• Report: #61426

Complaint Review: Celebrity Prime Foods

  • Submitted: Sat, June 21, 2003
  • Updated: Thu, April 14, 2005

  • Reported By:Ojai California
Celebrity Prime Foods
100 E Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, California U.S.A.

Celebrity Prime Foods deception con artists targeting families that have large food needs for them false promises Thousand Oaks California

*Author of original report: Matter resolved

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Celebrity Food Sales Reps, I can honestly say that this company's MANAGEMENT is unscrupulous at best.

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CELEBRITY PRIME FOODS contacted me when I needed a lot of help. I have four children and it is very hard to grocery shop. I moved to a more rural area and wanted to find an internet food delivery service.

When I was asked if I wanted the service I said I did and expected to receive a catalogue of what their store offered. Instead I was told that they dont make advertisements and that is how they can offer their food at such discount prices.

My husband works so much that I hesitated to have anyone over, but in the end I thought it might be worth it. Todd ? came and gave us his sales pitch which started out "this is not a new bill."I was told that I would receive meals for my family for six months according to my current needs.

We also purchased much to my shame a manual frost freezer for gulp 2700.00 We were told over and over that most people only eat about 3-4 meals at home a week and the rest is take out.
I insisted that I cooked every day and at least 5 days a week. That if you count, is 137+ days.

We waited and waited for our food and freezer which came 1 month later (too late to back out of our agreement)When We received it we were amazed at how little food was brought. I got out the paperwork (which he carefully calculated) and counted a little over 100 lbs. of meat for 1944.00 = interest @ 27% or so.
I checked out how much is counted a portion from the fda website and calculated how much this would be if it were rationed out at this rate and came up with this:

Each person in our family would receive weekly less than a pound of meat (no bread and one small carrot or corn kernal). We would be MALNOURISHED!When I called to complain, I was told that they shorted me on meals. I read another complaint from someone who was shorted coincidentaly the exact same number of meals! I also calculated the needs of our family according to the fda and the company would need to send me more than double the ammount they sent. I refused their offer to do an adjustment and just asked to settle for a reasonable amount they said I could just pay the amount then and not receive the food but the amount was due.

This is supposed to be a member of the better business bureau and this is why I did business with them in the first place.

I have already paid 1700.00 of the freezer (so as not to incur interest payments)can you imagine? Not even frost free!! Not even stainless steel!

Ojai, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/21/2003 07:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Celebrity-Prime-Foods/Thousand-Oaks-California-91365/Celebrity-Prime-Foods-deception-con-artists-targeting-families-that-have-large-food-needs-61426. 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 Author of original report

Matter resolved

AUTHOR: Linda - (U.S.A.)

I am Linda in the report above, I have worked with this company to resolve these issues and they are resolved to our mutual satisfaction.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Celebrity Food Sales Reps, I can honestly say that this company's MANAGEMENT is unscrupulous at best.

AUTHOR: Erik - (U.S.A.)

I am a former sales rep for Celebrity Foods and I wanted to take this opportunity to shed some light on a few areas that maybe people haven't considered.

After being with the company for two years (in the Bellingham, Washington office) as a sales rep I can honestly say that this company's MANAGEMENT is unscrupulous at best. I highlight the management because in many of these reviews I see the reps (along with customer service) getting all the bad press. Don't get me wrong. There are PLENTY of slaes reps in the company that will shade the truth or outright lie about the discount program or do a hard sell. Not all of the reps for Celebrity DO this though. Some of us actually thought that we were helping people and making their lives better. We took pride in our work. If we didn't make the same money as everyone else then so be it. At least we could face ourselves in the morning. Here's the kicker though. THE COMPANY REWARDS REPS THAT SELL THE APPLIANCES. Reps are strictly commission based. They get roughly $60.00-90.00 for a food only sale. When they sell an appliance, the commssion jumps up to as high as $350.00, if you sell just one. Which, by the way, doesn't come out of the company's pocket; it comes from the vendors who make the appliances....more on that later. On top of all that, there is a bonus structure set up based on a point system. The more appliances you sell, the more points you get and the bigger bonus you get at the end of the month. Also, at the Christmas Party, the top selling appliance-reps for the year get ANOTHER bonus. Also, one of the requirements to get promoted up the ladder in this company is to sell a MINIMUM of 5 appliances per week. You won't even be considered if you don't do that. Management also gets a monthly bonus based on how many appliances their office sells. I have also witnessed special treatment for reps that sell the appliances. The reps in my office, along with myself, endured AT LEAST 3 months of quality re-orders handed out to a specific rep who couldn't sell anything new. He sold appliance after appliance on re-orders and when called on it, management openly admitted they were doing it both for their pocketbooks and for his.

