The Cold Calling Cult

It’s a cold Wednesday in October and I’m watching Batman Forever in a whitewashed room with twelve other candidates, waiting to be called.

What followed was a mercifully short interview and a day of tailing a fresh faced 19 year old (apparently a ‘top associate’) as he explained that the Events Assistant job I had applied for was in fact door-to-door marketing. After about eight exhausting hours, I found myself signing a piece of paper and setting my alarm for the following morning.

Each day started with being stuffed into ‘Atmosphere’, a barren room with little ventilation and far too many whiteboards. We’d perform 90’s team-building exercises, such as group huddles and shouting shoddy acronyms, all while sharing tactics to ‘maximise territory’. Our office manager, David, then graced us with his presence, sporting a pair of highly polished (and surprisingly distracting) shoes. Anyone with a respectable number of sales the previous day would get enthusiastic high-fives accompanied by a lengthy motivational speech. In turn, each of us reached for the Kool Aid.
’What time is it?’, asked David.
‘Show time’, we hypnotically replied.

These mornings served to develop a particular mindset. Sales became a blacklisted word. Focus instead was put on ‘the field’ as a training ground to perfect our people skills. Those who expressed doubt were deemed ‘losers’ – lazy, unambitious and generally inadequate. When people did quit it was with shame and disappointment, believing that their financial loss was their own making.

After one or two hours of travelling our team would end up in a remote residential area. We’d split up and go door-to-door selling services until as late as 7pm. Most houses were empty and those that weren’t were rarely interested. I’d make an average of three sales per day, on paper £30, but I never saw any of it.

Everyone made small talk and exchanged rumours. One team member, affectionately dubbed ‘condom’, told us how the manager of the ADT security campaign couldn’t speak a word of English when she had started just five months prior. Another claimed our manager used to be a cleaner. The rumours were incredible and even ludicrous, but they had the strange effect of legitimising the whole enterprise. Anything was possible if we were willing to put in the time. There was a cult-like atmosphere, where peer pressure and promises of money played on greed and the fear of missing out. Ironically, these were the very selling tactics taught to us.

Occasionally managers would throw in a free meal or the odd breakfast for the Crew Leaders. Every few months a selection of people would be labeled ‘Rising Stars’ and they’d attend a ‘business conference’ at a hotel, which sounded more like a frat party. A small price to pay to sustain the free labour.

About a month after starting I found out about the The Cobra Group and immediately quit. I ran home with my tail between my legs, facing the I-told-you-so looks from close friends and family before licking my wounds and beginning my job-hunt anew. Although there were plenty of tough times, there were also laughs and banter, and I did build up some rather impressive leg muscles.

The heart of what makes the job so appealing is the ‘fast-track management progression’ system, wherein supposedly 9–12 months after signing on the dotted line you’d be raking in close to £90,000. Only 1% of employees ever make it that far, but none of us were aware of this at the time.[1]. Each day we worked for free. Many stay for years before the penny drops.[2]

The scheme is designed to get as much free or cheap labour as possible, typically targeting the young and impressionable. There are hundreds scattered all over the world, with thousands of victims taking to scam exposure websites, blogs, comments, forums and Facebook to vent.[3]

The Puppeteers

DS-MAX Descendant companies

DS-Max descendant companies: Appco Group, The Smart Circle, Cydcor, Innovage and others.

Since 2006 the ones pulling the strings are the descendant companies of DS-Max. The setup involves helping a member set up their own limited company, which eventually generates a new manager that in turn sets up their own company – and so on. Each of these give a handsome cut of their profits to their descendant company to gain a share of their clients. This simple formula generates ever-increasing profits with little input from the descendant company themselves.

Astonishingly, although the business practices they employ are considered misrepresentative and deceptive, these companies still remain legal since their ‘salespeople’ are self-employed. [4] To top it off, the entire setup doesn’t qualify as an illegal pyramid scheme as money isn’t generated from internal sign-up fees.

Job Seekers Take Note!

Photo of a STOP sign

Run Like the Wind if:

1) They want you to start immediately, provide full training, and offer earnings close to £250–500 ($400-800) per week.
2) They contact you within hours after you apply. Many are interviewed – the more through the door the better.
3) There is a four step ‘business progression’ which takes 9–18 months to complete. You’d (theoretically) move from Field Representative to Team Leader to Assistant Manager/Owner to Manager/Owner. The last stage is where you’d earn the big bucks.
4) You are required to sign an Agreement that states you are not associated with the company and that the role is 100% commission based. You are told that you are ‘self employed’ and need to pay for all expenses.
5) You hear the chant JUICE, DS-Max’s slogan (‘Join Us In Creating Excitement’). The term ‘Law of Averages’ should also set off alarm bells.
6) Your days consist of morning teachings with music blaring, a talk by a manager and 8–10 hours of door-to-door selling. Most of your waking hours are spent slaving away.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Use your common sense. Don’t be naive like I was.


