Smart Circle/Cobra/Appco/DS Max Other

Complaint: It’s been 7 years since I walked out of this company, 5 years since I actually thought about it. After walking through London the other day and seeing these poor souls trying to make money, I thought I’d share my thoughts. I worked for this company called Red Square Direct in London, who I now know are under the Appco, DS Max, Innovage….whatever they’re called now, in 2008. I spent a year there and that year almost cost me my financial status. First off, the whole company is not a scam, but it’s deceptive and immoral because you are lied to time and time again. When I went for my day of observation and saw what the ‘business’ was about, I should have run a mile! Selling make-up door to door, store to store, person to person and all on commission! But my trainer broke down the system and said if I reached management in 8-12 months, my earnings could be north of 50,000 pounds starting! All I needed to do was become a leader, recruit 5 people, have them recruit 5 more and then reach a sales target consistently for a week. Easy, right? No. I would say 90% of people don’t last 6 months and around 75% will walk away once they found out they’re peddling cheap make-up to anyone who will buy it. But hey, I was 21 and fresh out of university, hungry for money. The first few weeks went well. I was selling pretty well, hitting the bell a few times and being made out to be the next best thing! Then I started thinking, which is not what management want you to do! I wondered why everyone was so young, why managers bought suits from Primark and why they all drove old cars, considering the managers were apparently making 70-100,000 a year. I must have alarmed them because I was promoted to leader, which blindsided my doubts. I should have listened to my gut instincts. So I was promoted to leader! Wait, still commission, no increase in cut (we got 5 pounds for every set of make-up sold) and longer hours? Let’s break it down; I lived 2 hours from the office, so I would leave at 5am, get to the office at 7 and then not get home until about 10:30pm. Even if I lived next to the office my work day would be 12 hours! I would realistically get to sleep around 12 and then I’d do the same the next day. I didn’t crae though, I was too brainwashed to realise what tis cult were doing to me. Thursdays were team night, where we’d all go to the pub and not leave until gone 10pm. This is where they really get their claws into you. They feed you these stories about unlimited cash flow, sports cars and holidays. I should have been asking myself how this business was sustainable, instead I was suckered into it. The months went by and people came and went. I built a crew, they left. I built another crew, same thing. I’d take out new recruits and 90% would run away. My sales suffered and physically my body was shot all over the place from walking and eating junk food. I remember one recruit asking what the base salary was, so I told him it was commission and I usually got around 400 a week, which was a lie but I was desperate. He walked away and when I asked the management about how I should answer, one said, and I quote ‘Just say u00a364,000 base’ that was when something that was buried in the back of my mind said to me ‘get out of this place’ So as I prepared to quit, I was told that our team manager was being promoted into Ipswich and that we’d all start an office! Coincidence? No, they just dangled yet another carrot. He was never promoted. About 10 months went by and even though I was selling okay, I was broke. Rent, travel, food and bills meant I had nothing to spend on myself. Also, when you’re paid in cash, that goes so much quicker than if it were in your account. At this point, 95% of the staff that were there when I started had gone. Then I finally opened my eyes when I realised that the VP was talking to his landlord over the phone about overdue rent. Overdue rent? Someone that’s making 250,000 doesn’t own a house? Then his phone was cut off because of overdue bills. Overdue bills? I’d seen enough and got out while I could. Turns out that management in most cases are no better off financially and the only thing they do is lie more. I tell you though when I walked out those doors I felt free. I was seriously gaunt, my feet hurt and I had minus 500 in my account, but I didn’t care. Now I’m doing pretty well. I’m not earning 100,000 but the opportunity is there for me to do so. Now I know that this company is a conveyor belt of labour and that making it to management is not as glamourous as you think. Most offices shut down because of unsustainability, so what does that say about the managers earnings? I’d say 2% of people that make management earn a lot of money. It can be done, but you’re more likely to climb Everest

Tags: Cult Organizations

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