Now, generally when a person comes into a business like this it's because they need money and they need it fast. Or because they get seduced by the advertisement to make $350.00 per sale without any prior training. The point is, MOST reps when they first come into the company and get trained usually overlook just how ridiculous the discount program really is, and by the time they figure it out they're usually in to deep. Trust me when I tell you that Celebrity's management promotes the idea of spending money you don't have so you'll go in debt so you will be forced to not only stay with them, but sell it THEIR way to keep up with our bills.

And the discount program IS ridiculous folks. Both in its concept and its presentation. The only REAL reason that the discount program is there is so that Celebrity doesn't have to pay reps out of their own pocket. The vendors basically pay the commission and Celebrity makes a good chunk of change off of the food order and doesn't have to pay the rep a dime. As a rookie though, you aren't told this and you really have no idea. Many veteran reps truly felt sorry for the rookies because they had NO IDEA how things were run, and you weren't allowed to tell them either. Now, the idea sounds good, and it looks very easy to sell because you find a way to incorporate it into the price. Here's the trick. Whatever price you get quoted after going through the menu's is almost NEVER the base price. Depending on what the rep assumes the deposit is going to be and whether he or she takes the discount and the deposit off the food or not, there is anywhere from a $75.00-$100.00 addition to your base price per month...but the customer is never told that. And if you happen to ask the question "Well, what is the price if I don't get the appliance" you are told that it will be the same price. You can be told that because the numbers will be manipulated by your deposit. Unless you're paying VERY close attention or the rep is sloppy, you won't notice that slight of hand. When I started I was shown ways to mask or misdirect both the numbers and the prospective customers into thinking they were getting something for almost nothing. I was shown this by both the manager and the Assistant Manager, who just happened to be the number 1 or 2 guy in the company depending on the month. Six months into my employment I realized that there was no way I could justify selling anyone a $2,636.00 freezer that they could go to ANY appiance store and get for a maximum of $600.00. Not to mention the insane 21% interest rate that went along with it, and I stopped trying to sell people on the idea. I even went to my manager and asked him how on earth this was supposed to benefit people and I got the company line about the longevity of the order and the possible 40% that customers could reach one day. I never, ever, did a hard sell and I sold just as much as almost everyone in my office.

My point is this. Please don't assume that all reps are "bad". For the most part, they're good people who have been lied to by the company they work for. They pay for their own gas(the Bellingham office covers the length of I-5 from the Canadian border down to Sea-Tac Airport North to South, and from the water to the Cascade mountains East to West)and food. They are on call or on the road from 8:00am to around 9:00 or 10:00pm, 6 days a week. By no stretch is the job easy and as a result the shelf life of a Celebrity Foods rep is six months...generally. There are a myriad of reasons for this of course but from my experience, chief among these reasons is that at about the six month mark you start understanding enough of what it is you sell and how you sell it, and what it is the company truly expects you to do. At that point you have 3 choices. Sell it their way, sell it your way, or quit. I quit after two years because I tried to do it my way and just couldn't make enough money doing it that way. I morally objected to just about everything you had to do as a sales rep to get a sale with an appliance.

Well, I hope that helps some people understand how the Celebrity Foods sales reps are duped by their own company. If you have one over and he or she tries to hard sell you, then you know what you are dealing with. If you have one that can do the ENTIRE presentation in just about an hour and a half( trust me folks, it doesn't take 4 hours to do this. Reps know within the first 1/2 hour if it is going to be a sale or not) and doesn't hard sell you, try to say something nice if you aren't going to buy. Believe me, they're going to need that word of encouragement. :)

Thank you for your time. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
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