Credit Card Defaults Hit QVC

QVC, the home shopping network, has announced that they will be laying off 910 workers over the next 14 months. A reader who would like to remain anonymous, described the layoff process in an email to Consumerist.

As I understand it, security escorted each ex-worker back to his/her desk, where they collected their keys and pocketbook, etc. They were not allowed to get anything else, and must return at a later time when the building is primarily empty to collect the rest of their belongings.

We suppose that’s how it goes when you work in a huge vat of jewelry.

The layoffs are being blamed on QVC’s credit card division, which is experiencing more defaults.

In late October, Liberty Media said third-quarter profits dropped at its QVC home-shopping unit as the credit crunch slowed consumer spending and more customers missed payments on QVC-issued credit cards.

Some 27 percent of QVC sales are paid for with the company-issued credit cards, George said.

“People are struggling,” [Mike George, QVC's president and CEO] said. “QVC will be more careful, more conservative when opening up new Q-Card accounts.”

QVC to lay off 910 [Daily Local]

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  1. gotbock says:

    Uh, if you told me I was fired, and then tried to tell me I couldn’t take my stuff with me, I think I’d tell you to go fly a kite and take my stuff anyway.

  2. full.tang.halo says:

    Pretty standard issue with big companies. Amazed it wasn’t on a friday.

    • djsyndrome says:

      @full.tang.halo: it’s standard issue for a company to hold your personal belongings hostage until an unknown future date?

      When I was laid off from Apple we were escorted to our desks individually, but we were also given time to collect our belongings (which were done under supervision) and say quick goodbyes to our team members. Not the best day of my life, but at no point did I feel like my rights, dignity or personal property were ever in jeopardy of being violated.

      • sir_eccles says:

        @djsyndrome: “but at no point did I feel like my rights, dignity or personal property were ever in jeopardy of being violated”

        But then as you left the building, security asked to see a receipt for your belongings and you just went crazy?

      • Pious_Augustus says:

        @djsyndrome:

        It’s just like someone checking as you leave depending to see proof of purchase they do not have the legal rights to force you to surrender your rights the moment you enter in a Best Buy.

        Don’t let them push you around they are already canning you might as well let them try something

  3. hellinmyeyes says:

    Uhh, that SUCKS. I wonder how Target is coping with their credit card division, too. I haven’t seen much recent news since its sale failed.

  4. Pious_Augustus says:

    Come on now, first. I have a right to collect my property they cannot hold/steal my property because their corperate rules, there is a thing called the law.

    And if a Rent-A-Cop wants to try to stop me. I’d let them know, very quickly. Do you think you as a Rent-A-Cop Secruity officer or whatever wants to put your hands on a Marine?

    If you try and touch me to stop me from collecting what is mine by right then you have just assaulted me. Thus I have the right to defend myself and throw you across the room and then call the police on you to press charges

    • shorty63136 says:

      @Pious_Augustus: I would sit on my desk, happily crunching on some veggie chips and watch all of that go down.

      And then put it on YouTube.

      Marine – 1.
      Top-Flight Security – 0.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @Pious_Augustus: Most places like this (since they deal with a lot of very small very pricey easily stolen and pawned items) don’t have ‘rent a cops’ for security. They have off duty ‘real’ cops.

      it’s also not unusual to come back ‘later’ for your stuff as to not disrupt the people that still have jobs.

      • Pious_Augustus says:

        @harlock_JDS:

        Ah so basically having off duty police officers gives them the right to steal your property? So store policy now trumps the law?

        And you have no rights to your property?

        • harlock_JDS says:

          @Pious_Augustus:

          i was referring more to your threat that they ‘wouldn’t put their hands on you’. Cops will do so very quickly and it wouldn’t be considered assault at all.

          Personally i don’t have much personal stuff at work and don’t see why people do.

          • mtaylor924 says:

            @harlock_JDS: “Cops will do so very quickly and it wouldn’t be considered assault at all.”

            Actually if they are off-duty and serving in a function as private security, they would be considered private citizens and thus it would be assault, no?

            • harlock_JDS says:

              @mtaylor924:

              I think it depends on the area. Many places say off duty cops “retain full power and authority to act as peace officers when off duty”. (qouted from the San Diego policy).

            • JustinAche says:

              @mtaylor924: Unfortunately, they still have a peace officer status, and basically can be dicks. That’s why the churches pay my city for them to sit around and direct traffic, because as people are leaving the house of their lord, they don’t want to wait to go to Denny’s brunch, stop signs be dammed

    • mobilene says:

      @Pious_Augustus: Here’s what the judge would say: “They laid you off, told you that you could come back Thursday evening at 6:30 to pick up your things, and you refused to leave unless you could take them now? Was there anything in your desk that you could not live without until Thursday at 6:30? No? Judgment for the plaintiff.”

