Distinctive Solutions Inc.-Beware Pyramid Scheme
I saw the ad for Distinctive Solutions on craigslist and I checked out their website. "Face to face direct marketing, the way of the future" was what it said on their site, so I applied and got a call the next day saying that they wanted me to come in for an interview. The secretary told me to dress up in formal attire and to bring a copy of my resume.
I was so excited as I was walking into the huge Bala Cynwyd office building in the Plaza, right next to Saks Fifth Avenue. I walked in and asked a nice man where their office is located. He pointed down the hallway and said it's the broom closet in the back. I just laughed and walked back.
He wasn't kidding though; there were only 3 offices and pretty much no furniture. It did not seem like an office at all but more so a closet where the janitor/maintence people would keep their equipment and trash.
When I walked in the office there were 3 other people waiting to be interviewed. I showed up 15 minutes early and had to wait over an hour for my interview which only lasted 10 minutes. I was interviewed by George Papalexandratos, he's the manager and the biggest scammer of them all, and he's laughing all the way to the bank.
Mr. Papalexandratos spoke very fast and just kept going on about how much money I would make if I worked for them. He also kept saying that working for them is such a great experience and how all the workers get along and have so much fun. I asked him if this was door to door sales and he said that they do have that, but the position I applied for would involve going to big businesses so I didn't haveto worry.
He asked me some questions about myself and then the interview was over. I was told by the HR manager Ashleigh Sheets that I would be receiving a call soon for my second interview.
I got the call back within the hour saying they liked and wanted to bring me in for round 2. They told me to come in the next morning at10, where I would shadow one of their executive accountants for the day. I was actually excited I would get to see what she does. No office, no fancy car, she was basically a door to door salesperson.
I really didn't need to follow her around all day and watch business people yell at her to leave and see her pressure people into buying their product. She took me out for lunch and she told me how much she made and that she really liked her job.
I wanted to know more and so I stayed and talked with her and a recruiter (my 3rd interview) and we talked about the job I was applying for. They said it was an entry level accountant position and that I would get paid training for 5 days and then make guaranteed $400-$600 a week when I started. They also told me that if you do a good job and they like your work effort you can promoted within 2-4 weeks.
They also told me that everyone gets promoted and you can make a lot more money after you move up he chain and eventually you will become a manager. They wrote this all down in my notebook along with the salary I would be getting. I should have known this was a pyramid scheme.
Unfortunately I was so excited about getting a job I ignored all the red flags. Later I was talking with people and they said how can everyone move up? It doesn't make any sense. I should have known that then, but instead I was too excited about getting a job after being unemployed for 4 months.
After the interview, they wanted me to come back the next day and take a drug test and background check and then I would receive my offer.
I came in early and I was very excited, however, I was pretty shocked to see the waiting room crowded with people that were interviewing and taking drug tests. I thought to myself, how many positions do they have to offer? So she handed me the wrong paperwork and then I had to wait until she printed out my offer.
Wait a minute, I thought, print out my offer? A red flag went up in my mind. I waited and then she handed me the paperwork and I wassent in the back office to fill it out.
I was looking at the offer and first of all it was from 2009 and for another company, real professional. 5 days paid training like they told me, but it doesn't say anything about a salary after that or anything. Also, their health insurance plan only offered 50 dollars a month reimbursement for health insurance, you were on your own beyond that.
So before I even signed anything I said I wanted to speak with George Papalexandratos. She told me to wait so I waited and waited. It was almost 2 hours before I got to speak with him. It was like I never even existed.
So then when I finally got to meet with him, the first thing he said is that this is different paperwork. Really? I'm not a dummy. He then says that it would only be 2 days paid training to start.
So I think to myself well that's not too bad I guess, but there was a catch. You only get paid for the training if you show up to work on time and don't miss any days within the next 3 weeks upon hiring. So what happens if you have a medical or family emergency? You get screwed!
Then he says all smugly we give you 50 dollars reimbursement for your healthcare every month! Big deal, the average cost of heath-care plans for people is a lot more than that if you want good coverage!
So then did I dare ask what the salary is? Well I did and guess what he had to say about that. He told me "my employees would rather be paid commission than receive a salary" and then he proceeds to tell me how much everyone made last week. One made over a 1,000 and some others made even more.
Was this before or after taxes I asked, but he wouldn't tell me. Oh and when I asked about 401K he said that the managers received it and that there was no need for it on the entry level positions. So like I said before he's laughing all the way to the bank.
After all of this, I asked for a copy of the papers for the job offer, but he told me that their copy machine was broken, despite the fact that they could have just printed out another copy.
Needless to say I didn't except their offer. I just wanted everyone to know how they swindle you into believing that you can make all this money and work for a reputable company.
A reputable company would give you a base salary + commission, and even gas reimbursement. They don't.George Papalexandratos uses his employees like puppets; they do his dirty work while he sits in his cushy office and just keeps hiring more suckers. Your typical pyramid scheme.
After all of this, I did the math. The person I shadowed visited about 30 businesses in one day. Mr. Papalexandratos told me that the company had 150 employees (which I doubt is even true). Let's just assume that it has 100 employees who visit 20 businesses per day. That's 2000 businesses total per day, or 10,000 businesses per week. Each employee was selling the same product, so it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it probably wouldn't take long to run out of businesses. I can only assume that at this point, the typical employee realizes what has happened, quits, and then the company hires a whole new batch of employees.
So if you like working 12-13 hours even though they tell you 8, and working door to door in rain, sleet, sun, or whatever and not have a steady paycheck and no compensation then this is the job for you!