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The Smart Circle / Fraud and cheating

1 United States Review updated:
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I recently wrote to CareerBuilder.com about these companies:

I have fallen victim to working for Dallas Edge (Arlington, TX) and Principle Management Group (Addison, TX); subsidiaries of the Smart Circle (enabling companies like the one mention nationwide). It wasn't until after I conducted more extensive research that I realized this was an elaborate pyramid scheme or multi-level marketing scam that takes advantage of individuals. The pathetic thing is that they've chosen to do so during economic turmoil.

These individuals (Jonathan Clarke and Associates) look for people who as they have put it are 'young, broke and hardworking.' Employees solicit business to business to sell products for the named companies. Not only are they kicked out of these businesses, but at one 'event' police were called to a 7 Eleven. Money was taken that unsuspecting givers thought they were 'donating.' Those that have been working there for much longer times and are completely brainwashed, will do any and everything to make money. I have heard their customers/victims being told that $15 more will help a kid get a free surgery. They fail to realize that only five percent of that helps children and even that is questionable.

The list of unethical, immoral behavior goes on. Other employees like my former self were trained to stand in front of retail businesses (rain, sleet, snow, freezing cold) for eight hours a day to sell cosmetics by leaning on a charitable organization called operation smile of which only receives 5% of profit. I trusted that this company I worked for had built legitimate relationships with these corporations. I later found out that this was not the case at all.

So they put me in risk of being told to pack up and leave, have the police called on me and much more on numerous occasions. The relationships are based on lies and manipulation. Someone from this company 'event coordinator' talks to a Starbucks, Chevron or Petco (to name a few victims) employee and convinces him/her to let them set up outside for this good cause. Little do these companies know, not only are their customers being taken advantage of spending money at these charity tables instead of in their stores, many are irritated and nagged with pathetic marketing/impulse tactics, plus their company brand is tainted. I was trained to say, 'I've partnered with Victoria Jackson and (fill in the unsuspecting company)...'

I was required to work six days a week, drive my car hundreds of miles for others and pay for my own gas, I was NOT given the $400 base salary that I signed paperwork for. And when I say hundreds of miles - the straw the broke the camels back was having to purchase two new tires and get front end alignment done on my vehicle. I spent two hours of my mornings listening to the owner blab about how horrible the economy is, how people are committing suicide because they're losing their jobs - scare tactics. People yell 'juice', the same garbage/training, and then spend 8 more hours 'in the field'. I'm not sure why at the time I didn't just walk away... wait I do: I needed a job, I needed money, to pay my bills and feed my family. They knew this and dug in their nails.

I worked 11-12 hour days six days a week for an average of $280 a week. Myself as well as others were hassled to stay as late as possible to help out. My commute was 45 minutes-you think they cared? Because 'the first one in and last one out was always most successful.' An old adage wasted on ###. I later discovered one of the 'big money making leaders' was living out of a hotel. Several didn't have cars.

Money was missing from my paychecks. After 41 days I'd only made $1800 after taxes, barely $4.18 an hour. And remember, I worked 11 hours days. These individuals are from other states, North Carolina, W Virginia, Ireland, New York. I make note of this because the name of the company changes so much since once they've saturate one area, they obviously move on to the next. They have conference calls with individuals all over the world - Florida, Boston, California.

The people that are named leaders are actually victims turned long time - desperate and brainwashed perpetrators. They learn the scheme, learn to teach it to others in hope that it sticks, make a little more off that person and hope that they can teach someone else. One guy claimed he left a position making six figures to do this. Absolutely laughable and sad. But definitely not true. I thought about this ... Had I ever been making six figures, I'd never move into such a position, selling cosmetics in front of a building hoping 'corporate' doesn't show up. Seriously, six figures is at least a downsize to something making $40k with benefits. There are no benefits by the way - well, except maybe a busted ### and dunce cap - lol. This particular individual also had some horrible characteristics like pocketing money during events, pretending it came of missing and hustling customers using all sorts of lies. It's obvious that their stories were elaborately made up.

The company principle management group is the same as dallas edge which will be changing its name again. After researching online I found that many had had my experiences. I wish I could kick myself for not digging deeper sooner or taking that other job. I wish I could sue. But instead the least that I can do is inform someone and I hope many people read this before being duped as I was. Careerbuilder should not represent this company on their site, not only are you too good, but they are NOT deserving of the opportunity and other people shouldn't waste their time, motivation or life on this crap. These people are vultures, heathens and liars.

Honestly, I felt like I was a part of a cult at times. A lot of it is simply psychological ### meant to lure vulnerable, desperate, gullible or at least easily influenced individuals like myself with strong work ethic. That's why everyone around me was young! We tend to be the most naive. I was used to lure in others, the more I believed, the more others believed because I was innocent and therefore even more credible then someone who knew what the hell was really going on. Did I mentioned that I turned down legitimate job offers for this? Now I am back to the drawing board. Smarter and tougher of course and always because I learn from my mistakes. The only difference this time is that I have a bone to pick. I came from a corporate environment and I've made some phone calls to people in high places. At the very least they will be deterred in this area.

Bottom line is this: This business uses deception and manipulation to make money off of others. If you think you're going to make it big - you're not. You have a better chance mixing some lipton tea and selling it in a baseball parking lot on a scorching hot day. They haven't made it big. It's all shallow illusion and deceitful ploy. And I'm sure had I stayed around longer, more would have surfaced - but then I might have hurt someone. While this may not be illegal for some absurd reason, I am here to label it unAmerican, immoral, unethical and wrong.

