Thursday, June 7, 2007

Quantum Marketing, Charity, and 'Events' Part I.

Hello again all,

I have been describing the culture and deceitful recruitment practices of the company, which can apply to all DS-Max affiliated companies. I wanted to give a brief and more specific overview of how the charity division works and what one should expect as an "employee" there.

I. Charity and 'Merching'

Okay. So you have a charity such as D.A.R.E.

When you work at Child Safety (in the DARE campaign) you will be selling children's products such as plush puppy pillows, quacking ducks, Disney book sets (omnibus), ABC and 123 chalk books, remote control robots, safety board games, flimsy art sets, e.t.c.

You will also be selling some safety products such as DNA kits, ID cards and ID diskettes, and safety videos.

Lastly you will have some parapernalia branded with the D.A.R.E. logo, mainly T-shirts, duffle bags, bracelets and water bottles.

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I came into this company believing that the charity gets 20% of all sales. What they don't tell you is that they only give the charity 20% on certain products, like the T-shirts and duffle bags, and supposedly the kids ids. This translates into roughly 5% or less of the overall proceeds, which is deplorable. You will not learn this unless you are paying very close attention at the opportunity meeting, usually held once or twice every month. By that point you are probably already somewhat lured into the company, which is exactly what they had planned. It is this "tugging on the heart-strings" that makes this company disgusting in my book. This separates them somewhat from offices that do straight sales. The fact that you think you are doing a good thing for society becomes a recruitment asset to them, one that they shamelessly exploit. The reps, often fooled themselves, come off as warm and caring individuals (not that they aren't) and fun! - so you want to be a part of what they are doing. Couple that with their confidence and vigor for their line of work, and you're in for a lethal combination. This is why many dedicated, good-hearted people get attracted to this company, often to find disappointment later on.
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All of these will be sold on tables outside of stores like Walmart, Staples, 7-11, CVS, Petland, Pep-Boys, Kmart, e.t.c. The company will not pay for your gas expenses, which can add up to alot considering that many of their events are far from the office. There is no compensation other than your 35% commission on items that usually range from $5-$20 + tax. Every once in a while the boss will throw some money around to try to keep people from quitting. Whoop-dee-freakin-doo.

They will encourage you to overcharge for some items and then throw in some "free" items after the sale is closed. This is called a 'Backwards Rehash.' For example, the Disney book set is a $20 item, meaning that the rep is responsible for collecting that amount for each piece of merchandise. Often a rep will be encouraged to offer the books for $40 or even more, and then throw in some free items to make up the difference (like two $10 t-shirts).

This is a very shady operation. They have you charge a dollar extra per $10 of merchandise to cover tax (but last I checked the tax rate wasn't 10%). So where does the extra money go? In the rep's pocket perhaps, or another customer might be exempted from paying tax because it is an inconvenience to them. This is all about reading people. Sometimes, a rep will overcharge someone (say $30 for the disney books) and keep the remainder for themselves or to cover tax deficits later in the day. This technique is called 'stroking merch' and basically translates to ripping people off (not that it is a good deal for them to pay 10 dollars for a lousy t-shirt, when DARE gives them for free). Though the owner will not promote this a rep is likely to try this on a slow day, or to make some extra money because he/she is not making enough.

The customers are not told how much goes to the charity unless the rep is confronted about it. Many people, when they hear 20%, are appalled and walk away. Though 20% is really a lie unless you are only selling a t-shirt or something with the D.A.R.E. logo. Most of the products on the table are INNOVAGE products, where no money from the sale goes back to the charity at all. It is terrible how the public is deceived and taken advantage of in this way.

II. Events

What are Events?

Events at Child Safety (or any Quantum company) are not what one who is looking for a job imagines events to be. When I first heard 'events' I was thinking of a charity banquet, or some big function, not setting up a table outside of Walmart and calling people over. This is something alot of people cannot get past. Many will hardly make it out of the parking lot on their days of observation upon learning what exactly they will be observing for the day.

