• Report: #218311

Complaint Review: Granton Marketing, Now Smart Circle, Aka DS-Max, Cydcor, Innovage

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  • Submitted: Mon, October 30, 2006
  • Updated: Thu, July 12, 2012

  • Reported By:Palmer Lake Colorado
Granton Marketing, Now Smart Circle, Aka DS-Max, Cydcor, Innovage
155 Gordon Baker Rd. Ste 212 Willowdale, Ontario Canada

Granton Marketing, Now Smart Circle, Aka DS-Max, Cydcor, Innovage Illegal solicitation, MLM, Pyramid Scheme, deceptive sales tactics, FIGHT Back! Willowdale Ontario Canada

*UPDATE Employee: You have a better expereince

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Accurate info about Smart Circle

*UPDATE Employee: Pardon Me!!!

*Consumer Comment: this company name has changed to Appreciation Events

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Really Cooper919? Really???

*UPDATE Employee: Really people????

*UPDATE Employee: a personal point of view

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I had the EXACT same experience as Stcart

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Company has it's issues

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Not everyone can handle this. its not for everyone!!!!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Get Real...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Smart circle is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen!!!

*Consumer Comment: Wife who researched and asked questions......

*Consumer Comment: Actaully...

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I have first hand, detailed experience with Granton Marketing/Smart Circle/Cydcor/DS-Max. My 1st job out of college was with a satellite office. Since then I have moved on in the real corporate world. I learned all the ins and outs of business. I never forgot this corrupt company though. I decided to use my resources one day to help stop them. How can they continue to operate as a business? 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. 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.

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.

Here is one very effective option,
FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE! Send them junk mail, SPAM, telemarketing calls, etc. They could end up getting thousands of calls, spam, junk mail, etc. That will slow them down maybe overload their servers, mailboxes and phone lines if a significant number of people fill their information in on a freebie/survey site like:

http://www.leybrown.com/partner/
http://www.webstakes.com
http://www.enter-2-win.com
http://www.freebiesiteslist.com/
http://www.e-researchgroup.com/?config=1139&src=WC-55138aaaCD8291:71795:

If you don't have their information or any other scam companies, personal or business information here is how to get it for free.

Do a reverse lookup on the company. There are many options available; superpages, public records, financial reports, switchboard.com, reunion.com, intelius.com, usaseek.net, Canada411, and jobsites. Scam company job postings on HotJobs, Monster, Careerbuilder, etc. are always the same. They usually have to provide a woking e-mail address.

Once you find their information here is how you can verify that it is really them.

Call them from a pay phone or pay as you go phone.
Then use their own sales tactics against them.

Example: All information taken from the Cydcor corporate site. Mr. Polson (CEO) I was given your name from Mark Litvack (partner at the law firm he once worked for) or better yet use a principal from Mitchell, Silberg & Krupp Attorneys. I represent (some fortune 500 company, i.e the E3 Panel) who is looking to directly promote our products through new channels. If the Answer has something to do with him being affiliated with the company, you have got your confirmation. You don't want to give the main company or he might catch on to quick. This can be reworked and tweaked to be used against anyone that ripped you off. Use their work history, memberships, and past affiliations against them. This information is not that hard to find.

They are getting better at hiding their tracks but they will never be able to evade completely or forever. There time is running short. They need to start asking themselves is what I am doing ethically right and just? Do I sell products that there is a real need or want for? Or do I create a temporary, artificial want for something using guilt trip, deceptive, false Jones effect tactics. Professional, ethical salesman sell products that are needed or wanted. If want is created it is lasting, focusing on repeat customers and not soley based on impulse buyers. Here's your opportunity to force them to ask those questions of themselves.

Avie Roth, is the current highest level executive and founder responsible for the creation of this deceptive corporation.
217 Poplar Plains Rd.
Toronto, ON M4V 2N5
416-921-4969
aroth@cydcor.com
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
800-775-1975
info@thesmartcircle.com
ggraffy@thesmartcircle.com

Steven
Palmer Lake, Colorado
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on ds-max, dsmax, ds/max, granton marketing, cydcor

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/30/2006 10:56 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Granton-Marketing-Now-Smart-Circle-Aka-DS-Max-Cydcor-Innovage/Willowdale-Ontario-M2H-3NS/Granton-Marketing-Now-Smart-Circle-Aka-DS-Max-Cydcor-Innovage-Illegal-solicitation-ML-218311. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

You have a better expereince

AUTHOR: Ely S - ()

I understand that this company is a franchise so each office is basicaly independent of one antoher. And different offices employe different practices.

