I was recently listening to a Fat Mascara podcast about MLM and I’m reminded of my experience with a Rodan + Fields consultant a few years ago. Has this happened to you before?
Hey, We Should Get Together Sometime…
Be wary when someone you don’t know well says this to you!
My daughters were taking piano at a local piano studio and I would occasionally run into this parent. Let’s call her M (for MLM mommy). M has kids that are similar in ages as mine. We’d often greet each other in the elevator and hallway when she drops her kids off for piano lessons. We’d also encounter each other during piano holiday parties and recitals.
I was attending my daughters’ piano Christmas party and I was pregnant with my 3rd child at the time. M approached me and congratulated me on my obviously pregnant belly. We made brief small talk and at the end of the conversation, she said matter-of-factly, “Hey, we should get together and have coffee sometimes”. I agreed and we exchanged numbers. I never actually thought I would hear back from her since it’s what most people say as an obligatory ending to a conversation.
Surprisingly, I received a text from her shortly afterward and we set a date and time to meet at Peet’s. I thought it would be nice to get to know her better since we kept running into each other and we seem to be in similar situations– busy mom with multiple kids, shuttling them from one activity to another. Making friends has never been easy for me because I’m more of an introvert, so I was actually looking forward to it.
Later that evening, I told my husband and he gave me this quizzical look. Are you sure she doesn’t want something from you? I was annoyed by his suspiciousness. Couldn’t we meet just to talk? Does there have to be an ulterior motive?
On the day of our meeting, I got there first and ordered a tea. She apologized for being late because had wanted to buy me a drink. Thinking back, I’m glad I didn’t let her because I would have felt obligated to her.
We actually got along really well. We were commiserating with each other. We shared our struggles with our kids– packing in their activities, their school work, forcing them to do piano practice, discussing their improvement (or rather lack of improvement), and getting scolded by our teacher for not being more diligent in making sure our kids do their daily practice. We discussed the experience of being a Girl Scout mom and the burden of cookie selling. Before long, we had been talking for hours and it was really nice to know that another mom was going thru the same issues that I was dealing with.
I Told You So…
As we were winding down, she asks me an innocent question.
“What skincare do you use?”
At first, I thought she was paying me a compliment. Stupid me! Then, she proceeds to tell me that she’s a Rodan + Fields consultant and I see where this is going.
My husband’s “I told you so!” is ringing loudly in my head.
I Have Something to Sell You
M tells me how wonderful this brand is and its history … blah…blah…blah…. She was explaining that she just started this new venture with this company and what an exciting opportunity it was for her. I was pregnant at the time and I really didn’t want to mess with any new skincare products. I had just repurchased my Kate Sommerville products and was not looking for anything new. Unfortunately, I was raised to be polite, so I nodded and listened to her spiel. I told her to send me the link and I would look it over.
When I got home, my husband asked me how did it go and I said it was fine and left out the part where M wants to sell me some expensive skincare. I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t tell him because I felt like a stupid fool!
You’re Not Spending Enough!
She later texted me her sales link. I ignored it for a while. Initially, I didn’t intend to buy but she then texted saying she was short on her goals and would really appreciate my help in starting this new venture. I felt a bit sorry for her so I told her I would look over the offerings. I ended up ordering two items to help with her sales.
She returned and said thanks for my order but asked me to reconsider being a PC Perks member and also to consider getting the whole regimen because I won’t be getting the full benefits of only using two of their products. I politely declined and reiterated that I had just purchased my Kate Sommerville products and do not need a full line of products at this time.
This Is Starting to Get Annoying
Not long after I received my products, she texted me and asked if I’m loving my products, if I’m ready to reorder, try their whole line, and also reconsider being a PC Perks member because it’ll be a better deal for me in the long run. What she neglected to say, was that she wants me locked into their auto-ship program and hope I never ever cancel so she can reap the commission. How laughable that she’s trying to help me “save” money. After all the back and forth texting, I really couldn’t take it anymore. I kept politely declining but she kept trying to upsell me. I was about to give birth and didn’t need the added stress.
Leave Me Alone…
I stopped responding to her emails and texts. She even emailed and texted me invitations to pseudo parties that are really Rodan + Fields events in disguise. The party invitations are mass distributed to her “dear friends”. I’m appalled. For some time, I felt guilty about ghosting her but I didn’t anymore.
After I had my baby, she sent me a text asking me if I had my baby yet and if she could stop by and drop off a gift. Thank goodness I never gave her my address. I’m thinking it’s probably some Rodan + Fields stuff, so thanks, but no thanks.
Thankfully the emails and texts eventually stopped.
Many months later, I was at the library with my girls and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted her in one of the book stacks. I just froze because I didn’t want to confront her so I hid there like a criminal until she left. I even told my daughter to hide as well because I knew M would recognize her as well. When I got home, I thought it over and I was so angry with myself. Why was I the one hiding? She was the one that used me! I really regretted my decision. I felt like I had set a bad example for my daughter and would definitely do things differently if I run into her again.
I have no idea if M still sells those MLM products, but anytime I hear Rodan + Fields, I cringe a little. No offensive to the brand but it has left an awful taste in my mouth. If this is the way they train their salespeople/consultants, I’ll pass.
To M, I was just another potential sales victim. I consider myself lucky since I’m only out $150. After doing more research, I’ve read that there were friends and acquaintances of pushy Rodan + Fields consultants that were guilted into spending a lot more. And no, in my opinion, there was nothing special about either of the creams that I used. And no, I’m not interested in using their whole regimen or joining their PC Perks Program.