back to article Oracle 'systematically denies' its sales reps their commissions, forces them to work to pay off 'debts', court told

A former Oracle sales rep seeking to resolve a pay dispute has asked a California court to force the company to participate in arbitration over all wage claims against the database giant. Marcella Johnson, in her US district court filing [PDF] on Wednesday, claims Oracle "systematically denied her and other sales …

  1. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Well they're putting up resistance

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olkS6KdF0Mw

    (chosen for the "sitting here in limbo" line, but Lord, they deserve to win)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On one hand, bad company, bad bad!

    On the other hand, who can't get behind bad things happening to salesmen :)

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      "On the other hand, who can't get behind bad things happening to salesmen :)"

      Me.

      1. Stevie

        Me too

        +1 against that blame-the-victimtard.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Sales is not a job I'd care to do, but a company needs somebody to push their products.

      Granted Sales don't create wealth (like Engineers) but they do realise it by getting us customers.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        a necessary evil?

        "Granted Sales don't create wealth (like Engineers) but they do realise it by getting us customers."

        Yeah but if they ALL stopped , there wouldnt be a need for them . We only need salesdroids because competitors have them.

        A bit like the military.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a necessary evil?

          If they all stopped, the products you help create would not get sold and you'd be out of a job. I'd laugh at that one.

          Grow up!

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: a necessary evil?

            @AC

            "If they all stopped, the products you help create would not get sold and you'd be out of a job. I'd laugh at that one."

            The person you're responding to does have a point, albeit somewhat over simplified. In a world without salespeople, products would still be sold. People still need things and if there's nobody pushing them at you, you'd simply have to go looking for them. However, it wouldn't necessarily be your products they'd buy, but might be competitors. Depends on who they find first. Also, differences between products might not be understood, as it would be up to the buyer to determine and value them, rather than a salesperson tell them. Of course, this is an area where salespeople are often accused of overpromising etc. and getting a bad reputation. The reality is that unless you made it illegal to have salespeople, they would automatically spring up again, as companies naturally compete. Of course, in some economic systems, you only produce one type of each product and everybody buys that one. In that case, you don't need salespeople.

            In any eventuality, whether it's salespeople or anybody else, the same principle applies to all jobs. They've signed a contract saying they'll get x for doing y. They do y and are then told they can't have x. Even worse, they may be fired if they don't agree to this. Whether it's salespeople or programmers or project managers or whoever, a company should be made to comply with their contract to them and pay what's due. Retrospective changes to contracts should in general be banned. It's too open to abuse, especially when the relationship is very lopsided, as in this case.

            This always used to be the case with legislation, but over the last decade or so, governments have got very bad at introducing legislation that has a retrospective aspect. Take UK tax legislation as an example, where people are being pursued now for things that weren't illegal when they were done. It's all a very slippery slope with governments and corporations the only winners, as they have all the power.

            1. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: a necessary evil?

              "Take UK tax legislation as an example, where people are being pursued now for things that weren't illegal when they were done."

              Doesn't Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights come into play here?

        2. Paul 195

          Re: a necessary evil?

          Without sales people, the companies with the best brand recognition will take all the sales. Nobody will buy from the upstart without someone ready to persuade a customer of all the advantages of so doing. That someone is a "sales-person", and unless you work at a giant like Microsoft or IBM, is keeping you employed.

    3. rmason

      Yeah, sales people, eh? right!!?

      @Codysydney

      While Sales isn't ever a field i'd work in, these people have bills, families, homes to pay for etc.

      Read the article again.

      Now imagine your employer refusing to continue to employ you unless you sign a new contract, stating that thye don't owe you your wages any more, and in some cases you'd owe them money and have to come to work to work off a "negative commission".

      Try that phrase again.

      Negative commission. They've sold products to make a living, then been told they need to sell more products to receive any money at all, or to not have a legal team chasing money they have already earned, and probably spent.

