• Report: #521011

Complaint Review: Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.

  • Submitted: Sat, November 07, 2009
  • Updated: Fri, January 15, 2010

  • Reported By: Teddy — rockville centre New York United States of America
Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.
7335 Lake Ellinor Drive, Orlando Florida Internet United States of America

Acorn Stairlifts, Inc. Age Discrimination in providing sufficient number of appointments to Older Employees, Internet

*Author of original report: Rebuttal to "Unfounded" By Acorn Stairlifts "Insider"

*UPDATE Employee: Unfounded

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Acorn Stairlifts Inc has had a history of sending their older Surveyor/Sales Representatives on:


 (1) appointments further away from their home territory, asking their older reps to often travel 3 hours each way to their one appointment in a given day. Not allowing for more than one chance to close a sale in a given day.


(2) a fewer number of appointments than are provided to younger reps in the company. Younger reps are often given 10-15 appts. per week whereas older reps are only given 3-5 appts.per week.


(3) Older reps are given lesser quality appointments or 'quality C appts" whereas younger reps are given higher quality appts. or 'quality A appts.", therby assuring that the closing ratio will always be higher for the younger reps.


(4) Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.has cut the commission structure fo their reps by $250-$300, if they don't close the sale by midnight of the day of their appt. Thereby assuring that older reps will make less commissions than younger reps because of fewer total number of appts. given to older reps. and often sales are made at lower prices by the "Inside Unsold Sales Team" a day or week after the original appt.


(5) Acorn Stairlifts has repeatedly delayed paying commissions to their older Sales Reps even after the sale has been fully paid for and installed.


(6) Acorn Stairlifts allows their younger reps go to a lower price at the appt. than older reps are allowed to go to. Thereby assuring more sales by younger reps.


(7)In general Acorn Stairlifts Inc. is also deceiving  older customers into paying $4600 for  a product that shouldn't cost any more than $3,000!! Acorn Stairlifts will only allow older reps to go down to $3800 for a model, while allowing sales to be approved for younger reps at lower prices!!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/07/2009 02:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Acorn-Stairlifts-Inc/internet/Acorn-Stairlifts-Inc-Age-Discrimination-in-providing-sufficient-number-of-appointments-521011. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Rebuttal to "Unfounded" By Acorn Stairlifts "Insider"

AUTHOR: Teddy - (United States of America)

To respond to "Unfounded" at Acorn Stairlifts:


(1) Discrimination against older employees working at Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.?


Yes , besides myself at 60 years of age , a close friend of mine and a former employee of Acorn Stairlifts Inc. ,at 62 years of age ,was  abruptly dismissed a couple of months before me, because he refused to travel 3 hours away from his home to an appointment. The call center not once ,but repeatedly  scheduled him for appointments over 150 miles from his home, when Acorn had Sales Reps located only a few miles from the appointment.


(2) Sour grapes? Disgruntled, unproductive employee?


Not quite the truth. When my closing ratio increased to  selling over 50% of my appointments , the number of my appointments  remained a very small 3 to 4 appointments per week. Per Corporate Policy , when a Surveyor/Sales Rep's closing ratio increases, they "automatically" qualify for a greater number of appointments and appts. at a higher quality from the call center. This never happened . After making repeated requests over a period of months to my Supervisor and to the National Sales Director asking  for more appointments , I never  even received a response from either person. Why didn't I get a higher number  and better quality of appts. after exceeding a 50% closing ratio?


(3)" Acorn supplies a "Supervisor/Sales Coach" for each and every sales rep that works for the company." ?


I never received any advice, coaching , guidance , nor help from my Supervisor. Let alone  answers to any of my e-mails nor voicemails.


My "Supervisor" never responded to my emails nor my phone calls. When I began running out of supplies , it took 2 weeks of emails to get a response from anyone, and I would receive a Supply Package about a month after my original request.


At training in Orlando, my hired class of trainees were told by the Trainer that we would have to buy our own Tape Measure for measuring the steps because , management found from past experience that their Surveyors were losing their tape measures , often leaving them behind at their appointments after measuring the steps. So Acorn Stairligfts was "out of the business" of supplying their reps with tape measures.


One time while trying to locate a homeowner on an appt.. 3 hours from my home. nobody answered the door . I left a voicemail with my Supervisor asking him if he had any further information to share . He never returned my phone call . I found out from a neighbor, that the client was  actually a relative of homeowner  and at a different address entirely. When I got to the address, the person there could not speak English. I called my Supervisor, and left a voicemail saying that when they re-schedule this appointment, they should send a bi-lingual rep, and one who lives a bit closer to the address.


