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  #41  
Old 18 July 2014, 05:28 AM
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Can someone explain exactly what is meant by "docking" pay?

Here's what I think it means: My employer hires me at $10 per hour but explains to me that I will be paid minimum wage because of various disciplinary actions. Maybe I took too many bathroom breaks, or acted rudely to a supervisor, or violated a dress code issue, or maybe damaging company property. In any case, I don't believe that an employer could continue to do this indefinitely. Claiming to hire someone at a certain rate, yet consistently pay them at a lower rate, would be fraud. The disciplinary action of "docking pay" would have to be documented and not just a general "poor performance". I could see an employer not paying employees for being late or taking excessive breaks, but reducing their pay arbitrarily would be tantamount to fraud. I've made the argument many times that an employee who is consistently below average and under-performs, should not remain employed after two consecutive negative reviews. If they wouldn't be retained after a probationary period, then why keep them on?

What I struggle with is the concept of "docking pay" when they are simply not paid a "bonus" or "performance-based compensation". This is like commissioned sales - and it's not at all fair. Commissioned salespeople may put in huge amounts of effort and still end up with low sales figures and low commissions. Their pay for that period will be lower, but it is not "docked". That's not to say that employers do not move the goalposts and do whatever they can to prevent the payment of bonuses - as Beachlife describes - but Comcast doesn't seem to have a bad reputation as an employer. They treat their customers poorly, but I have not yet seen a single article describing it as being any better (or worse) than any other employer in that industry.

That said, some people don't realize the meaning of "bonus" when it comes to compensation. Some industries pay their employees a "bonus" based on individual performance, corporate performance, or a mix of the two. Some contractors will pay a "safety bonus" for every worked hour during a period where there were no accidents or injuries. The thing is that "bonus" is not the right word here - it implies that the money is paid entirely at the employer's discretion - it's not optional, but a variable amount of pay based on different criteria. People are hired and agree to these conditions as part of the process - the money is not paid out of the goodness of anyone's heart. The criteria may change from one bonus period to the next, but should remain consistent during the period or else the employer would face fraud and breach of contract.
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  #42  
Old 18 July 2014, 10:23 AM
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Slight tangent: I had Comcast, oh so many years ago, and I don't think I've ever had a call with Comcast that went well. I think the problem is more than how they compensate their CS people. The problem probably is also in the manner they hire and train their employees. We had some problem with our Verizon FIOS connection past few weeks, and in a moment of weakness, we called up Comcast to see if we could switch. 5 minutes into the conversation with the rep, and my wife and me remembered why we left Comcast
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  #43  
Old 18 July 2014, 09:10 PM
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I clearly remember the conversation I had with the retention agent at my mother's cable company after she died. He actually tried to convince me to get the dish off the roof, ship it to myself in another province, and transfer her service to my name. "I am the executrix of an estate and I need to cancel the service of the deceased" should be one of those no argument situations.

