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Thread: Help! Working at a Verizon Store vs. Authorized Dealer

  1. #61
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    yea jon.. the interview is with the manager of the store..gm i think.. shes a really nice lady..shes the one that gave me the interview in the first place...on a walk in... so i feel really good bout it

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSOKI Mike
    Get a bachelor's degree in a science or engineering discipline, come become a patent examiner, and make even more plus federal benefits working from home.
    That's 4 years down the road, I'll use the $8000 in tuition allowance my company gives me every month to get there but until then I'm stuck here

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    nothing wrong with that, it's how I did it

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    Wow! I just read all these five pages of posts and I could not even begin to remember all the stuff I wanted to say throughout all the madness and mudslinging of indirect vs. direct. You all had a lot of good points although some were a bit cockier about it and a bit unrealistic.

    All I have to say is that I love working at a corporate store. The benefits are amazing!! GREAT base pay plus awesome commission checks, great 401k with company matching 6%, long term incentives, awesome contests-- I have won so many giftcards, lunches, promotional items, AMAZING cell phone bill!! Half off your bill every month-- that alone keeps me there! Getting to demo data devices and learning about technology all the time! Training which is 3 weeks is sooo fun and useful and you get put up in a hotel and my drive alone (about 2 hours away) gets me $145 at 50 cents a mile! All your meals are reimbursed! PLUS I am getting grad school paid for right now! A free education- now that is all I have ever wanted in a company!!

    I have nothing bad to say about indirects (other than walmart--sorry guys hehe) I have a friend that works at one near my store. He says he doesn't get a good monthly discount but I have no idea how his pay compares to mine! (so don't get mad at me please csoki mike!!)

    What I do have to say is that I love the company I am working for I feel appretiated and compensated and there are endless possibilites with this company-- esp when they are practically GIVING me my MBA!!!

    To each their own-- I just want to make customers happy and play with phones!! Good luck to the person interviewing either way it is a rewarding industry!!!

  5. #65
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    ohhhhhhhhhhhhh look numbers....

    Quote Originally Posted by CSOKI Mike
    Here are the facts:

    1) they are known as "indirects" not "resellers." They do not purchase equipment from VZW to resell; they purchase from manufacturers and distributors. If that makes them "resellers," then VZW corporate stores are "resellers" too.
    semi true, however in this region Zwireless, and the older Kiosk used to purchase older stock phones as recent as last year...I take that back, the current premium retailer" here in the area (Zwireless) sells 8600s, a device we haven't carried at a corporate store in almost a year, and they sell it as a "new" device....so yes, they may not be "reseller" but they sure as heck aren't being honest now are they?

    2) they are NOT "widely known as dishonest." SOME have a reputation, but the reputation is carried by the SPECIFIC store/company. You don't think that Bob's Wireless is shady because Bill's Wireless down the street ripped you off, do you?
    no, there is no rep here, I happen to have met the entire sales taff of the regional indirect, i have had meetings with them, i even have had conversations with the owner of both Z and several other "premium" resellers. to be frank and honest, they are a joke at best. it has nothing to do with who is bad or good, hell we had a locally own indirect who was VERY good, a former verizon rep who took out and went on his own, never had any issues, guy was very honest, and I appreciate any and all competition.

    3) training is MANDATORY for all indirects, or they cannot remain indirect dealers for VZW. Everyone has to undergo at least the training given by VZW, and many indirects pay for additional professional sales training that you won't get anywhere else.
    training IS mandatory...about 1 week of it, and the rest os done on the job, at least for Zwireless and the kiosk crews in the midwest. I have hired reps from Z who came in, and have said, stated the fact...that they attended no training AT ALL, and were told that they would learn on the job. again, this ia a "premium" retailer...so you can;t say this is just some random events. and the same happened at indirects from the kiosks down to several mom and pop shops. so yes, training IS mandatory, but your myopic view is not it.
    my recent hire reps go though 6 weeks of training before they even hit the floor, they come in every weekend and show me what they learned, they have to pass tests in the stores, they have to fill out a homework book. can I say EVERY manager does this...probably not, but I know EVERY training team gets the same book and same expectations to manage too.


