Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 21

(1/97)


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Here are some of the responses I've received to the information on this page. I've left them as is, except for a) removing the names to protect privacy, and b) reformatting them to fit the screen better.

This is a long file...I suggest downloading it to your computer and reading it off-line.

My thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their opinions.

[NOTE: Some of these messages contain offensive language]


Dear Sydney,

You know your page is really biased. If would only take an objective look at the Amway Corporation and its independent distributors. How can over 6 billion dollars in business be wrong? Amway is also in over 55 countries including China (which is communist).

In 1979 the United States Federal Trade Commission the Amway Corporation and not only found it legal and ethical, but they now use it as a benchmark for other network marketing programs.This only proves the fact that Amway IS legal and ethical. I have also looked at the partial list of sources you used to confirm you're accusations, fears, and misconceptions. All of these sources seem to be negative. Could it be that you didn't include the full list because some of the articles were positive and you don't want people to look up the positive sources because it might ruin their misconceptions about Amway. As for the accusations that Amway is a pyramid its not! Lets take Kenny Stewart. The man who sponsored him is an emerald in Amway and Kenny Stuart is a crown ambassador. Last time I heard a pyramid was a situation where a person paid money up and received money back but never receiving as much money as the guy that person is paying money to. I seems to me that Kenny Stewart has surpassed the man who sponsored him. You take pride and joy about putting up a web site that that slanders a reputable company. This obviously means you like to make a fool out of yourself by talking about what you don't understand. Well I pity you. If you put this much effort into doing something positive you would make a huge difference in the world. If anyone cares to comment on this message E-mail me at:lloaiza@mail.win.org

Sydney I encourage you to leave my E-mail address when you post this on your web site of slander.

Sincerely,

Louis A. Loaiza


Dear Sidney,

I have been following your pages for a couple of weeks and have read most of your info with delight. Like many people, I had a negative experience with Amway, firstly in 1985, then in 1992 (Amway's changed! Really!). Much of the Tools Scam, the cultishness and the Amway-Speak is all too familiar.

My 1985 distributorship (only 5 months long) was the most miserable period in my life. It was very similar to my 2-month attendance at Assembly of God church (an evangelical sect). It's been great trawling through Deja-News for Amway posts to see that other people feel as badly about "The Yager Method" and the other crap that Amway Evangelists spout.

I want to thank you for providing so much quality information. I can imagine you get a lot of flame-mail from Amway robots.

I would also like to pass on my gratitude to the Hanrahans and the other plaintiffs for having the courage to take on Amway and its "black hats". They have been exploiting people far too long. When I read their story, I was horrified at the treatment they received. It didn't take too long for me to discount Amway's version of events.

I am hoping the Net will go a long way towards demystifying Amway and debunking some of its claims (when will they give up on the curiosity approach?)


Keep up the good work, Sidney. I've had a number of close, well-intentioned friends try to get me involved with Amway, but I knew better before going through the dreadful experiences many of your commenters have gone through.

What amazes me is how vindictive and nasty the Scamway veterans get about your website. They wonder why you don't have anything better to do, but they don't have anything better to do than read comments and blast you. And why? Because you are reaching their customers, that's why. You're providing the essential information that they keep from people they could potentially use.

Time and again, you hear the same thing from many different people who have tried the Amway system: they felt dirty. They lost friends. They got an overwhelming sense that something wasn't right, and when they left Amway, they felt more relieved than anything else. Doesn't that tell you something?

And if you were only out to get Amway, you certainly wouldn't provide such a balanced view of responses. I mean, to make your point, you might print the responses of the crazy Amway fanatics, who discredit themselves with their own fanaticism.

But many of the comments you include are from intelligent, hard-working people who believe in the Amway system. These people are the best representers for Amway, because they recognize that the system has its faults and they see the system clearly, yet they are still working within that system. Someone out to unjustly slam Amway certainly would not risk including the commentary from such reasonable, well-spoken people who clearly state their case and make sensible arguments.

Kudos to you, Sidney, for your efforts. And I, personally, don't give a hoot what you do with your spare time as long as you continue to provide this valuable service for people who are sucked in by "trusted" friends.


I am an amway distributer. I am far from successful, but I can't say that a college education and a CPA certificate has done that for me either. I don't want to imply that Amway will work for everyone, but it will work for those who don't listen to people like you who do nothing to help anyone else succeed. If I am wrong please inform me of the number of people you have helped straighten out thier financial lives. It is so easy to critisize what you know so little about. If you are so knowing, please tell me how I can be financial successful.


Mr. Schwartz,

many thanks for providing this excellent site! My brother-in-law became a distributor about 18 months ago, and he and his wife now exhibit all the classic traits of the Amdroid mentality: constant attempts to re- direct otherwise neutral conversations toward Amway-related subjects, adjustment of lifestyle toward fundamentalist Christianity (which, admittedly, since he's a recovering alcoholic who periodically slips up, may not be such a horrible thing), frequent reminders of his "business" and comments about "retiring within 2-5 years", and so on.

Reading through your site's pages, I was often reminded at least one conversation I've had with him since he joined Amway. He showed me the plan at a family Thanksgiving in 1995, where we were a captive audience at his parents' (my in-laws') house, and where, to the dismay of my wife, he had invited one of his new downlines and his wife. [Our irritation was not directly toward the downline himself, but that he would drag his business into a family occasion.] Now that I have read your pages, I understand exactly what he was trying to do by inviting the downline.

