ED Magedson – Founder
Active Synergy, Inc.12100 E Iliff Ave; Building A Ste 100 Aurora , Colorado USA
Active Synergy, Inc. AKA Cydcor, Active Synergy Deceptive hiring techniques, cult-like psychological bullying Aurora Colorado
This is to notify potential employees of Active Synergy, Inc., that this company is not what it seems on the surface. It is a subsidiary of Cydcor – an infamous multi-level sales firm. Their hiring process is deceptive, their tactics unethical, and the entire organization's atmosphere is very cult-like. To exemplify this, I'll take you through my process of hiring, "training" for one day, and subsequently leaving the organization:
I recently graduated from a legitimate tier-one university, and searched for jobs in communications. Active Synergy, Inc. had an advertisement on CareerBuilder with the title "Business Communications Manager." Naturally, this makes sense. I submitted an app on Sunday, and received a call back on Monday morning (red flag #1). I scheduled an interview for the next morning, and upon walking into the office, I found myself impressed with the professionalism of the employees (everything from demeanor to level of dress) and quality of the office. Everything seemed legit.
The interviewer brought up that this is a commissioned sales role, contradicting the job description (red flag #2). However, as it was presented as a marketing firm (anyone who has studied business knows sales and marketing are NOT the same thing - the only "marketing" Active Synergy does is multi-level), and he emphasized "base pay" and "business-to-business" sales, it seemed like a legitimate job opportunity. He also emphasized the management training program, which seemed to rationalize the long hours 8a-6p (more on this later, too). I assumed, given the hours and that the sales were only from 11-5, that it was a legit marketing firm that did real marketing analysis. They emphasized that they were working for Comcast, which is a delibrate misrepresentation.
That night I received a follow-up call which was sort of bizarre in nature (red flag #3). It started with "Unfortunately we are unable to offer all our interviewees employment, however you have been selected for a follow-up interview" - I chalk this up to the psychological techniques that they use on their employees to make it seem like this is a "fear of loss" opportunity. (Their associates themselves are victims of the very marketing tools they’re taught to employ.) Indeed, the only reason why I went in for a follow-up interview and a day of training was because ASI's workforce consisted of all (young, recent) college graduates.
The second day interview was mostly ("lap doors") - this made it seem to me, since the 'account executive' had already talked to these businesses, that they had already set up an "appointment" with the sales rep. This kept me on for another day.
The next day was revealing. Talking to the associates, I could see some of them were already brainwashed, or were in the process of being brainwashed by this company. One associate said he was apprehensive, until the Manager, Cole, basically described their multi-level marketing strategy - essentially a barely legal pyramid scheme that allows the higher ups to make copious amounts of money on their subordinates' hard work. (This works because ASI’s turnover rate is ridiculous: every day I went in, there were 8-10 new interviewees, strange for a firm of maybe 20 people.)
Another associate that was hired along with me said to me, “I was apprehensive … until Cole said "you’re all overqualified for door-to-door sales, but this is different.” Later that day in training the manager asked everyone his or her goals. I was expecting legitimate and realistic short-term goals, what I heard were ridiculously grandiose expectations – multi-millionaire things. One of the ‘leaders’ told me that “after I learned the structure of the company, I’d realize how possible this is.” All the "training" seemed to encompass a common objective – you have to work your a*s off to get rich, so do it even when it seems like this job is ridiculous (red flag 4).
Active Synergy seems like a legit business, only with some shady practices and deceptive behavior. I’m sure it's possible get rich if you stick with the program - although this is easily disputed in that it's such a bloated market - and if door-to-door sales works for your self-actualization. The problem is, your money is going to someone else, and your success is essentially dictated by how many people you hire. But sales is a finite entity. The problem with this type of marketing is that the company can’t grow forever, and there always has to be someone at the bottom, and there always have to be buyers. There are competitors, too. It doesn’t work, economically speaking.
This business is not a cult, but I say this business is cult-like because of the culture that encompasses it. Nothing that they do is technically illegal (soliciting in no-solicit establishments is iffy). Everything in your life is tied into this firm: it almost becomes your family with the ridiculous hours, “team nights,” and overall structure of the company. Every pitch, every objection is scripted down to the last detail. I don’t understand how this type of marketing works when a person says “I’m not interested” and you’re supposed to employ “goldfish theory” – that is, continue your sales pitch as if it didn’t happen.
This might work 1 in 100 times, which might increase sales in an insignificant way, but it's a terrible way to treat customers, isn't comensurate with relationship-building, and makes for an overall crappy life for anyone with any kind of a conscience What this tells me is that the higher ups in the “pyramid” are more concerned with getting their residual commission, rather than cultivating real customer relations. Personally, I couldn’t be able to live with myself doing this job.
This is what ultimately turned me off: soliciting in no-solicit areas, associates bragging about being escorted out of buildings by security (and corporate-sponsored training on how to bypass security), and just a general lack of respect for others' personal space and business. Basically, you are trained to become a jerk… in fact, my trainer pitched to a pastor at a church who was in the middle of welcoming congregants into a funeral. When I told him I thought this was inappropriate, he said “you’re just afraid to work.”
I’m not saying that this job is a complete scam. Although the fact that you have to stay on for two weeks to turn a paycheck is very sketchy. If you are the type of person who can take risks on relationships, don’t really care about respectful human intercommunication, and if you don’t care about self-actualization… then perhaps this job is for you. But for people looking for a real job, want to climb the ladder the legitimate way and pay your dues, then you should question why this company resorts to deceptive hiring practice to attract employees.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/03/2013 11:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/active-synergy-inc/aurora-colorado-80014/active-synergy-inc-aka-cydcor-active-synergy-deceptive-hiring-techniques-cult-like-ps-1064349. 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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