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Sales crew may have been sold down river

Returned missionaries from the LDS Church were hired by a California-based marketing company in Provo for their ability to sell pesticide service door-to-door.

Now it appears those clean-cut salesmen were sold down the river.Salt Lake resident Wayne Selph has two sons who have worked for Salesnet Marketing Group Inc. out of Sacramento, Calif.

The eldest brother, Ethan, sold Terminix contracts in Albuquerque, N.M., for Salesnet during the summer of 1995 and made nearly $30,000 in commission sales, according to his father.

The younger brother, Matt, worked in Fresno, Calif., and in Mesa, Ariz., from April to September this past summer and figures he earned almost $40,000.

That is, if he gets paid all he is owed.

Matt Selph is currently marshaling 150 fellow classmates at Ricks College who also sold Terminix contracts for Salesnet. He says he is planning to bring a lawsuit against the marketing firm for failure to pay.

He has an appointment with a Provo attorney Saturday.

"We were hired directly through Salesnet through a supervisor who's having the same experience," Matt Selph said. "None of us are getting paid."

He believes he's still due around $15,000. He was partially paid through the summer while he worked and paid rent on an apartment provided by Salesnet.

In late summer, he received a little more. On Oct. 15, 1997, he received a letter from the company promising full payment for as many bonus checks as they could cover.

However, for Matt Selph, it comes a little late. He purchased a car he intended to pay for with his earnings. Without his money, he's had to turn to his parents for short-term help.

Wayne Selph said his sons were told the company ran into licensing problems in California part way through the summer and consequently transferred its salesmen out of California.

According to Matt Selph, Terminix has paid Salesnet for the contracts sold, but the money has not filtered through Salesnet's management to the salesmen.

Efforts to reach officials for Salesnet Marketing Group Inc. were unsuccessful. The office in Provo's Historic Town Square, rented in 1994, is now closed.

A phone message refers those calling about bonus checks to write to a post office box address in Fair Oaks, Calif. Phone calls to the Sacramento office for Salesnet went unanswered Wednesday.

California resident Scott Harmon signed the letters mailed in October as CEO of Salesnet.

A story printed in The Deseret News in January 1994 reported that Salesnet opened in Provo with 10 administrators and 180 salesmen and expected to expand its sales force to 300 people by April 1994.