At that Thanksgiving, after numerous attempts to inject Amway-related topics into the conversation, he asked me if he could "show you what I do", and said it would only take about 15 to 20 minutes of my time. I gritted my teeth and relented, after all, we were going to leave for home in half an hour anyway..... he was indeed "showing me the plan."

An hour and a half later, I was furiously making hurry-up gestures to my wife (who hid out during most of this ordeal) and desperately pulling myself away from this guy and his wife, as they prattled on and on about this "fun, people-oriented business." It was truly comical, as my patience and "nice-guy" demeanor was stretched beyond the breaking point; I could have throttled him if he had asked me what my dreams were one more time. I'm sure you 've heard this one a thousand times.

Anyway, we informed my in-laws that they were never to speak of Amway again in our presence or try to get us to join or buy the products. They agreed ("you'll miss out"), but since have continued to try to sell to us. It's pathetic, really, and I mostly feel sorry for them. He joined Amway with the typical profile (broke, in serious debt, and looking for a way out) and is diving in with all his heart and soul. I just hope he isn't ruined by it all.

One request: please include a glossary of terms ("Pearl", "Diamond", etc.). Most of it is fairly contextual, but I don't fully understand what the differences between the different distributor levels are (years to achieve, number of downlines.) I know you're working on a FAQ, maybe this can be included in that.

Thanks again for an outstanding site. Keep up the good work!


Sid,

This is a wild site. I 1st was approached by a dist. in college in 93. Within 3 months I had lost about $100 and over 100 hours of my time. Here it is 1/97 and I am being approached again this time however, this particular person is telling/showing me the "new system". In a nutshell: sign up your home, have products sent to you on a monthly basis, sign up nine other homes, get said products free. Have 60 homes in your downline, profit $2500 per month. He is teling me all I need is a computer i.d. for $150 and I'm rolling...

I would like to hear from others in the "new system" and get feedback.


Sidney

I'm amazed by the amount of material about Amway on the net. I thought I'd run out of stuff, then I came across the newsgroups. We are a couple from Australia in the Yager system and have been involved for two years now. We have been very quiet for about a year. We went reasonably gung-ho at the beginning (go- getters) attending all functions, tape of the week and completely plugged into the SYSTEM. "I decided to zip my pants up at the front" and was removed from my own conventional business by my partner six months into Amway. We have just finalised these proceedings with an out of court settlement and that part of life was completed on the 1 Dec 1996. My involvement in Amway did at least give me a spine but if I had realised the legal proceedings (the Canadian fraud case) the Amway business had been involved with I wouldn't have become a distributor. I have a strong belief in business ethics. That was the main cause of the dispute with my business partner.

Don't get me wrong, I believe most of the people I've had dealings with in our upline are fine people, but I believe a corporations ethics is greatly defined by it's leaders. Our direct (who took 8 years to get there) is a wonderful man, but even at that stage I don't think he was making a fortune after costs.

The internet has taken off like a house on fire in this country and since I've heard stories of numbers declining, I'm wondering if it is partly due to the influence of this and other similar sites. I wish, like many others that I had had access to this information two years ago.

We had always suspected that the system was a great money spinner for someone at the top but this was generally denied. My wife used to pick up one bottle of shampoo and there would always be thirty dollars worth of incidentals nearly every time. So the bills certainly started to mount up to the tune of a few thousand a year on the system. With two small children, the baby sitting costs along with the system expenses, prompted our decision to quit and set up another conventional business with an honest business partner who I've known for many years.


Dear Sidney,

First of all, I applaud what you're doing. It's about time someone told the truth about one of the largest con jobs going on in America today.

My name is JW, and I run a $100 million division of a large consumer products company in St. Louis Missouri. I recieved my MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, and have been against network or multi-level marketing for as long as I have been involved in the real business world. My interest in Amway and other pryamid scams stems from the massive number of friends I have had join these organizations from my past church. What I do not understand, never having participated in a pyramid, or having any desire to participate, is how people can be so naive? Perhaps you can help me understand more why people are so willing to believe the obvious lies told by multi-level marketers. My other question to you is, "How do you convince these brain-washed people of their folly?" I have been unsuccessful in the use of logical arguments to members about why multi-level deals are scams.

I also want to say that the real business world laughs at these pyramid schemes, because they are so unsound financially, and statistically, a setup for failure. Who would invest in a business that makes you violate every relationship with a business transaction and provides an average annual income to the members that is most certainly negative! Amway and other multi-level marketing organizations work by selling members on a dream or vision, rather than looking at the hard facts of the real income potential with the business, and the investment required (both time and money) to make even the smallest profit. Multi-level marketing schemes are by definition a zero sum game. Since almost all of the income comes from the members, the only way any member can succeed is to take profits from others. Redistribution at its best. The more you succeed, the more others must fail.

Anway, keep the Amway bashing up. I would also like to see more stories on other multi-levels on your site.

Thanks.


Hi Sidney,

I have been reading and re-reading all of the information on your site for the last two months - enjoying all of the information you provide in your articles, price comparisons, and especially the responses. It's nice to see someone taking the time to gather and post the volume of information that you have. I know that it takes quite a while to do since you make sure that your information has been spell checked, makes logical sense, and follows English grammatical rules - unlike many of the Pro-Amway responses on Your Comments pages! I, like many of the other people that have sent you responses, am curious about your background and dealings with Amway and its distributors. If you don't mind maybe you could tell me a little about your involvement if you have the time to answer this response.