It is low and demeaning, it is sleazy, it is something you might have seen on a street corner in times square. It is exalted and 'justified' by having the charity as a 'shield.' The company makes you wear a suit so that you feel more important and somehow better than your average street salesman, hawking your wares in "GQ-style." The "juiced" atmosphere in the office keeps you going and gets you high on this job.

How events are booked:

Events can be booked by the event coordinator (sometimes the asst. manager) either over-the-phone or in person. They go through the same 5-steps as the distributors do, as this is as much a sale as any other. They offer salutations to the owner of the store, tell their short-story, if in person they present a pamphlet or laminated document describing the charity. By this point they are either told to get lost, offered the event, or need to butter up the manager a little more and close the deal.

**One especially deceptive technique this company uses to get events is the shameful promotion of their "FREE ID AND FINGERPRINTING CAMPAIGN" - they use this to present the event ongoings in a charitable light, and often [store] managers will let events occur, not realizing that actual sales are going to be made. The field kits that reps go out with are equipped with these free id's (the fingerprinting is rarely done, if at all) though the id's are only used in certain situations to close a particular sale. These ID's are not freely offered to the public, as the main goal of the rep is to move merchandise, not to be charitable or give to the community, as that for them is not profitable. Most often, if a person sees something free they will snatch it, graciously say "thank-you," and move on their merry way. So it is not mentioned until the person has already came to the table and is considering buying something (more often than not, it is not mentioned at all).

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The funny part about the 'free ids' is that they are the same as the ids that are for sale (as $10 merchandise) at the table. So, if a rep were to choose whether or not to tell someone about the free id who might buy it, obviously they wouldn't tell them so they would get commission on the sale. This is a despicable and deceitful practice that shames the company, the charity, and the distributor. Also shameful is the fact that often these ids have a dollar value on them which is much higher than their actual sales value. For example, the id card which is the same as the free id has a price of $29.99 printed on the front. The actual cost the rep must cover is only $10, meaning that this can be deceitfully promoted as either a great deal (1/3 of the price!) or backwards-rehashed at full price (you get 2 free t-shirts, a $20 value! juice by you!). Either way is wrong, because each family is supposed to be allowed one free id (if that is even a real "rule," which I'm more apt to believe it is fabricated). I have even seen a rep [rob "slam"] go as far as to pocket a donation and give a free id as compensation.
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"5-Stepping" an Event:

Often times __it happens, and a rep will either lose an event due to a customer complaint, an unexpected arrival of a corporate manager (in places where 'no solicitation' is company policy), or some other mishap. In these cases, the rep cannot just decide to quit and go home (unless he doesn't want to make money or actually quits the job). He will either call the office and hope they have another event to give him, or fend for himself completely.

This practice of searching for an event mid-day is called 5-stepping. Basically because you are going through the same 5 steps to get an event as you are to make a sale. This can be very frustrating and difficult, and the average rep will be tempted to go to events that were held recently but given a chance to "cool off," so as not to drain the territory.

Going from store to store asking if you can set up your table is much harder than calling someone to your table in an attempt to make a sale. It is kind of like going B2B. The law of averages here is usually not very friendly. Often stores will give excuses like they have to check with upper management, and other times the manager is not even present in the store. Yet other times they will let you set up, but only for a very short time before they tell you to leave. If you haven't made significant sales by this point, you could be in trouble.

Sometimes one might have to resort to techniques like pitching people in parking lots or laundromats to make the requisite sales for the day. If selling stuff off of a table doesn't make you feel slimy, try doing that.

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26 comments:

ace said...

Thank you for this information. i just went on a "interview" which lasted only 8 minutes, which was a surpirse to me. I was looking to do charity related fund raising for a legitimate company and now my bubble has burst. A friend of mine directed me to this site and although disappointed that people would stoop so low as to use the name of a true charity to rip off people, it makes sense now, since I first saw them at a "Walmart" trying to sell me "child Safety" related products. I advised them that I also do "Child Safety" events, but mine are free to the public and use local law enforcement for the ID cards and businesses to provide giveaways. I felt I could translate my contacts into meaningful fundraising, but I guess I'll have to look somewhere else for that chance.

