Dear The Pampered Chef, Where Are the Ethics?
I initially hesitated in writing this post because I came to find out that the same parent company that owns one of my favorite chocolate companies also owns The Pampered Chef. However, this is my blog and I share my honest opinions, as well as my experiences (both good and bad) that I have with various companies. If I’m not honest in my thoughts, I lose credibility to my readers and the companies I work with. So here we go…..
A few years ago, I signed up to sell The Pampered Chef products. I sold products for a few months but couldn’t really get into “salesman” mode. The problem was selling something that I really wasn’t sold on myself. If I love and use a product, I can easily promote it because I believe in it. At the time, I didn’t really understand or use Stoneware and wasn’t about to promote something I couldn’t stand by. So I didn’t. The Pampered Chef was all about promoting Stoneware at the time. My director was “disappointed” to say the least. Sorry but that’s who I am.
Through a few months of sales (and making about $400 plus products), I stocked my kitchen with products from The Pampered Chef. There are some that I stand by and use on a daily basis and others I think were a waste of money and wish I had never bought them.
I had a friend come to my house and she was amazed by all of The Pampered Chef products in my kitchen. I told her she should host a party and try to earn some of them at her party. She scheduled a party and I, along with about 5 other women, attended. The consultant, who also happened to be a Director (or whatever position is higher up in the network), set aside a section (taking up about 1/4 of the party time) to talk about selling The Pampered Chef products and how it benefited her and so on and so on. She passed around a copy of a check for a little over $4,000 and said she made that in a month easily. WHAT??? That is not true and almost anybody who has ever sold anything with a Network Marketing Company knows this. I held my breath and let her continue with her show.
She then tried talking my friend into signing up to be a consultant and that she should have all of us host a party for her to support her in her new endeavor if she chooses to sign up. I was starting to fume just a little bit but still refrained from saying anything. I was counting down the minutes, wondering when we could get cooking and looking at the products. She then said, directly to my friend but talking to everyone, that if she signed up before the end of the weekend, she would receive $250 in free products. OK, that’s it! I couldn’t hold it in any more. I caught her attention and asked, “Isn’t it true that you need to sell so many dollars in products before you earn the $250 in free products?” She stumbled on her words and said “Yes, but it really isn’t that hard to do.” OK! Maybe for 1 out 10,000 people???
I didn’t care for this lady or the “lack” of information she presented in her sales pitch. However, my friend and her sister decided to sign up that night.
My friend worked her tale off doing shows and gathering sales and had earned her $250 in free products before the end of the deadline. There was only one problem! She didn’t know that she had to choose her items within a specified frame of time or she would lose them.
Things slowed down with her business, as they tend to do with most Network Marketing Companies, and she became “inactive.” Please keep in mind, this was all over a month or two. She went online to redeem her “free” products and was denied access. She then called her director, who in turn told her to have a show by the end of the month because she was considered “inactive.” She set up the show, invited people, and then went online to set it up. Access was denied again. What the heck?
She called The Pampered Chef Headquarters and spoke with a Supervisor who basically told her, “Sorry, but you don’t work for us anymore.” She couldn’t get her free products. They then proceeded to tell her that the information was in the contract and all over the site. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter. She made them money and they promised her products. They should keep their half of the bargain!
I think it is one thing to be excited about the company you represent or the products you love, but it’s another to exaggerate the truth or omit pertinent information that could make or break the deal. I am really disappointed in the way The Pampered Chef treated my friend. Could they not have sent a letter telling her that her Pampered Chef money was about to expire? Could someone not have helped her to reclaim her products? I won’t be buying any more Pampered Chef Products in the future.
I am really disappointed in The Pampered Chef!