprofessional store. Im still in disbelief.

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kb_lnc in houston, Texas

99 months ago

Yeah, they get those appointments when they arrive. At our store the HR ladies are out on the floor working so they are not always aware of when interviews are scheduled. The HR manager is supposed to print out a list of interview times daily. The problem is that the online system lets you schedule your own interview time but that doesn't mean that the manager will be there that day. Also, when you work for Sears you will be hired to do a specific job but when you start working you will be doing 3 jobs that are not under your job description or title. This is what you get for $6.55 an hour in southeast Texas. The turn over is HIGH and most people don't get past a week or two on the floor. Too much stress for too little pay.

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Hawkinsmhall

97 months ago

I worked for the home improvement department as well and every single thing you say is correct about spending your own money for gas and working only on commission. They leads are all crappy, that's because associates get paid for getting the leads regardless if it turns into a sale or not. So they would get their frineds and neighbors to just agree to an appointment and tell them don't worry about buying anything because it is a free estimate. In terms the sales person waste time and gas going to a home that has no intention on buying.

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pover-tee in Madison, Wisconsin

97 months ago

Sears generally tries to pay the minimum that's required by law but occasionally they fall below even that... Mileage for 2008 is 50cents per mile, so Sears pays you 33cents per mile and tells you you can claim the rest on your taxes and "you'll get all that back at the end of the year"... Which is not true. At least you're getting paid something though, the state you live in probably has a law that says they have to pay something for mileage.

In the division that I was in they paid nothing for mileage unless you were driving outside of the state your store was in. They sent me to other states a couple of times and 7 months passed between the time I handed in my expense report and when they actually paid me. I know in California they started paying something for mileage- 33cents sounds about right. They didn't used to pay anything there until the state passed a law prohibiting companies from making employees drive all over the place for free in their own vehicle.

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blueeyes697 in Waterbury, Connecticut

97 months ago

pover-tee in Madison, Wisconsin said: Sears generally tries to pay the minimum that's required by law but occasionally they fall below even that... Mileage for 2008 is 50cents per mile, so Sears pays you 33cents per mile and tells you you can claim the rest on your taxes and "you'll get all that back at the end of the year"... Which is not true. At least you're getting paid something though, the state you live in probably has a law that says they have to pay something for mileage.

In the division that I was in they paid nothing for mileage unless you were driving outside of the state your store was in. They sent me to other states a couple of times and 7 months passed between the time I handed in my expense report and when they actually paid me. I know in California they started paying something for mileage- 33cents sounds about right. They didn't used to pay anything there until the state passed a law prohibiting companies from making employees drive all over the place for free in their own vehicle.

thanks for the input.

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pieguysr

96 months ago

not really sure how it works in Wisc. I've been in the Chgo South office for a little over a year selling only HVAC products and wrote over 900,000 in business. After cancels and credit rejects, I still closed over 750,000. not too bad for a guy thats NEVER sold anything before!

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pover-tee in Madison, Wisconsin

96 months ago

pieguysr said: not really sure how it works in Wisc. I've been in the Chgo South office for a little over a year selling only HVAC products and wrote over 900,000 in business. After cancels and credit rejects, I still closed over 750,000. not too bad for a guy thats NEVER sold anything before!

Chicago is definitely a better office than the one I was in.. a lot depends on the manager. The office I was in was consistently overstaffed and we only had 2 people out of 20 or more who sold as much as you did in your first year. Our manager told us "we close better when we're all running only 1 appointment a day" so he tried to keep everyone starving so he could make an extra few thousand bucks for himself over the course of the year. The average rep in my office had a decent closing %, sold about 350,000, made $35k on it and paid about 10k in out of pocket expenses... More times than I can count we got sent on stuff like split appointments an hour away for a door lead. Basically that means two people each have to drive 2 hours round trip for a 1 in 5 chance of making $150.

We had 2 or 3 people in our office who always got 2 or 3 good appointments every day regardless of what their numbers were at the time, and the other 17 or 18 people got the scraps- guys getting sent 2 1/2 hours drive each way on 1 lead all by itself somewhere.. rarely ever getting enough leads to qualify for bonus... I don't miss that place at all :)

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F-Bomb in Los Angeles, California

96 months ago

Pieguysr-

So how much did you actually take home on the $750,000 that stuck?

