The Smart Circle GroupFake advertising!

Well, the title speaks for itself. I actually went through the same thing with JT, and unbeknownst to me, they connived me into their business. Now, their website... wow... whoever created that is at least an awesome web designer. Very misleading though. I studied advertising/communications at Florida State University. It was actually my major...and my first clue that this agency was bogus should have been the fact that nobody there, count it-NOBODY, not even the OWNER, had ever studied advertising or marketing in all it's form. I didn't even see any books in any body's office.

Also, Jared told me there would be no sales involved, and that he himself had no experience in sales. Ok, first of all, advertising is sales, especially if you're a door to door/business to business SALES company SELLING pamphlets and packets that your CLIENTS don't even HIRE you to do. They use big name corporations to reel you into thinking that they are a high profile ad agency. Maybe they need to look up the definition of advertising, and perhaps then study it for a few years.

Most of these people are so brainwashed they don't even realize what they are doing. The girl who took me training, drove me all the way to Fort Lauderdale, and only 'sold' one Disney pamphlet to a poor and gullible worker at target. In addition, we drove to a mall located in a mostly black and his panic area. This is because the girl training me said that they would be more impulse buyers, and they are 'our' best target for selling these stupid things. Basically, we had gone to a few business prior to that, owned and operated by mostly 'white' people, where we had no luck. She explained to me that this is 'because white people know better.' ???

While at the mall, which clearly had a sign that said 'NO SOLICITING', one of the business owners told us to be careful of security, as we could get arrested for soliciting there. I expressed concern to my trainer, as she then replied, 'oh those things never happen. it's just security, they can't arrest us anyway.'

She also approached a business owner and said 'Don't worry, I'm not Jehovah's Witness or anything, I'm not trying to sell you my religion', while the business owner then replied, 'well what if I was? That would be offensive. I'm not interested in anything you have to sell.' I should have known that when I looked up advertising/marketing careers on career builder.com, and saw at least 50 openings for 'entry-level, fresh out of college!' positions, under many different pseudonyms, for the SAME COMPANY, that this was a scam.

Poor people...most of them working there haven't gone to college, or are starting to attend, with the possibility of dropping out before they finish because they've found this 'great' opportunity! Beware... they will sell their company until you say yes. And they're not good at sales... neither is the owner... remember? I am more qualified than to have a job that is commission only, and I'm sure you are too... because... yeah, you don't get on salary until AT LEAST 7 months later... that's if you've 'sold' enough 'promotional packets' to consumers. They don't even give you a license to sell these things, just a little home-made badge that says 'JT Advertising.'

At one point, we went into a car sales office, where the owner asked to see our license, and instead my trainer pulled out her 'badge' to which the owner replied, 'I could make that at my computer in my office on Microsoft Works.' They don't even give you business cards! I mean HELLO, if you're going to ACT professional, at least do a better job.

SO, yeah... beware... and don't judge a company by it's website. And if you're in this business, get out while you can. They pay you commission, in cash, under the table, and if you ever plan on having a retirement someday, and you continue working for this company, you can kiss your retirement goodbye because they don't even give you any tax forms to fill out once you accept this job.

They also make you take your own car around to these different neighborhoods selling these stupid things... they say they give you gas money, but yeah right. JT promised me lunch during my training, which I never got, for other miscellaneous problems I had with the company, which is a whole other story.

When I began my quest to JT Advertising, I basically went for an interview at his office where I had applied to on career builder, they called me in, and I ended up interviewing for another promo little dumb office inside of JT Advertising, went on a day of observation with that company, thinking it was JT's all along, found out it wasn't JT's company when a consumer asked for their business card and/or name of the company, to which my trainer replied 'exclusive promotions', asked my trainer to take me back, which she refused, and then when I came back to the office they dropped me off at my car and said I would hear from their boss the next morning on whether I got the job or not.

The next day I called JT and told him that they had not only interviewed me for the wrong company, but for the wrong position also. He informed me that he was sorry and that his company did other business than the one I observed. *cough* yeah right! *cough* He didn't even really explain to me how the mix up happened, I think they just try and recruit people, no matter what subdivisions are inside JT Advertising's office.

I could go on and on... but it's a waste of time. Good luck to those who actually think this is going to get them the business of their dreams. Somebody needs to call the Better Business Bureau on them.

Responses

  • An
    Anonymous Jan 20, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Thank you so much for providing insight into their company. I just interview with them and I couldn't put my finger on it... but something was definitely not right. You saved me a lot of trouble and time.

    0 Votes
  • Ni
    Niama Feb 15, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    just opened up my office. call when you get that fresh out of college job at 75,000 on salary....that you deserve.

    1 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Apr 03, 2008

    Niama, you are brainwashed just like the rest. The company will go under in a few years and you will have nothing, ive seen it in MN. I am a recent grad in Minneapolis and went through this little scam. I have been through several before. Maybe we will make 50, 000 out of college but that includes insurance (which you have to pay for), bonuses, car allowance, 401k, dental, vacation, tuition rembursement, and expense accounts. These guys were bashing corporate jobs but thats because they couldnt get one. There is a reason that they hire anyone. It can work for some people I guess, not many though. Oh and the "manager" that had been there for 4 years that was making "six figures" was driving a rusty 1991 honda.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Anonymous Apr 23, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Well, Rimi, I do not blame you for being so upset with the Smart Circle after your experience with them. That sounds terrible.

    The specific division you may have been with doesn't sound very professional. The comment about being a Jehovah's Witness, along with everything else inappropriate that your second round interview leader may have said, will lead to all kinds of problems for those distributors, if they're even with the company still.

    I can tell you, though, that the businesses that Smart Circle advertises for absolutely love them. This is a company that has all but two of the Major League Baseball teams signed. They also work with major companies in the food industry like Papa Johns and Pizza Hut.

    They do have legitimate relationships with the companies they represent. Before starting a new campaign, they meet with either the owners, or for MLB teams, the Director of Sales. They are authorized by those companies to advertise for them using Smart Circle cards, books, and packages.

    Direct Marketing is the most effective form of marketing because not only do you remember the product, for instance, Papa Johns, but you remember the face of the product--the man or woman who was in your store.

    This is why divisions are supposed to hire only quality people. These distributors represent the companies they advertise for. I would never hire someone like the young woman you were describing.

    Like I said, it doesn't sound like that division you were associated with was very professional--or maybe it was just that one person. I hope you gave her a terrible review.

    As for whether or not Smart Circle employees can get corporate jobs, Dan, a good friend of mine is an owner of a Smart Circle division, makes over $200k a year, does drive a very nice car, and yes, had left years of service in a corporate job. He, like most others in the business, has a college degree. And yes, he was making $75k a year, but the job simply wasn't enough for him. He's an entrepreneur. He's not the type of person who wants to work under someone else. He wanted to move onto bigger and better things, and therefore, his hard work paid off.

    No one ever said you had to take the job.
    Only those with the drive and determination are able to stay with the company and be successful.

    I hope this cleared up at least some of the issues mentioned.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    dan May 02, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am not disagreeing that direct marketing is the most effective way of advertising or that some of these managers are making good money. My point was that it is an unethical way of doing business and an unethical way of hiring and portraying these positions. If you google Smart circle there will be more complaints that come up instead of business info on the company. If people are unhappy about the way a company does things something has to change.

