• Report: #588144

Complaint Review: Marketsource

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  • Submitted: Wed, March 31, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, October 31, 2011

  • Reported By: Eric Maddox Rep — Georgia USA
Marketsource
11700 Great Oaks Way, Suite 500 Alpharetta, Georgia United States of America

Marketsource Dont waste your time. No GAS or Travel time paid and they set and change your location on whim without notice Alpharetta, Georgia

*UPDATE Employee: even still latest still inaccurate

*UPDATE Employee: Exaggerated but accurate!

*UPDATE Employee: Mostly inaccurate and lies in original rpt

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Report was not my experience

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Original Report Is Inaccurate

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I worked for this company over three years total. The job entails going to Best Buy and other retailers to represent HP by selling to customers, training sales reps, and doing inventory and admin reports. Do not be fooled; You only get gas and travel pay between stores that are on the weekend and they force you to go to your stores during the week for a one hour training session per store and you do not get gas or travel pay.


So here's how it goes; M-F you have to drive at least two different stores for one hour each without expense pay. Sat and Sun you have to spend now five hours at one store each day so they dont have to pay you gas pay since they will not let you work them on the same day. You make 14 per hour, used to be 15 till "the economy", and once you have paid gas you end up making near minimum wage because they decide where you work and they dont give preference to tenured employees. I was jerked around because I complained that I could have worked at stores that where 15 min from my house and there where two Best Buys in that distance, but instead was shuffled around to stores that where at least an hours distance one way. At one point I had three stores all of which where 45 min to one hour away so that makes six trips per week due to the one hour training per store so you can see how much unpaid time and gas makes this job worthless.


They love to change the schedule without notice and there where several times I went into a store and found another rep working and since they didn't provide notice and it was only posted for maybe six hours the rep didn't get paid and I had to be in the position to tell them they had to leave and were not getting paid for the three hours they had already worked.


Ok here is where it gets interesting. HP pays Marketsource to do training and the way they see the training is done is by online quiz completions called IACs. I was advised by Eric Maddox that if I had any more stores with 0 quiz completions I would lose my job. He advised me that I should take down the employees login information and do the quizzes for them so it would show up as complete and do the quizzes for them by logging in to hpinfolab and doing the IAC for them. Furthermore, I was to do anything necessary to get this done as my job depended on it and I'm sure his bonus too. This is fraud and I'm sure HP wouldn't appreciate the program being undermined in the manner. We should provide the info and if the rep doesn't do it it's on the store not the hp rep or in this case me.


Another shady thing was when I first started Eric did a store visit and took me to eat while I was on the clock and asked me about bars in the area and adult entertainment. He kept asking the same question over and over about clubs. I wonder what his wife would think of this. He was like his hotel was right down the street from all the clubs and wanted to know which ones to go to for the best time. I just dodged the conversation and tried to steer it back to work.


Office Max was off the HP visit list for some time and I was required to visit a store whose manager questioned me on why HP had abandoned the program with Office Max. I called Eric and explained what was said and wanted to know what I should say and he said he was documenting our conversation and that this was not the first time I had problems with a manager. He turned the problem back on me instead of helping with a manager that didn't want me in his store or taking to his employees. The other manager that he was referring to was Dustin Wiest to Best Buy in Alabaster Alabama who on my first day in the store after politely introducing myself told me not to piss off any of his employees. I reported this to Eric and he said he would have to make a visit to the store to try to repair HP's reputation because apparently the last rep had done something. Eric never did visit the store and only used this as a tool to document me having a problem with a manager. If you go to him for help he will turn it against you.


I was the only rep for several months because all the other reps quit when Eric was hired so I literally had to cover eight training only stores and the regular base events.  They quit because Eric came on and gave them ultimatems that they put Marketsource ahead of there full time jobs and since MS is only intended to be supplementry income the told Eric what he could do with the job. So I got paid 14 dollars per store but had to drive all over Birmingham taking 13 hours and only getting paid for eight and not getting gas or travel time. This was a total rip off and I calculated after expenses from gas alone I was only averaging eight dollars an hour and that not subtracting the travel time I was not getting paid to go between stores. I complained and asked to have it removed for my schedule as all hours are suppose to be voluntary, only to have Eric manually enter these stores on my schedule without allowing me to accept or deny them. After three weeks of being force fed hours I stopped going in and he finally removed them from my schedule.


