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The Smart CircleFraud and cheating

D

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.

Responses

  • As
    Ashley Ulmer Aug 14, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Ni
    [email protected] Aug 02, 2018

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

    0 Votes
  • Do
    Donald Martin 5 May 18, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    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!

    1 Votes
  • An
    anthony malaga Jan 11, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

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

    Comments

    0 Votes
  • Mu
    mufunwa netshaulu Sep 02, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    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.

    0 Votes
  • An
    angel san Aug 10, 2016

    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.

    1 Votes
  • Pe
    pearlzee Jun 14, 2016

    To everyone that says this isn't a scam and that people just aren't "working hard enough" you should probably look into the lawsuit that was filed in May 2016 against Smart Circle. Any job that tells you "you can make as much money as you want" is bogus. Seriously, that is classic language used in manipulating people into blaming themselves for their "failures". Below is information from the Plaintiff's Attorney that is handling the the May 2016 lawsuit. Oh, and I did interview with Signals United, but it wasn't for a "management training" position, it was for a promotional and marketing events coordinator, then in the first interview the guy started talked to me about selling frontier internet service to people. I was invited to a second interview but after I came home and did some googling I decided that I wanted nothing to do with this company.


    "On May 20, 2016, we filed a Complaint against Smart Circle, Looped In, Signals United, and OnPoint OC in the Central District Court of California seeking minimum wages and overtime pay. The case was brought on behalf of similarly situated employees who gathered applications from consumers for enrollment in the federal Lifeline Assistance Program offered through Assurance Wireless. These workers seek to recover unpaid minimum wages, overtime premiums and double damages for themselves, a proposed nationwide collective under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and a proposed Rule 23 Class in California."

    2 Votes
  • La
    LaurenVG Dec 03, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm trying to understand how poster "it's an opportunity" thinks managing a sales office is such a dream job. No salary, no medical/dental, no sick, no vacation pay, just 100 % commission only. Sorry dude, but most people want better for themselves!

    2 Votes
  • It
    it's an opportunity Nov 25, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have never read more entitled posts. Did you guys understand the fact that you were being offered a position in a Management Training Program? Look around you - how many of your friends and family are managers or business owners? Every single one of them? No? Why's that? BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE HAS WHAT IT TAKES. News flash: the majority of society works for someone else. The only thing this program does is give you an opportunity to work for yourself. I am so appreciative of all the people who have helped me in this company (these trainers made no money off of me, it's not a scam), so thankful of the opportunity to change my life. I've grown as a person in so many ways. I've become a better problem solver, I take responsibility for my actions, I'm more accountable, I show up early (I was always late previously in life). Oh and I should mention that I profited $1000 last week - BECAUSE I worked my ### of, had a phenomenal attitude every day & I didn't expect anything, I went out there & got it. Take some responsibility for your actions - for the fact that the reason why you didn't succeed was most likely because of an average work ethic, attitude, or student mentality. There's nothing wrong with that, it just won't lead you to managing or owning anything anytime soon. Which many people (most people) live a very happy life doing. It's just not for me. 9-5 isn't for me. I started working when I was 15 yrs old to change my life & my future, I paid my way thru college, got great grades, maintained a positive outlook on life - I'm not normal. Thank goodness I'm not. This opportunity has given me a lot & I'm on my way to taking much more. I will be working longer hours than any of you, I will deal with more people on a daily basis, deal with more problems - but I'll be reaping much greater rewards than most of you will ever dream of. It's because of the person I am, this company Smart Circle is just my means to success. I will deserve all of it, but I will have worked for it. I'm sorry if the person who interviewed you or that you worked for is still learning or if they simply have poor morals - but blame them, blame the individual that failed to tell you it would be difficult, the individual that didn't train you properly. I'm just sad that you couldn't see the opportunity past that manager or past that leader and took it upon yourself to be the example. Why not? I am straight forward with the people I train, I'm hard on myself to be the best example possible, I don't bring everyone back from a 2nd round interview, I tell people if this isn't for them. I'm sorry if the manager or leader wasn't like that - but you could have passed them by ;)

