• Report: #324008

Complaint Review: Creative Memories

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  • Submitted: Sat, April 05, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, May 13, 2009

  • Reported By:Los Angeles California
Creative Memories
3001 Clearwater Road Saint Cloud, Minnesota U.S.A.

Creative Memories threatens to sue $5000 for ex-consultants Saint Cloud Minnesota

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ebay

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Been there, done that

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Been there, done that

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Been there, done that

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Been there, done that

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Hear You Loud and Clear!

*Consumer Suggestion: Not a problem!

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't ignore them, they will pursue you.

*Author of original report: Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

*Author of original report: Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

*Author of original report: Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

*Author of original report: Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't sweat it

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Creative Memories threatens to sue ex-consultants $5000 if they sell their leftover products. Here's my story:

I was a consultant for about 2 years, then when my babies came along I just couldn't commit the time to the business. Besides that, the market had already become so competitive with places like Michaels and Joann Fabrics selling scrapbooking stuff that I wasn't able to compete. I found myself buying just so I can meet the monthly/quarterly quota - which was around $300 every 3 months, even after the 30% discounts received as a consultant. So I ended up quitting - leaving me with over $1500 of product I could not sell.

About a year ago (after quitting consulting for 2 years), I decided that maybe I should sell some of it on eBay - it was collecting dust. Shortly after, I received a nasty note from Creative Memories threatening that as an ex-consultant, selling on eBay or anywhere else (including your own garage) was against the "contract" signed when becoming a consultant. They quoted the contract which said:

"12. Events upon Termination of this Agreement. Upon termination of this Agreement...

b. I will cease all use of Creative Memories Intellectual Property and Confidential
Information and will cease holding Classes, Workshops and presentations or otherwise displaying, offering for sale or selling Creative Memories Products. If I offer for sale or sell Creative Memories Products in violation of the foregoing sentence, Creative Memories will be entitled to recover from me $5,000 as liquidated damages
without having to prove actual harm."

Apparently, this is a LIFETIME contract!! For crying out loud, how can any company hold their ex-consultants to a contract when they don't work for them any longer? We live in a free country where we have the right to buy and sell. What business is it to CM that I sell it now that I'm not a consultant!! I paid for it didn't I? I can understand if I was still a consultant that Creative Memories could drop me as a consultant, but when a consultant has quit for several years? This is outrageous! If anyone is thinking of signing up with CM, I would strongly suggest that you think this through a million times. I would say, if you believe you will succeed in the business and this is the career you will have for the rest of your life, then best wishes in your venture. Otherwise do not sign that contract! You won't even be able to buy from eBay and resell them again. They'll find you.

Lila
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/05/2008 08:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Creative-Memories/Saint-Cloud-Minnesota-56302/Creative-Memories-threatens-to-sue-5000-for-ex-consultants-Saint-Cloud-Minnesota-324008. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 13Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ebay

AUTHOR: Diane - (U.S.A.)

I to am a former consultant in CA. I was terminated earlier this year for selling on ebay. Monday morning, I had the mailman with a certified registered letter for me to sign. Well sure enough It was the attorney for CM letting me know that I failed to met the dead line of sending them a reassurance letter as of 4/29/09. And now they wanted $5000. If this was just to scare me Trust me I'm scared! I sent them and email back and letter with my assurance that I would not sell on ebay again. I have not heard back from them yet. But I'm so stressed that they are going to come after me for $5000 for breech of contract.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Been there, done that

AUTHOR: Esther - (U.S.A.)

Hi Lila,
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I too am an ex-CM consultant who seems to have signed her life away with the contract. I have chosen to move forward on a different business (((ROR redacted))) that will actually pay me what I am worth. In that process, I have contacted a few other consultants who I knew from the various conventions, trips, and trainings I went to. I contacted them not to take them away from CM but simply to share about what I was doing and let them know about a way to produce some additional income. Unfortunately, I was "reported" by one of them who was not happy about me contacting her. I then received a lovely letter from CM similar to yours, threatening to sue me if I did not cease and desist immediately. Well, sorry CM, but you cannot control my life forever. I think it's quite funny, actually, that they are wasting their time and money on me when they are losing consultants every day. Perhaps they should look at the real issue, which is why the compensation plan doesn't allow people to advance and earn actual income.

As for your predicament, try selling on craigslist or on ebay under someone else's name. As long as it is not linked directly to you, there shouldn't be an issue. I had over $2,000 worth of inventory to get rid of, and I am still working on that. But it IS possible to do without CM tracking you down and suing you.