FOOTNOTES

  1. Obtained from Scam Exposure article “Primus UK“.  ↩
  2. For example this guythis one and this one. ↩
  3. See ‘People Venting’ Section of References  ↩
  4. This loophole has come to the attention of GMB, who has taken court action since “workers on “Commission”…must still be paid at least the national minimum wage.” See this article.  ↩

Find my full list of references here, and more about the History of DS-Max and it’s Business Model here. If you have been in a similar situation, feel free to add company names to this list.

The specific company that I became associated with was Corner Rock Ltd, Company reg no: 08385378. It currently trades under the name RedRock Acquisitions, and is located at Unit 8, Floor Three, Cumbrian House, 217 Marsh Wall, Poplar, London E14 9FJ. It is connected to Blue Ocean Outsource Ltd, Company Reg no: 08437993 which now trades under the name Kreative Client SolutionsDISCLAIMER. 

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192 thoughts on “The Cold Calling Cult

  1. Moz says:

    I got an interview from the company “Acquiro 22” an hour or so after applying, seems it was the same type of scam as described here, so I won’t be attending that after all. Thanks!

    I think for students in need of work, such as myself, it’s ultimately more reasonable to apply to well known establishments and high-street stores. These places are just shady as fuck.

  2. Vic says:

    Went down that road in the mid 80’s with Murray, Larry, Avi. Learned about street smarts and how to make a better living than most. 6 months in I was in my own office with a partner. Never worked so hard in my life to get there though. Now in a totally different business enjoying life to its fullest. Being part of WWI was the most valuable of any schooling, or job experience I ever had. Hard work and following the business model led the way to success for many. Cheers to the 3 pioneers for my excellent life. Champagne is on me boys. Vic . Formerly Motivation “A” Team.

  3. Deepak S says:

    Dear Friend,

    I just came to know about this article. I just finished my interview with such type of company. They called me next day to get the offer.

    I would like to know from you, do they offer? do they provide salary?

    Thanks
    Deepak S

  4. joanne says:

    I had a lucky escape from mj experia they offered everything mentioned in this article ie fast track to management etc, did my research and found out they had gone bankrupt and changed their name 3 times over the last 4 years. My advice don’t be seduced by big numbers and do your homework!!

  5. Pedro says:

    I ve had an interview in December with Project Zinc and it seemed more like they wanted me in more than I wanted to impress them. To start with, I got contacted by them instead of me contacting them and the long hours, low pay, immediate start and high prospects seemed way to dodgy so I rejected. Now in January I applied for an immediate start position for Altitude Acquisitions and less than 24hours after I got a preliminary interview email and the address is exactly the same as Project Zinc:

    Angel Business Suite
    23-26 St Albans Place
    London N1 0NX

    People just avoid them and any company related to this address

    • i went to this place Angel Business Suite thinking it was an events marketing job, when i turned up the joint 3 rooms were filled up with over 50 candidates. It was intimidating as hell! their interviews ran for 10-15 minutes and they dress all suited and booted and was playing the MJ and Beyonce tour on the multiple flat screen TVs… not going to lie but the offices looked very suave being red and white with leather chairs everywhere. So after i had my interview with one of the managers called Sophina or something similar telling her about my experience and what i’d aim to achieve in the future, she told she would only call back 4-5 people for a second interview and drew the four stages of growth being a sales rep (2-6 weeks), team leader/supervisor (2 months), assistant manager (2-3 months) then the majestic manager position all within 6 months! She painted it out as though it was obtainable and something that would be worthwhile! After my incredibly short interview i was told if i were successful i’d get a call by 3… which i did saying i was successful to the second stage which was on the following day, i was told to be there by 8:30am where there was around 15 people and was introduced to Sean (i think was his name) the assistant manager and 4 members of the team leaders… my specific team leader and mentor was Leon a chubby late 20s caucasian male with cornrows who lives with his parents (i asked a lot of questions)…he prepped me on everything quizzed me and made sure i remembered everything i needed to remember in order to “get the job”. i had to remember 8 stages of something 4 stages following that something and 5 stages which came after that something it was a lot… but even before that Leon and his protege (some weird name like iglo or whatever) a tall black guy with a deep voice who seems kinda slow, also has hair (and looks dry as in ashy) grabbed their product (make up that is famous in america and coming over here!) and we setted off to a shopping centre for over 8 hours selling the makeup no one really wanted while i had to write pages of why i wanted this job which i didn’t.