      As much non-fun as it is to be marched to the door by security, the company has a right to *reasonably* maintain order, and I don’t think asking people to come back a bit later to collect their things for that reason qualifies as unreasonable.

      • harlock_JDS says:

        @mobilene: Not to mention that getting ‘back to your desk’ at a place like QVC likely involved getting into id locked areas and past security checkpoints.

        Thus the reason for you having to come back later you are no longer an employee and aren’t allowed in employee only areas. It’s like if you hit a baseball into a locked house, you don’t have the right to break into the house to get ‘your stuff’.

    • JustThatGuy3 says:

      @Pious_Augustus:

      They can also make your severance pay contingent on compliance with those rules. “Fine, take your desk clutter. No check for you.”

  5. ratnerstar says:

    Man, you couldn’t pay me to steal QVC merchandise.

  6. Pious_Augustus says:

    This topic is pissing me off for the simple fact people are letting Corp Police even after they screw you over run your life and dictate how you live your life and how you can only have your belongings when they say so

  7. shorty63136 says:

    This is bothering me:

    QVC, the TELEVISION shopping network….

    because Home Shopping Network is another brand entirely.

    /corrective soap box

  8. aftercancer says:

    I have to agree, if I try to take my stuff what are you going to do, FIRE ME! Screw that. My phone takes video and calls the cops.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    “QVC will be more careful, more conservative when opening up new Q-Card accounts.”

    Do you mean to tell me that you were previously reckless in giving out cards before?

  10. LorneReams says:

    I betcha that they got a severance package and part of the package had a stipulation that they had to do exactly what they are told. So, basically you could be a hard-ass and get you property and cause a ruckus, but then they would not give you your package. I’m sure that everyone was on the same page here.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @LorneReams:

      They also likely had to agree to their ‘security procedures’ when hired. I worked at JTV and we had to go though a metal detractor and have our bags searched whenever we left work (and they had the right search our bodies).

      If this sort of thing bothers you then you don’t work for them.

    • NotATool says:

      @LorneReams: Ummm…bingo. Pretty standard layoff procedure based on the companies I’ve worked for. You want to accept the severance package? Then you agree, among other things, to be escorted out and to show up at 10am the next day to collect your box of stuff.

  11. kwsventures says:

    Cash only. No more credit cards. Case closed.

  12. bonzombiekitty says:

    QVC’s parent company owns my company. We laid off 50 people earlier this week, mostly at the direction of our parent company. AFAIK, all subsidiaries of our parent company had layoffs and I think QVC was the hardest hit.

  13. moore850 says:

    “QVC will be more careful, more conservative…”

    translation:

    “QVC will be as careful as they should have been in the first place…”

    That goes for everyone else that’s hit by the credit default, if you just grant every joe a 5 grand credit line when you have any way of knowing that they might not pay it back, how should this come as a surprise?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I purchased something once from QVC and three weeks later I got a QVC credit card in the mail. If you hand them out like you have money to burn, no wonder you have problems later on.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was one of the people who got laid off from QVC yesterday. It the sign of the times, and I feel bad for all of my freinds that lost their job. I don’t know the ‘big office’ details, but for months we have been told the QVC is strong and none of use should worry about the economy. Now it seems while they were making those statements, they were planning the layoffs.

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      All Liberty companies have been told by their lord & master to tighten their belts. My company is profitable, and should continue to be profitable and we were told by Liberty to cut costs.

    • DanielleRagnarok says:

      @StanwayEldred: @StanwayEldred: Man, that sucks that you lost your job.

      I lost my job as an engineer with a consumer audio company in June of this year. At the time, I was scared, devastated, and stunned, as were many of my coworkers who got the axe, too. Many of us continued to work until the end of the month, and shared stories of sleepless nights and being scared shitless.

      The Director of HR (who was a really nice person) told me ‘these things often work out for the best,’ and while I hoped it would, I couldn’t see how it possibly could.

      In hindsight, things really did work out for the best for me and many of my former coworkers. I now have a better job that’s a five minute drive from my home instead of an hour and a half away.

      I don’t want to seem cavalier, or seem like I’m making light of your situation, but I wanted to share my story with you, and encourage you to look to better times ahead.

      Good luck to you and all your former coworkers.

      Just

  16. Anonymous says:

    Talk about being treated badly. My husband took a job about 18 months ago with a Huge Retail Dept store in Operations. We had to sell our home, say goodbye to our lives and friends and move 800 miles away. As soon as we settled in his job was eliminated due to simple reorganization. Not Performance. Try getting a job now…Ughhhh

  17. bagumpity says:

    I worked for an internet start-up that burned through it’s VC cash in about a year and had the predictable layoffs. They made everyone line up, turn in their badges, laptops, and VPN keys and make an appointment to come back later to get their stuff.

