My experience at Teavana.


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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby Chimpie » Mar 22nd, '11, 16:47

I've only used a Teavana once when on a stop over in Las Vegas, the staff did seem pushy but not too bad and with my job dealing with aggressive people most of the time I am quite adept at ignoring comments and looking serene :lol: ( I work at an airport in the problem solving team)

I hope that Shhh realizes that we all are free thinkers and would probably go by our own experiences rather than following one or two peoples ideas, to attack people is to alienate and give the original posts credit. :|
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby greentam » Mar 22nd, '11, 19:15

Crazy enough, I was just searching jobs in my area and found there's one of these opening near me. I don't know how they're going to get their sales team to pitch products, being as about 90% of the people I know don't drink tea at all per their religion....
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby SlientSipper » Mar 22nd, '11, 22:01

greentam wrote:Crazy enough, I was just searching jobs in my area and found there's one of these opening near me. I don't know how they're going to get their sales team to pitch products, being as about 90% of the people I know don't drink tea at all per their religion....


They do have decaffeinated tea. They also have beautiful china at an ugly price.
That business is simply insane.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby tealoverwabba » Apr 24th, '11, 11:26

Wow. That is a wild story, but is in lines with what I've heard. I actually interviewed with Teavana for a corporate role and was afraid of having the same kind of working environment. Even in their corporate headquarters, they have a high turnover rate. It's too bad, because they have a great product.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby 9667hbvicki » May 11th, '11, 06:13

I'm so glad I ready your story! I'm a life long tea lover and found your posting very illuminating. Truth be told I got an odd feeling about this company due to their online employment app. Like most employers, they wanted to know about one's education, but Teavana went further: they wanted to know not only the level of education, but the dates you went to school and how long it took you to graduate. Now, in a perfect world one can finish their education in the usual time frame, but what if, due to family problems, etc., one has to take longer? Do the folks at Teavana judge a person by that kind of criteria? It seems intrusive, unnecessary and not entirely legal. Needless to say, I won't be applying there because it sounds like just another corporate entity ripping off a good idea. And, it sounds to me like these folks are infusing the tea experience with strife instead of relaxation and harmony; what a shame. Maybe they should change the name of the company to Teanerva?
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby skilfautdire » May 12th, '11, 05:40

9667hbvicki wrote:Maybe they should change the name of the company to Teanerva?

:)
From what I read here (I don't even know if we have these stores up here in Canuck-ĺand) I'd spin: 'Teanervana'
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby soundandvisiion » Jun 5th, '11, 02:17

It's so crazy how dead on the original posters story is from my own story.

I was part of a store opening earlier this year, and we've had the SAME.EXACT experience as the original poster.

This company believes it's going to be on Fortunes Top companies to work for, I could NEVER see this happening with how things are ran here.

I feel so bad sometimes when we have to sell people our tea because it is so sales driven here, and you're scolded if you're not selling them in pound increments.

In short, Teavana doesn't care about you. They don't care about building customer relationships at all. They want you to buy the tea in pounds, and in the tins, and leave. You can't return the tea because it's an open food item. It's such a scam here, and I can't believe they can get away with this.

I'm so glad the original poster has posted this story, because THIS is what happens at Teavana.

Oh yeah, and if you don't follow their scripts, you're sure to get a talk about it.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby Scentdliquidsoa... » Jun 22nd, '11, 20:25

I'm truly sorry you had that experience. I have been working for Teavana for almost a year now, and really have not experienced what you have. I can't say that I have met Andy and Nancy, but I do hope to eventually. Yes, the position is sales based, but I don't believe that is a bad thing. I have learned so many useful tips on how to be the best at sales and customer service. Whether or not I end up working for Teavana in the future, I know I'll have these skills for life.
As far as quality goes, I know that Teavana has very high quality products. I know, because I use them and can testify for each and every one. If I don't like something, or if I know I can recommend a different or better one- I will. The company and my particular store really values honesty. I did notice that this was written many years ago, and I want everyone to know that Teavana has made numerous changes in their training, sales process, products, as well as ethics. This has lead to the company doubling in size within next year. Teavana really and truly loves their employees, customers as well as anyone associated with the company (i.e. All of their teas and teawares are Fair Trade and Equal Trade).

