Local Deals Review: The Perksconnect Scam For Businesses

Perksconnect Page

The Phone Call

I had received a few phone calls on my phone that showed the name Perksconnect. I had no idea who or what this was, but it showed up on the call log, so I went to check my messages. The message I was left excited me, because the caller stated that she was looking for a massage therapist to take care of employees from two major companies in my area: Winn Dixie and Holy Cross Hospital.

Naturally, I was pretty thrilled at the prospect of potentially landing even one large corporate account like this, so I was interested in speaking to her to see what it was about. However, I never realized that she called on 2 different numbers until much later. The first number she called from was 613 number, and then from 800-727-3757. After playing phone tag for a few days, I called one afternoon while driving home, and managed to reach her.

The Pitch

She said her name was Ensa Labush. The reason she called me is because they were desperate to find massage therapists for the employees of these two major corporations, who were knocking their doors down looking for massage therapists. She stated that she had tried a few other well known massage businesses, but most of them, like Massage Envy, were unwilling to give any discounts above 10%.

She asked me what discount I was willing to offer, so I asked her if she had been to my site, as there are quite a few discounts offered through packages, and several of the packages could be used for corporations. She then stated that these would not be purchased by the corporation, but by the employees individually. Well, this already was not sounding corporate, as first indicated, but at that point, I was still too psyched at the prospect of this volume of business. However, I offered a discount and she was pleased with the discount I indicated.

She asked a lot of questions about my business, and then indicated that they could set up an account for me on their site, which would give me a lot of exposure and in which I could make changes myself, so I could alter or enhance current or new deals I wanted to offer. Actually, on much of this information, she flew through it so fast, I could barely keep up with the specifics of what she was offering me. I was pretty confused at this point, about what they were allegedly setting up for me.

Dropping The Bomb

All of this sounded great, and she was talking 90 miles per hour; plus, I was in the midst of rush hour traffic, so I was also distracted with that. So imagine what was going through my mind as I'm driving through this traffic listening to her spiel telling me she's going to get me all this business. I was thrilled with the prospect, but in the back of my mind, the thought was there about cost.

I kept wondering how she benefited from the whole deal, because people don't just call you up offering exposure and business like this without a catch, yet she hadn't mentioned a dime yet....YET.

After she went through this whole deal, which, by the way, caught me completely off guard; then she finally got to the part I had been wondering about - the money. First, she did a review of everything she was offering to make sure I was fine with it. Then she told me that I could get these services from them for four months for $198. When I told her that this was not going to work for me at the moment, then she said, "Well I have four spots to fill, and I can't guarantee that this will be available to you when you are ready to do it. I can't guarantee that some other massage company won't take the spot. It has to be now."

Since I said that the $198 was too much, she then went to allegedly speak with her supervisor - you know the deal; and then came back to me claiming that I had two choices. Imagine. She's dictating to me that I have only two choices. This was the bullying sales tactics that she used, which is normally something I refuse to participate in myself towards anyone else no matter what I may be marketing. This was her high pressure sales tactic, as if I don't know that she's attempting to corner me, and direct my thought processes. As if I don't know that there is a third option here.

So she tells me that either I can get an extra month, making it 5 months for the $198, or she can give me the 4 months for $149. Wow. Well first of all, I never asked for one month. She came to me. She called me initially, but there she was acting like she was doing me a favor. Of course you know that the nice fantasy she pitched to me earlier came to a screeching halt at this juncture. I was no longer confused. I was no longer bedazzled.

The fact of the matter is that if this was a legitimate marketing offer, she wouldn't have come at me in that manner. If they could back up their claims of the 30k employees she was telling me needed massage services, and would be utilizing my services, then they would not be collecting their fee up front. It would be a set up like Groupon, where a percentage is taken from purchases made when they are redeemed. Because this company is more focused on just getting a business to pay them, and apparently, not too concerned with delivering on what they are promising; and because (I don't believe) they don't have the reach they claim to have; this is the reason for the high pressure and hard sell tactics.

The Thrill Is Gone, Baby

She made everything look really good at the beginning. I had been so enthralled with the idea of getting this much business from two corporations. However, after she hit me with her high pressure, bullying sales tactics, a red flag had gone up in my mind.

At that point I told her that I needed to check out their site, because I could not access it from my smart phone. She then sent me a link to my email. Fortunately, someone had just arrived at my house that I needed to see, so I told her that I had a guest that had arrived at my home and that I'd have to call her back after I had looked at the site.

