Tag Archives: critics

More Clueless Amway Critics

Last year a user posted the following great video on youtube of Amway Malaysia’s first Founders Crown AmbassadorsCharlie Lee Kim Soon & Linda Ng Kwee Choo –


Yesterday, one of the regular Amway Quixtar critics on the QuixtarBlog forums, pokerpooner, had the following to say about it –

LOL Joecool take a look at this video on youtube. This is the type of lifestyle they try too live. With helicopters,planes,mansions,boats etc. No possible way they can can live that way with a amway or system income

Continue reading More Clueless Amway Critics

The Internet War Against Amway

This is perhaps the most important post I have written, it’s my hope that Amway and the IBOAI is reading.

It’s been my opinion that a major component of Amway’s struggles for growth, particularly in english speaking markets, has been the Internet and Amway’s misguided decision some years ago to effectively leave Internet discussion about Amway to the critics (read Amway and the Internet – A History Part I). In my view, neither Amway nor any of the major leadership’s truly understand the magnitude of the effect that a relatively small number of internet critics have had on the Amway business.

Now I’ve got data to back it up, and it is far worse than even I imagined. Continue reading The Internet War Against Amway

A critic visits the IBOAI

Debra Masselink is the granddaughter of one of the original founders of the American Way Association, Walter Bass . She has been a prolific contributor to a number of anti-Amway websites, and in 2006 was involved in a dispute regarding allegations by Amway Critic Scott Larsen against Crown Jody Victor.

In an interesting move, several weeks ago, Jody Victor invited Deb along to the IBOAI offices. Here is her post about it (reprinted with permission from Deb) –

Yes, my beloved friends – I spent 5 hours with Jody Victor yesterday!!!! I wasn’t sure where to post this, and decided the “Quixtar Critics” section because you folks are the ones who made this all possible!

I was greeted warmly at the IBOAI offices in downtown Grand Rapids by Connie Altschwager, the Executive Director; and by Mr Markerman himself. I received a tour of the offices – a far, FAR cry from the rows of filing cabinets at the Walter Bass Co that my Mother presided over back in the ’80s when she was the Executive Director….LOL!! I particularly enjoyed what Connie calls the “Denny Crane” balcony (for those of you not in the USA, it refers to a TV program’s character) overlooking the Grand River.

I can tell you the place that I’d LOVE to sit and read for a few hours, or days…. Jody’s Office, where there are beautiful leather binders with the minutes of every IBOA and ADA meeting ever held!!! The entire history of Amway is there, neatly cataloged – and he pretty much knows every bit of it!!! And always watching over everything Jody does are 4 large portraits: his father Joe Victor, my grandfather Walter Bass, Jere Dutt and Fred Hansen; the Founding Fathers of the ADA. (Amway Distributors Association)

And in my “moment of personal triumph” (HAH!) – I sat at THE table – the huge table where the IBOA meets, and defiled some Kingpin’s seat with my non-SA8-washed pants Wink

So yes, I sat at the huge Board table and talked for a LOONG time with Jody Victor – we reminisced about the past and talked about the future. I didn’t cut him any slack about the abuses many IBOs have had at the hands of their uplines, and he acknowledged it. Admits there are horror stories that make him cringe. I talked about some of the stuff I’ve been saying on this forum for years – what it will take for Amway to be a respected name and how to keep IBOs happy and renewing. He took notes, folks!!

He, in turn, explained where he hopes to take things; for one, an even more stringent Accreditation system that is designed to help a new IBO be truly profitable while they learn the business. I learned more about the current Accreditation – and really like what I hear! Yes, the Corp does have “monitors” who interview random IBOs to find what they know – stuff like “Do you understand that BSMs are completely optional?” and “What makes you feel uncomfortable at a meeting”. As it stands right now, an Accredited AMO submits a certain percentage of tapes/CDs to Amway for review; Jody chooses to send ALL that he makes (and it sounds like he makes a LOT fewer than some AMOs) to the Corp for review.

He explained how the Board handles complaints about IBOs – it is carefully documented and all parties are well-aware of any charges brought against them: it’s all recorded in black 3-ring binders. Some folks’ binders are thin; and some folks’ binders rival those that hold the recorded history of the IBOAI 🙂 Despite claims to the contrary by certain disgruntled ex-IBOs, changes to the Rules of Conduct are laboriously hashed out; then announced to the general population of IBOs for MONTHS before they are enacted.