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RC Burris in Sherman Oaks, California

28 months ago

Sears Home Improvements has 99% turnover within the first 6 month, which should be a BIG red flag for anyone considering working their. They consistently cheat their Sales Project Managers out of commissions by not paying them for certain products and services. One top-selling rep in our office had never gotten a correct commission check in over a year. If you sell HVAC or kitchens, they will never get your commission right, you will spend 4 months or more trying to get paid. The sales people are trained to lie to customers. The quality appointments go to the field sales trainers who pick their own appoints. They will send you on bogus appoint and then complain as to why you did not close an appoint for their over-priced products. They have recently cut the sales commissions by 30% and are telling the reps that its to help them sell more....yeah right! (I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you if this makes any sense.) If you are comfortable ling to people, this is a great job for you. Most of their top sales reps are masters in this area. I'm sure Sears will end up in another class action lawsuit in the near future fraud and not paying they people correctly.

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Wife in Bakersfield, California

9 months ago

My husband was employed by Sears Home Improvement a little over a month when he had a stroke (while out of town on a Sears sales call). When he returned to work after his rehabilitation, Sears screwed him for every dime we had. They sent him on two or three calls a day, all in different counties, most requiring at least one to two hours' drive each way. On his first call back, in a town 2 hours away, the homeowner told Hubs that the Sears salesman had just left. The excuse Sears gave him was that they intended to have Hubs observe the sales call, since he was just back from his disability leave. However, it's clear that the other salesman went two hours early so he wouldn't have to share the commission, if a sale was made. So sales call #1 was a bust. He went to the second call that day only to have the homeowner say he wanted service, not sales. Sales call #2 bust. The third homeowner wasn't home. This was repeated day after day. We drained our savings account to finance these worthless sales calls for the next two weeks. When payday rolled around, we thought it would be okay because he still had a month left of his guaranteed salary, but no paycheck. He was told he wouldn't receive anything until two weeks from then....which meant they expected him to continue spending over $180/week on gas on worthless leads. Hubs quit because he could no longer continue spending money without reimbursement for gas (he finally *did* get his gas reimbursement two weeks after he quit). He was never paid his outstanding weekly salary, so we've filed a claim with the Labor Board and his hearing is tomorrow. From what I've read, though, even if Sears loses the claim (which is likely), they'll file an appeal, which will drag out the process another 6-8 months. If you're thinking of going to work for Sears Home Improvement - DON'T! I saw several troubling reports of shoddy and unethical behavior online, but Hubs was sure he could make a go of it. Worst company EVER!

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Polaris

4 months ago

F-Bomb in Los Angeles, California said: Pieguysr-

So how much did you actually take home on the $750,000 that stuck?

I'm not sure what he netted, but I can say I just personally completed my first year. I sold a little over a million in net business and am around 90k for the year. Not bad for year one right? :D

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Polaris

4 months ago

I'm sad to see some of the experiences some people have had. I just completed my first year and work with an amazing group of people. This is a 100% commission job and I don't know if people on this list have much experience in this field, however I have 0 home improvement background, strong retail and some sales experience. This year I made a little shy of 90k as my take home. I know someone else that only worked about 8 months and is about that same as me. Commission as a whole is never something to be looked at as a guarantee, it's tough work but if you take the time to practice your craft, stay positive there is plenty of reward. Also when we say we are commission sales people we truly are consultants. The commission we earn is based off of accuracy, not what you keep from the customer, we are a fixed price company not a haggle the customer out of their hard earned money company. If you screw up and it hurts the company of course it will affect your commision, even then the company tries to help you out and protect your commission by paying for half of your mistake. It's up to you whether you want to become knowledgeable enough to know what your doing to protect yourself and your company from your own mistakes. Otherwise this is an amazing opportunity and if you feel confident in your ability to survive without guaranteed pay, you will make what you feel you are worth. As far as the gas issues, I'm not sure if that is an old issue because I know for me I get paid for my fuel EVERY pay period and the company fully tracks your mileage for you. It's also easy to blame the leads instead of seeing where you can improve yourself. I apologize about my tangent but I wanted someone to see the view of the company from the successful side of things.

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NoMercyMarcy

2 months ago

Hi Polaris!
can u tell me what they pay for during your training? I just received an offer to come work in their sales; outside sales, that is, and I know it's 100% commission.

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