Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Amway - Amway And The Better Business Bureau?

Over the years, I have seen literally hundreds (if not more) blogs and testimonials about Amway. Most of them decry the pitfalls of being an Amway IBO. Most of the complaints cite the fact that Amway in general has higher prices than comparable retailers and the fact that the system consisting of voicemail, books, cds and seminars ate up any profits the IBO may have made and resulted in net losses for most. One particular Amway apologist bemoans the fact that the internet is full of bad testomonials about Amway. The reason why there are so many negative testimonials about Amway is because over the years, thousands, possibly millions either had a bad experience for the reasons I cited above, or personally know of someone who had a bad experience.

Amway defenders will often cite the fact that many IBOs sign up and "do nothing" as their defense to this. But I will easily point out that I haven't seen anyone say they signed up, failed to do anything or order products, quit and started blogging about a bad experience in Amway. These defenders will also compare Amway to the gym where people sign up and "do nothing". Whether true or not, I also do not see people who sign up and "do nothing" complain about not receiving health benefits by simply signing up. It is a very weak defense. Conversely, I have seen numerous accounts of folks like myself who did put in effort, some for many years, who did what upline advised and did not see the financial rewards that is promoted in "the plan".

Amway defenders will then try to justify themselves, saying that the better business bureau (BBB) receives few formal complaints about Amway. I will agree with this. Many IBOs never bother to file formal complaints to the BBB or to Amway because in many, probably most cases, the person who quits and may have had a bad experience, was sponsored into the business. The sponsor was often a friend or family member of the IBO who left the business. Many will simply leave and forget the episode and chalk it up to a learning experience in life. Some will complain, but really have to ne venue to voice their remorse about joining. Some of us have found the interent to be quite effective in sharing our experiences and our opinions on why the business did not work. This is what one Amway defender calls the "internet war". What I have pointed out is that critics most often simply point out what the IBOs themselves have done. In many cases, the IBO is his own worst enemy. Afterall, critics didn't deny Amway and Quixtar had a connection, nor did critics make up claims about perfect water, etc.

It would appear that most of the problems has a root in the AMO systems, such as WWDB, BWW, LTD, or N21. Now, not all upline leaders are unethical, but it appears that many are, and new IBOs have no way to identify the good from the bad. It also appears that some of these upline leaders will issue bad avice. Advice that is detrimental to the IBOs, but financially beneficial to themselves, such as telling IBOs to never miss a function, or to buy more cds. In many cases, these unethical uplines do not care about IBO success, their goal is just to move as many support materials as possible, so they can fund their "diamond" lifestyle. Sadly, it is also apparent that the diamond lifestyle may be a facade in some cases. An illusion of wealth portrayed as a recruiting tool.

If you recognize some of these warning signs, ask tough questions of your potential sponsor and visit this or some of the blogs linked to this one for more information.


mrmaximum said...

Let’s break it down;

IBO’s like to use the excuse that most people who sign up do nothing similar to people who buy gym memberships and never go. Bad analogy, yes the vast majority of people who get a membership to a gym do not use it, yet, how many gyms has anyone come across which was completely empty? How many fit people can we see in areobics classes or in the windows of the gyms as we walk and/or drive by who are most difintely in shape? How many people do we come across everyday who are fit? Sure the number in North America is maybe smaller than the rest of the world, but we still come across many who are indeed fit and healthy and use a gym regularly. I don’t think 1% or less in North America use a gym, right? there is a fair amount who do and are better for it.

There is no question whatsoever whether putting in the work will yield results even if you simply work out at home. If you sign up at a gym and workout regularly, you will be successful; this cannot be said about the Amway business, and furthermore usually the most vocal critics are the ones who did indeed follow their upline’s advice and it yielded no results. Amway is a gamble at best and a great way to lose money or more at worst.

Now we have a few larger groups, which are accredited, very good move against all the previous kingpins who abused the system. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of evidence coming from IBO’s themselves that the same “advice” or “teaching” which goes against these new accreditation rules are still in use today. If these procedures didn’t produce success in the past, how would the same approach produce a different result now?

This is the crux of the issue with Amway, spinning the facts is the only defense an IBO or sympathizer has at their disposal with the exception of character assassination where if you cannot disprove the message, attack the messenger. The reason being is that the Amway business simply doesn’t work and cannot stand on it’s own merits.

MichMan said...