Thank you,
Vinny- Long Island, N.Y.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I was just hired today after going on a quick interview. Something about this company did not sound right. A company within a company and so on. Yes they are promoting child safty products, DARE,NASCAR, and Toys for Tots. Management positions in a few months. I am a woman with a degree so of course this is not what I expected. The manager for this company told me they did not care if I had a college degree or if I dropped out in middle school. (now how does that sound)

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for posting your experiences... I just left my first very quick interview and thought although he was very vague there was no mention of sales AT ALL... Well thank heavens for moms as she was very skeptical I did some looking around online only to find post after post stating how this was a scam. I want to work for a good company and help people I believe this is a disgrace and plan to inform as many as I can

Anonymous said...

I actually worked three days for this company but it was called All Star Promotions and was located in Vegas. In the last three days I have seen unethical behavior my "Leader." He has been saying that product FW1 racing formula is being sold for childrens charities (even though it isn't) and associated with NASCAR. There is no way that I have seen that this product is endorsed with NASCAR. Its a sick organization with nothing but lies and people taking advantage of the poor.

Christopher Cummings said...

I worked for about 6 weeks doing this. My company was "Genuine Marketing Solutions" in Livonia, MI. I hated this job more than anything else. I felt like I was ripping people off and the whole atmosphere was ridiculous. Not to mention I usually ended up working about 60-70 hours a week only on commission. Don't buy stuff from a DARE table in front of a store and for God' sake, don't work for a company that sells it.

Anonymous said...

I just set up an interview for Liberty Events in Philly for Friday (which is 1 1/2 hrs away from where I currently live!) Something seemed to be wrong with this situation, so I started researching them on the internet. Thank you so much for posting these and saving me from these horrible people!!!

Christopher said...

I just spent the last 8 days working for GEOPAT Enterprises in Baltimore, MD. The first few days are exactly how this blog (as well as others) describe. You get an amazing feeling of being part of a group. You feel good at the end of the day, because you feel you're helping a great cause (American Breast Cancer Foundation for me). Sure your legs/feet hurt, but the ends justify the means. Atmosphere brings you closer to those around you, and makes it feel like it's different from all those 9-5 jobs.

The last few days though, have shown a lot of cracks in the system. I started finding out that many of the people working there still lived with their parents, or their parents still paid a good portion of their bills. The ones that didn't were constantly hitting up friends/relatives for money. Many of them drive cars that are (in some cases literally) falling apart. Today I found out the "Top Seller" in our office normally hits his high numbers because he gives the items away, then ends up having to pay for them out of pocket (no clue how he can afford this). Today I found that the average person working there has been with the company less than a month. These are things that they kept pretty hidden from me, and with good reason. All together it's pretty obvious, but bit-by-bit over time is fairly easy to overlook.

What ultimately got me looking the company up (finally) was thinking back to how they've talked to me to keep me motivated. They literally teach you the exact same techniques they use to keep you around. And it really does work, especially FUGI-J (Fear of loss, Urgency, Greed, Indifference, Jone's effect).

Fear of loss: The test is rigged so that you can't do perfectly well on it. The questions are misleading, so you can't be real sure what they're looking for. Because of this, they tell you they don't normally hire people with X amount wrong, but they haven't ruled you out yet. This makes the job more impulsively appealing because even though you don't have it, you might be losing it.

Urgency: They will stress that you start right away. As well as stressing that those that can't, don't normally get hired.

Greed: This is pitching the potential salary if you work up the ladder, as long as you can afford to live off $400-$600 per week (I was making $443/wk at my last job).

Indifference: You're never the only one being interviewed. Ever. And they let you know that if you don't work out, they've got 2-8 other people perfectly willing to take that spot.

Jone's Effect: This is pitching the group atmosphere, and how everyone loves working there (whether true or not).

It's so freakin' odd to look back on the things they did, and completely understand why they did them, and how it worked. :|

While I hate what I've been duped into doing for the last week+, I have to admit that I've seen some changes in myself that I do appreciate. I'm more outspoken, I feel more confident/comfortable talking with people, and I feel I'll be fine in any interview I have from here on out. Not the way I would have liked to learn these lessons/abilities, but I'll take it. Hopefully it won't take me long to walk onto another job, and hopefully I'll get paid for the time I wasted there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for showing all of your experiences with this corrupt company and affiliates. I, too, was fooled at first and was hired to start in a few days. Thank goodness for moms who can spot a scam. Just on a whim, I looked up Quantum on google and found multiple instances of scams. It is just appaling to me, but also on the other hand, they must know how to trick people pretty well if theyre doing it to their employees AND the public. I am just thankful I found out now instead of in a few weeks!

gizmo237 said...