    I know you shouldnt believe everything you read on the internet but an individual I know worked with "next wave concepts" which is one of the marketing companies in MN. He did everything they told him to do, met all of the goals plus more, put in a lot of hours but stayed on the same level for nearly 2 years before he quit. So you can't say those with drive and determination are able to stay with the company. These are the type of companies that just disappear. If it was that great of an opportunity everyone would be doing it. Not one of the individuals working had prior marketing let alone business experience.

    The bottom line is that if you are looking for a marketing or sales position in MN, make sure you know what you are getting into before you "interview" with one of these companies. Good luck to those who are in the "business" if that is what you call it.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Ross Stevenson Jun 15, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I worked for one of these companies, Dot The i Promotions in Columbus, OH, for three days. I had all the same misgivings in the interview, but they did an incredible job of making their setup sound really simple, like anybody could rise high through the company, and quickly, simply because we were filling a niche in the market that nobody else was hitting and we couldn't open new offices quickly enough to fill client demands. But I quickly saw the company for exactly what it was: a pyramid scheme, set up to trap entry-level workers into low-paying, no-benefits positions, and then convincing them that it's nobody's fault but their own if they can't generate enough leads to climb the ladder and make manager (which, by the way, my leader had been there for 2 1/2 months, and he confessed that there had never been a single assistant manager in the office in that time.)

    They also guarantee you that once you're trained, you'll make $800-1000 a week off of your commissions. The reality is that it's a fantastic week for ANYBODY in the office to generate 30 leads, and at $20/lead, that only comes out to $600. Of course, only a couple of the most experienced people even generate that many, and they do it by coercive tactics and deception, and even they have to work 70 hours weeks to do it. Which you'll be expected to do, as well, if you want to make management.

    Back to the pyramid scheme. They tell you that they can't expand fast enough, and need new managers to move on to new cities and broaden their empire. In reality, they're already in every major city in the US. There's no need for further expansion of that sort--instead, all they need to do is expand their base of people operating at the lowest rungs of the ladder. So they bring in new hirelings on a daily basis, and swiftly promote them to leader so they can build up a team beneath them, but then these hirelings sit and stagnate at leader forever. While it's in the manager's interests to promote them out and start pulling his 2% commission on their offices, the fact of the matter is that it's even more in his interest to focus on bloating his own sales team up as fat as possible before he lets even one of his leaders leave and take half the office with him. And of course, after that happens, it will take him a long time to build his team up big and strong enough to let another leader leave with another chunk of his workforce. So very few people are given the opportunity to really advance to the upper echelons of the pyramid, and even then they have to have their own sizable force built up under them before they do it.

    Last of all, I just want to mention how scary it is to see the fanaticism in these offices. These people are all extremely money-motivated, but every more so they're respect-motivated, with every single one of them out to prove to a parent or friend or spouse that they've been given a wonderful opportunity to make hundreds of thousands of dollars and retire inside of 10 years, or in other words, looking to say I-told-you-so and thus make people respect them. So when they pull out of the lot every day in their old Hondas, Kias and Hyundais, they tell themselves that six figures are right around the corner and ignore the deception, coercion and near-slavery they have to suffer on the path that may or may not get them there.

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
    Kat Jun 18, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As a customer of thesmartcircle I am pissed off. What a piece of ### company. They sell you these stupid packages because they know that they are very difficult to redeem. I only bought these stupid things because the fella selling them was promoting D.A.R.E. Come to find, as expected, that I cannot redeem this stupid massage unless I feel like driving 80 miles- boy that is sure to save me money! When I tried to get my money back these scoundrels didn't even offer it as an option, they told me to go online and pick something else. When I insisted a refund they told me to, at my expense and inconvenience, mail back the cards (which they could have easily deactivated by serial #) along with the receipt that I no longer have and they would send me a check in 8 weeks. What a f-ing joke. This company sucks!

    -1 Votes
  • Da
    dan Jul 11, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Ross, you put it perfectly. It is almost sad that these lower level individuals fall into this trap and never get out. And I actualy believe that some of these people feel that they will retire in 10 years, that is what a Pyramid Scheme does. Everyone should also keep in mind that each office has a different name, but they have the same format. Beware.

    -1 Votes
  • Dr
    Dr. Mercedes Aug 05, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi. This is my first experience with your company. I purchased a vacation from an acquaintance of mine for a weekend trip to Atlantic City, NJ. I went through the registration process and recieved my hotel confirmation in the mail (although i asked that it be emailed)without a problem. I'm scheduled to go on the trip this weekend and was very excited to do so. That was however, until I decided to call the reservations department at 866-746-0583 with a question. My question was simply: When is my required tour/presentation scheduled for? That's it! All I wanted to know was when i would be expected to take part of this tour which i knew was a condtion to my trip. I was given the runaround in a major way but the worst part of it...and the reason for this complaint was the EXTREME RUDENESS of a manager or supervisor from reservations named ANGELA at extension 228. She was very rude to me...i could not beleive it. She sounded annoyed with me for asking my question, told me that i did not understand what she was saying and that she was sure i would have to call her again. (Pardon me for saying but I am a medical doctor in the United States of America, i'm sure i can understand the language of a minimum wage high-school graduate!!)
    If this is the way your company treats people they are soliciting sales from then I don't think you will be in business for long. I haven't even gone on my trip and I already have a bad taste in my mouth.
    For what it's worth, this is the first time i've EVER submitted a complaint to a company. I always treat people with courtesy and respect and always recieve the same in return, , , , UNTIL NOW!
    My hope is that the appropriate people get this complaint and address the issue before you lose more customers.

    Kind Regards,

    Dr. Mercedes

    0 Votes
  • Bu
    BUDDY Sep 19, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Whatever! You guys are talking a bunch of krap! The only reason that you guys aren't doing good in the company is because you suck at it! This company offers a great exsperience! The only people that are going to make it toward the role of an "owner" is the people that deserve it and earn it! So if you have any negative comments about the company "Smart Circle" then go F**k yourself!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Oct 21, 2008

    Ok "buddy" go sell your little coupons outside walmart for $7 for 3 years. This is just scam for uneducated people who can't find a real job. You can't even spell. And anyone can be successful in any company. Anyone that is really successful didnt go through scams to get where they are. There is a reason that they "hire" everyone. The owners are just scamming young individuals and leveraging their labor for there own personal gain. The whole process is unethical. Talk to me in 5 years Buddy and we will see where you are in the company and where the people who got degrees and real jobs are.