Best wishes!
CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Been there, done that

AUTHOR: Esther - (U.S.A.)

Hi Lila,
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I too am an ex-CM consultant who seems to have signed her life away with the contract. I have chosen to move forward on a different business (((ROR redacted))) that will actually pay me what I am worth. In that process, I have contacted a few other consultants who I knew from the various conventions, trips, and trainings I went to. I contacted them not to take them away from CM but simply to share about what I was doing and let them know about a way to produce some additional income. Unfortunately, I was "reported" by one of them who was not happy about me contacting her. I then received a lovely letter from CM similar to yours, threatening to sue me if I did not cease and desist immediately. Well, sorry CM, but you cannot control my life forever. I think it's quite funny, actually, that they are wasting their time and money on me when they are losing consultants every day. Perhaps they should look at the real issue, which is why the compensation plan doesn't allow people to advance and earn actual income.

As for your predicament, try selling on craigslist or on ebay under someone else's name. As long as it is not linked directly to you, there shouldn't be an issue. I had over $2,000 worth of inventory to get rid of, and I am still working on that. But it IS possible to do without CM tracking you down and suing you.

Best wishes!
CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Been there, done that

AUTHOR: Esther - (U.S.A.)

Hi Lila,
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I too am an ex-CM consultant who seems to have signed her life away with the contract. I have chosen to move forward on a different business (((ROR redacted))) that will actually pay me what I am worth. In that process, I have contacted a few other consultants who I knew from the various conventions, trips, and trainings I went to. I contacted them not to take them away from CM but simply to share about what I was doing and let them know about a way to produce some additional income. Unfortunately, I was "reported" by one of them who was not happy about me contacting her. I then received a lovely letter from CM similar to yours, threatening to sue me if I did not cease and desist immediately. Well, sorry CM, but you cannot control my life forever. I think it's quite funny, actually, that they are wasting their time and money on me when they are losing consultants every day. Perhaps they should look at the real issue, which is why the compensation plan doesn't allow people to advance and earn actual income.

As for your predicament, try selling on craigslist or on ebay under someone else's name. As long as it is not linked directly to you, there shouldn't be an issue. I had over $2,000 worth of inventory to get rid of, and I am still working on that. But it IS possible to do without CM tracking you down and suing you.

Best wishes!
CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Been there, done that

AUTHOR: Esther - (U.S.A.)

Hi Lila,
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I too am an ex-CM consultant who seems to have signed her life away with the contract. I have chosen to move forward on a different business (((ROR redacted))) that will actually pay me what I am worth. In that process, I have contacted a few other consultants who I knew from the various conventions, trips, and trainings I went to. I contacted them not to take them away from CM but simply to share about what I was doing and let them know about a way to produce some additional income. Unfortunately, I was "reported" by one of them who was not happy about me contacting her. I then received a lovely letter from CM similar to yours, threatening to sue me if I did not cease and desist immediately. Well, sorry CM, but you cannot control my life forever. I think it's quite funny, actually, that they are wasting their time and money on me when they are losing consultants every day. Perhaps they should look at the real issue, which is why the compensation plan doesn't allow people to advance and earn actual income.

As for your predicament, try selling on craigslist or on ebay under someone else's name. As long as it is not linked directly to you, there shouldn't be an issue. I had over $2,000 worth of inventory to get rid of, and I am still working on that. But it IS possible to do without CM tracking you down and suing you.

Best wishes!
CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Hear You Loud and Clear!

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

I had the same experience with Creative Memories over selling left over stock on ebay. They threatened me with all the same legalese, but never did anything about it. I figured that they were just blowing smoke up my skirt. I figure that once I've paid for the merchandise, I can do what I wish with it. Besides, Creative Memories sells REAL WELL on ebay. I just let my spouse (who never signed one of their lifetime cotracts) list it.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Not a problem!

AUTHOR: Letemland - (U.S.A.)

Hers what you do. Give it away. Once you no longer own the property they can do nothing to you. Lets say you give all the product to your friend and she sells it on Ebay, she did'nt sign anything did she and you did'nt profit from it. Later down the road lets say your friend gives you a few hundred dollers as a birthday gift. They do not say anything about donating any of your product.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Don't ignore them, they will pursue you.

AUTHOR: Mona - (U.S.A.)

