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Old 09-30-2011, 02:51 PM
 
2,608 posts, read 2,854,247 times
Reputation: 2021

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So I'm not sure how many people in sales are familiar with "spiffs" but I work in the IT sales industry and when I sell certain desktop or notebook products to businesses, the manufacturer provides a compensation reward for each unit I sell. Example: I sold 25 laptops that had a $15 per unit spiff on them.

I asked the manufacturer how I apply and claim for the spiffs. She directed me to my management staff. I asked my manager, he said he will "look into it". I followed up with him a week later with a "any word on this?" and he simply said "No."

Now I've asked a few coworkers about this to see what they've done in the past and I've just learned that they all told me the same thing: the VP of sales keeps the spiffs and pockets the money and doesn't give it to the rep. That this is done with most manufacturer spiffs.

When I took this job earlier this year they told me I could keep 100% of my earned spiff money as my previous employer took a 20% cut. They told this to all the reps when they hired us. So far I haven't received any spiffs now and it seems clear why. I also won a sales contest that was supposed to give me a reward in the hundreds of dollars and I won that last summer....still haven't seen the money.

What do I do? Do I demand to my boss that they compensate me? Unfortunately I don't have this agreement in writing (obviously mistake on my part). I'm considering updating my resume this weekend and leaving the company when I have a new job lined up. I've had 4 jobs in the last 5 and a half years and I'd hate to go job hunting again but I just can't be motivated to work for a company that is stealing from me.

Please, any advice welcome.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:04 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,436,634 times
Reputation: 5764
Is any of this in writing?
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:05 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 20,658,964 times
Reputation: 15412
How are you doing compensation wise excluding the spiff? If you are doing pretty good without it does it make sense to go somewhere else?

Certainly it is not a good sign they lied to you and they could do it again on other things. Personally I would remind my boss of the fact you were told you get to keep it and see what he says. If he says you aren't getting it ask for an explanation of why you were told you would be getting it.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:11 PM
 
2,608 posts, read 2,854,247 times
Reputation: 2021
No, I don't have it in writing.

I am a little afraid to go to management. They're dealing with another coworker now who they made a salary/draw agreement that was goal based and they supposedly aren't living up to their end of the deal and are withdrawing money from that employees commissions. That employee has threatened, and I think as of today is filing a lawsuit for withholding payment without permission or something like that.

I'm afraid of getting fired. I was unemployed for 6 months before landing this job and it was very hard finding a job. I can't go back to that again.

So far I get a base salary that I can just barely make ends meet on, but I cannot make enough to pay off credit card debt or save money or take a vacation or anything. Typically it can take a year or longer to start generating enough sales to cover your draw and start generating additional commission. I'm still a few months away from that point. Spiffs and bonuses and rewards would help me a LOT but so far I haven't received that.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,398 posts, read 22,980,760 times
Reputation: 14527
It's petty BS like this that has decent employee's leaving without notice
the SECOND a better opportunity comes through for them.

OP: quit then and in a heart beat...
but until then? tough it out and keep looking for better.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,144 posts, read 2,288,565 times
Reputation: 4527
Well, if that is actually what they are doing it is unethical at best. I worked for a major electronics manufacter and they did pay the spiffs, however, it would take 60 days to allocate the funds back to the retailer, then the retailer would do their thing, another 60 days or so would lapse.

I would ask for a meeting with the sales manager asking for clarification on the spiff program and inquire about the contest money. I would not demand anything, ask, be professional. As for the other sales people, many do not even understand their paychecks, so, I wouldn't base too much on what they say.

After you have done your homework, you can decide what is the best way for you to proceed.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:25 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,398 posts, read 22,980,760 times
Reputation: 14527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollydo View Post
I worked for a major electronics manufacter and they did pay the spiffs, however, it would take 60 days to allocate the funds back to the retailer
I sorta blew past the mechanics of this arrangement before...
When I have received spiff money it was paid DIRECTLY by the manufacturer (by way of their rep),
it was NOT 1099'ed... and NOTHING about any of this was ever written down.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Andersonville, Chicago
7,972 posts, read 8,009,162 times
Reputation: 5354
Radio-shacks commission was called Spiff!
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:54 AM
 
2,608 posts, read 2,854,247 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
Radio-shacks commission was called Spiff!
Thanks for sharing?
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
5,222 posts, read 3,244,957 times
Reputation: 5449
Your company is behaving in an unethical manner. I would start looking for another job, while you still have this one. I think any meeting with higher ups is going to be pointless. They've already shown ample evidence of their character.
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