I was a distributor for a short period of time until I started to see the pressure involved in trying to recruit new distributors and sell them the "system" (the I.N.A. system). Even worse, were the presentations to potential new distributors on the savings achieved by buying Amway products. Amway's prices are always touted as being "wholesale," but you and I both know that Amway's definition actually means the exact opposite, or "retail." I could go on and on but I have already expressed my thoughts on a web site of my own that I have just put online. I call my site: Amway: An Insider's Perspective. The URL for the site is:

http://www-acc.scu.edu/~jgreenfield/amway_home.html

Feel free to visit my site and create a link to it on your page if you like. My feeling is that more people need to express the things they experienced in Amway so that others do not get lured into the Amway pyramid and waste their valuable time. Anyway, I have already created a link to your page and many others to make sure that the facts are available should people be looking.

P.S. Looking forward to some more "logical" responses in number 20.

Thanks Again,

-- Jason


I don't see your problem about the Amway Business. In the 38 years of their existing is has already changed thousands of peoples their lifes in the positive way.

Everybody who realy wants, can earn an extra income by using this business opportunity. And it doesn't matter if you like the work.

Why work 40 hours a week, if you can earn the same amount of money or even more in 8 hours a week.

I don't have to tell you in what group I'm in and who's the head, because

1 - There's no head, and
2 - What difference does it make in your life!

An Amway Distributor from The Netherlands.


I am a soon-to-be EX-Amway distributor. After over 2 years of activity and reaching well into the 1500PV level (oooh! aaaahh!) I've had enough. I am going to stay away from some of the more broad and emotional (and sometimes exaggerated) criticisms (cult, scam etc.) and point out some smaller, more specific problems. Hopefully, this will prevent current distributors from skipping the rest of my note. These may seem trivial, but bear in mind that my point is how "the business" differs from what you are being told.

MYTH #1 Upline (particularly Direct and above) are wonderful, generous, caring, moral, ethical people. We are told to "EDIFY". My upline (a ruby direct) has recently had the nerve to TELL me to edify him. Believe me, I'll edify you (in or out of Amway) if you DESERVE it. The other part of the problem here is distributor's confusion over "edification" and "deification". Directs and above are winners, but Emeralds and above are beyond description. This, of course sets them up for a big fall. Hey, these are just people...successful at Amway...not the second coming (nor the first, depending on your religion). My awesome, bible-teaching upline recently yelled at his young son, calling him a Jackass, because he dropped something (He didn't know I was in the next room. WHat's the big deal, you say? We all slip up, you say? Right. However, the system pounds into your head how much you should want to be half as wonderful as these people. Amway distributors (yes you- pay attention) would do much better if they didn't claim averything and everyone was THE BEST. And speaking of "the best" would someone please tell my Amway people that you can't tell me I'm "the best" and Joe Shmoe he's "the best" and everyone you meet that you love them after the second day and expect to maintain credibility. No, my feelings are not hurt...it's just SO phony!

MYTH #2 IT'S SIMPLE AND CONVENIENT....Really!?? Let's see... my downline calls in their order to me on Sunday. Without fail, they either call later than they are told to, are returning something, give me the wrong code or the wrong description or totally forget and call the next day to see if I can add them last- minute (EASY!). I write this all down and call my upline (usually passing on the errors or omissions unknowingly) Thusrsday comes and I go to pick up. Almost every week something is missing/not available (CONVENIENT!). I have to wait for other distributors (TIME-SAVING!) and my downline either don't show up, forget their checkbooks, complain about missing items or return things last-minute causing re- orders. re-calculation etc. (but the people are so WONDERFUL and ACCOUNTABLE). My upline has hired a non-distributor (not to mention non-customer ) to help do the order. She is slow, unfriendly and uneducated about the products. So, I ask my upline male a question. He responds "Beats me, not my job...ask my wife if you see her (HELPFUL! KNOWLEDGEABLE!). There's more, but I'll spare you. If you're doing this as a full-tilt business, I guess this is part of the price. Well, then STOP telling prospects how simple, convenient and time-saving this is. I do LIKE a few of the products (mostly I'm just indifferent, any distributor who's honest should admit this). Which leads to the next MYTH - THE PRODUCTS ARE FANTABULISTICLY WONDERFUL! Please stop going orgasmic over deodarant and toilet bowl cleaner. It's embarassing. My wife really does like the Artistry make-up, though. Enough for now...more to come. Do you see yourself here? Do you want to see yourself here?! Amway distributors should remember that if you make something sound to good to be true...it'll come back and bite you in the ass. I now resent my upline; not because of these problems alone but because I was told they wouldn't happen. I refuse to bring anyone else into this. p.s. and the prices???...don't get me started...4% shipping AND I have to drive to my upline's!


This is a very interesting web site! However, many of my personal friends have grown incredibly successful in the Amway corporation. I have watched them grow as people and leave their jobs.

Did you know that one of every thirty people in Japan are now in Amway?

I'm excited about Amway. And do you know why the success level is so low? It takes a lot of hard work. And a lot of determination. You cannot get rich quick, and no one promises that. Think of it this way. People go to college and spend an enormous amount of money for four or more years, and are not guaranteed a job when they leave. If Amway distributors put that much determination into this business for four years as college students do, they'll spend a whole lot LESS (in response to the expense section), and they will be making more than they'd ever dream.

This business rewards those who don't quit. We are looking for go-getters who will work through the good and the bad. Who, after a fuction, don't get tired of it two weeks later. And these are admirable qualities that many people don't posess.