    -10 Votes
  • Ap
    APG82 Aug 17, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Well I work with a smart sales company. Its actually working out for me. I owned a health and fitness business for 10 years prior. I had a degree in exercise science but not business so the business part was a little taxing. I've been with this company for 6 weeks now and I have already learned so much that I wish I knew when I started my former business. Yes the pay starts low but unlike other businesses you start at least I get paid minimum wage to learn. Every 2 weeks my pay has increased. The systems actually do work. When I take my breaks and control my attitude and do what I learned in atmosphere my sales start increasing. You have to be able to focus and not let your personal problems affect you when you run any business so that part makes sense. You will always have to learn outside of wirkbifbyou plan to continue being successful at anything. So studying on my personal time isn't a problem. When you just click in you don't learn. So you just give your life to someone. But here you learn and apply, learn and apply. What you learn no one can ever take from you. It feels more like a program that pays you to become a successful entrepreneur and invest in you opening one of their franchises without so much of the regulations of other franchises. They don't make you open a business with them so once you finish the 6-9 months you can go start your own and know how to pitch your idea, interview effectively without wasting time or money, manage inventory, manage people, manage time, balance life/business, payroll, network and so much more. All that I needed when I was using fitness as my product instead of the products I sale now. Everyone isn't made to run a business. My owner has a Lexus and the assistant managers dress very nice. They are honest with how hard this is and they don't hire everyone. They even fire the people who they feel are not going to be successful. That way you don't wait your time or money. She even writes recommendations. Soooooo I'm sorry you guys didn't make it. But we need teachers, doctors, truck drivers, store managers, lawyers, etc. at least I hope you went into a worthy field if you passed up this great opportunity. Oh! Did I mention I didn't pay ANYTHING up front like a pyramid scheme... I get pay if I learn and apply. Kinda like life...

    -1 Votes
  • Jo
    jordan72 Jun 29, 2015

    I just left smart circle. Not because it's a scam or anything like that but because I wasn't mentally strong enough to control my attitude to make the sales and build other people. All of these bad reviews are from people with an unsuccessful mindset. it's the worst sales job in the world, but it's the best oppurtunity.

    -5 Votes
  • Gm
    Gmcintire May 27, 2015

    I am currently working for the subsidiary Sharp Marketing Inc. out of Colorado Springs, which is tied in with Smart Circle. My main complaint about the way the conduct business is that the owner/head honcho of sharp marketing, doesn't schedule people any farther out than 9 o clock the night before. I end up working an 11 hour day on my feet the whole time, out a costco whose floors are covered in cement. When I get home, I am mentally & physically exhausted, so I barely spend anytime awake outside of work. I get home at around 845 and pass out. I work an average of 3 ten hour days, with an 8 hour as well. Means I should be at about 380 before taxes. But how can a person who makes less than 15, 000 a year only bring home 9, 000. The other night we didn't receive the schedule until 1030, which after working all day, I was already in bed, asleep. How am I supposed to be prepared for the next day if this guy doesn't send out our schedules until the latest possible time. So of I was running a little to close and rushing to word. Because if I was late, I'd get my ### reamed for being late.
    Whilst working for this business, I was making $12 an hour. I ended up moving into a higher prices apartment because I could afford it. Then out of the blue, I'm demoted back down to making $10 an hour. Guess what, I can't afford my apartment anymore, and am facing eviction. There is not enough time for me to apply for jobs, hope to hear back, possibly interview and play the waiting game to find out if I get hired. Making the move to work in one of smart circles subsidiaries was damn near the stupidest decision I have made in my life. And I've made some dumb decisions. I honestly hope that I can help someone not put themselves in this situation, and save them a bucket load of stress.

    -1 Votes
  • Mo
    monetsmartcircle May 06, 2015

    I worked in Smart Circle for about a year as a Team Leader. I went to the Regional Leaders Meetings and was very close to be promoted out before I quit. There's people here that say the negative reviews are from people that didn't work hard but that is not true. Actually, the harder you work and the closer you get to Owner the more you see the truth of the business.

    Smart Circle is full of people who want to make a quick buck. Exactly who you would think is apart of a business like this, is. Their business model is: LIE, CHEAT, and STEAL your way to the top. I've seen Owners from CA and OR party in their hotel rooms. Most are heavy alcoholics, including my previous boss, and heavy drug users. On the way to a Regional Meeting the next state over he stopped TO PICK UP A GALLON OF VODKA because of the "parties that rage" over there. DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYTHING THEY TELL YOU. GET IT ALL IN WRITING. I have been promised bonuses, repayment after moving cross country, repayment after getting stranded on THEIR ROAD TRIP and haven't seen a dime. To be honest, if you don't keep an eye on your paycheck and hourly they will gladly sell you short. These owners have to pay for everything out of their pocket and once they get a taste of the riches they become greedy and selfish.