As I began to research the site, I found out that this was a division of Augeo Affinity Marketing. If you look this company up, the reviews are not that good. Additionally, despite the fact that reps from this company or division have stated that there are no BBB complaints on file about them; there are, but they were resolved to some extent, although I'm sure not to the clients benefit. So BBB has no active complaints on file, but there are complaints in the system.

However, if you want to really know what people think of this company and their tactics - visit the link above. There you will find pages of reviews on this company; exactly how they approached or targeted the individual or company, and the results - if they successfully scammed the target, or what the targeted person thought of their high pressure marketing tactics. I looked at several pages on this board, and I did not see one satisfied person. I did not see one person who did not say this is a scam, except an obvious rep from the company, who stated that baloney about no complaints being listed with BBB. If you get any calls from this company, I'd hang up. Steer clear of them...a wide berth.

Comments 24 comments

PJ 4 years ago

Thanks I rec'd a e-mail from this company. You made it easy to mark it a phishing scam. PJ

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

If all you took out of my post was the words "high pressure sales tactics," then you missed the point. It wouldn't matter if it was over $198 or $1198 or more. The issue was the manner in which the rep talked to me, like I was some ignoramus that she had to lead by the nose so I would know what was good for me and my business. If this was such a great deal for businesses, then why all the pressure? If a business operates in a reputable way, they will get more business via word of mouth. It's fine to introduce something like this to me, but don't treat me like I'm too stupid to know what's good for my own business. Additionally, I checked all of the links you put up. On this one, most of the deals listed were coming to your site via groupon, livingsocial, and something called Fat City Deals. These are all organizations that don't charge upfront for the marketing, but take their fee after clients pay and have utilized my services; so why should I pay out any amount upfront to an organization that I have no proof can get me any business? Before I get a single client, I have to pay Perks with no guarantee that I will get anything out of the deal. Sorry. That's just not good enough. Perks may offer discounts to corporations, but that doesn't prove that the employees utilize the perkscards or discounts to the level the rep claimed.

And, if Perks is so fantastic in customer relations, as I experienced; why is there a complaint board with such a large amounts of complaints about this company?

Mel 4 years ago

Just wanted to say, sadly - I was taken by these people. It is a SCAM - in the biggest way possible. And then they call to follow-up with you once you've cancelled with an aggressive collector-type person. It's unreal. Stay FAR far far away from this site.

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks for the comment. As I'm sure you saw, someone obviously from the company, commented trying to defend them. So I definitely appreciate your supportive comment. Sorry you got scammed by them, but this is the reason I wrote the warn others. GB

MK 4 years ago

Scam is a very hard word that is overly used today. Unfortunately public opinion is 99% negative today on the internet. We have been doing business for over 24 years and of course we would respond to defend ourselves. I presented the facts, the proof that that we do a Perks program for Winn Dixie and Holy Cross. I question how you can see that as a scam? If you didn't like the sales approach or tactics, I apologize and it certainly is your right to not like something but to call it a scam it's a little overboard. Winn Dixie's website is not all daily deals, it has hundreds of local businesses that are in the states where they have locations. The Winn Dixie website was a collaborative design of what they requested and what we could do for them. Which is what we do for our clients, again you statements are a matter of your opinion and not factual.

MAG 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this article! :o)

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

While I appreciate your right to defend your company, I also appreciate the rights of hundreds of people to express their issues with your company's approach and sales tactics. If I was the only one with an issue with you, I could be a little more understanding of your point of view, but the number of complaints at spoke volumes to me, and anyone can check on that just as well as they can check the links to winn-dixie that you put up. That site tells me what all the small businesses your company COLD CALLED and solicited think of your services. My question is, what do the Winn-Dixie employees and Holy Cross employees think of your services, and are they really getting everything your company claims to offer them? I wouldn't check your sites for that info, because I know it would be biased and only have things that make you look good, so please don't suggest that. And as to your claim that my statements are not factual...again, anyone can check the link above and see just how many factual experiences with your company are listed there in the form of complaints with references to a "scam."

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

MAG: Not a problem. I really think that when companies act unethically, they should be exposed. As you can see, the company rep that keeps attempting to challenge me has only made excuses for the behaviour of their company's reps, so obviously, this sort of thing is condoned there. If so many people have written complaints on the message board link that I put up, one would think that the company would take a good hard look at their tactics and approach, and make serious changes due to the public outcry, but appararently, it's far more profitable to take people in this way, than it is to operate with decency and ethics that would serve more than simply take. Most small businesses in this economy are already struggling to either get afloat, or stay afloat. Who needs this sort of pirating approach? Thanks for your comment. GB.

