- Report: #398739
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Advantage Marketing, Ad EFX, Aaron Crackower And Dave
Advantage Marketing, Ad EFX, Aaron Crackower And Dave1100 Quail St Newport Beach, California U.S.A.
Advantage Marketing, Formerly Known As Ad EFX, "managed" By Aaron Crackower And Dave unless you like 12+ hours of working to make a typical Orange County arsehole rich, don't work here Newport Beach California
*UPDATE Employee ..inside information: Since 1987 adefx has ripped off everyone
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: DONT FALL FOR THEIR KINDNESS
*UPDATE Employee: Such a wonderful company to work for!
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1) Their job advertisements are deliberately misleading. When I first read the one I answered, I was sure it was a pyramid scheme that would ask me for money up-front, but called out of desperation to see. It talked about money in the amounts of $600-$1200 a week, the ease of making money their way, a fun work environment, etc. It was deceptively listed under "customer service." I was soon to learn that a money-making scheme does not require up-front payment to be exploitative.
2) They are elusive about hours from the very start. They call it a full work day (7 am to 5 pm) for your "second interview," when it actually should be called "your whole life, if you work for us." On your "second interview" day, you are expected to show up early, and are made to wait for at least 2 hours in a room saturated with trashy magazines whilst hearing the vague echoes of yelling and thumping music. Then, your "trainer" picks you up and tells you to come with her/him, not explaining where you're going or how long you'll be there. Chances are, you won't even get back to the office by 5 pm, let alone do your secondary "interview" and be done by that time.
3) They train you to lie through your teeth. None of the kids (for they all exhibit rather juvenile tendencies) running around are representing anything but the dark underbelly of capitalistic enterprise. On your "day of observation," you drive to some "juicy" shopping plaza or office building where you get to watch the "trainer" claim to represent some spa, salon, or chiropractor she/he has probably never visited. You are to "fear of loss" people by insisting that only 20 people are being "invited today" for the discount and that you have only 2 certificates left, when the office has stacks and stack of them that they sell every day.
The line about "90% off" is a lie in some of the cases (I can verify one, more on that later), as most of the salons do not charge that much for services and the certificate exaggerates the services offered by it. They'll tell you to say that you're not soliciting but "inviting," when in reality, you are nothing but a seller, aka a solicitor (ironic that the Quail office has a "no solicitors" sign right on it). You might get kicked out of the plaza by security, or escorted out by them if you're in an office. Technically, you are a trespasser, and I doubt that Aaron would bail you out if you got into real trouble. Hell, he doesn't have to. In the specific case of offices, they train you to knock on every door, pretend to work at the office to get past the receptionist, and all other manner of tricks and idiocies.
4) They treat you like an employee who is obligated to work for them when you actually aren't hired by them at all. I asked for time off for a religious holiday and was instead informed that I was to work a half-day. When I complained about it later, I was informed that I "chose" to work. Chose? Chose when Aaron, almighty Lord of Advantage-taking, told me to work a half day, and did not give me any other options? In retrospect, I shouldn't have had to ask for a day off at all, since I had no wage and no hiring paperwork to fill that obliged me to work any number of hours.
Despite that, I was expected to come in at 7 in the morning to attend some meeting where we were to shout out stupid mantras that were supposed to help us make more sales (more like help Aaron line his pockets some more, as he makes double what each seller makes on each sale). When we worked selling certificates for salons that were further away, I wouldn't get home until 7 or later, meaning 12+ hours workdays with absolutely no guarantee of any pay. Also, your earnings aren't tracked, and they talk about cheating on taxes with a knowing wink.
5) Because you aren't a real employee, Aaron can milk you for what you're worth to him and discard you as he pleases. You could get into some real trouble for illegally soliciting, and they don't have to do a d**n things about it, but they'll never tell you that. They'll make you feel like a piece of crap for taking a day off, or for not "ringing bell" (10 sales), even though you have no obligation to do anything for them, just as they have no obligations to you other than to pay you the commission you've earned. They force you to stay on a "territory" that they assign to you, far away as it may be (and don't even think about mileage reimbursements), even though you, as a non-employee, can technically take whichever certificates you want, go anywhere, and sell as you please. All you are doing is selling for them -- that ought to have more freedom to it.