    I can say I did learn a lot about sales and marketing but the majority of these owners do NOT have a college degree or have even taken a course in Business. That is why HALF of the people that get promoted do not succeed in their own offices. The business trains you in the software and general maintenece of the business but not the ethics or success of the business.

    From Dwayne Long in CA to Jacob Mann and Shodell in OR to Jacob Ochoa in WA they are all liars and cheaters. Please take these warnings before interviewing this job.

    1 Votes
  • Qu
    Queen TUT Mar 29, 2015

    I worked the Smart Circle company Dynasty Group Robert Browns office located in Hamilton NJ. This office is in the Verizon FiOS campaign, and its all kinds of scandals involved. Bobby demoted me after I called out sick and decided to terminate me over an argument, without real cause. On my way out the door, he shouted to me that he's going to tell unemploymeet that I was insubordinate. Yes admitted he was going to lie to screw me over! This is how they operate their businesses with lies!!

    0 Votes
  • De
    Devilcorp Dec 16, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Smart Circle is just one tentacle of the global direct sales cult known to some as Devilcorp. If you go to http://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com/ you will find a plethora of links to news reports, government rulings, lawsuits and video footage showing how these people do business.

    2 Votes
  • In
    Internet Avenger May 23, 2014

    Yes, they Smart-circle affaliates are breeding like crazy here in Southwest Florida: Next Global (nextglobalfl.com) Innovate industies (innovateindustries.net), sharper advertising (http://www.sharperadvertisinginc.com/) those are just in tiny Sarasota alone! Ft Meyers has rise media: http://risemediagroupinc.com/ and Hi-De advertising: hidefadvertising.com. Their websites all look similar, and I suspect that they have about a dozen different website templates to choose from. Notice how they are all the leading acquisitions, promotions, or event marketing agencies in the country? It's because they are all part of the Smart Circle world.

    Here is a link to sharper advertising's facebook page. You can see their latest cult members at one of their 'Paid Vacations' they advertise. Their highly-coveted 'Top Guns' meeting in Dallas: https://www.facebook.com/SharperAdvertising .

    I had the same interview experience not so long ago. I walked into a sparsely-furnished office to see about a dozen other applicants there. There were 'sales reps' walking around looking awfully important in the Men's Warhouse suits supposedly closing deals.

    Their spiels are all the same. I was told I too, could own my own business in 6-8 months and make six-figures/year. Luckily I'm a bit smarter than that. They wanted me to fill out another questionaire, but I walked out. You can go to [redacted].com and type in Smart Circle, and see report after report of the same process all over the country. Beware of job postings that say they need 'Entry-level management', or 'Sports-minded People', or Public Relations Associates'. They're so dumb that they use the same ads over and over with multiple companies. Also, read their job listings. They are either the area's premier advertising and marketing firm, or The area's leading events and promotions firm, or other such nonsense. However, when you start digging, you will find that their websites were created maybe a year ago as was their Facebook Pages. You don't become the 'leader' in anything in 9 months time unless you want to be the 'leader' at scamming people out of money.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Anonnie Mouse Apr 02, 2014

    I worked for this company for a few weeks and have read countless "debates" of whether this is a scam or not. A lot of people, including myself, have been seriously under paid from this company. If you are considering working for this company, keep a very detailed personal record of every hour you worked, how many sales you made, and the name and contacts of who you worked with. The "managers" of these businesses have to pay their employees out of pocket so any money they can manage to keep from you they will. They'll pretend that there's little loopholes. I heard some companies say that policy states that if you quit within 10 days or hiring you are not entitled to your money. That will not hold up at all with the Department of Labor. There will be other "loopholes" especially dealing with the commission factor. Truth is if the amount of money you earned divided by the hours you worked is not minimum wage, you have a healthy argument for the court. Some will even say that you can't get overtime because of the commission, Again, if minimum wage + overtime for whatever hours you were overworked exceeds the amount of commission you made you have yourself a valid court case!
    Because I left a review saying they tried not to pay me, and got the authorities involved they ended up having to change the name of their company. If I didn't press action and try to handle it on my own I would have only made 4 dollars an hour,