We talked about Arbitration – something I generally questioned – but he has a valid point: in resolving a dispute between an IBO and the company, let’s say – it’s in the IBOs best interest to have someone who understands the business. PV and BV and all the other catchwords are going to go sailing over the heads of an arbitrator who’s not in the business. Also, arbitrators are chosen based on their lack of LOA (or AMO) connection to the disputed parties. In other words, if a Britt IBO has a beef, the arbitrators will be chosen from LOAs not affiliated with Britt.

We talked about how some LOAs (AMOs) have been quick to adopt the new changes – Ron Puryear’s name was mentioned as one who’s making a difference. And others are moving at a snail’s pace, because their material-as-presented is not passing muster. The Corp and the IBOA are NOT simply rubber-stamping “business-as-usual” – and the proof is that not everyone’s Accredited yet.

I liked what I heard and saw. Jody listens and asks questions – even from a peon like me (although he DID refer to me as the “Mother of the Critics”…LOL!!!!!) He’s warm and friendly and funny – still has his boyish good looks even though he’s a few years older than me. We laughed about our “swapping blows” after the Cookware Crown accusation – and if any of you remember, I had said I’d be willing to “sit down with Jody and talk over a cup of cocoa”. Well, I still owe him that cup of cocoa, but Connie gave me a gift bag and Jody gave me a copy of “Success Magazine”; then we all had a WONDERFUL dinner at a local restaurant!! (Thanks again, Connie!)

As an aside – my Husband had been invited to attend also, but had to take his truck for repairs. I left him a note, (since I was not sure of how well I’d be received at the IBOAI), that said “In case I don’t return home, my feet are in cement and I’m “swimming with the fishes” in the Grand River. The Victors are the likely culprits….LOL!!” Jody thought that was pretty funny!

And yes, Dear Folks, Jody reads our forum when he gets a chance (keep in mind the man is BUSY – he’s like the Energizer Bunny!). He said there are “others” who don’t read “negative” sites – but he feels we bring up issues that need to be addressed. Personally, THAT is the kind of person I like seeing in charge – one who is willing to see the good AND the ugly – then work to fix it.

I didn’t get to meet Kathy, his wife. Hope to, some day, because she sounds like a “fighter” 🙂 I get the impression that the “Boy’s Club” on the IBOA wasn’t exactly happy to have a woman break their ranks – but as a woman, I find it critical to see a female in a leadership role on the IBOAI – there SHOULD be more than one.

And Jody refers to Connie Altschwager as “The Most Powerful Woman On Earth” and all I can say is I wish that were TRUE. She is gracious, sweet, articulate, downright brilliant – and obviously keeps all the IBOAI members running as an efficient unit. I wish we could get her to run for president…sigh…

In the past, I’ve said that I would believe the “heyday of the Kingpin was over when the IBOAI was dismantled” – but I never anticipated the sweeping changes that are occurring within the organization. While I’d still like to see all “tools” abolished, I can live with the changes I’m seeing and like even better, some that will be proposed. Would I sign up again as an IBO?? If I did, it would be under Jody or Kathy’s LOS (Kathy has her own, separate business) – I like how they conduct their businesses because it’s the most like the way we used to run ours. But I still like “retirement” the best, and NOT being an IBO gives me the freedom to say things like Markerman IS different and better…..LOL!!

So far, I have just glanced at my copy of “Success from Home” magazine – but it’s startlingly honest! (Just seeing the name “Quixtar” in bold letters across the front page made me smile! No more hiding who they are!!) It tells about different IBOs (my copy tells about Jody’s two sons who are building their own businesses – they are both Founder’s Platinums!); plus gives business-building tips and product information. After each “success story”, there is a disclaimer saying the Average Monthly Gross Income for “Active” IBOs is $115. On page 5, they define the words “active” and “gross”. It clearly points out that business expenses are mostly discretionary and may be greater than income in the first years of operation.