Oh and by the way I'm telling! Shame on Operation Smile, Victoria Jackson, DirecTV, Home Depot, Best Buy and any other company or sports team for being so desperate for exposure at the expense of others - since that's what it boils down to. These are million dollar individuals, reputable charities, big name companies that have established themselves to a point where they should be able to use legitimate marketing firms to advertise their products. When everyone begins hating your product - don't wonder why. Nobody likes ugly.

Da
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Comments

  • An
      10th of Aug, 2016
    0 Votes

    Its so true guys I work for 7 months' in Colorado the owner was stealing my commission and using them for other events that he didn't work at and paying me under minimum wages I put in 50 to 60 hours a week for and making only 6000 in 7 months when I went to the corporate about this I was let go he was not only stealing from me he's stealing from Sam club and Kroger also and they need to know what kind for people they are doing contracts with.

  • Mu
      2nd of Sep, 2016
    0 Votes

    Am from South Africa and yes I AGREE with everything here are and everything that yall have experienced is true and I have the same story to tell, there are many campanies like these like Capital growth and of cause Edcon or Credico, In Capital growth I worked there for more than 3 weeks and guess what the only thing they tell you is ''you must believe in the system'' they have 1st round interview 2nd and 3rd interview where they will lie and act as if you will one day be a millionair and you only in the field to build your company one day, they teach you to lie in order to make the sale shouting JUICE and you will come there very early in the morning and live late, you use your own money to travel and they want to know everything about you and your family so that they can use that against you.After quiting they lie and say you were lazy plus after quiting the are slim chances of getting a new job cause of the traumer and the devil in you #sad but keep praying. to get more info simply seach ''Devil corparation'' on google thats the exact thing thats happening.

  • An
      11th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    Here's a new photography blog about Smart Circle International. http://entryleveljobscam.blogspot.com/

  • Do
      18th of May, 2018
    +1 Votes

    What a scam! I signed up for Direct TV at a Sam's Club location, offering discounted Direct TV services. My first clue should have been when I was told I'd have next day installation, that took 5 days. My second clue should have been that I specifically stated that I wanted a pole mount, the installer showed up and had no idea that I did not want the dish mounted on my house. After having the service installed and was accessing the channels, I found out I needed an Internet connection to get all of the services the Smart Circle sales person told me I would get. I do not have an Internet provider in my area. I called the 800# for customer service only to find out that I was not speaking to Direct TV, but to Smart Circle. Basically the conversation of my disappointment was met with a "Too bad, pay!" I finally got in contact with Direct TV who handled the problem and allowed me to cancel my account.

    If you come across one of these sales guys anywhere, ask if they are associated with Smart Circle. If they are, run, do not walk, run away fast!

    And, shame on Sam's Club or anyone else who lets these scam artists in their stores!

  • Ni
      2nd of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    I have recently worked for them here in TEXAS. I have seen they are being sued. Is anyone in TEXAS?

  • As
      14th of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    I'm working for another shell company called Proof Management in MI, and they were smart enough to keep any signs of having a parent company hidden until my second week in. At that point, the name slipped out twice in front of me, along with some "high-roller" names that made looking information up so much easier. I had seen some negative reviews from employees before signing my contract - which I made sure to read over before signing... the "HR" person/receptionist was extremely busy trying to coordinate more interviews and all so I wasn't rushed - but brushed them off due to "oh, there are always going to be bitter former employees." All the same, once indisputable signs started rolling in, like the guy training me telling me his wife and him were living on credit cards and she was unhappy with the job he took, not to mention my feelings on the cult-like atmosphere of the "morning meeting" (they didn't call it an atmosphere in front of me until my third week in, so pun is slightly intended), I started digging more and more, eventually finding out the truth of Smart Circle. What I found combined with the discomfort of having my cell phone tracked through an app to log time during working hours (at least. so they say) did not make for the happy feelings.

    The people in that office started out so high-energy, but during my second week suddenly four people were just gone, including two who had started close to when I did. Now I'm being pressured to move up to "leadership" even though I was told in my interview that the progression was "entry level -> project manager -> director of marketing -> executive." The entry level was supposed to last 4-6 weeks, and my "team leader" (not project manager suddenly?) wanted to get me moved up in 3 weeks instead. Now, I am not opposed to swift promotions, but I am also more than happy to take my time actually getting to KNOW what it is I'm doing before moving to the next step. Especially when the new position has the same pay but more responsibilities... Just yesterday, that progression up the steps was written out during a much-more subdued atmosphere, and it was very different: "entry level -> leadership -> assistant manager -> executive -> RC -> NC."

    Making it even better is my first paycheck, which should have been over $300, came in at a gross of $180. Federal taxes were not taken out, although I had filled out the W-4 appropriately... Research shows that they claim their employees are independent contractors, so I'm almost certain I'll be getting a 1099 at the end of the fiscal year. So, not only will I have to pay my own income tax, but they stiffed me on half of my hours due to a 'clerical error.' The issue did get resolved within a couple days, at least.

    By the way. If you see "Royal Palms Spa Collection" or "Terra Life" sheets at a big box store, don't bother. Some people love them, yes, but they are properties of Smart Circle. Home by Jennifer Adams is supposedly a separate entity, but the address on the tags for those sheets belongs to a commercial suite building that has no obvious ties to that brand name.

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