An Audi employee has won his unfair dismissal claim and $10,000 after being sacked over a series of poor customer surveys.
The Fair Work Commission criticised the way the company handled the dismissal describing it as “inherently unfair”.
Audi employee sacked for poor customer service
Kris Brennan worked for the Audi dealership at Indooroopilly in Brisbane since May 2017.
He earned a base salary of $47,000 plus superannuation, and a monthly 1 percent bonus if he met certain performance targets.
Customer survey forms
The dealership invites customers to share their experience by filling out an optional feedback survey.
The survey lists five questions, and asks customers to give each a score between 1 (worst) and 5 (best).
Aldi averages the survey results to formulate a Customer Service Marker (CSM).
Workers receive their commission bonus for the month if they score above 4.5 out of 5.
First and final warning
In January 2019, Aldi issued Brennan a first and final warning letter.
The company said his survey results, which varied from 4.1 to 4.5, ranked below the national benchmark.
Furthermore, they ranked in the bottom half of service advisers across all Audi dealerships.
Aldi subsequently dismissed Brennan on 22 March.
His manager, Daniel Nicholson, claimed he saw Brennan being “short” with customers.
Nicholson also claimed Brennan failed to make eye contact, and arrived at work one day in an un-ironed shirt.
“JUST SHOW THEM YOUR TITS – CAR DEALER LOSES UNFAIR DISMISSAL”
Worker argued he should not be responsible for survey results
Brennan filed a claim for unfair dismissal, arguing he is not responsible for the poor customer feedback.
He said the low survey results could have been as a result of work done on a customer’s vehicle which is outside his control.
Commissioner Jennifer Hunt agreed, noting that Brennan’s scores “were improving” and highlighted the “inherent unfairness” of attributing the entire customer service experience to the service adviser alone.
She also criticised the Audi dealership for the way it handled the dismissal.
“For such a large organisation not have some human resource management specialists is astounding.”
Ms Hunt also found the dealership’s requirement for Brennan to rank in the top 50 percent of all service advisers across the country is unfair.
“While it is certainly a virtuous goal… mathematics requires that half of the employees will [also] be in the bottom half.”
Ms Hunt ordered Audi to pay Brennen $9,134 compensation plus super.
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