Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I feel better

I already reported them to the Department of Labor AND the BBB. But writing this on Ripoff Report.com made me feel so much better. Sad part, it's not even the HALF of it.

Where to begin. I worked for TaylorMade Promotionz, which is in the same office as PPI, or Powerhoutz. I have never been so angry to accept a job in my life!

It wasn't the lying on the phone or physical interview, it wasn't the 10 people in the same office to interview for the same job, it was the FALSE promises they made me just to say yes to the job in the first place. I actually GAVE UP another good job opportunity to go to TMP/PPI. I liked the high energy, the unusual office environment and the girl I interviewed with and I had a lot in common. First thing I said to her when we discussed me taking the job was...if this is a pyramid scam, I'm going to kill you. She assured me it wasn't.

Other things I was assured? That this was NOT commission. (it is...FULLY & you split it with the other person your on site with) that there would be insurance provided (there is NO insurance, they give a line about all the paper work that is to be filled out, but never ACTUALLY give you the paperwork) my fellow co-worker was even told that insurance was free, paid for by TMP. Another lie. There would be reimbursement for expenses, by that they mean, file it on your taxes at the end of the year as a business expense.

In 6 weeks I was sent to so many places they claimed to have 'events' set up in and when we got there they had NO clue as to who we were nor did they know we were going to be selling anything. Real professional. Oh, did I mention the illegal act of 'parking lot' pitching they would encourage you to do DAILY. I don't know how many times I had to 'talk' my way out of being arrested.

Between bad directions, information, shotty merchandise, and poor explanation your expectations...I was left several GRAND in debt. Yes, I did say grand. Between using my credit cards to pay for gas (filling up 2 to 3 times WEEKLY), food (I worked from 730am to 730 to 9pm), merchandise my leader convinced me to buy and get rid of later (don't get me started) I had to use them to pay my rent, phone bill, electric bill, and everything else that was due because I made a whole $500 that MONTH and just barely.

If that wasn't bad enough I you are talked to like a 3 year old in the office daily. Thanks, I don't need a 20 year old telling me how 'bad' the corporate world is...he's never been in it! I have news for them...'I've got goals' and they may not be as 'Juicy' as you think your life with Quantum or Innovage will be, but they are realistic. I laugh at 'Billy Houtz' re-buttle to these posts.

Billy, why don't you explain how 'believing' in this business cost you custody of you CHILD. I don't know anything that would be more important than my own flesh and blood. I almost lost a relationship with my own family because of this job. I not only couldn't talk to them, but trying to explain what I did and why I kept having to borrow money?! Oh wow, not good.

Worst thing is...the only reason I left, one I was getting a real impression that they weren't giving the CPEA as much as they said they were, was because I got ill....REALLY ILL. Did anyone care to give me a call and check on me? Yeah right. I actually ended up going to the hospital, well there's more debt for you.

Stay away, stay FAR away. It was a lot of speed talking, empty promises and people who really know how to make you feel like a giant piece of ...well you know. Funny, I was told I was the protégé of the place too...imagine what you would be treated like if you weren't! I believe you could probably go far in this company IF you were the Katie Taylor/Larissa Hawley's of this world that came from very rich families that could support you while you were trying to 'build your business'. As far as I know, I, nor anyone else at TMP/PPI could actually live off the paychecks, why do you think most of the people at PPI live in the same place called, 'Peddlers Pad'. Think twice before you get caught up.

Everyday N and I ask ourselves....WHAT WERE WE THINKING!!

44 Say what you will...:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came across your site through a google search for TMP. I have an interview this week with them. *cringes*

I was looking for more detail on the company -- they are very evasive on their website and I think I know why now.

Thanks for posting this, hopefully I'll come down with a cold in time. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

Yes... thank you for your post. They are taking on a new name, "Streamline Executive Group", andI haven't been able to find anything on them. That seemed a little weird to me, but the lady who called me for an interview said to check on "Smart Circle International". No mention of Streamline, but I said what the hell. It sounds like a good opportunity. Everything that I have experienced through the "initial interview" has been exactly the same way others have mentioned on ripoffreport.com. I knew something was weird when 1) the receptionist was calling person after person to set up interviews for the same job, even when there were 10 people waiting to be interviewed. 2) I received a call at 3:00pm for a 2nd interview, which was supposedly reserved for 'top candidates'. Weird since I heard the receptionist scheduling interviews for the rest of the week. 3) the intiial interview didn't even ask the typical questions. All I got was, "What were your duties at your most recent job, and what are top 3 things you are looking for in a company?" That was it... then the location manager went on about how the company works, but it was so fast it was hard to take everything in.

