ED Magedson – Founder
OTB Management825 E. Southmore Suite 206, Internet United States of America
I am ashamed to say that I too fell for the scam offered by OTB, one of the many affiliations of Scentura Fragrances and Larry Hahn.
I am a single mother of two and have been out of work for over six months. A friend of mine gave me the name and number of the company and said it was an opportunity for management. Being that I was sick of the current field that I have been in, I decided to give it a try.
I called OTB on a Wednesday at about 1 pm and they actually asked me could I make it in for an interview that day (???). I told them no, so they set me up for an interview the next day at 1pm. When I went, the office was very sparse, only a bookcase, a desk and some chairs. There were about ten other women there, mostly young, and a few older ones. I was greeted by a woman with a very cheap-looking short dress with her b***s hanging out and butt almost exposed, with hooker heels on, who introduced herself to me as Aileen. She gave me a skimpy one-page application that I quickly filled out and returned. After a few minutes wait, Aileen started calling girls to the back in groups of four to be interviewed in another room. The girls came out one by one, in less than five minutes. After about fifteen minutes it was my turn with my group. Aileen asked us questions like do we like to have fun, do we like to work hard, how was our personality and how did we get along with others on a scale of 1 to 10. After about four minutes I was dismissed and told that if I was selected for a second interview I would be called later on that day. Hmmm.
I actually was called that day at about 7:30 pm. I was told that she was VERY IMPRESSED by what I had to say (???), and could I come back the following Wednesday at 12 pm? I was to bring a notebook and be prepared to be there 2-3 hours (for an interview???).
By this time my friend who had given me the referral had quit the job. I was thinking that she didn't have what it took to be a manager, and I was willing to give it a good shot, hoping this was the change in career I so greatly needed.
So, Wednseday comes around and I make it to the 2nd interview. There about 15-20 people waiting. There were not enough seats for everybody, so people were hanging in the hallway. Everyone was wondering what kind of company this was, and we figured we would be there the 2-3 hours because everyone would be interviewed 1 on 1. Wrong! Aileen comes in (with another infamous hoochie dress on) and ushers us into a back room and tells us that Brian will be in to see us in a few.
Well, we finally get to meet Brian who looks like a fake gangster pimp rapper wanna-be, and he tells us that we are to take good notes, NO QUESTIONS while he is talking, and any questions are to be written down and asked at the end of the interview. He goes into the company history about the owner Larry Hahn who has been in business thirty years. Larry started out selling washing machines, refrigerators, furniture, etc., until 1987 when he invested 1.7 mill into the fragrance industry. We needed to have certain qualities to make it through this training: positive attitude, enthusiastic, dependable, HONEST!!! We also needed to have dependable transportation and be available from 8:45 in the morning till 5:30ish in the afternoon six days of the week(???).
He gave some facts(?) on the fragrance industry and broke down why we pay so much for a fragrance. We were told that training was hard (if I only knew). He broke down the phases of training and told us of the contract options upon completion when we would have our own office. We were told that we would be making 30k a year and MANAGING up to 15 people in our office. After this we were sent once again in groups of four to see Aileen to let us know if we were chosen to come back. Me of course with my bad luck was.
Orientation was the following Monday from 10:30 till about 2. The number of people was cut considerably, there were only 5. In hindsight I see the older and more obese people were gone. Aileen held this meeting, and the focus was on attitude. We shouldn't listen to what NEGATIVE people had to say. We were once again schooled on the ingredients of a fragrance, and why OTB's were cheaper because they didn't have to pay for extra markup. We were given a basic breakdown of the badge levels. They tell us you move up by how good your skills are (not mentioning it's really how much perfume you peddle). We were sent home with a contest. Whoever could sell the most bottles to FFAR (Friends, Family Acquaintances, Relatives) would win $500. Our group goal was to sell 50, put whoever sold the most would win this contest. We were dismissed and told to return the next day at 8:45 am in business casual attire. After all, if we were to be managers we had to look the part right?
So, here we are on Tuesday, training day 1. I make it to the office and when I open the door the music is blasting so loud you can barely hear yourself think. They finally come in and we are talked to by Brian who gives his fast talk hip hop speech and teaches us some of his little OTB cheers or whatever you want to call them. Then Aileen comes in with her part of the morning meeting and her hoochie dress. Our group in total has sold 35 bottles of perfume However, no one wins the $500 because we didn't reach our group goal of 50.
We are reminded that training is hard! We are there to become business professionals, not sales reps. We do a run-through of the sales pitch (or how to work people over), which is called The 5 Steps. They tell us 8-steps of success, which include a "no cherry picking" step. This means that you are to pitch to any and everyone, no matter if they look like they have money or not.
So we got talked to till about 11:30. The FNP's (Faboulous New People or F**ing New People) where paired up with the Old Dogs. And we where sent on our way to return back to the office at 5 pm. At this point in time I was somewhat confused as to what was going on but didn't want to be negative, so I went with the flow. My Old Dog (who had been dressed differently but was now in a pair of booty shorts) and another FNP and Old Dog piled up into my car. This pissed me off because I'm really not big on travelling people around in my ride. So they stop and get food and then I'm told to go to La Marque, which is about a 30 minute drive from Pasadena. I was given $5 for gas (which aint much in this economy).
