Other workers who spoke out or shared the story have also been fired
Last month, several Samsung sales reps hired by staffing agency Ibbu spoke out about unpaid work. Despite being paid 100 percent on a commission basis, these employees were tasked with answering customer support questions that did not result in any income. Almost a month later, these contractors are beginning to feel the heat from Ibbu as the key whistleblower – Jennifer Larson – has been suspended and fired from her job.
Larson was the only sales rep to link her name to The Verge’s original story, though she wasn’t the only source who spoke to reporters. According to follow-up coverage by The Verge, Larson was suspended from Ibbu a day after the original story was published. Although she was told her suspension was temporary — and that she would receive an update from the company on her status within a week — Larson was eventually fired four weeks later.
According to the email sent to Larson, she was fired for “disclosing confidential information about the Ibbu platform on social media and encouraging visitors to view third-party links or content directly in chat,” in addition to using the platform for personal communication. For her part, Larson told reporters she was not surprised that action was being taken against her and that she had no regrets speaking out against Ibbu and Samsung.
Other contractors, even without public identities, also faced retaliation over the past month’s coverage. Two of Ibbus’ “experts” told The Verge that they were fired from working with Samsung Mobile, while a third – who was not one of the original sources in the story – was fired after sharing the story on her LinkedIn profile. Ibbu claims these employees had poor sales performance, which led to their dismissal.
We have reached out to Samsung for comment regarding the firing of these employees and will update the statements provided.
Ibbu seems aware that customer service chats – which led to a lack of commissions – were wreaking havoc among his employees. The company is reportedly trying to reduce the off-topic support tickets it issues to its sales reps, which is currently estimated to account for about 2.81% of all communications. As small as that sounds, it still results in unpaid labor that — contractor or not — should be unacceptable for any platform, especially when you’re working with a company as big as Samsung.
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