Anyway, I'm pissed I wasted my time to drive up for the first interview. But I'm glad I trusted my instinct and did more research before going in for the 2nd day. Full day of observation with no compensation? Sorry, that's a waste of time.

Grateful job-seeker

Anonymous said...

I work for Taylormade Promotionz and I love the job security! And the fact that I decide my own paychecks is a good thing. Management is not the only way to go in this business but you do have that opportunity to do so. You have to keep an open mind and realize it's not a 9 to 5 JOB(JUST OVER BROKE)40hrs/wk for 40yrs.(That sounds like fun) I worked in the field for 5 months and loved it!! Would you rather be an employee for the rest of your life or an Entrepreneur? Have a boss or be your own? Well this job isn't for everyone and anyone in the biz will tell you that. Happy job searching!!!

Just Dawn said...

OMG I see the brainwashing has worked on you. Did you work for Toys for Tots or CPEA or both? Did you recieve a $250 paycheck even though you blew out your order all week? Oh I guess not. Your right the biz isn't for everyone, I said that...it's for people that can afford to be supported though your journey. I AM my own boss, that's why I quit. I work in a wonderful office with ACTUAL free benefits and only work 4 days a week. I don't mind working I've been working 2 jobs since I was 16, but for the first time in my life, I'm enjoying the free time! Good Luck to you, your going to need it. I hope you get what your looking for

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this post, which was posted about 10 months ago, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to agree and share my experience. I worked for a Quantum division office in the northeast, I believe "table jockey" was the self degrading yet endearing term used for my side of the company. I am hoping this word can continue to spread, THESE COMPANIES RUIN PEOPLE.

I lasted about 6 months working for the office I am choosing not to name, 6 months made me almost a veteran there. I was the exact kind of person they like to prey upon, young, motivated, and hungry. The office was so unconventional and the thought of helping charities was even more amazing. I lived over an hour away from the office, but the company seemed so cool and innovative, I figured I could suck it up and just do it.

Things were going great, I got promoted in the middle of my second week there, after a month I managed to start building a solid crew. I was successful by all means of guaging. By my second month I was considered one of the "core leaders" This is when they started with the ego-stroking of me. Who doesn't like to be recognized for their accomplishments? I was sent to a "Top Leaders Meeting" in Dallas where they pick the top 2 leaders of each office and send them down to a beautiful hotel and I guess show you the more glamorous side of the company.

Getting back from the Top Leaders meeting did exactly what it was supposed to do. I found new motivaton got all of my "guys" promoted with almost every single one of them having a leader or two on their own team. The people that were "Strong leaders" when I started, slowly "negged-out" and quit. Upon becoming a "Core Leader" one of the things that was made clear was not to mention the name of anyone who quit unless I was making an example of what not to do out of them. Real nice huh?

All of the excitement and distractions left me ignoring my financial situation. I was putting myself further into debt by paying for things on credit, and then not being able to make my credit card payments b/c of poor paychecks. I was a "Top Leader" and yet I couldn't even pay my bills? The distractions kept coming though. I had met with important people such as Harmony Hunt who quote "saw a lot of herself in me and expected big things out of me" Aside from Harmony, I met many other important people and each one of them told me how excited they were to have me in the company, and each one I met gave me their cell phone number to store in my phone so I could call them whenever I needed anything. The one thing I couldn't shake though was the fact that way before I ever met Harmony, my leader told me she made 40,000 a MONTH...with that kind of money I constantly wondered...why did she only wear cheap, ill-fitting suits that looked like she picked them up at WalMart?

Then came the traveling. I led many successful roat trips and was even lent to a few new fledgling offices that needed the help of a solid leader who could help them train their new hires and interview and hire new applicants. I was so busy I had little time for anything or anybody outside the company. It got to the point where all I could talk about was "the biz" and those who weren't in it couldn't understand.

One of those who couldn't understand was my mother. I remember one morning we had such an awful fight,she called me out on being sneaky,deceitful, vague, and having the ability to lie to people without technically lying, and just not being the honest human being she raised me to be. All of these qualities she called me out on were exactly the qualities that made me successful in the office. I called my owner unable to even speak I was crying so hard. He tried to calm me down and gave me the whole "they aren't in it so they don't understand" speech. Then he offered a room in the house where he and some of the other's in the office lived. I still thank god my mom and I had a better relationship than that, because if I were someone that didn't come from such a strong upbringing I might have fallen deeper into that business and who knows where I would have ended up!

