• Report: #150100

Complaint Review: Vector Marketing Cutco

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  • Submitted: Sun, July 17, 2005
  • Updated: Tue, June 16, 2009

  • Reported By:Dashwood Ontario
Vector Marketing Cutco
www.vectormarketing.ca Nationwide U.S.A.

Vector Marketing (Cutco) Paycheque rip-offs, dishonesty! London Ontario Canada

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Whoah pony.

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Okay, so I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who worked for Vector marketing and did very well with the company, made lots of money and the job got them through college. Then I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who did not do so well, and left the company with very little to show other than bitterness and resentment.

Well as of right now I am still with the company, and I am very unsure of whether I should stay or not. People say that the reason lots of students do not do well with the company is because they are lasy or do not want to work, and I would like to mention right off the bat, that I am far from being that type of person at all, and I know plenty of people who left the company and they aren't not lasy either. So I'm gunna tell my story, and I do not want anyone accusing me of being "lazy" or not doing my job. Because on top of this I work another job as well and have been noted to be a very hard worker.

So I got hired at Vector which was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and started my training right away. The training was unpaid. Then I had to fork over $115.00 with one days notice for my demo set of knives and had to borrow the money from my dad. Then I booked demonstrations and began to work hard at what the company labelled me as a promising rep. I thought this job was great!

I worked it through the week and my other job on the weekend. It was very hard in the beginning because I had to build a clientle, and learn strategies for convincing people to allow me into their homes to do demos, getting a hold of people to call to actually book the demos, then trying to actually sell the product. But I thought with a little time I would get the hang of it. I worked my ass off for two weeks and was really exicted to see my first paycheque come. But when it did I was short about $45.00, which means I did not get paid for at least 3 demonstrations.

I asked my manager about it and he could not give me a straight answer for why and mumbled something about it having to do with my commission and that I would see it on my next paycheque. So I worked my ass of again that week, spending about $80.00 on gas alone to get from demo to demo. That was 3/4 of my paycheque gone just on gas. And on my next paycheque I did not recieve the $45 I was missing from my previous paycheque, and I had been shorted another $20 on the paycheque I had just recieved. So I was beginning to question the company.

Then our district's team was to go to a conference about 4 hours away from our office. And my manager wanted desperately for me to go. I knew I couldn't afford $90 to go to a conference in which I would watch other reps get recognition for selling a lot of Cutco and hear the newest sales pitch for selling the company's product. I had also booked a doctor's appointment that day that I knew shouldn't put off much longer and couldn't have re-scheduled for another month and a half. So I told my manager I could not attend.

My manager not only made me feel incredibly guilty about not going he also had the nerve to ask who my doctor was, which clinic I normally go to and what the appointment was for. I thought he had some nerve! I am not completely familiar with the rights and regualtions of the labour board, but I am pretty sure he was inviolation of that agreement. It made me think of a lot of other things I had noticed since being with the company.

Everyone who has ever been with the company knows that they stress the importance of you seeing friends and family for your first demonstrations. I at first thought this was great because I come from a small town and happen to have an extremely large family with lots of great-aunts and uncles. So I knew a lot of people who would definitely see me for a demonstration.

I sold quite a bit in my first week with the company and I was told that because of my great success during my first week I would receive some product for free. The company calls this their "FAST START CONTEST" I have been with the company for 2 months and have not recieved my prizes for that contest that they say I apparently won.

On top of that one my aunts who I did a demonstration for during my first week, and who also bought a set of knives, has yet to recieve them. She called the head office to tell them about it and they actuallyhung up on her.

And it is not only the company has treated me that pisses me off its also the way they have taught their reps to do the demo and sell the product. They stress that it is all suppose to be a "no pressure" situation. But on several occassions I have made my own family feel very awkward and uncomfortable about saying "no" to me. When I told my manager that, he said "Oh...hmm, well thats weird". Not sure of what to do with this poor attempt at advice, I decided to try being less pushy during the demonstration, following the company's policy of "no pressure" during the demo. I sold less that week than I had done previously, but felt a little better about myself.

Well My manager wanted to know why I hadn't sold as much, and I told him it was because I felt I was being too pushy and some of the people I was doing demos for thought the sets of knives were quite expensive and they couldn't afford at that time. It was the truth. And this was my manager's response: "Well reps usually sell 6 out of 10 demos, and you only sold 4 out of 10. Maybe you are doing something wrong. Did you not go over payment plans with them, or maybe you didn't stress how good the product actually is. Stress the value in the product, go over payment plans and how the sets have discounted prices, and be more persistant and you will sell more."

So he basically told me to be pushy! I was confused! You see they want you to sell huge sets to all their customers, and the truth is that nobody needs a whole set and most people will get by with only having a couple of the companies knives. And I am not going to lie to people (especially people I know) and try and sell them a large, over-priced set of knives. I feel guilty making people feel obligated to buy something so expensive, when they probably won't need or use the product. And I feel even worse when they feel awkward telling me they can't afford the product. I all around feel like this job is making me into a dishonest person.

The company is manipulative because they make students feel like this is such a great and awesome job, when instead I feel like I have been reeled in, ripped apart, and spit back out! I have put forth a lot of money for gas and spent more money trying to keep this job than I have actually made.I have been lied to by the company and feel that I have been lying to my costumers during my demonstrations. On top of all this I am being ripped off on my paycheques. And I know I'm not alone on this.