    -1 Votes
  • Jo
    john blaze Oct 27, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Dan I agree with you all the way.I used to work for a company called Maxima Marketing in Cleveland, OH. The first day in the office the only words I could muster were "What the ### is wrong with you people." It's all about brainwashing, trust me. They feed you all kinds of ###, basically lie to you in your interview about what your job will be. I went in to the interview because the ad on the internet was all about working for the Cleveland Indians.###.They tell you that but the reality is you only sell ticket packages for them for a few months out of the year. The rest of the time you are selling crappy packages for restuarants, hotels, or some stupid ### like putt putt funhouse. Tell me how you would feel knocking on someone's door in your Goodwills suit lookin all professional to tell them you are with Putt Putt Funhouse. I say Goodwills because 90% of the employees are regulars there.
    I went from Cleveland, OH to Houston, TX on this little journey. This is what was supposed to happen:
    The so called "assistant manager" in the Cleveland office(a dope smokin, drug traffickin liar) was supposed to be starting his own company in Houston. He made it sound like he had allllll this moneyyyy.
    So i decide to take the trip and help him and the team build the office in H-Town. Now here is where it gets funny. By the time we hit Tennessee we pull into a gas station and he asks me how much money I have. I tell him none of his business and then he says he never received his last check from Cleveland and he needed gas money to make it to Texas...ummmm...I should have turned around and came back to Ohio but I wanted to travel the country for a while anyway. So I actually had to loan him the money to make it there. Mind you, we were in Tennessee before his little secret(one of about a million).
    I was never able to get a clear answer out of this guy, it was all the run around game. Not to mention, when we got to Texas he, his wife and 2 kids were shacked up with his mom and step dad. The so called big money maker didn't even have a place of his own. He never did get his own company, not while I was there anyway. He told me he would have it shortly, we would just need to partner with another company called Premier Advertising in Houston for a while.Well I was there for 6 months and He hadnt achieved his goal yet.
    It was all the same ### it the office and out "in the field." It's like pulling teeth as leader to get your interviews to come back the next day. The company basically expects you to lie to them and I just couldn't do it. I wanted to be in a legitimate business. I wanted people to stay because they wanted to be there not because the lies I told sounded so enticing. I also hated the fact that we had to walk in doors that said no soliciting. I could just see the anger in the employees faces the second I walked in the door of their business. They immediately knew I was selling something and wanted me out.It was embarrassing because I knew I was in the wrong for even walking in, but yet I was brainwashed to make it sound ok and legal.
    I guess the only thing good was the fact that it did take me around the country, from Cleveland to Houston to New Orleans to Dallas.But in the end, the whole company is a scam and yes you will have to work 70 + hours a week to make it. Even working that many hours doesnt guarantee ###. Your at the office at 7 a.m. and not home until 8 or 9 in the evening most nights.Doesn't leave anytime for family, and believe me they try to convince you that is OK.
    Not to mention, in the office they try to turn you into the biggest cornball you can imagine. I've seen it. It was a cornball takeover in there. Sometimes I just wanted to jump out the window and run for my life.
    I mean J.U.I.C.E. what the ### is that. Join Us In Creating Excitement. That's what they get you all rowled up on in the office every morning, making it seem your dreams are right around the corner, or right around the cornball.Brainwashed, all of you. It's sad, it really is.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Anonymous Nov 04, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I did some work in South Florida for this ### company. I'm a college graduate, and I have an account on Monster.com. I found an ad saying "Entry Level Marketing Position: Work with NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB Teams!" So I applied. The next day I got an email from someone in the "Human Resources" Dept. telling me to come in for an interview. I show up for my interview, and it's a small office in a warehouse building with music blasting. After filling out some paper work, I'm called in by a guy who MIGHT be two years older than I am. He was the owner of the company. The interview took a grand total of 5 minutes. He said the job consists of hosting "events" that promote big companies like the Miami Heat, Los Ranchos, Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

    He scheduled me for a second interview the next day to "learn the ropes" and go to an event with one of the leaders. I agreed to come in and basically, the So-Called Event he was talking about was standing in front of Publix with a bunch of coupons hounding people for 8 hours. I get back, get offered a position, which I accepted since I was so desperate for a job. Before I accepted, I asked if this would be a salary based job and he said it was a low salary with high commission and later on I'd be payed a high salary with lower commission. I figured I'd give it a shot, since I needed to work. The next morning, I reported to the office, and was told to go into a little room called "atmosphere" for meetings. When I walk in, there's a gong and cowbell, loud music playing, and people practicing their methods of selling crap. I was overwhelmed. Then came the motivational meeting. The owner kept talking about opportunity and how you are your own boss in this business and bashed Corporate America. He also said to ignore any outside factors (family, friends, significant others) that give you a hard time about working 10 hours a day 6 days a week because you could be retired in 10 years or less. They talk about the Field like it's a temporary thing, but when I asked some of the leaders and distributors how long they've been there and their responses were anywhere from 6-12 months, which was another warning sign.

    What blew me away far more than anything else was the fact that everyone in the office was so money hungry. They would brag about suckering people into "rehashing" or buying multiple products. They always liked to hide the "catches" that these promotions had; even some that I never knew about. For example, I was explaining a Tire Kingdom promotion to a potential buyer, and I was told in atmosphere that ALL Tire Kingdoms participate, so I believed it. When the buyer asked me if he could redeem his coupon anywhere, I told him yea. He didn't take my word for it. He called a Tire Kingdom next to where he lived (a few miles away from where we were) and was told that it DID NOT participate in the said promotion. That made me look and feel like crap. Immediately I felt guilty about all the other promotions I had sold by not knowingly deceiving prior customers. That was the last straw for me. I walked away. I hope that this company gets what's coming to them soon. Don't get sucked into this trap. I should have seen it coming too. I got the job way too easily for it to be legitimate. You can do better.

    0 Votes
  • La
    laugh365 Nov 07, 2008

    What the original poster is complaining about is the business to business certificate sales subdivision, that employees nearly 10, 000 people, selling the promotions that Smart Circle has legitimately signed up. Of course, in an organization that large there are going to be complaints from the ones that can't cut it living on 100% commission. Google any insurance company out there and you will find the same complaints from those who can't sell. Smart Circle International has been around for 20 years and is a legit company providing a valuable service to the community.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Maria Milkowski Nov 09, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    They are liers. Don't trust them. I just lost $350 because of them

    0 Votes
  • N
    n Nov 10, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    what exactly is that "valuable service"?

    1 Votes
  • Da
    Daniel Magnano Nov 12, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    You guys are all full of [email protected]#%... how can you say that this company is a scam. This is a legitimate business... the REAL problem that you guys have about it is that it's not for everybody.

    LOOK AT THE REAL FACTS and GET OFF YOUR LAZY ### AND GO FIND A JOB... THAT IS THE REAL AMERICAN WAY!

    It's a shame all kids today want to do is sit around a table at Starbucks and design layouts of campaigns.

    If you want to do this fine, get in with an advertising company and start from the bottom for 5-10 years in the mailroom... or if you want an opportunity to run your own business in 6 mos. to 1 year, then join the opportunity that was afforded to you.

    Nothing is ever easy in life and anyone that told you sick people that it was... doesn't have a dime to their name!

    Thank you for your time!