I have been working for this company for two months. On my round one interview my employer never mentioned door-to-door. In fact I was interviewing for a "public relations associate" position and was told I would be a liaision working on client relations.

On second round it was made clear I would be oor to door, but I was promised that it would be customers only. This isn't true, the lists I receive have a fair number of people who are not customers. During this interview hours and pay were misrepresented. They advertised an hour and a half break for lunch when in reality we grab lunch in the car while on the way to the field. Pay is also exaggerated upwards. I have sat in on several interviews since then and they always sya these things.

I know pay is eggaerated because my employer posts it publically. Each week your sales numbers and total paycheck amount (including things like bonuses) is posted on our office wall. Average earnings per week is nearly $200 less than advertised.

Also I am working 12 hour days and my sales shift is only 6 hours. I spend roughly 4 horus daily providing free work for my employer: I train newer employees and interviews proespective ones. This is not outside sales work. The company tries to sell it as free schooling but it's job specific training, not schooling.

Also we often are assigned territories where permits are required, but my boss does not acquire solicitation permits. Only after several employees received tickets did he send us to apply for them.

I've met other offices and programs and they don't all operate this way. One network of offcices, all trained by one another, apply such questionable practices. Another might not.

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Accurate info about Smart Circle

AUTHOR: brian drecker - (United States of America)

I used to work with a marketing company (satellite office) that used Smart Circle clients. 

They are not affilliated with the other companies listed on the previous posting (granton, cydcore, ds-max).
Smart Circle supplies clients who are looking for direct marketing exposure to individually owned companies that promote their products or services. 

It is the discretion of the individually owned companies how they conduct their business, methods of exposure i.e.  promotional events, door to door, business to business, telephone, trade shows ect...

It is also the discretion of the individual companies how they treat their employees, benefits, travel, compensation ect...

Some offices have shady practices which do not tend to open 2nd or 3rd locations.
Some offices are extremely legit which is why they have high success rates in terms of opening several new offices across the country.

Smart Circle simply connects clients with local marketing offices in their desired region and cannot dictate how the marketing offices operate.

The office I worked with was extremely successful... I saw 8 people get promoted to a management position in the 1 1/2 years that I worked there.  Just be cautious of which marketing company you work for... it's all about the manager and his/her business ethics... just like any corporation.

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#3 UPDATE Employee

Pardon Me!!!

AUTHOR: Mr Bad Example - (United States of America)

I suck at selling? Try multiple President's Club Honors with a Fortune 100 Company. While you're perfectly correct that technically it's not a scam. What it is however is a blatant misrepresentation of the opportunity available. I've pulled a grand total of 30 hours. Sucked the first shift then on each successive shift the numbers improved and I significantly exceeded the draw (Min Wage) last shift. I already caught them shorting my count so that they owe me no commission. At age 50+ I've seen these operations before and I knew the "Mandatory Training" would be unpaid.

Frankly, I've been lied to by far more intelligent and inventive people than these guys. Then there is the two hour "pep rally" (unpaid) before we depart to the Club. We review the "Five Steps to a Conversation" and all of the rest with daily goals. It's like being in a cult or the Hitler Youth. Truth is I've closed more business by myself in one year then this leader will generate in total revenue working 5 days a week and actually having a life. Having been a Certified Trainer I can tell you that what they do for training isn't training, it's indoctrination.

I'm trying to maintain an open mind but it's not working. Truth is the only reason I'm hanging is to gather evidence in order to file a few complaints and make somebody's life a bit difficult. I don't know about you but If I arrive at 8AM and leave at 9PM, don't even try to hand me the horse poop that I only get paid from 10AM to 8:30PM because we're going to see what the Department of Labor has to say. Not to mention the State's Attorney General. Lastly I've never seen a bigger bunch of control freaks in my life and negative ones at that. You're never told what you do well, only what you do wrong.

