[Elle:] The Anti-MLM Coalition recently received a message from a reader by the name of Neve Stanley. Neve expressed her wish to tell her experience of having “fairly high ranking” in the multi-level marketing company Perfectly Posh, and her subsequent termination for “refusing to take part in a bullying campaign“. Of course, we were happy to oblige.
Perfectly Posh “offers Pampering products made in the USA with gentle, natural ingredients“, founded in 2011 by Ann Dalton (CEO) and Andrew McBride (until 2017). Its headquarters are based in Salt Lake City (UT), USA. Their target group is “women who are looking for natural beauty products that are free of harsh chemicals“.Before reading Neve’s story, please remind yourself that all views presented in this blog are as told to us by the authors, and simply reflect their own opinions. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.
Take it away, Neve.
[Neve:] Thanks, Elle – I found this very therapeutic!
Seventeen months of Perfectly Posh Hell
I had been a working single mom for 5 years, with a 7 and 9 year old. In January of 2015, I remarried and gave birth to baby number 3. I quit my job due to not having childcare lined up, and my new husband made enough for us to forego my modest salary. About a year after giving birth to my daughter, I felt like I needed to have some sort of part time gig, more for my sanity than anything else.
I rarely interacted with other adults, and I missed that most about working outside of the home. My good friend Kiki was an ‘independent consultant’ for Perfectly Posh. I had purchased from her several times and really liked their products as well as their catchy product names.The company also took pride in being “naturally based” and they had many vegan options and gluten-free options (not certified, but they bragged about it as if they were). The Spring/Summer catalog debuted and I wanted all of the things, so naturally I was seduced by the $99 starter kit. At that moment, I decided that if Kiki could do this, so could I.
Please note: Many people have sponsors who deceive them and falsely claim to be “making all of this money“. Kiki, my sponsor, did not – she told me she was a consultant because she enjoyed the products, and she “really only had a dozen customers” (mostly family and a few coworkers) who ordered through her. She said the first year or so she sold, she bought catalogs and sampled-out products for people.
She confessed she lost a lot of money by doing so and didn’t get many orders from the samples she gave to people, so she stopped doing that. She referred me to her upline for assistance because she had no interest in coaching me. I was fine with that.
I saw Kiki’s point about sampling, but decided I would try to sample things anyway. If it ended up costing me money, I would stop.I scheduled my Perfectly Posh launch and reached out to people I was close to, and even some people I wasn’t so close to. I sent them personal messages on Facebook (which I regret now) but at the time didn’t see any harm in it. I sent out samples and catalogs to so many people. I offered everyone I invited the opportunity to try some of the products, and even a full sized catalog.
I was encouraged by Carmine, Kiki’s Gold Premier upline (who held the second-highest rank in the company and was one of the first 100 consultants), to send 6 samples per person “because of the buy-5-get-the-6th-item-free special” that was always offered through Posh. She encouraged this, so people would take advantage of the buy-5-get-1, and thus my orders would yield higher sales. If the customer or potential customer liked all 6 products, they’d be inclined to buy ALL 6…which rarely (if ever) happened!When all was said and done, between catalogs and samples, I sent out approximately 42 “personal care packages” for my launch party – these packages contained 1 catalog, 6 samples, expensive poly mailers and postage. The average cost per care package (postage and materials included) was approximately $6.75!!! I had spent nearly $300 and my launch party hadn’t even started yet! 42 people had said they were attending my launch, or would be ordering. The total that actually attended and/or ordered? 23.
My party, as I was told by by Gold Premier Carmine, was a “huge success“. I had sold approximately $1000 worth of product. My commission at the entry-level Protégé rank was 20%.
Side-note: the ranks you can attain in Perfectly Posh begin at Protégé, going all the way to Gold and Platinum Premier at the pinnacle.Further information about the ranks and pay-plan can be found here.
So, back to the party – for all the work I had done (reaching out to friends and family and acquaintances, making samples, packaging them up and going to the post office, and spending an ungodly amount of money on postage) yielded a $200 commission! I was now down $100! 😦
When I pointed this out to Carmine, she gave me the lecture that “in the beginning I may not make money“, but as I “build my team and I accumulate inventory and establish a repeat customer base“, I would be “making a nice chunk of change“.In all honesty, I didn’t know how I felt about building a team. I enjoyed being the only Posh rep in my area – to me, building a team (considering the parties I was booking were all local) would essentially be stepping on my own toes and hurting my “business”.
