I am an ex-employee for EcoWater Systems, and I wrote this letter years ago but was unable to find proper resolution to my issues and believe posting it here may assist my dilemma. This address the overall issues I had with my previous employer of EcoWater Systems, Skip Prevesk, of Orlando, FL. This letter will cover everything possible from the beginning of my employment (October 31, 2014) to my personal resignation (April 27, 2015). The information involved is a combination of text logs and my own personal accounts, both physical and over telephone. It is my desire with this letter not to offend the company of EcoWater Systems but rather raise concern about my unpleasant experiences working with Skip, something that I hope will be taken into account and that appropriate action will be executed.
My EcoWater “Training” (Oct. 31 – Dec. 1; chronological order)
According to Skip Prevesk, the text messages he sent me throughout the first month of my employment (usually at the end of my daily shift) are worth roughly 24-72 hours worth of training. Note that this is how the overall information appears on his texts, even if it seems basic. If something below has little explanation or contradicts another statement, please understand that it’s what I received on the matter at the time AND NOTHING MORE:
-Make sure the booth is tidy/organized.
-Try to get the address. Names/Phone Numbers are the most important.
-Get at least the city name for the address.
-Make sure to take pictures of your lead sheets daily and send them daily.
-Be legible with your lead sheets.
-AVOID saying the price.
-Tell customers that our systems range from $1,100 on up and that we have a home system starting at $2,400.
-We are a Berkshire Hathaway company owned by Mr. Warren Buffett. All of the products will be backed by Costco as well.
-The drinking water system is reverse osmosis. Point to the picture on the kiosk of the three filters and faucet.
-Let me know if you need flyer boxes filled up.
-Avoid talking with other kiosk booth employees, especially John from Lennox Air Conditioners.
-Try to elongate the conversation with customers and get to know them better. Earn their trust.
-Do not give your phone number out. Only give out the phone number on the back of the pamphlet.
-A whole home unit with lifetime warranty averages around $3,200.
-Make sure to get full names/full address.
-Don’t do anything different than what works.
-Mention to pitch our December specials. They include discounts and Costco gift cards depending on the water test.
As you can see, there is no information on product functionality, product types, water/chemical hazards, ph levels, reverse osmosis details, etc. He never conducted a demonstration of the product or how to pitch to a customer throughout that time period either. No websites, no slideshows, no tutorials, no manuals, nothing. In addition, after my first day when I first met Skip for an interview, I didn’t see him again until late December for my first roadshow and had forgotten what he looked like. Excluding roadshows, he only ever showed up at the Costco exit kiosks three times throughout my employment:
-Day 1 (technically November 1, 2014).
-Some day in March, 2015 (one of my texts apparently made him think I was in trouble and showed up to help. He also said he would come again the next day, but never did without explanation).
-Last day physically in Costco (April 17, 2015).
I had to do personal research myself in order to figure things out since I wasn’t receiving anything from Skip and, due to this being my first official job, felt hesitant to ask. The websites below are examples of what helped me learn more about water issues and EcoWater Systems product information:
The Month-Long Payment Issue
This angered me for quite some time. About 2 or so weeks into work, my paychecks stopped coming through the mail. I asked Skip about the matter and he got in contact with a woman named Susie from Jacksonville since she is tasked with sending out my paychecks. Skip also asked me to pester Susie on a weekly basis and that he assumed that she possibly was messing the checks up on purpose (and to also to keep that conversation secret between the two of us).
Some time had passed and the money still hadn’t come in. My finances started to become shaky due to situations involving rent and the holidays, so I began to panic. I continually asked Skip if he had any information on the matter, until December 19th when he apparently left for a vacation/break (without notice) and didn’t respond again until December 26th. My only hope was communicating with Susie for some form of solution, even driving to Jacksonville myself. Long story short, I didn’t get the money until just a few days before Christmas, through the mail. I honestly think that the situation was a mailing glitch, and I completely understand why Susie wouldn’t allow sending a secondary payment due to the possibility of stolen money, but I find it offensive that my own boss wouldn’t offer to physically intervene in any way during this incredibly stressful situation.
