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AO Reviews

Updated 12 March 2017
92 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
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92 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • such a fast paced exciting company (in 13 reviews)

  • It's a great environment to work in (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • You need to love working in a fast paced environment (in 7 reviews)

  • You have to put the work in to get the money, sometimes this can mean working extra hours (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "The best people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AO full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are great and that's always a bonus but that's not always whats important. The people and their drive to deliver as a team is clear from the moment you start. People are always looking for ways to work smarter, deliver faster and be the best at what they do. Fast-paced doesn't even come close, things change in the blink of an eye here but if you can learn to react to that then this becomes a really thrilling place to be.

    Cons

    Long walk to the car park and, work-wise, change can be frequent (although I see that as a pro) but other than that, as long as you want to be part of a company that is going places, this is the place for you.

    AO Response

    14 Jan 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Good Afternoon. Thanks for your review. We like to make our staff feel like part of the family as each and everyone has a key role to play. I'm glad that you liked the little perks we offer and the ... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A place where you can be yourself"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bolton, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bolton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AO full-time

    Pros

    You're trusted from day one, you don't feel new for long. Energetic environment that challenges you daily, the days fly by and you go home feeling accomplished.

    Cons

    The pace isn't for everyone and it could be overwhelming if you've never experienced it before. But if you're looking to push your own boundaries, jump onboard.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what your doing and encouraging us all to be our best.

    AO Response

    16 Feb 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Hello! Thanks for your great comments. It's great to read that you felt trusted from day one. We'll always do the best we can to ensure our employees feel at home straight away. You'll also receive ... More


  3. Helpful (1)

    "AO - Lets Not Go!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Advisor in Bolton, England
    Former Employee - Customer Advisor in Bolton, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AO full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Good office facilities
    - Worked with some great people
    - Free chocolate/drinks

    That's about it really.

    Cons

    - Low Morale within the call centre
    - Management needs scrapping and re-building.
    - Company perks never appealed/benefited me, more family oriented.
    - Work/life balance doesn't exist.
    - Company values are pointless/need scrapping.
    - No signs of career progress
    - Hercules Carpark

    Firstly, I left AO on good terms and believe this is important before I leave my full review. The reasons for me leaving the company, it was simply that I was no longer happy within my role.

    When I originally joined the company, it was such a great place to be and I believed it was a job for life. However fast-forward two years and this was no longer the case. I do believe at times the company is the cause of it's own downfall. If you look through previous reviews, someone summed up the company very well with 'the PR team is a very well drilled machine' and this really is the case. They know how to sell the company and promote it out there and get everyone caught up with the 'euphoria' of AO. If you dig a little deeper AO isn't all that great.

    If you're partial to the odd 'sick day' then this job isn't for you. Management don't seem to realise as humans we can occasionally get ill and don't always make it into work. I've known members of staff to call in sick and be moaned at by management for doing so. On top of this being asked to call in mid way through the day to keep them updated whether you're coming in or not? If you're ill this is the last thing you want to be doing. By the way throughout my time at the company I was never once ill and got a nice £200 bonus, I say nice but when I compared my wage to someone who didn't get the bonus I was no better off .

    I have witnessed bullying within the company and I regret not reporting this when I was still within the company. I've known managers to bully certain individuals to push them out of the company and it succeeding. Not only the fact it succeeded but the manager gloating when the agent handed in their notice, not very professional.

    I always try and pin point where I fell out of love with my job and I can find the exact reason. Their has been a lot of changes over the past 12 months within management, teams and processes and I guess all these small changes have added up. The current structure of management is simply a joke and is over complicated. Their seems to be many levels within the management structure and it's needs stripping down, rebuilding and simplifying.

    The calls I made within my job was majority due to the company messing up orders. AO have an habit of selling something listed as being 'in stock' when this isn't the case. They like to secure a customers payment instantly but the item the customer ordered isn't in stock and is on order with the supplier with a provisional date for the stock coming in. Majority of the times the stock never come in and it was a nightmare. This was common practice and caused many issues and complaints.

    The current staff turnover within the call centre is quite scary and shows how sour the company is turning. Staff talk among themselves and the morale is very low. I know many people still working for the company and are actively seeking new jobs. I've seen many long term staff and managers leave over the past 6 months and they no longer believed in the direction the company is heading.

    If AO was to form at this moment in time, there is no way it would succeed the way it has. They got lucky and you have to say fair play to John Roberts (CEO). I never met JR so I can't make a personal opinion on him. But people view him as the 'God' of AO and sometimes it seems a bit over the top, he's worshipped as some holy figure. I'm surprised there isn't a statue of him in reception everyone bows down to. Again, this is no insult to John as I've never met him.

    I could go on and on about issues within AO but I've given the company enough of my time over the past 2 years. In it's current format I can't recommend AO. I know someone within the company will respond to my review and justify how great everything is. But this is the problem, the moment AO realise every isn't all that well within the company, is the day things actually might start improving.

    Advice to Management

    Treat staff with more respect. We have lifes outside of work and don't forget this can sometimes have an effect with us making it in to work.