    One guy (not me) said “You get your stuff when I get my stuff. On my desk is a picture of my wife, a mug half full of yesterday’s coffee, and a framed letter of appreciation that YOU gave me. I have a $3,000 laptop and a security key that gets me into your network. Want to trade?”

    They let him in. Security escorted him to his desk. He picked up his picture, dumped the coffee on the letter of appreciation, took the mug and left after giving them back their stuff.

    Priceless.

    • bbernardini says:

      @bagumpity:

      He should have dumped the coffee on the laptop.

    • Ben_Q2 says:

      @bagumpity:

      Why this never really did happen to me. I was working for this company. I still have some of their stuff here. I worked from home. One day they called and said do you have the update. I said, I did not seen the money in my account.

      Later that day I was told they where out of money and closed. I seen it coming, still I waited for weeks for them to come for their stuff and pay me my money. Funny part was they own me only $500. But left more then that at my home office.

      To be fair I own a number of business. I really do not like when people bring to much to work, it comes a place away from home.

  18. krom says:

    Wouldn’t the world be a better place where recessions eliminate horrible shills like QVC and redeeming public services like Consumerist were safe.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I think people are speculating based on rumor. Security escorted people to and from their desks and allowed them to gather their items quickly. It is standard process to be respectful, but not allow employees to linger, stir up more drama, etc. I work in HR and can tell you it is never fun on either side, so lets stop the debates about people’s rights – at the end of the day it is important to have security present because you have seen enough on the news to know that people, good people, do crazy things sometimes when their lifes have been impacted like this. The company is doing what it needs to do to survive and keep the other employees employed. Lets not blame QVC and attack them for doing what a lot of companies are faced with these days, lets blame the consumer – who cant manage their credit (avg US family is 11k+ in credit card debt) – ridiculous. Also, to the above person who spoke about being a marine and throwing someone – actually you could be asked to leave immediately, otherwise you are tresspassing, a security guard would never grab you anyways – that is a dramatization of the extreme, they are there for everyones safety, not to push you out the door. If you assault someone, you would be liable – so everyone please understand your legal rights and personal responsibilities here. Net net – they were allowed to get their things, people probably had a lot of junk that had built up over the years and were told they could come back later to get it rather than linger around. It is very standard practice, if not to box up and mail to their home. I have been apart of all of it and can tell you that it is a horrible experience for all parties and there are no villians – meaning security, management, or HR. The villian is the economy and people making bad financial decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      @SevitaAlthaea:
      The company has the majority of the blame – they issued credit cards to people when they should never have done so. Even a simple credit check would have told them that some of the cards they were issuing would never be paid back. Step out of HR once and talk to the people that make the company money – the villian is clearly the corporation in this case.

  20. bdgbill says:

    I probably stop on QVC for a minute or so a day, every day, seven days a week as I spin around my cable channeels. I have never, ever seen a single thing advertised on that channel that I would be interested in aquiring for free.

    I am convinced that the people who buy that crap do so for the privelege of speaking to the human operator for 30 seconds.

    If QVC folds, I guess all the old ladies will need to go back to Fingerhut for their Christmas Tree sweaters and “diamondel” jewlery.

  21. Knippschild says:

    My mom was part of the 910 employees terminated. This comes at a very bad time. With my dad not working, it’s a very hard hit to what little is left of morale in my family.

    Even a peace officer off duty cannot act in official capacity while serving a private agency while performing functions of their private duty, i.e. escorting an employee out; there’s too much conflict of interest there. If someone were to tell me I couldn’t bring any of my stuff with me, than I’d go tell them to proper screw themselves. If I have to go through security checkpoints, fine then escort me. That’s your job. You just fired me, it’s the least you can do. Assholes.

    Though yes, that employee termination stipulation is a good point. But I guess it depends on how it could have been phrased and furthermore interpreted.

    When lay-off season comes around, it’s better not to be a 13 year employee, even when it comes down to a multi-million dollar company. C’est la vie.

  22. Wubbytoes says:

    “We suppose that’s how it goes when you work in a huge vat of jewelry.”

    I would imagine all of the QVC merchandise is located at the facilities that actually ship out the items, not the headquarters or call center or whatever this place is.

  23. mppaul2 says:

    curious if any of the high end stores have had or are expecting lay offs. Was at Macy’s last week and they had a table set up with a HR rep, applications and a sign ‘We are Hiring’