- Report: #1072558
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Circle Concepts
Circle Concepts35 E Gay St #512 Columbus, Ohio USA
Circle Concepts Credit Co. Read before applying! Columbus Ohio
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Small Addition
Circle Concepts is a personally owned office/franchise of the international client broker Credit Co. Circle Concepts employees do direct marketing for various fortune 500 companies that have contracts with Credit Co. Employees are offered the opportunity to take part in their management training program. Employees are promoted through multi-level marketing positions (that could be compared to a spiderweb or pyramid) based on their performance, the performance of the team they build & are responsible for. Credit Co.'s program guide or blue print for offices to follow specifically focuses on training other potential office managers & weeding out the unsuccessful salespeople.
The leaders & long-term employees at this office all seem to be wonderful people. They make themselves very available on their own personal time to build a relationship and support new employees as they potentially start their own businesses. Of course they want every new employee to be successful, because it can make them more money. Of course they expect new employees to immediately join what appears to be their tight knit crew. Considering how difficult it can be to maintain & enjoy out-of-business relationships, coworkers can be the most significant relationships Circle Concepts employees manage to maintain. Naturally, new employees want to give the benefit of the doubt & trust to the people they plan to spend so much time with when they portray such kindness & professional support. Anyone would want to believe they're creating meaningful bonds that can outlast convenient circumstances, such as being coworkers. However, sales & marketing is a very competitive field. There will always be people who are only playing nice to look out for themselves & use others to get rich quick. Unfortunately, it is hard to decipher what is genuine & what is salesmanship or manipulation.
Circle Concepts employees are 1099 & 100% commission paid. Tax is not withheld, so that's the employee's responsibility. They are not offered health insurance, paid time off or other benefits. They are expected to work approximately 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Employees are expected to go on as many business trips as possible.
Regardless of what the active campaigns are, employees spend two to three unpaid hours in the office going through a management training program & preparing for time in the field. Office time could be compared to an unpaid internship. They go out into the field & whatever weather conditions may be. If they don't make any sales, then they don't make any money. They go back to the office to turn in numbers & wrap up the day.
Shifts vary based on the campaign or event being worked. Typically weekday 1st shifts are 8:30-6 & 2nd shifts are 11-9:30. Saturdays are generally 10:30-6.There are also a lot of duties that need to happen on one's own personal time behind the scenes. Employees are encouraged to do one-on-one phone calls or meetings with new hires, business moguls at other offices & those who are struggling. This offers each employee the opportunity to either act as a mentor or receive guidance from a mentor. Employees are strongly encouraged to attend "crew night" & "team night" weekly after work. "Team night" is to foster morale for the whole office. "Crew night" is claimed to essential once employees reach the "corporate trainer" level, are responsible for building rapport & training employees they've hired on their team. If employees are unable to do anything after work then some team/crew members work out morning meetings. Circle Concepts also does "Throw down Thursdays" to boost morale. Challenges & bets are made. People are put on the spot & publicly called out. It could be compared to collegiate Greek life hazing.
Circle Concepts claims to support different lifestyles & be flexible to appeal to students, graduates, people in relationships, with a family or a 2nd job. However, employees receive a lot of grief about focusing on any priorities or relationships other than those that are work-based. At times, it can feel like peer pressure, manipulation, guilt trip & even bullying to neglect other areas of one's life. Employees are encouraged to put all other priorities off until they make this goal or reach the next level position. Management encourages employees to devote 110% of themselves for a short time &, as they like to say, "focus on the big picture"so employees can quickly move up in the company. Employees are promised that personal freedom, financial freedom & time to invest yourself in other priorities are ALWAYS just around the corner. It's not that simple.
Circle Concepts management seems to be fairly unorganized at times. The office has experienced issues with claiming & distributing marketing territory among employees. There have been concerns regarding incorrect pay & withholding pay per the employee's paycheck. Management, at times, takes advances & event payments out of paychecks without any notice or payment plan. There is no system of scheduling request offs & coordinating them with interviews or training new hires to be on a particular trainer's team. When these problems arise management resists taking responsibility for them. Rather than accepting responsibility & providing solutions, management places blame on a scape goat like anther office, another employee, the campaign, the liaison, the payroll system, etc.