    2 Votes
  • Mi
    Mint Promotions Mar 19, 2014

    Every post here stating that Smart Circle and all
    affiliates is nothing more than a scam and period scheme is absolutely
    correct. Source? I just finished working there for 3 miserable months.
    I'm only writing this in hopes that I might prevent some poor soul in
    danger of wasting A LOT of precious hours of his/her life from buying in to
    the false promises and brainwashing, cult-like mentality that is smart
    circle. I worked for one of the many branches of smart circle (and yes,
    SC does intentionally disassociate itself from affiliates to a.) avoid prosecution, and b.) to
    remain in control of new "owners" bank accounts so they (the "owners")
    remain screwed if they decide to bail at any point when they realize
    what a mess they've gotten themselves into); but I digress, the local
    branch of fraudsters and thieves I was temporarily and unfortunately
    associated with is called MINT PROMOTIONS INC. Though red flags were
    abundant from day one, I accepted the job out of desperation and,
    admittedly, ignorance. The whole pyramid scheme from the ground up is
    based on lies and deceit; they will lie to you during the interview in
    order to trick you into accepting the job, just as they will train you
    to lie to consumers on a daily basis for the sake of someday becoming a
    rich and soulless manager (also, mostly a lie) who is now able to spread
    lies and deceit to his own underlings who are all recruited so they can
    recruit more underlings to make you more money. They will teach you
    bogus marketing systems designed to make customers feel "impulsive"
    enough to buy some useless ### they do not need. Some examples of
    these bogus marketing systems include: the 5 steps to a conversation!
    FUGI (or "fear of lossing"
    people into believing they need something they don't). There's also
    your SEE factors (smile, excitement, and enthusiasm), and you can't
    forget about the Jones effect, or greed factor (gotta
    keep up with the Jones'). The most astonishing part is they will use
    these same manipulation techniques on you as an interviewee. Now you
    might be thinking I'm a jaded former employee who's bitter because I was
    too lazy to succeed in what they call a "fast-paced" work environment,
    but the truth is I put in well over 60 hours a week and was a top
    performer in the office--all this being accounted for I STILL didn't
    make anywhere near what I did at my previous job. I am not writing this
    for some petty revenge, in fact I like most of the people I worked with
    there; I just feel bad for them for continuing to fall prey to the
    pyramid scheme disguised as multi-level
    marketing that is smart circle (and still they will deny vehemently that their business is
    MLM). No, I am writing this out of guilt for the interviewees and
    trainees I knowingly lied to. I bought into their ### long enough and thought I
    was just doing my part, even though in the back of my mind I always
    knew better. If this statement results in one applicant realizing the
    true nature of the SCAM/PYRAMID SCHEME that is SMART CIRCLE--or its'
    local affiliate MINT PROMOTIONS INC in ROCHESTER and BUFFALO, NY--by
    doing a quick GOOGLE search and happening upon this post, if this post
    prevents said applicant from making the horrible mistake of accepting
    this job and wasting hours upon hours of their life (yes, ANY job you
    are able to get is better than this), I might feel partially
    reprieved. Don't buy into that weird cult-mentality ###, folks. I'm
    trying to do a good deed here. You've been warned.

    0 Votes
  • So
    Someone Concerned Aug 15, 2010

    I just went through the same process with a company here in the Bay Area called "BAY" (yah, you would think that would set up a red flag!) Anyways, I went through the first interview and was told that he bypassed 165 applicants and that I would not see him (The CEO, yah right...) until the 3rd interview. I told him that I would "shadow" the individual. They wanted me to ride with her, but I told them no because not only do I know this person, but if I needed to make a quick get-away I could. So, I saw their pitch and what they were "selling". In the interview I told him that I did not want to do sales, or work at a commission job in which that is what the position entelled. Well, that got me mad at first, then she wanted me to assist her with setting up which I did not mind, but I was not planning on staying there all day. After 4 hours (I know, I should have left long ago) I told her that the manager wanted to meet with me for a second interview. It looked like she was upset but so what. I wasn't going to do her job for free... So, she finally e-mailed him and I went in. After I told him that is not what I was looking for, he tried to make me feel like a fool for denying a high paying job. See, he did not know who he was dealing with...I informed him that no money in the world will make me work that many hours. As I left, I looked up it's sister company Smart Circle and saw that it was a scam. I called the hotel in the city that we worked and told the HR manager about this company and the scam they pull. I don't like liars and I am all about the honor system. I needed to call the manager and inform him that I was not affiliated with this bad company.

    0 Votes
  • 4d
    4D&pets Jun 10, 2010

    I bought a gift card for $400.00 worth of services (cost $50) and the place is not in business any more and I was offered to exchange this card for another service (like baseball game tickets or similar unrelated to what I purchased).
    I was suckered.