Within a few weeks of that day, I decided I had to quit. All 3 credit cards were maxxed out, I had put about 30000 miles on my car in 6 months, I was beginning to realize this wasn't as glorious as it had been described to be. When I spoke to my boss about money troubles, he told me to work harder, go out "Parking lot pitching" I still feel sick when I think about running around parking lots getting innocent (mostly male) strangers to buy T shirts off of us. When I did even that and still was drowning in debt, I'd had enough. I tried to bow out gracefully, I really did,just shut my mouth and disappeared, but my crew ended up quitting when they heard I did, then their crew quit and some others did too. Imagine who got blamed.

Mentally I was pretty beat up about this, falling for the whole scam, jeopardizing relations with my family and friends, screwing up my credit. But one thing I realized was that most of them were so far into it, they didn't get it either. I think about the owner, as much as he dangled the carrot in front of me to keep me working hard, the presidents and VPs were dangling bigger carrots in front of the owners, promising them regional mangership and vice presidencies too. Its 2 years later and I still feel bad about what the people I personally hired went through when I think about it. I just have to keep in mind I didn't know any better when I was hired. 2 years later I'm almost debt free, still working hard to slowly pay off the debt that accrued from interest,over-the-limit fees and missed payments from that period. One of the girls I hired and I are still friends and often joked about starting a suport group for "Quantum Quitters who Saw The Light" but we figured that even if we were able to get in touch with all those affected by these companies, nowhere short of a staidum could hold them all! Just remember, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and everything worth having is worth wroking hard for! Don't let these companies sell you the bull shit of less than a year to holding your own office! Trust me you'll pay for it one way or another!

Just Dawn said...

To my last Anonymous post, I'm in love with everything you said. IF you could meet my former co-worker and I in our TMP quitters support group I'm positive we could have more fun than a Dallas Leadership Meeting!! WAIT?!?!

....HAHAHAHA! Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just had a 2nd day interview with Refined Promotions, which sounds like the same company. I spoke with Larissa Hawley. It was at 7847 Convoy Ct. Ste. 101, San Diego, CA 92111. These places are always in buildings like this. I spent my whole day off observing and I was really excited about it. I'm suppose to start on Monday but I found so many bad things about this girl online. I feel so stupid for almost quitting my job for this place. I even waited in the waiting room for an hour and a half while Larissa was on a conference call. I had just gotten back from observing, I was hot and hungry. They did tell me there new name was Refined Promotions and that they just changed it. The only name that was on the door was "Marketing and Event Planning." It looked like they could just get up and go at the drop of a hat. I don't trust them at all. STAY AWAY!

Anonymous said...

I just had an interview this last Friday the 17 of July in San Diego ca near clairmont Mesa blvd and they said it's a three interview process and they talk reallly fast and I couldn't even understand what the girl who called said when she said the company name but larrissa hawley interviewed me and claime to be super busy she was younger than me I'm sure they didn't ask for any real info about my social or id number nada! Then throwing out numbers like mad when it came to pay stucture I'm convinced it's bogus now thanks all of u for your info. Much appreciated Btw the new name is refined promotions but larrisa still has the email from LHP and it's at yahoo who in a reputable company has a yahoo address it's always an email with there company name . Com ya know. Ugh I'm so peaved about the whole thing here I am all excited and now I'm so mad

Anonymous said...

i also worked for this company. everything everybody says about it being a scam is true. although larissa is very hot. do not work for this company. report it the the bbb and department of labor. call me larissa

Anonymous said...

They have turned up again. This time Ms. Hawley has established herself in Schaumburg, IL, in the Chicago Metro Area. She formed a company called Develop Inc. (incorporated in Illinois on 2/17/2010) and has EVENT MARKETING on her door. There was only one person in the office when I went there for the interview. I was told on the phone that there was a base salary plus commission, but when I got there they said it was minimum wage or commission only. When it seemed that I got the play and started asking too many questions, I was told the interview was over. Ms. Hawley stood up, but I remained seated and continued to question her about the company. Having been in some high volume retail sales I knew what to ask. She clearly became uncmfortable with the situation.