I didn’t actively try to build a team, so I was shocked when over the course of 4 months, I ended up with a team of 7. Posh was very new to my rural area and with the latest fear mongering over the “junk” in personal care products and cosmetics, the local ladies and moms were all about consuming a “naturally-based” product line.
The Honeymoon is Over
A few months after starting my Posh adventure, I found myself very unexpectedly pregnant again. I felt pretty sick for about 2 months straight and aside from helping the girls on my team with different customer service issues, I wasn’t doing much.
I was having a difficult time booking parties. My team members had all started off by booking parties with me and then signing up, so any bookings I got from their parties were given to them in order to give them a “jump start”. I had already hit a wall and with my pregnancy being somewhat difficult, I laid low.
Gold Premier Carmine failed to reach out. I was no longer making her any money, so she basically disowned me. One of my downlines had become a pretty hot seller and had a lot of questions. Although I wasn’t “selling my face off” anymore, I was ALWAYS there for my downlines.
I had a friend reach out in July as she wanted to have a party. From her party, I managed to get a few more bookings on my calendar. And that’s when the customer service issues started…Shipping had gone from 5 business days (max) to 14!!! I had to call Posh HQ or submit a service ticket for every order placed, for 2 weeks straight! I even had a girl have issues with an order directly from my website – turns out Posh charged her card and never sent her anything. Several weeks later, she contacted me and I had this huge process to go through in order to get her account credited, as she no longer wanted the items she purchased (can’t say as that I blame her).
It just seemed that every time I turned around, there was a problem with the website (customers getting redirected from my site to someone else’s) issues with not getting the right commission amounts, customers not receiving orders, products going out of stock for sometimes months at a time, literally every time I turned around, something was shady! That’s when I decided I would take a break from selling until they got their shit together.
My Big Come Back
Fast forward to December, a month after giving birth to my 4th baby. I placed an order for myself, because I wanted some items for Christmas gifts for family. My order was fulfilled in a timely manner and I had no customer service issues. Could it be? Things were finally on the up and up!
I had 3 out of 8 in my downline who were still selling some. One of my downlines, Suki, was killing it. Her rank was the same as mine and she had a huge amount of girls under her. Her team was actually bigger than mine – if her team didn’t actually count as MY team – but because I was her upline, it did.
Suki wasn’t much of a team player though, and didn’t want her downlines in my Facebook team groups because she thought my “realist point of view” was negative and she wanted only “Positive Penelopes” in her team pages. I wasn’t offended…I had been assisting my downline with problems out of loyalty, even when I wasn’t “working my business” and it was a lot! I can say I NEVER once lied to my downline. When the company did some shady stuff, I didn’t back up Posh. I told it like it was, and never deceived them.
February of 2016 (my one year anniversary) my team killed it with the new catalog launch. My team sales were insane! Over $25k and I was promoted to a rank that only 1% of the company ever achieves – Premier. I knew it would be difficult to maintain, because my team was relatively small and new. If we didn’t continue to grow, I knew we wouldn’t make rank often.
I shouldn’t have promoted. I wouldn’t have promoted.Gold Premier Carmine went against policy and procedure, and placed an order under me for her son. Why? Just so I would hit Premier. She also had a “customer” of hers place an order under one of my downline girls (that would have otherwise been inactive for the month), in order for me to have enough active downlines to qualify.
This sounds so supportive, but you might wonder what was in it for her…? An all-expenses-paid trip to Greece, no less. Any of the Gold Premiers who promoted to Platinum Premier in the incentive, would automatically go on the trip. I wasn’t aware of any of this until after the fact. I honestly felt used.
The next month, I failed to hit rank by just 1 qualified downline. My team made the $25k in sales (‘Company Volume’) but I wasn’t paid at rank because I lacked a ‘QFC’ (Qualified Frontline Consultant). The lack of guidance, communication, and assistance I received that month was mind numbing compared to the month prior; Carmine had got what she wanted, she was Platinum and my downlines hit Premier that month, so she still had her QFC Premier. She no longer “needed” me.
