As a state licensed hearing aid dispenser, in mid-August, 2005, I was hired on-the-spot by Ken and Concetta Clark to manage and operate their new Beltone Hearing Care Center in Brookfield, IL. I was promised substantial advertising support which, according to Ken Clark would eventually result in "more business than I could handle."
I agreed to a 20% commission on hearing aid sales I would make at the location and, until business developed, I was promised a modest draw-against-future-commissions of $300 per week, payable bi-weekly. However, when I asked for an employment agreement of some kind, detailing the terms agreed to, the owners refused saying "we just don't do this and our word is good." So foolishly, I didn't press the issue and gave them the benefit of the doubt.
By the way, for several years I had managed a location for a competitor on straight commission and did rather well,averaging approximately $50,000 + per year at a lower commission rate.
Well, even though I began working for the Clarks in mid-August, I officially began September 1st and, not unexpectedly, business was very slow. The owners did send a couple of direct mail pieces, but absolutely no local newspaper advertising. I did manage a few sales, but due to inadequate advertising and promotion, business only trickled in. It became apparent that they hadn't committed enough advertising money to get the business "off the ground" and rolling.
Anyway, I was barely getting along on the $300 weekly draw for the month, but discovered that my personal checks were beginning to be returned NSF during the next month. It wasn't until I received my October bank statement in early November that I discovered that the owners had stopped direct depositing my draw checks at the end of September! In other words, without informing me they allowed me to continue working for the entire month of October, they stopped paying me the month before! Meanwhile, my commissions earned during September and October far exceeded the draw they paid and should have paid to me.
While I was shocked to discover they had stopped paying me, I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and sent them a fax asking if this could have been an oversight on their part. Two hours later, a goon appeared in my office, identified himself as being sent by the owners to get my office key and give me 15 minutes to vacate the premises. No reason, no nothing.
Frankly, I suspect that they didn't like it when I refused their instructions to lie to customers who came in needing simple hearing aid repairs (which I could easily make in the office at no charge). The owners told me not to repair ANY aids out of warantee, either telling the customer their aid was damaged beyond repair or quoting a ridiculous, unreasonably high repair price, hoping the customer would figure it to be as cheap to buy a new hearing aid. I refused to do this and it appears they may have considered this insubordination?
Summing up, Ken and Concetta Clark are lying, deceitful people who are a disgrace to their profession and have cheated their customers and also their employee who foolishly trusted them.