      why i didn’t leave? i did not know my way back my phone was dead and after numerous occasions of “going to the toilet” trying to suss out an escape i finally gave up by 4pm and just sat down doing their crappy tasks. by 6:45 we were en route back to angel with the rest of the selling crew who seemed to be hyped and cheerful which surprised me as they were working from 7:30am to 7:30pm. Anyway it was 7pm now and i was told to fill out a questionnaire form thingy quizzing me on what i’ve learnt etc. and had a further interview with yet another manager (skinny black girl) by 7:25pm she then told me i got the job asked when i can start and called Leon down to congratulate me. I then left at 7:45 while most of the workers, managers or whoever were still inside, i didn’t go back there again and blocked their number talk about a waste of my time!

  6. Nick says:

    Auscorp connect, 33 Foster street Surry Hills, Sydney Australia.
    Exact same fucking setup. They even told me ADT security was one of their “clients”. Like they’re daring people to catch them out!
    Worst part is, I got a parking ticket while I was in the 10 minute interview. FML.

    • Brainwashedmonkey says:

      I currently work with AusCorp and yes, ADT are their client. Optus are starting next week.
      It’s funny how people are afraid of actual hard work and if they don’t succeed it couldn’t possibly be their own fault. As you were told, the whole program is to help you obtain the skills to build your own business. Guess how many business owners in the real world didn’t put in the hard yards at the start… None.
      What we do doesn’t appeal to 99% of the people in the same way the products we sell don’t appeal to 99% of the people we speak to. We look for that 1% who understand the business model/ what we’re selling.
      I’ve had weeks where I made $1,400 and weeks where I’ve made $300. Guess which weeks I wasn’t working hard…

      And to Dave below, nobody is that deluded to think they’ll be millionaires that quick. Management only make $150k+. Not bad for working hard for one year if you do it right.

      JUICE!

    • guessmaster says:

      I interviews for a company on 33 Foster St. as well – but that one had different name. Do you know the names of any person you met? Just wanted to check if they are the same people under a new business name.

  7. Helen says:

    Thank you for exposing this to people! Hopefully you can get enough hits on this page that it shows up on the first page of Google along with these terrible companies!

  8. Dave says:

    AUSCORP CONNECT 33 Foster st, Surry Hills, Sydney – load of shit door to door ADT Security sales, no base, bunch of brainwashed people thinking they’ll be millionaires once they get to be a manager

  9. Sigh says:

    Hmmm… I just did go through the whole process and actually considered accepting the job starting this Monday, but I guess I did have some reserve so I “googled”. Siiiigh…. Now I dunno what to do anymore. 😦 fml.
    So in your opinion if I would try hard to do the door to door thing, I still would not have much of a chance to actually become a manager within a year and open up my own office? I though I would tough it out for those 8-12 months if the end result would be 6 figure salary.

  10. Aaron says:

    Have put a fair and unbiased view with actual experience of these companies . However it has been deleted by the admin of this blog as i imagine he or she has a personal issue/grievance and so will not all unbiased open discuss and just a narrative that suits his/her opinion. Thats a shame for a blog that is meant to be about truth. peace

    If you wish you to speak about this admin you have my email.

      • Sam Prole says:

        I have worked in door to door for over 18 months (Most of which I was in college for) which a like its fun and diffrent every day, I worked in a credico office and was a few months away from management at the rate I was going, know I left for personal reasons. Will be truthful it takes longer the 8-12 months, but now I’m starting again and this time it just mite.
        My office was grand, but in saying that I can’t and will not speak for all offices because some are actually scams i would agree. but very few.

  11. Aaron says:

    Hey Door2doortruth, i appreciate the quick reply, my bad didnt realise was posts per section. Meant to post here.

    I understand people frustration as some of these companies are shady about revealing it is commission based and self employed however they work with massive communication and NGO companies who would never endanger their brand if it wasn’t legal and was a “Scam” and yes of course i have worked and still do work for such a company . Some people are sold on the ideal of big money etc and yes some are naive as its a very high failure rate but for the few that do make it , their is an opportunity like in network marketing company. I just dont feel this website gives a broad enough and unbiased view of these industries to allow people to make their own choices. I am happy to answer any question about these companies structure , whether or not believed or not makes no odds to me . I troll my own doubts by searching these scam websites and forums but ultimately im making a living in this industry and fair representation i due. Whether this comment makes it onto the forum will be the test of the hosts intentions. Peace

  12. Sigh says:

    Aaron,
    Can u describe your experience and how long you’ve been working this way and what is your current level?
    Tnx