I hope you are successful in whatever you are doing. Because I think that anyone - in ANY business - who works hard should be rewarded. And I hope the same for you.


Sidney--

Nicely done updates to the site recently! How's that FAQ coming? :-)

After reading the "Directly Speaking" transcripts and your commentary I thought it was interesting to note the composition of the newly-elected ADA Board, pictured in the latest SCAMAGRAM (hopefully that was my last issue--what a mailbox clogger!) While Amway publicly states that the corporation and its "great business opportunity" speak for themselves and are what brings in the bucks, their actions indicate otherwise.

On the prominently featured ADA Board are: Paul Miller, Rocky Covington, Ron Puryear, Randy(?) Haugen, Greg Duncan, Hal Gooch, and several other godfathers (oops, I mean diamonds) from the big systems. Mention is also made of some big event/dedication (maybe a Temple of Greed, I didn't read the whole article) to which "special guests" Dexter Yager and Bill Britt were invited. Also, a special insert on Britt's organization was included in the AMAGRAM last summer,--the first time a distributor organization has been so prominently touted--a fact that was repeatedly exulted at Britt Spring Leadership (my first and last function).

Your point about Amway and the ADA having each different goals but being unable to function without the other captures the situation perfectly. DeVos and Van Andel, while no angels (see Canadian trade case), seem legitimately concerned about the abuses of the systems and are genuinely interested in preserving the integrity of the company. Unfortunately, they are also astute businessmen who realize that the once remora- like systems are now actually life support for the Amway shark. If their conservative money machine (maybe they need to help with legal defense funds--nice goin' Newt!) is to persist, it will do so only with the dollars extorted from "sharp, young professionals" by the smirking crime bosses in the ADA photo.

Such a cruel irony. A company founded on morals ends up in bondage to those with such a blatant lack of them. As one contrasts DeVos' tone on "Directly Speaking" (over a decade old) with the new ADA board, the recent Britt AMAGRAM insert, the corporation's false propaganda surrounding the Hanrahan case, the phrase "actions speak louder than words" comes to mind. Amway's management has, at the highest levels, sold out its future to the scripture twisting, psychological manipulation, and cloaked criminality of the systems. Let's all do our part, via the Internet, to ensure that all of these common criminals lose out to a force much more powerful than any of them--THE TRUTH!! Good work, Sidney!


Hi,

I recently attended a "Dream Night" as an "observer". I was very disappointed with several aspects, not least the exorbitant cost of the evening. No where in the literature or on the tickets was there so much as a name or address of someone responsible or an indication of where the profits (and they must be significant) go to.

Amway claims to promote environmentally friendly products but the greed driven speakers show an absolute disregard for our planet and its limited resources. One speaker bragged of his enormous fuel bills caused by over exuberant use of out door whirlpools, etc. Others talked of staying healthy but in their videos were seen driving ATV's, SeeDo's and Snowmobiles - burning precious fossil fuels for pleasure. All were proud of their expensive, gas guzzling automobiles. A former medical student boasted that he no longer cycles to college in all weathers! A definite step in the wrong direction. Yet another "hunted" squirrels on his own 13 acre property.

I understand that they are attempting to attract "drones" and that a lot of people aspire to such life styles, and that the successful business person can choose his/her own way to spend the money but they certainly did not impress me.

By the way, I managed to buy my house, sail boat and modest car with cash by working hard the conventional way.


My question to you sir is, were you at one time an Amway Distributor? or did you just kind of make all this stuff up because of what someone else told you? Just wanted to know if your comments were from previous experiences or heresay. Please reply, because I certainly would not want to be misinformed, since I am looking for an additional source of income.


Sidney, Sidney, Sidney,

I can't believe the homepage you've set up for yourself because of the fact that you did not have the desire, dedication, and perseverance to pursue your dreams. I did not read all the articles in your homepage but I just looked at the titles. It seemed like it was all negative. One thing you have to remember is, Amway is just a supplier of goods and services for distributors. It is the individual groups that actually instill their different philosophies on how to build the business. Some groups are very professional, tell you how it is, and tell you to treat it like a real business (which it really is), and many other groups are very rinky-dink and unprofessional. So remember, the key to building a successful Amway business is not Amway itself, it is the business team that you're associated with and the principles that they follow.

I have had absolutely no problems with the products and as a matter of fact, everyone that I've exposed the business to that did not want to get in had nothing but positive comments about the Amway products. I really don't care what Consumer Digest says because the bottom line is what the people think. Some people may like the products and some may not like them. Does that mean that Amway makes bad products? Does that mean Proctor and Gamble makes bad products if some people don't like them?

In terms of this cult stuff, we are taught to think for ourselves. In order to be successful you are recommended to follow success principles that are taught by people in all walks of life (spiritual, corporate, athletic, etc.). Remember, we are only taught what has been written in success books that any individual has access to in the bookstores. We do exactly what players on a basketball team are taught to do, except we do it from a entrepreneurship standpoint. Does that mean the NBA, NFL, church, or your job is a cult? They all stress the same success principles. Our business team teaches those success principles because they are so basic and so universal. We don't make people do anything. We simply recommend it to keep people's minds on their dreams and goals everyday. If they don't follow the success principles lined up for them, guess what. They usually quit because life simply takes up most of their mental energies and Amway is just not a priority.