    4) you're not capped for job potential any more than you are at any job. You can move up in your indirect's company just as you could move up in VZW. As a sales rep, your earning potential is much higher. Your ACTUAL earnings may not be, but that depends on your sales ability.
    sure, you can move up and become a manager....but that loser has been there for 4 years, they hire their "regional" managers form the outside because they hire kids without proper training and tell em to sell sell sell.

    5) the one thing mentioned in the previous post that IS a fact: you will be hated by corporate. They will THINK you are shady, because that is what they WANT to believe about indirects; and you'd better believe they'll push this false belief on any customer they have to compete with you over. Don't let them do it; it's not allowed. Corporate reps do VERY shady things to take sales away from indirects, such as falsely telling the customer that tech centers won't service phones purchased from indirects, falsely telling the customer that the indirect sells used phones, falsely telling customers that they aren't really VZW customers because they didn't buy from a "real" VZW store, falsely telling customers that they have to return their phone to the indirect and *will* recieve a full refund (corporate stores cannot make this promise on behalf of an indirect), regardless of the condition of the phone, and that they can then come back to the corporate store and buy a "real" VZW phone before they'll service it. Those are ALL drawn from REAL situations between myself personally and VZW corporate stores (mostly one corporate store in particular, the one in the Greenbriar Shopping Center in Chesapeake, VA; that's right, I'm calling them out publicly). Don't let them get away with it. Every single time those things happened to me, I raised hell with the local VZW executives and made those sales reps and managers lives very difficult.
    so you had a bad store...sorry for your experience with that, really I am. however I have a REGION full of bad indirects, from lincoln, souix falls, omaha, minneapolis, and every town in between, mostly Zwireless is my biggest problem currently, oh yeah I called them out..OH nOES they are coming for me

    all of the things you have mentioned PALE in comparison to the biggest problem I have with these indirects
    taking cash payments from customers for items/billpayments and POCKETING the cash. oh yes, not once, not twice, but 3 times a month at LEAST with Z wireless, then they send the customer to a corporate store, telling they should have records of transactions done at an indirect. and the SAME GUY....hasn't been fired. and if you think for a second a rep in a coporate store would not only be pulled form the store, but fired AND prosecuted...think again, that rep would be in a world of hurt. but at a reseller? naw he does good on newlines, he's fine.


    indirects have a bad rep for a reason, and the MAJORITY of them are the reason. you ran into 1-2 bad reps, maybe even stores, who i would hope had been fired or left by now. I ran into a bad REGION of indirects.

    that is what my experiences are based off of....a larger market of real experiences and real facts. enjoy. but know that indirects deserve the rep they get because the vast majority of them are dirty.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwestcell

    indirects have a bad rep for a reason, and the MAJORITY of them are the reason. you ran into 1-2 bad reps, maybe even stores, who i would hope had been fired or left by now. I ran into a bad REGION of indirects.

    that is what my experiences are based off of....a larger market of real experiences and real facts. enjoy. but know that indirects deserve the rep they get because the vast majority of them are dirty.
    It's early on a Saturday so I'll just deal with the end here... No, the bad corporate reps I ran into have not been fired, in fact the one assistant manager from that store I mentioned was PROMOTED according to one of her reps who came to MY store for help with her own account...

    And again, someone is assuming things about my own experience; namely that your market is "larger." I come from the DC/VA market, which while geographically smaller is damn sure larger in terms of subscriber base than the Nebraska area...

    Oh, and selling old models of phones is not "reselling" unless those phones are USED.

    I'm sorry you have a bad indirect in your area... Believe me, I want those kinds of stores shut down even more than bad corporates.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSOKI Mike
    It's early on a Saturday so I'll just deal with the end here... No, the bad corporate reps I ran into have not been fired, in fact the one assistant manager from that store I mentioned was PROMOTED according to one of her reps who came to MY store for help with her own account...

