Report: #158226

Complaint Review: Avon Products - Avon Cosmetics

  • Submitted: Sat, September 24, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, January 26, 2013
  • Reported By: Antioch California
  • Avon Products - Avon Cosmetics
    Avenue Of The Americas
    New York, New York

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...


Several years ago, I signed up to be an Avon Rep. My mom used to be an "Avon Lady," and my grandma had been one also. I didn't make a dime, but I only blame myself because I was busy with other things. I went through a separation, then divorce, resulting in my moving twice, and putting Avon on the back burner.

A year later, when I was settled, I decided to give it a try again. I knew I could make the business profitable, because I was going to "work the business" like I had not done before.

I contacted Avon, said I knew I had an unpaid balance, and wanted to find out how to pay my balance and get reinstated. They told me they had NO RECORD OF ME WHATSOEVER! So, I called the local district manager where I now live, and signed up under her to be a rep. I explained my situation to her, and was told that she would try signing me up, and it may be so old that it wouldn't be in the system.

So I was officially signed up as a new rep, and when everything went through, I figured I had nothing to worry about. So I invested my all into promoting my business. Suddenly, THREE campaigns later, my order was placed on HOLD for CREDIT DECISION. So I called my DM. Got a voicemail, left message. I emailed her. After trying for 3 days to contact her, with no response, I called Avon directly. I was told that if my order was on hold I had to talk to my DM to get it released.

FINALLY I got a response from the DM saying that my privileges were terminated due to an account going to collections, and that Avon has a policy that any rep whose account goes to collections can no longer be a rep EVER. Even after paying past due balance, even if a deposit is paid, end of story, no more Avon for you.

Well I went through all my paperwork, contract, training manual and nowhere was this policy stated.


So I wrote a letter explaining my situation, and said that Avon, being THE company for women (their motto), I would think they would be more understanding to a women who has had some trouble and is trying to make up for it. I sent this letter to the president, the CEO and my DM, and believe it or not, they reinstated me, after I paid the $75 that had gone to collections. My DM said that was unheard of.

So I happily went about my way, trying hard as a single mom to bring in some extra income for my kids. And you will see the problems I had with Avon.

*Occasionally, Avon places orders on hold for no apparent reason. Call customer service, and they say they cannot release your order, you have to talk to your DM to get it released. (How the h#ll are you supposed to talk to your DM about it when they NEVER return your calls or emails?? And customer service is no help because every question you ask they refer you to your DM???) By the way, when you call customer service, it is a long distance number.

*When my orders were held, my DM when I finally could get ahold of her said she didn't know why they were being held. Apparently nobody knows, Avon just randomly puts holds on orders just because they feel like it? Sales campaigns run for two weeks. On average, when things go right, the order should be arriving within about 3 days after you placed it. When it doesn't show up, you realize it has been held, you FINALLY get ahold of your DM to release it, it has now been almost two weeks and you have lost a whole sales campaign! How do you keep your customers that way?

*Avon occasionally sells things in incentive packages to reps. If you order so many of a promoted product, you get so many free, and all at a reduced price and with a free gift. They entice you by saying if you sold all of the product, you would earn such and such amount of money. So I felt ambitious and signed up for one of those promotions. As time grew closer I asked my DM, since Avon gives you a credit limit, and if you place an order that goes over that limit, they will place a - you guessed it - HOLD on the order. So I asked her if that would happen when the promoted product arrived. She told me she would release the order if she knew that was why it was over.

*During the campaign I was to get those items delivered, I was waiting to place my order, because a woman had ordered $40 worth of stuff, and then did not pay me for it, and I didn't have the funds to pay it myself. I was about $20 short of making my payment. I received an email from DM asking that all reps who had not yet placed their order for this campaign to please order SOMETHING, at least catalogs.

Well, also right around this time, she sent out an email saying she was resigning in two weeks, and gave the new DM's name. I replied to her email, explaining why I hadn't placed my order and asking if I should wait and make full payment before placing my order, or pay what I could and place order.