      Scumbaggery of the highest order.

    4. CloudMonster

      On the other hand, who can't get behind bad things happening to salesmen

      Because without them you wouldn't have a job you imbecile

    5. defiler

      Sales is hard

      Sales is hard, and it's necessary. You go around being told "no" a hell of a lot of the time. Someone once described it to me as "collecting nos".

      For every 100 calls you make, you might get one person to speak to you face-to-face. For every 100 meetings, you might get one good deal out of it. Referred business is a different game.

      I once thought the same of sales, until I ended up having to do it. Then all your technical knowledge in almost worthless.

      However, I will concede that some salespeople need kept on a lead to stop them promising the impossible...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sales is hard

        However, I will concede that some salespeople need kept on a lead to stop them promising the impossible...

        True, but that's a combination of company policy and decent HR. It's the first thing our reps get hammered into them: forget about making stuff up.

        I've worked alongside sales people for years in pre-sales, it was a side effect of being the core architect of the products and services we sold. I liked it because it allowed me to coach the sales people in the ideas behind the service (which made them better able to articulate it to customers and sell more), and because it allowed me to get real feedback from actual potential customers but also from already established users who wanted changes.

        Sales is a job in itself. Sure, it's been damaged by unscrupulous people who are either on irresponsible bonus schemes or just lying schemers personally, but maybe I was lucky to work with people who did their job and sought to do it well. I must admit it's not for me, but I respect the people who do the job - in general, they really earn their commission.

        Last but not least, what Oracle does is beyond despicable. Sales people work for earnings, so suddenly changing the structure on them is unfair, especially if that is done AFTER they have done the work. It's like working for a month and then being told they've changed your contract and you're only getting half pay, oh, and that was as of last month so you ought to pay that half back as well.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Sales is hard

          Sales can be hard - it can also be incredibly easy - one famous salesman of the year was dossing in the office when someone phoned in wanting a few very expensive items.

          I've worked in companies where the sales team has fought against on-line sales because they knew they were going to loose huge amounts of commission - largely 'earned' by simple getting in between the buyer and the seller. Higher level management getting a cut of their staffs sales really doesnt help either when 95% of business is repeat sales.I personally find it exasperating when I go on a website and have to request a quote for essentially an off the shelf item.

          Not that I am ever going to get involved with Oracle - unless I get a job with a receiver.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Sales is hard

            "companies where the sales team has fought against on-line sales"

            I told you we didnt need them, just like we dont need high street shops anymore

            Makes sales people illegal , and limit advertising to one webpage per product , max 500 words

            1. John Stirling

              Re: Sales is hard

              I see the joke icon, but as one of those thar sales people who has at times also been a software architect, and engineer (essentially an engineer who can communicate) I'll bite.

              The problem with no sales is no progress.

              No one will buy the new unproven thing as no one will be pushing it, or leveraging their personal contacts to persuade people to try it.

              Which means incumbent monopolies.

              Countries without entrepreneurial sales led cultures (as a species we have experimented with this a fair bit) get left behind surprisingly fast.

              Sometimes the military keeps up for a bit, but so far as a system it has failed to deliver progress.

              Start a new business and you'll discover that the one important department is sales, which I learned by being in involved with an awesome startup that didn't have a sales department, and floundered until the Ceo stopped making the product better and started selling it.

    6. TonyJ Silver badge

      "...On the other hand, who can't get behind bad things happening to salesmen :).."

      WTF are you smoking?

      1 - Show me a company, any company, that doesn't rely on sales people to bring in revenue and keep you in a job.

      2 - Having done only pre-sales, let me tell you that the 80's car salesmen days are for the huge majority, long gone.

      3 - You show a complete and utter lack of understanding that sometimes, often in fact, these high earners in sales are on a pittance of a wage and may have worked for months or even years before they get a "big win"

      4 - On what planet can it be right and proper to do this kind of practice? Would you like it? Nope...thought not

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Loads of companies.

