New Advertising Tactics
My sister's colleague Russ found this suspected herbal life artifact on his driveway near Austin, Texas and brought it in. A few weeks later, the same guy got a message in a plastic bag with a ROCK in it! The beans pointed to www.jobcomfort.com and the rocks pointed to www.xtrawealth.com
David T. wrote soon after, asking about a similar bag on his driveway in Massachusetts.
I enjoyed your research work on the Herbalife signs, and I believe I've just discovered a new and even more annoying technique....This must have been thrown out of a passing car onto my lawn, thereby guaranteeing a single reading, at least. I sure hope these don't become as common as AOL cds"
Got another one, this time with 4 smaller rocks. The rocks are still white quartz...I wonder where they're coming from...
I just recently discovered your site, and I've got to say it meets my web entertainment needs perfectly. Bizarre and intelligent, off the wall and informative. I love it. I found cockeyed.com through a link to your Work From Home report, and I felt you should know that the Herbalife menace extends beyond the eyesore signs and the internet. I know, because they tried to get me.
I received a call one afternoon from a man identifying himself as Dennis. He told me that he represented a Fortune 500 company (sound familiar?), and that he'd seen my resume on Monster.com. Dennis wanted to offer me a job in sales and marketing, and was not deterred when I told him that I had no sales experience. He assured me that they had an excellent training and motivational program, and that I'd be pulling in four figures a week in no time.
Every time I tried to get details from him about the company and the "sales position" he wanted me for, he deflected me with promises to explain all when I went in for an interview. Other than being less than forthcoming with information, Dennis was very polite and helpful.
Now for a little background on myself. I'm the son of an advertising executive, so I grew up knowing a fair amount of the tricks used in ads. I'm also a former Air Force cop and a former casino pit boss. I've been a professional in the security field for the last 15 or so years. Just about every job I've ever had has required me to assume the worst in the people I deal with, and taking things at face value is not in my make up.
However, with a great effort of will, I put my suspicions aside and set up an interview with my new friend Dennis. I was more than a little surprised that the interview was on a Saturday, but he assured me that they were an unconventional company and didn't enforce the traditional 9-5.
One of Dennis' mistakes was calling me on a Tuesday, giving me most of a week to think about what he said, and more importantly about what he didn't. My biggest question was much the same as yours: Why would a Fortune 500 company not identify itself? By the time the weekend arrived, I was looking forward to my appointment more to find out what was going on than as potential employment.
When I arrived at the address given, my first thought was why would a Fortune 500 company have an office in a 4 story building off a side road? I walked into their offices and my pal Dennis walked up and shook my hand. He was all flashing smiles and charm. And he still wouldn't answer my questions. "Everything will be covered in the presentation," he told me.
Presentation? That was when I saw two rows of folding chairs in front of a white board. Next to the white board was a table loaded with cleaning products, bottled water, and of course Herbalife.
More people began filing in, about 15 in all. Only one of them was dressed, like I was, for a job interview. Women in sweatpants, guys in torn t-shirts. Dennis and his cohorts (he had cohorts) were good. They had actually read the resumes they got from Monster, and customized their sales pitch for each victim.
Guessing what I was in for, but determined to go through with it just so I could mock them later, I sat down with the rest of the cattle. They started with a video tape of Amazing Success Stories, probably the same ones on their official web site. Then, one of Dennis' cohorts, who would put used car salesmen to shame, started drawing on the white board. It looked quite a bit like a pyramid scheme, where the more people you recruit to sell, the better off you are.
After this pitch, they said that anyone not motivated or dedicated enough to pursue this grand scheme would be free to go. Only myself and the young lady who was also dressed for an interview walked out. I'm sure at least half of the people who stayed seized the moment, and are at this very moment stapling plastic signs to telephone poles.
Sadly, my story doesn't end there. They called me three more times in the following month, wanting me to come in and "interview" with them for a sales job. All three times I told them I wasn't interested and to take me off their list. The second time they called, I asked them why they kept calling. Their answer was that they registered with Monster.com to get so many resumes a week, and mine kept going through.
Let this be a cautionary tale for your readers. The Herbalife people are out there, and they're organized.
Los Angeles Times
Effin Herbalife puts ads in the LA Times for part-time jobs and when you show up for your "interview," you get a sales pitch, complete with a shill in the front row who stood up on cue and told the packed house (believe it!) how HB products had cured her dad of a brain tumor! I got up and left when they mentioned the price ($69 back in the early 90's sometime) and said loudly that I thought they were scam artists...one of the HB people told the audience that I must have missed my meds that morn. At first I was angry, then I realized that line was right from the 'how to deal with disgruntled marks' script. BTW, when I was driving home from that seminar I passed the HB building by the side of the 405 (ever seen it?) and I saw smoke rising from it's base...at first I thought it was the building and I was stoked...it turned out to be the ivy by the freeway. I still went home and called the LAT to complain about scams listed as real job opportunities. The guy sounded sympathetic, but I don't know if it helped.
i just wanted to say that your study of the "work-from-home/herbalife" stuff kicked ass. i used to work for angelfire.com (free homepage service), and we occasionally had problems with the folks who created TONS of those sorts of biz4U websites, and then bought spamming software/lists to promote their sites, and then would freak out and call the lycos legal dept. when we took the sites down. i remember the guys in our abuse dept. (who take down any sites promoted by spam) talking about phone calls with those folks - they were really pretty clueless, and didn't seem to understand why spam is bad, or what the problem with their sites was, and they felt they were just following instructions for making money. i don't know if it was herbalife that they were promoting, but they got detailed instructions on how to slap up a quick web page on any of a list of free homepage services - i think even as far as getting templates or the exact files to put up. -cy
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