  13. Aaron says:

    Hey , so I have worked in the direct marketing business for 14 months , I got promoted to assistant management after 7 1/2 months (have to teach 4 people to the 2nd stage and one of them has to teach another to show that the standards you teach are replicable and as a group make £2000 minus your own sales so really to hit that criteria you may need more people on your team or just guys with high averages. Anyways so I started with no background in sales just bar work . I was taken on a 2nd interview with a team leader, they were young and excited . They took me to a shopping centre and started pitching people by a stand . Was a little shocked as didn’t understand why someone like that leader was doing that job , they gave me tasks while I watched then later broke down the business model which is very simple ultimately but widely misunderstood. This leader was newly promoted and paniced when I asked about commision etc however day went fine. Back to the office had 3rd interview and was offered a position . ( Some may say of course you were offered position ,everyone is but that’s not true. In events based direct marketing the office has to pay fir the events so if reps not doing sales and making money then manager loses money too) residential however I couldn’t say. Never done it. I started a week later . First day on the field was very hard was totally out of my comfort zone as leader I was paired with was an idiot and terrible example . Of course she is gone now . It took me 5 weeks to get promoted to leader (have to do £300 of sales and be able to teach basics – that’s about 15 sales in a week 3 a day ish as price varies ) within 7 weeks I was taking interviews myself . ( The learning curve is steep at first) The office environment is positive and fun . However it need to be understood that yes people get into the business without fully understanding it and I can’t speak for all people but an open and honest approach to recruitment worked best for me. Yes it’s 100% commision , yes there is a high turnover (like any entry level job for that matter-of course not everyone gets to management – I’ve seen guys turn up on first day looking like fell out of a skip they weren’t management material nessacarily but that’s what I like about what I do its 100% fair . I didn’t do uni , no privileged background ,family aren’t rich so worked bars and such for longtime but saw that anyone can be successful at this business potentially so gave it a shot.

    For my first weeks I was not earning great money of course as had to learn the sales , however I can now go to the field for half a day as I do interviews several days and half days a week And in 3-4hrs make £80-£100 in commission also I get a assistant manager bonus so an extra £15 ish per app. That’s good money and I shall in the near future be running my own office . Which happens weekly as these “scam” companies are all connected there are several parent org that run them and they are very successful at what they do. The clients they work with are fully aware of all elements of training and pay structure as commaion model ensure they have a 0% financial risk when working with these companies as they only pay for results – this being the reason they grow so quickly – more offices more return on investment . The clients such as talk talk Which is a massive telecoms giant in the UK , would they work with these companies and risk their reputation and brand if these companies were not legitimate businesses? This is my account and experience of these companies , for sure people will have had bad experiences but try to find any company on the planet that hasn’t got some shit about it . The biggest fail is when they mis advertise the job role . I also didn’t know it was commision till 2nd interview 😀 however now just like per hr was I’m used to it. If anyone has any questions and more than happy to explain as I don’t feel it’s totally fair to damn some of the people that have worked hard to build a company then have it labelled as a scam without any discussion . Peace

  14. Glad I found this. I’ve just written a blog post on the exact same subject and linked this post. I got suspicious at the 2nd interview stage (it took place outside a Starbucks because “all of the rooms were taken”). I should have been suspicious at how incredibly fast they got back to me after submitting my resume. This has happened to me twice already and I’ve not been here 3 weeks yet.

    I’ve just moved from the UK to Vancouver, so this sort of thing happens all over the world.

    My blog post here http://peterjburgess.com/blog/?p=24

  15. Anon says:

    Thank you guys so much… Just saved me from a bankrupt sales company that makes you work 8hours for free on an interview!!

  16. John doe says:

    I already reported the devil corp page to Google this afternoon and it was taken down shortly after. Anyone reporting similar sites, use the reporting provision that the page is not an individual. That uses an automated system and results in a much quicker removal. Also if you’re being added to these, block users from seeing your circles. It’s spreading because once you add someone you get the ability to see their contacts. That’s how they’re getting all the names.

    We’re clear on Facebook.

    Anyone using social media, be familiar with the privacy settings for your accounts, personal and business.

    This one guy can’t beat thousands of us if we stay diligent.

    David Colvin
    President/CEO
    Massive Dynamic Marketing Solutions
    David@massivedynamicmarketing.com
    574-318-1081

    On May 13, 2015 9:40 PM, “Bill Bishop” wrote:
    Guys please read below and block this guy from ur google plus accounts. Do this asap as this guy is slamming ppl on line. Legal just gotninvolved so I’m sure it will get cleaned up but follow instructions below so ur safe ASAP

    The reach is large, between the two accounts that we know of in one day they have added to their circle close to 2000 people or companies that are or once were with Smart Circle.