6) The salons for which you're selling certificates are being ripped off and having their reputations besmirched. I was once told to sell near a salon off of the 5 at El Toro Road, and the lady at the salon got quite angry at me when she found out that I was there. Apparently, there were other salons at the plaza and they had complained about that salon taking away their business right before their very eyes. Additionally, she told me that the services listed on the certificate were worth far less than $400, and that Advantage was lying to me and taking... well, Advantage. She had paid them to promote her salon and was instead having people come in expecting $400 salon visits and getting less than that. Logically, if the salespeople insist that the customer doesn't have to pay at the salon, what would the salon make off of that visit? Nothing.
7) Chiropractors are misrepresented on the coupons. Most of the "wellness centers" are actually chiropractor's offices. They are doctors, not massage therapists. People get mandatory x-rays before they can get treatment at such places, and some people don't want to get those. Advantage salespeople lie to customers about that, telling them that everything is elective and nothing will be forced upon them.
8) All your "trainer" does for you is hype up the job and how awesome it is. You are not "trained" at all, you learn as you go along. Oh, and one more thing: she/he will pretend to consider you for the position with one of the office managers at the end of the "observation" when they actually will take on anyone who survives the day. What to expect but more deception and lies from a company that bases itself on deplorable tactics.
9) Expecting a final cash-out paycheck if you've worked for them and have left? Expect to work for it! It took me two and half months, countless phonecalls, voicemails, office visits, and badgering to get mine. Aaron NEVER called me when he said he would, and when I would call, he would insist that he was busy and that he couldn't be expected to remember everything. He probably lost my initial check in his stacks of "only 20 people today"-nullifying coupons. When I finally lost my cool towards the end of the ordeal, he had the nerve to use his marketing slick-talk on me, saying he was "sorry that you feel the need to vent." Vent? I was informing him of the wrong he was doing and the hoops of fire he was forcing me to jump through to get my money that he, Mr. Deep-Pockets, owed me! I finally got my check, but it took a lot of time, effort, and anger to make it happen.
10) It's very easy for good, educated, and even savvy and smart people to be sucked into this whirling vortex of deceit. They hype it up, they get you to believe the lies, they give you hope when you need money to live... but listen between the lines and the truth comes out. My "trainer" told me about her personal life a bit, and from what I heard, her tireless dedication to making money for Advantage had basically sapped away her life and her relationship. Her boyfriend never sees her, especially with all the road trips. When her grandfather died back home, she had to pay to go home and come back; she accepted this without question. I saw that happen with my own life: I'd come home, heat up food, then go straight to bed to be up early enough to get to the office on time for the "meeting," neglecting my friends, my lover, and my intellectual pursuits.
The worst part of it all? The businesses actually pay Aaron for the privilege of having him deploy his little army of brainwashed liars and sell their services with lies. Not only does Aaron make that money, he makes whatever you don't make on each sale. $42 minus $14 commission equals $28 per sale. Multiply that by number of employees and number of sales a week, and you have a guarantee of at least a decent cash flow, even if it's a bad week. No wonder they're so eager to ensure "your" success -- it simply means double the money for them. Don't let them suck you in with their self-help-like (or cult-like, even) talk and peppy optimism. The whole deal is a cynical and self-serving way to take advantage of job-seekers and businesses, ruining lives and reputations in the process. I am so glad I quit after just under a month of "work."
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/07/2008 04:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Advantage-Marketing-Ad-EFX-Aaron-Crackower-And-Dave/Newport-Beach-California/Advantage-Marketing-Formerly-Known-As-Ad-EFX-managed-By-Aaron-Crackower-And-Dave-unles-398739. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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