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Kernowman

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About Kernowman

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  1. The latest news is I have had a major heart attack resulting from all the stress this issue has brought on. When I came out of hospital I really wasn't feeling well at all and the bailliff turned up on my doorstep, despite being sent a communication that they were not to do so. I engaged a company called Bailliff Advice (a trading style of P.A.C.E. Associates (UK) Ltd) to deal with the bailliff company whom they ignored anyway and turned up regardless claiming he had not seen the documents sent to their head office. I showed hime the documents and he still ignored them, so that was £150 well and truly wasted on Bailliff Advice's useless services.
  2. They say their computer system is without fault and if it says I owe the money then there is no argument against it. They submitted a printout of the account and it is all numbers which even I couldn't decipher. I was going to try and cross check with my records, but the computer died completely and I cannot retrieve those records. The originals of the missing product claim documents are in the possession of B/W, but I did find all the weekly summary sheets from the distributors that shows all the returns, faulty goods and missing product figures they put on their summaries which they got full credit for.
  3. It is asking for advice, but mainly to inform others that they are going to be fleeced by taking up this job, plus to highlight that the legal system is heavily weighted against the man in the street. Citizen's Advice were helpful but no more than that. Trading Standards are suffering budget cuts so it is probably more efficient for them to go searching out grubby takeaway joints than spend resouces investigating my complaint. If it is considered to be a criminal offence, the police don't want to know either. The county court system should have rung alarm bells when my written plea for a set aside contained the words illegal, unlawful and criminal. The response back was to cough up £155.00 which I didn't and don't have. I have already dealt with the bailliffs by using the appropriate system. My wife and I are both classed as "vulnerable", her with chronic Asthma and me with a serious heart condition plus insulin dependant diabetes. This whole episode has affected me badly and I now have Angina for good measure brought on by the stress. Her name is not included anywhere in this action with B/W so we have a signed and witnessed Statutory Declaration that everything in our home belongs to her, including the cars. If a bailiff does turn up now, I will insist they leave without entering and call the police if they refuse under trespass laws.
  4. Betterware isn't an MLM company. You might have been thinking of Kleeneze which is. I went to the county court to defend it but this idiot got the time of the hearing mixed up. I thought it was 2.30pm but it was at 2.00pm. I was there at 1.45pm and realised just a minute after 2.00 I should have signed in, but the judge had already gone home worse luck. Betterware didn't appear but sent a letter to the court, the contents of which I have never seen. I applied to have the judgement set aside on the basis that the debt had been acrued illegally and not recoverable in law. They still got their judgement.
  5. At some point in our lives we may find ourselves in a position where you NEED a job. I signed up with Betterware as a "Co-ordinator" which roughly translated means area manager in charge of several or more Distributors in a set geographical area. The position was self employed. The job entailed taking weekly orders from the Distributors, collating them and entering the orders online to Betterware HQ. The entire value of those orders was placed onto your co-ordinator's "running financial account" in your name. When the goods arrived they turned up in huge boxes which you had to sort for each Distributor and more often than not there were missing products where the packer of the consignment ticked the picking list, but the goods were not in the delivered parcel(s). A claim form and the original picking list had to be posted off to B/W's HQ and hopefully those amounts would then be credited to your "running account" - or not. I am still over £170.00 out of pocket with this system and B/W have all the documents. When you delivered the goods to the Distributors you also had to collect cash from them from previous week's sales, less any commission they were due, calculated at 20% of sold products. There would be times when the customer wasn't at home despite many visits, or they simply refused to pay, so the goods were then handed back to me to be returned to B/W HQ. Commission earned by the Distributor in this transaction = £0.00 Under distance selling regulations, the Distributor is obliged by law to give a full refund within 14 days and many times they did give 100% refunds. Commission earned by the Distributor in this transaction = £0.00 In fact the commission earned from the original sale has now been paid back to the customer so the distributor is now -20% of the good's value. Faulty goods exchanged by the Distributor. Commission earned by the Distributor in this transaction = £0.00. All of these returned items then get handed back to the co-ordinator who gives them 100% credit