I have to write this ripoff report in order to let more people know about the infamous scam company named Canadian Property Stars (AKA: Spring Masters) and I hope people won’t fall into this stupid trap after reading this report. I am a new comer, so please forgive my poor English. I decide to write in English because doing so will reach more people who are or will be involved in this company. For safety purpose, I’m not going to disclose the specific locations and names of education institutions and people names. Also, this scam company cheat people nation wide, so it is meaningless to address specific locations. I am going to present this report to you in the following three sections: Personal Experience, My Thinking and Reasoning, and Advice.
I believe many people who live in Canada must know “Spring Masters” (SM for short thereafter), which does incredibly aggressive advertisement in the whole country. Actually, this company changed its name not long ago and it is called “Canadian Property Stars” now (CPS for short thereafter). I’m a new comer who have been here for almost one year. For my experience, I saw business cards in bus stop shelters, flyers with detachable slips on almost everywhere: lamp stands, information boards in campus, even large ads stuck inside the glass walls of bus shelter. Most importantly, on those flyers, words read quite promising: “$100-$500 cash daily!”. This is so tempting, people just can’t help to raise their hands to get one of the slips and call the company to see what’s going on. All in one word, this company puts huge amount of money to do advertisement during spring and summer season. Flyers are really everywhere, people just can’t avoid seeing them.
For me, I didn’t do the calling or web searching. Because of the aggressive advertisement approach, my personal feeling is that this kind of company cannot be trusted. However, one day, CPS went to University to hold an information session. All kinds of flyers, banners, staff with smile and enthusiasm, are so promising that I think this might really be a good chance to earn some cash. The info session said that if we want to have a try, we can go to their job fair on a later date.
I think I can give it a try to go to their job fair to know more about the job. So I went to a warehouse where the company was holding its “job fair”. The warehouse was dark and filthy, with a strong smell of lacquer and gasoline. The warehouse was very shabby, with about 60 to 70 aeration machines on one side and about 40 chairs on the other side. About 40 people came. Most of them looked like high school and college students. Almost all of them are visible minorities (no racism intended, just listing the fact). A man with abnormal enthusiasm was speaking on the platform, non-stop. He was doing presentation about the company and spent about almost one hour in talking how happy the workers are with their cash. In the Power Point slides, there were lots of “employees” testimonials about how they earn considerable amount of cash (the worst day is around $100) and how satisfied they were. The testimonials were so repetitive that they were actually brainwashing the audience.
Up to this point, I still had no idea what products or services exactly the company makes or provides, nor the exact jobs the company wants to hire. After more than one hour of boasting, two staff came and distribute some paper to us. The presenter said that these are the contracts, and if we don’t sign them right now, the training session cannot continue, because of the protection of company’s confidentiality blablablah….
I went through the whole contract carefully. We will not be the CPS’s employees. Instead, we are independent contractors of the company. No insurance, no benefits, no minimum wages, no nothing, all you will earn is commission. Not coming to work or not fulfilling the daily hours are regarded as contract violation and the company will fine you $100. Daily equipment rental fee is $10 payable to the company. However, the contract lasts only one day long. I guess that’s why many guys wrote their SIN# down and signed their name (including me) without hesitation. Moreover, I saw there was a father with his son and they both seemed to be quite convinced by the propaganda and signed the contract. Well then, I thought to myself: this is only one day, just give it a try. Even if the job sucks, I won’t lose much for just one day.
Without any interview, all guys were automatically hired. After collected contracts signed, the presenter continued bullshitting. Now that he talked about the work, the pay, the complicated calculation of commission and some jargon cannot be understood anyway. CPS wants us to do core aeration service for home owners. We are going to do door-to-door sales and do the aeration and charge home owners money and you earn 32% commission of the bill you charge. You are supposed to do everything while the company does nothing, except waiting for money to come in.
The “job fair” or “training session” or whatever, lasted more than 3 hours and ended at around 9:30 pm. Only after I signed the damned contract and listened to what the presenter said did I realize that I fell into a trap of scam. If I don’t make it, CPS will file a $100 fine to CRA. I don’t know if it is true, but I cannot run any risk to harm my personal file. This means I have to go on the specific date I agreed to work for CPS.
On that date I agreed in the contract, CPS required me to arrive before 8:15 AM. If you are late, CPS will have a reason to fine you, $100 maybe. Anyway I arrived on time, and saw some towed vans came. We spent about 2 hours listening the same guy continued bullshitting. I saw many young white guys wearing CPS T-shirts. None of them were in that “job fair” I attended. They said they were returning workers and had some experience and were quite motivated to earn “crazy cash”. I doubt, and later in My Thinking and Reasoning section, I’m going to show you my conclusion about these young white guys. One of them were recognized as a famous hard worker who ranked top 1 or 5 whatever. He and some other guys showed us how to do the sales. Not even a minute was spared to train us how to operate the aeration machine. We were given some flags and flyers for distribution. Eight people went into a van, which was very broken. None of us buckle up seatbelts, which were impossible.
The route manager drove for about 40 minutes and dropped each of us off in different neighbourhood. When he dropped me off, he simply went over steps of operating the machine and expected me to learn everything in just one minute. After he setting up the machine for me and letting me run it, he drove away. That’s it, he “let me earn money as soon as possible”.