Amway does usually take about 8 extra hours per week on average. 3 hours for a weekly meeting, 3 hours for product pickup and phone team, and an extra 2 hours for showing the plan. There are other things that need to be done, like ordering, writing checks, etc. that are done in the home, but guess what, I do them while I'm watching T.V. so no extra time is wasted. We teach you to meet people as you're living your life so you don't spend extra time doing that. You do have to manage your time but hey, if that's what it takes to become financially independent, no big deal. It's just a mindset.

I have seen nothing but positive in Amway. Any changes they've made have been for the better. It's not been as good for the company where I've been working at for a year and a half. The positives have been my yearly raise and the nice people but the negatives have been the layoffs, the reduction in benefits, people moving ahead of better, more qualified people, etc. Why don't you set up a website about the negatives of Corporate America? Why haven't you quit your job if things got a little tough or if you were passed up for a promotion or if any other negative thing happened? Do you think Amway Corporation is the only corporation that has gotten sued for various things? They make mistakes and they pay for them, just like everybody else. Are you going to quit buying a certain product simply because the manufacturer of that product is getting sued? Why do you think every corporation has a legal department?

The facts on your website are definitely true but the opinions of other people are simply just that, opinions based on their own experiences with other distributors (some good, some bad). I suggest to anyone that is checking out the Amway business or any other network marketing business to check out the facts, the people, and how the business is built. Remember, all network marketing companies that are legal are great. Being a part of the company won't make you rich. It's your actions that will reap you the rewards. So ask yourself, Sidney, can you honestly say that you were consistently out there sharing the opportunity with people your attitude level and above over an extended period of time (3 to 5 people per week for 2 years)? If you did that, I believe you would have seen better results for yourself. New people can spend as much time as they want checking it out and if it's not for them, fine, and if it's for them, fine. Either way, they've made a good decision for themselves.

My personal opinion of your website is that it is ludicrous, totally biased to your point of view, and simple just tasteless. One thing is for certain, don't ever complain about your financial situation because you passed up what I and everyone who is active int the business believes is the best opportunity in the world today.


Dear Mr. Schwartz,

I would like to share a story with you and I hope you share it with your readers.

Years ago my father was dieing, and was paying my rent on a condo. I had to find a place to live, and fast. I was looking through the paper and I was hired for L and K W of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

I was hired on the spot. I was a governess, or so I thought. My job description soon included, cook, dog feeder and trainer, and answering machine. I worked 95 hours a week for $200.00 a month. I had a daughter and was desperate and my father's money was no longer forth coming so I was stuck.

I was a Christian of 9 years at the time, and was totally submissive to my "boss". L soon wanted to know my friends and I was no longer allowed to use my personal items, that weren't Amway.

I have watched this man and his wife mentally twist their children. Their daughter was made to do data entry for the business. When other children are playing with their friends she was entering data. I was asked to watch a few videos, but I was always skeptical when I was not alowed to "say" Amway. I was sternly spoken to if I mentioned Amway.

It is a cult of that I am sure! I would watch people, who were clearly unable to buy all of these products, feel ashamed, because they weren't as rich as the Ws. The Ws had a Winnebago in the driveway to make the illusion so alluring! They never told peope that his wife was a proffessor and he sold realestate, and he also was retired from the Navy.

The people that came to the house were condecending and completely Amway zoned. Everyone lived and breathed Amway. As a Christian I knew this was idolatry, no difference, not according to God's Word. I would never want to be a slave to that kind of living.

In a heated arguement L let me know that I was a loser and I would have nothing for my daughter when she grew up and without wavering I looked him in the eye and said "L am richer in ways than you could ever hope to be". And he physically, shook and I left after he tried to intimidate me and physically move me.

Years later, my car was in the shop and the BRAKES were being looked at, well Lís phone number was still in their records. When the manager called to tell me that I needed other things done to the car, L told them to fix whatever was wrong. I just happened to call that evening concerning my car, because I didn't know what was wrong and the manager said she had spoken to my husband and the brakes had already been done. Needless to say I received a free brake job.

If you cross an Amway distributor, not someone just entering, but a distributor with their eye on the prize revenge is there and in vast ammounts.


HEY I AM GLAD TO SEE THAT I AM NOT THE ONLY IDOT THAT LOST A LOT OF CASH BY GETTING INTO THE BIG AMWAY BUSINESS, IT IS ALL A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT! YOU JERKS WHO ARE IN AMWAY KNOW IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE MONEY SO LEAVE US LITTLE PEOPLE ALONE. GET A LIFE PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT AMWAY. JUST PLAIN OUT DON'T DO IT, YOU WILL REGRET IT AND GO BROKE!!!!!!!!!

PLAIN OUT BROKE.


WELL I JUST GOT DONE READING YOUR SITE. I AM A AMWAY DIST. I DO ALL THE THINGS TALKED ABOUT IN YOUR SITE. MY QUESTION IS IF NOT THIS BUSINESS OR ANY OTHER MLM WHAT THEN??????

THE GOV. SAYS YOUR BROKE AT THE AGE OF 65!!!!!!! I HAVE KNOW OTHER OPTIONS TO MAKE IN LIFE. PLUS I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON THROUGH THIS BUSINESS. PLEASE E-MAIL ME BACK WITH YOUR ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sidney,

I've been following your AUS web site for a few months now. I think it is very well done, and I particularly like the way that you post everyone's letters, pro or con. The tools section was a real eye opener. I never could see how the basic, 6 legs only, diamonds could have the lifestyle they claim when according to basic math they should only be making 90-100K or so unless they have a big business themselves outside their directs. I know people who make that and they do NOT live the lifestyle the diamonds keep talking up. That's certainly not enough money to replace most doctor, dentist, or other high earnings professional's income, and it won't make you an instant millionaire, despite what some people who write you think. When I realized that diamonds would be at least doubling their income from the tools side, then it started making sense.