My advice to anyone thinking about joining this organization is to go in eyes and ears open. Can you make an above average income? Yes you can, however when you divide it by hours spent on the job then the value proposition sucks. If you want to learn Sales and Marketing go sell Merchant Services or Uniform rentals. You'll cold call your assets off, learn transferable skills and get the same thick skin working far less hours. Seriously do you want to make 50K working 2,800 hours a year or 50K working 2000 hours a year with a car allowance and full benefits? Choice is yours. I decided to try it to add to my Sales Training skills. Sort of paid training, however what I learned I don't need to know.
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#4 Consumer Comment

this company name has changed to Appreciation Events

AUTHOR: football44 - (United States of America)

This pyramid scheme company has now changed names to Appreciation Events, other names include Pure Talk Marketing, Tactical Marketing, OC Marketing, Sound Marketing, Orion Marketing, Emerald City Marketing, and many others in every major city.  These people have no regard for the clients they represent.  It is a Multi Level pyramid scheme that depends strictly on the numbers game.  They will tell you that this job is not for everyone, and they are right, you have to be a no soul having human being in order to work for this company.  These people almost put my families business under.  It wasnt until we got them to finally stop this program that we started marking money again. These "deals" to get people in the door are just a tool for them to make money off of your business.  As far as walking around town selling coupons, I can understand if you want the "opportunity" to own your own business.  The problem is the person in control of these outside offices is Matt Kelly and cares about one thing...making money.  He will be your best friend even he hates your guts, just for the cash.  This guy is a master manipulator and couldnt be more full of shit.  He will instruct his pawns to keeping printing and selling a clients coupons after the client wants the program stopped.  These people will stop at no cost to make money and they have no regard of how their program effects their clients.  Last thing, if you decide to go to work for these people, realize that 99.9% of people that walk into that door become an office owner.  So lets say that you finally do get to become any office owner, one thing they dont tell you is about the market they will put you in.  All of the top markets with product to make money are already taken.  I referring to sports teams.  This place is a joke and will not make it over time.  There will be one big event that takes these guys down.  My recommendation is to stay away from buying these coupons, or working for theses guys.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Really Cooper919? Really???

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

They mislead you because you should not have to wait til Day 2 to understand that you are interviewing for a door to door position, you now have wasted the applicants time twice... How come this can't be said briefly when asked to the admin? Even on the Day 1 interview all they will say is large clients and face to face, they won't tell you cold calling door to door when you walk in, why can't you be told this?  They give you the assumption that you will be selling contracts for clients with set appointments, that is called misleading sir


The majority of people aren't talking about their commute to work, it's the commute to the field... I witnessed people in the business drive an hour to work (which is fine), however now you must drive an hour to the field, an hour back to the field, then your hour home... That's 4 hours of driving on your own dime (the first and fourth are acceptable), however how is the middle part acceptable??? An honest employer would ask if you could handle that travel and expense, but that is never spoke about. 


Smart Circle doesn't back you 100%, you have to save your own money in order to open an office, that is not backing... If you start getting low on money at any point will Smart Circle give you a loan to build your business back up?? Answer is a simple No... How is that backing up?? By your lack of knowledge of their business structure it's pretty obvious that you haven't been there 3 years, there's a good chance you're more of a month to 6 week employee... However good luck, I hope you open your eyes soon before it's too late.

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#6 UPDATE Employee

Really people????

AUTHOR: cooper919 - (United States of America)

I just have a few things to add here. I have worked with several of the Smart Circle offices in the past 3 years. From my experience with each and every company, they have all made their operating procedures very clear. 

I can honestly say that most people who have any negative to say about any of the individual offices of Smart Circle are more than likely mad because of their own actions. It is made clear in interviews that these positions start out as sales sales positions with the ability to rapidly move in to an upper management role!! If you didn't get it in the first interview, when you arrived to "job shadow" for your second interview, it should have slapped you in the face. How can you honestly say that the managers mislead you? When you are on a second interview, you are seeing first hand how the employees sell for the company!!  It was your choice to take the position. I'm pretty sure that no one twisted your arms to force you into employment.