        We have a website, it was designed and specified by an internal tech team. It is updated by the internal tech team and it draws in over 90% of our business (many millions per year). Even the 10% that it doesn't draw in is mainly displacement (and no sold by a 'sales person')

        In fact I can think of loads of companies that don't requires sales people (at least no tin the traditional sense) to sell their products. This isn't even including the NGOs, schools, charities, and plenty of others that are a company without a product or service as such to sell.

        You're in a very small closed bubble that thinks *every* company has a sales team bringing in the wealth for their company.

        I do, however, have to deal with rubbish sales people every day, calling me up. In fact it is probably 1 in 50 that I would say are any good, however I would also say that 99% of products I buy are down to me deciding to buy it and contacting the company giving a lucky deal to a sales person who collects their profit on top. probably about 30% of the products I buy are despite me not wanting to because the sales person has been so poor but the product was one that I really wanted or there was little competition around. The sales person still got their commision, despite it being the tech team and the marketing team that probably sold the product to me.

        I'm not one of the previous poster's btw.

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          "..We have a website, it was designed and specified by an internal tech team. It is updated by the internal tech team and it draws in over 90% of our business (many millions per year). Even the 10% that it doesn't draw in is mainly displacement (and no sold by a 'sales person')

          In fact I can think of loads of companies that don't requires sales people (at least no tin the traditional sense) to sell their products. This isn't even including the NGOs, schools, charities, and plenty of others that are a company without a product or service as such to sell..."

          Name them. If you were so sure of yourself why hide behind anonymous commenting? Nope...thought not.

          Even the public sector have sales.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Well i thought it was a little light hearted humour, certainly not worth this amount of angry responses.

            Bunch of snowflakes.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Name them. If you were so sure of yourself why hide behind anonymous commenting? Nope...thought not."

            How about pretty much every independent hotel (and many chain hotels). Pubs Restaurants, Sports clubs, independent tradesmen, grocer stores, supermarkets, tree surgeons, land surveyors, anyone who doesn't do offline sales... etc etc etc.

            Doesn't take much imagination to think of companies that don't rely on 'sales' people.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Well I am convinced; such big ticket items.

    7. Oh Homer
      Headmaster

      Re: "get behind bad things happening to salesmen"

      The sort of cold callers that everyone complains about are not salesmen, they're canvasers, and their "wages" are shit, so you'd have to be pretty desperate to be one. Been there, done that, couldn't afford the t-shirt.

      Actual salesman only ever follow hot leads, which is to say you have explicitly expressed an interest and he's just responding to your request. You had to get past three other people to get that far: a lead generator, a canvaser and a confirmer, or in other words you ticked the "yes" box, answered a cold call, then accepted the follow-up. Decline any of those and you'll never hear from the salesman.

      Canvassing is a shit job and I hated it, but you should pity us for having to prostitute ourselves out of desperation, don't hate us. Hate the companies that employ such spammy tactics then pay sub-minimum wages to those who actually generate all the profits but never see any of them.

      The all-in-one roving salesman who generates his own leads, canvases door-to-door then closes and takes the commission is a relic from a bygone era, and that's probably just as well because in the present climate he'd probably get his head blown off by some trigger-happy "patriot" defending his "whatever-amendment" rights on his porch.

      As for Oracle's salesmen, I'm sure they're on very good money, but it'll still be a small fraction of what they're making for the firm, so stiffing their salesmen is pretty low even for Larry's mob.

  3. jreid

    Appears to be a fairly common tactic for Oracle - screwing people out of their commissions - things like this were happening when I worked there 10+ years ago. Sales people would spend years putting together a multi-million dollar deal, and then get kicked to the curb a month or two before the contract got signed.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Oracle that hard up for cash?

    Just curious. It seems really stupid to piss off the very people that bring money into the business via sales.

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Oracle that hard up for cash?

