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Smart Circle / terrible experience

1 United States Review updated:
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As you glance through the job opportunities on career builder you'll likely see some enty level marketing and sales rep positions. Being a junior in college with no relevant work experience in the field I wish to pursue (marketing) I thought this 'opportunity' could benefit me. I went in for a first interview that was more of a quick formality that lasted approximately 15 minutes.

I was scheduled for a second interview quickly after where I had to to 'shadow' the assistant manager in a day of field work which I was led to believe was not the majority of what my job entailed. Sure I knew door to door sales was sleazy but I was promised all sorts of financial 'opportunity' so I figured I could do it if the money's right.

I feel so stupid for just accepting a job that didn't offer any concrete figures or direct answers. I took the job and left the place I had been working at for over 4 years making $16 per hour plus some benefits. I was in training for two weeks making $40 per day working 11 hr days and in the short two weeks I noticed an alarming trend that screamed GET OUT. Everyone there in the office (all the sales leaders and even the people in charge) was broke.

They all drove around crappy cars that weren't maintained well, ate at crappy restaurants and were HUNGRY for cash. Pretty much everyone there was pressured into working 60 hr weeks only to bring home $700 at the very most. This works out to a little over $11 per hour before taxes with no benefits, paid time off, health insurance, gas reimbursement, NOTHING. No wonder three of the 'lead people' were living out of one apartment broke and desperate for money. They were all working themselves to the bone day after day while they're being fed this pipe dream of 'owning their own business' so that they keep making smart circle rich.

I was duped into thinking this was some great opportunity when in reality it was just a scam that takes advantage of suckers who fall for deceptive sales tactics like '90% discount' and some 'free rounds of golf' when in reality the discounts are minuscule and nothing is free. Also, sales reps are taught to solicit businesses illegally by walking into office buildings with NO SOLICITING displayed clearly at the entrance. I was even instructed to hide my 'merchandise' when entering these buildings in case of security guards.

People look at you like you're trash and it's by far the most demeaning job I've ever done (and I've washed dishes and worked on a farm). I'll be the first to say that I refuse to do anything illegal for a living especially for crappy, less than minimum wage pay. Coaching people to engage in illegal activity and requiring commissioned sales reps to work from 7:15 am to around 7 pm has to be illegal itself.

The atmosphere was extremely sketchy and cult-like and I got out as quick as I possibly could. I'm not saying that this job isn't for some people because maybe you could succeed at it but... I'm not here to make judgment calls on anyone's character there but I was subject to a lot of deception and indirect answers when I had questions.

Honestly, I wish everyone at this office the best and I hope they get out before they lose all their friends and family from the ridiculous hours and end up penniless because of the ridiculous pay. Mainly, the purpose of this article is to inform any perspective employees of what they are really getting into at this 'dream job' and to get them to do some research on smart circle and its satellite companies before 'drinking the cool-aid' like I did.

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  • Ma
      30th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    Thank you for your frankness and sharing your experience with Smart Circle. I was approached by VS Advertising (Colorado Springs) this week regarding an Entry Level Marketing position with the same promises and sales pitch as you described. Now, after reading your comments, I will politely turn down their employment offer and not turn back.

  • Ft
      17th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have been working for a company like this for 5 days now. My first day was horrible. I walked around Dallas from 9- 5:30 and made $30. My feet had blisters all over them, I had shin splints, and I was exhausted. The next day, I was feeling like such a horrible person and so upset about the way that people were looking at me and judging me, that I called my leader to express my concerns. She referred me to another leader to talk to them. They told me to just keep going and I would sell. So I did. I got told that I needed to get a real job by various people that I would try to sell to. On my fourth day, I was sent to a bad part of town for the second day in a row. The day before that I had only made two sells, giving me $20 for my eight and a half work day. I was almost mugged by a guy in the parking lot of an abandoned shopping center. I called my store owner and was promised commision for two sales, even though I had not sold anything for that day. I DID NOT recieve that money at the end of the day and went home empty handed.
    If someone is reading this and thinking that I should just get out of this job and stop complaining, I can ensure you that I am actively looking for a new job right now. I have $665 to pay in rent every month and need to be making some money. Times are tough for everyone and those of us who have been weaseled into this job were NEVER told that it would be a door to door sales person position.
    In addition, I would just like to say that this company is not ethical. They lie to people. For example, the girl that I went around with yesterday told people that Planet Beach, which was who we were selling for, had just opened a new location right down the street, but in reality, the closest location was about 20 miles away. We also sold a package to a pregnant woman and I have been loosing sleep about the fact that this woman was assured by my coworker that is was safe to tan while pregant just to make eleven dollars. You don't get a tax form to fill out either. I cannot justify going around to different businesses and lieing to their employees.

  • Ka
      26th of Mar, 2012
    0 Votes

    The big problem with Smart Circle is that they open these small branch offices through new "business owners" when in reality these are just more people feeding the machine. Defined Industries Inc. is one of these so-called "businesses" and runs exactly the same scam, but because it goes by a different name you cannot find any info online showing it for what it really is. Defined Industries Inc. IS a sub-company of Smart Circle and will screw you over the same way. STAY AWAY.

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