I think something like this magazine has been needed for decades – it’s finally “training from the Corp”!!! It’s far more informative than the Achieve magazine, but I think you have to subscribe to this one – it’s not a freebie for all IBOs (but it SHOULD be – hey Jody – are ya readin’??? 🙂 )

Now I realize that some of the critics are not going to be happy until Amway is out of business – and I seriously doubt that is going to happen. Some want the Corporation to apologize for turning a blind eye to the abuses heaped on the IBOs in the past – while that would be nice, from a legal standpoint, I can see why they wouldn’t do that. But as for me?? I’m happy. I like the new rules and the IBOAI having the guts to enforce them, even if it means huge groups of tool-mongers will leave as a result. I’m predicting that some day soon, Amway will be held as the “model” of MLM done correctly; and that other MLMs will be forced to follow that model (Geez – where will the Tool Mongers go then???)

Anyway – yes, Anon, I DO talk to Kingpins 🙂 And they DO listen 🙂 

Deb

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Neither The Truth About Amway, nor AmwayWiki nor Speaking of Amway are pro-Amway – Scott Larsen

Well known anti-Amway zealot Scott Larsen has finally posted his comments on the BERR vs Amway UK Judgement. What’s interesting is that he says –

I find it curious that despite the “positive” judgment, I cannot find a full copy of it on  the Amway Blog and other pro-Amway sites..

Apparently neither AmwayWiki , where the judgement was posted last Friday, nor this site, the Truth About Amway, where there have been at least 18 pages of commentary (note: on old forums, since removed) since the judgement was handed down, including links to the AmwayWiki copy, nor Chuck’s Speaking of Amway blog, where he also highlighted the AmwayWiki post, are considered “pro-Amway”.

While I do attempt to keep a reasonable balance on this site, I am a little concerned I apparently don’t rate as even a little pro-Amway …. 😀

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Great News for all Network Marketers

As many North American readers would know, in 2006 the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new Business Opportunity Rule which, as written, would require multi-level marketing opportunity promoters to provide prospects with a whole range of new information, such as names of other local participants, lawsuits, etc etc etc. It also imposed a mandatory 7-day waiting period before a person could join.

The MLM and Direct Selling Industry argued that the requirements were not only unduly burdensome on legitimate companies, they would in fact have little effect on illegitimate companies. The FTC has agreed, and MLMs are effectively exempt from the proposed new rule.

There is some very interesting information in the full FTC discussion paper. One area of discussion was the problem of declaring average incomes, when many people join purely for the purpose of receiving “wholesale pricing”. Shaklee for example, revealed that 85% of folk who join that company do so for that reason.

The FTC included summaries of the claims of the bogus “consumer advocates” Pyramid Scheme Alert (Robert FitzPatrick) and Consumer Awareness Institute (Jon Taylor) but appeared unswayed by their arguments that MLM are effectively all illegal pyramids. One particular line from the Jon Taylor’s CAI which always makes me laugh –

“[i]t is extremely rare for MLM victims to recognize the fraud in an MLM program without intensive de-programming by a knowledgeable consumer advocate”

Good grief, get a life Jon.

Folk have argued that the UK BERR and the FTC have recently been in regular contact regarding MLMs. In particular a number of critics have claimed the BERR case has put MLM, and in particular, Amway, under strong FTC scrutiny. If this paper is any reflection of what the FTC and BERR have discussed, then it augurs well for that case.

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Amway and the Internet – A History, Part I

As the 1990s came to a close more and more people began to connect to the internet. The internet is an amazing resource for information. You can, like I did when writing these articles, find out in moments all about the amygdala. You can check for train timetables in Stockholm, or, quite literally look at the weather in Prague, or see what people think about the latest movie. You can also, of course, try to get that “inside information” on the latest gadgets you’re thinking of buying.

Indeed, researchers have discovered that for people with internet connections, the internet is the “go to” place for researching anything before you decide to purchase. Whether checking for movie reviews, or the latest digital camera, consumers get online and start googling.

For Amway (and Quixtar) for the past decade, this has not been a good thing.

Back in March 1996 a disgruntled former Amway distributor by the name of Ashley Wilkes began posting to a website he titled Amway Motivational Organizations (AMO’s): The Nightmare Builders. Two years earlier, his wife, who continued to be an Amway distributor, had divorced him, and he laid the blame squarely at the foot of the so-called “AMOs”. Not long after, other, similar sites began to appear, including Sidney Schwartz’s Amway: The Untold Story and later Scott Larsen’s Amway Distributor’s Little White Lies.