I'm not quite ready to write out my whole Amway adventure yet, but I do have something I would like to add to the discussion.

People keep writing in and asking what else there is besides Amway, what other hope you have to offer, etc and so on. They seem to have completely bought into the idea that if they don't do Amway they will end up broke in their old age and never be able to retire. I know my line of sponsorship promotes that concept heavily, and that's what hooked my sponsor in.

What people don't seem to realize is that the tools buying process siphons away the very money they could have been using to fund their retirement. (Which hooks people even tighter and REALLY makes them believe that it is their only hope!) My suggestion is this:

If you can find the 50+ dollars a month recommended for basic tool purchases (2 tapes a week + book of the month), take that money and put it in a good mutual fund IRA instead. If you can find the full 100 dollars or so a month to attend all functions as well as buy tools, and put that in an IRA instead, so much the better. If you start young, you have a much, much better chance of being a millionaire by age 65 than if you do Amway!!!!! No, it's not as exciting to squirrel your money away and sit on it as it is to go to rah-rah functions and hob-nob with the "Diamonds", but it's much better for you in the long run. Sure, the cost of tools is tax deductible, but you'll have more to show for that money in an IRA than in tapes you can't do anything with once you are sick of them!!!!

Something for people to think about, and maybe start doing the math.........................


Very interesting site. So far, I have read about 50-60 pages. Mostly what I was reading was the bit on the dishonesty and the "Directly Speaking" tapes. I was totally amazed at some of the practices outlined. I guess the reason I was so amazed is that I have been an Amway distributor for over a year, have been prospected by people from more than 3 support organizations, and have never run into such practices or been told such things. I noticed that most of your material is dated in the mid-80s... and I know many of these problems have occured in the past. You specificall mentioned WWDB (Worldwide) and INA (International Networking) as culprits. I have been prospected by 3 individuals from WWDB and 2 from INA, and have never been mislead, lied to, or coerced. The 2 seperate times I asked if it was Amway, the distributors said that it was Amway. It is unfortunate, I think, that you give such misleading information and such misrepresentations of Amway and the various support groups (which, contrary to your implications ARE SUPPORTED by Amway's leadership... I have myself met Doug DeVos, who had the highest regard for the Directs and higher pins in the group I belong to). I am sure there are groups out there whose higher pins focus on the money involved in the tapes and who do not support their groups personally. I also believe this is the exception, not the rule.

It's me again. First, I should let you know a bit about me. I have been in Amway for 14 months, have shown a handful of people the business, attend all major functions, am on standing order tape, read books off the book list (which I usually buy at a discount / used book store... a practice our group supports to encourage us to save money), and average about 75PV per month.

Reading all your material has made me glad I choose the support group I did. Just to let you know that not every big pin in Amway is ripping people off (in fact, I believe most aren't)...

I am 2 down from my Diamond. I couldn't afford to go to my first function. There was no pressure to go... in fact, my Diamond paid for it himself and will not take the money I have tried to pay him back. I have never been pressured to attend functions or purchase tapes. I have, in fact, missed functions due to other obligations. My upline encouraged me to do what I needed to do, not to spend money I didn't have. When my Diamond shows the plan (He has shown plans with me to individual prospects, and I have seen him do "house plans" and "opens") he ALWAYS tells the prospects the price of the kit, and exactly how much money it would be IF they want to attend functions and/or buy tapes or books. In addition, our organization tells members to NEVER go into debt in order to pay for functions or materials. I have heard speakers mention ways to afford the functions, books, or tapes, should one wish to purchase them. For instance, the founder of our group teaches budgeting... he encourages people to stop smoking or stop drinking alcohol, to really watch where they are spending, and see if there is money they could divert from lunches out at work or something. He also teaches, as do all the "pins" in our group, to avoid going into debt to for any reason except purchasing a house or for emergencies. They encourage savings.

I was told the "10 Customer Rule" at the same time I signed up (although that rule has changed just this month... Distributors no longer must have 10 customers). Our group teaches personal consumption, but not how your material explains it. People sometimes want to sign up just to get Amway products cheaper than the suggested retail price. Some people want to show the plan now and then and buy products. In our group, these people are just as important as the distributor who wants to show the plan 5 nights per week. I know, because I know how much attention I get from my upline.

Maybe my support group is unusual. But, I have heard similar teachings from another group.

I desire to build my Amway business at least to the Diamond level. And, I know it can be done. I am realistic about the costs involved. I have owned businesses before (one which I have owned for 15 years), and do not feel the costs involved in the "system" are out of line. I consider in comparison the costs involved in the professional organizations, seminars, conferences, and reading/educational materials I must purchase, and find the "system" to be very reasonable. In fact, it is downright inexpensive. It was a burden for a short time, as I mentioned, but my upline, as I also mentioned, encouraged me to hang in there and not do anything that I couldn't afford or that would increase my debt.

It would be nice to see this letter posted with the letters you have posted ripping the support systems.


