Stella & Dot is a multi-level marketing based line of boutique-style jewellery. By using a trunk show (tupperware-style party) selling strategy, their ‘stylists’ (independent sales partners) showcase the product directly to customers.
Anne, a stylists who I have spoken with in the past, reached out to me again. Stella & Dot has decided to change the way it pays its stylists. The company has unilaterally decided to stop paying by cheque/direct deposit and instead use pre-paid VISA cards.
When she received a pre-paid credit card in the mail and read the terms & conditions, Anne discovered the change. Stella & Dot positions this with this quote from their FAQs “You’ll get instant gratification with weekly pay on your own Stella & Dot debit card.”
However, there is no mention of the hefty fees that are associated with pre-paid credit/debit cards. Customer Support at Stella & Dot did not even try to understand her issue. Instead the support representative quoted the company’s policy that they can change the terms any time they want.
I suppose they could start paying their stylists in fruit or t-shirts or copper, but that doesn’t make it any more reasonable or fair. At least the value of copper has a chance to increase.
Escalating to a supervisor, and waiting on several promises to look in to this, proved useless.
I connected with their Social Media team who immediately called Anne back and took the time to understand her issue. Ultimately, there was no resolution. This was their new way of paying their stylists.
ADP is a payroll company used by Stella & Dot and many other businesses. I reached out to some insiders about general cases (not Stella & Dot specifically). The reason for a change of this nature seems to be to offload payroll costs from a company and on to its contractors/stylists.
The prepaid credit cards have fees to activate, transfer, simply use the card, and there is even a maintenance fee to keep a balance month to month. You can read about them at Million Dollar Journey and from Ellen Roseman at Moneyville.
Anne decided these extra costs were more than she could take, and ultimately she has decided not to renew her contract with Stella & Dot.