Highlight, 10 Cedar Swamp Road / SCAM Company
As a recent college graduate I like everyone else went job searching. I became aware very quickly of all the scam companies out there...Dynasty Promotions, cutco, NY promotions, and Jambas Team Promotions especially. I recieved an e-mail from a company called Highlight NY. They were looking to fill 9 positions. Some management, some marketing etc...
I went for my first interview with Heather and she seemed very professional and very nice. One of my questions to her directly was 'are you affiliated with any companies like Dynasty promotions or New York Promotions' she said she had not heard of either and could assure me everything that Highlight does is on the up and up.
I was asked what my desired salary would be. I told her i just graduated im not looking to get rich quick, I realize i need to work my way up. She said Entry level starts at 30, 000 a year. Fine, that seemed normal.
I was told to wait by my phone and if i were chosen for a second interview i would be notified between 4 and 6. I was called back for a second interview the next day. Glen Cove is an hour and a half from where I live, this was not an easy trip. I showed up for my interview and found 4 other people besides myself that were there for the same thing.
We were each pulled into a room separately for introductions. Each of us left with two other people from Highlight NY. We signed a form stating we would not be paid for anything we did or sold that day.
I was told over the phone to dress in what I wore for the interview. Which was dress slacks, suit jacket, and a sweater. I was told that I would be going to an event to see what the company was all about. Fine, seemed a little odd but didn't think much of it.
I was quizzed by someone who had been with the company for 9 months about my marketing experience then was given a brief lesson about marketing. It wasn't until we were 5 minutes away that I was told where we were going.
We went to a Home Depot in a not so nice area and represented a Missing Children Charity known as CPEA. I was pretty pissed because while I was told the 'event' would not be glamourous, i did not think i would be soliciting people. What we sold were flashlights that made halloween noises, safety calendars, and t-shirts. They also had fingerprinting for children for an Amber Alert ID card which was nice.
What put the icing on the cake was when the girl i was with told me to call a credit card in for a sale made (or contribution as she put it). She had given me her phone, and she dialed the number and handed it to me. I dont know why i thought this was odd but it struck a negative chord in me and i looked at the number she had just called right before hanging up.
It read 'Jambas'. My heart sank and i knew i had been scammed. I had read about this company numerous times and had i known Highlight and Jambas were one in the same i never would have continued on.
I asked 'why the name change' and i could tell she became very uncomfortable. She said it was because of something someone said on [redacted]. They stated that Jambas Team Promotions takes 95% of the contribution and 5% goes to the charity. Which is true, she stated. Highlight NY also takes 95% of the contribution and 5% goes to charity, so no difference there.
I do not believe that for a second, there is no way a company would change their name because of what 1 person said via the internet. They probably changed it because everyone associated Jambas with SCAM.
That wasn't the only thing, the girl i was with handed me a white binder containing some info about the company and some of their clients. One of the clients in the binder was D.A.R.E. which is represented by NY Promotions but apparently not Highlight/Jambas. I asked the girl with me if NY Promotions was affiliated with Highlight NY. she said 'kind of, we are all part of a company called Quantum Events'
Heather, the hiring manager and apparently owner of Highlight NY told me she had NEVER heard of NY Promotions. Lies. I cannot believe i was scammed even when i told Heather I did not want to work for a scam company. You would think that would give THEM a red flag not to call me back for a second interview!
I went to lunch with the girl i was with (she was very nice and i dont want to badmouth her because she is not the problem here, hence me not using her name) and asked about salary. She gave a bit of a jumbled response and in that response said 30, 000 a year for entry level. So I said ok so what does the weekly paycheck look like.
She said 350 a week. So i said is that with or without taxes being taken out? she said 'without'. Now to me, 30, 000 a year is around 600 a week Gross pay. Net pay maybe around 500. This gave another red flag.
I did not stick around for the entire time, after lunch i had someone pick me up and left, not wanting to feed into this scam anymore. The other gentlemen i was with was unaware he would be making less than 350 a week. He, like me assumed 30, 000 a year meant around 600 gross pay a week. When i informed him of what went on at lunch he wasnt happy and will be looking into the situation.
Do not go for an interview with this company if you are looking for a marketing position. There is no marketing initially. I didn't stick around long enough to find out what happens later but the girl i was with had been with the company 9 months and was still doing sales, the same thing i was doing on day one. I dont even want to call it sales, it's soliciting. You could tell the people at Highlight NY were all trained the same way, they were like robots. Cultish even. Not for me, be aware if you decide to interview for this job.