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Space Kitchens, - I work for this FREAKSHOW CIRCUS of a company. I work in one of their cold calling outbound centres as a slave! The company operates by having three tiers of staff. The first level is the canvassing room. A place full of s***** and broken computer terminals inhabited by 'canvassers' (college attending teenagers who cannot find employment elsewhere, or people who are extremely desperate for work). They use automated software on their PCs called AMCAT. The software will continually dial numbers (many of which are on the TPS list) and are told to read the following script:
["Good afternoon /afternoon /evening,
This is [Dumb Shit] from Space Designs, just a quick call to inform you that your postcode has been selected in an area in which we are looking for feature homes to appear in the next edition of our magazine.
What that does mean is you have the chance of a kitchen PLAN and DESIGN at no cost to you.
On a scale of 10, 15 or 20 years, how old would you say your current kitchen is?
Finally could I ask you are you The property owner?
GREAT! I'm just going to pass your details to my fashion home advisor who will call you back and explain to you just how our fantastic promotion works FOR YOU. Just before you go, could I please take your surname so we know who to ask for? Good luck with the promotion and thank you for your time."]
Within various documentation received upon receiving employment with Space Kitchens (which is likely unless you attend your interview sniffing on a crack pipe and talking about your love of Nazi paraphernalia) you're handed a document describing the various procedures in place. Some of the policies in this documentation include 'failure to notify the call centre of your non-attendance will result in a £20 docking and possible disciplinary action' along with 'You must attend your shifts 10 minutes prior to your shift commencing. If you are late without notification you will be docked £5 from your wage," and my favorite is the qualifying bites criteria ( bites being the poor b******** who mindlessly agree to a call-back having been read an ambiguous piece of tosh from a script who's names are then clicked on my the canvasser as a bite, and then are immediately printed out to be given a call back.) The qualifying bites criteria are as follows:
The have to be the property owner...not rented council, private, mobile home sheltered accommodation etc.
Kitchen over 5 years old unless happy with it!
Between the ages of 18-70
Speak clear English
At least over 1 minute long
Get the customer's surname
Along with the repetitively mind meltingly mundane cold calling script, the caller is handed a list of objections for what to say when the person being inconveniently cold called whilst having their tea, trying to stop their house being re-possessed or perhaps nurturing their newborn baby in the delicate first few weeks of life tells the cold caller that they're not interested. Here are a few examples of the 16 or so objections on the sheet with my responses thrown in for good measure.
Objection: I'm not interested : Response : You do have the chance of a kitchen makeover design at no cost to yourself. Just two quick questions?
My response : Yes , you do have the chance of some fat forty year old salesman masquerading as a kitchen designer to violate the privacy of your own home, who will start of by being nice, but will increasingly harass you for a minimum of 4 hours with skills learned from his 2 week intensive training course on how to be a 'high pressure sales bastard'. All this won't cost anything until you sign on the dotted line of doom. Aren't you lucky?!
Objection: I can't afford anew kitchen. That's fine we are not asking you to buy a kitchen, it's just a promotion in your area.
My response: A promotion in your area? My calculations suggest that this 'promotion in your area' must be one hell of a promotion seeing as the cold calling canvassing room make at least 9,000 calls between them on an average shift of 3 hours. Also, if we aren't asking you to buy anything, why do we employ such pressurised and underhanded practices as a business to muster any sale we can?
Objection: What are you trying to sell me? Response Nothing, it's just a fantastic promotion in your area.
My response: If we're not trying to sell the 'customers' anything, then why do we employ a call centre full of acne ridden teenagers and desperados seeking work trying to flog kitchens to anybody poor unsuspecting bastard we can get to listen to our stupid script and then call back?
Objection: I've had a call from you before: Response I understand we may have contacted you in the past. Can you just tell me if you're the property owner?
My response: Yes, we've probably contacted everyone in the whole of the UK by now considering we make an average of 684,000 calls a month according to my calculations. How dare we even pick up the phone?
Objection: I am moving house Response: Ok, will you be looking for a new kitchen when you move? Have a listen to what we can offer (pass as a bite).
My response: PASS AS BITE? Who's to presume that everyone who moves into a new house will want to buy a kitchen off us anyway? Idiots.
Where did you get my number (ex directory) Response: The company purchases data off a national database. (If customer does not want to be contacted give TPS number) 0800 3988933
My response: Considering the insurmountable times 'customers' have told me on the phone that they receive calls everyday from Space Designs, or Space Kitchens, and will I please take them off the list, I think there's more chance of a 'customer' landing on the moon with the aide of a go-kart, a piece of string and an elastic band.
Second tier. The second tear of staff in Space Kitchens / Space Designs is called the 'confirmer.' Again , they will consist of people desperate for work, or college students looking to earn some beer money, despite the fact that the vast majority are below 18.
Their job is to call up the 'customers' whom the canvassing team have agreed to 'arrange' a call-back with. Seeing as I am not a confirmer, I do not have access to this script, but I will post one should it come into my possession.
The third tier is the 'designer.' From the various sources I've cobbled together on forums, it would appear that, as said before, they are nothing more than high pressure salespeople posing as kitchen designers. They are told to stay for at least 4 hours at a 'customer's' house, otherwise they aren't even paid. If they don't get the sale, they aren't even paid. Here's an example of one of my findings:
"I used to work for Space kitchens as a designer.They treat there sales staff as they treat there potential customers.So beware of the pretty picture painted of high earnings and great future lifestyle all you budding sales people.They are conmen!!!You will need an overdraft within one month of being with them. They will bleed you dry,keep you hungry and never pay you.They will also treat you like a mushroom.Keep you in the dark and feed you on bulls...!! Stay well clear of these modern day blaggers."
I used to work as a designer/salesman for space kitchens. Please be under no illussions. Space Kitchens is purely a money making machine, they may as well be selling wrist watches or double glazing. Space kitchens care nothing of the customer, the salesmen, managers or fitters. . . The whole operation from start to finish is designed simply to take your money by whatever means. yes this does include everything from "misleading" through to outright "lies"
"Do not attempt buy a kitchen from Space kitchen!!!My wife and I we had a horrible experience with this company. The first appointment they came at 08:00Pm and left at 02:00AM!!!They are very aggressive in selling their kitchen, be aware of that."
Which leads me to believe that comments like this:
"my experience with space kitchens was fantastic. i have no idea where your comments have come from as my kitchen has been perfect for the last 2 years and have never had a problem! the design consultant was lovely and done a great job helping design our kitchen and the customer service was faultless. a top quallity company."
Have undoubtedly been left my various managers working within the company in order to try and reverse the overwhelmingly negative bad PR publicity generated by actual customer reviews which litter the internet on searching for Space Kitchen, or Space Design within Google. It's quite the irony that managers and various executives within the company aren't even able to spell the word QUALITY correctly, let alone provide it in their quality of kitchen build, after sales, presales, marketing, treatment of staff of any other facet within the whole company.
Despite the company going into administration back in 2008, and sacking many staff, they still keep being able to re-emerge like some kind of hell-ridden zombie. I can assure you that I feel guilty with every call I make and hate every second I'm there with all my heart. The search for further employment continues.
Space kitchen's head office are located in Blackburn, contrary to their web site. Their contact details are:
St. Ives Business Park, Unit 1
St. Ives Rd, Blackburn, BB1 2BX
Their cold calling centre number is 01772 467384 and is based on Garden Street, off Winckley Square in Preston.