    0 Votes
  • No
    NotAFool Aug 22, 2009

    I also fell victim to this scheme and interviewed for a Smart Circle company called Go To Inc. in Massachusetts. I went in for the first interview where the "manager" called me in for what seemed to be a 3 minute meeting where he spoke fast and I barely said a word, yet apparently I was one of the few who made it to the second round of interviews - Yeah right... They invite EVERYONE for a second interview. Unfortunately, I ignored the bad feeling in my stomach the next day and went on the second interview the next morning. The guy who I accompanied on "the field" told me that he was only looking for managers and that I could make $100, 000 within 4-6months. He also mentioned that he left a 6 figure job for this and just bought a brand new $90, 000 car. Funny that the car he was driving just happened to be a worth $4, 000 at the most. I went along with it because I was basically stuck about 2 hours away from home because these people have to drive to East Bum everyday while using their own transportation and gas money. Finally at the end of the 4 hour long second interview, he sat me down and told me how we get paid. HA! It is seriously laughable. Basically, I would be expected to work Monday through Saturday (yeah a 6 day work week) from 8:30am - 6:30pm (10 hour days?) walking from business to business selling crap to people who really just want to slam the door in your face, risk getting fined for solicitation, driving my own car thousands of miles, paying for my own gas... all for... COMMISSION ONLY. $45 for every sale. He told me the average was 3-4 a day. Oh yeah and also the false promise of becoming a manager one day. Bogus. I asked him about benefits and he said I could buy medical insurance myself after 90 days of working there. Are they serious? The sad thing is that I witnessed naive guys and girls falling for every word of this bs. I wanted to shake them and tell them that their dreams of making $100, 000/yr running their own "company" were never going to happen. Even if it did, it's not worth working as a slave to get there.

    Anyways, at the end of the interview I was congratulated and told that I was one of the few who had that "it" factor. Woohoo I got the job and was going to start on Monday. The second I left, I was gone for good. There was absolutely no way I was going to get involved in such a cult. I was mad at myself that I didn't listen to my gut that morning and stay home, but I'm glad I witnessed what I did because I will never fall for any scheme like that again. I only wish that so many people didn't fall for it and work as a slave for petty cash and false hopes of making it big.

    1 Votes
  • Ke
    keeper2009 Aug 12, 2009

    I interviewed for one of these companies with a generic "advertising/marketing" name. I did my first interview and was called back to second round interviews the next day, saying that i was "in the top five" of the group. I went out on several hours of the business-to-business sales attempts. All was going well until the "team leader" with whom I was tagging along sat down and drew out the business model. I may only be 22 but I knew right then and there that it was a big scheme. They wanted me to go from entry-level to owning my own company in 6-8 months!! I knew that was ridiculous and ran away from that job offer.

    Thank you for your affirmation that I did the right thing!

    1 Votes
  • Dm
    dmoney Jul 16, 2009

    I worked for Kinetic wich is the same smart circle bs. this firm is out here in northern california. i worked for them for 4 and a half months. i quit because my leader was harrasin me and scammin me. she would act like she cares about me and we are buisness parteners but in the end she was just a cutt throat mentality person who puts on a front. after i quit the first time i got a call from her desperatly beggin me to come back. so i did to do DIRECT tv and the same bs tactics were involved and the money never came. i quit again and she still trys to keep in touch to get me to work 4 her. shes desperate. so is that firm. i hear now everyone is quiting in that office, even all the ones that went to the big TOP GUN MEETING. haha

    1 Votes
  • I am currently Working for this multi-level scam organization. I do agree with you that it is almost entirely a scam. I am a young person who Lives in Michigan where work is very scarce and cannot find a "real job". This in the beginning was perfect for me. I was promised the base salary of $400 per week plus commission. Seems that I only receive commision as it were. Which is enough to get me by, and I have so far refused to drive long distances at their becon call. So to put this nicely Smart Circle is B.S., but it is working out to my benefit. I make my own schedule and will not do everything that They have tried to get me to do. I will never lie to a customer to get them to buy something from me. Which by the way is DIRECTV. I do believe in the product due to the fact that it does save people money everyday and enhance their overall quality of television. However they have trained me to lie, I do not, They have asked me to drive ungodly ammounts of miles to Help them, I will not, But yet they are still happy because compared to my manager I am making more then him. "Good job me!" I do however sudgest to anyone who thinks this might be a good job for them, Just hope you have a background and a good sence of morals or you will not go far and you will not be able to do this succesfully.

    3 Votes

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