    On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 8:28 PM, Michael Terrinoni wrote:
    Jeremy what do you think?

    On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, Molly Snyder wrote:
    Guys,

    This guy is getting to everyone! We are all in some way linked and the only way for each owner to protect themselves and their offices is to go into their google+ accounts.

    Here is what they need to do: Both for their personal profile and for their companies

    be logged into their gmail
    open a tab and go to plus.google.com
    click the tab on the top left that says home
    it will drop down and click people
    then click at the top added to their circles
    they will need to block two people
    1. the devilcorp
    2. anthony malaga
    They should click their name and when their page pops up the arrow underneath to block

    Bill Bishop

  17. John Doe says:

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: “Bill Bishop”
    Date: May 26, 2015 11:28 AM
    Subject: Important msg Wrecking crew
    To: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , “MikeTerrinoni”
    Cc:

    Guys I was real hard on our leaders today on the leaders call. Ran a trim the tree meeting. Said in the next six weeks we would evaluate who was part time full time and who would be a substitute worker. I ran this meeting because I’m trying to push 10 to 15 percent of the “leaders” dragging us down out of the business.

    I’ve been reaching out to a lot of you and the shit you deal with from under performers is emberassing. You have to have high expectations. People will give you what yout expect

    So many of you guys live in fear of your business and it is why you suck. I dont care if every motherfucker in my office quits tom I will rebuild it better. Grow a sack. Step up be a REAL leader. Stop Pussyfooting around. Your people are using you and because your to afraid to go set the pace yourself you buy all their bull shit!!!! Other owners are running dtv offices and building second businesses in safelink or home security and you can’t run one business properly! Other leaders are doing 13 installs a week and your guy does3?????

    Enough fucking around. We’re breaking records as a company and growing like wildfire in our new campaigns. if your business isn’t YOUR the problem. You need to get your lazy ass to work or cash out and move on. We have 65 offices and my goal is to stop working with the bottom 15 in the next 8 weeks. They dont deserve to represent our clients. We need to clean this shit up before the att rollout so we can run that campaign as an org. stop wasting our time if you want to just keep hanging out.

    If you dont value your opportunity GO ELSEWHERE! ! I’m emberrased I’ve let us get so fucking soft. I’ll take the blame for it up to now but changes are coming. THAT’S MY RESPONSIBILITY! !

    I want us lean and mean going into football season with the merger. We will have less than 50 offices by August 1st and will have 100 by end of the year. You’ve all seen us go through this before. You know it works.

    Be on the lookout for your one on one schedule and each person will be given a 4 week goal.

    July 1st will be first round of cuts. If you get cut you can keep your corp and go be a big bad business owner doing something else but you won’t be representing our clients.

    Any person that has less than 20 k saved and isn’t in the field setting the pace has already given me their answer. Any person not on top of their category and not setting the pace , we have our answer. Any owner that isn’t regional and already acting like they’re retired and a big shot. Take your 40k and get the fuck out. your not in our future plans.

    If you have owners on your team that don’t want to work and grow – move on. Stop spending your energy on them. It’s their life and their business let them fail if they want. Sucks for them not you. Let’s discuss a transition and if we have to give up the territory then do it. I’m less focused on owning the monopoly board and more focused on us being strong top to bottom so we can dominate these new rollouts.

    We didn’t grow the way we have by being soft lazy scared babies. We dominated by stepping the fuck up. Enough of this horse shit. Get on board or take your corp and go do something else.

    I’m sorry I let us get this bad but it is my PERSONAL MISSION to fix it before the fourth quarter.

    Bill Bishop

    Could it be this Bill Bishop of Metroplex Management Group?
    http://www.metroplexmanagementgroup.com/team.html

    • SIGH says:

      Holy shit, that’s intense. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to work for or with this asshole. Daaamn.

  18. John Doe says:

    Thought it best to include the missing emails just in case anyone wants to write to these fine folks.

    To: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , “MikeTerrinoni”

    Our good friend Mr. Bishop can apparently be found at billbishop89@gmail.com

    JUICE

  19. BlahBlah says:

    Angel Business Suite
    23-26 St Albans Place
    London , N1 0NX
    United Kingdom
    0788 565 1756

    ———————AVOID THEM——————-

    I send my CV, 40 min later they called. They told me to come the next day for an interview and etc… I knew it was too good to be true. I searched and found this site. Thanks for the post!

    I had an past experience with scumbags like them, so I knew what to do. I only feel sorry for the people who can’t see what they are doing..
    They are hunting slaves to work for them.

    The email I recieved today. My interviw is later, I blocked their number but I am still thinking on going there just to call them every name under the sun.

