As a former employee of Damark, now called Provell, I can shed some much needed light on some of the practices that were used. I admit I am glad I no longer work there, and apologize to anyone who has had to deal with them.
I was one of those people that many of you may have talked to on the phone. The job of the person you were talking to was mainly to keep you from cancelling the memberships that you found on a wide variety of credit cards. There was an incentive of a "whole dollar" for every membership saved, and if you could save 30% of your calls, you would make "two whole dollars" for every membership you saved. So with that being the incentive, many of the employee's were very ruthless, and even if they told you they cancelled the membership and you would receive a membership, they may not have. All calls were taped, but the tapes were kept by a third party, so that only insulated the employee, and the company. Additionally the employee turnover rate was incredible. I wasn't very good at saving, and I guess I really felt for those of you who had been charged for these memberships that were basically worthless. Plus I like people, and most of the time I would spend time BS'ing with the customer about the weather, where they were from and so on.
Everything was in the form of rebates, and I saw how that operation was handled, so if anyone ever received a rebate, you are very lucky. The rebates were stacked in boxes by the thousands, and several employees sat at a computer, inputting the rebates, at a pace of 20/hour. Then when the company was so overwhelmed by the rebates, they began their own culling process, by only processing rebates for the previous quarter, even though they had rebates that were older, but had not been gotten too. I am not sure what was done with the older ones, but I think a dumpster was involved. And the people on the phones were instructed that if anyone called to inquire about their rebates, they were to tell the customer "I see that your rebate has been received, and will be processed within the next 30 days" just to get them off of the phone. I quit shortly after that. I could see the waves coming over the bridge at that point, and a much better opportunity for myself came along.
I can say that when you get a credit card, (especially a new one) you need to read the application before you sign it, because many of the credit card companies are in cahoots with alot of marketing schemes out there. They put that "free trial membership" on there, and the next thing you know, you are a member. And not becoming a member is much harder. Some of the company's I know that were involved at the time were, CITIBANK, CHASE, Capital One, Amoco, Texaco, and BP. However I understand that Amoco and BP are now one in the same. There were also memberhships through Sky Mall, Speigel, and Victoria's Secret, so you need to be watchful. All for now. I will check the posts, and see if I can help in any way.
A guy who was on the inside...