My husband and I became Amway dist. in 93'. It's now 97. Yes we did make direct. yep even went to ADA. Listen to what I I'm saying folks. The Numbers are false. All those Directs you see have bought in. My husband and I sponsered a single guy who was at the 2500 PV. He was told in 95'. now is the time to go direct. Is that sound advice from your upline to go direct with 2500 pv. I don't think so. Anyway, so the guy we sponsered cranked up and bought in to the tune of 10,000 per month for 6 months. 0k, folks did you know if you sponser a silver producer, you need 2500 pv. outside of his 7500 pv. That does't sound so bad. So I thought. Come on honey, it's only 2500 pv per month for 6 months. This is the best time we could ever have to make direct. At least we don't have to come up to the whole 7500pv. Do you know that 2500pv = $5,000 Yep. for 6 months we spent $5,000 per month. We have spent over $30,000 the 4 yrs we have been in Amway. We did not have it to spend. We worked very hard. Showed the plan 15 to 30 times a month, as did the guy we sponsered. His pv is right back to 2500 pv which is the true reading. This is not a case of not working hard enough. We did everything we were told to do. They lie guys. They say fake it till you make it. They said the pv would catch up to us. Well guys it did'nt happen. " I am not a smart woman" " But I do know what scam smells like" To bad I learned it alittle late. We are another couple who came close to divorce. This is just one experience. My experience but a very real and painful one. Somehow, it has felt better to say it out loud. Thanks for listening.


I recently attended an Amway meeting. The whole time I knew something was wrong and eventually I got up and left. I was confused on what this company was all about. Your site is excellent and I learned a lot. It was nice to be able to access the information I needed. One thing that I want to do is get involved in web publishing. My ability to get to your site and the information it contained further reinforced this goal.


Wow, I just read a little of your stuff. I guess there's something special about me because I'm 19, I've been involved almost six months and I'm very close to qualifying for direct. I really don't know what to say except its working for me, I'm highly profitable, I'm having fun and I've never 'screwed' anyone. In addition, my parents are profit sharing directs and then our line of sponsorship has two pearls, an emerald, an Executive Diamond, two Double Diamonds, a single diamond and a crown ambassador (Dexter and Birdie Yager). Maybe you should dig a little deeper before you judge the entire Amway business.


In addition to providing useful information about Amway, your page offers the tangential benefit of bringing together information from several disparate Consumer Reports ratings. I wouldn't have known about the Kmart dish product except by reading your page!


hey sidney,,

thanks much for the info... I just wish I would have had this a few years ago...before I sold my 2 computers to go to "functions" and pay for "the System"

I was an ama-idiot.... for 6 years.... lost my marriage, house, thousands of dollars (but got lots of tapes!) and I and my sponsors are wanting to correspond with others in similar situations, as we are going to take some action.

There is a lot of crap going on here in Texas (Diamondships disappearing) caused by "the System" - and I have only just found out about the tools thing...

anyway, I would like to talk with other people in similar circumstances.... thanks for opening eyes, too late for mine as the damage has been done but we hope (my sponsors - "Pearls") to do something so that others are not damaged, or at least know up front that their "upline" might have other motivation in telling them to "sell their TV" to get to a function..... thanks, and keep up the good work.....

P.S. My story has an interesting twist...I not only had to battle the things other people do--I had an upline Emerald who did not like my sponsor and so sabotaged me so that she would not reach Direct....(i was her 2nd leg) For 2 years.....we only had her and no other "upline" who even was concerned about us... When I finally "got" to counsel with him, and we were 4 months behind in the mortgage payments, and my marriage was falling apart..his counsel was to "build more width"......


Dear Sidney,

First and foremost, thank you! for this webpage. (please don't post my name with this article because I don't want to get postcards and visits and reprimands from upline) I was lured into a meeting in December of 96. What do you want out of life? Well, I want more money just like anyone else. So I get caught up without really thinking. Do I think that I could make it in this business? Yes! If I sell my soul, and become completely brainwashed! Granted my sponsors are really nice and my wife and I could be excellent friends with them. But blah, there is only one thing we talk about. Amway. To the point that it's fanatical. I have lots of interests which include: computers, music, wildlife, fishing, reading, ect.... but around these people (robots?) its stale, plug in to the system, wasn't that tape the best thing you ever heard, these products are so great, I can't wait to see how much you'll enjoy the seminar this month....blah blah blah. Money? OK, lets talk money. I'm over $300 dollars down...(and I joined MCI--mistake #2) and at the end of the month, I get my performance bonus: a Six dollar check! Wow! I'm rich! My dreams are coming true! (My wife is gonna buy a six-pack of beer with that six bucks). So I've gotta sponsor people... don't mention Amway when you recruit. OK, my friends are no longer my friends. Remember, I had to decieve them into seeing the plan. Yuck. OK, so now I tell people right up front that its Amway. Forget this tactic if you want to sponsor people. They recoil instantly. 2 to 5 years! Come on, get real, After a month I already hate myself for what I've done. Sidney, after reading your site in its entirety, I felt raped and nauseated, YES, really! The truth hurts, but I thank you for giving me my much needed slap across the face. The articles about cultism and about the sale of motivational materials as a side business are what made me sick. So any Amway drone who tells me I'm not ready, or I'll never make it or that I don't know what I'm missing, BRING IT ON. Fill my ears with your quick little nuggets of Amway insight. Just remember that Most everyone I've met (hundreds) in this business are hypocrytes. I have a higher IQ and a lot more common sense than you could possibly fathom. Go diamond? NO! Go broke. Go Hypocryte! Go brainwashing! Wake up people. Unless you got in 20-30 years ago, forget it. No matter how you slice it, its a badly planned MLM. Be a real entrepreneur and do something new that no one else has done.