    Increase the £200 bonus for attendance.

    AO Response

    16 Mar 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Good Morning Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at AO. There’s some really constructive feedback in it, which we’ll take on board, and some points which we feel need ... More


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  5. Helpful (14)

    "Avoid the People Team!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Horwich, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Horwich, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great perks, events and facilities. Most departments are filled with genuine, fun and hardworking people.

    Cons

    The people team is a mess. Zero interest from management in the wellbeing and development of the team and more concerned with how they can move up with as little work as possible. You'd think the leaders would have a great inspirational story to tell of how they tirelessly worked to reach a high level, for some strange reason it's never something we hear about, hmmm.

    The majority of the team are unhappy and looking elsewhere, that is except for those that we’re in the right place at the right time and have magically been handed promotions and would sink elsewhere. Those who are in those positions can’t seem to grasp that when people come in with prior experience, they get to grips with things fairly easily and therefore will want opportunities and development much quicker than they did. When you show the work you’ve done and how beneficial it is, they’ll turn a blind eye as ultimately it means your worth more and they’re not willing to fork out for it.

    The atmosphere on the team’s floor is flat as if you chat or dare to have a laugh you’re glared at and it will then be bought up in catch ups. It’s that quiet and tense that when others come up from different departments they feel they have to whisper and tip toe about.

    You will be micro managed to the point where your hours of productivity will be calculated on a weekly basis despite always doing your job to its full potential. Management poke their nose into everything you’ve been doing fine on your own with, give “advice” that makes no sense, book in a catch up about it, then cancel the catch up 30 seconds before its due to start. You’ll also be picked at for going on the internet on your lunch hour when the head of spends the whole day online shopping.

    Management would rather see good people go then pay them what they deserve. You give it your all and go above and beyond in your role but your pay will never reflect this and as soon as you mention a pay rise, you’re immediately treated differently, are spoken to like you’re not “career driven” and only care about money to try and make you feel bad. Great feedback will then deliberately be withheld. Coincidence?

    AO recruits based on Values (Bold, Driven, Fun, Smart and Caring). If you want to succeed in the people team though make sure you’re not Bold enough to speak up for yourself, not Driven enough to know you’re capable of much more (you’ll be told you’re not quite ready for that by someone who has no clue) and make sure you’re not Smart enough to realise you’re undervalued and underpaid and management is inadequate. Don’t be Caring enough about others in the team to not snake them out and only have Fun when they can take a picture and post it all over social media.

    Advice to Management

    Get managers at least some basic training rather than picking someone randomly, throwing them in at the deep end and hoping for the best. Completely out of their depth and unprofessional. Team members would be coerced to turning against each other as it was seen as a negative that everyone got along so well, catch ups would turn into negative talk about colleagues. Constantly told people they needed to be “colleagues first, friends second” then would proceed to talk about their personal life to the point it was uncomfortable. Also, if you spoke up or challenged management, they would have no clue how to deal with this effectively and would openly treat you differently than others, and admit to doing so as they “weren't getting along with you”. People even expressed that once they stopped challenging their manager or gave up they got on with and were treated much better.

    The majority which have been promoted internally are so incapable it’s embarrassing. They themselves are handed way too much work that they can’t cope with so the Head can “work” from home, especially when there’s an event that night. Most have been placed in senior roles as there was no one else there at the time and as much as you and others might put a case together to demonstrate this, you’ll just be told you’re a gang of bullies and nothing will change.

    If you disagree with anything you’re immediately seen as a big problem and they take it personally – they see AO the ultimate destination employer and can’t seem to grasp that are plenty of other fantastic companies in the North West with better pay and development that will snap people up immediately.

    It’s a shame as there are some amazingly genuine people on the team who are fantastic at what they do. AO is lucky to have them but I wonder how long these people will stick around with how things are going. They’ll eventually be left with just the spineless nodding dogs but maybe that’s what they want? The only time these do speak up however is when it's an opportunity to be a snake and slyly make someone else look bad hoping it will make them look better. Head is incredibly false and very good at coming across as down to earth – we’ve all enjoyed those fake 5 mins of chit chat before a catch up…yawn. If you have the nerve or are bold enough to challenge or leave they will try and dig for dirt on you and make you look bad. This will even continue after you leave. Unfortunately for they seem to think the rest of the team are stupid enough to not see through it.

    Laterzzzz

    AO Response

    28 Feb 2017 – Employer Brand

    It’s really disappointing you feel this way and that AO was not the right place for you. We offer great benefits and development opportunities for the right people – those that are dedicated to ... More


  6. "great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Contact Centre Staff in Bolton, England
    Current Employee - Contact Centre Staff in Bolton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    * recruiting on the values means everyone is part of the same culture, like one big family!
    * free breakfast,chocolate, crisps and fruit!
    *starbucks and spa on site
    *They invest in their people with internal courses/development to help you make a career at ao

    Cons

    * contact centre staff don't get to take full advantage of internal events and fun activities due to shift work, i think something could be done to target them so they don't feel left out.

