PO BOX 41116, NORTH CAROLINA -- "Deceptive Business Practices", Multi-level marketing (MLM), or chain referral sales and a new style of Pyramid Sales, sort of sums up this catalog of events to a tee. Pyramid of Company Names. UCS Auto, UCSAuto Inc, UCS Auto Training, United Consulting Services Inc, Worldwide Consulting Services, Worldwide Consulting, World Wide Consulting Service, Carolinas Cab Company, ClientReminder, ATS/World Wide Consulting Services, World Wide Consulting Service Inc, A.T.S. Inc, ATS Inc, Automobile Training Services, WWCS Tel America Inc.
This report contains valuable information, facts and guidelines that has been researched due to the outcome of one or more relating to the above illegal fraud practices/actions occurring, information that may help State and governing Authorities to pursue action against the ongoing practices etc. Cutting to the chase - the above company practicing under its latest "Title" as United Consulting Services Auto Inc working hand in hand with the local Dealership - in this particular case Royal Ford & Mercury Motors, Owego NY.
Timeline to particular Incident: Advert placed on Binghamton Craigslist requesting salespeople- ID Posting # ** (has now since been removed) during the week ending 12th February 2011. Individual responds on the 13th February with a phone call - leaves message. Individual calls again on the 14th - sets up appointment for Interview with Secretary at above location. Individual attends Interview on the 15th at above location, along with approx 15 other potential 'Auto-Trainee' Salespersons, conducted by Consultant representative for UCS Auto - introduced as David **, from Michigan State.
Individual is advised during the above introduction seminar that there will be a cost amount involved for a "training kit" - amount as yet undisclosed - parties interested in pursuing a Career in the Automotive Industry are encouraged to consider this as they will eventually earn high scale $$$$. Individual is recalled for second more in depth interview by David ** on the 16th February - details of the "training kit" is offered along with a request for $629.
Individual states that it will be necessary to discuss such investment with members of family, as individual is currently unemployed and not in a financial position to procure such an amount. Individual also noted that out of the original 15 interviewed, only four have been selected. Individual discusses request with members of family - a enquiry is also made to the local Police Station to clarify the legitimacy of such a financial request and the validity of the company pursuing this action - UCS Auto. Individual is expected to return to the Dealership on the 17th to confirm and accept proposal, as well as provide the requested funding.
Phone call is received from local Sherriff on the 17th, approx 1 hr before appointed time confirming that the request for payment in order to access "training for the Automotive Salesperson" seems to be in order. Check is made out to the Dealership for the sum of $629 - Individual returns at appointed time to complete transaction. David ** is unable to accept the check as it is made out to the local Dealership - requests alternative funding, confusion in conversation leads individual to understand that they are required to provide cash.
Individual returns to office of family member to discuss concerns now evolving. Family member clearly indicates that under NO circumstances is cash being handed over - that if the presented check is not acceptable then the 'investment' is not viable.
Individual returns to Dealership, and again discusses the outcome of the conversation with David **. David ** makes phone call to family member. Family member discuss validity of "investment" - the underlying intent with regards to the "training" being offered and what would cause a loss of that said investment ie "In the event of..."
David ** was very careful not to implicate any "guarantees" but turned the conversation over to the persona of the Individual - the recognition of their future as an Automotive Salesperson - the professionalism that was exhibited and so forth. Family member again pursued the quality of the said "Investment" and that under no circumstances would cash be paid over regardless of how David ** respectfully viewed the Individual.
David ** then stated "Absolutely - fully understood - had never indicated that Cash was to be paid - just needed the check to be made out to me in person" - proceeded to spell the name. Further explained that he accepted the check in his name to avoid any issues with bounced payments etc and that he in return would be making a total "company" check payment to the Dealership for their involvement.
Also expressed that he was due to return to Michigan and had a set time for completion of the documentation by 5pm that day (17th). Family member requested assurance that a legal receipt would be provided for the payment of the "training package". David stated "absolutely."
Family member and Individual discussed concerns for over an hour - and 10 minutes prior to appointed time Individual left with newly written check made over to David **. Individual spends the next day (Friday 18th) proccurring suitable clothes for their future as a professional salesperson under the flagship of the local Dealership.
Is excited at the prospect of a quality career with foundations that will allow on-site training as well as tiered payroll payments involving the first month to be that of $2000, the second month that of $1500 plus $50 for any leads regarding actual car sales, and finally $1000 per month plus $75 for any leads regarding actual car sales. Finally after the 90 days "probation training scheme" individual should receive appointment to Auto-salesperson earning a % of actual sales. This also tiered on the basis that Individual met a quality background check, had no serious violation on the Driving License and passed a Drug Test.