One important thing to note, there is no job security. If a manager like at Best Buy or one of the other stores doesnt like you all he has to do is ask you to leave. There is not code of conduct or any rules to violate. I called Best Buy corporate and they stated that in the agreement any vender is there at the discretion of the managers and there doesn't have to be legal cause for not allowing a rep to visit the store or any code of conduct violation. So you are not protected by EEOC or anything and youre not covered if you are injured in the store by the stores insurance. I complained on a Best Buy LP rep who upon entering the store yelled at me and said to use the other door because it trips their customer counter. He then said to another employee about me that "there goes the HMFIC." Tylor and the 280 Best Buy store 383 then explained to the other employee he was speaking to that HMFIC meant head m f in charge, of course not abbreviating. That was my last week in that store because I was taken off the schedule apparently for complaining and I was replaced by a school teacher that didn't know anything about computers and was following the Best Buy reps around to learn her job.  This is retaliation and Marketsource didn't back me because it would make waves.  I wonder what HP would think of this.


There were several times where a new rep would only work a day in the store before being removed from the schedule because the manager didnt like the reps personality. Tad was a rep that was supposed to replace me at one of the stores and because he was on the 0 list I had to go back to the store and replace him within two weeks. He was placed on reserve status meaning they dont want to fire anyone due to the risk of unemployment insurance claims so they simply take away your hours. This would be understandable if you where coached and given a chance to correct whatever issues my be hurting your performance, but time and time again with the two employees that I referred and where hired on and the reps I replaced on a consistent basis no warning or even a indication of a problem was given to the rep before action against them was taken.


I missed one of the weekly conference calls once and was told that missing three calls would result in termination. Well an email was sent out about do the infractions drop off and the answer was after 90 days. Well Eric sent me a message because I called several times and was getting the run around about why one of my stores had been taken off my schedule without any notice resulting in my car being repoed due to the sudden shift of expected income. He finally told me that I was on the removal list and that he had some documentation. I copied the email about the 90 removal of offences and asked what my standing was and if there was a tracker. Two days later my email account was deleted with all my documentation and reset and no response was given to my email. I was removed from the store and lied to by Christen Sposa who said that it was due to a black out period which is where you may not have work for two weeks due to HP not having any sales or what not, so dont expect stable work or adequate notice.


The new hybrid model only makes Christen Sposas job easier and everyone elses hell. You used to be able to set your own schedule and hours. Now you can only work 12-5 sat and sun and you have to schedule two weeks in advance your one hour training visits per store. She is rude and will lie and yell at you for catching her at a lie, i.e. the Blackout lie. She yelled at Tad for working his normal schedule even though she changed the schedule the previous night and did not notify either of us resulting in him working for three hours without pay. This also gives them ammunition for terminating people who ask questions like can I work stores that are closer to my house by saying they were late or off schedule regardless if its due to traffic or your full time job.


I called off maybe four times in the three years of service and each was a very unpleasant experience because now you get a call from the support team, your manager, and if your unlucky Christen Sposas rude self. Each wanting to know why you called of and supporting documentation and if you try to schedule off they want at least a months notice before you can deny the event in Partnersource the scheduling program. Pay attention to this part. Your bonus is based on how many events you complete vs accepted. You are required to accept everything that is sent to you and them email and call to work your way out of it which means it still affects your bonus. So when youre being force fed hours you dont want or cannot work and even if you can get out of them you bonus is screwed! And yes they will put events on your schedule manually so you dont have the chance to accept or deny them so watch out cause they can term you for no call no show by dumping an event on your schedule that you miss and never accepted in the first place.


I loved HP and truly do see value in their products. I hope they will change to another company and retain the reps because it is not their fault that they are not giving coaching or advice and walk into the situation blind and quickly realize when they are put on schedule standby after a week that they didnt do something right. My recommendation is not to take this job if you are offered it. I worked seven days a week for two years and spent more time and grief with Marketsource that I ever did for my fulltime job. They are rude including the emails and especially Christen Sposa whose defense is to yell at the employees for her mistakes and flat out lie. Dont waste your time and health with the job. Its just not worth it!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/31/2010 11:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Marketsource/Alpharetta-Georgia-30022/Marketsource-Dont-waste-your-time-No-GAS-or-Travel-time-paid-and-they-set-and-change-you-588144. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

even still latest still inaccurate

AUTHOR: Paul - (USA)

while i agree with some elements of the latest rebuttl... even it has major inacurances..Agreed about portions but:

1. First off I get asked to assignments but I have never had mgmt consider what ASR's do to be the major thing in their lives.. and Ive gone thru 6 managers so far..