    And again, someone is assuming things about my own experience; namely that your market is "larger." I come from the DC/VA market, which while geographically smaller is damn sure larger in terms of subscriber base than the Nebraska area...

    Oh, and selling old models of phones is not "reselling" unless those phones are USED.

    I'm sorry you have a bad indirect in your area... Believe me, I want those kinds of stores shut down even more than bad corporates.
    Not to respark an arguement or anything but...

    Someone from the corporate store came in for help on her own account? Then she couldn't have had been with Verizon for long because employee accounts can't be viewed by even corporate stores. Only the employee accounts department can view/change em, and not even in person. We have to call in.

    And the indirect I worked for resold returned phones. I found out because I started putting a small x on returned phones because we ran out of room to seperate them from new phones when we missed a fedex pickup. So those phones eventually went out, but then a few weeks later when I took in a shipment the boxes were all tagged up with my small x next to the esn. The manager at the time told me next time don't put an obvious x, instead put a tiny dot in the corner. So some indirects do resell phones.

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    Did I say it was an employee account? She had a personal family share plan and she wanted to upgrade and change some features through me.

    My indirect had used phones to sell too, but we sold them AS used phones (i.e. for customers who were ineligible for contract pricing but couldn't pay full retail), we didn't try to pass them off as new. Anyway, all that's irrelevant because my point above was that selling an old model of phone doesn't mean the phone was used.

  9. #69
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    Talking Indirect Agents are BAD

    In my humble opinion some indirect agents are bad news.

    Let's take for example the indirect agent I used to work for, called High Country Wireless (Now doing business as Wireless Center and they are marked "Premium Retailer").

    I worked there for two and a half years and was never given a raise over $7.50, and was paid commission on phone sales that averaged out to about $5 per line. 15 cents per each accessory sale.

    While working at this company I was promised everything under the sun from paid benefits to promotions within the company.

    What I did get and see, however, is an employee that I (along with another employee) trained get moved up to "District Manager." Nothing better than having to answer to someone that has 1 year less seniority than you that you actually trained.

    I was also promised full insurance after 2 years but was lied to about that. They tried to take away my "paid holidays". And eventually fired me and made up a bunch of lies to get rid of me. Unemployment ruled in my favor however.

    Now, all I hear is how horrible the store is and that the employees don't know the plans or the products and that they don't want to help anyone. Sounds premium to mee. Hey, at least you can eat off the floorboards!

    The thing that angers me about these indirect agents is that while they may own a chain of 10 to 15 stores, they act like they are corporate Gods. The communications between managers is very inconsistent. One day you are told you are doing a great job to keep up the great work, and the next day you are fired for ALLLL this bad stuff you've been doing for months. Doesn't add up on my calculator.

    So be very careful when dealing with some indirect agents. The manager you deal with may be a two faced back stabbing a** kisser. Check their noses. If the tips are brown, you better run! If you are serious about being an agent for Verizon Wireless, do yourself a favor and go for the gold. Apply at the corporate office.

    Joe
    PROUDLY a Former Verizon Wireless Indirect Agent (And never to be again)

  10. #70
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    CSOKI Mike is right about everything. It totally depends on the rep you get, and the company they work for. There's bad people in corp and indirect, I would like to think I'm one of the good indirect reps.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by robkermit
    In my humble opinion some indirect agents are bad news.

    Let's take for example the indirect agent I used to work for, called High Country Wireless (Now doing business as Wireless Center and they are marked "Premium Retailer").

    I worked there for two and a half years and was never given a raise over $7.50, and was paid commission on phone sales that averaged out to about $5 per line. 15 cents per each accessory sale.

    While working at this company I was promised everything under the sun from paid benefits to promotions within the company.

    What I did get and see, however, is an employee that I (along with another employee) trained get moved up to "District Manager." Nothing better than having to answer to someone that has 1 year less seniority than you that you actually trained.