I love my store, and I love the company as a whole. I think I'm very lucky to work for such an amazing company that I have such a passion for.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby Chip » Jun 22nd, '11, 20:56

All of their teas and teawares are Fair Trade and Equal Trade

Oddly, I cannot find fair trade nor fairtrade in a search of the Teavana site. Fairtrade is certified, not a loose description. Vendors proudly display fairtrade certified products.

Equatrade is a Teavana program, not a global program. I found only 2 products qualifying for the program. Given the past apparent lack of ethics, I would be concerned believing the money would even go to help anyone. The site does not state how the Equatrade funds will be used.

I will look into this more ... but searches of the site reveal virtually nothing and google searches reveal a lot of vague reviews. Perhaps buyers being told they are buying fairtrade, etc then review and mention fairtrade.

A company like Rishi is very clear on this, clearly mentioning Fairtrade products, etc.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby iannon » Jun 22nd, '11, 21:18

scentdliquidsoap wrote:As far as quality goes, I know that Teavana has very high quality products. I know, because I use them and can testify for each and every one. If I don't like something, or if I know I can recommend a different or better one- I will. The company and my particular store really values honesty.
I love my store, and I love the company as a whole. I think I'm very lucky to work for such an amazing company that I have such a passion for.

I am truely glad you are passionate about the company you work for. I am for my company as well even though many people just as passionately DIS-like the company I work for. But i would highly suggest..and perhaps you have..I dont know because I dont know you.. that you branch out and try tea from other vendors to compare for yourself. look around this forum and you will certainly get a hint on the vendors of choice for any particular type of tea. Sorry..i dont take a place very seriously when the Oolong selection contains only what..two unflavored oolongs?
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby Bluetea » Jun 24th, '11, 00:14

I just got back from Teavana - I am new to tea - and I left the store dazed. Their sales tactics are so bizarrely unethical and overbearing. Unbelievable.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby SlientSipper » Jun 24th, '11, 22:40

scentdliquidsoap wrote:I'm truly sorry you had that experience. I have been working for Teavana for almost a year now, and really have not experienced what you have. I can't say that I have met Andy and Nancy, but I do hope to eventually. Yes, the position is sales based, but I don't believe that is a bad thing. I have learned so many useful tips on how to be the best at sales and customer service. Whether or not I end up working for Teavana in the future, I know I'll have these skills for life.
As far as quality goes, I know that Teavana has very high quality products. I know, because I use them and can testify for each and every one. If I don't like something, or if I know I can recommend a different or better one- I will. The company and my particular store really values honesty. I did notice that this was written many years ago, and I want everyone to know that Teavana has made numerous changes in their training, sales process, products, as well as ethics. This has lead to the company doubling in size within next year. Teavana really and truly loves their employees, customers as well as anyone associated with the company (i.e. All of their teas and teawares are Fair Trade and Equal Trade).

I love my store, and I love the company as a whole. I think I'm very lucky to work for such an amazing company that I have such a passion for.



And an apologetic approach from another Teavana Slave.
How much do they pay the internet P.R patchers of Teavana?

First off. I was recently "let go" from that place. It was not too long ago that I went through that nightmare of an ordeal trying to get my proper pay. I seriously doubt they can change their ethics in such a short time frame. I also seriously doubt you will be posting here again.
They don't really care about their tea they handle it quite poorly in storage. It almost feels like they we are talking about two ENTIRELY different entities here.

How do you know Teavana has high quality products? Have you tried other tea producers? Have you ever been to a tea capital? Have you ever tried any tea outside of Teavana?
Everything about tea you can learn from a book or a website such as this.
Numerous changes in training? Okay name them. Give me examples.
You're telling us this and then you're not telling us about it.

