Like hundreds of other people, I was looking to start a home business. I am a military retiree and was first drawn toward Amerip.o.s. in April 2003, after receiving an e-mail advertising this "new" business opportunity. I had not requested information about the company but nonetheless, about every other day I would receive an additional e-mail from them. I could have simply requested that my name be taken off of their list but curiosity dictated otherwise. Had I known then what I have learned through experience I would have added them to my banned e-mail list.
In May I made contact with Amerip.o.s., and was quite impressed with what I believed to be a sound business model. I did some background research on the company and found nothing that would suggest that the company did not live up to its claims. After all, they were, and still are, listed with the better business bureau. Amerip.o.s. even provided me with names and phone numbers of three distributors and two business owners who could testify to the results. I called each and every one of them and they all assured me that it had turned out to be a very profitable business indeed. Consequentially, I decided to invest $29,980.00 for 15 terminals.
I live about 30 miles North of Chicago and immediately went to work making phone calls and arranging appointments. I was assigned a representative in Florida who helped me make contact with local business owners, and refine my sales presentation skills. I really appreciated the help simply because I recognized the need. I had no experience whatsoever in this type of business and quite honestly, I expected to fail in my first few presentations.
Marketing is a learning experience, believe me you can have the best product available but if you don't have the marketing skills, you will never get a contract signed. For quite a while I kept kicking myself, believing that it was my sales presentation that was causing my business to fail. But that was not the problem.
The problem was the company.
I wanted with all of my heart to be successful, but to be successful you have to have a product that can sell. You have to have a product line that is competitive, and you have to have a support system in place to ensure it's success. My experience has proven to me that Amerip.o.s. offers neither.
During my recruitment phase I was told that an advance team had visited the Chicago area and that there were approximately 700 business locations that expressed an interest in acquiring the terminal. I was told that the terminals were completely credit card capable. I was told that pre-paid cellular services would be my number 1 seller. I was also told that the terminal had the ability to do both national and international wire money transfers, to quote the Amerip.o.s. salesman, "This ability in itself will shut down Western Union, as we can do the money transfers for 1/4 of their price".
After four months of 100 hour weeks, three digit phone bills, and one heck of an education, I have three of my fifteen terminals in place. I have worked my butt of trying to place these terminals and I have been to hundreds of locations throughout Chicago and Milwaukee.
I have had business owners hang up on me, I have had them cuss me out for calling them after my support team in Florida told me they wanted me to do so. I have had people tell me that they will not do business with anyone affiliated with Radiant, which is their source for pre-paid phone cards. Most owners however, claimed that they didn't need the headache.
The first time I heard that I was completely shocked. This was a device that supposedly eliminated the headaches of inventory and theft, not produced them. What were they talking about?
When I placed my first terminal, I then began to notice the differences in what Amerip.o.s. advertises, and what actually occurs. I then tried to contact the Ameri.p.o.s. salesman and after two months, finally gave up. I wanted to know why they felt the need to mislead me as to the abilities of the terminal. After all, it was their claims that prompted me to invest a great sum of money. Here are but a choice few of the subtle differences I mentioned.
Amerip.o.s. misled me as to the commissions and returns that the terminals could reasonably be expected to generate. They failed to clearly indicate that Merchant commissions are deducted from the Distributors commission in the representations. They made is seem as if the commissions were separate.
They falsely indicated the number of business's that were interested in acquiring the terminal. I have been to every location they recommended plus hundreds on my own. Every lead that Amerip.o.s. has generated has been a complete waste of time. If 700 locations were previously arranged, why is it that I cannot place my 12 remaining terminals. The three terminals that I have placed are in remote locations, and are failing to produce.
They falsely indicated the abilities of the terminal. During my recruitment phase, I was informed that the Amerip.o.s terminal was completely credit card capable. What was not disclosed to me was that for $200.00 an ancillary device was needed to enable the terminal to process credit cards. This additional cost was not disclosed whatsoever.
Initially and continue to indicate availability of services that are not offered in the market (i.e. Prepaid Home Dial Tone service)
Falsely claiming the competitiveness of the pre-paid cellular rates. I was informed that the prepaid cellular rates were competitive. This has also proven to be not true. I have had business owners that I have contacted myself show me rates that are available within the Chicago area and theirs are not competitive whatsoever. Based upon the math, Amerip.o.s. would be acquiring a 400% return on investment, if utilizing the rates available for Chicago with your current service providers. I cannot compete in the the cellular service market in the Chicago area due to the astronomical pricing or services offered.
Misrepresenting the abilities of the terminal in relation to National/International Wire Money Transfers. It was revealed to me that the machine could generate those types of money transfers. In fact, what has to happen, is the buyer purchases a prepaid master card, mail's the card and then provides the pin #. This is the most clearly demonstrated falsification about the functionality of the terminal.
In the first week of September I was trying to place a terminal in a local market, which the owner's son reported to me they they needed an alternative way of selling pre-paid phone cars because of theft. He indicated that the store sold, on a slow week, about a thousand dollars worth of cards. He was really excited about the terminal but told me that he needed to talk it over with his father. Here I am, thinking that I had finally landed a really good location and a phone call over the weekend changed my attitude.
His father called me on Saturday evening and started by asking me how long I had been with Amerip.o.s and what kind of luck I had placing the terminals. I was honest with him, telling him that I had been with them for four months and it was off to a slow start. He then provided me with a phone number and told me to do myself a favor and call that person. He stated that all of my questions would indeed, be answered.
I did as he suggested. During the course of the phone call it was revealed to me that I was not alone in my problems. What really bothered me was the fact that this stranger told "me" the problems "I" was having. And he hit everyone of them. It kinda struck a nerve, and time has proven that everything this person has told me has proven to be correct.
Now I have never in my life based my decisions on the word of one person, so I took out an internet ad requesting information from other Amerip.o.s. distributors. I have had no less than 23 individuals contact me, all of which have the same, or additional complaints. The falsification of the terminals abilities, the repeated pattern of disregarding my phone calls and the reported problems from other distributors has forced me to take action.
The bottom line is that I was lied to about the terminals abilities and the services that Amerip.o.s provides.
I do not have a product that I can sell in and around Chicago and Milwaukee.
Since day one I have been in contact with my "locator" in Florida. And I have voiced my concerns to him, he always had a differnet person that I needed to talk to when when I brought up a problem. And every person that I have tried calling in the course of these four months has not been available and has not returned my calls.
Every day I hear the same line from my locator. I hear that I am alone in having these problems. The fact is, I am not.
I have reports coming in on a daily basis now from people who are having the same problems as I.
Let me ask you something? How would you respond if you invested almost $30,000 Dollars into a business, only to find out that every word an Amerip.o.s. representative has said to you has turned out to be a lie?
The terminal's do not perform as they advertise.
The services they offer are not competetive in and around Chicago and Milwaukee.
The companies they affiliate themselves with are not trusted with business owners that I have met.
There is no support mechanism in place to aid in disputes.
If you are a current distributor, or are considering investing in Amerip.o.s.. Please drop me a line and share your thoughts. Call me collect if you wish.
"Your local Chicagoland Ameripos Distributor"
Even after all the difficulties I have experienced I continue to try and place my remaining terminals. I have an appointment this afternoon (Sep 30th, 2003). This is my business and at least now I can honestly walk into a business owner's office and feel confident that I am not misleading them. It has taken me four months to learn the truth about what they, and I for the matter, can expect to earn.
Here is my reward for four months of hard work promoting my Amerip.o.s. terminals.