Juice by that!!!!! You guys are funny.... You guys have to look at stuff as a learning experience.. There are people in this bisiness that have changed there lifes by something as simple as standing outside of a store.. The ones who make bad comments on this OPPORTUNITY are the 90% of the people that cant do it!!! and they are also the 90% that will never have what that 10 % has...Good luck because this econonomy is shot!!!! and this business doesn't depend on the ecomonomy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, because whatever the shape of the economy it's always okay to scam people. Oh, and you need to learn how to spell. Moron.

Anonymous said...

I have been working at this "Genuine Marketing Solutions" company for about a week and something just does not seem right about it. I hoped when I took the position that they were really making a difference for these charitable organizations, but selling these overpriced items to people that don't know any better just made me feel sleezy. By the way Gizmo, please go back to school learn how to spell. Don't buy into the "education" they try to push on you at GMS. Juice?

Anonymous said...

JUICE means Join Us In Creating Excitement. Another tool these people use to convince you that even though you just spent 20 bucks on gas to drive 2 hours each way to peddle on a street corner or in front of a Wal-Mart to make 40 dollars over 13 hours, you are actually having a great day.
They have "impact" meetings for 1-2 hours every morning to "pump you up" for the day. You do not get paid for this. At the end of the meeting everyone puts their hands in the middle and repeats after a guy who says: "Juice! There's no such thing as a bad day with a great attitude".

Another thing - One of the guys running these companies in South Carolina owes 20,000 in child support in the State of California. He can't get a car because they took his license away. Not that he could afford one. They interview over 200 people a week and will take anyone who says yes - less than 3 or 4 ever do. That should be a hint.

anti.quantum said...

gizmo said:
"Good luck because this econonomy is shot!!!! and this business doesn't depend on the ecomonomy."

That just made my day. Got a good laugh! Yeah so the economy sucks -- so let's all start selling cheap stuff off of tables! Maybe that will make it better.. Oh yes and the 'buisness' doesn't depend on the economy, right so people who aren't even spending money on lunch or dinner are going to go and drop 20 bucks on a lousy t-shirt and a rubber wristband. Give me some of what you're smoking!! You've been taken for a BIG ride, my friend. I was thinking of deleting your post but it is just too priceless to take down!!

Anonymous said...

I just want to let everyone know that this company has moved to Colorado Springs, CO and they are going by the name of Blue Sky Marketing, Inc.

I just went on the second interview and felt horrible. We actually did the "FREE Fingerprinting" which was a disgrace because it wasn't even legitimate. When conducting the fingerprinting on the kids the "leader" used a washable marker so the fingerprint just looked like a blob. I have been fingerprinted before for a job and so I know how it is supposed to be done. This company is disgusting and I plan on calling the business (especially because it was a mom & pop type store in a quaint town) that allowed us to set up in front of his shop. Colorado Springs should beware.


Thanks for these postings because I think I would have said yes to the job had I not read these.

Anonymous said...

I recently went on the "2nd interview" and pretty much knew then that I didn't want to be apart of this organization. But, against my better judgement decided to go to the morning meeting for my first day. I definitely knew then that I wasn't going to work for them. This shit is crazy! Just a side note...Did any of you have to ride in the backseat of the "leader's" car on the way to the "event" for your second interview? I thought that was really strange too. I guess it was just another one of their control factors. Seriously, if anyone is considering doing this...DON'T!!!! And gizmo, you are quoting the bullshit they tell you on your first day. Are you fucking kidding me with that shit?

Kim said...

Much thanks to the blogger and all the commenters who posted. I just spent the majority of my day outside of a Super Fresh in the heat, hawking gift certificate packages for my 2nd interview/observation.

