Skip to main content

'Can’t pay my rent with a bottle of soap': Tiber River ambassadors won’t receive final sales commissions


Ambassadors for a Manitoba company have been told they will not be receiving commission for items they sold last month, but are instead receiving points to purchase items they have been selling.

Last month, Tiber River announced it would be getting rid of the ambassador program, saying it is no longer sustainable.

Some ambassadors received an email on Wednesday saying that the company would pay their commission not in money, but in loyalty points that could be used to purchase items to use or sell at their discretion.

“We apologize for the challenge this presents you. If there was another way, we would have taken it, but we simply do not have the funds available to pay commissions in the same manner as we did previously,” the letter, obtained by CTV News Winnipeg, reads. “We have done the best we can to honour your contributions with the only option available to us at this time.”

A screenshot shows an offer from Tiber River to instead pay ambassadors with loyalty points instead of commission owed. (Supplied)

Other sellers received a letter offering a gift card or to pay their commission owed, with interest, when they are able to.

Other sellers received a letter offering a gift card or to pay their commission owed, with interest, when they are able to. (supplied)Ambassador Jan Otto said she was shocked when she learned about the news on Wednesday.

"I'm angry because I'm a single person, my Tiber River business was my primary income,” she said. “That's what I primarily supported myself with. So not only did they take that away from me in January, now they're telling me that I can't even have the money that they owe me.”

She added, “I can’t pay my rent with a bottle of soap.”

Ashley McCall, who has served as an ambassador for the past four years, was also shocked at the announcement, saying she felt like she was taken advantage of.

“I do have a good following base of customers, and especially with having January being my last month, a lot of customers came out of the woodwork and help support that to kind of go out with a bang, earning a decent amount of commissions for myself. And now, nothing is being paid out. And I was relying on that income for some of my bills this month as well.”

McCall said she and other ambassadors are deciding next steps, including possible legal action.

CTV News Winnipeg reached out to Tiber River, who sent a prepared statement from owners Adriana DeLuca and Michelle Lalonde.

“We have been working to refinance the business, but unfortunately, the financing process has taken longer than we had anticipated. At this time, we are unsure when this will be completed,” the statement reads. “As a result, in order to ensure our independent sales consultants were compensated, we elected to pay them in product credits worth 20% more than the commission due.”

DeLuca and Lalonde add, “We are very sorry for how this is affecting the people who helped us build Tiber River; people we value greatly. It breaks our hearts and we wish it all could be different.”

-With files from CTV's Mason DePatie. Top Stories

Stay Connected