I responded to an ad in the Redlands Daily Facts that sounded something very close to, "We are looking for managers/asst managers to help run new locations." I'm sure there was a no experience needed/will train in there as well.
I called the company and left a message. After about a week, and completely forgetting that I had called this place, Liz Nowicki gave me a call. While we are talking, I recognize Safety Dance by Men Without Hats playing rather loudly in the background. It doesn't alarm me.
I was then instructed to call back and speak with Mark Gray. Before I go any further, Liz Nowicki is the Branch Manager and originates from North Carolina and Arkansas. Mark Grey is a Regional/Diviosnal Manager and originates from San Antonio, TX. He has also has offices including C&S Marketing in Fresno (which has been reported on this site) as well as other locations including Tulsa, OKLAHOMA.
So I called Mark, and he immediately tried to set me up for a quick 10 minute interview. I went in the next day, and had my interview with Wild 96.1 playing loudly in the background.
Mark told me that if he liked me, I would receive a call from him later that day. I got the call and was asked to come in for a second interview that would last 2 hours, and I should "dress to impress."
During the first interview, led by Mark Grey, we were told to write down the names of 100 people we new. Not really caring at that point, I wrote down everbody in my family, including toddlers. Then we are asked, "How man of you would like to walk out of here tomorrow with an extra $500 in your pocket?" DUH!!!!!!!!!!!
So he starts talking about how this not a pyramid scheme like Kirby Vacuums, or multi-level marketing. Then he moves on to telling us that this is not door to door, in home, or telemarketing. At this point I'm asking myself, how do they sell this stuff then?
Now we're having a contest. FFAAR (Friends Family Associates Acquaintances and Relatives), these are the people we are targeting that night. So what do I do? I go home, hop on the phone (tele-marketing), visit my aunts house (in-home), and go through my neighborhood (door to door), trying to win a $1,000 bonus for selling the most. At this point, I am more concerned about winning the grand than what I did the night before being exactly what Mark told us we wouldn't be doing.
Each bottle is $30, you give them 20 of it, and you make 10. I sold 20 bottles, made $200, and sold more than everyone else. But, I didn't get $1,000. Why? Because Mark said that we had a group goal of 250, and that was not met. In order for the top seller to get that $1,000, the group would have had to meet or exceed that goal.
I swear he said nothing about that when he was explaining the contest, and nobody else in our "class" or "group" seemed to remember it either. But, stupid as I am, I continued to go back. Now, each day, 2-3 people don't come back. They were referred to as the weak ones.
Mark sets the remaing individuals into groups of 2 or 3 with one of this "trainers." I went on my first day with Liz and another person from my group. We drove MY truck, I wasn't comensated for gas, and we walked around my town hitting gas stations, fast food, mechanics, car dealerships, liquor stores, you name it. We also bug just about everybody on the street.
I wound up selling nothing that day, so, I made no money that day. The next day, I go out with just Liz. We cover a three mile stretch of a busy street in a nearby city. Again, my truck, and four bucks for gas money this day. I managed to sell four.
One thing you will realize if you happen to get caught up with one of these companies is that, while you are supposed to sell for $30, you are encouraged to let them go for no less than $20. Each day there is a group goal and bonuses. So, you let a bottle go for $20, you make no money off of it, and you just hope that your group collects on that bonus so that you have some money in your pocket.
My fourth day, I leave on a "Fun Car." This is where we take MY truck, drive for about an hour, sell out there, get a room for the night, and sell again the next day. The places we go to are supposedly proven hot-spots for selling perfume... Hiding behind a tree in the Wal-Mart parking lot, being careful to stay away from the front of the store, and hiding from security is not my idea of a hot spot.
Mark and Liz both told me and the group that they paid for the gas and the room. My trainer for the fun car told me that we all had to chip in to pay for gas. I was like, what the !@#$!!!!!!! He said, don't worry, you get your money back when you sell a bottle. Since I put in $20 for gas, I figured I would just keep all of the money from my first transaction.
No, not really. I sold my first bottle, and told the trainer that I was going to keep the money to pay myself back. He said, no, we have to meet a goal and then you can get your money back. I asked him, what if we don't meet that goal?, he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
I managed to sell 7 bottles that day. I should have $70 in my pocket, plus 20 more for the gas. I would estimate that I had maybe $15 in my pocket from letting them all go for cheap. Remember, I was trying to reach our group goal, and collect a $200 bonus.
Then I learned that we also had to chip in for the room because we didn't hit out "Room Bottle." So, there's a "gas bottle" and a "room bottle." Both are a numerical goal of bottles that should be sold. So we pass a Motel 6 as we are entering "territory" - the place we stop and try to sell - and the trainer says that's where we are staying tonight.
At that point, I got mad. I said look F*&^%er, don't you think we could stay somewhere a little cheaper so we don't have to spend so much money? And he says that he knows how to get rooms for cheap, and that we always stay at Motel 6. Okay, company policy I guess.
Well, this is how you get rooms for cheap. I guess Motel 6 won't allow more than two people to stay in a room. Well we have 3 people. Hmmm.. Anyway, so the trainer goes to the front desk and says, hey we have a sick person and we would like for them to stay in the room with us so we can keep an eye on them. They usually oblige, and two people have to share a bed.
I really wasn't going for this job at that point. I announced that I would be leaving, and stranding the both of them in Hemet, CA (about 45 minutes from home for me) and that they could figure out how to get a ride back on their own. I didn't want anything else to do with this d**n operation.
I turned in all of my remaining bottles, and politely asked for my $20 for gas. "Well, I had to pay for the room." I was trying seriously hard not to toss him over the second floor railing. I said, look, I'm not staying in this room tonight, and I will not pay for you two to stay here. He just shrugged his shoulders again.
A few other minor details. While at the Motel, my trainer tried to call Mark to tell him I was leaving. Mark could not be reached.
I guess I'm stupid or something, but to me, if I was a business man, and I had people staying the night anywhere, I would be reachable. You know, in case of an emergency or something, but like I said, I'm stupid. Also, Mark was not reachable for the next two days, and my voicemail messages were not returned.
I finally got a hold of him and asked to come in and speak with him. He agreed, and I went in. This is two days ago, Monday May 2nd. Realizing that it was a job where I could make money, I asked him for my job back.
At this point, I'm thinking, I'll just do this crap while I find a new job. I also requested that he give my $20. He did.
I came in the next day, Tuesday the 3rd. Surprise Suprise, after only one week in the business, I've been promoted to trainer. Tuesday's assignment: Take one new person, since a new group of about 25 starts each week, and another trainer that has been there longer than me, take MY truck and hit territory and show the new person how to sell.
I said to hell with this. I promptly dropped those two individuals back at the office, turned in my 15 bottles of cologned and left without saying a word. I was not given any type of gas money either.
If you actually read all of this, you are either agreeing with me because you fell for the same scam, or you are a very wise individual who decided to research the company before taking the bait.
I want to thank you for reading this, and I am willing to join a class-action suit against either Platinum Marketing, or Scentura Creations.
A brief timeline of my employment there:
I don't remember when I called them, and I don't remember when they called me.
Thursday, April 21st is when I interviewed.
Friday, April 22nd was my 2nd interview.
Monday, April 25th was my first day.
Thursday, April 28th is when I left for the funcar and quit.
Monday, May 2nd is when I got my job back
Tuesday, May 3rd is when I quit for good.
DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM!
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