Once we got to La Marque, I followed my Old Dog around and watched her basically two-bit hustle this perfume. Is this what I am supposed to do? We were in and out of my car, at strip malls, tire shops, gas stations, etc. We went to Wal-Mart, whereas I asked if this was illegal to be peddling in a store or around it. I was told that if you were caught you would be put out of the store and they wouldn't want you in that territory anymore. Around that point is when we got a call from the other Old Dog saying we need to leave out of Wal-Mart because a cop pulled up outside (???). This continued on till about 4:30 when we were finally allowed to go to the office. We were given a quick meeting, and then dismissed until the next day.
I returned the next day. Why you ask? This place had lost all credibility with me the day before. But, I figured that since my people who I ordered perfume for paid cash that they just might not get their perfume if I ducked out. And if they got duped it was all my fault. So a felt a little obligated to stick around. This day was no different than yesterday. The music was blasting; Aileen had the hoochie dress and hooker heels on. Today was "Make It or Break It" day. Our badge levels were broken down in detail, where now it is really brought to the light that you move up in badge level by HOW MUCH YOU SELL not your skills and ability.
This is the day where the really give you the game. They break down how many bottles it takes to pay the rent, lights, and phone for the office; how many after that for their personal rent and bills; how many after that to get extra money in their pocket. Aileen tells us that it takes approximately 35 bottles to pay the rent, lights, and phone for that office. I'm thinking, hell she made that off us the first night. At this point I'm wondering does she and Brian go out in the street and hustle the perfume too? Basically they are pimping us to go out here and get their money! The trainees are out there on the block taking the risk of running into the cops while these two sit in the office and collect the dough. Hmmm. So out on the block we went again, even though it was pouring down raining. Just like real street hustlers. Did I mention when you sell a bottle it's a "drop"? When I come back to the office I am only issued two of my five bottles of perfume. I'm thinking to myself, this sucks, cause I am desperate not to come back here.
Thursday was more of the same routine. The music was loud, but Aileen actually had on pants this day! We had a b.s. meeting on How to be the Ish in the Field (that was the actual title of the meeting) and off we were again to go hustle on the block. This time Be Back Time was 5:30. I was not aware of this when I came in that day. Now I mentioned before that I am the parent of two children, so I am responsible for letting the people who care for my children know when I'm coming and going. This is ticking me off seriously because I haven't seen much of my children all week already and now I'm obligated to be out longer with no notice, travelling all over Houston? If anything happens to any of us in my car I'm sure no one at OTB would be responsible or even willing to help cover anything while I'm on "company time". This really sucks, but this is what I do.
Friday. More loud music. Another hoochie dress. Another b.s. meeting. This time it's the numbers meeting where wannabe Brian is telling us how if you sell this much, you earn this much, you make this much in a year, and the next consecutive years (he and Aileen are on their second year toether, which I found to not be true). He tells us about other people who have risen up the ladder and how much money everybody is making and what not. Then its hustle time again! But wait! I need to pull my car in the back because, get this ya'll, fancy fly Brian needs a jump for his beat down Cadillac! Are you serious?
So today the Be Back time is a ridiculous 6:00, because Friday's are supposed to be sooo juicy (a word they use that means good for business). I'm stuffed in my car with four other people, way on the other side of town. I have a small car , and with all these people I'm not feeling any of the air conditioning, and I swear it feels as if my poor little car is struggling. It's not brand new, but it's not a hooptie, it's dependable and I strive to keep it that way. So. We go hustle in the middle of an extremely hot day and sold only one bottle of perfume. I am so ready to go home to my family it's not even funny. When 6:00 finally rolls around I am obligated to drop these four other people off at home in various parts of town, nowhere near the vicinity of where I live. I don't do all this in my spare time with my friends. To me this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
When I get home this day, I discuss this with my family. They tell me to hell with the perfume, this just was not worth it. I'm putting wear and tear on my car, out here two-bit street hustling (or hooking, it feels all the same) and I shouldn't put myself through this anymore. So that was my final day at OTB Management.
I'm writing this story to tell all of you people: SCENTURA FRAGRANCES AND ALL OF ITS AFFILIATES ARE A SCAM!!! If you don't mind being out "on the block" making money for other people, begging for drinks or meals, and then going home with chicken change, then this is the perfect job for you. if you don't mind ducking and dodging the cops, then this also might be for you. I truly believe that if you stick with this company in the end you will make a little money (not how they proclaim you will cause hardly anybody buys this stuff) but you have to "pimp" out and prey on others, mostly young adults with records, to do so.
But if you are a responsible person and have a good heart, you won't want to have anything to do with these people. This is not a legitimate job. You will never manage up to 15 people in an office. You don't fill out any I-9's or paperwork so how are you even hired? You will never sell or distribute perfume in a reputable, safe place, with any types of licenses or permits.
SO WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/31/2010 02:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/otb-management/internet/otb-management-scentura-fragrances-brian-covington-aileen-encina-scam-street-peddling-628068. 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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