Yes they want us to do infolab and at times too much even for one such as I who doesnt have other work currently..    

Most of the instore stuff im required to do is a nobrainer...  and is proper to require.As far as instore people, several want to be friends with me outside of work and have become so.While others hate vendors of all brands and go out of their way to avoid vendors even when required.

Those are the ones I try to not help with either sales or freebies and wont even try to help.Fortunately those are the ones that the stores will fire soon anyway... very high turnover in retail.

Marketsource & HP are retail sales...a  lot of how things are handled is typical retail sales .Personally I would  never consider insurance sales ever and its 1000 times worse.

Also, I told Marketsource I would never do any assignments that would be outside my main city and never would accept/confirm stores that were outside a very specific range... 

Btw, never did get assignmetns outside that range per my request..

Mainoly I told them I required mileage and a extra $5/hr to even consider outside my city.And that i would need to be prepaid for such external events (which is why I dont get them).

weekdday assignments are 1-2 hours max and are flextime (meaning you can go when you want for that hour).. while weekend hours have never been more than 6 hours unless I added a flex assignment to the same day.

Sorry,but they let you work flex assignments anytime during that week and it can be tacked on (before or after) to a regular noflex all the time.. .so that point is inaccurate and always has been.

Also, if you had advised them that only stores in a max range were ones you would do.. they would have done it... I have been in the past the only rep in my main city but currently have me & two others...and yet still no problems.    

No marketsource manager would ever advise to do a store employees infolab or iac or other.From what I heard thats grounds for dismissal for both the asr and the manager who advised him.

Marketsource would never do that as they know that most ASR's likley record all communications.A TM that would do that would be banned from working for Marketsource and would actualy jeapordize Marketsource getting any future HP work ever..

Some of the details of the recent rebuttal are invalid as some of it simply doesnt happen.In my own case I have never worked 7days a week ever except whne I was oncall as a programmer and worked thru weekend for a project.

I would only do this job 7days a week if I was $20/hr or better or similar.Or if all hours were flex time ..I might conside it.

You are  not force fed hours....as you can 'not accept' assignments..

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Exaggerated but accurate!

AUTHOR: anonymous - (United States of America)

I will grant you that the original complaint against MarketSource is exaggerated and extreme, but it is also, in many ways, accurate.

It sounds as though the complainant did have trouble establishing the store relationships necessary for this job, but that does not lessen the truths about MarketSource.  I have been working for MarketSource for over a year and have had my schedule changed at the last minute several times without notice resulting in me working for sometimes as much as eight hours at a time without pay.  I have also had events that I accepted changed to different times and days, again with no notice.

My previous manager was intelligent and understanding and he realized the nature of this position.  This is a PART-TIME job for supplemental income.  Many MarketSource employees are students or retirees, or are otherwise employed.  I doubt it would be possible to survive strictly on the income of a MarketSource Area Sales Representative (ASR) for $13/hour when the hours vary so greatly and are sometimes sparse.

My current manager exhibits an extreme lack of leadership skills and views the position as the most important thing in the life of his employees.  This job is more important than the health of the ASRs or their families, or their "real" jobs or their education.

Management also seems to view this as an "on-call" position, expecting the ASR to be ready at a moments notice to drop everything and reschedule any plans one may have due to a last minute change.  This is NOT an on-call position!  We are allowed to request time off as long as sufficient notice is provided, but it will not be granted unless someone can be found to cover your shifts.

We are expected to do many tasks, most of them administrative, off the clock without being properly paid.  Granted, we are paid for a small amount of admin time, but it falls far short of the reality of how much time is actually required.  This job also requires some resources not provided to us, requiring out of pocket expenses for things like ink and paper.

Almost every communication from this manager feels adversarial including emails broadcast to the entire team.

We are, indeed, expected to accept everything for which we are scheduled regardless of any issues with that schedule.  I am constantly scheduled outside of my posted availability and am expected to accept these "events" as they are call ed.  I have never received a bonus from MarketSource, though there is a rumor that they exist.  Nor have I ever been provided the information as to what is required to receive this bonus.

