Lets Talk Roofing Sales Commission:
Mike Powers and To Serve Contracting have been scamming salespeople and subcontractors alike for upwards of twelve years now.
Their tactics are predatory, considering every season they bring in a new group of unsuspecting salespeople, only to later scam them out of thousands of dollars in sales commissions.
In many ways, it’s surprising that To Serve has flown under the radar for so long, but thanks to Dmitry Lipinskiy and the team at Roofing Insights, a floodgate has been opened.
Not only is To Serve now being put on blast, but people have been commenting on the above video and revealing other business owners in the roofing industry who conduct themselves in appalling ways.
See, here’s the thing:
Mike Powers is not ignorant. He knows what he is doing is wrong, but for years no one has ever had the resources or the platform to challenge his malignant behavior.
Now, the momentum has shifted.
Lipinskiy and his team interviewed multiple sources to learn more about the inner workings of the scheme devised by Powers and To Serve.
You can read the full story in the third issue of Roofing Insights Magazine later this month, but for now, here is an excerpt from the exposé written on To Serve:
On a brisk fall morning in Minnesota, Nick Fedderly walks into the Roofing Insights studio to meet with Dmitry Lipinskiy to discuss his time at To Serve Contracting.
Fedderly appears tired, not only because it’s early in the day, but also because he knows he is about to blow the cover off one of the biggest criminals in the roofing industry.
“To Serve owed me $60,000,” Fedderly first tells Lipinskiy before revealing that “when they fired me, I only got paid out $17,000.”
Fedderly then adds that in his short time with the company, he saw ten other salespeople relieved of their duties.
“Why weren’t you paid the money you were owed?”
Lipinskiy then asks Fedderly.
“They said I didn’t complete my jobs. It was all an agreement and Mike [Powers] violated that contract multiple times by taking away vehicle allowances and changing pay structures. On top of that, he didn’t notify us of those changes,”
explains Fedderly, adding that he initially began noticing these changes when his paychecks came in smaller than what they were supposed to be.
Fedderly talked to management about the discrepancy, at which point they told him To Serve’s policies had changed and there was nothing he could do about it. Fedderly was also told he wouldn’t be able to recoup any lost wages.
Unfortunately, this mishap wasn’t a one-off occasion.
“They just kept changing the structure to benefit them,”
Things then came to a head soon after when Powers flew into Minnesota to enact more wholesale changes within To Serve.
Fedderly says he knew something strange was occurring because the night before he was supposed to meet with Powers, he had been locked out of all the company CRM and login pages.
The next day, during their meeting, Fedderly was fired.
The only explanation given was that he “wasn’t the right fit for their culture.”
Ironically, that same day, Powers also terminated the other ten members of his sales staff.
For Fedderly, he was then not only out of a job, but he also was still owed roughly $50,000, and that’s not including the commissions he would have received off a $130,000 window and roof job that was still in the process of completion.
Of course, the payout for that project would have been huge, but to secure that job, Fedderly also invested eight months of negotiating with that customer’s insurance company.
At the time of his termination, Powers told Fedderly he would not be paid for that $130,000 job because it wasn’t completed.
This rightfully irritated Fedderly because he did everything he could to expedite the project, and also was still not given a valid reasoning for his firing.
Seeing no path toward an easy resolution, Fedderly told Powers he would accept his termination, so long as a few things happened.
“It’s fine if I don’t fit your culture. Let me close my jobs and get paid. Whether it takes another year or not, I’ll finish the jobs 100% and keep your clients happy,”
Fedderly remembers telling Powers.
Powers refused to let that happen.
“After that, I asked for my money. I didn’t violate my agreement, so that meant what happened was a wrongful termination, and I demanded all $60,000 that he owed me.”
Shockingly, Powers then told Fedderly that he didn’t owe him any money at all. In fact, Powers also claimed that he was owed $2,000 from Fedderly.
This wild assertion drew a chuckle from Fedderly, who then refused to leave To Serve’s office until he was paid what he was rightfully owed.
Four hours later, Fedderly was handed a check for $17,000, and an ultimatum.
“You can either take it or bring us to court,”
Feeling trapped, Fedderly took the money and signed a document stipulating that he and To Serve were even.
Now, in the Roofing Insights studio, Fedderly is still reeling from the events that happened. He pauses at this point in the conversation with Lipinskiy to reflect on the nightmare his time at To Serve proved to be.
“The funny thing is, it’s not even just the pay. They weren’t paying my child support and they had me set up as an employee, so every month my child support worker was coming at me. I was getting late fees and hits on my credit report.”
Worse, To Serve was taking the money for child support out of Fedderly’s paycheck, but they weren’t covering their end with the government.
When asked why this was happening, management told Fedderly they forgot.
“You took it out of my paycheck. They made it right later, but I think that if I hadn’t been paying attention to the small details, I would have never seen that money.”
All of this headache was enabled by an owner like Powers, a man who by all accounts is living the high life out in California.
“I don’t know how many other bills he’s not paying in order to have his lavish lifestyle and $7,000 a month mansion in L.A. that overlooks the city,”
“He left me in a tough spot. I ended up having to sell my house so I could keep rolling along. His behavior, that’s now how you treat your guys.”
In hindsight, Fedderly admits he would have done a few things differently.
“Don’t sign a contract that says you only get paid once the job is completed. You need to have terms in there that allow you to take a percentage on the down payment. Look for ways to get money on the front end versus agreeing to 100% commission on the back end because that’s how these companies are getting away with stealing from sales guys.”
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