For the ones who complain that they have to drive "hours" to get to work.... You should have determined that when you arrived for your first or second interview. You had the option before you accepted the position to decide that the commute was too far for you on a day in, day out basis. You are simply offered a position, it is your choice to take it based on all factors that YOU have to take into consideration!

For the complainers pertaining to pay - Are you mad because you accepted a position that you were no good at? You can't blame anyone but yourself. Obviously you knew what the deal was no later than your first paycheck (((((at the latest))))))!!! I am not the best, nor am I the worst in sales, but I knew what I had to do to get the job done. This is a performance based business ***obviously***! I sure wouldn't want to pay you the money that I worked hard for if I were your manager. Earn it like everyone else has done. At least you get a draw!! There are several performance based marketing business' that don't even give you that!! They say sink or swim... Our managers understand the hard times that you will face and OFFER something instead of giving you nothing for your time. 

The opportunity with any of our offices is tremendous! No one else will back you 100% and get you started the way that Smart Circle offices do! The people are amazing, the leaders are amazing and the networking is phenomenal! They offer so many different ways through so many different people nation wide to help you grow! 

I want everyone to understand that it is not Smart Circle who is the one to blame. It is the people who accept the positions offered and want to complain because they are not good for the opportunity or can't handle what they applied for. Point blank!!


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#7 UPDATE Employee

a personal point of view

AUTHOR: live.laugh.looove<3 - (United States of America)

the company, i believe to be amazing. im in my early 20's never really lived on my own. once i found this job, months later i moved to a new state where an account manager that i had worked with got promoted into her own office :) it gave me the chance to stand on my own two feet with out getting the help of friends and family members.

anyhow my point is a couple things. 1st would be if you are only making 300 bucks a week, you just suck at sales generally speaking. it's definately not for everybody. the highest paid jobs, are in sales. F.Y.I. while the last persons report i read, said the most he made was 400 bucks, well the past three weeks i made over a 1000. which i am now able to help my family, which i could never do be for, and in all honesty, you really think in any other job, a 21 year old with no college degree could ever make that, ugh no!

which brings me to my 2nd point. every one is worried about 'security' but really how secure is it to have a job, lets say making 10 bucks an hour, but then just to either A) get your hours cut, or B) lose your job. now how secure is that?

also, the whole thing about the positive and 100% great attitude in the impact room. i found that the most amazing part! the fact that negativity is not welcomed in our office, is great. would you rather us be 100% negative and pissed instead? yah, i think not. the last few jobs i kept were very depressing. people were mean, rude and felt superior since they were the 'manager' and after all, we were only their 'employees' where as the owner in our office, i see her as one of us. she's in the field just as much as us and a great influence on not only myself, but our other co workers as well. helps us when we need to, and is there for us even when its not business related, but more on a personal level, like a confidant.

now when it comes to the actual sales part of the job, i apologise for those of you that had a misleading rep. or you possibly seen the job as misleading, maybe you came in the wrong contact with the wrong owner or sales rep. me personally make sure not only i explain everything thoroughly, but i give everything that could possibly due to custome fees just to make sure there are absolutely no surprises. i used to give my cell number to everyone till my owner told me that i was not allowed to give out my personal number, which i know it was probably not safe.

anyhow i will be opening up my office here soon at the end of this month, i worked hard for it, a lot of hours along with a lot of effort. so, as long as you put forth the time, energy an patients, you will too.

 

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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I had the EXACT same experience as Stcart

AUTHOR: amnesiac12 - (United States of America)