value on their weekly cash summary. When those goods get returned to Betterware HQ, they then decide to DEDUCT 20% OF THE GOODS VALUE FROM THE CO-ORDINATOR and add that value onto the running account which is debited. I couldn't work out how my "running account" was getting further and further into the red when I was doing the job strictly as instructed, that was until I discovered this 20% deduction on all returned goods which made me livid. I quizzed my regional manager about this and was told it was done to recoup commissions already paid on these goods . It certainly wasn't paid to me that's for sure. If the distributors wanted any plastic bags to protect the catalogues in wet weather, or wanted other paid for stationary , it all came out of the co-ordinator's running account. The major part of the job though was to recruit new Distributors. I spent a small fortune on phone calls and petrol running around chasing people that didn't want to work, or they would spend a couple of hours putting catalogues out then quit, saying it was "hard work". It was THE most thankless job that I have ever had. You were expected to pay each week a "waiver fee" to supposedly protect you against Distributors running off with goods or money. This only applied to ONE invoice so I was told, so it didn't protect you against money shortfalls over several weeks, nor did it protect me from Betterware's own malpractices, as I was to find out. This "waiver scheme" has not been approved by the FCA. Because I wasn't happy about these all back door deductions coming out of the running account, so I decided enough was enough and so I quit. I was presented with a bill for over £800.00, payable instantly. I went to Citizen's Advice about these issues and they told me it was a criminal offence under unfair trading and consumer protection regulation , so they referred it on to Trading Standards to investigate, which to the best of my knowledge they have not done so. I have informed Betterware about this illegal activity and they have never once responded, denied or challenged it. Instead, they took out a County Court summons and got a judgement in their favour, despite me writing to the court informing them that the debt was unlawfully accrued and therefore not recoverable. The latest news is that B/W have appointed baillifs and the debt has now gone up to over £1,000. All of this really has affected my health which wasn't that good to begin with.
  6. From the 23rd of December when I sent an appeal letter against the dismissal until this current date I am no further forward at all. They finally managed to arrange an appeal hearing on the 12th February 2009 chaired by a Regional Manager. The letter said my dismissal and grievances would be addressed at the meeting. I had applied to the Employment Tribunal the day before this meeting was arranged because I had heard nothing from them for the prescribed 28 days. Initially, he stressed that there appeared to be little wrong with my perfomance in the initial weeks but it had tailed off subsequently. He then asked why, to which I presented the whole story of poor training and mentoring, discrimination, bullying and intimidation, coupled with listing all the dubious methods others were employing to hit their targets. He appeared to be genuinely shocked at some of the things I was telling him and said he would investigate further. He would not give a timescale for this investigation, nor did he address ANY of the points made in my grievance or indeed the dismissal. I asked for a copy of the minutes ASAP and none have been forthcoming because the photocopier was "defective". One of the key witnesses to the bullying and intimidation incidences actually works in the office and was present when one instance took place. Documentary evidence to support my assertions too are present in the office where the meeting was held and it's not rocket science to quickly find that if you have the willpower to do so. Failing that, the company has a huge database that would get all the answers in seconds if needs be. I finally found the time to transcribe the appalling handwriting of the first formal meeting and found the page count had miraculously reduced and large blocks of minute notes were missing as a result, very incriminating to the company in content too - quelle surprise. I am very concerned now that after all this silence suddenly the company is going to produce all sorts of evidence (most of it contrived) on the very day a Tribunal hearing is going to commence. Years ago I had a similar pattern of events when the respondent did exactly that - pushed a was of documents across the desk 5 minutes before the hearing began (I was representing myself). With the benefit of hindsight I should have shouted "foul" and demanded an immediate adjournment. Anyway, it is now 3 weeks since that last meeting but heard nothing since and in total it is now the 11th week since the dismissal appeal letter, nor any word about the grievance document some 12 weeks ago. Are there any timescales that should be applied in the circumstances?
  7. On the unfair dismissal aspect I know that 1 year's continuous service is required to apply to a Tribunal for unfair dismissal. Nobody has mentioned a private pursuit in the County Court However, thee are still the issues of unlawful deductions from wages, breaches of the working tine regulations and age discrimintion to consider.
