• Report: #1024019

Complaint Review: YourTrailerOnline.com

  • Submitted: Tue, March 05, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, March 05, 2013

  • Reported By: Jay — Lexington Kentucky United States of America
1001 Monarch Dr. Internet, Kentucky United States of America

YourTrailerOnline.com Rips off Employees and Customers Internet, Kentucky

*Author of original report: Jim and Diane Collins

*General Comment: Julie Griffin

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Jim and Diane Collins are from Lawrenceburg, Ky, but operate YourTrailerOnline.com from a basement suite on 1001 Monarch Dr. in the Beaumont Center in Lexington, KY. Jim is a pastor of another business named JC Ministries, Inc. During my interview with him on January 8, 2013, Jim told me that I would generate an annual salary of 60-70K and that this was a sales position unlike any others because I would be working alongside people with integrity. 

The following are three reasons why working for or doing business with Jim and Diane Collins puts you at risk for ripoff:

1. They ripoff their employees. Jim and Diane Collins improperly classified me as an independent contractor instead of an employee so that they could avoid paying taxes and wages - a scam they pulled with another former employee who was also ripped off of his earnings.  

2.They dodge accountability. Jim and Diane Collins are risky people to do business with because their entire operation is built around shielding themselves from liability. They refer to their underpaid receptionist as the "Executive in Finance" and make her sign her name on business forms despite her minimal effectiveness in financial procedures. Their "How to Buy Form" a purchasing contract that customers are required to sign before purchasing a trailer, states that there are no refunds on the deposit, there are no guaranteed delivery dates - even though this is often a pivotal factor in the point of sale - and that all defects are the fault of the manufacturing plant or the customer. If you call and ask who is in charge of the operation, you will not hear "Jim Collins." Jim Collins refers to himself as the "sales manager," and he will not spell out his name on many of the quotes that go out to customers despite the fact that he is the sole authority behind everything. Jim will blame salespersons for outgoing quotes that he not only approved of but sometimes created. Diane refuses to admit she is responsible for collecting payment, even though she is the "finance department." Jim and Diane changed their policy that sales representatives do not involve themselves in financial matters after Diane had trouble getting customers to agree to the terms of the contract that she and Jim created. Jim and Diane avoid phone calls from unsatisfied customers and solicit their former customers, who were satisfied, to convince currently apprehensive customers to proceed with their purchase. Jim and Diane blame the customers when sales representatives await their commission, and blame their sales representatives for the receptionist's low salary. 

3. They pride themselves in being "slick salespeople." After Andrew from PA told me he would be purchasing his BBQ trailer in cash, I was pulled into Jim Collin's office and told by him and his wife that I was incompetent, that that he would be taking over this client from that point on. I barely had time to process this before he and his wife were trying to convince me that I was doing a bad job - despite the fact that I made the first and only sale in January -and that I should work for their other business CVS securities selling security systems. I was then moved to an office on an secluded wing on the other side of the floor. They both bragged about their abilities to sell and sweet talk customers for the majority of the meeting. It wasn't until later that I was like, wait a minute, did Jim just take my sale?  I also realized that when I tried to bring up my commission for the sale I did make, they stated it was against policy for salespersons to involve themselves in the financial process. Jim brags that he once preached to a congregation of 2 million, and that God called him to save Kenya, and Diane brags that she used to make thousands of dollars selling fancy Italian sports cars. I learned later that they have little faith in their products, designate little time in organizing how they are presented, and don't really care about how they relate to the local economy. What they do believe in, and take pride in, is their ability to sell snow to an eskimo. 

From the day I and two other staff members - another salesperson and a receptionist - started training, I was improperly classified as an independent contractor. I was an employee. I spent at least eight hours a day in the office and worked at least five days a week. I was deprived sales calls if I was not in the office, and I was expected to attend all employee meetings. At one meeting I tried to clarify my understanding of my distinctive role of an independent, but this angered Jim who not only corrected me but threatened to take away my clients.  

The other salesperson, who assisted Diane in setting up payroll with QuickBooks, apparently opted for "low commission, high base pay." I was pressured by all three to fill out a 1099, but I never did following the advice of a CPA.

I was the first and only person to sell a trailer two weeks after I started, a "gooseneck" that sold for $14,000. I was curious about what my "high commission" from this sale would be and when I would receive it, but I was told it was against company policy for salespersons to be involved in the purchasing process. 