They love their employees? No they love money and maybe the management who reels it in for them. That is the very nature of the corporation! If you're company values honesty that's great but, I highly doubt it because I notice your statement was a lot of fluff much like a teavana sales pitch. No real details just lots of fast paced pleasantry aimed at the senses and wallet of the victims.. Er um I mean customers.

The last part of your statement reminds me of well, me when I was ignorant of teavana's true nature. If it works out for you great but, just know that this place has ripped off many a person before.

but, please do try to prove me wrong.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby teaoflife » Jun 25th, '11, 21:26

I found this thread after a particularly difficult day I had at work at Teavana. Let me preface that I am no longer working for Teavana, in fact, I wanted to put some distance from my leaving the company before coming here to voice my opinion. I will not go out of my way to slam the company, however, many of the harsh things that have been written about Teavana that was experienced by former/current employees and customers posted here - appear accurate based on what I know by working at Teavana.

Back in February, I had a very bad day at Teavana with low sales goals, management on my back, and demanding customers. It really stressed me out and upset me very much. I was disheartened by the constant micromanagement of the GM and AGM beating on me and everyone else about sales, and extremely competitive nature of my fellow co-workers. I became paranoid over my sales, went into a sales zombie like mode to convince people that they NEEDED a cast iron tea pot, a POUND(s) of tea, particularly 'indicator teas' (the most expensive teas). But deep down inside, as a lifelong tea lover, I knew that my sales pitch script was not entirely truthful and it was manipulative.

I went home that evening and did an internet search on 'Teavana and unhappy employees', and found this website and thread. I was utterly shocked by what I read from the original poster... but I also was relieved to read his/her experience because it made me realize that my ordeal wasn't an isolated situation. The atmosphere of working at a tea store, under the name of Teavana, is very tense, it shouldn't be that way because IT'S JUST TEA! To make it worse, with all the beautiful Buddha statues and Buddhist themes in the store (and I happen to be Buddhist), the high pressure sales and tension contradicts this zen aura of the stores.

In the two years that I worked at Teavana, I went from barista to a manager in training position. I took the promotion just for the money and management experience, but it turned out to be more hassle than it was worth. Teavana does promote from within, but that's only because of such a high turnover. They can't keep anyone! I've been in retail sales off and on for nearly 20 years, and I have never seen such turnover, and so quickly. We constantly hired really nice and fun people who either already loved tea, or people new to tea and wanted to learn more about it and sell it. It was so frustrating coming into work only to find out that someone we hired weeks or days before, just up and quit. People were also fired too for low sales. Case in point: An employee can have sales of over $4000 a week, BUT it is the avg ticket total that could get them fired. If the ATT is below $45, and after counseling and being written up for it and it doesn't improve - the person is fired. Regardless of how much they like their job and recited the scripts perfectly, and have high total dollar amount sales, it is the avg ticket and the dreadful 'tin ratio' (# of XL tins sold/week) that kills a person's career at Teavana if goals are not met. Single cups of teas destroy an employee's ATT, some stores refuse to sell cups of tea out of fear of low ATTs. A guy at my store just gave some away free to avoid ringing up a cheap cup of Earl Grey at $2.99 under his register ID. Other employees rang up single cups of tea under other people's ID to avoid getting a low ATT.

I have so many issues and concerns about the nature of the business of Teavana, but I'll just wrap it up quickly with the following:

*The goal of Teavana is the sales of pounds of the 'indicator teas' (expensive), by the pound, in a XL tin, with preferably a cast iron pot.

*Employee must stick to the sales pitch script, which has been meticulously drafted, to overwhelm the customer with information and to make them believe everything the sales person is telling them - all to maximize sales. At any cost. Upsell at every opportunity. Mgmt is watching you to make sure you are upselling or Top-down selling. They will talk to you afterwards about what they witnessed. If you did not maximize the sell, you were going to get an earful.

