I have now read about 400 + complaints from people reporting from all over the world, the US---- Canada, in Asia, and Africa that they ALL have had the same experience.
I am upset because I needed my son to come home and work while I deal with a disability from an auto accident.... and now I have a son who is being brain washed this very moment...and we have to borrow money to live cause he thinks he is onto something great! He tells me I can learn something from this group --- and that I am so stupid, and I tell him I have alot of very pointed questions for his boss... and others... and dont worry, I have my plan in motion as I write this!
He has been there for a few months now, and his income is LESS than minimum wage, and He works 12 hours per day -- 7:30 am to 7:30-8 pm and is lucky if he comes home with $100.00. It is like Slave Labor-- and he can leave at any time, which makes it not, but then there is the brainwashing aspect.... so I did quite a bit of research, and enjoyed reading all of your stories.
First I have to say, "Thank God we have not bought him a car-- he could not afford it!" -- so he rides the city bus.... and hitches a ride. When I tell him about what I have read about the Road Trips.... he says --"And what do you think I did on Van's Warp Tour?"--- Well on that Tour, The COMPANIES paid for incredible hotels---- Hyatt, Marriott, etc--- and every morning they served breakfast ---- he toured the whole country---and while tough, nothing like this-- he got paid some $1500.00 each two week like clockwork, plus all expenses paid (I have NEVER worked without an expense account!) --- not some motel 6, as he was suggesting with 6-7 people in one room, that this company wants.... and no reimbursement!
So for all of you out there--- I want you to know I have taken action.... it might be only a band-aid but I have information on this company from its inception back in 1991. I understand the top man, Mr. Larry Tenebaum is now running his gig out of Irvine, California -- and my son talks about him as though he is impressed by the man's accomplishments... Perhaps we should be! It takes real talent to screw so many people over...... I bet he can sell ICE to eskimos too!
So for all of you out there who are working for different named countries... here is how this gig works.... Offices pay the bigger offices to be affliated with them..... so Mr.Tennebaum gets something off all of you, and everyone above you gets the same...... apparently that idea is made clear. He should be really nice to all of you--- you have all made him a very wealthy man...and you dont cost him a penny!
Now for the history on this pyramid "cult-like"scam--
History Of DS-Max
Started in Toronto, Ontario ,Canada in 1981 by Murray Reinhardt who began selling goods directly to the public, it later expanded to become an extremely large organization, with thousands of affiliated offices and a presence in numerous countries. Murray Reinhardt recruited Canadians Larry Tenebaum and Avie Roth to join the organization at the very genesis of what would become DS-Max worldwide. Today, Larry Tenebaum is the most powerful man in the DS-Max network. He oversees all operations over every division. Mr. Tenebaum is the CEO of ThreeSixty Sourcing which sources Asian based product suppliers. Avie Roth is the Chairman of Cydcor. (Which by the way was given its name by Larry Tenebaum one of the big three. Avie Roth & Murray Reinhardt are the other two. The name is derived from his children Cydney & Cortney.) Avie Roth is the top executive of the entire operation and its affiliates.Murray Reinhardt is retired from the business but does occasionally show up at DS-Max conventions to deliver high spirited motivational speeches.
Effective October 2006, transfer to Nu-Life all of their rights, title and interests anywhere in the world in any trade mark, trade name, corporate name or domain name which includes the term DS-MAX and any term confusingly similar to the term DS-MAX.
On or before April 7, 2007, each of the corporations (DS-MAX INTERNATIONAL INC. and DS-MAX CANADA INC.) shall either terminate its existence or change its name to a name which does not include the words "DS-Max" or "DSMax" or to a term confusingly similar to the terms "DS-Max" or "DSMax".
Division of DS-MAX, 2003
In 2003 DS-Max divided into three main branches. The products division (Clearance) became Innovage.The advertising division became Granton Marketing, which has just recently been renamed The Smart Circle International. The communication division became Cydcor. These three divisions are still under the DS-Max / Innovage umbrella but this connection is not promoted and even avoided if possible when discussing the structure of the business with new distributors.