As I questioned the commission and pay scale I got 2-3 different stories. I think they were clear in her mind, but they were pretty haphazard to someone who has actually worked in sales.

This is a cheap setup by someone who obviously has little integrity. From what I have read it is no surprise to me that she left California. If anyone needs her address it can be found on the Illinois Secretary of State website for corporation lookups at
http://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/CorporateLlcController search the company name Develop Inc.

Anonymous said...

Ok Larissa just offered me a job in Chicago Il...looks like I won't be accepting. Thank you all!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I was able to link this, praise God for the internet. The interview I had today w/ Ms. Larissa Hawley was weak and incredibly ambiguous. What I am unclear on is why? What is the gain and to whom?

Christa said...

So funny, I had an interview with this company in like 2006. They contacted me from Career Builder.. this is the e-mail I got from them:
Dear Christa

Thank you for taking the time to send us your resume. We understand how competitive the Chicago job market currently is and your interest in our company is appreciated.

After reviewing the resumes, we feel as if yours exemplifies many of the qualifications that we are looking for in our team. We would like to meet with you within the next few days to begin the formal interview process. Please contact Giovanna Vazquez to schedule your personal interview at 847-486-8880. Due to the magnitude of the response it is important that we schedule your interview in a timely manner.

Prior to an initial interview we recommend browsing our website at www.powerhoutz.com to find additional information concerning our company’s innovative marketing concepts. Below, you will find our contact information and directions to our office.

The Management Team
Powerhoutz Promotions, Inc.
1940 Lehigh Ave. Suite F
Glenview, IL 60025

*We have multiple locations throughout Chicagoland - we are holding our preliminary interviews in our headquarters in Glenview

Okay so then you go to the interview and its weird... really weird. The guy was hitting on me and not really saying anything about the company. I was asking direct questions about the company that were being avoided. The next day they wanted me to start and I declined..they continued to call back almost every day for a month. I knew something was up, I'm just sorry you had to deal with that. Hopefully everyone reads your post prior to falling for the scam.

Aaron J said...

I was an unfortunate soul who fell for the fast talking and false claims of opportunity. I had the "great honor" of meeting Larissa Hawley and I had an "event" at Melrose Park at a 7/11. The mayor of Melrose park kicked me out and called the police on me. I told Larissa who was visiting and she starts cussing at me like it is my fault. They had absolutely no concern for my safety, health or freedom. If you see that name or if they tell you that want you to have an observation day without offering pay. Stay away indefinately.

Anonymous said...

So funny. Well not funny but so obnoxcious. I went through the training program, (pyramid) spent three years of my life working like a slave and getting paid like one too. Best move I ever made was cutting my losses and getting out. Now I just feel bad for my former co-workers, and hope for them to see the light. You will NEVER make the money you hope to, no matter how hard you work or how good your work ethic.

Anonymous said...

I also interviewed with april in the Schaumburg office and it was very akward and she really didnt want to tell me anything about what the company did or what i would be doing. I asked and she avoided the question. Thankfully the interview only lasted about 10 min which was about all i could take. I had a bad feeling about this from the start i just thought id check it out and make sure i wasnt passing up a great opprotunity which clearly i was not. Also the door just had marketing and events on it the name Develop Inc was no where to be found, i wasnt even sure i was in the right place.Sketchy very very sketchy i still have no idea what exactly they do but i got very bad vibes and will not be returning the phone call i got for a second interview. Dont waste your time or quit your current job.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this, I was called today and was supposed to have an interview with April in Schaumburg, I will be canceling it right away. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a recent college grad looking for a position in Chicago and I submitted my resume for this position through Career Builder. I was kind of pumped when I got an email back for an interview, then a call from their HR (I let it go to my voicemail), then another email asking me to contact them. Odd thing about it is that all of this happened within an hour of my resume submission - I thought this seemed rather fishy and kind of desperate on their part. I got the first email from Linda and the call and second email from Monika. I called back and spoke to Monika for a few minutes but couldn't get very good information but said I would get back to them about an interview date. I emailed her the next day but it's been a week and I haven't heard back, kinda strange since they were so prompt about it before.

Is this a commonplace occurrence with these people?? I'm guessing that what I've gone through briefly is just the tip of the ice burg...

Just Dawn said...

That was just the tip of the iceberg....stay away...far away. I'm still suffering for the effects of TMP or whatever they're calling themselves this month.

