A reader of Fraud Files recently contacted me to offer some information on the inner workings of ShopToEarn. Readers of this blog have had plenty of questions about the company and its founder, Patrick Welsh. One reader did a bunch of research, and came away with more questions than answers.
The information provided by the latest reader, who we’ll call Jamie, is interesting to say the least. Here’s what Jamie had to say about Shop To Earn…
The customer service department is run by the owner’s sister, Erin Welsh, and their cousin. It was basically the two of them with a couple of laptops on a folding table in Erin’s basement in Baltimore, MD. They hired about 5 or 6 more people, all miserable and glad to make more than $10/hour, to answer emails from clients.
We received no training. You just basically read the emails aloud, and you are told how to respond. We even had to provide our own laptops. It’s quite obvious that they hate foreigners and latinos, which are the majority of their clients. Many times emails were barely decipherable, because the account holder did not speak good English, let alone type it, and we had no spanish speaking reps to help them. Erin’s cousin was always yelling things like “Ugh, I hate these people” or “God, why can’t they *$#(ing learn English?”
We were never allowed to give out the home office phone number.
We had tons of members who spoke NO english, so their relatives helped them sign up. Then when they found out it was a pyramid scheme type business and wanted to cancel, we would require the account holder, who spoke no english, to request the cancelation, despite continuous pleas from their family members. The worst part about this is that when they finally taught the account holder how to request the cancelation, their risk free trial time would have expired, so they were locked into the deal anyway and there is absolutely NO MERCY at STE.
I guess one of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that the owner has made all this cash off these people, and lives the high life. Yet, he lets one of the key parts of the business be managed from a basement and doesn’t even provide computers.
We were also told to attend one of his seminars when he came through Baltimore, but I didn’t go. I didn’t want to sit through two hours of someone trying to convince me to give him $500 during a recession, so I can sell products to my friends. You don’t even make money off the products, and you’re required to buy $100 worth of that crap per month anyway or you don’t get your earnings!
Oh, and don’t get me started about the shipping. People place these orders from Shop to Earth, and then never see them! I can remember one woman who had waited over four months for her order of simple things like cleaner and paper towels. We constantly had emails with the subject: Where’s my order?, and were told to not touch them, that there’s some woman in Florida who handles them. She didn’t do a very good job, because when I left, there were hundreds waiting to be answered.
The other reps and I used to joke that ShoptoEarth must not even exist.
I would NEVER give money to these people. It would be more beneficial to take that $500 to a casino. Yes, there have been a couple of people who made a ton of money, but it is at the expense of dozens and dozens of others who haven’t, and lost a lot of money in a time when nobody can afford to lose any.
I truly hope that one day either the government, or karma, catches up with them, and all these people are paid back. It’s a shame that “businesses” like this are allowed to exist.