Fact #1: The majority of people in this country do not want to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable!

Fact #2: Most money-making plans fail because they are based on having people do things the majority of people DON'T WANT TO DO!

Fact #3: Making people do what they don't want to do makes them feel uncomfortable and causes them to procrastinate instead of taking action.

Fact #4: The fear of doing something uncomfortable is more powerful than the desire most people have for financial freedom!

Fact #5: The national average for "sponsoring" (bringing other people into your business), is 2.7 people PER PERSON.

Think about these facts, and read this page often people, before you lose touch of reality.


What are you offering?


Yo, Sid, you big, bad boy:

Shame on you! Your site will prevent a lot of people from realizing their potential, because, afterall, today's "real" world does not reward hard work or value human potential. Too bad you can't see this as a positive influence on people's lives and let them "grow" without planting unsubstantiated fears through your inflamatory ramblings...Maybe you'll get lucky and get sued for liable and then we can have an "anti- Sidney" page...Find a positive way to vent, will ya? You're screwing up more lives than Amway ever could hope to!

Hope your conscience kicks in soon,


That's a lot of bad KARMA sparky !


There are a lot of people in this site talking about failure. They speak as if there is no failure outside of Amway. I have heard it said, "If you want to learn about failure seek advice from someone who has failed". I would like to know hear from the ones that have succeded. Or are you saying that no one has succeded. If Amway has gone from 2 billion dollars in world wide sales in 1990 to 6.2 billion in world wide sales in 1996, surely the are successes. That is a 19% growth rate from a 39 year old company. Someone must be doing something right.


Here are some quotes for you to chew on for a while. I've stumbled across your page before, but haven't yet had time to peruse your sub-pages. I will respond at a later date when I've read more of your "research".

"Be brave enough to live life with joy." - unknown.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams." - Henry David Thoreau.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Helen Keller.

"Accomplishment - like life - will be a journey, *not* a destination." - unknown.

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you *can* do." - John Wooden.

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson.

"We only learn our limits by going beyond them." - unknown.

"Nothing astonishes others so much as common sense and plain dealing." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"The true leader inspires in others self trust - guiding their eyes to the spirit, the goal." - Bronson Alcott.

"Ideas alone do not keep. The vitality of thought is in adventure." - Alfred North Whitehead.

"In creating, the only hard thing is to begin." - James Russell Lowell.

"Be faithful to that which exists within yourself." - Andre Gide.

"Nothing will come of nothing. Dare mighty things." - William Shakespeare.

"Look to today. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." - Don Marquis.

"The secret of success is constancy of purpose." - Benjamin Disraeli.

"Great things are done when men and mountain meet." - unknown.

Sid,

There is one common idea which flows from all these quotes. The idea that to be truly successful, and to achieve your goals, you must have a dream. None of these quotes come from Amway distributors or Amway employees, or Amway management, they come from people who have made the choice to acheive their dreams, and share that success with in the form of inspiration. As I said, I will further study your sub- pages for further response.

Think about this, though. No matter how far you go to express yourself by the Bill of Rights, you cannot ever take away my dream to be successful, nor will you take away the dreams of those who are truly driven to success by their dreams. You may however, continue to exercise your right to free speech, because you live in a *FREE* country. Founded by dreamers who had been oppressed by the dictators and rulers of their homelands. They came to the new world with visions of creating homesteads and businesses of their very own. Created by the sweat of their brow, and driven by the dream to be free of the puppet strings to which they had been attached. Keep in mind Sid, that because of freedom in the United States and other democratic governments, you have the opportunity to spread your word to millions and millions of people around the world. The numbers free countries and people is increasing, also, because people are tired of being restrained, and having to live their lives to satisfy some one elses dreams and visions.

Your page has inspired me. It has inspired me to continue to dream, and set goals, achieve those goals, and dream bigger. Yes, I am a distributor of Amway goods and services. I am NOT an employee, nor am I affiliated with Amway in any other way. My business, a distributorship, moves the goods and services which the Amway Corporation manufactures, produces, and distributes, as well as goods and services manufactured by several hundred major corporations. Fortune 500 corporations. If the Amway Corporation was such a sham, and so scheming, why would multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations, allow the Amway Corporation, and it's distributors, access to their goods and services ?

You seem to have spent a great deal of time finding negative propoganda, but where is the positive. Maybe you don't know what positive means ?!?

I didn't mean to get so long winded in this correspondence, but I believe very strongly that everyone has the right to achieve their dreams, by any means that they choose. And in my business, I will support whomever chooses to achieve their dreams through an Amway distributorship.

I will write more in the future, but in closing, maybe you should read a good book, like "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach. It talks about striving to acheive, even when others mock you and laugh at you.

Examples of successes from people who went through the ridicule: Walt Disney, fired from his first job because of lack of creativity, turned down by at least 300 investors for his vision, Disneyland and Disney World, etc., Henry Ford, laughed at by his peers for his "horse-less" carriage, Orville and Wilbur Wright, laughed at and told that "if man was meant to have wings, God would have given man wings". Helen Keller, blind and deaf...you know the story, and the list goes on.

Anyone who has a dream and the guts and conviction to follow it, will succeed regardless of the negativity of others, like you.

TTFN, I'm going to chase my dreams.


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