Once I had hit the Premier level, I was added to all of these “Premier groups” on Facebook. Some were home-office (HO) operated, some consisted of only Premiers and above. These groups really opened my eyes. The home-office ones discouraged us from sharing anything from the HO operated groups; they were setup for training and providing us with info to give to our teams.
The Premier-only ones (no HO involvement) honestly painted the “real picture” for me. They consisted of a lot of complaining: consultants were angry with the compensation plan, all had confessed to not making enough money to really “make it their full-time gig“. Some were planning on going back to work, some were planning on leaving, and some were just looking for assistance as to how to increase team efficiency and/or recruiting attempts.It was then, when I decided I was done building my team. I would continue selling, but not to the degree I was. I stopped trying to make it a “full-time gig“. Deep down, I knew I was barely making anything. And if I considered my time spent, I was making less than half the minimum wage!
What kept me going was my customers and teammates. I enjoyed them.
Fast forward a month or two, and Andrew McBride, the now ex-co founder of Posh (who was fired in January 2017) launched rival MLM company, BeCause Cosmetics. Ann Dalton CEO, the remaining co-founder of Posh, launched a bullying campaign out of apparent spite and jealousy.She claimed Posh was starting to dabble in cosmetics themselves, and that McBride “knew of this and had gone against his exit contract by starting a new cosmetics company“. She proceeded to encourage all Premiers to have their downlines take selfies with no makeup on, and hashtag it #integrity.
This was nothing short of a bullying campaign, clearly stating “women don’t need makeup to cover natural beauty“, and that McBride “lacked integrity by going against contract” and that “he was trying to harm all Posh consultants’ businesses“.
Many Premiers (the Kool-Aid drinking ones) had their teams participate in this campaign. Carmine, now Platinum Premier (top rank), was one of them. The worst part was that Carmine didn’t tell her downlines about the reasons behind it. I told my teammates (who were also in Carmine’s Facebook team group) that I wouldn’t be promoting the hashtag.I had one person in my direct downline (Suki, the girl who insisted her team members were not to be in my team pages) participating and promoting this bullying campaign. Dalton attempted to sue McBride, which went nowhere and never made it to Court because she was in fact very mistaken with her accusations – Posh was never planning to go into cosmetics until McBride’s BeCause Cosmetics company launched.
I can’t EVER tolerate bullying, and not sharing my opinions on the subject was implying I was complacent, and I just couldn’t be. I didn’t care what the cost, I couldn’t act OK with it. I spoke out in the Premier groups, both HO and private. I showed my support for McBride and publicly announced on his Facebook page – I was happy for him, and wouldn’t stand behind a bully.
I contacted Carmine and told her I wanted to terminate, but that I wanted to know what my options were as far as my team were concerned. She said I “could and should” gift Suki my team, as she was “my most successful downline“! I decided to simply go inactive at that point, but not give Suki ANYTHING! She was no better than the shady uplines and managers at the top, and I was damned if I was going to trust her to lead my team into the Posh inferno. She wouldn’t be honest with them. She would use them for personal gain like she did with her own team.
Hasta La Vista – TERMINATED
A week or so later, after consulting Carmine, I received an email stating I had been terminated for “breaking policy and procedure“. I had allegedly “made disparaging comments” about Ann Dalton and Perfectly Posh on social media. Aside from giving my opinion about the #integrity campaign being a form of cyber-bullying, I had said nothing. But at this point, I didn’t care.
I was having a really hard time promoting the company and products, and had become rather silent in my VIP Facebook group. I felt a sense of freedom, like I had escaped an abusive relationship and could begin healing.I have since stopped supporting all MLM’s. I had a high rank in Posh, so people assumed I was “successful” in MLM – an assumption which I have come to find is a complete oxymoron.
Needless to say I had several MLM “friends” trying to recruit me to the “next best thing”. I kindly decline and explain that I’m “retired” from all things MLM. If they ask why, I share my story. I want to be more vocal about my experiences. I want women and men like us to stop being exploited. I am part of the #antiMLMmovement.
[Elle:] Thank you, Neve, for kindly sharing your Perfectly Posh experience. If you have any questions for Neve, please add them below and we will ensure they reach her.