*Teavana thinks that many of its customers, especially those new to loose leaf teas, need to be properly educated by a Teavana associate on how to make tea and which tea to drink. This concept is not so bad, and I understand where they are coming from, but when the customer's naivete is being taken advantage of, that's where I have issues with. Teavana believes that the customer doesn't know what's good for them, it's our job to educate them and take as much money from them that we can.

*Loud music in the store allows us to project our voices so we can sound commanding and be energetic and talk about 'Isn't this amazing tea, it will suppress your appetite and it will taste GREAT in this cast iron'!!

*We even learn how to counter objections, we constantly role played! When I started to get good at this, I felt guilty because my training was settling into my psyche and I was selling something to someone by any means necessary. You shouldn't have to convince or manipulate anyone to buy something, especially TEA.

*Teavana does care about the employees... as long as you are selling for them. You will be promoted, given stores, and a good salary, if you're great at manipulating your customers into buying tea and cast iron pots.

I don't harbor any resentment towards Teavana, and I do wish the company well. But I can't go back into the stores, knowing what I know and knowing how I will be treated going in there as a customer. The tea is too costly for me now as I was accustomed to the 40% discount. The store that I was hired at is foreign to me as I don't recognize anyone there. Everyone is gone. I went into the store the other day to see if the GM was there, but she was transferred. The guy at the sample cart didn't know me and went into the tea selling diatribe that I pitched, but he was extremely desperate sounding and hard core. I cringe to think that i was like that. I had to raise my voice at him to get a word in to tell him, 'Hey dude, I used to work here. I'm here to see X'. He said she had been transferred.

It's a big world out there, and lots of other really nice places to buy great loose leaf tea.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby SlientSipper » Jun 26th, '11, 00:36

teaoflife wrote:I found this thread after a particularly difficult day I had at work at Teavana. Let me preface that I am no longer working for Teavana, in fact, I wanted to put some distance from my leaving the company before coming here to voice my opinion. I will not go out of my way to slam the company, however, many of the harsh things that have been written about Teavana that was experienced by former/current employees and customers posted here - appear accurate based on what I know by working at Teavana.

Back in February, I had a very bad day at Teavana with low sales goals, management on my back, and demanding customers. It really stressed me out and upset me very much. I was disheartened by the constant micromanagement of the GM and AGM beating on me and everyone else about sales, and extremely competitive nature of my fellow co-workers. I became paranoid over my sales, went into a sales zombie like mode to convince people that they NEEDED a cast iron tea pot, a POUND(s) of tea, particularly 'indicator teas' (the most expensive teas). But deep down inside, as a lifelong tea lover, I knew that my sales pitch script was not entirely truthful and it was manipulative.

I went home that evening and did an internet search on 'Teavana and unhappy employees', and found this website and thread. I was utterly shocked by what I read from the original poster... but I also was relieved to read his/her experience because it made me realize that my ordeal wasn't an isolated situation. The atmosphere of working at a tea store, under the name of Teavana, is very tense, it shouldn't be that way because IT'S JUST TEA! To make it worse, with all the beautiful Buddha statues and Buddhist themes in the store (and I happen to be Buddhist), the high pressure sales and tension contradicts this zen aura of the stores.

In the two years that I worked at Teavana, I went from barista to a manager in training position. I took the promotion just for the money and management experience, but it turned out to be more hassle than it was worth. Teavana does promote from within, but that's only because of such a high turnover. They can't keep anyone! I've been in retail sales off and on for nearly 20 years, and I have never seen such turnover, and so quickly. We constantly hired really nice and fun people who either already loved tea, or people new to tea and wanted to learn more about it and sell it. It was so frustrating coming into work only to find out that someone we hired weeks or days before, just up and quit. People were also fired too for low sales. Case in point: An employee can have sales of over $4000 a week, BUT it is the avg ticket total that could get them fired. If the ATT is below $45, and after counseling and being written up for it and it doesn't improve - the person is fired. Regardless of how much they like their job and recited the scripts perfectly, and have high total dollar amount sales, it is the avg ticket and the dreadful 'tin ratio' (# of XL tins sold/week) that kills a person's career at Teavana if goals are not met. Single cups of teas destroy an employee's ATT, some stores refuse to sell cups of tea out of fear of low ATTs. A guy at my store just gave some away free to avoid ringing up a cheap cup of Earl Grey at $2.99 under his register ID. Other employees rang up single cups of tea under other people's ID to avoid getting a low ATT.

