I am writing to warn all poor Utah folks about Star Management. Here is my story and the only reason I know they are a scam is because I felt funny about the "interview" and looked up to see if others had any similar experiences. Feel free to reference ripoff report for Ultimate Fragrance. Other names these companies go by is World Perfume, Scentura, and Elite Fragrance. This is a scam Job offer. Here is how it went down for me....sadly, verbatim to the report on Ultimate Fragrance.
I found an ad on KSL. It is posted below:
I responded through email because I was interested in the receptionist position. I was called in for an interview.
First thing I notice is the location of the office. Very shabby, no other offices occupied the building. I'm actually holding onto my purse. A puny printed paper served as their sign. No actual name printed on the door/window. I think it is a little sketchy but it might just be where they are doing the interviews. I go into the office and it is very shabby, poorly decorated. Cheap paint and dollar store decorations with clashing paint. Oh well, work with what you got right? Four other people are in the room waiting to be interview. I am interview not alone but with another person. I am asked some questions about how I would lead/manage, how I rate myself on a 1-10, to describe myself in one word. Then asked if I would like the Entry-Level Manager job if I didn't get the receptionist position. I'm unemployed so yeah, a job is a job. She says that's great and the interview is over. That's it? No questioning me about my past experience, no asking for my expectations, no asking if I had questions, nothing.
I only had to wait a couple hours before I was called back for a "second interview". I was not told whether is was for the Reception position only that I needed to "dress sharp" (this was the second time I was told that verbatim) and bring a pen and notepad and expect to be there 2 1/2 hrs. That is a long interview! But okay.
The next day I come to the same shabby office only to see 30 some odd people stuffed inside. I was told they were only hiring 1 Reception and 15 entry-level managers. I ignore the competition. Then a woman comes out and says the "training" will begin. We are all ushered into a room with a white board and a bit of company information (name, website and phone number). The instructor was very entertaining, starting with a joke, making funny references etc. She explains the company, sharing stories of the President of the company Larry Haughn who went from being homeless to a billion dollar industry owner. She says how they sell over 40 top fragrances (20 for men, 20 for women) and that it was once WMI and Larry broke it up and sold off the pieces, making the company is what it is today. From here I'm thinking Star Management is this huge company. They say they are primarily on the coast but are looking to expand to the inner states and they have only been in Utah for 3 months. (I later find out when I look up the website we were given that this is a Distributer company, and they get the fragrances they sell FROM the billion dollar company...which remains nameless). We are told to take good notes, are told how their products are sold for only $30 as opposed to the more expensive $150 bottles and that their are O de Parfume, which is the good stuff. Why do they sell theirs for so cheap? They never say.
She has us write down the qualities we should have in training. They are
1. Positive Attitude
4. Reliable transportation
She explains why they don't require experience, which was my first tip off that something was weird but I found it refreshing. Her reasoning is that we are able to be taught the right way, her way. Someone with experience is set in their ways. She only mentions our duties once in the whole 2 1/2 hours. To hire staff and distributors.
She talks about the entire fragrance industry, touching on the differences between Ode Parfume (higher oil) and Ode Toilette (lower). How the cost of a bottle of perfume is broken up. She talks about Mark Leracy, the Opium Creator and how he now makes renditions of pefumes because one can't patent a fragrance or anything natural, only a name.
Then she goes on to talk about the training. She described it as hard...really hard...Hell. Great. It will be 6-8 weeks. We will not have a set earned income. One guy earned $50 a week and another earned $800. She says we can expect a couple hundred and that they are going to pay us "as little as possible" but we'll be paid weekly. She says in training we can earn three ways.
1. Sales and Profit
2. Bonuses (which we get after each phase completion)
3. Overrides (which is working with someone??)
She broke the 8 weeks into Phases titling Basics, where we will learn marketing and merchandizing. She says how can we teach our distributors if we don't know the information too? Phase 2 is Training and Evaluating which will train us to have better people skills. Phase 3 is Management, where we will manage 2-3 people, give 5-10 meetings in front of the class, pick an office location etc. Phase 4 is Administration where we'll learn accounts rec and payable, budgeting, scheduling, inventory, banking, and nut balancing.
But then after training, that we'll make $30K and again paid weekly. We are not told in what form. Or we can get paid in option 2 which is POA which is basically based off sales which doubles your salary.
She then tells us we must sign a contract to only sell their product, be open 50 weeks a year etc. She then gets into benefits. Only health care provided by Aflac. Nothing else. Oh except for free Las Vegas vacations, free cars to top rookie performers, possible four seasons staying in Paris by Larry Haughn himself! Oh and profit sharing. Every 3 months we'd get a bonus check for a couple grand.
At the end she goes through and talks to each of us, not alone, calls us out and asks the same dumb interview questions. "On a 1-10, how interested are you?" "Are you a leader?" "Can you start Monday?" Why would they ask us that if only 10-12 out of the 30 there would be hired? Then in groups of 3-4 we are called out. In my group I'm told that we all were hired and will be starting Monday. We are never asked to fill out W9 Forms. We are told to fill out a form asking if we've ever declared bankruptcy, been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, etc. They want copies of our DL and social security card
They want us to start Monday and the training would be M-F 9-5:30 and Saturday 10:00-3:00.
I look up the website, find the Ripoff Report for Ultimate Fragrance and my jaw drops. There are things Verbatim that are similar and that report was in 2008 in St. Louis! Apparently this type of company is all over and they will end up putting your office in your name, all bills everything. Not a good idea! Please please read this. If nothing else, find the eerie similarities in both accounts. That is all I needed to walk away. Fortunately I found out before giving them all my personal information. I'm going to try to stop all the people "hired" tomorrow from throwing their information into the wrong hands.