People also have to understand how the Better Business Bureau works.

First of all, it it a private organization. It is not a government agency. Thus, it has NO enforcement authority. Most people drop the complaint once they realize that the BBB is not some government agency that will help them get their money back.

If a person does file a complaint with the BBB, the company is notified of the complaint and given a chance to respond. After the company responds, the person has the opportunity to respond. Then it goes back to the company until one party finally gives up.

The person filing the complaint can reject the company's response and leave the company with a 'bad mark' on their BBB report.

But often times the person filing the complaint will eventually give up after they realize that the BBB cannot do anything to resolve the dispute in their favor. This is where most drop it, and the BBB gives the complaint with a neutral response.

Most ibos, after being presented with a copy of their signed contract by a top legal firm representing a multi-billion dollar company, would realize they don't have much of a case.

Anonymous said...

Joecool, is your blog accredited by The Better Business Bureau? I'm curious to know before I take advice from here or some other blog.

Joecool said...

Anonymous, you won't find any complaints about Joecool's blog with the BBB or the FTC.

Anonymous said...

mrmaximum said...

>The reason being is that the Amway business simply doesn’t work and cannot stand on it’s own merits.

I wonder why is it that if the Amway business simply doesn't work I make more and more money each month.

About the comment "the system consisting of voicemail, books, cds and seminars ate up any profits the IBO may have made and resulted in net losses for most."

Why would you buy books, CD's, seminar tickets and the like if you haven't produced the income to cover those expenses? Unless you value it enough as to put some of your own money in order to access the benefits.

Personal development costs money. If you don't produce enough money to pay for it, don't buy the material. If someone advices you to the contrary and you follow the advice, who is to be blamed? The person giving the advice, or the person taking it?

mrmaximum said...

I can see where you are coming from, but Joe had already answered this in another blog post. Say you are a teacher with 30 students every semester. Not all kids are going to pass as we all know, no matter how good the teacher is. However, when only 1 student passes your class, this immediately is going to get the attention of the department head, the principal, and School Board.

That many students failing points to the effectiveness, or lack therof of the teacher. Only 1% get to platinum. Glad you got there Anon, but you are the exception, not the rule. With a failure rate that high, there is clearly an issue with the system, not the enrolless.

Anonymous said...

Yeah only 1% get to platinum but there's nothing new under the sun. At the job interview only one out of x candidates gets selected for that one job position. In my computer programming classroom, nearly half of the classrom quit by mid semester. I made it. Seriously, what's your point?

Joecool said...

The point is that the BBB and FTC do not endorse Amway. Got it now?

mrmaximum said...

"Yeah only 1% get to platinum but there's nothing new under the sun. At the job interview only one out of x candidates gets selected for that one job position. In my computer programming classroom, nearly half of the classrom quit by mid semester. I made it. Seriously, what's your point?"

You will have to excuse me, but nothing else out there has a "success" that low and still be considered viable. Sure jobs only choose 1 person from x amount of potential candidates, but unless that job is ridiculously amazing and literally 100 people sign up, that same ratio won't be repeated.

As for your class; there you go again, that is only 50%...a far cry from 1%. So the other 50% dropped out, they would have lost time in your class, and the money spent to enroll. Most people lost time, money, and sometimes much more with the Amway business, so the comparison is moot.

If you check other businesses, their success rate is far higher than simply 1% reach a level where most are still not even breaking even. That isn't success, that's wholesale failure using cult like tactics to convince people it's still successful and worthwhile....which it isn't no matter how you or any other IBO wants to spin it.

What precisely is one getting when they enroll in Amway? 1% success rate, alienation from friends and family, possible financial ruin, and possible destruction of their family unit. What happened to the 50% from your class again, oh yeah, they may have lost some time and some money, hmm, they should have gone to Amway instead.

Anonymous said...

Yes mrmaximum, whatever you say...

mrmaximum said...

Now let me tell you the most frightening thing, well, frightening if you are an IBO..
it wasn't me who said any of this...I'm just one of many guys telling you the facts.

IBO's are told that Amway is just like McDonalds......where are the stats that say only 1% of the huge restaurant chain that has had a movie made about it and a book written about it for it's gigantic scale of success makes money.....where are those stats?

Where are the huge amount of negative stating that the McDonalds business model doesn't actually fly...where is that?

The truth only hurts when one doesn't want to acknowledge it.