At training , the hired trainees never even saw a Sales Agreement until training was already completed, and a packet of Agreements was handed to us . We were never given the opportunity to do a "ride-a-long" and were expected to start running appointments as soon as we got home. I requested to do a "ride-a-long" with one of the Company's top Surveyor/Sales Reps, and I was told that he would not agree to have me as a ride- a-long  as he is not"the friendly type." (This favorite rep was the first person to peronally call me when he found out that I was "dismissed"  as he asked me to describe the juicy details!!)Not todigress,  I said I would be willing to travel outside my territory to do a ride-along" and they finally found an amicable rep 2 1/2 hours from my territory. Now I could see and model an actual presentation, an actual measurement , and actual pricing , and an actual completion of a Sales Agreement.


At the conclusion of  one Friday  National Conference call, my "Supervisor" asked if anyone had any questions, and I chimed in with "Any chance of getting more appoinments?" (as I had a total of 3 for the week) My Supervisor chastised me with  "This is neither the time nor place to air your 'personal problems' and you should call me at the office after the Conference Call."  I called him after the Conference Call and got his voicemail . He never returned my call.


(4) To give an example of the kind of company Acorn Stairlifts really is , one day they sent me to a prospective customer to just pick up a $3,000 check When I got there , I met a lovely elderly woman whose husband had left for work. Unfortunately , she suffered from some form of memory  or dementia. She couldn't recall calling Acorn at all. I called Acorn and they told me to" just get the check." I spent a good hour with the woman and calmed her down and showed her the product she ordered and she agreed to schedule an installation date after I wrote in the date and time on her calendar for her reference. She was relaxed and she turned the check over to me. Prior to working with Acorn , I used to be a Social Worker for Senior Citizens for 10 years. When I saw this incident , it secured in my mind what this company was really capable of.


(5) "If any Surveyor feels that they are traveling too far for appts. at any given time, the company can and has adjusted that reps mileage radius to prevent from future excess travel ."


In fact, I put in such a request numerous times, and was never given an appointment in my designated territory. The company's favorite younger reps were given appts in my territory, which were actually somewhat outside of those reps home territory!!


(6) " All apointments are exactly the same."


Not quite. When a sales rep's closing ratio increases , they are generally bumped into receiving a higher number of appoinments at a higher level of quality also known as "better qualified appointments."


I had been sent on appointments 3 hours from home to prospective customers who did not know the following:  (1) Acorn does not offer financing options, (2) Acorn does not offer rentals like some of the competition, (3) Acorn does not sell used or reconditioned stairlifts, (4) Stairlifts are not covered by Medicare nor Medicaid, and (5) prospective customer  had no clue as to the price of a unit.


(7) "The system has been the same over the past 2 years I have been working for Acorn."


What company did you say you are working for? In February of 2009 , if a Surveyor didn't close the sale by midnight of the day of appt. , and if the "Inside Unsold Tele-Sales Dept ". closed the sale , the Surveyor still made a nice commission, only $50 less than if they had sold it on day of visit . Then mid year of 2009 , everyone received the same email proclaiming that any sales not made by midnight of day of  actual appointment  would only qualify for a $50 commission , a $250 decrease in average commission!! Surveyors travel hours to an appointment , they take 2 hours to complete consultation, presentation, demonstration, review product choices and product pricing, and provide exact technical measurements both verbally by phone from home visit even if sale is not closed , and then again confirming exact technical measurements on the Acorn assigned Surveyor's web-site. All the work is done by the Surveyor, and the relationship and trust is established with the customer. The next day , the "Unsold Inside Tele-Sales Dept. calls the customer ,drops the price below what the Surveyor was allowed to drop to at the day of the home visit and really just has to ask for the credit card to close the sale. Very professional for a change. No surprises here.  


(8) Acorn Surveyors are only allowed to drop the price after they call in to the company and play the "Doing you a Big Favor Sale Routine " . Usually claiming that a "Demonstrator Model" was just located in corporate database from an AARP Convention, and we can ship it out for $3800 instead of the original asking price of $4600!! But there is only one" Demonstrator Model" left!!.... If the sale is not made . the "Unsold Inside Tele-Sales Dept " calls the customer every day until they agree to buy. Often times, by this time the original price has dropped to $3000!! Most of the competiton sells the same equivalent models for $3000 from the beginning without all the lies and games and deceit. What does Acorn really think of thier customers? On one call , while on hold waiting for the Inside Liaison person to get a lower price approved by the Supervisor, I had to put my hand over the phone because the staff in Orlando was laughing loud enough to be heard and were making fun of the elderly persons speaking pattern.


(9) "I am not familiar with Acorn delaying commission pay outs to the Surveyors."


This actually happened to me a couple of times when it was explained to me that "the commisision check wasn't cut in time because it wasn't  'dispatched' in time by payroll." How could this have been possible? Both times , my customer paid in full way in advance and their stairlift was already installed!!! I had been told by several colleagues that you have to check your commissions very carefully as Acorn has a history of stiffing their reps by not including all due commissions.


(10) "Just like the rest of this report, completely false and unfounded."


