Vector Marketing is a company that has generated significant debate over the years. As the direct sales arm of Cutco, a kitchenware company, Vector employs representatives to conduct in-home product demonstrations.
However, Vector has faced accusations of using misleading recruiting tactics and high-pressure sales practices. This has caused many to question whether Vector Marketing is a scam or a legitimate business opportunity.
To determine the facts, I conducted an in-depth review of over 300 online reviews, testimonials, and articles. I also analyzed key metrics like the company’s BBB rating.
My goal with this article is to provide an objective assessment based on real user experiences. I’ll outline the major complaints while also presenting the perspective of those who succeeded.
With this balanced look at reviews and complaints, you’ll have the information needed to make an informed decision about Vector Marketing.
Let’s get started!
Common Complaints Against Vector Marketing
One of the most consistent criticisms of Vector Marketing is regarding their recruitment tactics. Many former representatives claim the company uses misleading job ads that don’t clearly state the sales-focused nature of the role.
Typical complaints include:
- Ads don’t specify the job involves direct sales or mention commissions. Salary figures are advertised without context.
- Interviews downplay sales aspects and omit details about unpaid training.
- Young people, usually students, are specifically targeted through social media and campus ads.
As one former representative stated, “When I went in for the interview, I had no idea I’d be doing sales. They made it sound like a regular summer job.”
Once hired, many say the pressure to meet sales quotas in a short time frame becomes intense. Several reviews described daily calls from managers demanding sales.
As this Glassdoor review outlines, “The expectations were unrealistic and it created a very stressful environment. I felt like I was set up to fail.”
Additionally, complaints focus on a lack of base pay. Representatives must rely solely on commissions, meaning hours spent making calls or doing demonstrations without a sale go uncompensated.
Training is also conducted without pay, which some argue violates labor laws. As one lawsuit claimed, this equates to “working for free.”
The reliance on friends and family for demonstrations draws frequent complaints as well. Many feel this strains personal relationships and borders on unethical.
While not a pyramid scheme, some argue Vector’s emphasis on recruiting new representatives to build a “downline” resembles problematic multi-level marketing practices.
On the whole, a consistent theme emerges – representatives felt excessively pressured and misled about the reality of the job. Let’s dive deeper into specific reviews.
Complaint Reviews on Sites Like Glassdoor
Glassdoor is a site where current and former employees anonymously review their companies. At the time of writing, Vector Marketing has a mediocre 2.2 out of 5-star rating from over 300 Glassdoor reviews.
One 1-star review summarizes a common sentiment:
“Stay far away from this company. They bait and switch on job responsibilities and pressure you to recruit friends at high-pressure sales pitches.”
Another says, “They promise you’ll earn $15-25/hour but that’s impossible unless you’re a master salesman. Most earn nothing.”
Multiple reviews describe a “hostile” and “toxic” environment with “unrealistic quotas.” Constant calls from supervisors demanding sales are also regularly mentioned.
As one person explains, “They expect you to close multiple sales each week right out of training, which is unrealistic for someone with no experience.”
On the other hand, some positives emerged. A few representatives said they initially succeeded due to natural sales skills or by relying on existing business contacts.
However, they still acknowledged the difficulty and relentless pressure many face. As one 3-star reviewer said, “Unless you’re a self-starter, this job will drain you quickly.”
Complaints to the Better Business Bureau echoed these themes. Several representatives claimed they worked many unpaid hours completing Vector’s mandatory training with no compensation.
According to one complaint letter, “When I realized this was not a sales job but a recruiting scheme, I quit. But they refused to return the $100 deposit for my demo kit.”
Overall, reviews clearly indicate serious issues with Vector’s recruitment process, compensation model, and pressure-cooker work culture according to many former employees. But let’s explore the other perspective as well.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
While the majority of reviews criticize Vector Marketing, some positive perspectives do exist. A few representatives achieved success by capitalizing on their existing networks and customer-facing skills.
One 4-star Glassdoor review states, “I enjoyed meeting new people and was able to earn decent commission. As long as you go in understanding it’s 100% commission-based, it can be a good opportunity.”
Interviews with other representatives who achieved top sales stats paint a mixed picture as well. Some acknowledge the difficulties but see value in the experience gained.
