Local Deals Review: The Perksconnect Scam For Businesses
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.
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 perksconnect.com 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 this site. 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.