I thought at first it was just that our office was run by a manager who was very dishonest. I thought that it was probably Not the whole company at large, but I have looked at all these complaints and seen that there are people all over with the same problems as me.

Maybe it is me! Maybe being a sales rep is just not the type of job for me. But when it comes to Vector Marketing, being a sales rep is not the type of job for a lot more people than I'd expect. The biggest complaint about this job is being ripped off on paycheques, being forced to attend unpaid meetings and conferences, paying for demo sets, gas/milage, and to actually go to these conferences.

I just can't understand why a company would do this to students! University and College Students!! People with huge debts and student loans to pay back! These rich district managers of all these offices in the company are ripping off poor college students!! It's sick!!

So in conclusion anyone considering taking a job with the company I give you strong advice to just be careful. Like I said in the beginning, some people do really really well with the company. But a HELLVA lot more do not! There are warning signs and the first will probably be shortages on paycheques. Keep in mind as well that with working with this company as a sales rep you are an independent contractor and should not be forced into going to unpaid meetings or conferences, nor should you have to tell your manager anything personal (like what a doctor's appointment is for). Thanks for your time in reading my complaint!

C
London, Ontario
Canada

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/17/2005 01:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Vector-Marketing-Cutco/nationwide/Vector-Marketing-Cutco-Paycheque-rip-offs-dishonesty-London-Ontario-Canada-150100. 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.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Whoah pony.

AUTHOR: The Objective Eye - (Canada)

I sympathize with your manager's lack of common sense and inability to work with you 1-on-1. You have to remember (and it's no excuse) that most managers aren't really trained on how to manage people, but moreso how to run interviews and training. After that, they are --basically-- on their own.

I do take some offense with remarks you made about the product and home office. I worked for Vector for 6+ years in Canada and never once had processing issues, product issues, fast start issues or paycheque issues personally or for any of my reps. The folks at Home Office work hard and take a lot of crap from arrogant little pricks that have no manners. I think you need to recontact Vector's home office in Oakville and speak to someone higher than a CSR. (And please respond to this post once you do and tell me how it goes!) You earned that Fast Start product, you should get it and own it.

Cutco is not overpriced by the way... and a family that cooks 2-3 meals a day will use all the pieces. They may not use the butcher knife and carving set everyday, that I'll concede.. but you have to admit that you can't get by on a paring knife and petite carver either. My friends and family proudly own Cutco for over 15 years and they'll tell you this: "Ya, it may have seemed a bit much at first, but after 15 years, seeing it still perform, it was worth it." My wife and I have a full homey+8 on the counter with super shears (in pearl of course) and at first she was like "you used to sell this??" with a smirk... and now she's like "this stuff's awesome".

From the sounds of your post, you're a hard worker that had a decent demo, but you felt a little pushy or unsure of how pushy you should or shouldn't be. That's natural when you "sell" anything. Maybe you aren't wired for sales. But for someone who isn't, sounds like you didn't do too badly.

Quote from your manager (from your post):
"Well reps usually sell 6 out of 10 demos, and you only sold 4 out of 10. Maybe you are doing something wrong. Did you not go over payment plans with them, or maybe you didn't stress how good the product actually is. Stress the value in the product, go over payment plans and how the sets have discounted prices, and be more persistant and you will sell more."

Reps when they start DON'T sell 6/10. That's hogwash. My first weekend was half of that. For you to go 4/10 is a great sales ratio for someone who's never done anything like this before, wasn't wired for sales and just learned the demo. You're not doing ANYTHING wrong. You didn't sell anyone anything. They saw a great product and bought it.. despite the inexperienced demo. And did you being their niece, kid's friend, granddaughter etc.. help? Well maybe.. it didn't hurt. But no one's going to spend hundreds on Cutco to help you out. They may as well have just given you the $200 they spent in cash. THAT makes more sense!

Had your manager been smart (and he wasn't), he would have encouraged you to continue to work hard and do demos. People don't buy Cutco because you SELL it to them. People buy it because you do a great demo and they see the value through your enthusiasm and conviction in the product.

Had you been in my office, I would have said to you, "Hey 4/10 is a good start, but let's not focus on the 4, let's focus on the 10. You just keep showing people Cutco and that 4 will naturally make it's way up to 6 or 7 when you (a) get better at your demo, (b) start hearing stories from your customers that get their Cutco and (c) when you come to the meeting/workshop to continue your education." I'da probably given you a high-five at that point and shown you where to get more rope and order forms.

I sold a ton of Cutco in my first year (over 2000 customers) and not once did I even trick someone or push someone into buying it. I just did a great demo, had some fun and people bought. /shrug So I just kept showing people. Ya, I got referrals that I had to call and some said no, but some said yes.. so it balanced out.

As far as conferences and training being unpaid. Sister, in ANY sales job, personal growth and in house training is RARELY paid. In fact, MOST times you pay for it. That's not Vector screwing you, that's just the nature of sales. Ask any real estate or insurance agent. Ask any Mary Kay, Tupperware or Pampered Chef rep.

Well, that's it from me. You're right when you say more people fail than succeed. And some of the blame falls on their shoulders and some of the blame falls on the shoulder of the inexperienced managers that don't screen them out.
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