First they pay the BBB, change names frequently and establish a network of affilites disconnected but still a financial contributor to the parent company Cydcor.
The company is a MLM (Multi level Marketing) corporation both illegal in the U.S. and Canada. They make the majority of their money off people not products. They hire employees as independent contrators to further distant themselves from mishaps and responsibility. Because they promote/sell products (2 for 1's & free trials with sign ups difficult to cancel) they are able to manipulate the fact that are really making more money off the number of people they recruit. They also deceptively use their very indirect relationship with the fortune 500 company products they promote. They recruit and train under the perception they are major business partners with these companies which they are not.
They operate hundreds of offices in every major city but again avoid legal action by setting them up as seperate entities. Each office then illegally solicits business's. They never attain proper permits but because of the deceptive paperwork they have employees fill out they can ultimately deny their employment if a problem arises. Former employess who spent at least a year with the company will know the connections exist among satellite offices and the parent company Cydcor but trying to tie it all together with financial statements is not an easy task.
Only when local authorities are informed of a satellite office address and follow their employees can theat office be fined. On paper there is no direct connection. In reality each office and regional manager pays the parent company. Loopholes in tax code are implemented, legal yes but extremely shady.
For those of you wronged, duped, given false hopes, deceived, fined for solicitation, had relationships damaged, and worked under slave wages because you were supposedly paying your dues to become a manager and run your own office, there is much more you can do.
Offices and Distributors
DS-Max claims to have more than 15,000 offices around the world and more than 2.2 million independent distributors-- they really mean to say "employees" because these people dont meet the test of independent distributor -- ( I wonder how many complaints they will be up to then?--- it is averaging one every two to three days!).
The company also boasts a presence in more than 40 countries and a net worth of 75 Billion US Dollars. However, because the company is privately held and represents a loose confederation of independent offices there is no reliable way to verify these estimates.
The name DS-Max -- which means Direct Sales to the Maximum--- is often used to refer to the whole distribution system that includes DS-Max USA Inc., its affiliated suppliers and independent offices. Each affiliated sales office is an independent and incorporated business. This legal separation between the DS-Max supplying organizations and each individual office insulates DS-Max from any legal or financial liability should something happen within an individual office. Because all sales offices are independently owned and operated each individual distributor and manager/owner reaps the rewards of and is both financially and legally responsible for his own business. The majority of all distributors work as independent contractors and thus are not paid a salary, receive no health benefits and are responsible for paying their own taxes.
The DS-Max system runs similarly to network marketing businesses but with several key differences:
1. Sales representatives (distributors) generally work full-time 12 or more hours a day (often six days, 72 hours or more a week), relying on their sales for their primary source of income, rather than a slow transition from part-time to full-time.
2. The individual owner assumes the cost and advertises for new distributors and finds a mentor for them, rather than the distributor absorbing the cost of recruiting.
3. Distributors receive the products on consignment rather than paying for them up front and there is no fee for becoming a distributor.
The business only grows when new distributors are added. While DS-Max as a whole has grown quite large through the years the vast majority of distributors and managers have not achieved the high level of success that was promoted to them during the initial recruitment process. In the 20 plus years of operation the DS-Max business model has generated some tremendous success for a small group of Vice-Presidents, or as they are referred to now, National Consultants, but the question of how many have found success in DS-Max compared to the number who have attempted to achieve success can only be answered by analyzing accurate and detailed records of these organizations and their affiliates. This type of public financial disclosure is almost impossible to obtain because each individual office is privately owned and thus they are not required to disclose this information.
All participants begin as canvassing salespeople (door to door, both residential and commercial) and must work to build their organizations by adding more sales people to achieve higher sales goals.
Affiliated companies include Papa Johns Pizza, UCLA Bruins, Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, Kings,ClivasUSA, IPG Imports,The Cobra Group, The Happy Valet Dry Cleaning, Innovage and Smart Circle International, are participating members in the Direct Selling Association and as such are bound by the organization's code of ethics; The fact is that each sales office such as The Landers Group, Kelly Advertising (which while they say it closed in 2000, is still alive!), Cyncor, Granton Marketing, DNMC International, Mom Team, and millions mre is an independent incorporation and is only legally bound to the parent company through distribution contracts, makes the implementation of these strict guidelines on ethical conduct difficult to enforce.
Complaints about DS-Max companies
One of the most common complaints about DS-Max affiliated companies is in their recruiting and advertising practices. Often the position is advertised as an "entry level management position", and claims to operate in any number of glamorous, competitive, high profile, industries ranging from pro sports and entertainment to 4 star restaurants and world travel, when in reality the position is that of a door-to-door salesperson who peddles pizza coupons, discount baseball tickets, 5 dollar umbrellas, designer knock-off hand bags, and travel alarm clocks, none of which the applicant will actually discover until they are out "in the field" with a distributor on their "second interview."
A common interviewing formula used by the independent sales offices consists of:
1. A very short first round interview conducted in the office of the manager. Typically in this interview the manager will briefly outline the structure of the business to the potential new distributor. A typical DS-Max manager will interview anywhere from 10 to 30 people a day so this first interview is usually short on detail and any prolonged question and answer sessions are avoided if possible.
2. A full day "second interview" in the sales field where the potential distributor shadows a current distributor while they attempt to sell their products or services door-to-door. This full day interview is an attempt to show the potential distributor how a typical day in the field works. This full day interview, like the first interview is purposefully vague on details and most questions are not answered fully or more difficult questions get passed on to the manager/owner to handle during the final interview. This is known within DS-MAX circles as the "Day of Observation" or the "Day of O" or "DOB".
3. A "final interview" takes place in the manager's office when the potential distributor returns after a full day in the field. If the applicant has any problems or objections, the manager may attempt to overturn them. If the potential distributor needs some clarification in order to understand the "big picture" of this business opportunity the manager will attempt to explain the business beyond just selling products door-to-door. The goal of every manager is to encourage the interviewee to start full time the very next day.
Some companies to search through Rip off so you see the whole story
* The Smart Circle International
* ThreeSixty Sourcing
Perhaps you would like to complain the Executives Personally -- here are a couple of addresses
Avie Roth, is the one of the highest level executive and founder responsible for the creation of this deceptive corporation.
217 Poplar Plains Rd.
Toronto, ON M4V 2N5
A 1.5 million dollar home 20 minutes from the corporate office.
Here also is the corporate International address for Smart Circle International formerly Granton Marketing:
George Graffy, President
2720 Steeles Ave. Ste. 3
Concord Ontario L4K 453 Canada
If you would like to find Mr. Larry Tenebaum, he is in Irvine, California.
This company violates many of the state industrial relations codes ( and they know it)-- they not only cheat the employees but other companies as well..... the are wealthy because they are not paying for help. There is no overhead... except for the rent of the office, and payment to Mr. Tenebaum..... so he can dress nicely, and you can be impressed, while you struggle to find enough money to buy a hamburger at Mc Donald's. Most offices hire support staff-- ever wonder why they dont.... and what company pays out cash every day??
Did you know you will make MORE money working minimum wage at Mc Donald's than at this company working only 40 hours per week?, and if this company gave you a pay receipt perhaps you could buy a car......
If you feel like you are owed money --- l suggest you contact your local dept of labor standards, and file a claim... the more claims that are filed..... the more the state will take notice. Now the company will tell them that you are an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR and try to get you to back down,.... unfortunately, they DONT meet the test... Fight it.. go to a hearing.. the more that go, the better the chance of closing these companies down for good--- and get the pay due to you!
A very concerned Mom
nationwide in, California