    -4 Votes
  • Ye
    yesi Nov 13, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As a customer I really like Smart Circle. But have been sold these cards with some lies. Luckily living in Miami if there is not a location in the smart circle card next door it is within just a few miles. But overall th eproduct is good. you get a heck of a deal. I just dont like what the employees are submitted to inorder to sell. And therefore, passed on to customers. Shame on the owners of this company. I think Smart Circle International should be aware of this. I also ask myself what do the companies that promote their prdocuts through smart circle make out of this. Because whenever i use this card I feel like Im robbing the companies. Thanks ya'll

    -1 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Nov 14, 2008

    Daniel...I think the consensus here is that these companies have unethical practices. From their hiring methods to their selling methods. And who are you to talk about lazy people? most of the people that worked for the company that I interviewed with didnt even have a degree. Talk about taking the easy way out..these people should get off their lazy ### and get a good degree and work for a real company. I realize it is a legit business but so are multi-level marketing companies and they are looked down at. and good luck running your "business" in 6 months to a year. And what are you talking about starting at the bottom? I am the marketing director for a 30 million dollar company and I have only been in the field 3 years. I also enjoy my salary, bonuses, car allowance, 3 weeks vacation, 401k, trips over seas, and everything else "legit" companies offer. dont talk to me about lazy, have fun sitting outside starbucks selling coupons. I hope you feel better when you have your own company and you leverage uneducated individuals labor for your pipe dream.

    Thank you for you time!

    0 Votes
  • La
    ladyy Nov 15, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm in Atlanta Georgia and I worked for a company named "Full Circle Marketing" which also doubles under another name to market home improvement at home depot. I worked with this company for a total of three days there is no training and they have the worst organization ever the office is full of people that are under the age of 25 they act more like this is a party than a job. I was thrown out to the fire without a sales pitch and without any knowledge they told me I would become management in 6-10 months and open my own firm. I'm a college grad who has a bachelor's degree in Business management this place was a mess the walls were completed and the offices have not one piece of furniture. The person that was supposed to be training me was so busy trying to make his own money than training me then at the end of the night you come back to the office and ring a bell or hit a gong and bump chests to acknowledge there $150.00 accomplishments for the day. I have a degree why would I be happy about making $150.00 for the day while burning holes in my shoes to sell someone a product that is not going to save them money but I know will put them in debt. I tell anyone who is drawn in to be very aware of what they are getting into. Research the company online check all reviews and complaints the office I worked for has over 200 complaints and charges of sexual harassment and false advertisement.

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    Howie Feltersnatch Nov 16, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    In Florida, the minimum wage is 6.79 per hour. If you were to get a regular job paying that ammount for 72 hours of work, plus overtime, you would make just under $600 weekly.

    The way that the Smart Circle system is set up, if you're good with people and well disciplined, it's not all that difficult to make well more than that. Not all that many people have that kind of hustle. Most would rather screw around all day.

    It's not easy work, and the hours are quite grueling, there's no question about it. Personally, I have a college degree and professional certification. I'd been on dozens of interviews with a professional resume and quite frankly no one was hiring me.

    I had no illusions about what I was getting into, and from my own experience I knew that the only way to make the kind of money I needed to make was through hustling my ### off in commission sales. Having done so, my free time is all but gone and I made $800 last week. Is it great considering the hours I've worked? No. But considering the fact that NO ONE is hiring, and when you do get hired you won't get the kind of hours you need to get out of the hole, I'm grateful that the opportunity exists for me to support myself while I wait for the economy to recover.

    0 Votes
  • La
    laugh365 Nov 17, 2008

    What you are speaking about is the business to business field sales force of over 10, 000 sales people that sell the "smart circle" cards to the public. Just like in any 100% commission position, with that many people trying it, there will be complaints. Many cannot cut being 100% commission, and for many it just isn't for them. Smart Circle has been in business for over 20 years with hundreds of thousands of happy customers, happy business partners, and successful field salepeople, and successful Account Managers, that find the business partners. Just ask the Chicago White Sox and the many other Pro Sports teams that resign up with them every year!

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    billy Nov 21, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I gotta say, reading these replies kept me entertained for a good while. I was employed by this company called "blitz marketing" located in toronto. It was an eye opening experience, to say the least.

    Let's start with the interview. I meet this guy named shane who basically explains what they do. It was all pretty well set up. He started talking about how the "company" does micro marketing which basically consists of targetting individual people about individual products. He then went on to explain how they do this, which is by working in mall kiosks, department stores, and last of all, knocking on peoples doors. He was very reluctant to mention the latter, which, unsurprisingly, is what the job I was being interviewed for was. Shane went on about how effective the door-to-door method was, even claiming that about 1/5 people will take a quote (my job was lead generation for Sears). He then went on about the observation day etc... So after the interview, I go home and get a call saying that they want me to come for a day of observation.

    On to the wonderful day of observation. Now, I already mentioned that my job was going to be lead generation for Sears. My job was to set people up with free quotes for windows, doors etc... At least that's what they tried to tell me. The actual job was tricking people who were kind of interested in a home improvement project into letting a salesman into their house (it's funny how sears pays the same amount for lead on a roof that they pay for a lead on a patio door, the reason for this is, of course, once the salesman gets inside, it's likely they'll be selling them a lot more than just a patio door). It should be pretty obvious, that there are going to be certain areas where there will be a lot more people interested in free quotes. If you go into an area with homes the right age, with no renters etc... It's not unlikely to get 8+ leads. This is what they did for my observation day. They took me to a PERFECT area. The guy I was with got 8 leads. Another guy in the car got 7 leads. At $25 a lead, this seemed like a job that had potential. It was something any idiot could do because you were going to areas where a lot of people would be considering replacing something. Even if your pitch blew, you sounded like you hated your job, in the right area, you're inevitably going to run into people who want a free quote. This is where I was deceived. They send you to the right area on the observation day, then send you to the ###ing ghetto once they hire you.

    Anyway... I decide to take the job after seeing the potential on the observation day. I wanted to try it myself and see if I could get results.

    So, onto my first day on the job. Me and my trainer got 5 leads. The second day was the same. On the 3rd day, which was a saturday, a day where you talk to more people, I was sent out with someone else, and between the two of us, we got a single lead. On this day, we talked to over 100 people. So much for that 1/5 rate eh? I wasn't at all surprised either, looking at the area we were in. It was a ghetto. It was infested with renters, and half the houses were duplexes. That was my last day. It wasn't due to the fact that we only got a single lead, however, it was due to a whole host of reasons which I'll now explain.

    First and foremost, no one told me that my work day was going to be 15 hours long. I was told the job was from noon until 8 pm. While this was somewhat true, Shane conveniently omitted the fact that they had gay ### motivational meetings and pointless conference calls for 2 hours before we even started work. On top of that, the whole 8 pm quittin' time wasn't exactly true either. 8 pm was when we left the field. The "field" was an hour drive away from the office, which we HAD to go back to, for more motivational ###. So the job actually started at 10 am, and ended at around 10 pm. Throw in my daily 3 hour travel time and my life basically consisted of working and sleeping. This was my main problem with the job, but there is a whole lot more.

    The "motivational meetings" which we were forced to attend weren't motivational at all. They were cleverly designed to make everyone feel as if they were under achieving. In one meeting, entitled "the 8 steps to failure", one of the steps to failure was showing up ON TIME. As if 15 hours a day wasn't enough, they wanted us to all show up HALF AN HOUR to an HOUR early, so we could be extra prepared! lol? These meetings were nothing short of brain washing people into giving their lives to this "company". Oh yeah, a bunch of douchebags kept shouting JUICE in the middle of meetings. It was annoying to say the least.