(I was also surprised at her phone company, which required no documentation, proof of death, proof of identification, etc. It was a simple "Of course, what day would you like the service turned off?" and it was done. Every other service and utility required a fax of the death certificate, page of the will identifying me as executrix, and signed letter from me.)
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  #44  
Old 18 July 2014, 11:58 PM
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You should be able to log on to your account, click a 'cancel service' button, and that's it, aside from returning a converter box or something.
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  #45  
Old 19 July 2014, 12:27 AM
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I always found it annoying that although the power company allows me to cancel my service online, AT&T doesn't have that option and instead requires me to call and sit on hold for 30 minutes.
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  #46  
Old 19 July 2014, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoitoider View Post
You should be able to log on to your account, click a 'cancel service' button, and that's it, aside from returning a converter box or something.
Indeed. Pretty much any service I can think of that offers account services online should be required to have that option. They can have exceptions that require you to call in, but those should be very exceptional circumstances IMO. For example, someone with a past due balance should still be able to cancel that way so as to stop racking up charges. And they can have a "do yoiu really mean it" screen to protect against accidentally canceling, and I'd even give them as part of that screen the option of making you a "please reconsider" offer, but you shouldn't have to click more than twice to make it happen.
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  #47  
Old 19 July 2014, 12:53 AM
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Back in the days of dial-up internet service I had Juno as my ISB because they were cheap and I was a poor college student. When I moved to California and got broadband, I called to cancel my Juno account. While I was waiting on hold, they actually played a recorded message stating "If you're calling to cancel your service you can do it online at [address]." I stayed on the phone because I had a question I wanted to ask the CSA. But when I told him I was canceling because I was upgrading to broadband he tried to convince me that broadband was unreliable and I needed to keep my dial-up account as a backup. I think he offered my a couple of months free and a lower rate for a "backup" account. I eventually relented and accepted his offer, and then went to the web site from the recording and canceled it at the at the end of the free period with no hassle.
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  #48  
Old 19 July 2014, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
I always found it annoying that although the power company allows me to cancel my service online, AT&T doesn't have that option and instead requires me to call and sit on hold for 30 minutes.
One time at work I was on the phone with AT&T, struggling through their stupid voice recognition system, and after I'd answered a couple of questions my co-worker looked up from what he was doing and said "is that AT&T?"
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  #49  
Old 19 July 2014, 05:54 PM
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When my employees would figure out I was on the phone with Verizon, they would quietly close my door in anticipation of the explosion of expletives

"She never gets angry. Unless she's on eternal hold with the phone company..."
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  #50  
Old 19 July 2014, 06:34 PM
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I loved getting emails from people like that.
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  #51  
Old 20 July 2014, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn View Post
I clearly remember the conversation I had with the retention agent at my mother's cable company after she died. He actually tried to convince me to get the dish off the roof, ship it to myself in another province, and transfer her service to my name. "I am the executrix of an estate and I need to cancel the service of the deceased" should be one of those no argument situations.

(I was also surprised at her phone company, which required no documentation, proof of death, proof of identification, etc. It was a simple "Of course, what day would you like the service turned off?" and it was done. Every other service and utility required a fax of the death certificate, page of the will identifying me as executrix, and signed letter from me.)
Bell?

We had issues with Bell because the dish had some ice on it, but we didn't know that since the dish was on the roof and it frankly never occurred to us to go up and check. All the reps we spoke to weren't in Canada, and were in fact in very warm climates. After half a dozen calls and escalations over a couple of months, they sent us a repairman who pulled in the driveway and said "man just use some de-icer on the dish." Problem solved, except...

Meanwhile we paid for no service and... we said goodbye to Bell a while ago. I wouldn't rave about Rogers but it beats Bell, at least in our area.
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  #52  
Old 20 July 2014, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
I always found it annoying that although the power company allows me to cancel my service online, AT&T doesn't have that option and instead requires me to call and sit on hold for 30 minutes.
It would be interesting if you sent a recorded-delivery letter to the company, telling them to cease the supply, and you could cancel the payment options at the same time with your bank. Then they would not have any claim that you still owe them money for service supplied.
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  #53  
Old 20 July 2014, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plurabelle View Post
Bell?

We had issues with Bell because the dish had some ice on it, but we didn't know that since the dish was on the roof and it frankly never occurred to us to go up and check. All the reps we spoke to weren't in Canada, and were in fact in very warm climates. After half a dozen calls and escalations over a couple of months, they sent us a repairman who pulled in the driveway and said "man just use some de-icer on the dish." Problem solved, except...

