my favorite sales rep call from my time in call center.
i was brand new out of training. this was 4 years ago. vet diagnostic company. sales reps have rules about getting testing done for their own pets, as do we all. company employees cannot tell their vets they get discounts or free testing, and only sales have reimbursement options up to $250/year. we also have a policy in customer support of not providing information to pet owners as we work with vet offices, not owners; they’re not our clients, and can never be as a licensed vet is the only person who can open an account.
so, sales rep calls in. he’s looking for information on allergy testing for his own dog. now, he is an employee, but he’s also calling as a pet owner, and much of this information he’s asking for is actually available to him in the broad strokes. i tell him i can answer some questions, but won’t be able to answer everything as he’s technically calling as an owner. fine.
he wants to know pricing for various allergy panels, i give in the wholesale cost, and advise that i can’t tell him if his vet gets a discount on it. well, turns out he is the sales rep for the vet he uses for his dog…fine, i check. they do not have a discount. not surprising, hardly anyone does on allergy tests. i tell him, he says “oh it’s fine. i work here so they use the dr discount.”
…dr pet test are discounted 100% for this practice. this is a huge no-no. and it’s not like sales isn’t fully aware of the rules.
they get a reminder about this, quarterly, and this guy’s been with the company for years. i take note of the interaction ID for later and keep talking to him, but now i’m listening for different cues. we start talking about the injections for treatment should allergy testing indicate a need for it. these are very expensive. there is NEVER a discount on this for anyone because we don’t formulate it, another company we partner with does. i give him the breakdown of all the treatment options and explain the other-company-no-discount deal, and once again i hear “well, i work here, so i’ll make sure they provide the treatment at cost.”
for anyone who does not know, vet charges to pet owners is typically marked up 200-300% for tests, treatments, and services. i’ve seen as high as 500%. basically this poor vet, who is a very nice man, has been throwing away money on this guys dog because he lied to them and told them it’s protocol for them to provide everything for free and the vet believed him.
after ending the call, i contacted HR and reported his lying ass. the HR partner at the time was new and unaware of the rules, so i ended up having a sit down, closed door, blow the whistle meeting with her. we also called the poor vet and informed him that what he was told was incorrect and told him how much they should have been charged from us for this pet’s care over the years so he could back-bill the sales rep for services. so SO satisfying.