    For a job that pays 100% commission, I had a serious problem with wasting 3 hours a day on ### brainwashing meetings plus another 2 hours a day travelling to and from "the field". That's 5 hours a day I have to spend AT WORK where I earn NOTHING. What kind of a sucker would keep a job where 5 hours of your day are spent earning NOTHING? The sad thing is, there's no shortage of suckers.

    The recruiting process of this company, as far as I can see, is to basically find people who won't quit. It doesn't matter how "enthusiastic" you are, how good your "people skills" are. All that matters is finding suckers who won't quit. It's in the "company's" best interest to recruit people who will do well, but at the end of the day, recruiting people who won't do well doesn't affect their chances of finding that one person who really will do well at the job, and the sad reality is that this is exactly what they do. I worked with a guy from the ukraine who had a pretty thick accent. It's funny how this company's ad on monster wants a strong command of the english language. Last time I checked, someone with less command of the english language than arnold in the 80's shouldn't be fit for the job. Surprise surprise, he was hired anyway!

    Another HUGE problem I had with this job, is how they pay you. I found out from a guy I worked with (and later had this confirmed by my "boss"), that there is a two week delay between the leads you get, and when you get payed. This isn't like a normal job, where you work for two weeks and you are then payed for that two weeks of work. What they do here is you work for three weeks and on the end of the third week, you get payed for your first week. On the end of the fourth week, you get payed for the second week, etc... The reason they do this is because if you are thinking about quitting, the obvious thought that pops into your head is "am I going to get payed for the last 2 weeks I worked?" with the obvious answer being NO. Of course you won't be payed. This whole 2 week delay was created so people DON'T QUIT. It's a huge demotivating factor if you're thinking about quitting. No one will want two weeks of their time to have been for nothing, especially if they did well in those two weeks. It's a huge incentive to keep working your ### off for the "company". Of course you could never actually ask anyone this question unless you were planning to quit anyway because you would inevitably be "fired" and not payed. How convenient. When I was hired, I never signed any kind of contract explicitly stating how much money I would be making per lead so they can basically screw people out of two weeks of their time when they decide to quit. Surprise surprise, I wasn't payed for any of the leads I got when I quit.

    As for the "interview", it isn't an interview at all. It's a sales pitch. They SELL people this job, and people pay them with every waking moment of their lives until they realize they are going nowhere. The obsveration day is the next part of their little sales pitch. I knew right off the bat this job was a ### pyramid scam and I decided to try it anyway. The observation day was a huge factor in my decision. From the observation day, it looked like something I could do, and tbh, I would've been happy with 4-6 leads a day. Having seen two people get 7 and 8 leads, it seemed doable. My initial impression was that, despite the fact that it was a pyramid scam, it had potential because you were offering people something they wanted which cost them nothing. I thought I'd be going into areas where homes were 15-30 years old and all in need of something or another. What I didn't realize, is that you get sent to the ghetto which is full of renters a lot more often than you get sent to a decent area with the right houses. I sincerely doubt it's any coincidence that everyone in the car got 7/8 leads on my day of observation. It's all part of their pitch.

    I realized a lot of the ### about the interview after going to another pyramid scam job interview. It was almost IDENTICAL to the interview I went to at "blitz marketing". The way they subtly mention the great travelling opportunities, how they refer to real jobs as being for suckers and the way they never shut up about how great an opportunity this job is. They make day long roadtrips sound like a vacation and knocking on doors like a great opportunity to meet new people etc..etc.. It's all just so ridiculous.

    A few things I found pretty funny about the company:
    -I never heard the name "Blitz Marketing" once after I was hired.
    -There was a guy there who was "qualified" as an "owner" but didn't have a large enough team to start his own office (i.e. they are dicking him around).
    -I was told owners can expect to make $165k a year (which I knew was ###). This guys car was this broken down piece of ### that was at least 10 years old. Funnily enough, everyone except shane had a pretty ### car and they were all supposedly making $50-100k per year. Right. I guess they just didn't have time to get a new ride since they basically work 24/7.
    -I was told this guy shane, who interviewed me, was making upwards of $700k per year. Quite clearly, ###. He had a BMW so he couldn't be doing too badly, but $700k? right...
    -The constant promises. Basically, creating the illusion that you're getting in on the ground floor! I loved this the most. Things were always about to get 50x better! All you need to do is keep busting your ### 15 hours a day for a little while longer then you'll be making big bux!

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kevin Nov 21, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I can't say that I much care for Smart Circle, Red Zone, or any of the other 100's of layer companies they set up. I was a client of theirs buying leads. The leads were complete garbage and it took an act of congress to get money back off of my CC for the bad leads.

    I can't tell you how many reps have shown up on a smart circle lead and the consumer had been completely misled as to why we were there. "You're here for a Home Improvement project estimate?" The guy that knocked on our door told me that all I had to do was fill out a form so he could get paid.

    I'm sure this business works around the country somewhere, but the Florida offices are unethically lying ###.

    I just spent 3 days with a few former smart circle employees. These poor guys had drank the kool-aid. They were totally brainwashed and in fact had gone $10k in credit card debit to pay bills until his smart circle bonuses came. Over 18 months with the company and only 10% of commissions paid to them. They were so brainwashed, that they stayed and toughed it out because they were going to "get their own office"

    If you are a former employee of this company in the state of Florida, or an of its affiliates, I would like to hear from you. Drop me an email.

    For anyone looking to answer these ads, be careful. I would rather sell Cutco for Vector marketing, or get sucked into a cattle call at Primerica before I would work for these guys.

    0 Votes
  • Jw
    JW Nov 28, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Smart Circle came to my store that had a NO SOLICITING sign giving the impression that they were selling $20 catalogs to support DARE. Then I looked at the booklet it said $0.50 were actaully being donated to DARE.

    0 Votes
  • Jw
    JW Nov 28, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    go to

    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    and click on file a complaint

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    Jonidawkins Dec 02, 2008

    2 of my good friends worked for Smart Circle for more than a year. During that time they were lied to, manipulated, over worked, cheated out of money and encouraged to lie to and cheat as many people as they could. I advised them from the get go to not get involved with the company but they really got suckered. They were two smart guys and they fell for the Smartcircle bs. I remember finally meeting their boss one time and he had the same attitude and rap as many of the career criminals I met while working in legal aid. I'm sure people in the company are making money but they are doing it by cheating the public and each other. For anyone bothered or ripped off by someone from Smart Circle it might be reassuring to know that the Smart Circle employee you dealt with will be ultimately scammed worse by the company.

