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MLM Bashing, why?

(90 Posts)
bagpackbagpack Thu 16-Feb-17 22:33:54

Sorry for the click bait in advance...

F me, we all hate MLM? But why is it still here?

4 posts I have seen in 3 hours where people have been scammed, I know the VAST majority of mumsnetters wouldn't ever dream of joining an MLM, BUT PEOPLE STILL DO! (Mums netter or not)

Its really frustrating.

AIBU to think the MLM should be banned. And we as a group of like minded people might be able to influence this in some way?

TheCraicDealer Thu 16-Feb-17 22:57:33

I think there's a lot of anger towards MLM companies. They sell people- mostly women with children, like many posters on this site- hope of a career and success, whilst charging them obscene amounts of money and pressuring them into recruiting other people (often by lying about their amazing lifestyle or profits) in order to actually make any money back. Generally those recruited are vulnerable, have caring responsibilities or wish to stay at home with their kids and are looking for something flexible to allow them to do that. That's a very familiar scenario to a lot of posters here, and we know all too often that so many people who get sucked in sacrifice time and money that they can't afford to lose, for little or no benefit.

bagpackbagpack Thu 16-Feb-17 23:01:35

Exactly, it's its FRAUD! It's a pyramid scheme, etc etc. But honestly want to canvass the great minds of mumsnet to how we stop this in its fast in tracks...

Beelzebop Thu 16-Feb-17 23:11:10

They drive me mad, selling unrealistic dreams to people finding it hard to make a living. I'm up for a protest! And that's apart from the dodgy health claims etc etc.

DailyMailSucks Thu 16-Feb-17 23:13:39

Im up for some action if we can figure out what we can actually do.

ImnotPadget Thu 16-Feb-17 23:15:16

They use cult tactics, so really you need cultish tactics to get people out. I know one woman who has been through several, lost money each time and keeps going.

One Forever Living woman has a stall at a playgroup I go to. It's infuriating and she's constantly trying to suck people in.

GoesDownLikeACupOfColdSick Thu 16-Feb-17 23:15:41

I got botted by an old school friend on forever living whom I haven't seen since I was 18. It's quite clear they'd told her what to click and paste - it was all stuff like "hey goes, I know this is out of the blue, but remember when we played netball back at school all those years ago? God that was fun. Anyway, I have this business opportunity..."

It was so cringey and so manipulative. But she has 3 boys and I know she was just trying to make a living by working from home. It made me hate forever living. I bought stuff off her (it was shit) but I refused to join the scam!

TinselTwins Thu 16-Feb-17 23:34:16

I went to a charity pamper evening because a friend organised it, it was in a nice location and there were space for treatments.. except it turned out that onely ONE person who had bought a table off her was actually qualified and prepared to do any pampering at all.

My friend isn't an idiot but people were deceptive when they booked, she specifically asked for "treatments" and got loads of people claiming to do treatments and mini facials etc when actually all they did on the night was give measly amounts of samples you could put on a patch of your face!

So depressing. Miserable, awful evening, Tired desperate looking women telling you how AMAZING and totally different their company was. I don't think any of them made their table fee back.

To make it worse, the beautician who was actually able to do pampering got totally bamboozled by the other stall holders trying to recruit her, at one point you couldn't get to her because she was surrounded!

RedSauce Thu 16-Feb-17 23:47:16

I just had to google MLM cos I didn't know what it is.

So in my opinion, these threads are obviously quite easily ignored.

Until now I guess. Your clickbait must have worked on me!

skankingpiglet Thu 16-Feb-17 23:47:22

I've recently had 2 friends sign up to one (in fact one of the friends 'recruited' the other). My FB feed is now full of posts of them eulogising about the products, 'special offers', live streams of them using the products, invites to online FB parties etc etc. I find it really intrusive. One told me this week how the company tells them how they have to push the business as a way of staying home with their kids, being in control of their own lives etc to sign up new victims recruits. My friend even tried the whole sales patter on me despite knowing I'm not only not interested in selling, the products are not something I'd consider using in a million years! They are selling to their mates, who like them are not hugely well-off (we're all on Mat leave, SAHPs, or work very pt), and the products are really pricey. It's awful and I'd love to see them come under much stricter regulation.

Jux Thu 16-Feb-17 23:49:51

I did Herbalife way back in the 80s(?), waste a load of dosh and haven't done anything quite so stupid since.

I thought pyramid selling was illegal, so how all these organisations manage to exist is beyond me.

