Everything in the pitch sounded so good, with travel discounts, free cruises, airlines, condos for $500 a week. We are not dummies, husband is ceo of a major company, but were caught up in the excitement. We tried to book places and there was nothing available for us. The free cruise is a joke, it is not free. Yes you can earn money by referring others, but this is not MLM (which many are very legitimate businesses with great products). Pyramid schemes have no products. We spoke with discovercard who are on our side and said they see this all the time. So far the charges have been reversed on our cc, wondering if this company is going to try to sue us.
But recently, I got blindsided by an attempted selling of a dream. I know this couple who own a small restaurant that I like. I go there often enough that they know me by name and will ask about me, etc. Anyway, recently, they wanted to get my opinion on something, but wouldn’t tell me what it was. So they had a guy there dressed kind of business-like with a laptop, and it took me about 5 seconds to realize what it was — MLM! I was probably way too polite, but I did shut down the common sales strategies. But anyway, here it is:
You pay $200 up front.
Then you pay $55 per month. And for that you get access to something probably identical to Travelocity. I got told how much better it was though — because it “finds more stuff” or something. I’m sure I rolled my eyes at that one. I asked if it was MLM. “Network marketing” was their preferred term. I said not interested. Oh, but do you ever think people join an MLM because they like the product and just want to buy the product? “No, not in my experience.” I related the stories of friends and acquaintances who joined to get rich quick. that shut him down.
Anyway, this seems like an obvious pyramid scheme; kind of reminds me of the BIM scheme in Canada (“Business In Motion”) which finally got shut down by the RCMP out in one of the western provinces. Sell a single, worthless travel product (Access to a website with average prices) as a way to disguise what you’re really selling: the privilege of recruiting more people to pay into the scheme!
OF course the $900 per year is just the beginning of what someone pays. I found out later by keeping my ears open that there’s the “training”-type stuff you have to go to. (Brainwashing rallies) and I’m sure those cost a mint. Then there’s the magazine, and probably books and tapes as well.
After looking at a couple of articles on the internet, the payout on this scheme is even worse than average for MLMs — and that’s really saying something.
I didn’t know what to do. I’m too polite I think. I hate to see anyone get involved in the pyramid schemes. If nothing else, I hate to see the shysters make money, because it only encourages shysterism.