The only things false and unfounded about this whole thing are the statements claimed by this supposedly  "Inside Sales " Person who filed this addressed rebuttal preceding my rebuttal.


My suggestions? Why not  clean up your act in Orlando!! How about treating  Senior Citizens with the respect that all people deserve. Why not stop overcharging Senior Citizens $1600 more than the "fair market value" of your product. Why not treat your employees with some semblance of respect and professional courtesy!! Why not give your older Surveyors an equal chance in the field as your favorite younger reps with a more equitable distribution of both number and quality level of appointments?


Thank you for reminding me what a favor Acorn Stairlifts really did for me by letting me go  only one day after I submitted a complaint in writing regarding my "Supervisor's" unprofessional and abusive behavior. Good riddance to the bunch of you rascals to put it mildly!!


Attn: Senior Citizens and Future Acorn  Stairlifts Job Applicants : Beware of Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Buyer Beware" was never more true!!!

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Unfounded

AUTHOR: Lebowski - (United States of America)

Acorn has a "history" of discriminating against "older" sales reps? That's an amazingly bold statement to make for someone who doesn't even work in Acorn offices. Is there a number of "older" sales reps who have experienced the brunt of Acorn's discrimination or just one? What would motivate a company to even hire "older" sales reps if they intend discriminate against them? As an in-home sales rep for a national company, it can be easy to blame the leads and/or the company for a personal lack of productivity and sales. Part of the responsibility of being an external sales rep is their own personal productivity and development. It is only as good as that representative's own personal motivation. It is a fact that Acorn supplies a supervisor/sales coach for each and every single outside sales rep that works for the company.

I will be happy to address each statement as follows:

1) appointments further away from their home territory, asking their older reps to often travel 3 hours each way to their one appointment in a given day. Not allowing for more than one chance to close a sale in a given day.

* Each and every in-home sales person covers a mileage radius from where they live. If ANY surveyor feels that they are traveling to far for appointments at any given time, the company can and has adjusted that sales representative mileage radius down to prevent from future unwanted excess travel. Each sales rep is treated equally in this regards and scheduling is done based off of the rep's location at any given time in contrast to the appointment (ie: who is closest.)

(2) a fewer number of appointments than are provided to younger reps in the company. Younger reps are often given 10-15 appts. per week whereas older reps are only given 3-5 appts.per week.

* The amount of appointments given to any representative is done based off of leads/appointments in said area and of course, just like any company in sales, it's based off of sales performance. Would it make more sense to give a larger amount of appointments to someone who sells a larger percentage of their leads? Or would it make sense to give a larger amount of leads to a younger sales rep, just because he/she is younger?

(3) Older reps are given lesser quality appointments or 'quality C appts" whereas younger reps are given higher quality appts. or 'quality A appts.", thereby assuring that the closing ratio will always be higher for the younger reps.

* I work directly inside and VERY familiar with how appointments are booked within the organization. This is another statement that is unfounded and untrue. There is no review of the lead during the process of booking and selecting the sales representative to attend the appointment. Sounds like just another excuse of not taking responsibility for closing prospects.

(4) Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.has cut the commission structure fo their reps by $250-$300, if they don't close the sale by midnight of the day of their appt. Thereby assuring that older reps will make less commissions than younger reps because of fewer total number of appts. given to older reps. and often sales are made at lower prices by the "Inside Unsold Sales Team" a day or week after the original appt.

* It's an unfortunate but familiar case for companies across the board during these recessionary times who have made pay cuts to their employees. The structure and system that you have complained about however, has been the same since I have started working for the company a little under 2 years ago. I fail to see how a younger sales person would benefit from this structure.

(4) Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.has cut the commission structure fo their reps by $250-$300, if they don't close the sale by midnight of the day of their appt. Thereby assuring that older reps will make less commissions than younger reps because of fewer total number of appts. given to older reps. and often sales are made at lower prices by the "Inside Unsold Sales Team" a day or week after the original appt.

(5) Acorn Stairlifts has repeatedly delayed paying commissions to their older Sales Reps even after the sale has been fully paid for and installed.

* I am not familiar with this complaint but if it is valid, I personally would have contacted the labor board and filed a formal complaint.

6) Acorn Stairlifts allows their younger reps go to a lower price at the appt. than older reps are allowed to go to. Thereby assuring more sales by younger reps.

* This is another absurd and unfounded statement. Once again I would ask, "how would this proposed mindset benefit the company?"

(7)In general Acorn Stairlifts Inc. is also deceiving older customers into paying $4600 for a product that shouldn't cost any more than $3,000!! Acorn Stairlifts will only allow older reps to go down to $3800 for a model, while allowing sales to be approved for younger reps at lower prices!!

* Just like the rest of this report filed, completely false and unfounded.

My suggestion would be to gather some actual proof to back up your statements and offer some validity to your accusations. Sadly enough, it sounds like a multitude of excuses of why you have not been a successful salesperson rather than a valid complaint against the company.

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