One of Amway’s early responses was threats of legal action against the site owners. Officially this action was part of an ongoing dispute with Proctor & Gamble. Amway had learned that P&G had paid Schwartz as a consultant on the case, and Amway apparently believed P&G may have had some other connection to the critical sites. The internet however was a hotbed of “freedom of information”, and the legal maneuvering was seen by many as nothing more than corporate bullying. This simply encouraged others to do what on the internet is surprisingly easy to do – copy and republish an entire website, a process called “mirroring“. Amway eventually succeeded in forcing Wilkes and Schwartz to close their websites, but by this time mirrors had appeared on literally dozens of internet servers around the world, including in locations not easily influenced by a legal approach. In addition they’d attracted the attention of internet freedom of speech activitists such as David Touretzky of Carnegie Mellon. Despite no personal experience with the Amway business, Touretzky launched yet another anti-Amway website.

The apparently successful attempts to close critical sites had simply made things worse.

Meanwhile, and reportedly at least partly in response to the increasing amount of “negative” about Amway on the internet, Amway began developing the new Quixtar opportunity. Many felt this may allow a “clean slate” for a new name and a new opportunity. Unfortunately, the internet rarely forgets, and folk leading the anti-Amway crusade on the ‘net quickly established the connection between Quixtar and Amway. Thus, anyone who searched the internet for Quixtar would learn of the connection and all of the “negative” Amway information.

Around this time, some Amway distributors, including myself in Australia and an American distributor by the name of James Eddy started to mount our own offensive. I began engaging in debates with Amway and Quixtar critics on UseNet, a then popular discussion forum, as well as launching a small pro-Amway website. James Eddy launched Amway Fact or Fiction: The Truth behind the Amway Enterprise (archive) and we both began to try to address the factual inaccuracies and exaggerations that the various critics sites were promoting. It was a losing battle however. Virtually by definition, as active Amway distributors also holding down jobs and running other businesses we had less time on our hands than the critics. Furthermore, at least on the ‘net, it seemed there were more critics than supporters. Why was this?

One reason was Amway’s rules. Amway has always had regulations against mass marketing of the Amway business opportunity, and they looked upon the internet in much the same way. As the launch of Quixtar approached, and indeed afterwards, there was a deal of paranoia about distributors, now called IBOs, sending out “spam” and making exaggerated or false claims that could put the company at legal risk. Amway rules required that all websites of Amway representatives must be approved by Amway and password protected. They actively contacted Amway IBOs who had launched websites on the internet and made them close their sites, reportedly shutting down hundreds of them.

At it’s peak, James Eddys’ AmwayFacts.com website was getting some 1500 visitors a day. In May 1999, despite the site not being used in anyway for recruiting, Amway made him shut it down. Not long after, for personal reasons unrelated to Amway, my own site too disappeared.

Amway had left the internet to the critics.

Over the years other sites came and went. Anyone with a negative experience could say what they want, virtually with impunity, whereas supporters of Amway, who for obvious reasons where much more likely to remain as IBOs, were effectively gagged. The corp made a few half-hearted attempts to post “positive” stories on the internet, such as amwaypages.com (archive), but with the merging of Amway North America into Quixtar these too faded into oblivion.

Quixtar was supposed to make things different.

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The JoeCool Threat Story

JoeCool18 is a prolific anti-amway/anti-quixtar blogger. This Saturday is the 4 year anniversary of his registration on the mostly anti-Quixtar QuixtarBlog, and in that time he has made over 5,000 posts there. In addition he has his own anti-Quixtar blog and contributes posts to two other anti-Quixtar blogs as well as posting commentary on literally hundreds of other sites where the topic of Quixtar arises. A google search for “JoeCool18 Quixtar” returns over 1600 pages. Clearly this man is causing untold damage to the businesses of Quixtar and Amway IBOs.

When I started this site, a poster called Steve registered soon after. Steve’s posts regularly defended positions taken by JoeCool18. After about 6 months I noticed that JoeCool18 on QuixtarBlog and Steve on this blog seemed to post at very similar times. Checking JoeCool18’s public profile on QuixtarBlog I saw his email was none other than Steve12301. I challenged Steve and asked if he was JoeCool, and he admitted he was.

NOTE: The rest of the post includes some quite sordid details about Steve aka JoeCool18. He has now admitted, at least partly to these so they are “in the public domain”. Do not continue reading below if you are easily offended.

Continue reading The JoeCool Threat Story