Monday, September 10, 2007

Amway Almost Ruined a Friendship

Jake (not his real name), a good friend, called me up recently saying that he has a fantastic business plan and would like his friend to tell me about it. He passed the phone over and his guy who started by introducing himself as Mike (not his real name). He then asked me is I have heard of Robert Kiyosaki. I replied “Who hasn’t read Rick Dad Poor Dad?”. Then he asked if I knew what passive income was. To which I replied yes and that I already had my money working for me.

Mike then proceeded to invite me to a talk on Wednesday because he wanted to share a business plan with me, a way to make passive income. I probed him with several questions to which he answered none but informed that all would be revealed at the talk.

Dodgy, no? I sure think so. If you’re proposing a way for me to make passive income or a business plan which you say works, you better be able to answer each and every question I ask. It is after all a business and I will not be duped.

I was extremely skeptical and my brain was already sending me warning signals. But this was a friend of Jake, a dear friend whom I really trusted. So if Jake believes in this, I’ll go because he’s a friend and he invited me, even though he can’t tell me anything about the talk.

After sleeping on it, I felt even more uneasy the following day. I then called Jake and also chatted with him on Yahoo messenger. After talking to him for another 15 minutes, I was no better off information-wise and I was getting frustrated. So I outright asked him if it was related to Amway / Cosway / Shaklee. And he didn’t answer the question! Then it became so obvious.

Anyway after probing and probing, he finally admitted that it was Amway, but not exactly. He’s with Network 21 which I found out is an education and training company supplying Professional Development Programs to Independent Business Owners working with the Amway network marketing business opportunities.

So why wasn’t he straight with me and tell me the truth?

He explains it’s because many people turn a deaf ear as soon as they hear Amway.

And can u blame them after all the scandals and law suits which has taken place?

Their intense motivational programmes is another thing which scare me. Some say that it is hard to distinguish it from cult propaganda. I’ve not attended one but the people who have come out so unnaturally zealous, it worries me what information they have been fed. And when all of them speak in the same way and say the same things, that’s another cause of worry.

I rather a straight and honest answer rather than beating around the bush which makes me even more suspicious. If Jake had outright told me that he wanted to invite me to a meeting to share with me a business plan he really believes in and even if it is Amway, I would have gone anyway because a good friend invited me. He believes in it and I believe in him.

After the confrontation and admission, Jake feels bad that he did not handle my question adequately. He feels that it is because he is new. In that way, I do not fault him because that was the same approach his up-line Mike took with me. If that is what the seniors in there do, do you expect new recruits to act much differently? Especially since Jake is spewing what I instantly recognized as a sales pitch and referring me to his up-line when he’s unable to answer my questions. Everything is just so structured.

If I believed in this, I would be so successful in it! Unfortunately I don’t and how they go about handling the business has eroded what little confidence I had in the brand.

My other gripe is why can’t Amway admit that they are a multi level marketing company? Yes MLM has a stigma to it but that is what they are! I feel sorry for the new recruits who are told that what they are joining is not MLM. But it is. There are products involved, you need to recruit people and you have up-lines. So many people from MLMs have approached me so please don’t bull shit me.

Imagine if I had blindly accepted the invitation with no questions asked and cancelled my dinner and made time to go for the talk. I go there and find out that it’s Amway despite all my questions beforehand. I would have been damn pissed off particularly with Jake for conning me into it. And with Nike, his up-line for the approach they chose to take with me. And with Amway. I feel that they can only blame themselves if their name is tainted because they handle recruitment so unprofessionally.

So instead of a new recruit, they have pissed another person off.

Jake said that with this approach, he managed to get 10 appointments. Maybe other people have not been scammed before or they don’t ask enough questions at the start. I don’t believe in blind faint except when it comes to God. When it has to do with man and money especially, I’m not going to relent till I know the full story.

Amway nearly ruined my friendship with Jake. But he believes in this and if he thinks it benefits him then good for him.

To be fair, Jake was told by his up-lines that this business could put a strain on his friendships. Sounds like insurance to me. And that is another form of MLM. Hahaha!

I do believe that the Amway way of life works for some people. Just don’t lie to me.


Uni said...

Yeah. I totally agree on what ytou said. This MLM thing almost ruined my 20years friendship too.

Bubbles said...

Really? Tell me your story......

yourFriend said...

You are the only one responsible about keeping real friendship. I have too many real and honest friends thanks to the people who brougth this AMWAY oportunity to me and I never blame a corporation or brand just because a friend lied to me. It could be like saying I blame IBM to ruin my friendship with someone that lied to me about a computer. That's ridiculous. Grow up. ;-)

Bubbles said...

Dear "yourfriend",

I'm glad that Amway works for you. True, it works for some but not the majority of people. There are so many people who have something bad to say about Amway. And also many people, but to a lesser degree among the people I have met, who say great things about Amway.

Why can't the agents of Amway be honest and upfront? Ducking and diving and not answering questions honestly just means that the Amway people have something to hide.

It's not the first time MLM has jeopardized friendships. Mine and other friends of mine included. I have nothing against MLM or direct selling. It makes money for some people so that's great. But I don't appreciate it when a friend isn't straight with me.

When a friend out right lies to you (be it about MLM or any other issue), it says something about how the person views their friendship with you.

I hope that Amway continues to deliver all good things to you.

Where are you from anyway? I've heard many Amway horror stories from Malaysia but it could just be the way Amway is run here. Maybe it's run differently and better in other countries.

Uni said...

What Bubbles said is exactly how I feel. Everybody knows about MLM, especially Amway. To a close friend, they should have just tell it is 'AMWAY'. Maybe there are different way of approaching, It's either 'direct selling' or 'direct buying'. But to a close friend, they should have just tell honetsly.

My story was about this fren of mine. perhaps bubbles you have met before. We went to the old Viva together long time ago, together with other 184 mates. She did told me she is in Lampe Berger. and keep persuading me to join her. I told her I'm not interested in the business she's doing a few times, but still she will never give up. Sorry to say, but it is really annoying, till I have to tell her that if she keep bugging with this, that will be the end of our friendship. I know they are very aggressive, but why can't just give people a break if people already told them that they are not interested? Sigh......

Bubbles said...

Yeah. I can understand that if they are just starting out, they would of course approach their friends first. That would be a way in rather than to make cold calls. I would like to support a friend in their new business venture if I can. But if the product is not suited to me, my lifestyle, my family nor my friends, they ought to stop being so pushy. Stop ramming the product, idea or concept down my throat. They need to know when to back off and stop annoying friends. And some wonder why MLM has a bad rep.