    Advice to Management

    Praise goes a long way, it helps people keep their passion for their job.

    AO Response

    14 Feb 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Hi there! Thanks for the review! :) It's great to read that you're loving it here! We do have an amazing environment based on our values. You're absolutely right that there's a massive family feeling ... More


  7. "Great Company / Terrible Job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inbound Sales in Bolton, England
    Former Employee - Inbound Sales in Bolton, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AO full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Company as a whole are quite caring and you do get perks that make you feel valued. (free breakfast / snacks). CEO is a very nice man and acts like an equal (he once played ping pong with me).

    Cons

    Inbound sales role is a glorified warranty seller. You are made to ruthlessly sell warranties and do so in a presumptive way that backs the customer into a corner. Long hours and short breaks. Also the company allows relaxed dress code except for in sales which does make it alienating. Also ridiculous call compliance mean that it's almost impossible to receive commission. I hit every target and didn't get a single commission... I once lost £350 for simply not saying thank you to a customer for holding (because the customer jumped straight at me with a question).

    Advice to Management

    Don't lie about the job in the interview.

    AO Response

    22 Feb 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Good Afternoon. Thanks for your review. We like to make our staff feel like part of the family as each and everyone has a key role to play. I'm glad that you liked the little perks we offer and the ... More


  8. "Sacked For Raising Concerns!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Telesales in Manchester City Centre, England
    Former Employee - Telesales in Manchester City Centre, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AO full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Minimal - Free Fizzy Drinks & Chocolate Do Not Compensate For The Bad Treatment You WILL Be Subjected To.

    Cons

    - Job Role Missold On Numerous Occasions Before Start Date
    - Worst Treatment From Management Every Experienced In A Company
    - Pressured To Work Evenings & Weekends Regardless of Personal Circumstances
    - Raised Concerns Just Looking For Support And Was Sacked Later That Day For Being 'Negative'
    - Having Things Thrown At You In The Office
    - Pressured/Forced To Work Saturday After 2 Weeks On The Job
    - Juvenile 'School Yard' Atmosphere Where 'Joking' Insults Are Common Practice
    - Management Bully And Victimise
    -

    Advice to Management

    There Is Absolutely Nothing That Can Be Recommended That The Egotistical Management Team Will Listen To. There Is No Way A Company Can Have Any Future Viable Success With Management Like This - So Will Continue The Rapidly Revolving Door Of Staff Turnover


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Supply Planner - Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Planner in Bolton, England
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Planner in Bolton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    * Supportive environment where everyone company wide is willing to help and accelerate your development
    * Fast moving company
    * Flexibility and encouragement to generate new ideas and try different processes
    * Values are the core of the business and everyone follows them - they are not left at the door

    Cons

    Very difficult to find any disadvantages aside from the off-site carpark!

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote the values and regular communication between employees and management.

    AO Response

    26 Jan 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Hello! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :) It's great to hear that you're happy in your role and that you find your environment to be supportive. We are a fast moving company but we like to stay true ... More


  10. Helpful (3)

    "People Team - Awful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Horwich, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Horwich, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fab AO-ers in other departments. Nice office. Starbucks. On site canteen. Free snacks and drinks.

    Cons

    * Lack of leadership. None existent people management.
    * Over promise, under deliver.
    * No leading by example especially against the company values.
    * Feedback is hushed up and hidden.
    * Colleagues very unhappy, but scared to say anything after seeing what has happened to others being pushed out!
    * Inconsistency in the way people are managed.
    * No development or framework to measure progress.
    * Micro managed.
    * Lazy managers, who love the internet.
    * Thought police.
    * Poor pay - but massive work load.
    * High number of leavers/movers from department - people are NOT happy!
    * Lots of gossiping/back biting, created by the department.
    * Getting much worse!!!!

    Advice to Management

    Stop hushing up discontent and actually do something about it. The leadership styles do not work and are well out of date (managing by email? Really its 2017!). Create strong relationships actually built on genuine care instead of falseness. Stop feathering your nests, attempting to look good and instead spend some time investing in the progress of the people below. Stop being bullies.

    I would say to think twice about joining the team unless there is change!

    AO Response

    28 Feb 2017 – Employer Brand

    It’s disappointing you’ve judged your experience to be so negative whilst working for AO. We always support open and honest feedback, so would encourage, in the first instance, giving feedback ... More


  11. "Live and breath the values"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance
    Current Employee - Finance
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AO part-time

    Pros

    Amazing company who focus every aspect of work on innovative thinking and values. Recruiting staff based on the values really breads positivity in the work force and ultimately the customer.
    Ensuring staff are caring and fun really makes this business enjoyable to work in and drives the best customer service

    Cons

    Expect a new way of working, it can be a culture shock to start with but the proof really is in the results.

    Advice to Management

    Not much to say the way it works is brilliant, from the day you speak to a recruiter it feels like you're part of the business.

    AO Response

    14 Jan 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Hey. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We're really pleased that you're so happy here at ao.com. I have to agree with your point about our values. We recruit the right people, they look after our ... More



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