Stcart is dead-on in his description of how Smart Circle operates. I was hired back in June, and worked out of one of its sub-offices in Riverside, California (calling itself "Fortified Management") for about a month and a half. When I was hired I was told I would be making $400 a week vs. commission, but as Stcart explained, this was an outright lie. I did fairly well there but NEVER saw a paycheck that was for more than $300. Officially the hours were Monday through Friday 10:30-7:30 and Saturday and Sunday 9-5 with an hour and a half for lunch. However, you were expected to show up an hour early (two hours if you're a 'Leader'), only to expected to take a half hour for lunch at the most, and also expected to stay up to an hour and a half longer if you hadn't sold anything that day. Of course, you would only get 'paid' for the official hours you were supposed to be working. And by 'paid', I mean LOANED minimum wage for those hours. As Stcart explained, they would simply take the minimum wage they paid you out of your next commission check. They call it 'clawbac' on your check. So to reiterate, you would work 10-12 hours a day, only get 'paid' for 8 and even then you wouldn't really be getting paid for even those 8. When I realized this and asked them about it they told me "Clayton [the manager/'owner'] doesn't like giving away free money". I wanted to kindly ask in return, HOW THE FUCK IS IT FREE MONEY IF I WORKED THE FUCKING HOURS.

Also, there was a very creepy, very cultish atmosphere in the office during the team meetings in the morning which essentially revolved around maintaining a super-positive attitude 100% of the time and never having a negative thought or saying anything remotely negative. 

Finally, as Stcart said they are for the most part honest about the product they are selling (DirecTV, it is in fact an excellent service in my opinion) except for one aspect: you ARE instructed to lie to potential customers about where the DirecTV promotions are coming from. If you go to DirecTV.com right now and sign up, you'll find that you get free equipment and installation and about $30 a month off of your bill for the first year. In other words, DIRECTV IS GIVING THESE PROMOTIONS ANYWAY, but you are instructed to tell the Sam's Club members that "Sam's Club is paying for your equipment", or "Sam's club is taking $30 off of your bill". THIS IS A LIE. The only difference between signing up in Sam's Club and signing up over the phone or online is that if you are a Sam's Club 'Plus' member (you know, the one that costs $100 a year), you get an extra $10 off your bill for the first year. Ditto with Best Buy. If you sign up in Best Buy, the only difference is you get a $50 gift card. 

It's kind of creepy and sad to see these people after they've been thoroughly brainwashed. They give up any kind of social lives they may have had, and their life essentially becomes DirecTV, all because they've been promised big money. 
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Company has it's issues

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

I worked for this company as well, but unlike some...I saw the light before I wasted to much time there.  I had an interview, then an onsite 'tag-along' the next day.  The following day, I started.  After the first week, I noticed 4 out of the 11 people who worked there when I started were gone.  After the second week, only 4 of the original 11 people still remained.  I soon found out why.


People were working from 10AM until 7:30, then had to go back to the office for another briefing until at least 8PM.  We were working 10 hour days, getting paid for 8, and selling very little.  I THEN found out that when you reach a commision, they take out the money they paid you BEFORE you got a commision..minimum wage at that.  I worked over 70 hours, quit, got paid for 48, then was told I didn't have another check coming.  No one takes an hour for lunch, because the leaders all say, "You can't make money being on break".  This is nothing more than a pyramid scheme.  Every pyramid I have EVER seen collapses after awhile, and this one is SURE to follow suit.  There whole thing here is to get others under you, then become a 'leader', then move up in the pyramid.  The group I worked with sells Direct TV.  I WILL say this....the ones I worked with DO tell the customers the truth about what they are selling, and what they are doing.  there has been no desception from anyone working there, except the owner who misleads everyone when you're hired.  He said ALL training is paid, which it is not, and he never tells anyone they take back the money you worked for when you make a commison.  All in all... I hope this company flops big time.  I DO feel sorry for any new hires there, thinking they are going to ever make the big bucks promised, because like any pyramid.... it will soon collapse.  btw - I know have an excellent job with a REAL company, and making over 50K/yr.  So...there IS hope.  Just stay away from ANY Smart Circle companies, and KEEP LOOKING!  You'll find something... I promise.

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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Not everyone can handle this. its not for everyone!!!!!

AUTHOR: Roy Pellerin - (U.S.A.)

I worked with this company from 1995-2000. I was a loser out of high school and was not working at all. I remember the exact add that I answerd. MUSIC LOVERS WANTED, LONG HAIR OK!! I can tell you that most of the things you read are true. You do work your ass off and you never get a day off. I remember getting to the office at 6:45 and not leaving the office until 8:15. I became a leader very fast and I remember the thing I hated the most was having leaders meetings on Mondays during Monday Night Football. It seemed like I worked all the time and when I wasnt working I was spending time trying to recuite and build my team.