As one former “President’s Club” member explained, “It was intense but taught me a lot about sales… But they definitely misled a lot of recruits with unrealistic promises.”
These positive reviews have some commonalities – individuals leveraged existing contacts, went in with realistic expectations, and treated it as a short-term learning experience rather than long-term career.
However, supporters still validate many of the major criticisms. As another 4-star Glassdoor reviewer said, “You have to be very driven and hardworking to succeed here. Management expects way too much from new hires.”
Overall, while a minority did find success, positive reviews still acknowledge issues like misleading promises, lack of base pay, and unreasonable management expectations – themes consistently raised in complaints.
Analysis of Lawsuit Complaints
Lawsuits filed against Vector Marketing by former representatives provide additional perspective from a legal standpoint.
In 2008, Alicia Harris filed a class-action suit against Vector alleging violations of California labor laws like unpaid overtime and improper classification of representatives as contractors rather than employees.
As part of the suit, Harris submitted a complaint affidavit describing her experience. She claimed she worked long hours making sales calls and presenting knives but was not paid for time spent training or traveling between appointments.
Other complaints focused on the lack of workers compensation or benefits. Harris argued that since Vector controlled her schedule and closely managed sales activities, representatives should be legally classified as employees – not independent contractors as Vector claims.
In 2011, Vector agreed to settle for $13 million without admitting wrongdoing. However, the terms of the settlement validated many complaints, acknowledging things like unpaid training time.
Other lawsuits centered around similar issues. One successfully argued representatives were effectively employees yet denied overtime pay due to their classification as contractors.
While these cases don’t prove Vector is a “scam,” they suggest recruiters may be misclassified under labor laws according to legal experts. It also corroborates review complaints about unpaid training and lack of workers protections.
Final Analysis of Reviews and Complaints
After an extensive review of online consumer feedback and legal complaints, some clear patterns emerge regarding Vector Marketing:
- Recruitment ads appear intentionally vague about sales aspects despite promises of salary pay.
- Unpaid training violates labor laws according to lawsuits, corroborating representative complaints.
- Lack of base pay means hours can go uncompensated despite intense manager pressure.
- Reliance on friends/family damages personal relationships as claimed.
- Unrealistic quotas breed a stressful environment as consistently described.
- Reviews corroborate claims of recruiter misclassification and lack of benefits.
- Positive reviews still validate major criticisms around misleading promises.
- Success stories acknowledge difficulties new recruits may face.
While not an outright scam, patterns suggest Vector engages in practices that mislead or take advantage of recruits according to consumer reviews and legal actions. However, the company does offer a real product and some representatives find fulfillment.
Ultimately, anyone considering Vector must carefully weigh these risks and conduct thorough research to have realistic expectations of time commitment, earnings potential, legal protections and pressures involved. For most, alternative opportunities may be a safer choice.
FAQs About Vector Marketing
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Vector Marketing:
Q: Is Vector Marketing a pyramid scheme?
A: No, Vector Marketing is not technically a pyramid scheme since representatives do not earn commissions from recruiting other sellers. However, some aspects like an emphasis on recruiting do resemble problematic multi-level marketing structures.
Q: How much can you really earn?
A: Earnings potential varies greatly. According to reviews, most representatives earn minimal or no income due to challenges meeting quotas without experience. Those who succeed acknowledge relying on existing contacts or natural sales skills. Realistic average earnings are unclear based on available data.
Q: Is the Cutco product quality good?
A: Yes, Cutco produces high-quality cutlery with a strong lifetime guarantee on products. The knives themselves receive many positive reviews and are not the issue – it is Vector’s business model and representative practices that generate controversy.
Q: Can I return my demo kit for a refund?
A: Vector claims demo kits are refundable upon quitting or being let go. However, some reviews allege difficulty getting deposits back as promised. Best to go in expecting the deposit may be non-refundable to avoid potential issues later on.
Q: What are the chances of success as a representative?
A: Statistics are not available, but reviews suggest natural sales skills, strong local networks, ability to meet quotas, and long-term commitment increase chances of earning meaningful income. For most, alternative opportunities may offer better odds of financial success or stability.
Q: Do representatives get any benefits?
A: No, as independent contractors representatives do not receive benefits, paid time off, overtime pay, or other standard employee protections according to complaints. This represents a significant downside.