  8. A very good guess I must say, or is there a hallmark that you recognise?
  9. Hi all. Right now I will apologise for the length of this post, but I will try and break it up into segments, because it is rather long and the whole picture tells the full story. I have been working for an energy supplier as a field sales person for some 7 months. Right from the word go I disagreed with the doorstep script I was being taught because I felt it wasn't being 100% honest towards prospects. Big deal you might say, but it does have a bearing because at the interview I specifically asked to sell a product purely on it's own merits ethically and honestly. At the interview too I was asked if I had a full driving licence and no more was said further about any driving involved. I had to pay £60 for my uniform, deducted at £10 per week from my pay. They have repeatedly deducted from my wages for other reasons too, like clawbacks when an agreement has been cancelled by the prospect with a 2 week time limit (but has often been longer) or when the outgoing supplier has raised an objection to the transfer. Arguably, the former situation MAY be the salesperson's fault, but the latter the salesperson has no control over at all, nor could be avoided in advance. At the end of the induction course of one week I was in no way prepared for the real world of doorstep selling. My first few days were spent being "mentored" which is a euphemism for somebody behind you watching your mistakes. The mentor got fed up with this and decided to bully a couple of old ladies to up his weekly figures. After that I was basically left to get on with the job however well or badly I did. At this point I was told I must supply my own transport and pay for it myself. On average I was spending £60-£70+ a week on fuel while my basic pay was £157.00 net, rising to £187.04 during the latter months. Unsurprisingly, my sales results were none too spectacular, but there were a good few weeks where target was met and exceeded. Compared though with other sales people who did not use the company script, "cherry picked" the districts they wanted to call on (usually bungalows with a high percentage of retired folk) and didn't bother with complexities like doing price comparisons or leaving a published tariff sheet behind. The untruths were amazing to hear. If you didn't hit your weekly target all you got paid was that basic wage of £157 plus you had to drive to the local office for "retraining" which was another euphemism for "punishment" really. "Retraining" consisted of reciting the official company script and once or twice the branch manager showed me some "tips" that I considered most unethical. No time was ever allowed for this nor any expenses ever re-imbursed at ANY time, no matter where you happened to be working in the field. Every week too you were under "assessment" which meant someone standing behind you with a clipboard for an hour ticking boxes on a form. The hours you were expected to work was from 9.00am to 8.00pm and I was ordered out on Saturdays too, even though the actual paid hours amounted to 37 per week with no overtime payments. It was not unusual to work 55+ hours per week during the summer. That was pretty much it for 5 months with no further realistic training apart from "retraining" in the office and "assessments" out on the road. I was the eldest person in a young team and I hadn't reached the age of 55 without understanding the clear difference between "laddish mickey-taking", outright abuse and humiliation. There is more to this story but of no relevance at the moment. During the month of August there was tremendous upheavals in the energy industry with prices changing around rapidly. Naturally, it did seriously affect the company's competitive edge so what were at one time expensive competitor's tariffs suddenly were not and this was reflected in all the sales team's performances - even the so-called "big hitters". At the end of 5 months in early October I was called into the office for a review. I specifically asked at the review to be paired with an experienced and ETHICAL salesperson for a day to help me do my job better if they were concerned about my performance. My request was voice recorded and minuted. It was admitted that my treatment by the team I was with was "less than satisfactory", so I was transferred to another team and given 3 months to improve performance. At least the personal abuse had now ceased from an equally young team, but pretty much as before there wasn't any training, I was left to my own devices yet again and the "retrainings" and "assessments" continued as before. The weekly figures for this team were also highly variable and it could not be said that I was the one and only one not hitting target each week. TWO MONTHS after my request to be paired with a salesman I got about 3 hours following him calling on just 3 homes he had missed during the previous week and quite frankly it wasn't a challenge for even a novice to sign them. The final review concluded that I had ample training to fulfill my weekly target, but I challenged their assertions by asking in what form the "training" took and as anticipated they had already made their minds up so the company was terminating my employment although I have the right to appeal. No alternative employment was offered, yet there were at least 10 vacancies pinned up on the wall in the office. Sorry to ramble on but I couldn't think of a way to express the problem in full without doing so. Some sage comments what course of action to take would be appreciated.
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