I have also been placed on warning in the past (which, in the end wasn't that big of a deal, but it is the principle) for not completing a task I was supposed to have completed.  The trick is, I completed the task, but, due to a problem with the system, did not receive proper credit.  This is not an isolated incident.  The training and reporting systems we are required to use are not reliable.  HP makes great hardware, but their software is usually not good, this is just an extension of that.

We are also expected to accomplish our duties without being provided the necessary tools with which to do so.  Further, the report is accurate about not being paid mileage or travel time regardless of whether we are expected to drive 50 miles to visit a store.  Half of my pay each week goes into my gas tank and I have a small car.

It is also accurate that ASRs are primarily graded on whether the sales people in the stores complete the online, IAC trainings and quizes.  However, the motivation for the store employees to do so is greatly lacking and they are already busy with their primary tasks within the store.  As the motivation offered by HP for the employees to complete these IACs so scorned by the store personnel, they will not bother with them when they are on their own time.  And yes, I have heard from HP management, once on a weekly conference call, suggest that we complete the quiz for the employees using the employee's login.

MarketSource could be a great company to work for, but far too many of the current managers are like my current manager and the resources to complete the job are lacking as is the pay after expenses.  I am not a screw up.  My work ethic is good.  I have a great rapport in all my stores and I have been employee of the month several times for my district.  My report here is not the ramblings of a disgruntled employee who couldn't do the job.  Just the facts, as they say.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Mostly inaccurate and lies in original rpt

AUTHOR: Paul - (USA)

Ive worked for two different outfits who suppled people for HP rep.

in the 90's I did it for 5 years for a different company.

Nowadays with this one, Ive done this since last summer.

And a lot of the original rpt sounds mostly like a disgruntled exemployee.

Fact is, a lot of it was totally bogus and factually inaccurate.

I would say that marketsource is a worthwhile company to work for and is a million times better than other ones who supply reps to other products.

Ive also been a rep for another outfit before I got in with Marketsource and can guaranteee you that other companys are not as flexible.

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Report was not my experience

AUTHOR: VernVT - (United States of America)

I am a former employee of MarketSource and find the only claim made by the original report that I take no issue with is the lack of mileage reimbursement for excessive travel. My territory was all southwest Florida for awhile and the company found ways to compensate me for excessive travel expense. I enjoyed working with this company enough that I continued working weekends even after I started working a different full-time job for 60 hours a week.

Part of the responsibility of the rep is to foster good relations with store management as well as floor associates. MarketSource and HP management were both consistently supportive and frequent visitors in the field.

It should also be mentioned that HP is not the only account MarketSource services. HP is the cream, but there are many opportunities with this well managed company.

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Original Report Is Inaccurate

AUTHOR: Keith - (United States of America)

The report above was not written by Eric M as indicated. The report was written by Aaron W from Birmingham, AL in attempts to slander his manager for his own poor performance that ultimately led to Aaron's termination. As an employee of MarketSource at the time, documentation on this employee can confirm that this termination was more than warranted. In fact, multiple accounts such as Best Buy and OfficeMax urgently requested the removal of this employee.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Eric as both a fellow manager and friend for 4 years now and have never seen any of the characteristics outlined by Aaron's report from him. The assisted sales role that this report is in regards to is a part-time position that has been around for more than 10 years. On my team, I had many representatives with a tenure of 8+ years that loved this position. It does not take a lot of technical skill to perform well. A strong work ethic, timely & honest reporting, punctuality, people skills and communication are the only characteristics needed to excel. After meeting with this employee myself, it was clear that this employee did not possess these qualities despite coaching and need to be terminated. Contrary to this report, Eric's professional and family values can attest to the success that he continues to achieve. 

As for the specific claims detailed Aaron's report, majority of them are 100% false while the remaining few are exaggerated ignorant assumptions where the employee did not have the facts. This same employee is one who has gone as far as to create a spoof facebook page of the company and continued seeking vengeance since March 2010. 

If you are looking for a great part-time position on the weekends, many companies provide services that involve in-store assisted sales, training, merchandising, and demonstrations for various brands. All are very similar in nature. It is a great opportunity for extra income that will run the least chance of interfering with a full time position.
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