      This what happens when you have psychopaths in management that can't stand if one cent is left on the table.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle that hard up for cash?

      My employer did something like that after some acquisitions, hired a new graduate sales team (no experience and at a cheap location (UK)) and management offered no improvement for the sales guys who have been in the company for many years and knew the products and customer base inside and out. So they left in droves and the newbies didn't have a lot of decent veterans to learn from and our sales are in the shit yay!

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Oracle that hard up for cash?

      "It seems really stupid to piss off the very people that bring money into the business via sales."

      Yes, it DOES.

      And that 'keep working until you pay off your debt' stuff reminds me of an old song:

      "Ya move 16 tons, what'da get? Another day older, and deeper in debt! St. Peter don't ya call me cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store..."

      (Tennessee Ernie Ford and Sam Cooke both did this one, I think)

      Oracle needs to re-organize their sales management, and make sure their sales force gets PAID, ON TIME, before all of the good sales people stop working for them.

      Silly Valley and their anti-honest-business attitudes. Maybe they should just move to another state where average wages are lower because LIVING EXPENSES (and taxes, etc.) aren't INSANE...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle that hard up for cash?

      "Just curious. It seems really stupid to piss off the very people that bring money into the business via sales."

      With Oracle you could be stating exactly the same thing, but referring to the way they treat their customers as well.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just when you thought...

    So being a Solaris fan myself I have to admit that this is funny to read (note: right now my Unix-like OS of choice is FreeBSD, but it all started on Soalris for me, so that OS will always be my all-time favorite)...

    But just when you thought your disrespect for whOracle couldn't get any worse (especially reading the massive layoffs on the Solaris departments) and all of a sudden this happens.

    It does make me happy that Java is mostly open source based these days. So even in the (probably unlikely) event that Oracle goes titsup (which I definitely see happening some time in the future) then the good stuff (Java, ZFS, Solaris) wouldn't have to go to total waste.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just when you thought...

      "So even in the (probably unlikely) event that Oracle goes titsup (which I definitely see happening some time in the future)"

      Umm... something that is unlikely to happen is definitely going to happen?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just when you thought...

        You just need to read more Pratchett - million to one chances are bound to happen...

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Just when you thought...

          "You just need to read more Pratchett - million to one chances are bound to happen..."

          9 times out of 10, actually.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Re: Just when you thought...

            Re Pratchett: Doh! - you're correct, of course.

    2. Stevie

      Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

      Do yourself a favour and stop munging "Oracle" into "whOracle".

      There must be clever and funny morphs out there, but that isn't one of them.

      No-one pronounces "Oracle" as "OR acle" or "whore" as "horr" so it doesn't work.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

        "No-one pronounces 'Oracle' as 'OR acle' or 'whore' as 'horr' so it doesn't work."

        huh? my brain just froze for a minute... illogical... illogical... obligatory Star Trek reference in progress... illogical... illogical...

        'whOracle' works for me. yeah, whatever.

        (I still can't figure out how NOT to prounounce them 'OR acle' and 'horr')

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

          Bob:

          In my accent the O is short:

          ORRA-Call

          not OAR-acall

          YMMV

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

            The "whore" bit is disrespectful to prostitutes everywhere, who in my opinion also deserve every penny of commission they were promised, and are on the whole more pleasantly performant than Java. But I digress.

            I'm sticking with Borkle for now...

      2. CloudMonster

        Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

        "There must be clever and funny morphs out there, but that isn't one of them."

        Fire away Shakespeare.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

          'Orable?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just when you thought...4 ShelLuser

        "No-one pronounces "Oracle" as "OR acle" or "whore" as "horr" so it doesn't work."

        I do. Everyone I know does.

      4. heyrick Silver badge
        Coat

        Logic operator hiccup?

        "No-one pronounces "Oracle" as "OR acle" or "whore" as "horr" so it doesn't work."

        Shouldn't that be an AND clause, not an OR?