I have so many issues and concerns about the nature of the business of Teavana, but I'll just wrap it up quickly with the following:

*The goal of Teavana is the sales of pounds of the 'indicator teas' (expensive), by the pound, in a XL tin, with preferably a cast iron pot.

*Employee must stick to the sales pitch script, which has been meticulously drafted, to overwhelm the customer with information and to make them believe everything the sales person is telling them - all to maximize sales. At any cost. Upsell at every opportunity. Mgmt is watching you to make sure you are upselling or Top-down selling. They will talk to you afterwards about what they witnessed. If you did not maximize the sell, you were going to get an earful.

*Teavana thinks that many of its customers, especially those new to loose leaf teas, need to be properly educated by a Teavana associate on how to make tea and which tea to drink. This concept is not so bad, and I understand where they are coming from, but when the customer's naivete is being taken advantage of, that's where I have issues with. Teavana believes that the customer doesn't know what's good for them, it's our job to educate them and take as much money from them that we can.

*Loud music in the store allows us to project our voices so we can sound commanding and be energetic and talk about 'Isn't this amazing tea, it will suppress your appetite and it will taste GREAT in this cast iron'!!

*We even learn how to counter objections, we constantly role played! When I started to get good at this, I felt guilty because my training was settling into my psyche and I was selling something to someone by any means necessary. You shouldn't have to convince or manipulate anyone to buy something, especially TEA.

*Teavana does care about the employees... as long as you are selling for them. You will be promoted, given stores, and a good salary, if you're great at manipulating your customers into buying tea and cast iron pots.

I don't harbor any resentment towards Teavana, and I do wish the company well. But I can't go back into the stores, knowing what I know and knowing how I will be treated going in there as a customer. The tea is too costly for me now as I was accustomed to the 40% discount. The store that I was hired at is foreign to me as I don't recognize anyone there. Everyone is gone. I went into the store the other day to see if the GM was there, but she was transferred. The guy at the sample cart didn't know me and went into the tea selling diatribe that I pitched, but he was extremely desperate sounding and hard core. I cringe to think that i was like that. I had to raise my voice at him to get a word in to tell him, 'Hey dude, I used to work here. I'm here to see X'. He said she had been transferred.

It's a big world out there, and lots of other really nice places to buy great loose leaf tea.


Now here's a real person.Nice post. I hope you stick around.
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

Postby Teja » Jun 30th, '11, 00:41

9667hbvicki wrote:Like most employers, they wanted to know about one's education, but Teavana went further: they wanted to know not only the level of education, but the dates you went to school and how long it took you to graduate. Now, in a perfect world one can finish their education in the usual time frame, but what if, due to family problems, etc., one has to take longer? Do the folks at Teavana judge a person by that kind of criteria? It seems intrusive, unnecessary and not entirely legal. Needless to say, I won't be applying there because it sounds like just another corporate entity ripping off a good idea.


I dislike Teavana's practices just as much as the next Teachat member, but I did want to comment on the bolded bits. I've encountered many job applications that ask for that information. In fact, even for volunteer efforts, I've filled out applications that requested detailed information about education. Alot of the times, corporations use a standard application procedure, so it wouldn't even be Teavana that is specifically asking those questions but rather a template of standardized questions.

To say that it is just Teavana that requests this sort of information is unfair. Furthermore, yes it is illegal to discriminate based on that criteria, but to inherently assume that Teavana does so is also unfair.

Anyways, not defending sales tactics or other practices but just wanted to comment on some unfair criticism. Rant on!
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