By the way out of curiosity (and since it was blocks from my house) my friend and I drove past there about 3 weeks after we quit. We knew there was no plan to move but suddenly the place was vacant. Can you say suspicious? Never trust a company that doesn't have it's name PRINTED on the door or moves every 3 months

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I found your blog post and rant online. I was about an hour away from leaving for an interview with Develop Inc in Schaumburg, IL, and realized the crappy shell-company-looking website really was a problem. I have now cancelled my interview. It would be beneficial for anyone who has experience with Develop Inc to file a complaint here: http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/marketing-programs-and-services/develop-in-schaumburg-il-88382181 to bring awareness. I don't feel I can file one since I am terminating my association with the company so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I was researching the company this morning after I received a phone call for an interview. They said they had a few questions for me, which is normal, and would like to schedule a phone interview. When I spoke to them, I tried to contact the person who called, and the new girl said I could talk to her instead. Then the only questions she had were my name and if Shaumburg was too far. She immediately started pitching the company and pressuring me to come in for an interview today or tomorrow. I didn't like the way the conversation was going when I asked questions so I told her I had to move my schedule around and would call back. That's when I got on google and my hunch was confirmed. Unfortunately, because they change their name so often it's hard to hit them at BBB. Puppy mills also take advantage of the name changes. Shady shady shady. Anyway, thanks again for the post glad I avoided this one.

Just Dawn said...

Hard to believe this post goes back to 2007 and STILL getting hits!! Keep them coming ... it's the only way places like this will go down eventually - And FYI I did report them to the BBB only problem is just a few weeks later, they were gone from that location. "relocating often" is in their motto as well...they have to they bleed dry the area they're in when people catch on to the scam.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh yes, everything that everyone is saying on here is entirely true. The organization is a pyramid scheme led by Larissa Hawley (well she probably has even higher ups that supply the junk they sell) if anyone is reading this and currently employed by Larissa please get out or sabotage the business. I also ran up large credit card bills to account for the amount of driving I had to do as well as the crappy paychecks that didnt come on time or show commission reports. If anyone on here would like to get together to take them down, I have resources as well as motivation and know how. SCAM.

Just Dawn said...

I would love nothing more than to bring them down for the hell they put me through. I don't have the time or energy to take them down....I'll back you in whatever you choose to do though. They have been destroying lives and bank accounts all over Chicagoland someone should take them down.

Ashley Brianna said...