NO response. I emailed the new DM. No response. So I went ahead and paid what I could and placed my order - guess what, it was HELD!! I emailed my DM and said I had gotten no response to previous inquiries, and so I just guessed at what I should do, since she could give me no guidance. She sent back a nasty email saying that my order was held due to my owing a balance and she had no control over that. Never addressed my original question and her lack of response.

*Bottom line: I know I didn't always do things right but I tried. I know some say you can make money in this business, if you do it right, and I am sure some are. But it is very difficult to do that when you can't even get basic questions answered. There is more to this story, but this has gotten very long already. But I will say, that during the two weeks that I had two managers, even then I couldn't get either of them to respond to my questions. And apparently the new DM is already managing two districts. I asked if she was going to cover two districts for good or if it was temporary. It is permanent! Now, if two managers cannot manage to answer emails for ONE district, how the h#ll is ONE manager supposed to handle TWO districts?

ALSO here are more reasons it is nearly impossible to make money with Avon:

1. Avon is the only direct sales company I know of that DIRECTLY competes with its own reps. and both offer Avon products for sale, and offer promotions such as free shipping, and free gifts, things that the average representative cannot afford to offer.

2. Avon heavily pressures reps to recruit other reps, from the moment you sign up. It is very difficult to sell Avon when everyone you talk to has a rep or has a relative that is a rep or a family member, etc. It's difficult to SELL Avon with so many other reps already; how on EARTH are you supposed to find people to recruit? And if you do, they will find the only two customers in your town that aren't already taken!

I quit selling Avon because I am involved in a number of direct sales companies, and Avon is the only one that made me jump through hoops and stand on my head to continue. My other companies don't compete against me. My other companies answer my questions when I ask them. My other companies require payment when orders are placed, and therefore, my orders are not placed on HOLD!! My other companies don't pressure me to buy product that I may or may not be able to resell.

Oh, and one more thing in my rant: after I quit, I got a letter from Allied saying I owe $75 for an Avon account in collections. Um, that would be the original $75 I already paid to get reinstated! This company just can't seem to get it together, from the CEO and President, down to the managers, and right on into collections.

Antioch, California
Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/24/2005 09:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 General Comment

Present Avon rep

AUTHOR: Smoke - ()

I'm sorry, I'm selling Avon now and I'm also selling Mary Kay. I get 40 to 50 percent profit from Mary Kay. I'm taking money from my account to pay Avon and its not worth it. The products are not good quality anymore. My wife still have jewelry from 30 years ago from Avon. The new jewelry irritates her skin and rashes her neck and wrist up. We went to Fred's and notice the eye shadow on the shelve for $1 was the same in the book for $8.99 she buy the Mary Kay for her and the Avon for the kids. I believe this will be my last month. I thought I was doing something wrong until I read the reviews.
Respond to this report!

#2 UPDATE Employee

Avon is a good company

AUTHOR: Jessi8485 - ()

Avon as your own business is what you make it. All direct sales companies have their own websites that people can order from the company instead of a rep. SMC, amway, Marykay, dove discoveries, etc. They all have a website to order from the company. If you work the business you can make it work. You will run into problems as with anyendeavor. If you have missing products you files that on the youravon site and you either ask for a replacement or a credit because the customer doesn't want to wait. it's simple if you give it a chance. You don't just say things about a company because you couldn't hack it. that just means it wasn't for you.
Respond to this report!

#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Lisa Hamilton - (United States of America)

the same thing happend to me...and i read in another report the same thing happening to a lot of people here in the us and in england. i mean the same exact looking into this futher. i believe there is some kind of fraud going on with this company. thanks to the internet now we can prove it. however, i love avon products. they really do have the best products and i want to sell again. there business practices arent fair...i am still trying to find a way to resolve it. theres to many people with the same story for this to be a coincidence. ugggg
Respond to this report!

#4 Consumer Comment

AVON company is ok but CS is horrible!