    …………….The email…………

    My manager has asked me to confirm that you are on track for your initial meeting and if you have any problems finding us then please do not hesitate to call me for help on 020 3005 2458

    If there are any delays, let me know so I can keep the management team informed.

    Note: Please ensure you a bring a hard copy of your CV for us to put with your application.

    I look forward to meeting you.

    Phone: 020 3005 2458
    Email: admin@ventascentral.com

    Lori Ancell
    020 3005 2458
    Administration Director
    Ventas Central
    http://www.ventascentral.com
    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    Just avoid them people…… be smart

  20. Gavin says:

    AVOID THIS COMPANY IS A 100% COBRA SCAM Preying on desperate unemployed people

    This Watford based company called IMPERYO are currently recruiting naive and desperate unemployed people. During my interview they claimed to have promoted popular brands such as, tALK-TALK,TESCO,SKY and BARCLAYS.

    Imperyo advertised their job as a Apprentice Trainee~Sales & Customer Service~Start Immediately at Reed jobs

    I was called for an interview same day I applied for the job. I arrived at Watford and dress smart in my corporate suits to impress. The interviewer only ask me about 3 questions and then went straight to display a power-point of the training progression to managerial level from 6 -12momths. Later, I received a phone call at 6:30pm that I passed the first interview stage and that I have a full day interview tomorrow that might finish at 8pm.

    BUT!!!!!!!

    ****The second interview, was a 9 hours door-to-door sales****

    ***But, no one told me that!*** Very cunning and evil people! We knock at 100 doors , while my mentor was doing the selling, I was their to only observe and take note. I was laughing secretly in my head . I knew this was a scam job! I had applied for a Sales and Customer Service role not a Door-to-door sale man?but I play along as I was enjoying the conversation and having fun with some elderly people that invite to their home.I was bore and it was nice to get away from home. At lunch time, I paid for my lunch, unbelievable! At least they should have cover my lunch expenses? Also no compensation for my fuel expenses from travelling 8 miles to get to Watford.

    After the door-to-door sale, I arrived back with the team at 9pm to the office. Then immediatley, the mentor told me I passed my second interview. Then quickly, one of the manager called me in for the final interview. At the final interview, I was offered the job but I later turn it down. I feel sorry for the naive new recruiters working had to become manager in 12 months. Now I am caution of applying to any sales/marketing jobs! Most of these jobs are indirect slavery and the government should do something about this.

    http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/apprentice-traineesales-customer-servicestart-immediately/27350411

    • Brid says:

      Big Thank you! I recently went through the same process. I didn’t get home until 11.30pm and was deflated after eventually finding out it was commission based and no basic pay. I grew more and more suspicious of them as I debated whether or not to accept the job. Thanks for this article as I have now made up my mind and realise the scam!

  21. toto says:

    I had an interview with Playfair & Co in Melbourne yesterday.
    They had the same office with loud music playing, no real explanations about what the job entails, cocky manager with squeaky clean suit, really kind and polite seeming secretary – and finally, as above – they did not explain that it’s only a commission based role, however it clearly is.
    There website is also terribly vague and just goes on and on about it’s “business development progamme”- which after reading the super useful information on here and elsewhere, just shows it’s a cog in a pyramid scheme (Cobra Group according to their ” achievements” section).
    I have been invited for a “second appointment” observation day in the field- (clearly door to door) tomorrow.
    …No way.
    Thanks for the useful advice!

  22. Juan Doh says:

    I just found this article. Thank you for this blog. More people need to see this. I’m in the US, and these companies are rampant. See, I recently left my job in banking & finance in good standing to make a career change. So I put myself on the job market.

    Now I have been in business sales, marketing, and development for about 10 years now. So I posted my resume to dozens of companies. I got a call literally in one day to screen me. I’m like, ok, looks like I’m getting some traction here. Lady tells me to come into an interview the next day. I was like, ‘It usually takes more than a few days to even get a reply,’ but I’m excited.

    I get there to the waiting room with CV, notebook, and schedule book in hand. I sit down, look at the walls, all covered in New York Yankees memorabilia with no company literature in sight. A few minutes later, a bunch of new applicants come in, most of which were younger than me and say they are there for the same exact time slot I am in.

    As your blog posted, the interview was quite fast. A young woman, who had to be about 25 at the oldest interviewed me. She said, ‘oh we’re a young quirky company, we’re not like other big business, and our clients are FORTUNE 500 companies.’ I then stopped her, and asked which one, to which she said, ‘Direct Energy,’ which I did write down. She then said, ‘We can probably schedule another interview. You’ll be with an executive.’ And mind you, I have worked with or sold to business owners, executives, purchasing officers, etc, and she threw the word executive around so many times my ears were going to bleed. She then said, oh, we have fun here. We go bowling, bars, and have team fun. By now, I’m already turned off.

