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Techs on Commission? 7

An Anonymous Coward asks: "I've started seeing something over the last year in my local area - technicians at local service companies working on a base salary + commission basis. To me this would seem like a pretty sorry way of getting paid (if you're not a good salesman like some techs you don't get a big commission or the sales staff can screw the tech by giving the customer a Good Deal TM). My employer is not doing this currently but like any pointy haired boss fad I'm sure it will eventually be considered. Any one out there have any experience with this (as in does it work out good, does it cause high turn over, etc)?" The largest problem with this is that such a system is highly prone to abuse. I would think that lowering the average salary would also lower the incentive to do as good a job except on the most costly of repairs, while machines needing regular maintenance would lag in the queue. How do you all feel about such a system, especially those of you who may have just such a job?
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Techs on Commission?

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  • My $0.02 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Starquake ( 245822 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @07:54PM (#2253671) Homepage
    As a former hardware/software support tech, I have to say I would not want to work under that kind of pay system. I would probably have cut corners in most if not all areas of my work. Not to mention the fact that residential customers would never have gotten serviced. They tend to haggle about prices and often times refuse to let you do the work. Big corporate customers, however, might be very happy with their service. They tend to pay on time and don't haggle too much, as well as being a continual source of sales.
  • by gss ( 86275 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:09PM (#2253900)
    I tend not to give my business to companies that have their employees work on commision. They tend to be more high presure or try to upsell where as a salaried employee will typically try and give you what you need and nothing more.

    Of course it's sometimes hard to avoid commision.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:52PM (#2254032)
    I worked with a bonus plan which was base pay + (insanely stupid calculation which proves your profitable). If you had enough billable hours in a quarter ever hour above that resulted in significant increase in the bonus. Enough so I made about 1/3rd more than I would have without the plan. (Note: My employer did not drop the pay to add the plan, they added the plan because their pay was already in the toilet).

    On the other hand, a co-worker of mine worked her ass off and because of the rate at which her hours were billed she made nothing off the bonus plan. (As to why her billing rate was so low, I can't and won't get into it, but suffice it to say it is hard to motivate somebody if you keep smacking them with a stick when they do a good job)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...for example, my payslip has a "commission" figure, but it's not directly derived from my personal performance but from the overall group. If the group only gets half the monthly target, I only get half my agreed monthly commission. If we do double, well... I'll let you work it out.

    Usually, this is worth about 6% more than the numbers would imply, but I suspect things will be down a little this year. Must remember to bear that in mind during my next review!

  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Wednesday September 05, 2001 @10:55AM (#2255430)
    I enjoyed being on commission. There is a certain thrill when you double or triple your salary for doing something you enjoy.

    If you do not like to wheel and deal, go to a salaried job. If you want to make alot of money, take a commissioned job.
  • It has been my experience (in retail I have never knowingly dealt with a commissioned Tec) that commissioned sales staff are better to talk to because they are usually more knowledgeable. Yes they are also higher pressure but that doesn't bother me as long as they know what they are talking about which is in my opinion key. It stands to reason that if you pay is based on what you sell, and you will sell more if you are knowledgeable then it is in your best interest to learn as much as you can about what you sell. Of course you could simply take to lying but that will hurt you in the end with customer loyalty. To make a short story long it seem to hold true that commissioned staff are more knowledgeable because there product knowledge has a direct effect where it counts $money$,

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.