|To whom it may concern:|
I am writing to inform you of the malicious practices being displayed by Pepperidge Farm Inc. . I use the word malicious because I feel like it was done on propose to make the route more appealing. When I bought my route I was under the illusion that this route was something completely different. Since day one I have been plagued with the misfortune of others. I was forced to pay for the former sales development agent (SDA), Bret Hurst, stale and extra that he left in the stores his last week. Then when the district sales manager (SDM) Dale Shaul took over the ordering and he ordered a vast amount and then I had large numbers of stale. I was warned after purchasing my route that if I had too much stale I would be at risk of losing pay. So, then I tried to adjust my ordering to lower my stale. The first week I was able to accomplish this I received a letter from Dale stating that if I had any more wholes in Kroger's I would lose all of my 15% stale credit causing me to lose even more money. At this point in time I was already in the whole due to lack of payment because of stale. The first paycheck I received which was my second week and it was for around $300.00. The second check was for $177.13. Then the next week we received a bill from Pepperidge Farm for $400.00. The next week we didn't receive a check because someone didn't put our stale credit in to the computer. As you can see we have been abused financially since day one. However, this is not the only problems I have encounter from this company.
I feel that many things were never disclosed before I signed papers, and there are many things not in my contract that I am being held accountable for. I was never told that extra product would be pushed on me from the company. I was told that I was responsible for my own ordering. I was shocked to find out the rules pertaining to the wholes in the Kroger stores. I had no idea of these rules until after I received my first notice informing me of my impending loss of stale credit. Upon review of my contract I could find no evidence of this rule. Also, when Dale showed me the numbers in regards to this route he omitted the realities of the high stale right which affects the pay. I feel like just showing someone numbers but not telling them the whole truth is nothing but a lie. I feel that I was lured into under false pretense. If I would have known the truth I would have never put my family in such a financial bind.
I am also concerned that there is no way for me to track my scan based items. I have no paper work stating where my bread had gone. With other stores I take in a certain amount of bread and I get a check for 22%. However, at the scanned based sales it is always a mystery what will come of it. If a cashier was to miss it when checking out a customer I lose money however I am still required to pay for it.
Pepperidge Farm also pluses or adds to your order whenever they want to and you are supposed to pay for the bread; even though you never ordered it and do not wish to receive it! I was under the impression that I would be responsible for my own ordering and my own business. How is that the case if I am being forced to take bread that I didn't want or need in order to meet a sales quota set by Pepperidge Farm that I had no say in what so ever? I remember when I was training with Dale Saul he said that they give him a quota and he distributes it to us: red flag. I got a text message from him on 6-28-2010 that says and I quote I will be plusing out up to 50 trays of buns per SDA Friday, that's about 5 trays per store; I would suggest having a plan by Friday. Wow, keep in mind that my normal order for all the varieties of bread and muffins and bagels on Fridays is around 60 trays; so this is a huge increase. I then sent him a text that said that I didn't want them and he responded with I quote Cancel the bun message, you will be plused out some on Thursday, whatever is left at depot will be plused out on Friday, I need everybody's help, we are 12000 units short of OBJ. I then responded with an email asking how many to expect and another about my only having four stores that even carry this item and have yet to receive any response. I plan on refusing all merchandise that is plused and I didn't order.
Another concern I have is with the entire stale process. I was informed that Pepperidge Farm resells some of the bread to Big Lots and the rest goes to a charity. If this is the case I don't understand why I have to pay for it when Pepperidge Farm is benefiting from 100% not just 15%. I feel like these are all things that should have been disclosed before I was under contract. It is very disheartening to not trust a company that I am in business with. With that being said I reached out to Dale in hope that he would be able to teach me how to control my stale and not have any holes in the stores. Since he only trained with me a week; even though I was told that it would be two full weeks. I feel like I was cheated the ability and knowledge of how to run this route properly. I also feel that this company is a scam and is using people to turn a quick buck at the cost of people's livelihoods. I have also sent this letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Texas Attorney General in hopes to save future victims of this scam.
One last note to this report; Saturday I received my 1099 and after a brief review I found that Pepperidge Farm said that I earned approximately twelve hundred dollars more than I made. This is just further proof of this company's total lack of competence.
Ifyou are considering a purchase of a Pepperidge Farm rout I urge you to at least due further research into their numbers and rules. Speak to as many people about their practices as possible and please consult with your legal advisor. If I would have only done this i wouldn't have had to put myself and my family in such a financial and emotional bind.