    I go home, do a quick google search on their client, and what I came up with didn’t surprised me. I have never seen such a down voted company in my life. It was energy deregulation, and referred to their customer service, sales people, and products/services as being completely sub par. So I emailed them back saying, ‘Withdraw my application, and never contact me again.’

    It was kind of funny, I had to send that email to 2 other ‘Marketing/PR’ firms.

  23. Juan Doh says:

    I do need to leave one more comment. I actually did attend one more interview because people on glassdoor.com were saying that they were making USD20.00 an hour plus commission. So I went, but I was already sceptical, and literally demoralised after only 2 days of job searching and literally a dozen of companies like this are leaving voicemail on my cell.

    This time I was the only one there for an interview. Met with the boss who was about my age, 30s, and similar background in finance and banking. I ended up asking him more questions, especially if there were permanent positions. He said, ‘No, everyone is being trained to become a manager, or a business owner.’ He then tells me, ‘look man, I made $4,000.00 last week alone.’

    This time I did my glassdoor research, and people did say that you basically are a sales associate at Home Depot. He did confirm that, but he said there was a lower base bay, but USD20 was what most of his ‘associates’ are making. But he did give me the whole hoorah we have fun here, we go to arcades and have fun. I’ll give him a pass, the others, not so much.

    In case anyone who happens to be in the North Eastern part of the US, watch out for these companies. I had scheduled interviews with 3, went to 1, and declined it and told them to never contact me again.

    Fortis Enterprises

    Signature Inc.

    Aspromonte Marketing

    Funny enough, 2 of those are in the same building.

  24. mathilde says:

    Hi, I worked for 10 days for a company called Altitude Acquisitions, I had the same experience so i decided to quit. A girl told me she was suppose to win £200-300 a week but she only earned £300 in 1 month !

  25. Kristine says:

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any information about a company called AGON Management? It is a newly opened office in the Tyson’s Corner Area. The CEO/President of the company is (25yrs old) said that they opened in the summer of 2014. Please let me know if anyone has any information about this new company. They say that their client is Direct Energy. My first day is on Monday.

  26. Kristine says:

    Also, this sounds too good to be true. Getting told you will be promoted into the leadership position after 3 weeks of starting. Really? Then you’ll become a manager in a year or so?

  27. lewis says:

    You will learn more valuable skills working for one of these companies that will help you succeed in life than 3 college educations. I was never a part of this particular group but I have hired many who have worked their tail off to become an owner and although they did not make the $$$$ they were hoping for in that business, the skills they built helped them succeed in my business. Sales is the highest paid hard work and the lowest paid easy work there is. The person who does more work than he is paid for will eventually be paid for more than the work in which they do. Hard work is no sin and will develop your skills! Go for it!

  28. I worker at red rock, now called corner rock. The whole company is a scam, they told me that Sunday was a multi-millionaire and he used to be a cleaner. 2 months after I left the company; we took them to court to then sooner realise his name was in fact ‘Edwin okel’a Sunday’ and he was in fact a public speaker for companies such as corner rock and he wasn’t actually a millionaire, he was an everage person on an average income. The sad thing is that he sucked everyone in to thinking he was a millionaire.

  29. PANTHEON says:

    You’re all so naive.
    Of course it’s a scam if you’re a lazy booger who doesn’t put in any work.
    I make on average. £700 a week and I’m only a leader.
    This job is not for the weak minded.

    Juice!!

    • Terry Tibbs says:

      I am aspiring to become a door knocking legend of the highest order just yourself and hope to go straight to the top and ring Chris Niarchos’s bell.

    • Terry Tibbs says:

      I am aspiring to become a door knocking legend of the highest order just like yourself and hope to go straight to the top and ring Chris Niarchos’s bell.

  30. Melin says:

    I had the same at UKAUS 33 Foster St Surry Hills Sydney 2010. Sent the application late one night and got called for an interview early next morning. Passed the first interview and had the second interview the next day. The second interview was supposedly going from 10am-7pm but the guy gave me the job 20 minutes after first meeting and pretty much wanted me to start the next day, but luckily I couldn’t. I was already felt a bit suspicious as it was super fast in offering me the job but super vague in exact job details, but it did not feel like a marketing job as advertised in the job application. Few days later, the manager/mentor messaged me telling me to meet him at a bar at night to discuss job details before I start, which threw me waaaay off (I am a young female jobseeker, and bar location isn’t exactly the safest at night…). I declined the job offer right after researching and reading this article. Thanks a bunch for being so informative! And thanks a whole lot to all the people in the comments 😀 Learnt that I saved heaps of time and energy for my second interview since I was left alone stranded after it ended.

