Over the years, I believe that Amway has earned a bad reputation with the general public in the US. It is because IBOs have lied, IBOs had deceived and tricked people into attending recruitment meetings, and IBOs have done zany thing that have turned people off about the Amway opportunity. Factor in the bad experiences some people have had because of the "tools scam" and it's easy to understand why just mentioning the name "Amway" can result in funny looks from others.
While certainly, the blame is not entirely because of Amway the corporation. But certainly, I cannot give Amway the corporation a pass because I believe they have known about the tools "kingpins" and allowed them to operate without resistance. As a result, many IBOs suffered bad experiences such as bankruptcy, homes lost, and other financial devastation as uplines would advise downline to "do whatever it takes" to attend more functions and to buy more tools. While the tools are optional by the letter of the law, the uplines operate from a position of trust, or a position of a trusted friend or mentor. Thus bad self serving financial advice was disbursed by many uplines and they apparently helped fund their diamond lifestyles with the proceeds from tool sales (voicemail, websites, standing orders, functions, book of the month, open meetings).
I believe when I was a WWDB IBO in the later 1990's, the tool kingpins were in their heyday. The internet wasn't as readily available with information for prospects. IBOs didn't use the internet to place orders, thus the kingpins ran their unethical businesses unbridled and unchecked. I believe Amway's efforts (if any) to suppress these kingpin's efforts were ineffective, and I believe it is because the kingpins and indoctrinated IBOs were the ones recruiting new members for Amway, and taught them the 100 PV (defacto) quota, along with Amway product loyalty.
I remember a meeting in our group where our upline platinum told us that the key to Amway success was the ability to overcome the name "Amway". For the very reasons I have cited here, our group was taught to avoid mentioning the name Amway and to use the term private franchise and other catchy names to avoid detection from prospects. Some people in our group must have outright lied because I attended more than a handful of smaller meetings where guests walked out ticked off, muttering something about being tricked or wasting their time for the meeting.
When I finally quit Amway in 1998 or so, I went on with my life and things were great, having left Amway, which left me with more time and money than previously. It wasn't until I later discovered the blatant upline lies (such as there are ZERO profits from tools) and that IBOs were still subjected to such lies. Having learned that the same uplines were still teaching basically the same things with many of the same lies, I began my blogging career. While Amway apologists claim that my experience is old, I keep running into evidence that suggests that things are more the same than not, save for the internet ordering and automated issuance of downline bonuses.
Many of the leaders who deceived and lied, are still in leadership roles and teaching many of the same abusive advice. Why I keep blogging, is because these leaders continue to profit at downline's expense and they have never been held accountable for bad advice or for their lies. I hope this blog provides enough information so prospects and IBOs can make informed choices.
P.S. Happy New Year!