I just started working for Develop, Inc in Schamburg on monday. I didn't find any of this stuff out till today. I have also interview with many of these same companies. I should have suspected something, when I had to drive out to no where to help sell cheesecakes for a second interview then drive back to where I cam from another half hour back for a third interview in 100 degree heat. Mind you it takes me 2 hours to get there cause I live in the south suburbs. They also wouldn't let me work on the job with out my ss card, which I don't have I was told to bring two forms of Id Which I did, I had my drivers license, state Id and passport.
Also when I went in for their meetings I wasn't able to sit (i have just been injured so standing for long periods of time in heels does not sit well) If I was told I would be standing the whole time I would have worn flats. I have a second job as stage manager for a theatre at nights and they frowned on that because I apparently needed to fully commit to this job... I was told that I don't get days off and even if i did have a day off I would still need to drive 2 hours for the morning meeting and not get paid for the gas that I would have to put into my car everyday..... needless to say i'm quiting tomorrow my hips (injury) are killing me and I can't walk after they wanted me to run around a room in heels, even after I said I couldn't. Also no lunch breaks.... i get sick in heat and I need water at least but no food all day, almost made me want to faint. its 9:00am -7:30pm or later job......All I wanted was job to help me pay my bills.... this job is just adding to my expenses.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm C and I was a victim of the Quantum scam, too. I worked for them, sadly and to detriment of my sanity and credit rating, for over a year. I even became a location manager. So, yes, you can climb the pyramid, but you will do so at the loss of many other things.
I started off in the San Diego office under Larissa Hawley's first company, LH International. She was as heinous a b*tch as you can imagine. She's self righteous, pompous (for no reason) and could give a crap about anyone's success but her own. She loves to spout off about her incredible wealth and ability to buy a condo in downtown San Diego at the time - which actually her father bought for her. I wish I had known that when I was stumbling broke and she told me off saying I wasn't "in it" enough.
Anyway, I can go off on a hateful rant about her, but that's not the point.
The point of this, similar to everyone else's comments here, is STAY FAR AWAY! It has been 5 years since I worked for them and only last year was I completely cut off from the debacle. When I opened my own office, Larissa and another manager went out to Ohio to choose my office building. Odd, seeing as it would be MY company, right? Well, they negotiated a 3 year office lease under my name with the landlord, had me sign the papers and when my office shut down due to zero sales and a rightfully skeptical crew (I was skeptical myself) I was stuck with a 3 year lease that would have had me $78k in debt if I didn't settle with the landlord out of court like I did. I ended up paying him over $10k to drop the case and that's after 3 years of working like a crazy person to pay off the credit card debt I accumulated driving all over and moving 3 times in 1 year. Managers make NO money. I had friends in top offices that took home about $1,000 per month. That is NOT right. If you want to own your own business, do it yourself. Not with the "help" of these scamers. Listen to your friends & family when they tell you to get out - I kick myself everyday for not listening to my dad who warned me time & time again to get out. Now he just says "I told you so". For the sake of your dignity, sanity and pocket, start your own business properly or work at a great job that you love or that at least treats you with respect.
You don't need Larissa Hawley telling you you could be as rich & powerful as her someday, when you could be MUCH MORE so on your own accord.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I also worked for a division of the company that I will not name for the sake of some great individuals that still work there. I was pretty desperate for a job after graduating from college and I was REALLY EXCITED when I found this one. I had 2 interviews and was hired all in the same day, which now seems kind of fishy but at the time I was just blinded by excitement. When I first started I was really motivated by all the success stories I heard and was convinced that if they could do it then I could too. I quickly became a top leader and was also sent to a "top leaders meeting" which just motivated me even more. I mean all those people wouldnt be there is this wasn't legit right? It wasnt until a few people in my life started putting things in perspective that I really took a look at what I was doing. I was spending more money in gas than I was actually making and when I asked about it all I was told was "you just need to bring your sales up". I absolutely didn't have a life anymore and after a couple of months I just decided it definitely wasn't for me. Luckily I only had a few interviews and decided not to hire any of them because I would have felt terrible putting somebody in that position. If you have an interview and they tell you that you can make $500, $600,$700+ a week thats a lie. You're lucky to make it in a month. And the hours are unreasonable. They fool some great people into beliving things but I am 100% happier since I got out.

Anonymous said...

HELP! I worked at RPM in San Diego and sister company of LH International. All the posts here are true, and it is a scam. I did however, meet a girl Sasha (short brunette)that worked at LH International in San Diego and her and I hit it off. I ended up quitting because the thing was a scam but lost my phone shortly after and lost this girls number and I have wanted to call her but didnt have a way to get a hold of her until i stumbled here. Can anyone help?

Anonymous said...

Let me just say that obviously this isn't a job for everyone. You have to really want to put yourself out there. It is entry level, so duh you're not going to make a ton of money. It is not designed to make you a ton of money, it is designed to teach you how to manage yourself, and event and take on responsibilities of a manager before you are in that position. It is a management training program so yes it takes a lot of work, and yes you will work a lot of hours, but for those who know what it is like to start a business this is nothing different. You don't get benefits, but you don't get benefits when you work for yourself anyways. And the fact that people here weren't making enough money is because they weren't putting in the work. They weren't applying the things they were taught.

This company is also not a pyramid scheme. Just to clear things up, a pyramid scheme company is that has you invest money into it then try and get you to either sell their product or get others to pay too. All of the products they work with are on consignment, meaning they aren't paid for. Meaning that no one HAS to go out and sell stuff to make money.

Second, this is a small business that works with other small vendors to provide people with products at a lower price, so yes you won't be interviewing at some glitzy office, and the reason that the administrators interview so many people is because not everyone is cut out to work for themselves. Not everyone is motivated enough, most people want a secure job that they can have for 40 years and then retire at 60. Larissa Hawley is 30 and retired because she worked for herself. They look for people like her, not the people who want to start an entry level position with benefits, and paid days off, and all the glamor.

So if you want a position in which you can work for yourself and see how a business is actually run, apply and have an open mind. If not, then settle for a 9-5 job, that YES i have worked in, and i prefer this over anything else.

Anonymous said...

He prefer it cause he doesnt do any of the leg work he uses people. While youre busting your butt off hes at home watching the game.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me people? No one made you guys do anything.... if the business wasn't for you, you should have just quit.

The business does not ruin people, you can only ruin yourself... nobody forced you guys to do anything...