    I was also promised full insurance after 2 years but was lied to about that. They tried to take away my "paid holidays". And eventually fired me and made up a bunch of lies to get rid of me. Unemployment ruled in my favor however.

    Now, all I hear is how horrible the store is and that the employees don't know the plans or the products and that they don't want to help anyone. Sounds premium to mee. Hey, at least you can eat off the floorboards!

    The thing that angers me about these indirect agents is that while they may own a chain of 10 to 15 stores, they act like they are corporate Gods. The communications between managers is very inconsistent. One day you are told you are doing a great job to keep up the great work, and the next day you are fired for ALLLL this bad stuff you've been doing for months. Doesn't add up on my calculator.

    So be very careful when dealing with some indirect agents. The manager you deal with may be a two faced back stabbing a** kisser. Check their noses. If the tips are brown, you better run! If you are serious about being an agent for Verizon Wireless, do yourself a favor and go for the gold. Apply at the corporate office.

    Joe
    PROUDLY a Former Verizon Wireless Indirect Agent (And never to be again)
    From the kind of pay you recieved, you apparently worked at one of those "kid working in a Radio Shack" style indirects that I spoke of earlier. VZW is largely moving away from supporting those types of indirects (aside from big-box retailers). As for being fired, see the recent thread in this very forum regarding folks being fired from corporate stores for no reason...

  12. #72
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    ok guys ...update .. alls going well .. had an interview with the district manager ..and i believe that we are in the final stages in the hiring process! i just wanted to say that for all those who helped... advice ..etc....thanks guys .. owe u a ton ... if your in chicago... beers are on me! after training of course ..cause im broke right now.. thanks guys

  13. #73
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    I'm another Cellular Sales (CSOKI) rep, and I'd like to throw my two cents in.

    I don't have experience working for any other indirect retailer, so this will be about Cellular Sales alone.

    I have worked for this company for five years in three different states and can absolutely say that it's a great company to work for - if you have the right personality. It requires a great deal of personal drive and respect for the customer, and the ability to answer your phone at all times.

    Every one of our customers is given their rep's personal cell phone number and name right at the top of every receipt. We strive to be our customer's personal agent and representative for Verizon Wireless, and would rather our customers call us directly than be put on hold via a 1-800 number or stand in line at a corporate store. As a benefit of this philosophy, a great deal of money can be made from referrals.

    Cellular Sales hires against pharmaceutical and real estate sales positions. We had a rep make over $20,000 last month alone (!) by closing a 150-line business deal. One of our top reps in this market almost never works in the actual store - he elects to do business sales instead, and he makes $7-8k a month working whenever he wants to, and vacationing when he wants to! I'd say that on average, our reps make between $3,000-$8,000 a month, depending entirely on how much effort they put in. The flexibility of the position is one of its major benefits, as you could easily be a full time student and still make $2-3k a month working part time, or take a week or two off spontaneously (and without penalty!) simply by getting your shifts covered.

    We are trained by Verizon Wireless several times a year, and Cellular Sales itself hires professional sales trainers to coach its managers and staff in the art of sales and service, at its own expense.

    Any customer service problems we may create are escalated to an Indirect Accounts Manager that works for corporate, which means we are held accountable for our actions. Being 'shady' won't get you far, here.

    I, like every other rep in CSOKI, have had to deal with corporate reps telling our customers we weren't a 'real' Verizon store because they didn't feel like servicing that customer. It's maddening, completely unprofessional, and in my home market, it's gotten several corporate reps (including one store manager) fired (we outnumber corporate locations in that market by a ratio of 8 to 1).