MK 4 years ago

I still do not understand how you can characterize our company as a scam based upon the link you provided. There are local businesses saying we are a scam because of the blog not because there is any proof. You do not have to take our word for it or some random ney sayers on line either. You want fact, you can simply request to speak to the conatct of the organization that you were called about. Which will than verify that we are not a scam and stop this all together. Let me ask you this, when you call the contact and they confirm that we do the Perks program for their staff and the employees love it, will you write a retraction to the fact that we are not a scam and you verified that what we said was true?

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

My issue is not with the contact you mention. I have nothing to do with that organization. My issue is with the manner in which your company does business. I've been called by other scam companies that try to suck money out of me before they even provide services or any proof of the returns they claim their services would provide. That is the nature of a business that is unethical. The site link I provided has plenty of complaints about the manner in which your company does business. Maybe you should focus more attention there and clear up some of those complaints as opposed to worrying about one person's opinion. There are hundreds of opinions and complaints there. Do you plan on doing anything about those, and compensating those people who have not been satisfied with the "alleged" services your company offered?

Mk 4 years ago

We respond to every merchant, we have a customer service team that works very hard to satisfy the thousands of merchants we service, which is why we have an A rating with the BBB. If someone does not contact us and choses to blog instead then it makes it very difficult to satisfy their requests. We worry about everyones "opinion" but some are untouchable. We also have an easy in, easy out policy when it comes to merchants. You again say that you don't "like the manner in which our company does business". That is not factual, nor is it a scam and it is your opinion. Which is is why I have a hard time with the word scam. If we were a scam then I would not be able to provide you with the corporations we "alledge" to market local businesses to. Which you did said was an issue. Now that I request that you contact them to prove our case, you ignore it. We put together programs for thousands of corporations nationwide and have been doing it for years. We do everything a merhcant pays us to do. That is never the question. We do not have 100% satisfaction, but it is important to us to reach out to every merhcant and every blog that allows us to. For every negtive comments there are hundreds of positive ones, but those are on the hundrends of pages after the negative posts. The reality is that it is easy to believe the negative. That is the world we live in.

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

On the message board link I provided, I did not see hundreds of positive comments for every negative one. In fact, I can't say I saw any positive ones. I'd only have to assume that those comments, if they exist would be posted by your dept within the company. If you do everything a merchant pays you to do...if your services are so great, why do you charge upfront for them? If your services were really guaranteed, then you would do something like the Yext corporation and charge for legitimate leads when they come in. Maybe you should look into that. I am listed with them, and they screen the calls that come in. If I get junk calls like from businesses like yours, they don't charge me for them. They only charge me for legitimate customers who are looking for my services. All other responses to my listing on their site are not charged to me. That is a company that provides a good service...a legitimate and fair service to merchants. Perhaps you should take their lead.

MK 4 years ago

We are not a lead generation company or a "posting company" and have never claimed to be. We set up discounts for corportions to distribute to their staff. We only negoiate discounts after we have signed documents from that corportion to do so. The presence we supply is not open to the public. Yext has a great business model but that is not what we do. It is not typical advertising but it is a form of print and company specific website presence,not search engine presence . Which is nothing like the company you have mentioned above. If you were to place an ad in the yellow pages they are certainly not going to draft the artwork, publish your ad and then ask you to pay when it is done or ask you to pay if someone comes in from that ad posting. If you were to place an ad in the newspaper they charge you for eveything including the ink they use to print the ad. Most major corportions , charge local businesses to advertise with things like banner ads, and newsletter sponsorships, that are hundreds even thousands of dollars. I guess they are scams too because they charge upfront? OR maybe you do not consider them a scam. Either way, we are set up to be affordable, less then $40.00 per month and require no contract. Since you do not want to verify the facts, I believe it is time for us to agree to disagree. I would be more than happy to put you in contact with the contacts that are local to you so you can verify for yourself that what we called you for was legitimate until then I sincerely wish you luck in your business and your relationship with Yext.

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author

Sure, you can give me those contacts, & when I have time available, I may look into them. However, what remains curious to me is why there are so many complaints about your business on the 800 message board link I posted? Care to explain that? Also, while you are at it, why aren't you addressing that, as opposed to focusing in on me? There are hundreds of complaints listed there, but you keep ignoring that when I ask about it? Don't you care about customer satisfaction?