My goal was to then sell a concession trailer, as those were more expensive and would therefore generate a higher commission. After investing hours of listening and modifying Andrew from PA's BBQ trailer, he said that he was going to pay for the entire purchase in cash. I notified Jim immediately following this news, and the next day I was told I was too incompetent to handle the sale, and that it would now be Jim's client.

I sold a concession trailer the following week and created leads through my own means of marketing and networking. During this time, I had customers who, after deciding to purchase a trailer and speaking with the "financial department" aka Diane, call me back expressing their apprehension in wiring large amounts of cash when there was seldom information about the company online and when the form they were required to sign to purchase seemed "sketchy."

Jim and Diane began deflecting responsibility in some minor way every day. They soon encouraged their sales reps to involve themselves more in the purchasing procedure, in order to take the burdon of explaining the sketchy policy away from Diane. The receptionist was soon dubbed the, "executive in finance," despite her meager pay without benefits. (When she questioned this at an employee meeting, Jim exploded into one of the frequent tantrums I witnessed in my short time there, sending her away in tears.)

If there were any defects or problems with the operation of the trailer, the form made it clear that it was the fault of the manufacturing plant or the customer. The form absolved Jim and Diane from everything, including guaranteed delivery dates. Jim would soon say, "There are no perfect trailers," and Diane would laugh over their pending lawsuits. 

I later encountered a difficult customer who was local. He wanted a trailer for a mobile tech business and wanted to work out every detail about the trailer's structure and cost with a sales rep. After he challenged my limited product knowledge and some of the pricing, I turned to Jim to assist in the consultation. I was still denied access to inventories detailing profit margins. I figured that Jim would take over the sale as he did with Andrew from PA, but this customer's trailer, costing only a third of Andrew's, must not have been worth the time. Despite the customer's insistance that Jim respond to this inquiries, Jim avoided him and blamed me when the sale didn't go through. The customer insisted that this wasn't the case, that it was Jim's shady character as the owner of the company that made him walk.

After working for the company for over four weeks and receiving only half the commission from my first sale, I began to suspect that Jim and Diane were avoiding me. They put in less time at the office which was inconsistant with their previous tendencies to heavily monitor their employees through surveillance equipment and micromanage even the most minute tasks. While they were absent from the office, we were unable to process sales, resulting in the loss of two of my clients who wished to make a purchase the same day. 

As my frustration over their inconsistant behavior grew, so did my need for income. On Friday, February 22, 2013, I was supposed to receive the other half of my commission from a sale I make the month before. After being absent from the office all day, Jim and Diane arrived in the late afternoon. I called them all day pleading with one of them to speak with my customer who had questions about financing. He was worried that he would not receive his trailer on time if he did not pay by the deadline Jim gave of 12 PM that day. The customer also wanted an explanation of why he was required to sign a form that stated that no delivery dates were guaranteed, when the delivery date was a stipulation of his purchase. After speaking with Diane, Jim conferenced me and her on the intercom and slowly explained how the customer's frustration was my fault. In the process, the intercom shut off.

I then turned to see Jim running towards my office like a madman, and worried, I immediately called my dad. Diane, who was at Jim's heels, began joining Jim in taunting me for "calling my daddy." I later learned that Diane disconnected the intercom, and Jim, thinking it was me, lost all composure. I managed to escape with my life, but I had still not received any payment.

I contacted the last sales rep, and discovered that Jim ripped him off of wages and commission as well. I called his lawyer and a couple others to discuss my situation, and it seemed like an ideal case for pursuing litigation. However, after sending Jim and Diane emails detailing my intentions, I was sent my "final payout" over a week later. It was then that I finally received receipts detailing the the sale, deductions, and the profit of which I was given 20%. I sold nearly $50,000 in one month and made $7.50 an hour, meaning that in order to make 60-70K  a year, I would have to sell over 4x that amount, something that the company, according to the past sales representative, never did. 

I was very productive in that office despite the obstacles, and I made the most sales, but I was paid the least. I later learned that Jim was suggesting to the other employees that I was exchanging sexual favors for sales. I was shocked by Jim and Diane's conduct as employers and business owners, and I can't even imagine how they run their other business, the "ministry."

