Australian TV program, A Current Affair (ACA), had a feature segment on Amway tonight, titled “Amway’s Back”. You can watch the segment online here.
The promo for the segment did not bode well, featuring a classic false dilemma–
The global giant is offering big bucks for less work and Australia’s big sports stars are getting behind it. Is it a fast track to fortune or an easy way to burn your friends?
Is that the only two choices? Really? How about big bucks for a lot of work and making lots of new friends?
Still, the segment is a reasonable one, featuring brief interviews with Amway Australia General Manager Michial Coldwell as well as Amway Brand Ambassador Libby Trickett. It’s a little overly focused on the “selling” aspect (rather than developing teams through leadership, which is where the “big money” comes from) and more false dilemmas (big bucks for nothing or lose all your friends!). The old rubbish about Amway being a pyramid is raised by the interviewer and summarily dismissed by Michial Coldwell. Unfortunately it’s followed by some ignorant commentary from Effie Zahos of Money Magazine.
Ms Zahos makes silly comments like “it’s a legal pyramid scheme”. How exactly does that work Effie? Pyramid schemes are, by definition, illegal. So it’s “a legal illegal scheme”. Yeah that works. Do you even know what a pyramid scheme is? It’s quite simple – you get paid for bringing people in to the scheme. How much do you get paid for bringing people into Amway? Zip. Zero. Zada. Back to business school for you Effie. Well, perhaps not, since that’s part of the problem – most business schools are still ignoring a $100 billion industry!
Ms Zahos doesn’t improve her reputation by continuing on to say “I don’t like being told the only way I can get discounts is to always shop at this one place” Anyone have a clue what the heck she is talking about? I wouldn’t like that either. What the heck has it got to do with Amway?
She then says “how do I know that those prices are actually cheap to start off with … or do I get the discount purely because they’re an inflated price?” Well gee, how do you know this with everything else you buy???? You check prices on similar products, and if there are no similar products, you make a value judgment on whether the price you are paying is worth it to you.
The shows host finishes with some good advice that perhaps Effie Zahos needs to listen to – “like any business, it’s important to do your research first”. Indeed.