Individual returns on the Saturday 19th February for an appointed Interview with actual owner of Dealership, the interview was noted for 10.30am. Individual waited patiently till 1.30pm before actual Interview was given. During said Interview the Individual was faced with extremely invasive questions concerning personal achievements, family background and current lifestyle etc.
Individual was given to understand that current employment prospects were on very thin ground, that there was little evidence of stability etc. After Interview Individual indicates desire to become the "Best" subject to proposed "Training package", and stayed at Dealership beyond Interview to show genuine interest and keenness. Individual was asked to return for start of Dealership promotion Monday 21 February. Orientation was set for 8.30 am start.
Individual arrived with three other potential UCS Auto selected Trainees, each was asked to introduce themselves to the group. On said Individual's turn, a derogative and unprofessional remark was made by a senior staff member of the Dealership directly involving Individual. Individual retains composure, continues with introduction and sets focus on day's "training" that will set Career in progress. Individual also notes that Auto-Salespersons from all over the State as well as Out-of State Sales personnel are arriving in to procure clients/sales on behalf of the Dealership.
Individual along with the three other UCS Auto "Trainees" are required to stand for 12 hrs without involvement in any form to the day's activities. Individual is also given indication that NO communication should be undertaken with prospective clients, nor is Individual allowed to participate in actual procedures, nor offered the opportunity to "learn" under supervision, or within the said guidelines of the "UCS Auto Training Manual".
Individual is advised that they are expected to work a 12 hr day for the next 7/10 days (advertised Promotion week) without break other than lunch/short toilet break. Individual is also advised that the duration of the 7/10 day "Promotion" will be paid at NY State base rate, less tax. Individual was NOT requested to complete a W4 or any other legal payroll required documentation nor given indication as to when that would be applied. Individual was also advised that discussed amount would be made at the end of the 7/10 day Promotional period.
Individual completes day's work and returns to residence, discusses events with family member. Family member recognizes areas of accountability concerning the State Law, as well as some undisclosed illegal practices and makes judgmental call regarding overall situation. Family member contacts bank and files request to stop payment of Investment, procures evidence that supports concerns and possible illegal actions. Bank verifies action, supports Family member with decision and stops payment with effective results.
Individual receives phone call from Dealership the following day, Tuesday 22 February, regarding absent from duty. Individual firmly states reasons and relays comments made. Subject is closed. David ** receives notice regarding cancelled check payment, contacts family member with urgency. Family member currently filing all facts with Rip-off, as well as Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Fraud and Protection etc citing several possible legal violations under both State and Federal Law.
February 2011 - Also advised Individual that he makes regular visits to several Dealerships in the New York State area. Advised potential "Trainees" at Dealership in Owego, New York that UCS Auto had been in business for over 21 years (and in Truth that would be the case as it is a 'surf Pyramid Sales Pitch" originating from World Wide Consultancy Services and all other affiliated companies).
CONCLUSION: The above practice initiated under the title heading of "UCS Auto", can be clearly seen as an action of Pyramid Selling - "multi-level marketing". See below Law/s - identified observation is highlighted by Bold Text.
Consumer Frauds Bureau - The Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection, part of the Economic Justice Division, prosecutes businesses and individuals engaged in fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or illegal trade practices. Consumer Helpline: 1-800-771-7755. Collective evidence relating to just ONE of the many new style "Pyramid" selling now emerging is considered under many States as "fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or illegal".
Pyramid schemes are illegal in New York State, as well as in many other states. Article 23A of the General Business Law of the State of New York 359-fff sets forth the criminality of initiating and participating in pyramid schemes (also known as chain distributor schemes). Pyramid schemes may or may not involve the sale of products or distributorships. The trend is to involve sales of products or distributorships in an attempt to show legitimacy.
Pyramid schemes focus on the exchange of money and recruitment. David ** in allegiance with Royal Ford & Mercury Motors, Owego NY, set up arrangements to advertise for Auto-Sales Personnel. At the heart of each pyramid scheme there is typically a representation that new participants can recoup their original investments by inducing two or more prospects to make the same investment. Auto Sales pitch indicated quality earnings at the completion of a 90 day Training induction that would require the pre-purchase of a Manual which assisted in the process.
Indication was also given that at the end of the 90 day duration the Dealership in question would return said amount paid. Indication was also given that "Training" was compliance on conditions both related and un-related as per deemed eligible by the Dealership.
Often there is not even an established market for the products so the "sale" of such merchandise, newsletters or services is used as a front for transactions which occur only among and between the operation's distributors. In this instance between the two parties known as David ** in allegiance with Royal Ford & Mercury Motors, Owego NY.
