Several individuals appeared at precisely 1:30pm to be "interviewed" for a position making $23.16 per hour. Prior to attending, one was required to call a number to listen to instructions and to register, as space would be limited and numerous people were expected to show up. The number to call, as listed in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Courier Post on Sunday (January 6, 2008) was 856 866 3838. Thus, I registered.
Needless to say, there was only a small number of people in attendance, 5 to be exact. We were told that that "interview" would take approximately 4 hours. At that moment, I should have left, but curiosity forced me to stay. We were handed applications to fill out while waiting for the "interviewer," Mr. Mitchell R. Landau and each application was review by his assistant, known as "Jason." We were told to put our driver's license # on the application. Therefore, a lot of information on the applicant, little information on the company.
Finally Mr. Landau appeared and started to talk about everything he and his family has ever accomplished. He stated that the company is 25 years old and that he had sold it and recently re-started it after the purchaser "ran it into the ground." He talked about owning property all around the world, etc. He spoke in detail about the multi-million dollar neighborhood he resides in. He spoke about his relationship to a travel agency run by his mother and all the celebrities he knows and makes travel plans for. After a few hours, he spoke about the business at hand.
The job entails taking a training class for two days, amounting to a total of 13 hours, which the "interviewee" must pay $397.50 to attend. All of this money, or minimally $90.00 of it is expected to be paid prior to leaving the "interview." None of the $397.50 is refundable ... and this IS in writing.
Also, one must come to training with a tape recorder. After the training, one is supposed to complete 20, 1-hour training sessions with people the interviewee knows, and an additional 60, 1-hour training sessions with people (families, individuals) supplied by American Home Fire Safety. After completing all 80, "qualified" 1-hour training sessions, and proving that all have been completed (anticipated to take 8 weeks or less), the employee would receive the first monetary dispursement/pay in the amount of $1,852.80, as well as a "refund" of the training fee of $397.50.
Along the way, God was mentioned often as the impetus for the business and the hiring of "good" people. The room was full of good, innocent, sincerely in search of employment or something-to-do individuals. It is certain that at least two people in the room, out of three chosen, were serious about giving this a try, after being there in the "interview" for seven (7) hours. I felt I would have liked to verify some of the information provided at the meeting before giving any of my money to the company ... but the pressure was on to give up at least $90.00 on the spot, or risk not being accepted. Foolishly, I signed some forms and charged $90.00 to my VISA, as the only acceptable methods of payment are VISA, MC, AMEX, Discover, Money Orders, or Cash.
As a person with God in her life, I was awakened in the middle of the night, that night, and told that this was not something to pursue. I immediately did some research and found that much of what was said, was false ... regarding the neighborhood Mr. Landau currently resides in, regarding the different places he states he has resided, Better Business Bureau inquiries, etc. There were other disconnects too. My guard was now way up.
My plan was to appear at the training to try to get resolve on the many questions the research had produced, but a more important situation was making me late. Thus, I called to say I would be late and Mr. Landau, only after I had stated my name, proceeded to tell me how "God had told him I was not going to show up and how he knew he should not have accepted me, etc., etc." He ended stating that the "room was full" and that he "probably wouldn't have space for me anyway!" Mr. Landau was like a totally different person than the supposedely God-fearing one I had met only a few days prior. He went on, basically telling me off, for about three minutes, and before I could say anything else, hung up on me. All I had stated was my name. Amazing!
So, he got $90.00 from me and who knows how many others. Has anyone really successfully completed 80 sessions and received the pay promised and a full return of their training fee? Is this a reasonable request? How many have tried/attempted to fulfill the requirements of his agreement and failed? How many have worked 20, 40, 60, or even 75 hours and not received any pay?
Is this an opportunity or a scam? Only those willing to pay and work long hours for no short-term payoff would know. I would suppose, though, that many have and will lose minimally the $90.00 Training Reservation Deposit.
Moorestown, New Jersey