After a full year in the field building and losing teams I finally found the team that I needed to qualify for ownership. They promoted me and DS-MAX gave me $65,000 of merchandise on consignment. This was my business and it didnt get any easier. I ran my 1st office about 6 months before I ran it into the ground. By the time I got the call I was 12,000 in the whole and I thought I was going to get fired. I remember when I got a call from Chad Powers my promoting manager and he told me that he had talked to Larry about my situation. I still can not beleave it but they wiped my slate clean and let me go back into the field.

I went back in the field and I started over. This time I got a little better at being a leader and I had learned how to build a stronger team. I finally got another shot at running a location and this time I lasted a little longer. After about 10 months I was 4,000 in the whole and I got the call from Dave Keenen. He said how would you like to shut your office down and go back into the field and try one more time. I told him to bring it!!!

I went back into the field and never got back into my own location again. I finally walked away in 2000. I had been all over the world pitching my shit from Oklahoma to New Jersey.

I can tell you that this is not for everyone. The weak don't make it past a week!!! Then you have those people who half ass it but they are good enough to stay around long enough to fail and blame the business. I failed more then once and it was my fault but I can tell you this. I am in Realestate and I make great money!!! I wake up every day and I work my 5 & 8. I have people that I work with and if they are late they are gone. I owe all my success to Chad Powers, Dave Keenan, Shan Pederson, Tim Strohmeyer and Steve Kubicki. No matter what you do if you are going to become successfull you need to suck it up and sacrifice. Cam Camron things you can't win in Miami and Bill Parcells thinks that winning is all you do in Miami. Do I think about the time I lost or the girlfriends that I lost? I sure do but I gained so much knowledge.

Its funny I have a friend that got laid off in November and he called me asking me what he should do. I told him that we should go to the wholesale district and look around and see if we can find any cool remote controll cars. We of course found some stunt cars and bought them at 8.50 each. I took him to Hemphill in Ft. Worth and merched!! We sold them for 20 plus tax. 21.60. and we asked for tips and we got them. Most of the time after the tip we were getting almost 25.00. Im from Oklahoma so my math is not that good but we blew out over 40 of them. He continuied to merch until Christmas. Not everyone can do this. Hearing the word no makes then piss there pants. Business is not fair. Everyday my wife bitches about the time I spend working. It dosnt change. DS-MAX is a MACHINE and some of you just got ran over by it. It happens even to the best of us. Sometimes it happens more then once in my case. I am not a pussy!!! I learned from it and I have Rhino skin from it and I feel for the person who encounters me in business. I go the extra mile or I do what ever it takes to get the job done. I don't have a boss, mom, or anyone else paying my bills. I work and not very many people work harder then I do.

Look at it like this. DS-Max was your college and you droped out!! I finally quit but I was lucky to stay around long enough to learn what the course was all about. Stop bashing this company. They are amazing and for every little girl out that is bitching about this company there are 3 times as much praising this company because this business changed there lives. Its HARD to become successfull. If it wasnt you would be successfull.

Thanks for listning.

Roy
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

AUTHOR: Referral Marketing - (U.S.A.)

Your report is on the mark! Their business plan is now to hire employees to represent them as Area marketing managers...wow! and their sales arms are places like premier advertising/marketing, kluger marketing, etc. many, many more dba's to protect themselves. The sales aspect is operated in the field, at strip centers, events, malls, door to door, etc, and they flat out lie to sell you a certificate of services.

The product presentation is excellent, and some of the companies represented are 100% legit, but buyer beware please!
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

AUTHOR: Referral Marketing - (U.S.A.)

Your report is on the mark! Their business plan is now to hire employees to represent them as Area marketing managers...wow! and their sales arms are places like premier advertising/marketing, kluger marketing, etc. many, many more dba's to protect themselves. The sales aspect is operated in the field, at strip centers, events, malls, door to door, etc, and they flat out lie to sell you a certificate of services.

The product presentation is excellent, and some of the companies represented are 100% legit, but buyer beware please!
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#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

AUTHOR: Referral Marketing - (U.S.A.)

