LOOK OUT AMERICA Cellular Sales is the shadiest company in the country to work for or do business with. Have any doubts? Just search for "Cellular Sales" in ripoffreports.com and read to your hearts content. This is more for Cellular Sales of Virginia which is run by Rick and Jay. What are my reasons for saying this company is shady?
1. They require you to get incorporated (which costs around $250) in order to even start working here. Why? So they can avoid paying employment taxes by saying that you are an "independent contractor" and not an "employee". That is total BS because by the IRS definition of an employee, you would in fact be an employee. You will also get stuck paying the self employment tax yourself while they get off scott free and just hand you a 1099 saying that you made more than you actually did so you get taxed even more and they get even more of a tax break. You need to hire a full time accountant to figure it all out (which is expensive). When I did that, my accountant told me "This is all kinds of wrong, why are you even incorporated? I advise you to get another job and stop working for this company. This can't be legal."
2. Your paycheck will never be what it's supposed to be. You work on 100% commission and only make money if you sell a phone. You can also make a little bit on phone upgrades and accessories but it's not enough to make a living. The meat of the commissions are from new activations and they will teach you to lie, cheat, deceive, and steal from the customer to get these new activations any way possible. I won't lie, it's good money, it averages out to around $100 per new act.
However, there are all kind of mystery deductions from your check (like so called missing phones, accessories, phone chargebacks, data chargebacks, fines, etc.) that if you try to follow up on and get more info about, they don't give a thorough explanation and just brush you under the rug until you get tired of inquiring. Their excuse is "sell more phones to make up for the smaller check". BS.
How they get you is that everyone who works there is stuck there for a while due to some kind of situation where they cannot make decent money anywhere else. This is how they control you (yes even me). For example, failed band members, drug users who cannot pass a drug test, alchoholics, ex-convicts, people with a criminal record, people with bad credit who have come into hard times, students, people in extreme debt, people with no marketable skills whatsoever, really unintelligent people, or people who are just lazy and/or losers overall.
3. As stated above, you get charged for anything and everything under the sun you can think of. Anything "missing" gets charged to you. Guess what, any returned phones goes back to you to sell or else they get charged to you. These phones are around $200 apiece at full retail and that is what you'll get charged for. If you can't resell them (which is hard to do because no one wants a used phone that costs $200 or more) All liability falls back on you yourself. They will either take it out of your check or withhold your check altogether until you pay for them up front. How are you supposed to pay for these phones when they held your check? Makes no sense right? Makes perfect sense to them though. They will not cover your a$$ for any reason when it comes to money.
4. They rip off customers. They pass themselves off as the real Verizon Wireless when in fact they are just an "authorized retailer." Customers will pay more for anything they get from cellular sales unless it's a new activation. Because the more the customer pays for a phone, the higher their commission will be. They'll sell their soul for new activations and to make a higher commission since that is the only way they get paid, no hourly wage or salary at all.
A common practice that THEY TEACH is to mislead the customer in any way to get the sale and make a higher commission. This includes adding data plans to a customers plan that they never knew about or wanted, shimmying phone lines (making a new added line the primary line so they can get higher commission but results in a higher activation fee and a huge prorated bill for the customer), not giving a full customer loyalty credit for upgrading customers (or no loyalty credit at all), processing sales and contracts for accounts when the primary account holder is NOT present, letting other people sign for the accounts that aren't even on the account, charging a lot more for phones than thye are supposed to charge for upgrading customers, passing off customer service to corporate verizon wireless because they only get paid when selling something, charging activation fees at times when they should not be charged, the list goes on and on. And, if anything happens to your phone after 15 days, they push you away to a service center. Thye do not want to help you, they just want your money, they want the sale, that is it.
5. Everyone who works for cellular sales eventually reaches the point where they realize how shady things really are. After that point, there's three stages you can end up in:
If you are selling a lot, you will be "in" and they'll give you the best shifts, treat you pretty decent, and pay you semi-normally (as normal as it gets), promise you "advancement" (which is BS because there is only one level of possible advancement which is only reserved if you are a fraternity brother of the owner or if you went to the University of Tennessee like the owner) so that you will "overlook" all the shady business practices and crappy work culture and be a good little minion. Eventually though, everyone starts to question things.
If you start to question them on some of the mulititude of shady happenings, they will give BS explanations or no explanation at all and try to ignore any discrepancies until you simply get tired of the roadblocks and BS and just stop questioning and complaining and continue being a somewhat good little minion.