Twinkleheth Fri 17-Feb-17 00:04:11

I thought I would jump in here with my experience of MLMs or Direct Selling. So anyway, 4 years ago I was looking for a way to fundraise for my son's specialist college placement. I saw an ad on FB and contacted the person. Basically it involves selling products, and I would be paid commission. Sounded perfect - so I would use the commission to pay for college fees. One of my friends wanted to raise funds for a college course, so she started with the business too. I sold online mainly and also at events. We raised a lot of money. Later that year my son passed away very suddenly in his sleep - it's not something I'm ever going to feel OK about, but now I use my business to fundraise for other worthy causes, and always in memory of my son. Hand on my heart, I have made some genuine friendships. I have earned 3 all expenses paid trips, with the one last month for me and my husband, and I've donated thousands to animal welfare and disability causes (both close to my heart) I've deliberately not mentioned the name of my business as I want this to come across as a genuine post - I'm not looking for customers or recruits. I just want to say Direct Selling is regulated by the DSA and there are strict rules about not making false claims etc. For me you can work as hard as you like or do nothing, it's your choice - if you can find a company where the products are absolutely amazing and you truly believe in them, then you are going to do well. Don't write them all off xx

DailyMailSucks Sun 19-Feb-17 22:43:20

So at what exact point is the law failing? Maybe we should figure out what change in law would stop the exploitation, and then see what might work best to get it changed (lobby MPs, official MN campaign, join up with other campaigns with similar aims, etc).

Why do they not fall foul of legislation on pyramid schemes already, for example? Should we be campaigning for additions to those laws?

TheHouseOfIllRepute Sun 19-Feb-17 22:50:44

They are really pyramid schemes but need a product because otherwise it's illegal
Recruiting a sucker is more important than selling so they need more and more suckers to recruit
If you really had a good product and wanted sales you wouldn't be recruiting do many people in the same area
It's the sign up fee they are after

DJBaggySmalls Sun 19-Feb-17 22:53:10

Trading Standards tried to make pyramid selling/MLM illegal a few years ago, they had a big campaign to alert people to it. I thought it had been made illegal until recently.

It should be, its nothing but a scam.

KenAdams Sun 19-Feb-17 22:54:53

Some legislation on this is needed. That's the only way to stop it.

DollyTwat Sun 19-Feb-17 22:58:35

If the average earnings were made available and more prominent that might help. FL don't publish these in the U.K. Do they?

Changesorter Sun 19-Feb-17 23:04:39

Not all Mums are built the same way. There are ethical ones who don't charge the earth for joining kits or have any fees associated with being a member and they don't penalise you if you don't do much..some even sell ethical products.

dingdongthewitchisdead1 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:10:54

You are all so negative about it... it's not all that bad!
I sell scentsy
I paid £80 to sign up 2 years ago
First few orders were huge
Within 3 months I'd made my money back, plus about £400. Hardly life changing.
I've not had the success I had in the first few months again, but I get enough orders to tick over and keep my account active.
It really is a lovely product. I don't push it on fb. I'll post when I'm doing an order, so my customers can let me know what they want. On average I do an order every 6 weeks. It's never huge and it makes me about £50. Better than a poke in the eye.
With every order I place I get some free wax bars or a new warmer. That's why I do it to be honest!
That said, there are some 'up lines' on my team ho make a complete killing from it.
I work full time in a fairly successful career so I have my wage and don't rely on scentsy. These girls have given up their jobs to become directors. One is driving a Range Rover
Vogue and is always going on the recognition holidays... no amount of pushing, selling, booking parties could ever get me to her level of earnings.. but I still enjoy it as a no hassle, no strings bit in the side.
And remember, if you buy from someone like me, you are lining my pocket, as opposed to the faceless
CEO of some multinational. The £50 odd I get every other month will pay for dd music lessons that I might not be able to afford.
And I've never done a party... or asked anyone to host one for me. Cringe

dingdongthewitchisdead1 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:13:16

And I've never recruited anyone either... I'm just happy with my free wax bars every so often!

Blerg Sun 19-Feb-17 23:18:22

Yes I think they should be banned. A great campaign for MN to get behind too - MLMs are talked about here and parents, especially mum's are targeted quite cynically by some of these organisations.

peaceloveandbiscuits Sun 19-Feb-17 23:37:52

Oh, the irony that there are bots on this thread. It sounds as though they're all reading from the same script.

acatcalledjohn Sun 19-Feb-17 23:38:37

If you have a look on the Money Matters boards you will find thread 25 of bot watch. Timeless Vie (look it up on FB) is the spoof MLM born out of it. A lot of the companies and tactics are discussed there. The first post also includes some helpful links.


acatcalledjohn Sun 19-Feb-17 23:42:58

^And remember, if you buy from someone like me, you are lining my pocket, as opposed to the faceless
CEO of some multinational.^

And the person above you, and above them, and above them....until you ultimately reach the faceless, morally devoid and shamefully rich CEO who uses people like who work for less than minimum wage and have no benefits or employee support, yet the company can drop you or change it's reward schemes at the drop of a hat.

OvariesForgotHerPassword Mon 20-Feb-17 00:31:01

MLMs are just a pile of smarmy, mum-boss shit-hashtagging, pyramid scheme in disguise, scammy bollocks. The amount of friends I've removed because they're so brainwashed and every post is following the script and if I see #smashingit or #mumpreneur one more time I'm going to flip.

The bots on here are so obvious, stop reading from your sales pitch script and communicate like a bloody human being.

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