If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baked and Burned:The Continuing Saga of Do You Bake

So, after a month of trying to track down some commissions owed, I called it quits with Do You Bake the other day. I sent an email to four people: owner, old gal Friday, new gal Friday, and "founding" consultant and have received zero response. And yes, I did check my spam folder.

My immediate sponsor called it quits this week too. Her sponsor has been out for about a month but is still owed money. I have one downline sponsee who has reported that they are also owed money. Tonight, I saw that someone I believe to be heavily invested in the company called it quits.

When I was in college, I was privileged to take a class that was three quarters of solid analyst and investing. We spent the whole first quarter learning how to research companies and what to look for in a solid investment. In the second quarter, we invested. In the third, we we wrapped it up and packaged it for presentation. For this reason, when I look at any company, I look at the news and I look at what the "primaries" are doing. I don't try to do this anymore, it just happens because I had a damn good professor who made the stock market easy and fun for even the least technically inclined finance student (that would be me: I always got good grades but mathematics is not my strong suit.)

Try to find any news on Do You Bake that isn't generated by a consultant. I looked last night. I never thought about it before because most of those news articles are boring press releases about something that is supposed to be exciting. Just to be sure, I researched a couple of some what obscure direct sales companies to see what I could find and I could at least find where some where they were excited to announce their existence. You're not going to find loads and loads unless you are looking up one of the heavy hitters, but you should be able to find something...even if it is locally in my opinion.

That being said, my comment about the consultant that I considered to be heavily invested, she's gone. What does that say? It says to me that there is definitely something amiss. Smart people walk away from investments when they realize there is no possibility of recouping them. I was surprised to see her post that she was leaving.

There has been in my personal experience, a complete lack of communication. From anecdotal sources, I find that I am not alone in that experience. I understand busy and I understand start-up but I also understand customer service and it has been my experience that the short falls, like the ones we consultants have experienced, are indicative of less than above-board business practices.

I am not posting about this because I am obsessed or vengeful or some other crazy emotion I am posting this because I know that not everyone involved in direct sales has the education, self-esteem, and knowledge that I have. Direct sales makes a promise of a dream that could come true, actual results will vary. I know in my heart of hearts that there are women out there that got involved with Do You Bake that have experienced the same shoddy experience that I have had who are blaming themselves for a perceived failure, who are afraid to walk away because they have put so much time and money into it, who keep thinking that someday those Rio Rancho leads are gonna pay off.

Ladies, do you realize that allegedly the Do You Bake website and system were compromised over the weekend to the extent that the perpetrator was able to heavily discount the products? Did you ask yourself about the personal information...your personal information...your customer's stored information...what about that? When was the last time you ever heard of hackers being merry pranksters and only deeply discounting a companies products? Yeah, me either.

What about that address? 2669 Shillington Rd, Reading, PA 19608 is what appears on all the invoices. The first time I Googled it, I gave it a bye. Upon further examination, though, I do question the UPS store mailing address, not so much because I think it's shady but because I also did a Whois search. The address and number that the DYB website are registered under also pull hits for known and convicted scammers.

That leads me to just one other thought, have you ever noticed there is a veil of secrecy to the whole company? I have been with other companies. I lunched with the creator of one of those companies. I've never seen a direct sales company where someone wasn't putting their name and face to it. I have never seen a picture of the people who created Do You Bake, ostensibly over jasmine tea and sushi. No press releases, no blurb and headshot in the catalog, no candid shot as a profile picture, nothing.

I know some people are out there thinking that there is nothing to be done. Sure, Do You Bake is not a Direct Sales Association member, but it doesn't mean that you can put them on the DSA radar as a company not to endorse. Also, depending on what your specific experience has been you may have cause to file with the Better Business Bureau and/or your state's Attorney General office. And, of course, depending on your level of braveness, there is the internet. If everyone who has been burned by Do You Bake, took a little time to post, tweet, flag or otherwise share their negative experience you will save someone else from the headache that you have experienced.

Why am I so sure there are others? The end of December through January 3, I think, Do You Bake offered a free consultant sign up. Then again, a few weeks later they offered a one day sign up on their "birthday". Off hand, I remember that the difference between my # and one of my downline was at least 700. So, in a very short time this company grew explosively. I am sure that a number of people who signed up never became active because many of my team let their 50% off expire because of the sheer number of shipping issues that were being reported. I am not sure the total number of total consultants in the US and Canada, nor would I be remotely able to whip up the mathematical formulas that could correlate my team's experience to the company at large.

I guess what I am saying is that if you have been burned by Do You Bake (or any other company for that matter) do not sit in silence blaming yourself. There are always options. Not only does your silence keep you in pain, it hurts other people too.

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