» » Cobra Group Aka Biramint - Biramint Aka Cobra Group Dubious origins, employee exploitation, BOYCOTT DIRECT MARKETING NSW | #482

Complaint / review / scam report
Cobra Group Aka Biramint
Biramint Aka Cobra Group Dubious origins, employee exploitation, BOYCOTT DIRECT MARKETING NSW

I understand that there's a lot of pissed off ex-employees of the Cobra Group out there. Probably lots of bummed customers too. My report is more about the background of the company's owner (who will remain nameless, due to ethical reasons) than the out ripping off of both customers and employees (though as a member of the Cobra Group, this did happen through this office).

Biramint's owner tells his employees regularly about his history in Cobra, sometimes he would defend the use of his unusual business title by telling us it came from an old furniture company that had left its title up for sale once it had closed down, he came across it by accident when he was searching for a business title that wasn't already in use. Biramint according to him started in this form around 1993/4 (he's always vague about the exact time when he's described this, I estimate it would be around here because in 2006 he would say he was promoted to ownership around 12 years ago).

Check the following link, scroll down to the No Experience Necessary heading.
http://www.greenleft.org.au/1992/49/3603

It's odd that pre-dating my understanding of the owner's entry into Cobra, his business name is associated with other marketing firms that subcontract their workers & exploit them by giving them ZERO work conditions (when I worked for Biramint, a $374 pay check was an average week, this is completely disregarding inflation as the article was published 15 years ago! Minimum wages have risen a few times since then also). Car allowances are unheard of in the company, even though several employees/subcontractors frequently drive their own cars to work, and then take small groups out to the days' site. By Australian law, when an employee uses their own car for work, they receive payment from the business to help cover the running costs, also out of fairness because that car's use is contributing to the survival/profit of the business. As stated in the article public by Green Left, this doesn't cover independent contractors.

I was an independent contractor working underneath Biramint, and was continually reminded that I work for myself. Then why wasn't I dealing directly with the supply company (a large power company) and earning 100% of the commission? That's how I'd have done it if I was my own boss. Instead they take a cut of every sale you do (usually around 40%).

Biramint also appears on the internet as a closed down business in the inner-Sydney suburb of Alexandria (not far from where the current office is) in several internet searches its listed as a toy retailer. Past campaigns run by Biramint for the Cobra Group included selling "products" door-to-door. It's usually just old junk like books, keyboards, Disney licensed toys etc. Is it a coincidence that the products division of Cobra (called Pro Sales) sells toys and that the Biramint that has no contact details except an address sold toys as well? The owner often reminisced about the old days when he sold "products" business-to-business.

I admit though that after looking into it, the furniture Biramint does have links to being a toy maker and that it may be a coincidence, nothing more. But I'm sceptical because it's common for Cobra Group companies to advertise their jobs among other fields of work like hospitality. As with all Cobra Group/DS Max affiliated companies, their recruitment techniques are dubious (advertising direct marketing jobs under different job categories like hospitality work with the usual vague promises of lots of money "$$$", moving forwards etc). Openly questioning this would lead to strict disciplinary action taken against you, even sacking.

The reason I'm putting this out there is because of my own time working in the company, putting in 100% effort for nothing. The skills I gained working in marketing are useless in other job contexts. After over a year's service, I have nothing good to show for it.

As a bitter ex-employee, I encourage people to boycott direct marketing in all forms (door-to-door, stands, telemarketing etc). It's an exploitative and unnecessary practice often based on outright lies and bending the truth.

James
Sydney
Australia


Offender: Cobra Group Aka Biramint

Country: Australia   State: Australia   City: Sydney
Address: George St

Category: Shops, Products, Services

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