As a student who is about to graduate in July, there's a rush of anticipation, depression and outright fear as you realise that you are struggling to find a job in an economy where hundreds of people every day are being laid off. You feel disused and discarded by the education system for failing to equip you with the ability to find a job and you blame the economy, yourself or even others for its failure to provide you with a job. When that happens, when you reach your lowest point, there's a temptation to go for direct sales marketing. Hundreds of jobs are posted on recruitment websites, graduate job sites, etc. that offer hundreds of pounds a week, excellent training, career progression schemes. Think of a combination of words relating to careers and these companies will likely use it somewhere.
I applied for three of these jobs and, like a good prospective employee, I did my research on these companies. I'm not about to pretend that I have to protect my identity and I'll name them: Capital One Promotions; TC World Ltd; WIT International Ltd. When I did the research, I noticed an odd feature about all of their websites. All of them discussed a "business development scheme" using the exact same terms, language and diagram to demonstrate progression. When I delved deeper, I noticed that whole pages were copied and extrapolated onto each others' websites. I was suspicious even at this point but then a friend of a friend told me that I should avoid Capital One Promotions, that their work was commission-based and their company was of "ill repute".
When someone tells you that, alarm bells start ringing. When I typed the company's name into Google, one of the related search terms was Capital One Promotions scam. I thought this was related to a credit card company that operated under the name of Capital One but, curious, I clicked. Lo and behold, the first result is an article in the Daily Mirror (http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2010/08/cobra-group-makes-a-mint-while.html) about an organisation called Appco Group who were linked and affiliated with Capital One Promotions. When I read the article, I discovered that Appco Group manipulated and used graduate students and the unemployed as self-employed promoters of their business, taking half of their commission, not paying taxes on earnings and having a workplace ill-fitting for a company that talks so much about career progression.
Reading the comments gave an indication that a lot of people have suffered at the hands of this organisation but I hoped that, given it was dated from 2010, the organisation would've changed its practises but I wasn't so naive and continued reading the comments. Someone posted a link to a thread on another website from 2012, listing all the problems with the organisation. Suffice to say, the arguments were extremely convincing. I write this to warn fellow graduate students, people out of work, whoever you may be, do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the promise of high earnings if you "work hard". It is nothing more than a smokescreen for bad company practises, deception of the worst kind and outright abuse of a struggling economy.
Do not think that things will improve. Do not lower yourself to this job because you feel you have to. The accounts of people's lives speak for themselves, the fifty-hour weeks, the low wages, the "career progression". It's all a sign of a company that is using people for their own gain and giving nothing back in return. If you see the title "Media Sales Executive" or "Graduate Sales Administrator" or any title that looks like it's a mash-up of words found in every con artist's dictionary, be cautious. Do your research, find out about the company and always see if you know anyone who has worked there.
I had an interview for tomorrow with Capital One Promotions. Following the research I did, I'm not going. I won't even touch them with a ten-foot pole. I'll be calling them tomorrow to tell them about the research I did and how it illuminated an organisation that preys on the unfortunate. You might see people who claim the organisation is great, that if you work hard, you earn plenty and that people who fail and complain are just "lazy and can't sell". That's not an excuse for the pittance in earnings, the accounts of deception and fraud committed by higher authorities and a general stench of deprivation and disgrace by these companies.