    0 Votes
  • No
    NormanBates is a joke! Dec 03, 2008

    I can't believe some of the negative things that are said about this company and who would be so bitter to even start a blog about it! I too worked for this company for nearly two years; I was hired, hired others, and sold the coupon books. I have never worked on a card that was a scam, I didn't lie to interviewers, and wasn't lied to on my interview. Looking back, my current success in the corporate world is directly related to having worked long hours at a job that seemed somewhat impossible at times. I have gone door to door in 100 degrees summers, cold winters, and in ridiculous rain. No one ever twisted my arm, I felt as though I was learning to do hard work as well as other valuable skills that most lack coming straight out of college. And for those of you blogger's who felt that since they graduated from college that they should have their choice of which jobs they want, welcome to the real world! Unless your mommy or daddy owns a business for you to work in, you are an unexperienced worker with a college degree like everyone else. On the other hand while working at smart circle I not only learned sales skills, I also learned how to interview and manage different types of people in different situations. Which are still skills that I rely on today in my current position. After leaving the company I realized very quickly that I had developed a much better work ethic, attitude, and student mentality than 99% of co-workers I have worked with since. It is because of these attributes that I have moved up the ladder very quickly and now have a generous base salary and very nice commisions and benefits. The point I would like to make is that that business is what you make of it. Some people get promoted to management and open their offices, most don't, and if you thought that everyone would be promoted on your sixth month with the company and that you would make six figures after eight months just for showing up you are an idiot! Some people like myself figure out that it is not for them, but take the skills and work ethic along with them to be successful in their futures with other companies. Some people go on their initial interview and decide it is not for them, no harm done, go home and continue the job search. I believe that those that go home and start these blogs are not really upset with the company, but actually just realizing your worth in our working environment right out of college, ZERO. So suck it up find some experience somewhere and get on to getting a job that you feel is rewarding, college was not the hard part as you assumed, but the easy part. Why bash a company that offers you an opportunity just because you do not like their terms? Most of these blogs mention how they worked there for three days and bailed out becauae it wasn't for them...so why did you stick around for three days? Was it for the $50/day training and then when that ran out you took your $150 that someone else earned and started a blog about how bad they treated you. What a lazy jerk!

    P.S. Anyone who is worried about the validity of the card or that the salesman has been completely honest needs only read the fine print on the back of the certificate.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
    Edzel Dec 17, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Smart Circle's latest incarnation in the Pacific Northwest is called Chief Concepts International. I could simply say don't take a job with them, but I had so much fun interviewing with them this week that I'd like to share the fun with you, the readers.

    Getting there was a tad difficult because their office had no sign or identifying marks of any kind, and I'm including the interior, which bore no evidence of human settlement or long-term decorating. A few chairs, a few desks, a few magazines, nothing that would require more than one trip to the car if the whole team suddenly needed to vacate the premises. In that sense it was more office space than office. The salespeople were totally clueless but also bordering on psychotic, somewhere between the Tasmanian Devil and the Roadrunner.

    The first interview took five minutes, and was mostly a formality where they verified I could write my name and speak out loud.

    The second interview was a four-hour hiking expedition through A Big Box Store. Great exercise considering we walked for almost the entire time, wall-to-wall and back again like security guards in a casino, stopping only to chat up strangers who knew we didn't work there but politely accepted my trainer's sales pitch. The offer was a free consultation for contractor work, assuming you're a homeowner. One or two store employees gave us strange looks as we repeatedly circled the perimeter, but no one confronted us or asked us anything. Probably because we were wearing ties and carrying clipboards - individually these items are not very impressive, but when combined they make the bearer powerful beyond measure.

    The name on my trainer's identification "badge" was not the name he used when shaking hands with strangers, or the name I was told to use when speaking to him. I wondered what people thought when they read his name badge after shaking his hand. Was that done on purpose to confuse them and get them to sign up?

    "Client" was the word my trainer used to describe Big Box Store. However, CCI wasn't offering any goods or services to Big Box Store. The relationship between the two businesses was not revealed. It will live in shadow, as I lived in my trainer's shadow for those four hours. I did wonder if Big Box Store was charging CCI for the right to solicit inside the store and bother all those paying customers.

    There was no carpooling between the office space and the destination, even though we were going to the same place and coming back to the same place. No clear explanation was given when I asked why. But it sure was fun following someone through a near-blizzard.

    My trainer asked perhaps ten times if I was looking forward to being a manager and running my own sales office. Details about the origins of what was being sold - who gives these free consultations? who are these contractors? do they work for CCI or are they self-employed? why is CCI doing all these random contractors a favor by selling their services in this store? - were not disclosed. All I got was a constant stream of dream-like positivity and how great it would be to lord over my own "territory" in six to nine months. Like a king! Nay, A GOD! The rapid advancement schedule was at the forefront of every mini pep-talk my trainer gave, and with each new aisle we entered the pep-talk launched anew with slightly different adjectives. I was basically being trained so I could strike out on my own and do unknown things with complete autonomy, serving no one and selling mysteries.

    Quote of the day: "It's just CRAZY how much money there is to be made!"

    It took three tries before my mentor revealed the name of the parent company, and now I know why. Had I seen this page with all its truthful comments and ridiculous employee defenses I wouldn't have responded to the ad in the first place.


    (note: for more info, be sure to watch Smart Circle's documentary, "The Boiler Room, " starring Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel.)

    0 Votes
  • Ph
    Phenry Jan 05, 2009

    I worked for JT Advertising myself in Miami. I bought into the BS for 6 weeks, long enough to find another job, before I couldn't take it anymore. It is funny reading everyone's post and laughing about terms like "Juice" and "Rehash". I remember the worst part being the so called "priviledge" of being able to particiapate in road trips-which were trips to others crap towns to sell the coupons, because their were no "offices" set up there. Wow, a business trip where I spent my own money on gas, food, and lodging all the while sharing a crappy motel room with a bunch of other suckers. One time I even went with the "owner" on a road trip and the idiot ran out of gas on the way to Fort Meyers on I-75 while in his crappy old model Honda (sound familiar?).

    Here's the worst part: I never even received a 1099 from JT Advertising but still claimed $2500 income on my tax return to be safe. Unfortunately for me I am now being audited by the IRS and the discrepency is an approximately $5000 difference between what I claimed and what JT Advertising claims I earned. I am having a heck of a time now and owe the IRS over a $1000 plus interest for this "difference". I worked the long hours, wore out my feet, worked with the weirdos who really believed in the crap-the ones wearing the goodwill suits, and stuck it out until something better came along. Nobody forced me and even though I saw through the crap I needed the money. I never earned close to $7500 during the six weeks I was there. Heck, who could sell that many Los Ranchos, Tire Kingdom, Pizza Hut, or crap Spa coupons to make that much money? Not me and now I am being audited becuase of the impropriety of JT Advertising.

    While I am sure some people have had success and yes it helped me in my sales position now-only because every time I feel less than positive about my current position I simply remind myself that at least I am not selling crap coupons door to door, all the disgruntled posts are correct and if you are not careful you will be unlucky like me and receive an unfriendly letter from the IRS. JT Advertising is as crooked as it gets along with all the other Smart Circle "offices" around the country.

    I never did get to sell any sports advertising packages either.