The business trip experience seems to sometimes be poorly organized & conducted as cheaply as possible. They often offer very short notice for business trips like they don't expect anyone to have other obligations or plans. For a company that requires employees to wear suits & formal attire to the office to promote the "Look professional, be professional" motto, it seems very contradicting that business trips wouldn't be more professionally organized. It usually consists of five people being crammed in one of their own cars, paying for their own gas & food to visit another office. People sleep on couches, air mattresses & floors of other team's homes. This could be compared to college or a commune. The notion behind this is truly wonderful, because it allows employees to see how other offices are managed, as well as create networking, strengthen relationships & foster company morale with other people who are trying to become managers too.
Circle Concepts does pay the majority of the cost for their employees to go to conferences & rewards ceremonies. They offer some amazing international travel opportunities! Since Circle Concepts is the #1 office in the country, the team & individual team members often earn many rewards. It can questioned whether or not the rewards are legitimate per Credit Co. , because if an employee is unable to attend the event they lose their reward & title to someone who has not made their goals. In spite of an employee earning rewards like "most up & coming" employee for the office or "#1 sales representative in the country," which make it sound as if they're earning big bucks, that employee can only be averaging $350/week or even less. This makes one question how many of the promises of financial freedom & lavish lifestyles are true.
It seems as if Circle Concepts, as well as other Credit Co. offices, have a very regimented system of personal accountability. They are encouraged to hold each other accountable & promote each other's successes in the office & in the field. If one does not make goals, Circle Concepts takes little responsibility for their disorganization or other possible variables that contribute. The lack of income is assumed to be directly correlated to the employee's negative attitude, or "negging out." "Negging out" is a term used often in the office when someone is being honest & sharing their concerns about the company. The leaders & long term employees try to do everything they can to sweep issues under the rug, so others don't know about the problem at hand & the warrant for concern doesn't spread throughout the office.
Since employees are 1099, they are "bottom lined" instead of being fired. If employees are not meeting personal or team goals they will be offered a short amount of time to get it together. If it doesn't happen to the point which management is pleased then the employee will be demoted & then asked to "end their partnership" with that particular company. Since networking is a huge part of this business, that doesn't necessarily mean a Circle Concepts employee is ineligible to go to another Credit Co. office. under different management as long as its okay with their current contract holder, of course.
Circle Concepts can also be very resistant to accept a successful employee's two week notice. They often try to butter up successful employee, temporarily please them & sell then the notion of the potential "big picture" to persuade them to stay. They refer to any valid reason, such as financial concern or a family emergency as invalid excuses & "negging out." If that doesn't work then they sometimes try the guilt trip or manipulate approach. If the employee refuses to be guilt tripped or manipulated & remains animate about moving on to something new then they consider the employee a risk to have at the office, because the employee could "neg out" the rest of the office team.
Credit Co. is a quickly growing, award-winning sales & marketing broker. Not all independently owned franchises/offices that work with Credit Co. are managed like Circle Concepts. Some managers choose to offer small base pays comparable to servers. Some managers offer a pay a percentage for credit fails & customer cancels, so the employees efforts & successes are recognized. Some managers let their employees take every other Saturday off, or give them Saturdays off when the individual's weekly goal is met. Some managers pay for business trips & hotels. Some managers offer a system of earning some paid time off. Its up to each individual office manager/owner to decide how generous or greedy they want to be. They have at least some amount of professional freedom to decide how much they are willing to invest in creating & keeping happy, long-term employees.
The truth is that Credit Co.'s system works! A very select few make it to the "big picture" that offers the always promised financial freedom. Their intricately developed blue print for sales & marketing offices, like Circle Concepts, create very wealthy owners. Despite what some people who are not eligible for the job have claimed, its not necessarily a scam. Its not easy though. It's not for most people. It seems to be possible for a very limited demographic. Those who are most successful seem to be young people who are free of responsibility, have nothing to lose & financially prepared with a savings or cushion to begin 100% commission based work. Its necessary to comprehend what it TRULY means to be a entrepreneur, invest all they have & all of their time into starting their own business.
If one is confident they could devote themselves to this lifestyle, overcome the obstacles, live with an inconsistent income until they master the system, then this is an opportunity that provides awesome life experiences to add to a resume & possibly start a career. It opens doors to sales, marketing & customer service positions where one could earn a consistent salary of 30-40K with bonuses & benefits.
Please make sure to research Credit Co., other individual offices & manager's names before moving forward with a Credit Co. business. Please also keep in mind there are several parallel programs that different companies use who provide much better hours, pay & benefits.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/02/2013 02:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Circle-Concepts/Columbus-Ohio-43215/Circle-Concepts-Credit-Co-Read-before-applying-Columbus-Ohio-1072558. 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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