Now I was supposed to knock doors and sell the aeration service. I tried several along the street, every home owner said that they had already aerated their lawns. They pointed to the lawns, and true: dirts were spreading on grass. I inspected the lawns along the street and all were aerated. I tried my luck on another street. Some home owners said “not this time”, immediately after they saw my T-shirt and the aeration machine. I came across with an old man and he said CPS guys are so annoying that they just come again and again and they won’t leave the neighbourhood in peace.
How am I going to sell aeration service if all the lawns have already been aerated, plus CPS has a so bad reputation?? Since I’m an independent contractor, wouldn’t it be easier for me to carry my own aeration machine and wear my own T-shirt and sell my own aeration service door-to-door? Anyway, CPS does not provide any decent training, no minimum wages, charges machine rental fees and has stinky reputation.
The route manager gave me pre-booked orders so that I wouldn’t leave the day with $-10. I admit I’m just an ordinary guy, not doing gym regularly and I’m just not strong. After I finished aeration I was exhausted. The Ryan aeration machine weights 250 pounds. That’s almost twice of my weight. Moreover, the aeration machine is totally a joke. It died from time to time as a result of lack of maintenance.
I was supposed to work from 11 AM to 8 PM. I kept pushing the damned machine along streets like an idiot and knocked doors. No place for food, no place for toilet. You are supposed to knock doors and beg home owners to allow you to use their bathrooms. Sometimes you even beg them for food and drink if you run out of them, since you can’t go very far to buy food with that damned heavy machine. I ate my sandwiches in a bus stop shelter like a beggar, and went into thickets to pee like a homeless man. The route manager was sitting in his van and drove around the neighbourhood to keep an eye on you.
After a whole day of walking and door knocking, the route manager drove us back. Other guys seemed so energetic and they asked each other how many lawns or “steps” you’ve done (that’s one of the jargon they use, simply for how many lawns). Some of them got 7, some of them got 2 or 1. They seemed to be so excited and committed to this job. After the commission calculation (32% before tax sales minus $10 machine rental fee), I got $10 for a whole damned long day. Yes, $10 for 12 hours. Some people seemed to be very happy with what they got, while others did not speak at all. But almost all of them renew their contract for another day. I feel sad for them.
My Thinking and Reasoning
Name Changed from Spring Masters to Canadian Property Stars
CPS certainly put huge effort in advertising and protecting reputation. If you search SM or CPS in Youtube, almost all results you get are their propaganda and endless testimonials. If you search in Google, you will find many complaints and negative reviews about this company, and I learn from the reviews that SM’s reputation had been so bad that they had to change their name to CPS in recent years. Since you can’t cheat the same person twice, you’d better change your name and all the brand images related, so that you can cheat people again.
Many complaints are about workers being ripped off by CPS and CPS provide low quality property maintenance service. However, CPS has a group of people who are especially dealing with those on-line complaints by posting rebuttal replies or threads, as if they were happy workers who do more testimonials of how happy and how much they earn. My guess is all the positive CPS videos you can find on internet are done by CPS staff. Those rebuttals and support votes are done by CPS staff. You might see different names on them, but actually they are all done by CPS staff (the tone, format, style, length of paragraphs are very alike). They keep scanning everyday to find if there is any new complaints or negative reviews that might hurt the company’s reputation. If they find any, they start to do the whole testimonials again and again and again. This kind of propaganda is so pervasive that sometimes it can even fool some people to believe in them.
Disguised Shills, actually CPS Staff
Judging from the speakings and behaviour of those “successful” young white guys I met in the morning, I guess they are the shills recruited by CPS to fool others. Yes, they are part of the company’s propaganda strategy. Also, each team is assigned 1 to 3 of this kind of shills who are fake subcontractors while pretend to work very hard and say they earn a lot. In doing so, CPS create an illusion that some of the subcontractors can earn very much, and that the reason why you can’t earn so much is that you are not hard working enough. Then, there will always be poor souls who just believe in this big joke, being ripped off by CPS day after day. The whole thing is just a joke, like a huge bubble, which needs a lot more people and money to maintain so that the bubble won’t break. However, this is only my guess, but I think it makes sense for this kind of company.
To immigrants and all those who are desperate for money:
DO NOT fall into CPS’s trap, never ever. There are scams all over the world, and Canada is not an exception. DO NOT believe in the advertisements that make easy promise of earnings. THERE IS NO EASY CASH IN THE WORLD AND YOU DESERVE A BETTER AND DECENT JOB.
To all Canadians:
SM and CPS existed in Canada for more than a decade. Personally I feel shamed for Canada for having such a big scam nation wide for such a long time and no one did anything about it. Please, eliminate this scam by telling more people about the truth; by not using their service; by not attending their info session and training session; by throwing the flyers into garbage bins immediately when you see them. No home owners want to be annoyed and their lawns to be ruined. No workers want to be ripped off for a whole day and get only ridiculously little money. No parents want their kids to be brainwashed and dragged the machine whole day long like idiots. No property maintenance companies want to compete with such an unethical business.
If you read this report, please don’t fall into this trap ever, and please forward it, or copy and paste it, or tell your friends to get them away from this scam. CPS is a shame for Canada.