    0 Votes
  • Ph
    Phenry Jan 05, 2009

    I agree with all the negative complaints about this BS company

    0 Votes
  • Ex
    Ex Employee Jan 22, 2009

    I use to be an administrator for one of these companies.. I went through two owners. One owner had his own business and it failed so he left for a "retrain". He was in the business for 4 years, one and half of those years he was an "owner" Now he works for a company that is NOT affiliated with smart circle. It took 3 months to get his last check that they owed him. Well when he left the office, they sent in another "owner" to occupy the office space. This guy was in the business for nearly four years as well. He had his own office open for about 6 months before it went down too. At that point the "national consultant" told me that I would have a job. Then let me know a few weeks later that I would only be working with the company for 2 more days. Then I had to raise hell to get my last 2 week check. Now here I am a year later and no one will tell me where I can get my W2 from to file my taxes. Good thing that my money was reported to the IRS since I was the ONLY official employee. My owners made me schedule 25-30 interviews a day. If not I would get "Reemed" aka [censor]ed at. out of those 25-30 interviews I scheduled a day, only 3 or 4 DIDNT get the job. Mostly old people. Trust me, if you were old, you were not getting the job. Ok now the fun part, They claim that you will be your own boss. Claim that you make all this money (which you do make a lot of money as an owner), claim that you can travel the world. Well here is the deal... You are not your own boss. You have to report to the "national and regional consultants" ever day. They tell you what to do and how to run your office. They make you break down your finances to them. My owner got [censor]ed out for paying me so much money. Considering I made a salary of $500 a week, I thought it was pretty ###. He was told to let me go and find someone else to work for cheaper. He didnt fire me, thank god. My first owner took me out on my birthday and spend a generous amount on me and a few friends. He charged it to his business account since it was really a business even. He took his only employee out on her birthday. Well guess what? He god his A$$ chewed out and almost blown out of the business for it. So when they tell you you are your own boss, they are full of it. You still have to report to them. When they say you can make a six figure income, Know that you can... You just cant spend it without permission from them. As I sit here today searching of a way to get my W2 (thats how I came across this site) The owners, national consultants, regional consultants and the accountant for the company that I once recruited, did payroll for, pretty much everything... they are NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!!! Be ware... Search DS Max, Vantage Marketing, DC Advertising, Smart Circle, Innovage. That will give you a list of related companies.
    Here are some names of Regional and National Consultants:
    Derek Colantonio
    Justin Cobb
    Jack Bertok
    Mike Terrinoni

    Those are just a few to name... there are hundreds of offices...
    Search Google, search [redacted]. Do research before going to interviews with places like these. You will thank me!!


    P.S They have such a bad rep in the U.S that they are now spreading into London. They are like roaches... dont become one of them!

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    Jose Feb 03, 2009

    I agree with the message above. Worked for Mike and Derek. Full of BS!!!. Waste of three years. Also these so called owners DO NOT make over 100k per year. I lived with one of them!

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Feb 11, 2009

    I live in Virginia, and I too fell for the web of lies and deceit. Its a ridiculous job that tricks people into thinking they can one day obtain a great salary by becoming a manager and then start their own business.
    At first I was excited that I got the job, then when I observed the situation, I realized that this type of job is a scam. They hire anyone they can (because they don’t have to pay them for their time) and feed them dreams of success. They are great and experienced at what they do, they trick people!
    I would go in to work at 7:00 am and drive around everywhere trying to sell their Pizza or other promotions until 6pm. I wasted time and gas. Swallowing my pride going door to door selling Papa Johns Pizza coupons that you have to get people to buy.
    The sad part is that the “Manager” and assistant “manager” have been fooled too. Now they work on building a team of more fools so that they can try to make money off what they sell. My manager claimed to be making a six figure income. He drove a Toyota truck. NOT that the type of car you drive has anything to do with what you have, but the point is that NOBODY in that establishment was well off. The assistant manager didn’t even own a car. When I asked him why, he said that his car broke down because it was really old.
    I also managed to meet the “manager” of the company in Baltimore. Her office was CORE concepts. She lived in a two bedroom apartment with 4 other people that worked for her. I visited her apartment and it left a lasting impression. I knew then I HAD to quit. I had wasted 2 weeks of my life and gas money.
    Everyone---------BEWARE!!! Its definitely not the right job for you if you have bills to pay or mouths to feed.

    0 Votes
  • Se
    Sereniti Mar 01, 2009

    I was a sucker - now let's talk about it.

    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 commiting 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 bull****. 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 bull**** 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.

    0 Votes
  • Yp
    YPPA Mar 06, 2009

    I currently work for the company and it all depends upon the owner. I have a great owner and she teaches us to up front about all the fees and charges on all the certificates that we sell. And for those who say they werent told about the fees showed have read the certificates before they sign them. ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT PEOPLE. I just did an event and dropped over 100 pieces. For those who don't understand what that means, it means that I sold 100 certificates. Granted that doesn't happen every day. As for Dan, your just angry because you are probably a horrible sales rep. And i love what I do. I will be out of the field soon and will have my own business. And the business is legit. Stop looking for a catch! And we also sign 1099 forms (You know those tax forms you supposedly never signed).

    AND I WILL BE A MILLIONAIRE OFF OF YOUR SAVINGS.

    -1 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Mar 13, 2009

    YPPA - You call me a horrible sales rep? first off, you dont know me. Second of all, selling a gift certificate outside a retail store doesnt take a genius to do. Thirdly, I am a marketing director (not in sales). Also for your information I was nationally ranked in the top 10 sales reps at my previous job for sales dollars per month. I guess you could say I learned a little something about ethics and sales when I was getting my degree in sales management or wait, maybe that was when I was getting my bachelors in marketing.

    You are a piece of work. Like I said before, obviously it is a "legit" legal company but it is a very unethical way of doing business, hens this long list of complaints. It goes beyond forgetting to sign a 1099. You are a prime example of a brainwashed employee that thinks there is a golden paved road to become a millionaire through this company. And I really hope you do succeed to prove me wrong but I honestly can say I feel sorry for these young professionals who do have good skills but they have tunnel vision and just expect to become successful if you do it long enough. Let me give you a piece of advice: YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN AN INDUSTRY! Your "business" isnt the only way. And I hate to burst your bubble but your 100 certificates that you sold that was such a good day for you ( I would assume it is $500), I get more than that in my allowance for my car every month. I hope you love what you do because you will be doing it for a while. Let me know when you need a job, im hiring for customer service right now.

    0 Votes
  • Jm
    JMcgo1979 Apr 03, 2009

    I also was suckered into one of the scam companies. It start by going to the interview. I went and asked a bunch of questions. They told me they sell products from major companies like Disney, Warner Brothers, Hasbro, etc. They said for me to come back two days later to ride around with a "Sales person" for the day, which i did. So i get there and wait for these "sales people." I was also waiting with another person who was to ride around with for the day. So the two "Sales people" finally arrive and they start with some BS of a sales meeting and then they load up their car. This is the fun part...they loaded their car with a box of coloring books and 3 remote control cars. The other person and I looked at each other and were like "WHAT THE F...?" So we drive around and go through a nice part of town and start walking the streets going into any business, only to be kicked out of most of them. There were a few suckers, but not many. We went to a strip mall selling stuff to employees and they even went into a toy store to sell stuff to them that they have in their own store. We arrived at a Chained Grocery Store with a "No Soliciting" sign on the front and they walked right into the back of the store where they store items, like they were employees. The Store Manager was called and he came up to us asking us what we were doing and the "Sale people" responded with a lie. He asked us to leave the store and when we go out, the "Sales People" were selling right in front of the Store Manager. The Store Manager said that we were still on his property and that he was calling the police. We leave and goto another town and go Store to Store only to be stopped by the Police in that town. He asked for a Soliciting Licenses to which the "Sale People" responded that they didn't know they needed one. The Police told us to leave the town immediately since they are needed in most towns in the area. We goto a bigger town, disregarding what the Police Officer said, and we go into a Gym. These "Sale People" start walking in trying to sell to people working out only to be stopped by the now angry Owner. He asked what we were doing and who let him in. The "Sales People" stated they came in to sell these items, that us ride alongs were carrying for them, to the people working out. He pulled out his wallet which showed he was a Police Officer of that town and stated to see our Soliciting License. The "Sale People" lie to him stating the company just started and didn't know they needed one. The angry Owner stated that we leave immediately before he calls to have an On-Duty Officer to come by. This again didn't stop the "Sales People" only for them to go across the street going store-to-store and now going up to people waiting for a bus. I asked if we should leave since we've been getting into some flack with the Police, only to have a response by one of these "Sales People" to say we'd be done a few more hours. Eventually we finally were done and went in to speak to someone about the day. I told them immediately that I wasn't interested and didn't seem legit. Since then, I've seen these crazy companies opening up around the area I lived and where I live now. It's all a Kool-aid drinking experience for the people who work for them, hence why you only see a one or two people disagreeing with what people are saying here.