Heidi 4 years ago

So I received several email messages via my website this week from a PerksConnect 'Program Administrator' offering the same deal that was mentioned in the article for a local large business. I was hesitant to call because I thought it was some type of scam, but did eventually leave a message out of shear curiosity. My experience was pretty much the same as mentioned already, so I won't reiterate that, other than to say that being asked 'what type of discount I was willing to give the companies employees' upfront, without even so much as an explanation of the program, was somewhat off-putting, if not offensive. I work hard at what I do, and I'm good at it. So for someone to call me with the assumption that I already understand what their program is about, without even knowing what exactly it is I do (that was inquired about MUCH later) , and ask me to heavily discount my services right off the bat (with the constant reminder/tactic that there is a long list of 'other prospective wellness coaches who might be selected over me!), is a very unprofessional approach. And to be honest, because of those tactics, my 'scam detector' antennae was raised HIGH. So I called 2 establishments that the program administer claimed (in i=his initial emails) he was working with. One a prestigious institution, the other a legitimate well-known business entity. I spoke to their human resources/benefits directors who assured me that 'yes' they do have a partnership with PerksConnect to provide wellness coaches for their employees to consider, and that it was a good working relationship. So, based on that, I determined that PerksConnect is NOT a scam ('fraudulent operation') in that they do not lure with a promise they have no intention of honoring. In fact, the person I spoke to was VERY clear that there was no promise of clients, that a wellness coach is basically paying to have their name on a list of providers the employee can choose from - a sort of modern-day yellow pages for businesses provide their workers. If only PerkConnect offered it for what it is - advertising. Instead, they use the fast-talking, name-dropping, high-pressured, disrespectful approach that is reminiscent of bad car salesmen, is borderline deceptive, unprofessional, and just leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. So I can understand WHY others would call it a scam. Just my 2c.

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida Author


Thank you so much for your input. That was exactly my point as well. My thought is, if what you have to offer is so great and legitimate, why disrespectful approach? I got the same fast-talking, name-dropping, high-pressured and disrespectful approach that completely turned me off.

I'm sure you noticed the company rep that's been commenting here, attempting to sway my opinion, but my point continually to him/her has been, if you can see that your approach and "service" has created issue with so many people (see the 800 message board) then why not change your approach? Why continue to do what so many people are saying does not work for them, or is such a turnoff? Any good business out there puts customer service first, and has a marketing plan that is continually reviewed and updated to address such issues. Why continue with what you called "borderline deceptive and unprofessional" practises, and then come on my article and attempt to justify your company? It's obvious that they have no concern for what the general potential clientele they solicit to thinks. They don't care about their service issues unless, I suppose, you become a customer. So in that case, why worry about what I have to say, since I'm not a customer. I'm just another target that they missed on with their lack of professionalism.

Even if MK , their rep that's been commenting here, doesn't like the use of the word "scam" to describe them; the point of the matter is, they are seriously lacking in professional business acumen, and the fact that so many people have commented to this fact, is an indication that they need to clean up their act. Personally, I see no reason to change the wording on this article just because MK doesn't like it. Just as you read down here and saw the comments, and checked on the contacts they listed; others can too. I think its better that people see the full conversations so they have a good idea of what they are going to be dealing with if these bozos decide to call. One thing is sure, there are plenty of other advertising and marketing companies out there, that are far more professional, and honest in their dealings, and in telling you exactly what they are offering, than these guys. Thanks for the comment. Peace and blessings.

Sandra 2 years ago

Thanks. She's been harassing me for days and my gut was saying. no!! Your information was very helpful! Much appreciation

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 2 years ago from Florida Author

No problem. I'm glad it helped. That was my purpose in writing this article. Be blessed.

Vincent T 2 years ago

I received a call a few months ago from this company. They said they were working with SUNY and that they were in need of a fitness center. I receive calls like this all the time so I was on my guard. I read your article but then I went to SUNY's Benefits site and saw that they were on it. So I figured that SUNY would know better than the author of this column. Am I glad I did! I was able to get a spot on their landing page and I am already seeing employees and they are BRINGING FRIENDS!!

Vinny 2 years ago

I posted yesterday, Where is my post?

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 2 years ago from Florida Author

I am not aware of SUNY or what it is or represents, but I'm glad it worked for you. My objection at the time I wrote this was more about the way they conducted their business, specifically the manner in which they solicited their targets with some measure of arm twisting and deception. I'm thinking that I wrote the article over a year ago, and perhaps they have made some changes to their practices, and if so, more power to them. I only write articles like that when I see deceptive practices. If they've cleaned up their act and have a system that is working for you, I'm glad. Thanks for stopping by. Peace and blessings.

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 2 years ago from Florida Author

Sorry Vinny. I'm not in this site that frequently of late, so I didn't see your post until just now. Peace.

Michael Douglas 23 months ago

Thanks for your post. I got an email from them today. I think this is the same outfit that called me a few years ago. I'm glad I googled a review on them and found your article. You've saved me some time.

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Etherealenigma 22 months ago from Florida Author

Awesome! That's the reason I write these reviews.

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