As I recall, the first time I got myself involved in a networking / MLM / pyramiding kind of business was when I was in 3rd year college (2006). It was the time when I was struggling with my school finances and living allowance. I was a scholar in school but I had to pay for some school miscellaneous fees plus my daily allowance so I thought of finding a part-time job while studying at the same time. I saw an ad on a news paper that says they’re looking for an office staff who can work part-time. I got interested so I went to their office in Malate, Manila for the interview. There was a long line of applicants waiting outside the building but no one actually had any idea on what kind of work was being offered aside from the fact that we’re all applying for the “office staff” post.
To make the story short, my name was called, I got interviewed, I passed, and I attended the orientation. Only then I found out that the name of the company was Global Line Enterprise. It was stupid of me to think that this company might have been connected to Globe, one of the biggest network providers in the country. But I later found out that it’s NOT connected with Globe at all. How did I find out? Simply because what they’re offering was in no way related to any of the products and services that are being offered by Globe. What they’re offering was a water dispenser/purifier that costs 3,000 pesos. Of course I was surprised. Why did I have to purchase a water dispenser when my only purpose of going there was to apply for the office staff post. And what was I supposed to do with the water dispenser when we couldn’t even afford to buy water from water purifying stations?!?
I already felt that something was wrong but I didn’t know why I kept on listening to the speakers/trainers who were obviously well-trained in delivering their speeches and marketing strategies. All I saw and heard that time were all positive like I was hallucinating that there were tons of money coming out from their mouths. I felt like I was being hypnotized as if the money I was seeing would all be mine if I continued listening to them. After the orientation, I was called again for the ‘final interview’ where one of the managers explained to me the job description of the office staff post. And this is what he told me…
This office staff position was all about marketing and recruiting. We need to find and recruit more people by advertising this vacancy for office staff post in the newspaper classified ads, social network (Friendster was popular that time), or by simply bringing other people including our friends and family to their office to listen to their orientation.
It sounds easy right? But hey, remember what I said about the water dispenser? Before you get hired as an office staff, you need to purchase that water dispenser first within that day. Yes you heard it right. Within that day – meaning before you leave their office, you need to find a way to have Php 3000 cash to be able to purchase that dispenser and for you to be officially employed and start working with them the next day.
And how much was the salary? Well, this is how they explained it. If your ‘recruit’ showed up during the orientation and interview and purchased the water dispenser, you’ll get a commission of Php 300. Therefore, the more recruits who purchase the dispenser, the more money/commission for you – and that’s basically your salary. You don’t need to stay in their office. You can work anywhere as long as you do your job and again that’s by recruiting other people to join this kind of business. I didn’t know what kind of stupidity possessed me that I was so amazed with the speakers on how they promised to give us lots of money once we’re hired.
So I eagerly called my mom in the province and told her about this kind of business. At first she was skeptical about it but I was able to persuade her to give me P3000 before we ended our conversation on the phone. I couldn’t remember where she sent the money but I knew I was so happy when I got it that same afternoon then I hurriedly went back to the Global Line Enterprises office and paid for the water dispenser. I couldn’t believe I was already hired and I could start working the next day.
They taught me everything about the business – how to advertise, how to talk and persuade people, and how to earn commissions. While I was learning their operations and processes, I was also starting to realize that I was in the wrong place. I wasn’t happy with how everything was going. I started by posting ads on Friendster classifieds and was able to recruit a few people who attended the orientation and interview. But I wasn’t happy about it. I felt like I was fooling people like the way I was fooled when they got me to purchase the dispenser. Although I was able to invite people to go to the office, I didn’t talk or persuade them to buy the dispenser personally. I let the manager do it for me.
After working for them for only 3 days, I quit! I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt so guilty. I felt so sorry for myself and my mom for involving her in this ‘business’. I knew that she only borrowed that money from someone else because I persuaded her and I promised that it will give us good returns. I felt sorry for the people who got to purchase the dispenser just like I did. I wished I had the chance to warn them before they threw their hard earned money away.
For me, Php 3000 was already a lot of money that time. If I could only return the dispenser and get my money back I would have done so. But that was impossible. I wanted to recruit people to earn commissions and eventually have my money back but I felt guilty. I didn’t want them to go through the same experience that I had. I cried over it for nights. I wished I just used the money for my school miscellaneous fees. I wished mom didn’t answer the phone when I called that time so there would be no chance that I would have to ask money from her.
I had full of regrets. But I knew I couldn’t turn back time anymore. I accepted that misfortune and considered it as a lesson learned.
Few weeks after I quit from that “office staff” position, I heard that the company was investigated by NBI and the business was eventually closed due to some issues. My instinct was right. This was a scam. I knew it was a scam the moment I heard about the dispenser thing but I didn’t listen to my inner self. Maybe some things just ought to happen so we could learn a lesson. And I learned it the hard way.
I wasted my Php 3,000 and I didn’t earn anything from that company, but at least I knew I didn’t fool other people. I was scammed but that didn’t mean that I also had to scam others to get my money back…
How about you? Have you been scammed?
Feel free to share your “scam” experience in the comment section below.