    Bottom Line: It's all Garbage and stay far far away.

    0 Votes
  • Co
    collectorfest Apr 03, 2009

    I had the unpleasant opportunity to work for one of these companies back in the 90's. I even got promoted and got my own office so there is a place to advance in companies like this. However...the pay structure, company atmosphere, hours and motivational seminars are all horrible. AN office manager makes the same commission per item as the sales force. So if an item is sold for $20 the office manager gets $4 and the sales person gets $4. The problems with this structure is as follows, first off selling 150 items per week each and every week is not possible. Some items just sold better then others, simple fact of life. 100 items per weeks is very doable so why not change the structure to $6 for sales reps and $2 for managers. After all the managers would make this off of EVERY sales person so in theory a manager with 20 sales people selling 100 items per week would still make $4000 per week and the sales people would still make $600 a week on a slow to normal week and more during the better weeks. My office had 14 people in it and the average was 120 units per week so 100 is a lowball average. So then why don't the managers bump the salesperson commissions, the answer is they cannot. The who corporate stucture is set up so that you never get rich but make enough to dangle a carrot in from of you where someday you will make the big $, just a little bit in the future though. A manager who gets his own office suddenly gets swamped with all these "corporate" bills. My office was not rented by myself, it was not allowed. I found a location to set up and was told that corporate would rent the office and then I would sublet it from them. I was told that in order to get product form the company this is what I had to do. The problem was that a $2500 monthly warehouse suddenly cost me $2500 per week and on top of that I had to use the corporate accountant which was an additional $500 per week, then on top of that 2% commission on my sales. So using the $4 x100 units by 20 sales reps ($4000) after expenses the manager can hope to take home $600 per week (and he still has to pay a receptionist) Why does the manager still put up with it, because if he promotes someone he makes that 2% off of additional offices...another carrot. I found it to be a pyramid scheme where the people in corporate make all the $ and screw everyone else. If they didn't charge 4x the actual rent and had a district manager rather then a $500 a week "accountant" to come in and check your inventory once a month (to make sure you were not stealing) you could have made a good buck. I figured that I was paying about $7500 a month extra in rent and about $1500 more then I should for a district manager (accountant) so $9000 a month was going back to the people in the upper ranks of the company. If that money was actually being kept in house the sales people could get paid a livable wage and the managers would make out pretty well. Using my office as an example if the average split was $6/$2 and corporate didn't rape you on rent and accounting the average sales rep should have brought home $720 a week and the manager would take home $8040 a month. Not bad. However the company doesn't want you to make a ton of $, they want to dangle it in front of you then take it away. If you didn't use their accountant then you didn't get product, if you didn't sublet then you didn't get product. God forbid you test market something other then what they give you, you have to use their price structure or you don't get product. The company philosophy is so utterly scamish it's funny. The sad part is that the structure is solid, you can make it so that the numbers work and everyone make a good buck, unfortunitly greed set into these companies long, long ago and now they use, abuse and shamefully discard their sales force (much like cheap liquor) Six months after running my own office I finally went to a managers meeting and what I saw and heard there was shamefully and pathetic and was the final straw. I had hopes for the company and like I said the basic principle was sound however the distribution of the $ was set up in such a way that unless you owned the company you would never make your fortune. I would love to see someone start something like this where it is treated more like a business then a scam pyramid scheme. The items that we sold were decent (not great but pretty good for the price) but I kept thinking that it would work better as a smaller business that actually cared about their reps and the products they sold rather then the corporate whore of a monter that it was.
    A few side notes, the hours sucked but they needed it to suck. The whole point of the long hours was to keep you away from family and friends who would tell you that the job sucked. You would get there at 630-7 and go home after 8pm. It was basically a corporate cult. I tried to change that in my office where sales reps would get there at 830 and leave at 530 (still a 9 hour day but better) Lets face it you didn't need 2 sales meetings every morning to figure out how to sell a book. The atmosphere at night was equally as dumb and was only needed because of the crap pay scale. Once again I was told that I would not get product if I did not follow the 12-13 hour days. Also if the sales reps (actually independant contractors) did not participate in the morning meeting and the evening atmosphere then we were told not to give them product. Anyway there are a miilion more stories that I could go on about.Bottom line, decent products most of the time and a decent concept but poorly executed and a bit too cultish but then again that's what the people who own the company want.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    loly Apr 09, 2009

    I bought a Smart Circle Luxury Cruise Package at The Sports Authority for $50. I trusted the salesperson (Aaron, (281)561-5442) because he was selling them at reputable store. He also offered me another flyer with information about the American Cancer Society and said that they had joined to raise funds to fight cancer and a portion of the proceeds would go toward this. According to Aaron, I could get my $50 back if I was not satisfied with the sale by calling 281-561-5442.
    Supposedly, I just had to go online and register to book my 4-night cruise for $249 per person. I registered on the SC website but was unable to book my travel. The website instructions said to wait for another package in the mail. About 2 weeks later, I received a Registration Activation Form asking me for another $50 fee that was non-refundable. I called many times to discuss why I had to pay more but was unable to speak to anyone. No one responded to my first voice message. A guy called me after I left the second message but was very rude and offered no help at all, he simply said I had to pay the additional $50 to go any further. After all this waiting and back and forth, I only had 14 days to return the Activation From before it expired.
    I was never able to reach anyone to request a refund and ended up letting the package expire. After all, I suspected this could be a scam before I bought it and decided to "gamble" my $50. Furthermore, for about the $350 that it would cost I can just go to any travel site and get a cruise without all this hassle. I figured that to pursue this further would probably cause me to lose more money and time. What a scam!!!

    0 Votes

Post your comment

    In The News

    Unhappy consumers gather online at Complaintsboard.com and have already logged thousands of complaints
    If you see dozens of complaints about a certain company on ComplaintsBoard, walk away.
    One of the largest consumer sites online. Posting here your concerns means good exposure for your issues
    A consumer site aimed at exposing unethical companies and business practices
    ComplaintsBoard is a good source for product and company gripes from especially dissatisfied people
    You'll definitely get some directions on how customer service can best solve your problem