Meanwhile we paid for no service and... we said goodbye to Bell a while ago. I wouldn't rave about Rogers but it beats Bell, at least in our area.
They NFBSKed up and we didn't have Call Answer due to an error on their part for like 10 weeks. When we called every agent gave us the same answer and when I told them I'd done all these things basically got told. "Do it again."
After dealing with them for 3 weeks I decided we shouldn't have to pay for the 10 weeks and you would not believe the ****storm that caused. It was escalated three times and they figured out what was wrong.
We got refunded for the 10 weeks, too.
The funny thing is I'm not the account holder so they'd tell me I couldn't do this - except the account holder was sitting right beside me and would happily tell them to talk to me...it really was my mum but they just asked if it was her and seemed to take her word for it.
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  #54  
Old 20 July 2014, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
The funny thing is I'm not the account holder so they'd tell me I couldn't do this - except the account holder was sitting right beside me and would happily tell them to talk to me...it really was my mum but they just asked if it was her and seemed to take her word for it.
This happened to me in dealing with one of the utility companies. I think it was Ottawa hydro. Anyway because my husband's name was the principal name on the account for the sake of account security they couldn't talk to me or let me do anything - my husband happened to be out of town on business at the time. My solution was to pass the phone over to my then 16 yr old son who told them it was ok to talk to me. Yeah, really good security going on there guys if any male voice would do .
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  #55  
Old 20 July 2014, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
This happened to me in dealing with one of the utility companies. I think it was Ottawa hydro. Anyway because my husband's name was the principal name on the account for the sake of account security they couldn't talk to me or let me do anything - my husband happened to be out of town on business at the time. My solution was to pass the phone over to my then 16 yr old son who told them it was ok to talk to me. Yeah, really good security going on there guys if any male voice would do .
When I was at uni in Dublin my exams were postponed so I had to call
American Airlines to reschedule my end of term flight home. They wouldn't allow me changes because I wasn't calling from the US. I explained, "You have a round trip ticket for me to Dublin, I've only used half, so where do you suppose I am?"

My mother called 20 minutes later, said she was me, and got my reservations changed no problem.
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  #56  
Old 20 July 2014, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
The funny thing is I'm not the account holder so they'd tell me I couldn't do this
Living currently in a tri-citizen, bi-country marriage, I am pretty lucky my husband legally changed his name to his initals (which he goes by, and which are gender neutral). His parents originally saddled him with quite the first name.

I handle the bills and "paper BS" (his affectionate term) so it's handy to give my name as A. D. A. which nobody bats an eye at.
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  #57  
Old 20 July 2014, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Yeah, really good security going on there guys if any male voice would do .
Don't know about any other company, but where I worked they were supposed to ask a couple of security questions, but there's huge pressure to get things handled as quickly as possible. Also, there isn't typically a great deal of training involved, either.
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  #58  
Old 23 July 2014, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Plurabelle View Post
Living currently in a tri-citizen, bi-country marriage,
Uh in retrospect this might seem more naughty and exciting than reality. Husband is from the Netherlands and has PR status in Canada; I am American and we live part time in Toronto, part time in Michigan, plans are for moving to MI since I'm shifting into main breadwinner role.
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  #59  
Old 23 July 2014, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
Can someone explain exactly what is meant by "docking" pay?
An employer hires you at $10/hour. You usually work 40 hours a week and as a result gross $400/week.

In a particular week, you do something 'wrong', maybe it was taking too many bathroom breaks, or you accidentally broke dishes working in a restaurant, or you made a company angry. As punishment your employer decides to dock your pay 2 hours and as a result you get $380 for the week even though your worked the same 40 hours. It is illegal in most cases.
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  #60  
Old 23 July 2014, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
In a particular week, you do something 'wrong', maybe it was taking too many bathroom breaks, or you accidentally broke dishes working in a restaurant, or you made a company angry. As punishment your employer decides to dock your pay 2 hours and as a result you get $380 for the week even though your worked the same 40 hours. It is illegal in most cases.
Does this have to be documented or is it as arbitrary as you make it sound?

For example, say I do break a dish that's worth $5 but my employer docks me $20 - that seems punitive and very illegal. Suppose the dish is worth $50 - they would be doing me a favor by only docking me $20 - but I can't imagine this kind of practice being allowed to persist. People would - and should - quit and complain to whatever authority is present. Employment may be "at will" in most states, but employers cannot arbitrarily refuse to pay for work performed, can they?
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