Skip Prevesk has shown major issues with memory and organization. Here are some examples I noticed that Skip typically forgot, was inconsistent on, or slacked with:
-Leaving kiosk tables at roadshows and losing them (later asking me to buy my own table, which I was never paid back for despite his word).
-Payments (weekly work hours, gas for extra travel, buying a new table, ect).
-Following up on offers (making a general information book with me, doing demonstrations on pitches and communication, sending me information regarding designing a cover for an EcoWater Systems magazine, visiting me on certain days, ect).
-“This is the busiest/most profitable store for EcoWater Systems” (he has said this about ALL THREE COSTCOS; Winter Park, South Orlando, and Altamonte).
… and the most frequent one…
-Remembering how many leads and hours I had in a week, even though I sent him my leads and hours EVERY DAY I WORKED.
This last topic is especially concerning to me because it shows that Skip has little-to-no organization or record of my progress. I truly believe that he simply played each week by ear, which helps explain why he wouldn’t tell me my weekly hours until an hour or so before I left my home the first day I worked each week.
Insults and Accusations
There were points during my employment that Skip Prevesk showcased extremely inappropriate behavior towards me or other topics that resulted with me feeling either angered or understandably offended. *Note: examples below the dotted line happened within the last two weeks before my personal resignation, a few days before Skip showed up on April 17, 2015:
-“I had 4 yesterday by this time” (a text insulting me on my lead count that day).
-Insulting me on not acquiring addresses from Costco members that were interested in signing up but not wanting to give their addresses.
-Multiple accounts of saying that women in general are annoying and nagging, the topic always brought up whenever my girlfriend was mentioned.
-“Do you have your glasses with you? Ok, put them on and go to the booth like I told you.” He had asked me to work on a day off at the Winter Park Costco and, between the exit kiosk and a roadshow kiosk on the floor, asked me to work at the roadshow booth. The roadshow was not where he told me it was, nor was it anywhere on the Costco floor (I checked twice). This was his phone call response to me when I said that the booth was either missing or not there at all (4/16/15).
-“I don’t think you care about this job and haven’t done any research on the product” (one of his initial responses to me after showing up to the booth on my last physical day).
-Called himself my “employment father/guide” (after all of his insults/mistakes, I don’t want him as a father AT ALL).
-Never said I was fired. The farthest thing he said is, “They aren’t happy with you or your recent work progress.” If the company did in fact fire me on or before 4/17/15, I was NEVER directly told by anyone. Skip left the status of my job in the dark and put me in another financial panic.
-Driving me out to a nearby gas station and asking me to pay $5 for his gas (I actually paid $7 because his tank was almost empty and I saw it as a pathetic situation. He also was driving an EcoWater Systems van and I didn’t tell him I paid $7).
-Offered that instead of working inside of the Costco, I could go door-to-door and could generate leads that way; $10 per lead, $50 per sale. The areas he offered me to start in also have “No solicitors or will be arrested” signs, whether or not he noticed them.
-“Ok, so I want you to go door-to-door from now on, and besides, you have a bit of a gut so the walking will help shave it down” (insulting my weight at the gas station after he had explained the new orders).
-The last thing Skip told me 4/17/15 was that he would call me back within a week’s time to discuss when I would start my new orders. I never receive a call until I contacted Susie with questions.
-Skip called me a bit after I had texted Susie (I didn’t answer), leaving a voicemail saying that I “… didn’t understand our conversation from last week. Call back whenever you’re available so I can explain.” I had enough of Skip by this point and resigned a few days later via text message.
Thank you very much for taking time to read this letter. It would be greatly appreciated if this issue can be addressed whether or not Skip Prevesk is still employed with Ecowater Systems. I also request to not have ANY form of communication with Skip Prevesk for the time being, and that said concerns in this letter reach professional representatives of EcoWater Systems.
An Ex-Ecowater Vendor Sales Associate
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