Your report is on the mark! Their business plan is now to hire employees to represent them as Area marketing managers...wow! and their sales arms are places like premier advertising/marketing, kluger marketing, etc. many, many more dba's to protect themselves. The sales aspect is operated in the field, at strip centers, events, malls, door to door, etc, and they flat out lie to sell you a certificate of services.

The product presentation is excellent, and some of the companies represented are 100% legit, but buyer beware please!
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#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Confirm- Rip Off and Scam, Unethical Business Practices

AUTHOR: Referral Marketing - (U.S.A.)

Your report is on the mark! Their business plan is now to hire employees to represent them as Area marketing managers...wow! and their sales arms are places like premier advertising/marketing, kluger marketing, etc. many, many more dba's to protect themselves. The sales aspect is operated in the field, at strip centers, events, malls, door to door, etc, and they flat out lie to sell you a certificate of services.

The product presentation is excellent, and some of the companies represented are 100% legit, but buyer beware please!
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#15 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Get Real...

AUTHOR: Willdogg3003 - (U.S.A.)

Ok guys, be serious for a minute. I moved to atlanta after 4 years of college. The only people really hiring anybody with no experience was "CV Marketing". I went in for an interview, then went on my day of observation, then started the next day! I worked there from August 2006 Right after college graduation....until June of this year 2008. Almost 2 whole years. I have a lot of friends in the business including Daniel Langston who is the owner of collosal marketing in memphis, tn. Another one being Brad Tooman, my leader who is the owner in Suwanee, GA. And Lara Seamon, who is an owner in Greenville, NC, and My first owner Christina Verzosa of CV Marketing (an amazing woman). All of these people are such hard workers, to get to ownership you have to be. Everything they do in the company is legit...they pay their taxes, they inform the new "distributors" that they are not entitled to workers comp....etc because they are not considered employees, as mentioned above to protect themselves from potential law suits because they can not control what people do in the field. People steal things, cuss at businesses, are rude....all things that the company shouldn't be responsible for. They give a lot of people an opportunity to make money, whereas no other job is obviously giving them a shot if they are taking the job in the first place. I made over 40k both years with the business....thats not slave money, the only reason people are unsuccessful is if they don't follow the 5, 8 and 4. People who have poor work ethics, that isn't the job for them and most of them quit, nobody is forcing them to be there. But like I said above I have a lot of friends that have become owners just in the time I was there. I never really wanted ownership...I have a wife and a child and I found something else to do with my life, left the company on good terms and am still very good friends with everybody I worked for and with. Don't go around making false statements about the companies man just because you are mad it didn't turn out well enough for you! Their product works, their system works, their business works obviously as long as they have been around, and the owners of this so called "scam" are making more money in a month then you probably are in a year at your "real job"! So don't be haters, the company is not a scam, its an opportunity if you work hard enough, not for everyone. But i have seen people excel and I've seen people do terrible, it just depends what type of person you are! I still buy the braves, hawks, and thrasher tickets every year, they work awesome and save me a ton of $....and I buy my 4 oils changes for 30$ too...they stand behind their product....the only ones who don't are the bad salespeople who lie in the field to customers....again not the companies fault and also why the company doesn't want to consider these people as employees!
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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Smart circle is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen!!!

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

Its true, every thing that Smart Circle maybe technically legal, but that doesn't mean they are a reputable company.

Last week I went in for an interview at Colossus Marketing located in Memphis. Everything seem great at first. The managers were very professional and seemed legit. I was excited at the opportunity to finally get a real marketing job. The interview went well, even though they didn't really answer the questions I asked. I was asked to come in for the follow up "interview". In that interview I tagged along with one of the "contractors." Everything seem cool, so I went in for the job on the next day. We sold coupon books, and didn't do so well, mainly because the local schools were doing fundraisers selling the same coupon books, so everyone in town already had one. After I done some thinking on my first day, I decided I didn't want to be a part company that had a hard time competeing with school fundraisers.

What pisses me off is they act like they are a marketing firm. They spend a great deal on impressing new employees, and pretending they are something they're not. I would rather sell Crispy Creme doughnuts than friggen coupon books. Door to door solicitation is stupid, annoying, and pathetic.