Larry is missing a key couple components in the dispute between CM and the ex-consultants they are harassing and that's the wording in the Consulting Agreement signed. CM put in there that the jurisdiction of the agreement is Minnesota and therefore, they can sue you in Minnesota and serve you in California. Oh yeah, and the agreement says you'll do binding arbitration and their attorney's letter will say they've been successful agains ex-consultants in the binding arbitration (in Minnesota).
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#9 Author of original report

Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

AUTHOR: Lila - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

thanks for your insights on CA law. It is a relief to know that CA protects their residents from such company bullies! Now I am wondering for other ex-consultants all over the country experiencing the same threats. I have read some online posts on this same issue by other ex-consultants but they never got a response. One gal was from MN, where Creative Memories is located. Do you know if CA is the only state that has the statue you mentioned?

BTW, Creative Memories will only buy back things within one year of date of purchase, then there is a restocking fee, they charge 10%, and of course you pay the shipping. After 1 year from when you purchased the item they won't buy it back. If the product didn't sell, chances are some of the stuff was bought a year before the consultant even quit which made it virtually impossible to return the items. Thanks again!

Lila
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#10 Author of original report

Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

AUTHOR: Lila - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

thanks for your insights on CA law. It is a relief to know that CA protects their residents from such company bullies! Now I am wondering for other ex-consultants all over the country experiencing the same threats. I have read some online posts on this same issue by other ex-consultants but they never got a response. One gal was from MN, where Creative Memories is located. Do you know if CA is the only state that has the statue you mentioned?

BTW, Creative Memories will only buy back things within one year of date of purchase, then there is a restocking fee, they charge 10%, and of course you pay the shipping. After 1 year from when you purchased the item they won't buy it back. If the product didn't sell, chances are some of the stuff was bought a year before the consultant even quit which made it virtually impossible to return the items. Thanks again!

Lila
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#11 Author of original report

Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

AUTHOR: Lila - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

thanks for your insights on CA law. It is a relief to know that CA protects their residents from such company bullies! Now I am wondering for other ex-consultants all over the country experiencing the same threats. I have read some online posts on this same issue by other ex-consultants but they never got a response. One gal was from MN, where Creative Memories is located. Do you know if CA is the only state that has the statue you mentioned?

BTW, Creative Memories will only buy back things within one year of date of purchase, then there is a restocking fee, they charge 10%, and of course you pay the shipping. After 1 year from when you purchased the item they won't buy it back. If the product didn't sell, chances are some of the stuff was bought a year before the consultant even quit which made it virtually impossible to return the items. Thanks again!

Lila
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#12 Author of original report

Suppose I don't live in CA, can Creative Memories go through with the threat?

AUTHOR: Lila - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

thanks for your insights on CA law. It is a relief to know that CA protects their residents from such company bullies! Now I am wondering for other ex-consultants all over the country experiencing the same threats. I have read some online posts on this same issue by other ex-consultants but they never got a response. One gal was from MN, where Creative Memories is located. Do you know if CA is the only state that has the statue you mentioned?

BTW, Creative Memories will only buy back things within one year of date of purchase, then there is a restocking fee, they charge 10%, and of course you pay the shipping. After 1 year from when you purchased the item they won't buy it back. If the product didn't sell, chances are some of the stuff was bought a year before the consultant even quit which made it virtually impossible to return the items. Thanks again!

Lila
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

Don't sweat it

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

First, where are they going to sue you? You live in California. If their contract calls for bringing suit in some jurisdiction other than California you have nothing to worry about. California has a statute that voids contracts that seek to deprive the state of jurisdiction that they would have otherwise. (It has been awhile since I read that statute, but my recollection is that this law does not vest jurisdiction in California; it renders the entire contract null and void and completely unenforceable against California residents.)

Second, to sue you Creative Memories will have to lay out a couple of grand to hire a lawyer and sue you. The lawyer will have to defend the contract to the court and he could lose. You paid for the goods and have title to them. They are yours to do with as you please. If CM has wishes to control the property they can make an offer to buy the materials back.

I am making an assumption that you are trying to sell scrapbook-making materials normally offered to the public and not items such as training manuals or instructional materials that are not normally sold to customers. The latter materials are truly their intellectual work and you do not have title to it.

The letter that CM sent you cost them a couple of dollars to mail and undoubtedly scared the crap out of you, as it was intended to do. I would not worry about it but just to be on the safe side I would reply with a certified letter offering them the opportunity to purchase the materials in your possession.
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