MYTH: IBOs *must* sign the BSMAA

This Myth, like many others, I suspect began with "lawdawg" and his MLMLAW blog. Essentially, the myth is that to register as a Quixtar IBO, Quixtar requires that you sign something called the Business Support Material's Arbitration Agreement, or BSMAA.

Eric Janssen, QBlog, picked up on it and it was debated somewhat on his QuixtarBlog forums. My reading of the Quixtar Rules book and the IBO contract and BSMAA contract made it seem very obvious to me that the BSMAA was an optional agreement. If you wished to buy "tools" or BSM (Business Support Materials) then it was strongly recommended you sign it, but there was no "requirement". Contracts and agreements like this are normally very carefully worded, and the wording was obvious. There was no requirement.

The "critics" however did their normal practise of ignoring the obvious (ala lawdawg ignoring sections titled "Definition of a Pyramid Scheme" when quoting court cases while trying to support his definition of a pyramid scheme) and carefully parsing words and cherrypicking definitions and continued to insist that yes, IBOs must sign the BSMAA. This of course was just more evidence to them of the horribly restrictive nature of Quixtar.

QBlog, to his credit, did something fairly obvious to try and clear up the confusion. He called Quixtar and asked! He posted the response of customer support on his website, including an MP3 recording of the conversations.

The reponse was pretty straightforward – You need to sign it. It's part of the plan.

But, well, it still didn't seem right to me. I reread the documents and it nowhere said you MUST sign it. Just lots of "shoulds". I couldn't see anyway it could reasonably be interpreted as "must". The issue was clouded more when a forum user on this site called Quixtar and was told, no you don't need to sign the BSMAA.

Only one way to find out for sure. I arranged for a fax to Quixtar and to get an answer in writing. Response below the fold.

Post a comment below or Discuss this post on Amway Talk

This letter is in response to yours dated August 23, 26 regarding the Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement (BSMAA).

Since the purchase of business support materials (BSM) is optional, signing the BSMAA is also optional. A Quixtar Independent Business Owner is not required to sign this form
. However, should they choose to purchase or sell BSM, Quixtar, as well as the Independent Business Owners Association International (IBOAI) encourages them to complete the Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement. In fact, some IBO organizations may require the BSMAA be signed before the sale of a BSM occurs. You indicated in your letter, "If one wishes to register online, the box agree to the BSMAA must be ticked before registration can proceed." This statement is incorrect. The option to agree to the BSMAA is available, but the registration process can continue without ticking the box. Furthermore, you mention in your letter an entry on a website www.webraw.corn/quixtar about a call to Quixtar's Customer Support department regarding the BSMAA. The information provided by the operator in that phone call was inaccurate and is being corrected. I hope I have answered your questions, and made it clear that while signing the BSMAA is strongly encouraged, it is not required. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Karen O'Neill, Supervisor
Rules Administration
Business Conduct & Rules

You can view the original fax here.

So there you go. My "interpretation" was completely correct – IBOs are not required to sign the BSMAA to register with Quixtar.


2 thoughts on “MYTH: IBOs *must* sign the BSMAA”

  1. It’s said that myths are often based on factual information. When I filled out the paperwork for my distributorship, my sponser refused to sign or process it until I signed the BSMAA. I was told by my upline Direct that is was mandatory. So, until I read your informative post, I believed that signing the tools agreement was a “must”…but not because of any internet blog. I was directly told by my sponsering IBO and upline Direct, that it was absolutely required. You claim this “dawg” person is giving Amway a bad name by spreading “false” information when it’s quite likely the information he got, originally came from an Amway/Quixtar IBO. I’ve stated this in another post on this blog and I’ll state it again for clarification: Amway’s bad name doesn’t come from Internet critics and nay-sayers, it comes from unscrupulous, lying IBO’s. It’s the reason I quit and posted my horror story along side the hundreds of thousands of others who had a similar experience with the Amway business. I didn’t quit because of something I had read on the net, I quit because I was constantly being lied to and decieved by an upline who was more interested in how many tapes and function tickets I bought, than how many plans I was showing or products I was buying/sell.

    Kudos to you for trying to set the record straight but as long as there are uplines like the one I was in, recruiting and pushing tools for the sake of tools, there’ll always be a reason for the bloggers to blog and the critics to criticize.

    1. “NBP”, there’s two different types of criticism. One is the type you speak of, engendered by poor IBO behaviour, both from new IBOs and leadership. My problem with critics in that case is that they usually write in such a way as to label their experience as if it’s the universal Amway experience, or they actually explictly claim “this is the way Amway is” when it was just their experience in one small part of the Amway world. The vast majority of Amway has generated very little in the way of controversy, yet that is ignored.

      The other type of criticism is simply bogus, with claims of pyramid scheme, crap products etc etc.

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