Therefore, your earning potential depends primarily on how many people you sign up, not how much merchandise is sold. David **in allegiance with Royal Ford & Mercury Motors, Owego NY agreed to FOUR participants at a lucrative sum totaling to $2516 (4x$629) of which it was understood that a % is paid direct to Royal Ford & Mercury Motors, Owego NY. Documents given to Trainees also states that none of the monies paid, is reimbursed based on various "un-obtainable" conditions.
Illegal Aspects of Pyramid Scams - Pyramids are deceptive and participants in a pyramid, and pyramid sales plans are by their very nature not only deceptive, they are illegal, and the participants can under many State Laws be subject to fines and possible arrest. The con artist at the top views each new investor as a predicable set of revenues and expenses, with the revenues flowing directly to him. He happily pays out commissions for the recruitment efforts of others. "Pyramid selling" as defined by the Federal Trade Commission involves "inventory loading" and "head hunting fees".
Through a tiered volume of Companies clearly indicating that Peter Ferrigan is either co-owner or President, each ONE introducing the concept of "Sales Techniques" by a variety of determined "Fees" - Training "Products" all purchasable. This in turn requires that sub-personnel titled as in part 'Consultant' to recruit further "Auto-Sales" Trainees, selling the idea of "Training" and associated packages as a united front under the umbrella of the participating Dealership. At each given level there is given to understand that a % of monies is paid out from the Dealership back up to the top of the Pyramid that being Peter Ferrigan.
People who break the law relating to multi-level marketing or pyramid selling can be convicted and sentenced to a fine or a prison term. Amendments to the Act passed in 1999 now allow the court to impose a fine of up to $200,000 or a prison term of up to one year, or both, for a less serious offence. For a more serious offence, the court may set its own fine or a prison term of up to five years, or both. The Bureau conducts its investigations in private and keeps confidential the identity of the source and the information provided. However, if someone has important evidence about an offense under the Act, that person may be asked to testify in court.
Peter Ferrigan President of said above listed companies, in particular UCS Auto under the management of Mike **, who uses field agents/contacts as sub-regional personnel, (in this instance) Consultant David ** who in allegiance (in this instance) with Royal Ford & Mercury Motors, Owego NY is conducting a "scheme" that visibly avoids/withholds registered payments made under the probable title of "Training Materials" from being taxed or reported as "extra Income".
A feasible Tier indication is that for every THREE days of activity involving a Dealership based on a Four person "Trainee" induction - there is a product sale totaling $2516.00, plus the bonus of any unregistered Employee wages or unpaid Time (in this instance) at NY State $7.35 base - (12hrs per day = $88.20). Indication is that few if any stay the allotted time of 90 days - many are given a reason to be "terminated" after THREE days of commenced "Training" within the on-site Dealership. Indication is also given that the Consultant is a returning force month after month utilizing that same procedure as an ongoing "lucrative" endeavor.
UCS Auto supposedly has a "trainer" to teach eligible car salespeople how to sell cars. First, an ad is placed in the paper telling about how much money you can make and that positions are available in particular car dealerships such as Cecil Atkission GM dealership in Kerrville, TX. When you attend the seminar, the "trainer" will attempt to choose people he feels would be right for the company. However, when he offers these positions, it is necessary to pay a $629 fee. You have to sign a paper that states that you are only paying for training materials (which are definitely not worth $629).
Everyone was given the chance to work for the company (or a similar company) unless, for instance, you failed the drug test. In that case, you didn't get your money back. As a teacher, I had planned to retire and work somewhere in the vicinity. The job seemed perfect and sounded quite lucrative. Before I gave them the money, I told them that I noticed there were no Buicks or Cadillacs on the lot. They assured me that by the time I retired (in one month) they would have them. No such thing did happen, and when I tried to get a refund, the owner nor UCS Auto would refund my money.
So a caveat for the future: If you are wanting to sell cars, do not give the dealers nor a supposed training group such as UCS Auto any money. It is not worth the time, and it is certainly not worth the effort. By the way, as a car dealer in training, they will usually pay you a certain amount per month for two or maybe three months.
If you sell any cars, your commission is deducted from the amount they have advanced you. The hours are long, and in most instances, you might make minimum wage. You have to do a lot of your own calling to friends and relations in order to try to sell cars. In fact, that's what they are counting on. If you do not sell a certain amount, then you are usually terminated. Yes, you do have successful salesmen, but they have spent a lot of time building a clientele base. If you are in a small town, it is crucial to do the same, or you won't survive. I have had to take a teaching position in another town, but at least it's not minimum wage!