AUTHOR: sunflower816 - (United States of America)

I think that even with the situation I'm going through where I say I paid my outstanding balance and they say I didn't, I still think the company is okay - what's horrible is their customer service - sometimes you get someone who speaks english with a heavy foreign accent so it makes communication hard.  When you do find a rep that speaks english, they're clueless.  I've been given two different numbers to call in order to resolve my issue but despite my many calls to these numbers, the phone just rings and rings and rings and rings - no one ever picks up.

Some of the DM's and Unit Leaders are absolutely useless waste of space.  if you get a good one, then you're fortunate and I suggest you work closely with someone like that because they will do their best to help you succeed.

Customer service is an endless maze of just ignorant people who don't know whether they're coming or going.  Only other thing that gets me is all the reps that go on avon's website and give 5 stars to all the avon products.  some of their stuff is crap and these reps know it, but I guess the bottom line is sell and that's why they just go online and give 5 stars to every product.
Respond to this report!

#5 UPDATE Employee

Avon is NOT trying to set any rep up for failure

AUTHOR: DeeMarie - (United States of America)

I have been with Avon since 2002. I have had many DMs and ADSMs ignore me, even after a plethora of phone calls, emails, etc.....maybe that is why I hear DM's are being stripped of their titles due to several no, MANY bad apples. NOT ONCE did a DM or my recruiter upline assist me with ANYTHING. You know what I did? I took advantage of the internet and found many answers just on our site alone, plus separate avon rep forums!

To date, I have lost more recruits than I would like to admit because noone would help me set up the appointment and I had to attend this appointment w/ a DM!

There are many MLMs that ARE scams, I suggest you research all you can including how Avon differs: Avon is a Direct Selling company that does not make us recruit recruit recruit! We are given the opportunity to earn the the $ 150 plus bonuses, but many reps like me do just fine not being in leadership!

There is one (I do not know how long it has been around, but there was one called Brown Bag and Partygirl, now a Scarlet lady) and this one, Pure Romance especially does have in home consultants and online you can have a consultant bring you the items you ordered, or Pure Romance will ship to customer directly! I know I would not want a consultant bringing me items like that! But that is what angers me about Pure Romance: They should pick one: Be a DS company or MLM, but not offer online shopping without an e rep! Be one or the other! Not both!
Respond to this report!

#6 General Comment

I agree with you.

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

Avon is one of the worst companies to try to do business with.  They make it very difficult to make any money.  I was a representative and recently decided to step down.  I am currently looking to be a Mary Kay representative because because with them, there is no quotas and you always get 50% of what you sell.  Yes, there is an initial start up cost of $124 for a start up kit; but you are getting $500 worth of Mary Kay products.  I also found out that overall, their skin care systems is actually cheaper; especially if I decide to be a rep and only have to pay 1/2 for the skin care system.

With Avon, you usually only get about 20% unless you are a top notch seller.  Most of the time, you lose money because by the time you pay the shipping and handling and pay for the brochures and any samples, that eats away at your profits.  Basically, you are volunteering your time for the community and to Avon. 

It is one thing if you do not have a main full time job and you have that amount of time to devote to Avon; but if you work over 45 hours a week and try to go to school and you are trying to make a little bit more money on the side, then Avon is not the way to go.

I am sorry that this company has been so unreasonable to you.  Avon does not always show common sense.
Respond to this report!

#7 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: dsajenn - (United States of America)

I came on this report while searching out my credit limit issues with Avon.  I'm still being called a "new rep" by my DM after almost six months of attempting to sell products for this company.  Any advice on direct selling companies that are reasonable in their start up expenses?  I hope to either treat Avon as my "back up" direct selling plan, or leave them altogether.  Thanks...
Respond to this report!

