Alpine Saleforce Ltd., a Danish telemarketing company in Hua Hin, Thailand, is being wrongfully accused in Danish media of threatening employees, cheating them of their salary and fiddling with work permits. CEO Ramus Moller is baffled, saying that it is a personal vendetta.
Alpine Saleforce, a telemarketing company in Hua Hin, made mid-May headlines back in Denmark as founder and CEO Rasmus Moller was accused of cheating his employees out of their salary, not providing the necessary work permits and even threatening to beat them. Ramus Moller is baffled by the accusations, which he claims are false and nothing but a campaign to smear his person and Alpine Saleforce.
“I think it is okay to bring a story if a person or a company is doing something wrong, but I feel it’s more like a campaign against me. It’s a personal vendetta.”
Rasmus Moller says he has tried to find out who he could have wronged in the company. The journalist claims to have interviewed seven disgruntled former staff. Rasmus Moller talked to two employees who left Alpine Saleforce whom he knew were interviewed by the journalist, but after speaking to them, he is convinced that they were not the ones who took the initiative.
One of the articles says that Rasmus called a meeting, where he threatened to hire someone to beat the employees because someone was stealing from him. Rasmus explains that he did in fact call a meeting, but because somebody had been stealing from the employees. Today he regrets having said what he did.
“I did gather everybody and told them that the worst thing you can do is to steal from your friends and your colleagues. I told them, that if I caught the person, I would kick his ass – my mistake. I shouldn’t use a term like that and I won’t do so in the future.”
Rasmus Moller explains that he is surprised by some of the comments he has gotten on the article. People who don not know him still offer comments on the web and in the community.
The certain tone of a sales house
Rasmus Moller circulated the articles to the employees and they seem to have become a standing joke. At one time during ScandAsia’s visit, he asked an employee to do something for him and the person shot back:
“Are you going to beat me up if I don’t do it?”
When asked about the meeting and general tone at the office, responses from the employees were the same.
“There is a certain tone in any sales house, and you have to take that with a grain of salt.”
The articles baffled the employees of Alpine Saleforce as much as the CEO. They shake their heads and laugh, when the writings back in Denmark are brought up. When asked why some former employees might have an issue with their time in Alpine Saleforce, many mention that it can be a personal defeat not making it in the company.
“It’s a long way from Denmark to Thailand and people come here, hoping to make money in no time. But it is hard work and when you find out that you don’t have a talent for the job, it can be hard turning back home,” one employee said.
The articles published in Denmark also said that he was breaking the law by paying the employees less than 50.000 baht a month, but Rasmus Moller says that his contract with the Board of Investment in Thailand (BOI) allows him to pay minimum wages of 35.000 baht. That is the minimum wage and the rest is commissions from sales.
“I had a lot of people who came here without performing. If you are young in Thailand and don’t have a family, 50,000 baht is a lot of money. Since I changed it, we made better results and the people made more money. The average for this year is 73,000 baht,” he explains.
Alpine Saleforce has 100 work permits available from the BOI and currently uses 30 permits.
No loss of clients
Alpine Saleforce Ltd. currently serves two clients in Denmark; an electricity company and and one of the biggest telecommunication providers in Scandinavia.
They are big companies that are very aware of their public image and they are not interested in bad publicity.
“My biggest concern in the beginning was my clients. When the first article was there, I talked to my clients, explained to them what was going on, showed them the proof of my work permits and explained that we could expect more attacks on Alpine.”
The company relies on the ability to attract young and adventurous persons from Denmark to make the long trip to Hua Hin, and even though a few actually did change their minds after reading the articles, he believes that the company can still attract the necessary workforce.