I was enticed by a Job offer from Vector Marketing after responding to an ad that said $12/hr which I later found to be a total misrepresentation of their pay system but I called up and was told nothing more about the job than it not being door-to-door sales or telemarketing (which turned out to be a lie).
I got there to find out it was in-home presentation and although I had to go to people's houses, knock on their doors, and give them a salespitch (which suffices to the FTC's definition of door-to-door) other promises of being my own boss and making good cash kept me wanting the job. They hired me, as they hire almost everyone (although they tell you before the "interviews they only have a few positions available), and I went to training.
It was in training that I found out I had to call people up and solicit sales pitch appointment (even though they said no telemarketing). I was dead set against telemarketing as I find it intrusive and I never came back. I lost at least 9 hours because of their deceptive tactics to recruit me and according to their ad ($12/hr) I should have been paid at least $96, but they won't pay for training.
Further I was kind of turned off by the purchase or deposit on their demo kit, being told I was my own boss and being an independant contractor with no employee rights but then having to follow strict rules and work under a manager, and having to even pay for some optional conferences. Then upon further research of the company I found out that Vector and Cutco have been sued by Arizona in 1990, ordered by Wisconsin not to decieve their recruits anymore in 1994, and sued yet again Australia nine years after the Arizona lawsuit for fraudulant business practices and each time settled and promised not to mislead it's recruits anymore.
I found out David Tatar, a Wisconsin consumer protection investigator, says they surveyed 940 Vector recruits in 1992 and found that almost half either earned nothing or lost money working for Vector and that workers in that state earned less than $3 a day on average selling cutlery for Vector. I found out Vector managers make more commission off their new recruits than even their new recruits do until they sell about $3000 worth making for more incentive to recruit quantitatively instead of qualitatively.
I found out the largest Canadian newspaper, The Toronto Star, wrote an article about fraudulant job advertising in 1994 and wrote that they decided not to run Vector's ads anymore. And I found out that the Better Business Bureau has processed 29 complaints for their lead office in Olean, NY and 6 complaints for their Wilmington, DE location (one of which had to be resolved by a BBB judge) in the last 36 months- which is quite high for the Better Business Bureau especially when considering people at the age of Vector workers generally don't even know who or what the BBB are. Plus there are numerous sites on the internet by disgruntled former workers, one of which is an online petition to "STOP the Scamful Ways of Vector Marketing and Cutco" that has over 1600 signatures.
Some deceptive things they've been known to say during recruiting are:
a)saying their company has been in business for over 50 years because Cutco has but Vector, whose doing the recruiting and who is contracting out the work, has been in business about half of that
b)saying they are a fortune 500 company while they were purchased from a fortune 500 company 20 years ago
c)talking about scholarship opportunities when only 50 people each summer get real one and they claim to have recruited over 40,000 students last summer (meaning a tenth of a percent), only 1 or 2 of those get the maximum amount of $1000 while more than half of the very small percentage of scholarship winners only get $250 ($100 more than what they paid for demo knives), and one of their "scholarship" programs only gives money to their school, not their reps, only as a donation and their rep's tuition doesn't get paid by it (yet they still call it a scholarship):
d)saying they will be their own boss while they have to go through training, work under a manager, make sales reports, and make meetings
e)saying they are "guaranteed" a minimum base amount per appointment when if they don't sell they don't get paid anything if the appointment isn't a qualified one by their standards and doesn't meet their restrictions of being one-on-one with someone who is permanently employed and over 25 years old (no housewives, friends under 25, and no group appointments or you don't get paid)
Some of the sales tactics are often considered unethical, underhanded, or fraudulant like:
1)decieving a potential customer over the phone as to why they want to come over: reps have been taught to say their purpose is perfecting a presentation, gaining business experience, anything but giving a sales pitch on knives
2)asking them whether or not the potential customer will buy the set the rep wants them to buy and moving on to the payent plan for it and if not they move on to the next one the rep want them to buy instead of discovering things about the customer and picking out the perfect set for them with that information
3)asking them for the contact info of their friends and family instead of leaving their own contact info behind.
4) giving often fraudulant information such as their Henckles using 420A steel:
when they use a proprietary blend much better than 420A or using information from an ad Cutco made up for Henckels making it look like an 18 pc set of Henckels 5 Star is over $1000:
when 18 pc Henckels 5 Star sets sell at metrokitchen.com and cooking.com for $480.
Some student newspapers have recently come out with stories about a nation-wide student group opposed to the company. Some examples are:
the Cornell University's Daily Sun:
University of Memphis Daily Helmsman:
and Illinois State University Daily Helmsman: