Report: #335514

Complaint Review: Island Media Advertising

  • Submitted: Thu, May 29, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, December 24, 2008
  • Reported By: Valrico Florida
  • Island Media Advertising
    7821 N Dale Mabry Highway
    Tampa, Florida

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

I was out of work, and responded to an ad for this company, as the company looked real good, and offered the moon to come and work for them(I should have known better), I applied and was called in a for an interview, which was conducted like no other interview I ever had, I was in a conference room with about 8 other people, and we were all interviewed at the same time. Well needless to say, I got the job, and went in for the first day and was given about 5 minutes of training, 3 sheets of instructions, told to pass myself off as working for a law firm hence the aka Phillips, Thomas, Goldberg, well that law firm does not exist, it is just a strong arm tool developed by David Phillips who owns the company, to make people that his company has scammed pay his outrageous charge of $954.00 USD for at best a web site that any 5 year old could design. This company only does business with companies in the Caribbean and with the exchage rate of some of those currencies, this amounts to anywhere from $3500.00 to $9500.00 in their money. Oh, and payment can only be done via Credit Card, Bank Transfer, or Western Union MOney Transfer or MoneyGram. Now for my experience in working there got the 5 minutes of traning, the 3 sheets of instructions, and then it was call and collect this money. After a sleepless night, I trudged back in and was immediately shuffled into the boss's office and told that I needed to learn to lie better and get this money collected, and that I was expected to collect 27K that day. I promptly went to the bathroom and threw up, went back in and told them to go to hell, I am not a theif or a liar, and that if they wanted that from me, then I am taking a walk, well needless to say, I am back looking for work, but I am sure as hell sleeping better at night. If anyone is thinking about going to work there, I suggest you don't, as you will have to leave your ethics and morals at the door to make it there.

Valrico, Florida
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/29/2008 01:09 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

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Same old Tricks new company name

AUTHOR: Ava T - ()

 Everything in this report is true. Now they have changed their name to Dolphin Bay Advertising and still up to the same old tricks. My last paycheck was bad also. DO NOT deal with this company!!!

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Everthing in the above report is correct

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

I also worked for Island Media Advertising, in the tech area, for a couple of months. I can confirm that what jarjar reported is absolutely true. IMA's principal product is the 'Island Yellow Pages'. It's a database driven directory website that could theoretically be very useful but it isn't searchable and it isn't indexed by Google or other search engines. As a sweetner, potential listees are offered a "free website" if they sign up for a minimum of 1 year. Jarjar is right. It's a simple template design that even a child could match and it's a subdomain of their; a third rate address at best.

Elsewhere, these services can be found for free. But Island Media specifically targets small businesses in the Caribbean and eslewhere, counting on their ignorance to make the "Island Yellow Pages" seem valuable. For the priviledge, Island Media charges it's customers between $700 and $1400 a year. By comparison, any web hosting company will sell you a top tier domain, 1-click install websites that can be customized to look like a fortune 500 competitor, and unlimited hosting for around $100 annually.

Sales are run through a typical turn and burn phone room. IMA recruits almost all of their employees from the pool of minum wage to no more than $8.00 per hour workers. The telemarketers cold call right out of the telephone book. 1 in 25 prospects take the bait. Afterall, the service does have some theoretical value. The big hook is in the pricing scheme. The cost is first described as something like $62.50 or $75 per month. Then, if the prospect agrees to sign up, they are transfered to a "closer" who records their verbal agreement and tacks on something like "balance due annually". Before they know what they've agreed to, the new customer is on the hook to pay between $700-900 immediately. The closer then ends the call. The client's address and phone number are taken right out of the real yellowpages and entered into the IYP database, an online listing is automatically generated, and the account is IMMEDIATELY transfered to the internal collections department.

The Island Media collections staff will then proceed to hound these poor people for months until they finally agree to pay all or a portion of their so-called debt. That's where "Phillips, Thomas, and Goldberg" come in, a fictitious name for so-called "legal" or "third party" collections which are also in house. In truth, it's just good cop, bad cop scam that they do as a suplemental tactic to coerce people into paying. The "third party" collectors usually roll out the tape of the original sales call, in order to convince the client that they are legally obligated to pay. Of course, there is no legal obligation. Island Media simply counts on the scare tactics to convince a significant portion of their customers to capitulate. When I was there over a year ago, we were collecting on about 1 in 3 of the orginal sales and generating approximately $20,000 per week.

David Phillips then supplements this income by not paying his employees. Sales reps are promised commissions on any sale that actually turns into money. But IMA has a standing rule that all commissions on sales are forefeit if the rep in question doesn't meet an arbitrary quota of total sales each week. Probably illegal and also counterproductive because instead of concentrating bringing in prospects that might actually pay, the sales reps will basically lie and cheat their way through their raps and promise everything under the sun to get a fish to say yes to the closer.

Collectors are also typically paid a percentage of what they collect. But Phillips will delay paying any commissions to sales reps or collectors for weeks and when he does get around to it, the commission checks are usually miscalculated in his favor. Employees of IMA often find themselves working week to week without any pay and being owed, in some cases, thousands of dollars. There wasn't a day that I worked there where there wasn't at least one dispute between Phillips and an employee that he owed money to. People would quit or be fired and never receive their final checks. Unpaid former employees would show up every day looking for their missing earnings. At least once a week, the Sheriff's department would be called to escort one or more of these people off the premises. The reponse from Phillips and his managers was always the same. Checks were mailed on a date previous and they couldn't take responsibilty for what the post office did with them. In reality, they would wait until the last possible day before reprisals could not be avoided and mail partial payments. They had a Pitney Bowes postage meter on premises which they would use to backdate the postage stamp, making it appear that the checks had been lost in the mail, possibly for weeks. Of course, that practice is a felony.

Finally, if ever a check was received from David Phillips, it only ever had a 1 in 4 chance of clearing the bank. Typically, he would write payroll checks every week for an average total obligation of about $6000. But he would only have about half that amount in his payroll account. Employees would receive their checks on Friday afternoon and literally have to race each other to the bank that the accounts were drawn on and hope to be the first to cash out.
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#3 Consumer Comment

This website saved me from wasting my day!

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

I got one of those "gut" feelings when I got an email from David Phillips who oddly enough didn't have a company email, it was a gmail address ( by the way, just in case you get an email asking you to come in for an interview. I responded to an ad for an admin assistant position posted on craigslist and luckily did a search of the company beforehand, when I saw this my heart sank and I am lucky I followed my instinct. Please check into all companies before going in for an interview, I know with the economy the way it is, we all need work, but not at the cost of our morals. Thank you again!!!
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Attorney response.

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

Let's stop the lying. There was not an attorney at Island Media by the Name of David at the company. This company has probably committed multiple counts of wire fraud. I have contacted the FBI and will follow up vigorously until charges are filed. I worked there for about seven or eight months. I was promised that bills (the company's bills) would be paid. I was sooo wrong.

The lights were turned off. Island Media owed verizon money from 2005 (under carribean yellow pages or superpages) and was owing verizon money this year before they got a new T1. David Phillips (seems similar to the "David" attorney and Phillips,Thomas and Goldberg is he certified with the Florida Bar? no.) This company has charged several credit cards without signatures from the client stating it is ok.

I have had conversations with people stating they did not approve their credit cards being charge. I kept a list of customers who have possibly have been defrauded. I made sure I was not going to jail for Island Media. This place has some very good employees who have to go to work in a boiler room with no regard for international law. Well if nobody else will fight for justice I will. That I promise.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

This Is Not True

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

I have worked at Island Media Advertising for over a year and I knew the person who wrote this...and it is not true. Island Media sells a great product for businesses in the Caribbean Islands and have hundreds of happy customers. They sell their product and require no money up front. They do have a collection department...both a first party and third party collections with an in-house attorney. Phillips, Thomas & Goldberg is the third party collections that acts on behalf of Island Media Advertising to recover from non paying accounts.

The person who wrote this was a terrible collector and could not do the job and is using this online company to slander a good company.

I would envite anyone that wants to know the truth to look deeper into this company than someone who was only in our office for 2 days because he could not do the job he was hired for. I feel certain he is still unemployed and has nothing better to do. Look at what Island Media Advertising is doing for the and alot more!
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#6 Author of original report

Island Media Advertising

AUTHOR: Jarjarbinks19 - (U.S.A.)

Well, these people are still trying to get people to come work for them, and as for the observation, thanks, i have already reported them, and they hopefully soon will be out of business, and the "Skipper" and his co hearts will be in jail.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Mg - (Turks and Caicos Islands)

As a regular recipient of scam faxes from your former employer David R. Phillips I am bound to point out that the behaviour you describe clearly constitutes wire fraud. The reason he only sends these faxes to the Caribbean is that he is out of range of their police and the sums he steals are too small to warrant extradition. You should also consider the effect that this creates abroad on the reputation of honest law abiding American businesses. You have an obligation to report this to law enforcement. This man should be in prison.
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#8 Author of original report

Now add to the mix, they pay you with a NSF check

AUTHOR: Jarjarbinks19 - (U.S.A.)

I could not believe this company actually paid me for the 2 days I worked for them, a whole $39.65, went to the bank to cash the check, and zip bang, guess what?? The check is no good, It bounced higher than the ceiling of the bank. If you are still employed there, I suggest that you get out now before this happens to you.
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