#8 UPDATE Employee

also defending avon

AUTHOR: Karma1969usa - (U.S.A.)

i am also an avon rep, it is what you put into it. its plainly stated how you make money by selling it in the start up package they give you when you sign up. alot of the reports i have been reading are from ppl who order loads of product up front hoping to sell them, this is completely unnecessary, i would never order a bunch of stuff if i dont have customers who want it and can give me the money for it. that is not how avon works, you take your orders, you dont pay until you get paid by the ppl who ordered from you and you keep difference from what you owe the company. it only costs 10 bucks to sign up, then you get busy getting your books out there and collection your orders. i just dont see how you can lose if you stick to that method
Respond to this report!

#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Annoyed09 - (U.S.A.)

yeah i'm basically having the same problem... I started selling Avon last year and a few month into being a rep, i had lost my mother ... so I ditched Avon and went arcoss the country to take care of all the personal buisness involved , BUT I DID contact my district telling her my situation and that was why no sales or orders that were going to being made.

Last I looked I had owed was 40-50 dollars.(and yes they never explianed how to figure out the cash either they told me they would contact me for a class that never happened)

Upon returning home 2 months later there was a bill in the mail for for 111.00. I then try and log into my online account to see what charges were pending my online account had been canceled. I recieved a email the other day that if I contact coustomer service and my DM would reinstate me.

I call customer service.. the rep's english was very poor, i tried to tell the rep the situation that let to my balance and asked how come the balance was so high. She then just kept telling me to reinstate my account i needed to pay. Still with no explination of why i am paying so much.

At this point i just hung up.. i guess i will just call back and pay it and hope for the best this time because i really did enjoy selling the products, just realize if you dont pay them on time you get charged alot of money .. oh well live and learn i guess...
Respond to this report!

#10 Consumer Suggestion

defendind Avon

AUTHOR: Lilmami1984 - (U.S.A.)

My name is Gia and I've been selling Avon products since this past January. First, I would just like to say I'm sorry about your luck to anyone who had a complaint. I am in no way here to attack any of you. Since I have been selling Avon, I have had no problems like the one described and I am a stay home single mother of three and I make pretty good money selling Avon.

It looks like most of the issues stemmed from a lack of relationship between the consultants and DM's. Personally, I have a great DM that helps me out alot and she even helps me build my downline by placing reps. in my downline for me.

Most of the time I go to my DM when I have question, but
anytime I have had an issue with an order, whether it was a mix up or a return, Avon has always staightened it out for me in a very quick manner.

Overall, I think Avon is a great company to work for because I can work when I have the time to and I enjoy doing it. I guess it helps that I have a good team to help and direct me.

The only thing that I can suggest to anyone interested in becoming a representative is to check out your DM when they come to sign you up and see if this is a person you think you can get along with and trust. If not I'm sure Avon can find someone else for you to team up with and make sure you ask questions and understand everything before signing your name.
Respond to this report!

#11 UPDATE Employee

oh boy

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

I cannot believe that someone else is having the same problem that I am having. I thought I was just stupid at keeping my records and had just messed it all up. But I have been selling for 2 years now at my first Christmas I had an order of $100 where the box was totally destroyed I had so many products missing.

I called Avon as soon as I recieved what was left of my order and reported all of the products that were missing. I was told I would be billed for the replacement order but as soon as I received it to call and they would remove the charges. Ha I had to pay for that lost order and since then my bill has gone up so that I now owe Avon $700. They made me sign a paysell to get my christmas order and because my order was on hold I lost all my customers.

Donette West Virgina
Respond to this report!

#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Also ex Avon Representative

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

In answer to your question about making money from your sales, Avon do not issue you checks. When you collect the money owed from your customers, they pay full price, and you are charged a reduced price, so you would keep the difference.

If you had customers who owed you $325 for one of the campaigns, and Avon invoices you $260, you would keep the $65.
Respond to this report!

#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I used to work for Avon

AUTHOR: Sksoad06 - (U.S.A.)

I used to work for Avon but never got paid from the sells I made. They never did explain to me how I got paid and when I asked them I never got a response. It seems like theyre no help when it comes to helping out. I have twin boys and I dont work. I am a stay at home mom and thought that Avon would help in getting some extra income so to me it looks like theyre a scam. Idk I could be wrong...
Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.