ED Magedson – Founder
Buckeye Promotions Group (please read before considering employment)35 E Gay St. Suite 512 Columbus, Ohio USA
Buckeye Promotions Group (please read before considering employment) Circle Concepts, Credit Co. Deceptive interviewing process Columbus Ohio
I am a college educated man in my 20's. When I began first came across Buckeye Promotions Group, I was doing so because I'm engaged and looking forward to relocating in Columbus, OH to start my life with her. In college, I received a degree in Communication with a focus on broadcast, journalism, and advertising. It made sense that I would be interested in a place that claims to be an advertising firm. By the web-site and job postings on various career search web-sites, I was convinced they were an indirect marketing agency (which refers specifically to advertising. Direct marketing is not advertising, it refers specifically to sales) working for the metropolitan Columbus area. A girl named Cassandra called me, and asked if I could come in the very next day for a meeting with the CEO, Kai Petrich.
I did not accept the interview the next day, because I was scheduled in at my still current employer. I had specific days in which I’d requested off for job searching, and rescheduled for the following Monday. Cassandra was really animate about me reconsidering for the next day, but still I refused. I spent the weekend buying a suit, polishing my dress shoes, brushing up my resume. I was lucky enough on the first day to find a meter literally right across the street on E. Gay St. which for 3 hours only cost $2.24. I did not, however, need 3 hours, but decided it was safe to check prices regardless before paying the meter. 35 E. Gay St. looks like a very reputable building. From what I saw I was still convinced this was a real advertising firm. I made my way up to the 5th floor and was greeted by a slick, preppy suit-and-tie guy about my age named Matt. He complimented my tie and helped me find suite 512, which is where he works. Inside the office, I found the girl who I spoke to on the phone, Cassandra. I had my doubts right away by the size of the office. I thought to myself that a real advertising firm couldn't run in a tiny little space consisting of 4 or 5 offices within. I thought at the time that maybe they were running other parts of the same building, but I was still curious about their interview process.
I met with Kai Petrich, another slick, preppy suit-and-tie type, this one roughly in his 30's. The interview was really short, maybe about 20 minutes, and I spoke about my interests in indirect marketing advertising, and experience in radio and journalism. Not even once did Kai make me think that it was anything other than the type of job they made it out to look like on their website and FB page. In my opinion, I aced the interview and was told to wait till 4pm to hear about a call back for a second interview. At this point, I should state fairly that I doubt it's very hard to get a call at Buckeye Promotions Group, and when I did received said call back, I was not surprised. I spent that night researching more about them online based on what I saw on day one and really could not find a single bit of evidence that made me think Buckeye Promotions Group was anything other than what I thought they were, and they let me keep on believing it for that first interview.
The next day I was asked to be there at 10am for a second interview. They told me the interview process would take between 3-4 hours so I parked a garage on W. Gay St. which cost me about $10 bucks. I made my way up to Suite 512 again, and was once again greeted by Matt and Cassandra. For the second interview, I was taken across the street to Cafe Brioso, a coffee shop, also located on E. Gay St. I regrettably admit at this point I can't remember the name of the guy who interviewed me for the second interview. This guy was also a slick, preppy, suit-and-tie type, and probably in his early 40's. In the most unprofessional interview I've ever sat through, I was asked why I wanted to work for the company. In my response, I used the term indirect marketing advertisement, to which he quickly replied that this was not an indirect marketing job, it was a direct marketing job.
"What are you selling, and who are you selling it to?" I asked
In his response, which had no shortages of the word "bullsh*" and "f*," he explained to me they were basically a door-to-door sales company selling AT&T U-verse to the various Columbus suburbs. He then informed me that this was not some "bullshit" motivational company trying to convince people to "get rich quick," but a company that works hard and plays hard. He then told me about the business model, and system of promotions which broke down like this: In 2-4 weeks I would be trained on the sales pitch. I would start out making $300-$500/week. Once I learn how to train other new hires, I would begin making $500-$700/week. Above this position, one would become the assistant manager of a branch and would, at this point, be making $1000/week. If one was lucky enough to be successful at this point, you could move into managing your own branch and start making as it is listed on the paper showing the pay levels "2-4 times that amount" which I took to mean $2000-$4000/week. At this point, I knew the company was more than likely a pyramid scam type of job, but I just needed to see the evidence. I used my skills of probing for answers which I learned in journalism classes and spent the rest of the interview finding out as much as I could about the company. I found out from this man, that they worked under a parent company called Circle Concepts. At the end of the interview, we walked back to Suit 512. I waited patiently, knowing at this point this was not a job I was interested in, but liked the idea of probing further to find out all I could before leaving. I figured since they deceived me, I might as well deceive them into thinking I still wanted the job. Only fair.
