The discount campaign of Olerex, which has tricked many customers who hoped to get a discount of 8.3 cents per liter of fuel, tests the nerves of not only the customers but also those of the customer service representatives who have to deal with the resentment of the buyers.
Olerex employee Liina (real name withheld) described Postimees the promotional campaign from the perspective of customer service.
«What is happening is that customers are deceived by this new banner promising –8.3 cents per liter and their employees will also lose money if they cannot sell this campaign to the customers,» said Liina, who has been working at Olerex for the past few weeks.
According to her, the best reaction from customers to the campaign is no reaction at all. «The ones who came to find out what was wrong with this banner simply left without refueling; and those who refueled first, but missed out on the promised discount, told me what they thought of me and Olerex,» said Liina. «I am with the customers. Customers are cheated and the company does not care at all of its employees.»
Liina went against the rules of Olerex and agreed with the customers that this promotion is a kind of fraud. «After all, people expect when seeing such a banner that they will receive that discount instead of only 2.6 cents per liter, while the rest is converted into money which cannot be used to pay for fuel. Some people only buy fuel and never buy goods from the store.»
Liina has been working at Olerex for almost five months, but she only recently received the employment contract at her request which she does not intend to sign it because there are some requirements she cannot observe.
«The contract stipulates that the operator is obliged to use the cash register only under his or her own name, but this is very confusing because there are three registers and four people in a shift,» she explained, and did not understand how this could be an obligation of a customer service worker.
The second point that Liina brought up concerns the length of shifts: 12-16 hours.
«If you sign this contract, you can live in Olerex. For example, at the end of July I had a 12-hour shift from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Since the employee of the next shift did not show up for work, I was only able to be at home for two hours when I was called to work again for five hours. I got home at 2 o'clock in the morning,» she said. «As far as I know, no one there has received the incentive fee yet.»
According to Vladimir Loganchev, the leading consulting lawyer of the Labor Inspectorate, the law on the employment contract fully applies to the oral employment relationship; that is, the employee has the right to be paid for the work done, while the employer has the right to require the performing of the agreed work and to give orders.
The Employment Contract Act sets mandatory working and rest time limits. According to this, the employee must have at least 11 consecutive hours of rest time in a 24-hour period. This means that an employee can work a maximum of 13 hours in one shift, including overtime, Loganchev explained.
Piret Miller, CEO of Olerex, does not recognize the described situation and says that it does not correspond to reality. «Our employees do not receive a separate bonus for the sale of the customer loyalty program, no one works without a contract, and we have 12-hour shifts,» she assured.
According to Miller, the attendant has to log in to use the cash register just like in other retail businesses, and just like elsewhere, an unsatisfied customer first approaches the customer service worker. However, Miller admitted that the customer loyalty program of Olerex Plus is novel in Estonian marketing and detailed; therefore it requires explaining and closer study.