I, too, interviewed with GEOPAT Enterprises, Inc. in Windsor Mill, MD (near Baltimore). I can vouch for what "Christopher" detailed about the process. They said and did the same things with me. I was even shocked to hear about the little "party" at the end of the day! That happened to me, too! That plus the chanting in the morning was just all too weird.

Needless to say, I will be calling GEOPAT tomorrow morning to let them know that I quit.

Kim said...

Oops, my mention about the "party" back at GEOPAT HQ was actually in reference to a post under a report filed against GEOPAT at the Ripoff Report.

I mean, any company that pops up at the rip-off report can't possibly be any good, right? See for yourself here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/254/RipOff0254728.htm

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all these posts of your experiences! I was called today, because I did not respond right away to the email and offered an interview which I took. I knew it seemed a bit odd, but I did some research and found all kinds of information.

I will not be attending the first interview tomorrow, nor will I even bother calling to cancel it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank and thank you for all this info. These folks are now in NY...on Long Island...did my first interview on the same day I called to 'get info' on the job...so OK went on it and in about 10 minutes I was told by the interviewer that I can come back for the second interview because he was in a good mood.(after I guess he heard I could start asap,,thanks again bloggers as I now realise why I was told to come back)....anyway thought I'd check first online about the company since the flyer I was given had one name and I remember being told another...so here I am all dressed and typing this thank you 'note' to all you very nice people out there for putting this info out...nedless to say I will not be attending this 'second' interview..(less costly to just change my business attire than to waste my time, gas and maybe lunch money).
Note to all us folks, job-hunting...check out the business online before you invest your time etc. I have never seen so many dis-honest companies out there..definitely a learning experience for me...

Lauren said...

Thank goodness I'm a few days ahead of the game. I have a 2 year degree in child care and haven't found a decent paying job since moving to Baltimore so I was searching for jobs online and found GEOPAT enterprises. I thought that the "entry-level, no degree, 35,000$+" alone sounded super sketchy, so I looked them up...thank god. I haven't even got the e-mail yet. I'm tempted to go when they call just to call them out :-p

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You all have saved me (and hopefully many others) time, money, and heartache by exposing this too-good-to-be-true scenario. This company is currently operating in the Toledo, OH area under the name Snapp Marketing.

blessing1269 said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm finding this so interesting that so many other people got sucked into this like me. I actually worked for the company for over 3 months! After two months, I actually packed up my things, left my apartment and transfered several states away to open a new office in hopes of becoming higher on the ladder. I was so broke that I had to search for change to pay the toll to get to work. When I would confront the "owners" about fraudulent thoughts, they would get all defensive and twist things around to make it sound like I was crazy for thinking that. After they paid for me to go to Dallas for a big convention for "owners" with one last hope to keep me in "the business" I went on vacation far away, came back and said "I quit" and told them that I was tired of deceiving the public. I felt so free! I have learned some valuable life lessons so I feel not a complete waste of time, but I rather be jobless and live with my parents than work for this company again. In the end, I did make some friends, one whom is one of my best friends now. She no longer works for the business either.

Anonymous said...

I was with a girl who was "in training", I was a "leader" and the "assistant manager" who had set-up our event at Home Depot deceived them so much that when we were working the event, they called the police on us without us knowing. We were separately pulled into offices for interrogating and questioning. I was so humiliated. I cannot imagine if someone I knew had seen me! They wanted to bring us "in", but after telling them how we were innocent and with a little research, they let us go. We had to pack up and leave the "event". I was going to leave regardless. I felt so bad for the young girl that was with me who started crying. If law enforcement sees this business as a problem, than there is nothing "juicy" about it! I feel sorry for the people who are brain-washed and stuck in the business. It's pure laziness. It's a job that they would offer to a bum if he/she was dressed okay. Get out and get a real job, with real interviews and real standards.

Anonymous said...

I worked for this company for a few weeks. they are crazy to beleive that anyone would be happy in this environment! The owner of the branch I worked for that hyped up all the "events" and management positions and ownership opportunitites just had to close up shop bc they screwed him over too. If you ever get approached by one of these people just say NO!! its all a scam!

anti.quantum said...
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