Salespersons were soon instructed everyday to involve themselves further with the financing. The receptionist was then dubbed the "executive in finances." All defects were blamed on the plant or the customer. However, everyone was denied access to any inventories detailing what percentage of every sale was profit - including me, despite their claim that I was contracted and my pay would be based on "20% of the profit."

Diane and Jim went back on their original policy to not involve salespersons in the financing and began encouraging more involvement of us everyday. On the last day I worked there, I received a message from Jim that said, "Ask him when we can expect the full balance and how he intends on paying." 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/05/2013 04:28 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/YourTrailerOnlinecom/Internet-Kentucky-40504/YourTrailerOnlinecom-Rips-off-Employees-and-Customers-Internet-Kentucky-1024019. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Jim and Diane Collins

AUTHOR: Jack - ()

This is indeed Julie Griffin. My reason for posting the report was to warn other job seekers or potential customers of the perils of doing business with the company, YourTrailerOnline.com. However, I believe that Jim and Diane Collins have done that job for me.

In the short time that I worked for the company, I never once saw anybody take the initiative to do anything productive or honorable. The fact that someone took the time to scrutinize my facebook account and post my pictures, however, is congruent with this company's lack of professionalism. 

Also, it's not exactly intelligent to instigate further rebuttals because it just raises the Rip Off Report on YouTrailerOnline's SEO. And after reading all of the posts, I don't believe that it is my reputation that suffers the most damage here. 
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#2 General Comment

Julie Griffin

AUTHOR: Kitari - ()

Since you were so open in sharing the personal information for the owners of this company, I figure I will introduce you.  I am assuming that this is Julie Griffin from Lexington, KY since I searched this company on facebook, and you came up after some digging.  My first impressions are very scattered when it comes to your facebook account which is public, if anyone would like to look- http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12934809

1. You are a graduate from the University of Kentucky with a major in English, yet I would assume that a disgruntled teenage girl wrote this report.

2. You openly admit to being a racist.  "Is it because deep down I'm racist or because I feel threatened by overt masculinity?" 

3. Why is a girl that is so "highly educated" working in a sales position that requires no education or experience?

4. For a disgruntled employee, you are surely in no rush to eliminate your pictures or "advertisements" that refer to trailers as being "sexy" from your page.

To get on with further dissecting your post about yourtraileronline.com, you spoke of your annual salary.  First of all, a commissioned sales person has no limit.  I have personally worked in sales for the past 2 years and my income has exceeded those numbers during my second year due to my commitment and persistence in pushing my sales. 

If you work for a car dealership, a cell phone pagoda, a real estate agent,  or any position that is commission-based with no base salary, you will be classified as an independent contractor.  It has nothing to do with avoiding taxes or wages, it is how these types of positions work.   As for previous employees- shouldn't you allow them to speak for themselves?

When it comes to accountability, all businesses carry insurance do they not?  When you go in for surgery do you not have to sign forms that say you can possibly DIE from this procedure?  If businesses do not protect themselves from liability, they are doomed to fail from scam artists!  Accountability and liability have two different definitions, but as an English major, I would assume you know all about this.

Deposits are either refundable or non-refundable, I do not blame them for keeping it in case a deal falls through to save them from wasted time and energy.  As far as Jim being the "sales manager", I'm sure he wears at least a dozen hats.  Between being a pastor, running a nonprofit, owning several businesses, and having a family; why wouldn't he have a different title for each position?  Diane is a bank?  I am confused at this point... Most finance departments do not collect money, but work with banks or lending companies to make sure that financing can be established.  Collection agencies and banks collect money.

When picking a company to work with it is important to get customer reviews.  What is wrong with having satisfied customers provide a reference for the company?  And customers are not always the problem when commissions don't come through- either the sale is not final due to the manufacturer, lenders reviewing documents and not releasing funds, the customer not providing crucial information to the sale, or the salesperson not completing the sale.  And yes, productivity not only affects the sales people, but hourly employees as well.  With my company, when we had good sales, our hourly employees would receive a bonus.

