Relax the Back

  www.relaxtheback.com
  www.relaxtheback.com

Relax the Back Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
10 Reviews
2.4
10 Reviews
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Dick Palfreyman
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great small company to work for. Feels like a family business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Relax the Back (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits for small company, bonus and incentives for sales goals, helping people.

    Cons

    some lifting, clients can be high needs because they are in pain

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    The Franchise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Back Care Consultant in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Back Care Consultant in Miami, FL

    I worked at Relax the Back full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great starting pay at $14hr. Discounts on products sold through manufacturers. I bought an Ijoy massage originally at $800 for $300. A place for good connections and career building.

    Cons

    A potential family business turned sour. If you don't like paper work and are not a strong closer, the door will hit you back!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn your product!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Deplorable treatment from owners and plenty of backstabbing from other store managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Relax the Back full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Opportunity to learn about health issues

    Cons

    Stores are franchised and as such there are a huge variety of working conditions. The Southern California stores are owned by a group with horrible treatment to staff and customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Southern California get some experience and move on ASAP. Maybe other areas of the country if you wish. Many of the individual owners were decent people with fair wages in place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Do better in sales year over year...less pay. Hmmm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales
    Former Employee - Sales

    I worked at Relax the Back full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Most employees are very nice to work with. Company has potential to make money.

    Cons

    Owners refuse to change old habits. Everything from never having product to working with software from the 80's. It really sets this company back. Employees do everything: repairs, build chairs, customer service. Delivery's always get screwed up..they're late, product is missing or broken and the sales people have to be the ones to get yelled at and fix everything. It's been going on like this for many years I heard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Someone once told me "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with the same result." I guess one has to want to change in order to overcome this.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Horrible Franchisee - Great concept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager

    I worked at Relax the Back full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    High end lifestyle products super easy to sell once you learn them.

    Cons

    Corporate does not regulate or monitor individual franchisee's so the location is only as good as the franchisee not the corporate silhouette.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more involved and know how the franchisee's are either doing thing right or doing things their own way straying from the original model ultimately jeopardizing your overall image and reputation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Where "Wellness" becomes toxic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Relax the Back full-time

    Pros

    Very beneficial business model. As around 80% of the population will suffer from back /spinal pain at some point in their life, a business such as Relax The Back has definite value in the marketplace. More than just "pushing product", they have a great business objective of educating consumers on proper back care relative to your everyday lifestyle. This establishes value and trust with customers, which is ideal in this consultative sales environment. In addition to products, the individual stores cross promote a variety of local wellness practitioners, in an effort to provide customers with a truly valuable experience.

    Cons

    Franchise ownership business model. For whatever great business objectives are developed and launched at the corporate level, the execution at the market / store level can be a hit or miss. The Chicago market stores (Chicago, Lincolnshire, and Northbrook) are an unfortunate example of how bad a "miss" can be! As a consumer and a business person, I have never experienced such a "toxic" shopping or work environment.
    As a specialty business, there is a considerable learning process for Associates: Understanding the spine, how it functions, behaviors that are beneficial / detrimental, and products to maintain / repair spinal health. As such, it is imperative that Associates receive the consistent training and support from management, to ensure they are able to develop and properly educate and assist customers. This unfortunately for Associates and customers does not happen at the Chicago market stores. Management has absolutely no patience in developing Associates, and exhibit absolutely no professionalism or leadership: Associates are openly berated and belittled in front of customers and other Associates for lack of knowledge or common mistakes. Taking the cue from "leadership", Associates openly argue with and belittle each other. Management talks negatively about Associates to other Associates. Every example of lack of leadership or professionalism you could think of, is exhibited on a daily basis. The worst part of this is the fact that this all occurs regularly on the sales floor, in the midst of customers.
    Contributing as much, if not more to the toxic environment, is the very open/public feuding between the franchise owners. The 2 owners are sisters and have been in the business for about 18 years. There apparently is considerable differences between the two, which has resulted in an absolutely unprofessional and unbearable environment for the Associates. One owner has been very open about her desire to get out of the business, and as result has exhibited extremely unprofessional behaviors in an effort to lash out at the other owner. Unfortunately, all this has accomplished is alienation of Associates and customers, and an overall de-valuing of a great business model.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the franchise. Give the marketplace a chance to be passionately served, as defined in the corporate objective. For all your business expertise, more harm than good is being done to the RTB brand in the Chicagoland marketplace, by all that I detailed above. This is so unfortunate, because the marketplace needs Relax The Back; the wellness education it provides and the products it sells. Unfortunately, there is nothing "well" about the execution of this in the Chicago market stores.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A lot of issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Sales in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Relax the Back full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pros of working at Relax The Back are largely going to depend upon the individual store that you are hired to work in, the owner and the manager. Since RTB is a franchise, almost all stores have different ownership. I have personally sat down with the owner of the most successful franchise in the whole network of stores and there are many reasons that his store is successful. However, I have also met owners of stores who are struggling for many reasons. Back and neck pain affect most people at some point in their lives and RTB is a specialty retail store that caters to those people. You (should) be trained to understand common spinal conditions and diagnoses and know how to sell a huge array of products from mattresses to recliners to massage chairs to inversion tables to adjustable bases to wedges to pillows to office chairs to monitor arms to seat and lumbar cushions and the list goes on and on. The knowledge and understanding part of the job a pretty long learning curve even for someone of above average intelligence. However, the rewarding part is two-fold: Helping someone in pain by recommending and demonstrating products that actually help and of course, making a big ticket sale. I have sold $10,000 of product to one customer in one day.