        As in, a person who might say "OR acle" may be unlikely to say "whore" as "horr". I do the latter, but not the former, but then I'm OldPondian not NewPondian.

        Yeah, yeah, coat...

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Just when you thought...

      "So even in the (probably unlikely) event that Oracle goes titsup (which I definitely see happening some time in the future) then the good stuff (Java, ZFS, Solaris) wouldn't have to go to total waste."

      No, they'll be sold off as independent 'business groups' to others, like Google, Micro-shaft, and IBM. Precedents have already been set, for a very, very, long time.

      "There's always a bigger fish" (fun Star Wars quote from Episode I)

      In any case, "Big Data" is highly overrated. It's a fair bet that IBM's 'Watson' division wants Oracle's data business.

      Icon, because, FreeBSD

  6. G2
    Coat

    typo in title

    "Wage rows in limbo as IT giant drags heels over arbitrartion"

    s/arbitrartion/arbitration/g

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    I guess

    that the longer that this goes on and the more widespread its effects become then the harder it will be for Oracle to hire Sales Droids. That may in turn lead to a downward spiral in profits.

    Will this lead to old Leisure Suite Larry taking to the road again (Steppenwolf's 'On the road again' springs to mind)?

    With this going on why would any business want to sign up for a new deal with Oracle? Their (oracle's) ethics suck. And to think that I almost took a job there once. shudder.

  8. Lysenko

    To be clear...

    ... Oracle "systematically denies" etc. etc. to American sales reps (allegedly) because there is no way in hell this sort of nonsense could survive under UK employment law or most likely anywhere else in the EU. In fact, you don't even need to invoke employment law to shoot this down in the UK: Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 would almost certainly suffice.

    (NB: The 1977 Act applies to employment contracts as well as per: Brigden v American Express Banks Ltd [2000] IRLR 94 High Court which was another example of an American company thinking they could vary any term of employment "at will")

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To be clear...

      Not true.

      Whatever the country laws are, company bullying and threatening go a long way... specially on "yes it sucks, but I need this job" type of people.

      And they know it... all too well.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To be clear...

        Ask any salesperson in the insurance industry about a little policy called clawback,

        That's entirely different - that's about recovering commission paid for sales (insurance contracts in that case) that were then cancelled. This Oracle case isn't about cancelled sales, it's about unilaterally changing the commission scheme after the fact to reduce the amount due to the employee.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. staggers

            Re: To be clear...

            The difference is simple. In one case you are advanced money for a contract that was cancelled, so you are not owed money for it and must pay it back. It's usually the sales person's fault for not firming up the deal properly in the first place. A firmed deal doesn't get cancelled. That's legal.

            In the other case the deal is fine, but the employer is now saying he's decided to pay you less than was agreed, and since he paid you in advance he's now taking some back.

            That's not OK on this side of the pond. And presumably not in the US either.

  9. willi0000000

    if somebody is waiting around for the US Supreme Court to save them from the evil corporation . . . don't hold your breath now that they jammed a republican into the seat that mitch mcconnell held open for him.

    the new guy is known to be quite business-friendly.

  10. Julian 8

    Double Standards

    So the employees can only go via arbitration as per their contract, but when Oracle lost that case the first thing they did was go running to the courts.

    The Judge should have increased the amount and pointed out to Oracle the double standards and that this extra payment is a warning for them not to do it again

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Double Standards

      A proportional response would be to put Larry's entire net worth at risk of the adverse court judgement.

      I'm sick to death of these "Entrepreneurs" hiding behind the law and putting all the risk on to salaried underlings.

      1. Fatman
        Joke

        Re: Double Standards

        <quote>I'm sick to death of these "Entrepreneurs" hiding behind the law and putting all the risk on to salaried sacrificial underlings.</quote>

        FTFY!!!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oracle are cunts

    That is all.

    1. rmason

      Re: Oracle are cunts

      100% correct, in both what you say and the use of the perfect adjective.

