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Oooooooook. This is going to be a very long, confusing story about how I was teriminated as a Senegence Crown Princess , but its important you stay with me till the end. Well at least I think so. First let’s start with the basic details.
- I started with Senegence in April 2016
- I became a Crown Princess in January 2017
- I was placed on suspension in February and eventually terminated in March
- I was passionate and adamant about not lying to my team in any way and pushing them to think outside the box
So! Let’s begin. When you sign up with Sengence you sign an agreement, as with all direct sales companies. It’s called their policy and procedures document which I will call P+P for the rest of this blog post. If you don’t know, Senegence is a company that has been around for almost 20 years and is run by a bunch of
old ladies, let’s call them older woman. This product, LipSense, took off via social media at the end of 2015. No one saw it coming, no one expected it to blow up the way it did, and the company started growing faster than they could handle. Good problems to have, that’s what I kept telling myself and my team. One of the biggest problems in this whooooole story, is that Senegence never bothered to go back to their P+P and update them for technology and social changes. Thus starts the problem I encountered. As a Senegence distributor, you buy the product at wholesale price, and resell it at retail value, keeping the profits as your commission. Now, remember the older women who run the company? Well they started it as a business to do in home parties. Remember those? Tupperware parties, Mary-Kay makeover parties, yeah, those. Welp. Welcome to 2017, Senegence. Customers want to buy online. They have a need for instant gratification, check out now, 2 day shipping, etc.. They don’t want to have to message a friend or stranger, have a long drawn out conversation of what they want to buy and eventually the awkward tie in to “do you want to be a distributor, too?” since distributors are supposed to push the “Senegence choice”, another huge problem. So. My team and I set out to find a way to sell inventory faster and more efficient. Up until this point really your only option was to keep track of things on an Excel spreadsheet, do postage on another site, track taxes on your own, agh. It’s just a hot mess.
Enter Shopify!!! The holy grail of the issue. Solves it all. You can list your own inventory, amounts, discount codes, do a blog on it, make it your own little personal boutique. It tracks orders, postage, tracking numbers, taxes, profits, expenses, the works!! In the P+P it says you can not “conduct business on any site besides a Senesite (which is a crappy, terrible, outdated and ugly storefront website that the company bends you over for $30 a month to maintain)”. We needed a solution. Shopify is SUPER customizable. We made it so that you never ever ever entered payment info on the site, thus not completing a sale. Instead you added items to an invoice, then submitted the invoice for approval and payment details. It was perfect, everyone SHOULD have been happy. After all, I received these emails from compliance:
Huzaah!!! Right? Well no. You see, they have a HUGE issue in that no one in the compliance office actually understands the P+P document and the legal verbiage it uses. So they all just take shots in the dark and hope the issue never comes up again. Lovely. So, we take off the payment section on the site. Done. Gone. Compliant now, right? Not so fast. Remember Google Docs? How 99% of Senegence distributors take their orders and track it? Well when an order comes in on their Google Doc, they send the customer an invoice on PayPal. So. With our little Shopify order system, it took the order, then sent them to PayPal to pay for it. You would think the compliance team would see that although they were different platforms, the transaction was the same. Nope.
At this point I want to know WHERE they are getting these answers. I want to know where in the P+P it says we can’t do what they are saying. I write back several times, ask several questions, they never respond. Ever.
I even dumb it down for them and make a graphic so they can have a visual picture of how it is:
I still, never hear back. It’s like they realize they don’t have a leg to stand on with this so they are just going to ignore me and hope it goes away. So I wait, and then I find out that this same compliance department told another Crown Princess and her girls that they CAN use the new modified Shopify sites, my version that everyone is now copying even though we took ours down to show good faith, and they are STILL not writing me back. So then I do the only thing left I can think of, and email the head of the company herself, Joni.
Well she is busy you say. She can’t respond to everyone you say. Oh but she does. Here is what she wrote to the other Crown Princess when she wrote her with the same concerns:
SO! I don’t know what to do at this point. You might ask yourself why this matters so much and why I was trying to hard to get these sites going. I will tell you. These distributors are women trying to work from home. To contribute financially, spend more time with their families, and have the freedom this company dangles in their face. That’s NOT what they get when they sign up and have to become a production factory in their home. They have to figure out to take orders, track them, manage them, figure out payment systems, expenses, and its rough. It’s rough trying to take orders on Messenger, texts, Instagram, Facebook, phone calls, and to try to get them all into the same place so you aren’t losing track of everything. It was taking so much time that it was defeating the purpose of doing this. They lure you with the “50% commissions” but even that is a lie when you realize YOU have to fund the process of a sale:
Never mind the fact that in order to get 50% off you have to order over $750 in product. If you are just ordering 1 color for 1 person, know what your “commission” is? 20%. That means you would actually be LOSING 5%!
It was a huge deal to me to help my team achieve what they were shown, more time doing the things they loved and earning an income. It started to break my heart to see women I had grown to love and are about, go into debt to “front load” like they were being encouraged to, being told to buy inventory they didn’t need because “if you have it you will sell it!” It got SO MUCH WORSE in December 2016 when the company began to spiral downhill and couldn’t keep ANYTHING in stock, they were growing too fast to keep up.