    Cons

    The cons, in my experience, are many. First is compensation and benefits. A really good salesperson should expect to earn a good living but this is not the place to work if you want to earn a high income. The average full-time salesperson working at one of 100 or so RTB across the U.S. is going to earn about $28,000-$30,000 annually. It's common to earn a base pay of $12 per hour plus some sort of sales incentive/commission. If you went to work for a Tier 1 store (usually in a larger metropolitan area with annual gross sales of $1 million + annually), you could certainly earn more if you are a very good salesperson. It would be highly unlikely for the average store to offer any benefits such as health insurance/retirement, to its employees, so that is certainly a drawback. There is no opportunity for career growth other than becoming a store manager and quite honestly, in my experience it's not worth the extra hassle for a very small pay increase. Another con is that you should be prepared for on a consistent basis is lifting some very heavy products. When you sell a Tempur-Pedic Advanced Ergo System that raises the mattress up and down- guess what? It's coming on an 18 wheeler to your store and you have to receive it. These things weigh a ton, as do a lot of other products such as some massage chairs, mattresses, lift chairs, recliners, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is advice directed to the corporate office at RTB and especially the CEO: You exist to sell franchises and support the franchisees. My first hand experience is that "Corporate" does support the franchisees in some respects but in others tries to impose its will on them and threatens them with being in violation of the franchise agreement if they express a negative opinion about the sometimes ridiculous policies and procedures and want to do things a different way. The Torex point of sale system has been a disaster. Don't continuously waste RTB employees' time doing training when it's nowhere even close to being ready to roll out. Work out the bugs first. You pushing your franchisees to floor more Tempu-Pedic mattresses over the private label ones is nonsense and not in their best interests. Why not push the ones that are exclusive to RTB, have a higher profit margin, no freight cost and a better warranty? Your telling franchisees that they have to take returns on any products, for any reason, and that the return policy on the website applies to purchases made in brick and mortar stores- laughable. Another issue is that poor quality products are all too common but yet they're "approved by corporate". This is disastrous to not remove products that will only result in dissatisfaction with customers and returns, complaints and service headaches for franchisees. Certain recliners are called "zero gravity" when they are not, which dilutes the term and confuses customers. I could go on, but if you work on these things I've already mentioned, it will be great progress.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    So so

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in La Palma, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in La Palma, CA

    I worked at Relax the Back

    Pros

    Freedom of time to balance work and office

    Cons

    Lack of future planning and vision for the brand

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Depending on franchise owner, this will profoundly affect your experience. Overall performance is very scripted.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Syosset, NY
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Syosset, NY

    I worked at Relax the Back

    Pros

    High-end products and beautiful stores make it a physical pleasure to work here.
    All in all, salary was good, if they give proper commissions, etc.
    Flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    No sales=very boring and long day.
    Depending on owner, you may not get commission, etc.
    Depending on owner, there is no place for advancement or learning
    Very, very scripted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Teach franchise owners how to lead! Be sure they are giving proper feedback to their good performers and allow employees who want to grow, a place within the cooporation. Listen more to employee feedback....sometimes they have more experience than the owners.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Worst Employers EVER

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Relax the Back

    Pros

    Ok pay, but does not compensate for the level of knowledge needed. You do get to help people with back pain.

    Cons

    Incompetent ownership, all too rapid expansion, skeleton crews in every location, expected to act like it is your business but are never truly treated that way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Scale down and treat you employees like they deserve to be. A shoe salesman has more earning potential but needs much less knowledge. Also, this has nothing to do with Palfreyman, this is all due to the franchise owner in So CAL.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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