If the person who broke down the opportunity to you was just eager to get someone on their team... then that person shouldn't be with the company, but for you to sit and say such obscene things makes you sound retarded.

This business isn't for everyone... so stop being angry that you invested so much of yourself and weren't cut out for it. It's not for everyone, and only an idiot would invest so much wasted energy into something they weren't cut out for.

Give me a break. The job you probably have right now probably "sucks" too...

If you try something out and can't make it work for you... MOVE ON... don't invest time, money and energy you don't have into something voluntarily and then blame the company itself - like I said. You sound like an ignorant retard and obviously misery likes company given these other posts.

Come on people... get a life! If you don't like your job then quit!

Oh ya... and the reason there are 10 ppl selected for the same position is because about 150 managers are still needed nationwide since they are partnered with the biggest retailers in the country being Sams Club, Costco, Krogers, BJ's etc...

Use your heads ppl... like I said if the biz isn't for you quit like a normal human being instead of spreading all this non sense on the Internet just because you are angry bc of how much you suck.

Just Dawn said...

Really a comment on a blog from 2007?! Do you know it's 2013? I assume it's still coming up when you Google the company so I'm glad for that that's for sure. If you experience is different than mine, good for you, but tell me HOW it was so different. Did you go into debt? Were you able to sell out of all of your product daily and still only make $150 weekly? Did you get a base salary and insurance as promised in an interview? Did you get reimbursed for expenses? Did you go to work one day and pass out in a bathroom and end have their suggestion be 'go to the walk in clinic and get back before the end of the day to sell your product?' only to end up being admitted to the hospital for a week and never hear from the company or anyone in it again? Yeah probably not that last one but I doubt your experience otherwise has been any different from mine in any other way. I call complete BS about being linked with Sam's - Costco etc. considering half my events were bogus. The company is a pyramid scam. Plan and simple. NOT a non for profit charity fund raiser I was told.

With that said some people are very successful in pyramid scams. Usually it's the people with no conscience and able to take advantage of others, but still some are very successful. If you are one of those people great! But do not come here and knock the people for their experiences either.

For the record, my jobs after this one did suck some days. I've worked for some real assholes since then too, but at the very least I got a pay check at the end of the week, and the insurance I was promised. Being a full time mom as of December of 2012, my job does suck a lot less I admit but my kid can be an ass too :)

Point being, I told my experience, I reported the company and within 2 months, the company somehow 'disappeared' from where they were in the first place - I found later from the owner of the building they NEVER paid the lease for the building and one day it was just empty. No warning, not to mention this supposed 'up and coming' company suddenly didn't exist anymore. Ummm...shady? Yes. Sorry that's just not how a company that's legitimate does business. If your doing well, good luck to you. I hope all your dreams come true and you don't end up selling your soul for a t-shirt sale.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog today after working for the wonderful world of Smart Circle/ Innovage for a year and a half. Unfortunately, it was too late, and not only myself, but also many hardworking, and genuine people did too.

The posts on here are as true now as they were 6 years ago. Which is unbelievable, and quite despicable that these companies can get away with such atrocities. The sad thing is, I didn't realize what was really going on until it was too late.

Just like many people before me said, they were young, motivated, determined, and driven to get what they were promised. Yet, sometimes, hard work in this instance doesn't pay off. You get a life lesson instead.

Hopefully individuals searching on Career Builder, Monster and other job sites will recognize the half-truths these multi-level marketing firms say. Yes, it is true you will get sales, interviewing and problem solving experience but all at a price.

I was flown to numerous offices to help train, I helped people reach and exceed the 'national average' (800 a day). It is possible, these firms are now working in Sams Club, and every once in a while a Costco. They are however trying to get into Jewel Osco in Chicago, but it doesn't make a difference they are still owned and operated on top by Larissa Hawley/ Mike Putnam and Larry Tenambaum. The sad thing is though, the commission is so low, even if you do well, your manager will take such a huge cut from the profit you won't make any more. OR if you do make money in commission that money will be spent paying for gas, tolls OR splitting your commission with the person you are training. Trust me, I did it. I did well sales wise and I still was almost going in debt.

I cut my ties when my relationships with my loved ones were going south and my tax return amounted to a couple grand shy of 30,000. I worked six days a week for almost 10-12 hour days. There was no reason to make less than 30,000. I had so many expenses around 15,000 to be exact with all of the gas, milage, meals I went out on (since business trips aren't covered,) and the business dinners I did to try and build my crew. Reality is: people don't want to get paid that low, have to travel everywhere, and have absolutely no life. It really is a revolving door, and the system itself cannot sustain.