By moving you to their other company, and you still being able to do trailer sales, were you not given even MORE opportunity to make MORE $$$$$?  During my slow season I would LOVE to be given a different area to work on.... And if they thought you were doing "bad" why would they move you to another department?  When he "took" your sale, he said you were incompetent, clearly some of the story is not coming through here......... Again, as a salesperson, you are typically not involved in the finance process.  That is what a finance department is for.  Why waste time piddling with numbers, when I can make more sales?!  And then you point out the man's dream?  What does his call to Africa have to do with anything, besides you poking fun at a person's religious beliefs?  Apparently these people place their "faith" in a higher power, and not their product, and if they did sell a bad product- why do they have satisfied customers???  From their website and other information I can find on this company they must spend a great deal organizing how their products are presented!  Not only that, but what does a .com care about a LOCAL economy?  It is a nationwide business.

And now we are back on your being "improperly classified".  Haven't we gone over this?  Some sales people work 90+ hours a week and bring home $0.00.  Did you not have a company cell phone or request that your calls being forwarded to your personal cell phone?  If you were in the office 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week, then how were you deprived calls?  Did you ask to change your hours to accommodate your customers needs?  At the meeting where you brought up your pay status, I'm surprised this man did not fire you!  An employee meeting is not a place to bring up personal finances!  Have you ever worked before this?!?!

Any tax professional will tell you a 1099 is what you receive from your employer, not what you fill out.  I believe what you are trying to describe here is a W-9.  Regardless of whether you signed or not, if you are commission-only employee, they may still send you a 1099 if you made over $600.00, and you may be audited by the IRS if you do not report this income on your taxes.

Again, why focus on how much you are making- SELL SELL SELL!

I'm still lost, there's something missing.  I can't believe a successful business owner would call someone incompetent for no apparent reason.  Something happened with this customer, or previous deal that you are not sharing here.

Your own means of marketing and networking?  Facebook?  Ebay? Craigslist? No wonder your customers were apprehensive.  Have you heard of scams?  Did you talk to Jim and Diane about your marketing techniques before implementing them?

You aren't really clear here- who dubbed the receptionist "executive in finance"? You? Or the owners? Or the secretary?  Again with the pay- if she didn't want the job, she would not have taken the job.  And again I am surprised she was not asked to leave for confronting the boss at an employee meeting about personal finances!!!  I wouldn't be surprised if this man didn't rip his own hair out with the lack of professionalism, intelligence, and experience in his office!

Again, insurance.  Enough said.  I couldn't find anything online about pending lawsuits on this company.  Care to divulge?

Apparently you already claimed this "difficult" customer.  Why would he divulge his profit margins at this point when he already made clear that you were not going to be given access to this information?  Again, wasting time.  Maybe Jim didn't want to "take" another of your customers as you accused him of earlier in this post?  As for the customer's opinion, best let them share it!  Where is his post?

Do you think they maybe began to trust you by being at the office less?  They must have moved on from your incompetency, and realized that maybe you can handle this since you had been with them for over a month.... but clearly not, since you lost 2 customers in one day!

The only inconsistency I see in this post is from you- nothing is making sense by this point.  Why wouldn't he blame you for the customer wanting the delivery date as part of the deal?  If you promised something that the company did not provide, then you are lying to the customer!

Wow.  I would taunt you for calling your daddy too.  How old is this man?  Is he overweight or bad knees?  "Like a madman"- did he have a knife, crazy eyes, and straight jacket on?  Well, since you "escaped with your life" I imagine he had some sort of weapon, or you are just crazy.

So after barely escaping the clutches of the madman with a gun (or was it a knife), you threatened them with an email?  Clearly you have never even worked for a McDonald's.  Girl, it is time to grow up.  You have to work for your money.  You can go to school for a long time, but eventually the grants run out.  Education does not guarantee you a $90k salary job playing on facebook all day.  And you are basing your figures on yet another employee who had the same belief to screw these people out of money!!!

A ministry is not a business.  It is a nonprofit organization.  Also did some research into that, it seems very compassionate, loving, and LEGITIMATE.  Again, you are trying to hold these people's religious beliefs over their head? 

Repeat, repeat, repeat.  English major who is repetitive?  Funny.

The only ripoff I see in this report, is you.  Do not hire Julie Griffin.  This girl not only slanders a whole company, but apparently is incompetent, a racist, antisemitic, and just foolish.  I surely hope you did not think you could get unemployment benefits or severance pay when you threatened them, and then posted something like this for the public eye.  Best walk yourself on down to the welfare office, and book a room at the homeless shelter; assuming you haven't been arrested for hate crime when you posted this!  
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