They have alot of talent in the offices, why not do real marketing? I can not believe that this is actually going on, and people are actually buying this crap, this includes the crap they are feeding the employees and the crap they are carrying door to door.

If you work for smart circle, or any of the other shady companies, do yourself and your "clients" a favor, GET A REAL JOB!!

Thanks for wasting my time a*&*&*&.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Wife who researched and asked questions......

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

My husband was recently in between jobs and applied online to one of the companies you are mentioning. Now the office is a 2 hour drive from where we reside, so as you can imagine I had a few questions about the company. My husband went to the first interview and was called back for the second interview (or the observation). When he came home every night he would explain everything that he was being trained. He stressed to his "leader" that I had some questions and wasn't sure of a few things.

(Now the people in this particular office are all young. To my knowledge, none of them are married or have children. So my concerns were quite different than their usual concerns they would get from new employees.)

The difference between our situation and the others who were employed there were as followed:
1. My husband was driving two hours to get to work, and two hours home every night. (He leaves at 6:30 AM and gets home at 11:00 PM)

2. Commission pay (Which was explained fully to my husband) which left me feeling financially insecure.

3. And we have a family that includes two children who only get to see him on Saturdays if he chooses not to participate in "Team Day", which is optional.

My husband also spoke to the owner or the person who runs this office who had no problem setting up a lunch with myself and my husband and addressing my concerns. My husband is still currently employed with the company. He has his up days and his down days as they all do. I support him completely in his decision to grow with the company. The people who my husband works with were completely professional, and attentive to our situation. I am not aware of to many companies who will take the time to "reassure" or address the concerns of your spouse! I know my employer wouldn't, would yours?

The reason I am openly stating my opinion and experience is because if the people who are posting negative reports about the company would have researched a little and ask the right questions they would have gotten answers to their questions or concerns. Most people don't ask the questions hence they will not get the answers they are looking for.

This is not a job or opportunity that everyone can do. Don't try to ruin the opportunity opportunity that awaits someone else because you were unable to go the extra mile.

What a great opportunity for those who truly want to take the extra mile, work hard, sacrifice a little, and work in a "non-traditional" work place (Meaning... not working 9-5 and getting paid every two weeks. Waiting for advancement that never comes).

I can go on and on as you can tell, but I will end with this.

For those who can and who are taking the extra mile and making the sacrifices for your future. GOOD LUCK!! I know and you know you will go far!

Thanks for taking the time.
BLC
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#18 Consumer Comment

Actaully...

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

I've worked indirectly for these companies in the past. I've never been an employee or a sub contractor for them, so the success of any of these companies means nothing to me. But I've seen in detail what they do and how it is done, I know the system very well. The fact is, they are not doing anything illegal no matter what you say about them. The fact that they subcontract their distributors has nothing to do with what you say. They do that because they can't control what these people do in the feild when they are selling product, if they hired these guys, then anything they did wrong would get the company sued out of existence. The individual offices keep the paper work that they do, but have a huge underlying computer system that tracks everything from taxes, to in and out products and even who they have interviews with from day to day. Every single cent is accounted for...I've seen the system and know exactly what it does and it is VERY legal. What each individual office does has nothing to do with the main office. The main office is only there to sell product to the individual office (satellite offices) on consignment. Each "satellite office" is independent of the main office, hence the reason they have their own names. Plus a lot of the offices are registered with the BBB with no complaints. They must have some sort of legality to pull that off.

And lastly, what you are saying and trying to do here IS illegal. Example: "Send them junk mail, SPAM, telemarketing calls, etc." Signing up other peoples' email addresses and phone numbers on web sites is fraud. Add that to the libel you have provided at the beginning of your rant, and that just plain negates everything you've tried to do here.

Simply, the company makes money by selling products, it incurs very little employee training costs because of their sub contracting and not hiring the individual distributor. Yes this poses problems with some people, but if you don't like it, don't do it. NO ONE is forcing you to take the interview, or even the second interview, or even the trial period they do. NO ONE forces people like you to do anything, but you're going to continue to blame others for your mistakes until the day you die, and deny doing it to the ends of the earth. Time to buck up and be an adult.
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