Monday, September 05, 2005

Help a brother out here

A person bro emailed me this question. And yes, this is what it is. This is what IBOs are telling people like him. His email is in bold.

As salamu alaykum,

Wailakum-us-Salam wa Rahmatullah-e-Wa barakatahu

I am an international student in Canada from India. I am having a tough time with the rising fees and the cost of living here, and so I have been praying to Allah to give me some opportunity to earn some money. Yesterday, a muslim brother who I hardly know (met in masjid) came up to me and proposed to join the Quixtar/Alticor business program.

As far as I understand, you should rather looks for job, for now, to get you through school. Not a business. Business takes time to take off.

He told me many convincing things about this business for example, he told me that this business is not a "finanacial pyramid", rather a "structural pyramid", where someone in the downline with hardwork can make more money than their upline. He told me that I would have to buy my everyday products from their website, and he does the same.

Government, look for emphasis on recruitment versus sales in MLM companies to determine if it is a pyramid or not. Buy for yourself and teach others to do so is an illegal business, said Rich DeVos, founder of the comany. It still is!

Also, FTC Says
Pyramid schemes now come in so many forms that they may be difficult to recognize immediately. However, they all share one overriding characteristic. They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public. Some schemes may purport to sell a product, but they often simply use the product to hide their pyramid structure. There are two tell-tale signs that a product is simply being used to disguise a pyramid scheme: inventory loading and a lack of retail sales. Inventory loading occurs when a company's incentive program forces recruits to buy more products than they could ever sell, often at inflated prices. If this occurs throughout the company's distribution system, the people at the top of the pyramid reap substantial profits, even though little or no product moves to market. The people at the bottom make excessive payments for inventory that simply accumulates in their basements. A lack of retail sales is also a red flag that a pyramid exists. Many pyramid schemes will claim that their product is selling like hot cakes. However, on closer examination, the sales occur only between people inside the pyramid structure or to new recruits joining the structure, not to consumers out in the general public..
He told me he's earning around $1200 right now working 5-10 hours a week. So naturally, I decided to do my own research.

How do you know? Did he share his income tax return or calendar with you?

FTC says:
Beware of shills - "decoy" references paid by a plan's promoter to lie about their earnings through the plan.
While doing reasearch on the company, I reached a forum and read your and others' advice on the subject. I am kind of divided on the issues by reading the opinions from the both sides on the forum. The brother who has asked me to join, told me that there is a lot of "opinion" on the internet, and that I should look at the "facts" of the company.

How much "facts" has he told you? I've quoted only what FTC and founder of the company said. Read the following sites and notice the references to Quixtar's own numbers, court documents and quotes from famous "leaders" in Quixtar.

Former Diamond

FTC also says:
Do your homework! Check with your local Better Business Bureau and state Attorney General about any plan you're considering - especially when the claims about the product or your potential earnings seem too good to be true.
I suppose you are muslim. So as a muslim can you please advise me as to whether joining this type of business would be halal?

Well I'm not a "mufti". MLM may be halal. But think yourself, can you see yourself making money in this thing? are you good at selling things to your friends and family?

If you have to hide the facts in order to build this business, I really doubt it's halal. Did he tell you it's Amway?

And also, do you have some "facts" on this company?

Same number of disrubuter for like 30 years
Less than 50 Diamonds,

He is supposed to visit me again to show me the website and the prices and answer any questions that I might have. Can you, as the opponent of the system, advise me of what type of questions to ask him and check for myself if he is being honest or trying to dodge the questions?

Questions to ask

Please advise me brother, as I am a "gullible" type and have been burned before (but Allah has always helped me salvage the situation), but I still haven't lost faith in human beings, especially my fellow muslims.

Go with your gut feelings. Does this whole deal look like too good to be true?

Please leave a comment to help "bro" out.

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At 9/05/2005 11:46:00 PM, Blogger xanadustc said...

To add a comment,

Many people have stated that after a prayer, they were offered this business. To speak from the Christian perspective, I believe that the response recieved is not a Godly answer, but a Satanic one. I say this because God will never give you an 'opportunity' that will harm others in the process of making money. That goes against the root of the faith. Clear fact and testimony has proved this to be a very damaging system.

While at a spiritual retreat this weekend, there was an IBO there. During talking, his focus was clearly on money, not God. At one point, he asked something regarding money, so I suggested that he get a job and be content with what he has. Now, that is not the perspective as a student, but I know that is what I did as a student. I did not have enough money for many pleasure items, but I paid my bills and stayed out of debt so that now I can use extra job money for hobbies (and of course to pay off the expensive BWW system bills that accumulated.)

At 9/06/2005 12:29:00 PM, Blogger lawDawg said...

Your "brother" should DEMAND to see the following information:

(1) total number of IBOs who have joined each year since 1999;

(2) total number of each year's new IBO's that did not renew;

(3) total number of IBOs each year since 1999, total number of IBO's that did not renew each year;

(4) total number of IBOs that currently QUALIFY at Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Founder's Diamond, Above Diamond - not a vague percentage or a "survey" - demand the hard numbers;

(5) the average profit margin Quixtar/Alticor/Access makes on coreline products sold at distributor cost;

(6) a listing of all civil lawsuits against Amway/Quixtar or any Amway/Quixtar related tools business or 'diamond' level distributor or above since 1983 based on allegations of fraud or illegal pyramiding/chain marketing (the list should include the parties, the cause number, the jurisdiction where the suit was filed and the identity of the plaintiffs' counsel);

(7) a list of all arbitration proceedings carried out under Quixtar's dispute resolution process, the calims involved in each one and the results of each (how many did Quixtar lose, if any).

If you are serious about treating MLM as a business, these are all things that should be voluntarily disclosed to you. If they won't give you this basic information necessary to assess the value of the "opportunity" you must, as a prudent businessman, assume that they are hiding information from you.

At 9/06/2005 01:15:00 PM, Blogger Mevious said...

Just inform him that as a Muslim he won't be welcomed into the Kingpins inner circle unless he converts to their warped, perverted Christianity.


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