      I don't consider it to be a rude word at all, in this context. It's about the only choice.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Oracle are cunts

      I think it's a 'Silly Valley Syndrome' of some kind.

      Silly Valley companies are becoming too arrogant, too big for their britches, and have (in the past) engaged in immoral practices that were DELIBERATELY keeping wages lower [anti-compete contracts for each other's employees], FIRED PEOPLE over political views (Mozilla, Google, ...), engage in government WAY too much through PACs and contributions, yotta yotta yotta, and now THIS bit with a kind of 'moving target' contract and their sales employees to deny them what was promised because they're being CHEAP.

      I used to live in the Silly Valley area, decades ago. I'm glad I left.

      Now it seems they've formed a kind of "social bubble", filled with people "just like them", within which they've lost touch with the rest of the world (like Washington D.C., Brussels, ...) and *FEEL* as if it's "just ok" to engage in what everybody ELSE sees as heinous, disreputable conduct, just because they CAN [or so they think*FEEL*].

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Oracle sales

    is effectively a Ponzi scheme - Why not charge the reps for uniform, stationary, let them hire their own cars, hotels, and flights that are only paid for if the sale matures. I had no idea the reps were effectively franchisees in all but terms.

    Oracle, shame on you...This is not the 18th century...

    1. Soruk
      Stop

      Re: So Oracle sales

      Stop giving them ideas!

  13. tony2heads
    Devil

    Oracle is clearly run by Darth Vader

    "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further"

    Icon: Oracle management

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Oracle is clearly run by Darth Vader

      That's no yacht!

      No. It is a fully-operational battle station.

  14. defiler

    Oracle fans

    AMBxx asked 3 days ago:

    "Any Oracle fans out there?"

    Fewer and fewer with each passing hour, I suspect.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    So to be clear Oracle are there own Pay Day Loanshark operation?

    Because that's what they look like to me.

    <Salesperson> "Where's the rest of my money?"

    <Accounts> "You have that backwards. The question is where is the rest of the money you owe the company?"

    <Salesperson> "WTF?"

    <Accounts> "That's OK, you can work the rest off over the next 6 months, although there will be interest charges if you don't keep up your repayments"

    Is anyone reminded of the corporate con game run by the insurance company in "The Incredibles?"

    This is no accident, someone has set this as a policy. Find them and get them on a stand and thing s will get interesting.

    Oracle are a multi $Bn corporation but they should remember this

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feds

    Why isn't the Justice Department investigating Larry and Company for violation of the RICO statutes?

    That would make a pretty photo op, Larry and the Gang in orange jumpsuits on their way to Joliet. :-)

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Feds

      "Why isn't the Justice Department investigating Larry and Company for violation of the RICO statutes"

      You must not live in the US. When Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III became the head of the justice dept first thing he did was stop investigating crooked police dept and stop enforcing agreements police dept had with the DoJ. Don't expect to many companies to get investigated while he is in charge.

  17. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    As a developer of long standing, who's never really had to do much sales, can I just say the sales I had to do - that's hard stuff, man. Kudos to sales people because there's a lot of pressure. Clients think they can dictate everything - they're paying of course, and "the customer is always right" and all that - but dude. Some of the sales conferences I've been in when you've had to grin and bear when they bring a different consultancy in and keep playing you off against each other...

    And I have to say, Oracle sales people always had that air of defeat about them when I spoke to them on the other side of the fence. Now I know why.

  18. ForthIsNotDead

    Oracle: Cunts.

    That's the only word that suffices.

    Fuck them. Time to start boycotting their products by steering (gently) the PHB's to other (open source) alternatives.

  19. Mad Mike

    Why do Oracle still have salespeople

    The most interesting aspect of this case is why do Oracle still have salespeople working for them. It does say something about the salespeople. Do they simply believe it won't happen to them? Do they figure they'll make enough anyway, so put up with it? If it's really that bad, why do people keep going there?

