Feeling ripped off by appco? You’re not alone

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Feeling ripped off by Appco? You're not alone.


If you feel ripped off by Appco, and want to rip it back, you’re not alone. You’re also in the right place to start the process of making your claim, along with thousands of other possible claimants.

We have claimants on board from throughout the Appco pyramid, Independent Contractors through to Managing Directors, including top sales people and award winners. The average claim value is $50,000.

Whether you had a good time, thought you got what you signed up for, or had a bad run… you ALWAYS have the right to minimum wage and entitlements. You may be able to make a claim against Appco, whatever your experience.

Adero Law Firm is committed to successfully bringing Australia’s first class action against Appco for the practice of sham contracting, and to seek justice for the many who feel as ripped off as you do.

If you think you are earning above what you are entitled to, think again!

More direct sales and marketing claims

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What is a class action?

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Class actions are claims brought on behalf of potentially large numbers of people to resolve a single dispute. Sometimes it is too difficult or too expensive to sue a company, because that company is very big and powerful, or you may have a lot to lose. A class action enables a group of people with the same claim to stand together to demand justice in a situation where one person alone may not be heard. The claimants do not pay the costs of running this class action up front, as Adero Law has secured litigation funding.

What is sham contracting?

When a company says that the people that work for them are independent contractors but the company actually treats them like employees, it is called “sham contracting” in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), and is illegal.

If Appco asked you to sign an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA), that doesn’t mean that you really were an independent contractor. You may have been an employee if:

  • Appco controlled your work life, including providing you with very specific directions about when and how to do your work
  • you had set or standard work hours
  • once you signed up, you expected that this was your ongoing “job” and there were discussions about your “career progression”
  • you did not own any part of the Appco business and did not bear financial risk
  • you were provided with the tools or materials required to undertake your assigned tasks

As an employee you are entitled to certain benefits that independent contractors are not, including:

  • a minimum wage of $18.82 per hour, not including leave loading, entitlements and overtime
  • have income tax paid directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on your behalf
  • being paid wages or a salary regularly
  • sick leave and personal leave
  • annual leave or casual leave loading
  • compulsory employer contributions to your superannuation
  • other entitlements like travel allowance, meal allowance, living away from home allowance, uniform allowance, etc.

If you worked for Appco and didn’t receive these minimum entitlements, you may have been ripped off. To “rip it back”, register your claim against Appco here.

Your journey as a claimant

If you feel ripped off by Appco and want to “rip it back”, you’re not alone. You’ve come to the right place to start the process of making your claim against Appco with thousands of other possible claimants.
Employment disputes like this one can take 12 to 18 months to get a result, and may require the dispute to be heard in court so that a judge can decide the outcome.

Your journey from here will look like this:

  1. Questionnaire and Sign Up: by clicking here you will be taken to our online portal where you’ll be asked some questions about your time at Appco. You will also be asked to read and sign:
    1. an agreement to engage Adero Law Firm as your lawyer for this class action, which means that we will represent you and that all the information you give us will be confidential and subject to legal professional privilege; and
    2. an agreement with a litigation funder, which enables you to join the class action and sue Appco without having to pay as you go.
  2. Upload additional information: over the next few months, we will be preparing the case for court. We may be in contact with you via email to invite you to return to the portal to upload your Independent Contractor Agreement, payslips and any other information that will help us in your case against Appco.
  3. Statement of evidence: your experience working for Appco may be particularly important to the court case. We may contact you and ask if you want to be a key claimant, which will require creating a statement of your evidence that describes your time at Appco, to be presented to the court.

From here, the claim process involves several steps.

  1. Filing: the information that you provided through the online portal is collected and put into a formal claim against Appco. This claim is lodged formally with the court, and the litigation process commences.
  2. Hearing: The case against Appco will likely go to court. The claimants’ case will be presented by your legal team and Appco will also have a chance to argue their point of view. During this time, each party will present evidence to the court which supports their argument. If you are a key claimant and have put in a statement of evidence, you may be required to appear in court to give your evidence in person. If that is the case, we will let you know as soon as possible; however, claimants do not usually have to give evidence in court, and the case will most likely run without you having to attend court at all.
  3. Judgment: once the legal arguments are heard, the judge will decide who wins the case and make orders about damages. If Appco is required to pay damages, the litigation funder will be paid out of the amount Appco has to pay, and the rest will be paid to the successful claimants. We will keep in contact with you as the case progresses by sending you email updates, and on Facebook and Twitter. We might need to ask you for instructions about the case or if Appco makes a settlement offer. We will always need your instructions in writing via email.

We will keep in contact with you as the case progresses by sending you email updates and on Facebook and Twitter. We might need to ask you for instructions about the case or if Appco makes a settlement offer. We will always need your instructions in writing via email.

If you have any questions at all, please email us at appcoclassaction@aderolaw.com.au or call (02) 6189 1022 and we would be happy to help you.

Claim Summary

The claim against Appco has several aspects, some or all of which you may have had experience with.

Sham Contracting to Disguise a Single Business

You may have signed an ICA, or you may even have been promised an incorporated Management Company of your own once you meet certain performance goals. The claim will allege that Appco, the incorporated Marketing Companies (MCs) that sit under it, and all the Independent Contractors (ICs) who were engaged to sell Appco products, are not a group of small businesses contracting with each other. The evidence indicates that the MCs and ICs were all controlled by Appco to such an extent that it was actually a single integrated business. The claim will argue that this single business used sham contracting to avoid the minimum employment entitlements that you should have received.

Unlimited Earning Potential as a Business Owner

You may have been told of your unlimited earning potential while operating your own business. But you may also have been told what to sell, how to do it, where and when, under the strict guidelines and procedures provided to you by Appco. You may have had stringent reporting requirements and performance goals. You may have been told to not submit tax returns. You may have been told to use a particular accountant and lawyer.

Business owners have absolute control over how, where and when they do business. They set their own procedures and goals. They have to take out insurance, remit GST and pay income tax. They take on the risk of running a business and, ultimately, own their share in the business. If this doesn’t sound like what you were doing at Appco, you were not running your own business. The claim will allege that rather than running your own small business, you were working for Appco as an employee, and you were entitled to minimum employment entitlements under the law.

A Pyramid

Appco had a strict career progression model which looks like a pyramid. You may have been shown or promoted through a series of “Career Levels”, and progress through those levels promised you larger and larger sums of money. You may have had people working under you who contributed to your earnings, and in turn part of your earnings was paid to people above you. The claim will argue that the concept of a “Career” and progress through the levels of a pyramid is at odds with the suggestion that Appco’s workers were Independent Contractors or business owners. Career progression through a hierarchy of Career Levels is more akin to the experience of an employee, not someone who can freely control their own business. Employees are entitled to minimum wage and entitlements under the law.

A Rough Place to Work

You may have experienced bullying, intimidation, public shaming, undue pressure and unreasonable work hours for little pay. The claim will outline these tactics to demonstrate the control that Appco had over its workers, and ask the court to recognise that control makes those employees entitled to minimum wage.

If your experience at Appco sounds like this, it is important that you register for the class action. Every single Australian has the protection of the law and the expectation to receive minimum wage and employment entitlements. We have been contacted by many people just like you who feel they have been ripped off, and many more hardworking people will get ripped off if you don’t stand with each other, to demand justice and to be paid what you are entitled to.

If you’re feeling ripped off, it’s time to “rip it back”. Register here.