Former Hamilton bank employee speaks for thousands who can't over sales pressures

"Canada's big bank employees who are speaking out against the questionable sales tactics and pressures they face"

Having worked for a bank offshoot sales program, I can honestly tell you that the pressure is tremendous. Mind you, I was in a call centre not affiliated with the bank in any way other than having been hired to sell its products, and sales centres are there only to do one thing - but the bank, and the insurance company they partnered with, were there all the time, pushing; and when they aren't, the team leads are.

Sales is an insidious thing, nasty at its core, and I'll have none of it. It does ugly things to people. The people at the centre who became good at it, and liked it, became unlikeable people - with only a few, very rare, exceptions. The environment in that place, and in every call centre I've ever worked at (for one reason or another), is... gossipy, smarmy.

I don't like selling things to people - I find it cheap (in the low-rent sense), dishonest, and invasive; and it's even worse when you're being pushed to sell something that you couldn't possibly believe in, or even buy yourself, but you're there because there's no other job to have. That kind of sales is nothing less than verbal, adult bullying, with the bulk of its victims being vulnerable people - the elderly, the poor. Every time I managed to make a sale, I felt dirty. I hated it; I hated it so much that the second HR came around the call centre talking about a work-from-home position that didn't involve sales, I leapt on it. I leapt on it so fast that I got in shit from my team lead for leaving the floor to apply for it.

On the note of selling things to people that aren't worth being bought, don't ever get credit card balance protection insurance. It's bullshit. You'd be better off having your balances protected under mortgage insurance, which is cheaper.

Also on that note, in Canada at least, it's not legal for a bank to sell insurance - this is why call centres are hired to do it. So if someone says they're from TD or CIBC or Scotiabank and they're calling to sell you insurance, they aren't in the bank at all. They're in some anonymous call centre somewhere.

And on the note of banks specifically, judging from the calls I got in that call centre, I'm fairly sure that CIBC has the worst credit card security in this country.

2017 06 13 - 22:56

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