You might say that’s a good thing! That’s what I kept saying and telling myself! People are buying this stuff and loving it! Well, not exactly. See below:
That’s a loooooot of inventory. This is inventory posted on instagram of a Senegence distributor ranked to Queen. Making almost 50k a month OFF HER TEAM. Not her sales, her team. See, when Senegence began to lose control of their inventory, distributors started hoarding their inventory, and each time a color came back in stock, they’d buy 20 just in case they ever needed it. The problem is, these distributors who have a huge team, who are pushing them to “front load” are making tens of thousands of dollars a month, THEY can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money when these colors come back. You know who can’t buy 10 colors each time? The new girl. You know, maybe you. The girl who just signed up a week ago seeing all this crazy success these other distributors are having. It is because she isn’t serious enough or invested enough? no! Absolutely not. It’s because she is a normal person with a normal or lower than normal household income and can’t be irresponsible. Go figure.
So REALLY, tons and tons of people aren’t actually buying LipSense. Tons and tons of DISTRIBUTORS are. ESPECIALLY the ranked girls making $30-$100k a month, because you HAVE to order $400 to $900 a month just to get your check and other incentives. Who knows how many customers are actually still buying it. It’s a dog eat dog world with them and its sad.
The WORST part about this whole debacle is the ugly side to this “Senesisterhood”. It’s HORRIBLE. Once you rank to a Senegence Crown Princess, you get added to this Facebook group only for Senegence Crown Princess and above. When I got in there were only 150 in the group. I thought “Yes! finally a place I can get legit answers on random things and not have to rely on word of mouth!” BAHAHAHA!!!! I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. This is a group of the “leaders” where they mainly take screenshots of “naughty” distributors, post the screenshot and say “whose girl is this” and then guilt you into making her change something.
For instance. Lots of girls are using an incentive to get people to sign up, paying their $55 sign up fee. It’s a good idea, and if you can afford the risk of them signing up and not being profitable, that’s your call. I personally have done it and had great success. In fact, the head of the company HERSELF! Offered everyone a free sign up offer back in September 2015. Remember 2015? When the company inexplicably boomed?
Yeah. Her. Free sign-ups. Company immediately boomed and took off. It must work. Right? Well, Right!!! It does! So why is this a problem? Welp. Joni in 2016 said she wanted us to STOP offering to pay for sign up fees. What? Why?! It worked for you! It’s not against the rules! Isn’t it our choice?!! Technically, yes. It is. BUT. Here is another huge problem, people take what Joni says as a legal rule, when in fact its not. Nothing is legal unless its in the P+P agreement we all signed in the beginning, remember that thing? Well, Joni changed her tune and I guess decided that paying for peoples sign up fee’s won’t build a “sustainable business.” I am here to tell you, I paid for 90% of my girls $55 sign up fees, and I think earning 20K checks a month is pretty sustainable to me. So anyway, Yeah. I told my team, do what you feel is best for you, your family, and you business. The “mean girls” (i.e. Senegence Crown Princess and above group) DID NOT LIKE THAT. I got harassing comment after harassing comment from the mean girls saying I wasn’t being a “team player” because I wasn’t telling my team to stop doing things that are perfectly within their right.
IN FAAAAACT. My second sponsor, my sponsors sponsor, sent me a horrible slew of messages after I politely but firmly refused to tell one of my girls to stop doing her giveaway because it was making other customers go with her instead. Uhhhhh. Wait, what? Her giveaway is helping her gain customers and you want me to tell her to stop?! What is wrong with these people!?
Not sure what that first part says, its ok. I gotchyoo.
Proper protocol for what?!?!? Thinking outside the box? Taking a risk with her own inventory and hoping it pays off? Doing an idea to build her own clientele? NONE OF THIS IS AGAINST THE RULES AND IN FACT, IT’S BUSINESS. You don’t see Target complaining every time they lose a customer to Wal-Mart do you?
Anyway. Back to the main story: the sites. So after no one responded back to me, this Jalynn chick saying that her girls were told they can use the sites, I did a live video in a group and told some of my team,” Launch your sites. Do what YOU feel is within the rules until you get a letter from compliance telling you not to.” What in the hell is so wrong with that?
Welp. It’s not becoming of a Crown Princess to not agree with every single damn thing Senegence says. That’s what. Need proof that’s their thoughts? Here it is:
I would like to note, I NEVER said that compliance actually HAD changed the policy, I merely stated what others were saying and that compliance hadn’t told me anything. Let’s just make that part perfectly clear.
With that, I sent in a 3 page appeal to not be terminated. Groveled. Begged. All of it. Said I would be good. Had 5 of my distributors send in personal recommendations on how beneficial I am to their teams. To no avail. 30 days later I was terminated. It was crushing. I worked harder than most of the mean girls in the Crown Princess group would ever do in their lives. My team was devastated. Lots of tears. I am sure a small few applauded, can’t please everyone after all. But, I was fine in the end. It wasn’t the end of the earth. At least I no longer had to be bullied online everyday by the mean girls of Senegence.
Since I was terminated, things have only gotten worse. I used to tell my team to hold on, take a break and then come back, wait it out, it WILL get better. I honestly believed that. The final straw for me was in February when Joni sent a secret message to all the CP’s and above telling us that on friday they were going to secure some facility that was going to drastically improve things, and that in 90 days things would be way better. We are 160 out from that and things are just worse. Senegence is doing SO many things wrong.
- Coming out with a perfume line when they can’t even keep their money making product in stock, really?!?!
- Coming up with excuse after excuse for why they suck, red pigment shortage, robbery, earthquake? FOR REALS?!
- Giving excuses and not ever taking responsibility for how things are going
- stealing money through shipping, refunds given through credits? I mean, come on, thats plain old stealing.
But you already know that! So lets skip straight to the good part.
NOW. The good part. I was done with direct sales, I never saw myself doing another one UNLESS I knew it had the same potential to make the same kind of income I was making with Senegence. You guys. I found one. Well, it found me really. To see what I got myself into next, read this post!