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Why do Oracle still have salespeople

      Stockholm syndrome

    2. Hans 1
      Holmes

      Re: Why do Oracle still have salespeople

      Basically, big company, big contracts, possibly for high wages ...

      Some sales people claim it is a dream job .... cf article the other week about a guy who got the sack because he took a chance, went working for them in another country although he had a condition and no money in advance for accommodation and treatment of his condition ... got sick and the sack ...

      Oracle are not the only bastards around, remember, Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft, Google, Google, Apple, Apple, Accenture, Accenture, Adobe, Adobe, Amazon, Amazon are real b@st@rds as well ... stay clear of them ... they are all bastards, not in the same way, of course, remember Microsoft are in their own universe of bastardise ... way ahead of any organization of any kind this planet has known ...

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Re: Why do Oracle still have salespeople

        People. What a bunch of bastards.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Flak_Monkey

    seeks $150m in damages.

    "Johnson's dispute is over roughly $20,000 in pay; her complaint filed in February seeks $150m in damages."

    $150m ? WTF, jog on.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: seeks $150m in damages.

      yeah, that "lawyering up" crap is an unfortunate side effect. Most of the money goes to THEM.

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Re: seeks $150m in damages.

        IIRC, in parts of the US they can't award more than the damages claimed, but they can award less. So the $150M is a speculative figure that even if awarded in full will likely be reduced on appeal.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    150 million is reasonable

    At least to my mind because

    a) They will have difficulty getting employed again I would expect

    b) They want to make Oracle understand the extremely poor nature of what they are doing. A final parting **** you

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the answer is simple - don't buy Oracle. I've never had the misfortune to deal with them direct as a company, but everyone I have met who has, never has a good word to say about the company or their products. I think companies continue to buy Oracle because management perceive that it's too difficult (read that as expensive) to change apps to work with something else. It's up to us to show our management that the same can be done with other products, open source or not, just not Oracle.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Oracle accounts is some of the most horrible software I've ever had the misfortune to use. This was about 15 years ago, so maybe it's better now.

      I mean, it's accounts. I don't expect it to be fun. Nor do I expect a good UI (though I'd like one). So the sort of lazy Visual Basic / Windows 95 look was fine for some essentially dull business software in 2001. It looked like something thrown together by the IT department's junior trainee, for an unimportant litte business app - not a multi-billion selling industry behemoth.

      It was actively user hostile. There were nested menus all over the shop, and none of them were labelled in any meaningful way at all. You basically had to write down instructions for any action you didn't perform daily, because it was so un-intuitive that if you couldn't remember, there was fuck-all chance of working it out. And I'm good at this stuff. In fact, it's the only software where I've ever had to write instructions for myself.

      Oh and when you uploaded a csv file, it would reject it, if it didn't balance to 16 decimal places. Now I know introducing rounding errors isn't great - but for major company accounts a couple of pence really is irrelevant. It also didn't tell you why it rejected it, just "upload failed".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " I think companies continue to buy Oracle because management perceive that it's too difficult (read that as expensive) to change apps to work with something else."

      Then there is the locked-in issue where getting the data out will cost you more than next years fee...

  24. sisk

    Aren't retroactive pay cuts illegal? And the whole debt thing sounds an awful lot like the old company store scam that I know is illegal.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Surprise

    From one who has been at Oracle....no surprises in this article....everything Oracle does with customers and employees is based on a litigation approach.....with a large team of lawyers. Terrible company to work for.

  26. PassiveSmoking

    Well who would have guessed? Oracle are a shower of bastards. Colour me surprised. It takes some hard core evil shit to make me feel sorry for salespeople.

  27. peter collard

    Leopard doesn't change his spots

    I've been out of IT for 15 years and it seems Oracle has not changed. We always used to say that the only platform oracle performed on was the OHP.

  28. heyrick Silver badge

    Oracle? That's still a thing?

    (see title)

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