  31. Thank you for this article! I had a couple of job interviews last week where I walked in a knew it was a scam. I was sitting in the lobby with two other applicants, where one 18 year old girl was wearing a little black dress (looked like for clubbing) and a cardigan. She had went back for an interview before me and came out 10 minutes later, to then be scheduled for a second interview. She was NOT dressed professional, so my thought was “why the hell would this guy schedule for a second interview?” That should have been a sign to leave and get out! Instead, I stayed for my interview where I basically interviewed him while he pitched me the “PR and Advertising Associate” position. He kept enthusiastically mentioning “face-to-face marketing,” and I eventually coined in…”So you mean door-to-door, I’m assuming?” And he excitedly assured me that it was door-to-door and how much money I’d make, how far I could advance in less than a year. Bull shit. I told him that I thought I was applying for a PR and Advertising Associate position, and his response was “How much more PR can you get?!” I told him this was not the job for me. I feel so foolish for even taking the job interview. From now on, I apply to jobs that REQUIRE a 4-year degree. Also, I research every company before applying in addition to checking out their website. Glassdoor.com has the best reviews because they’re all so honest and give you a forwarning. I’m angered that this happened to me, but I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  32. R.S says:

    IMPERYO WATFORD are one of the biggest scams i have ever come across.
    They disguise the door to door job role as a marketing sales associate role.
    They prey on younger unemployed teens to complete their slave labour of 8-10 hours of door to door embarrassment. They give young people empty promises of a fast track to managerial roles through 5 phases, which supposedly takes 6-12 months from entry level to managing director. I mean what the hell kind of bs is that?!
    I left after a couple hours of being strung along and told a bag of lies.
    Their office was clearly a rented space put together by an entry level Interior Decorator, with loud music blasting in the white washed reception area. There were no real office suites and the women walked around in sky high heels and lipstick (not one of them had a string of sense between them). I didn’t know who did what and after listening to the ‘receptionist’ make numerous of eerily similar recruitment phone calls to unknowing job seekers, I had heard enough.
    Imperyo are a disgusting bunch of con artists who need to be STOPPED ! They expect employees to work 50+ hours in the field a week with salaries based solely on minimal commission. It is slave labour, scams and lies all tied in a pretty bow.
    Avoid this company at all costs. Because fuck em, that’s why.

  33. Vicki says:

    I recently had a two part interview with a shitty scamming company called Imperyo based in Watford.
    Long story short: Cheap slave labour, lying cunts.

  34. Good Article. I did one of these jobs when I left school for 4 months. 12 Hour days selling books- leave them at reception and pick up a couple of days later. The most I made was $310 NZD in a week, gross. this was back in 1992. EVERYTHING you mentioned in your article was a part of day to day life at this place, Even the JUICE chant thing. Should have left after the first week of making nothing!

  35. nancy says:

    Hi guys,
    I sent my resume to Auscorp connect last Saturday and got the interview email around 9;00am this morning. I apply for the position of Event marketing and promotions. Would you tell me if the position has some problem?

    The company address: 33 Foster Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW 2010

    Thanks you guys.

    • Bob says:

      Nancy, probably wouldn’t bother is the only answer. Everyone I know who worked there has left, big dreams unrealized. I worked there for a good while and to be honest I did learn *a lot* about sales, myself and training. Great experience but for the general population they’re not suited for the 10+ hour days working commission only. I did pretty okay compared to others but after paying for transport etc, I was on about $6/hr!!!!

      John is a great guy and one of the very, very few that managed to make it to management but even he was made go out door knocking again by Big Boss Tim when results were dropping off. That’s when I knew it was bollox.

  36. Stststststanley says:

    Has anyone had the misfortune of being ‘successful’ for a ‘job’ with Brand Me Marketing in Cardiff? My advice is to stay well clear. Turns out to be another sham company run by a despicable excuse of a human being, Sophie Munslow

  37. Mills says:

    AVOID PHILLIPS ACQUISITIONS AT ALL COSTS!!!!
    Seriously, it is a joke of a company. Their website is beyond amateur and unsurprisingly vague. Their name isn’t even on the door of their offices for Christ’s sake. The amount of BS I heard was astounding. According to one of their greasy-looking employees at the age of 20, he had already ran a successful business and graduated university, lived in a penthouse flat ABOVE a successful footballer and drove a Mercedes. And his girlfriend is a trainee heart surgeon. Sure babes. They prey on the young, desperate and impressionable, making them believe they will be raking it in when in reality they will be working for less than minimum wage.

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