The manager now, whom, I will not name, relies on people continuously recruiting, and building a team. You are not promoted on how good you do, you're promoted on if in fact you can hold a team together long enough so that you can 'potentially' start up your own firm. I've only see two people do it, and the rest of the people, well you can guess: most of them quit.

If you're interested, look them up, the one in Schaumburg was ran by Larissa Hawley and was called Develop, then it switched to Kinetic Interactive Marketing, and after a year or so with such bad press and reviews they moved to Glen Ellyn and named the same company Principal Marketing Inc.

You wont find much information out there, because they are a 'newer' marketing firm, but look close and they are all linked to Smart Circle.


AnnaMarie said...

I'm sorry you guys have had such a bad experience, but hand to God, I absolutely love working with the people I work with. It is so much fun to help someone find the answer to their problem. Business trips ARE covered, I just got reimbursed 211.00 for two weeks that were spent on the road, stayed in a hotel that was much nicer than I would have booked for myself and, guys, they constantly run workshops on how to manage your money. There's no reason anyone in this business should be broke. They reimburse you for everything but food, but honestly, what company besides Mcd's gives you food while you're working? It's up to you to take control of the opportunity. I worked for other companies like Victoria's Secret and I never walked away feeling like I made a difference in people's lives. It's so rewarding to have someone halfway across the nation call YOU for an answer to a question. There's always going to be glass half full people (entrepreneurs) and glass half empty people (employees). It's COMPLETELY In your hands how YOUR life works out. Make your decisions, but make educated ones. I've never liked waking up in the morning more than I have at this company.

Just Dawn said...

I find it funny you're not only commenting on a post from 2007 but you feel the need to try to insult me in a back handed way. You assume I'm not successful based on this post from 7 years ago (or as you say an employee rather than an entrepreneur). Maybe in 7 years this company has changed it's ways but I tell you that when I was with it I was unable to pay my rent. I worked 14 hour days with no pay just 'commission' I had to share with another person. I was never reimbursed for anything, and the company somehow 'disappeared' one day. Without a trace, I didn't even get my w2s for this company. That's not a sign of a successful or even a legitimate business. This post was all about my experience with them. If you're doing well, that's awesome, but I sincerely hope you have a back up plan. I myself went to SCHOOL and got an actual education. And just for the record, my now husband and I are quite successful without having to give up our lives for a company.

frank said...

Smart Circle, Cydcor, Innovage, Appco Group etc are just tentacles of the global direct sales cult known to some as Devilcorp. If you go to 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.

thedevilcorp said...

If you go to http://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com/ you will find plenty of info.

smartcircledirectv said...

Sorry you went through that. they are horrible people.

smartcircledirectv said...

Good blog. Looks like these people will never change.

anthony malaga said...

This one might be worth a look. http://entryleveljobscam.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting me know that Principal Marketing is another subsidiary of the frightful DevilCorp. I had actually interviewed with them two years ago in 2013, which involved sudden phone call, nearly next day in person interview, then second "job shadow" assessment in Sam's Club where I stood and "shadowed" from 9am to 3pm. I WAS NOT HAPPY.

The next day I was informed I got the position, but I declined, and when asked why in order to better understand why, I cited multiple reasons that involved lack of fit to my career and education and work experience.

Thank you for keeping this post and blog alive for future people who may be scammed by these pyramid schemes.

...but now I see said...

This sht is so crazy. I work for them right now. I've listen to recordings of Larissa. I've taken notes. I've bragged about this woman. To see this break down is outrageous. These comments are fuking mind blowing. My boss is a product of Larissa. She speaks soooooo highly of Mike Putnam. Julia Davis is a goddess. Kim Paul practically wrote the book. To see these same view points and stories that I can practically finish myself... I'm definitely going in tomorrow looking at these people completely different. It's sad because my boss is such a beautiful, hard working and mature young woman, I actually hope that she is in on the scheme and not an innocent girl getting used as a pawn by DevilCorp. But I do feel bad for these people that are entry level and leaders really sucked up into this and are gonna dedicate their lives to this. Damn this fuked up. I ain't gon say no names of my company, state, owner, or nothing. But I think imma jump from this ship. This is crazy.

anthony malaga said...

Smart Circle's Ashley Martin strikes again. http://entryleveljobscam.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...