    I have a feeling that much of the issue is the frustration felt by corporate reps who have to deal with phone issues all day from customers sent there by us. Every customer who has a warranty issue with their phone gets sent to a corporate location with a service center (except for Knoxville, where CSOKI has their own service center). This can give the rep the impression that we are sending them our 'problem customers' because we don't want to deal with them. That's not the case - we're simply limited in the powers we're given to solve certain problems. We don't have service centers, we can't always do early upgrades (varies by market), etc, etc. I apologize to any corporate rep that I've sent a 'problem customer' to, but please understand that it only happens when I'm unable to solve the problem personally! Trust me, we don't want to send our customers away - we want them to leave with a good impression of our store and return when they're due for that upgrade!

    Now, onto the pluses and minuses of working here...

    The hours are extremely flexible which can give you a lot of freedom in your personal life, but you must understand that, being commission-only, more hours = more money. That makes it hard taking a week off without worrying about how much money you're missing out on (no, you will not get paid vacations). However, close a 30-line deal and you've just paid for a very decent vacation.

    There are no benefits, but recently there have been some group buy-in options for health insurance. The high commission rates make up for this, in my opinion.

    The best benefit of working for Cellular Sales has been, in my opinion, the high caliber of my coworkers. I've never met a more interesting, varied, intelligent group of people - with a few exceptions, my best friends are people I met on the job.

    We hired a number of reps from another VZW retailer in the area that closed doors - they were astounded at how much more money could be made working what is (at first appearances) the same job. Their previous employer had some sort of wage + small commish scheme. The beauty of Cellular Sales is knowing that because the company makes one dollar for every dollar you make, there's no sense of unfairness or that you're slaving away for 'the man', making someone else rich. Promotions come often because we are a rapidly growing company, and being a regional market partner can earn you a yearly bonus of six figures (yes, that's on top of the profits you already made).

    Anyway, this is getting long-winded, so I'll cut it short. I guess my point is, don't assume all authorized retailers are the same, or that they're all two-bit, unprofessional or sleazy operations, because you'll find yourself disappointed and surprised when your corporate store is closed and we take its place.

    (We had the former manager of a corporate store that we replaced steal our Verizon doormat. No joke. "THIS IS MINE!", he said, as he grabbed the doormat and ran off with it a few days after we opened. Unbelievable.)

  14. #74
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    Oh, considering our agent rate plans - they're 10 bucks a month for 1500 minutes and unlimited text. Data features are half off, so my phone + blackberry service runs me $25/mo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samwise Gamgee
    The beauty of Cellular Sales is knowing that because the company makes one dollar for every dollar you make, there's no sense of unfairness or that you're slaving away for 'the man', making someone else rich.
    5 years and you still believe that line?

    Anyway, the rest of your post was a fair representation for the most part of what working at CSOKI is like (at least as fair a representation as possible before disillusionment sets in)... The few things I'd add for completeness lest anyone get the wrong idea about how great a match CSOKI would be for them are: 1) those high commission numbers (like $20,000 in a month) are EXCEEDINGLY rare. You will be told when being hired that such commissions are possible in an attempt to pump you up. Great, whatever, get motivated; just don't base your life plans on the thought that you're going to be earning six figures doing this. Also, when you DO get big commission checks, don't be blinded by the large number on your check... remember that it has NOT had taxes taken out of it, which can amount to over a third of your income! SAVE FOR TAX TIME, AND FILE QUARTERLY IF YOU CAN! Also remember that you have to pay for your health insurance, etc. 2) You will be struggling financially for the first two months; make sure you have savings or some arrangement for your living situation. The commissions are paid two months after they are earned, so for the first two months you will be living off of draws from your future commission checks; minimize the number of times you take these draws. 3) there IS BS in CSOKI just as there is in any company. You will be nickled and dimed for things such as late paperwork (even if it was turned in, just temporarily "lost"), missing phones/accessories (even though they miraculously show up in inventory again later), etc. Keep track of what you can and challenge them on it, but in the end just accept that what you can't recover is as much a cost of entry into the business as is accepting that CSOKI is NOT splitting all the profits down the middle with you. Realize that you're still making good money for the small amount of real work required, and be happy. And while you're being happy, go to school and get a degree so you can get the heck out of retail!

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