Finally, if you get to the point where you keep rocking the leaky boat, are being confrontational with your inquiries, won't let things go, they will realize that you are too smart/diligent to be fooled and brushed under the rug and they will blackball you. They will look for a small reason to fire you (something stupid like you were sick one day and didn't show up or accuse you of stealing something) or they will just make you quit. They do this by scheduling you at the worst shifts on the worst locations so you don't sell any phones and hence don't make any money. They'll leave you out of the loop on important things, tell the sales managers to "push you out" and basically start making your work life suck until you finally just quit after which they will talk crap about you and say you were never any good anyways even if you were their top seller for a while.
6. They cheat their employees, oh I'm sorry not "employees", "independent contractors". They say everything is an "even split" as far as phone costs, commission loss, chargebacks, and etc. The thing is they'll tell you that they pay a lot more than they actually pay for phones and accessories so that they can keep a little more profit for themselves. Also, they love to offer these mystery "spiffs from verizon wireless" to their reps at some times coincidentally when sales are really low (which is a lot nowadays). These "spiffs" are really supposed to be in place all the time, but they just offer them sometimes and will keep the "spiffs" for themselves when they feel like it and will not mention that fact. I guess even they need a little extra money for their expensive honeymoons in Europe, playing golf all day, and for the wife's expensive shopping habits.
7. The management are idiots. In Richmond you have a sales manager who steals sales from his own reps, lies to his own reps, and basically does everything he can to push his own name to the forefront even though he really does nothing to help his reps (unless you kiss his a$$ then maybe you can get a good shift or two). He will also take credit for any good sale or deal you do to make himself look good. He has personally lied to me many times before I finally quit.
From what I heard from a friend who is a rep in Virginia Beach, it is the same in Virginia Beach where you have not one but two idiots running the show doing the same shady things like lying to the faces of their reps individually and at meetings, trying to steal business deals from their reps, and taking credit for the successes of their reps when they in fact had nothing to do with it at all. Also the managers in Virginia Beach are habitual drug users and one of them is a drug dealer.
8. The market managers Rick and Jay act like they care about you and you are their "partner" when in fact all they want to do is get you to work your arse off for them and make them more money. The more sales you do, the more they get because they take the majority of the commission for themselves. They will also steal from you any chance they get and act like it's your fault and there's nothing you can do about it.
Also, Rick's not very bright wife Autumn "runs" the back office and has no clue what she is doing. She has no people skills, loses paperwork, money, phones, and accessories all the time and it falls back on the reps. She's also almost impossible to get a hold of if you have an issue because she's out shopping most of the day. The only reason she is in charge of all this is because she is sleeping with the boss.
The inventory manager Wade is also not very bright. Forget about having phones and accessories when you need them most. He'll just send you a lot of stuff you don't need. He has no idea how to do his job correctly which is sad because a monkey could do it.
Although Rick and Jay will act like it, they are not your friends. They are in it to make money off of you. I've heard them refer to their reps as their "bitches". But to your face they'll act like your bosom buddy, backslapping, smiles, and handshakes until you either suck at sales or ask too many questions and they have no need of you anymore. Then they cut you off and hold your last check for supposedly 6 months. (Although I've been gone for 6 months, I never actually got my last check which was supposed to be for around $2500. They said it was used to pay for missing items and chargebacks. Yeah right, $2500 worth of stuff. Just more shadiness.)
Also, after you leave you're stuck with a corporation that you have fees to pay for and a bunch of taxes to pay to boot. Then the IRS will come knocking on your door instead of theirs because you are an "independent contractor" and not an "employee". What a scam they have indeed.
There's a lot more reasons to stay away from Cellular Sales, reaons which I may add at a later date. There's more coming up everyday too. Although I have left the company, I still keep in touch with many of my former co-workers and they are telling me that it's just getting worse and worse. After I got shafted out of my last paycheck, I decided to file this report to add to the many reports on Cellular Sales already on this site. Like I said, just do a search for Cellular Sales on this site and you'll see how they do business.
This plague has infested much of the southeastern USA so be careful. I questioned and tried to defy all of these shady practices. This is why I eventually got blackballed and quit to a better job. I started asking too many questions and getting stupid answers like "I can't really answer that for you buddy." I swear that was actually said to me. I also realized that I'm worth more as a person than what these people treated me as.
So if you want to work or do business with a shady company like this, be my guest. But do not say you were not warned when the mystery extra charges start popping up and your paycheck dwindles to less and less. And to customers who want to be treated fairly, make sure you buy from VERIZON WIRELESS, and not their shady retailer CELLULAR SALES.