The third interview which took place after returning to suite 512, was conducted by Matt, the slick preppy kid I met in the hallway before at the beginning of the first interview. I fed him all the right answers, and began probing him. I found out he was from Bentonville, AR, and attended a business college that literally spews out Walmart CEO's. He joined on at Buckeye Promotions Group after working for the parent company of Circle Concepts, a stock market company called Credit Co. I wrapped up the interview and left after thanking everyone for their time.
Upon further research of various sources including other reports on this website, I discovered that Circle Concepts is a pyramid structured type of marketing group which sells products for larger corporations such as AT&T. Although Credit Co. is their parent company which gets the right to sell AT&T services to the public, Credit Co. does not directly run Buckeye Promotions Group. In fact, Credit Co. is actually a fairly reputable company which runs marketing campaigns. Their small companies, such as Circle Concepts (and Buckeye Promotions Group) all function under Credit Co. Not all of Credit Co. companies are pyramid structured companies, and honestly Credit Co. and AT&T may not be fully aware of the business practices conducted by Circle Concepts.
Upon further research of Kai Petrich, and what I could gather from his FB page, AT&T is not the only product he is in the market of selling. He lives a busy life, constantly travelling on supposed business trips to various US cities, and other countries. He usually takes his employees with him to stay in houses, and sleep on air-mattresses or couches. These employees normally have to pay for their own travel time, and usually don't get paid for several weeks.
After researching this, I called in and spoke with Matt once again, asking for a comment on accusations that have been made against their company concerning withholding paychecks for several weeks before employees receive payments, and often times do not receive the full amount promised or even comparable to the sells they had achieved.
“Well that is all clearly stated in our employment agreement,” Matt states. “Employees may not receive payment right away because of the processing time of applications. This is due to the processing time of applications through AT&T.” He then told me that he would have another representative of the company, whose name I have promised to keep off the record here, call me with further comments. Within the next couple hours, I received a phone call from said person. When questioned about a past employee who claimed to have sold 12 AT&T apps and 13 Restaurant.com apps all within two months of employment and only received two paychecks in two months, both of which amounted to roughly $300, they seemed to be able to identify based on this information exactly who I was talking about.
“I think I recall exactly who you are talking about,” the employee recalls. “He only received $300 because his applications did not go through. We actually had to let him go because he was committing application fraud, and that is not something our company can allow.”
The interview process in whole seemed to be a little deceiving. Throughout the interview, I was given very little information about the exact pay amount I would receive if hired. Faced with a more honest interview process where interviewees were informed about the withholding of paychecks, and the exact amount of pay they would earn, many hard working people trying to take care of themselves, and sometimes families as well, may think twice before accepting a job at Buckeye Promotions group. However, many people do accept the job offer with high hopes of getting rich quickly, and find out the hard way that it’s not exactly the dream job they had in mind.
So how exactly can someone become successful at Buckeye Promotions Group? First, the person would have to be able to support themselves on another source of income, or have an abundance of their own to start out. Given the drive and determination to sell a lot of applications over a long enough period of time, the individual may achieve higher rankings within the company. Employees who do not meet goals are demoted to lower levels within the company until they can achieve their goals once again. If the individual pushes through to higher and higher ranks in the company overcoming the odds, they may become more successful and indeed receive better pay. Guessing from the number of interviews constantly being set up on a daily basis, it seems many people may not be willing to stay very long to find out if they do indeed have the drive. Many often cannot afford to take the risk.
I hope this article has been helpful if you ever come across Buckeye Promotions or any of their parent companies before considering employment.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/17/2014 10:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/buckeye-promotions-group-please-read-before-considering-employment/columbus-ohio-43215/buckeye-promotions-group-please-read-before-considering-employment-circle-concepts-cre-1139811. 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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