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What’s in a Name? Are You In Amway? WWDB? Monavie? TEAM?

March 5, 2011

Amway Corporate has posted “What’s in a name?”, a new blog post in which they lament the various names their business opportunity has been called in the past (and today in some markets):

We’ve heard our business called by many other names. And frankly, they just do not fit.

Examples that we’ve heard – and that we consider deceptive – include the following: private franchise, wholesale buying club, virtual mall and tax shelter (one we particularly hate).

These phrases were the same that I heard and was taught when I was in the business over a decade ago. I had a problem with this for a couple of reasons:

  1. I had never heard of the Amway name before, so I didn’t understand the effort to hide the name from people.
  2. I felt that one had to stand behind the company that was providing you the bonus checks.

In regards to (1), I later learned why the Amway name was downplayed, as many people had very negative reactions to it. As for (2), little did I know at the time, many Diamond leaders were making more money from their tools and training organizations that they were from Amway itself. That’s why there was such a focus on being on the System in today’s MLMs, be it Amway (or MonaVie, the target of much of my criticism today); the System is still the primary cash-giver for many high pins. Once you’re a Diamond, you’re always a Diamond in the eyes of both the corporation and the Systems1.

Enough about the past, how is the business being portrayed today?

The comments that have been posted thus far have all come from long-time supporters and critics such as Michman, Bridgett and Shaun. I’ve long contended that you have to lead with your products, and the latter two IBOs have demonstrated that they do focus on products more than I have seen from most IBOs I’ve observed in the past. At the same time, both of these IBOs are affiliated with WWDB, a training organization that has numerous critics on the Internet, including this web site.

Individuals building the business with honesty and transparency with whom they are affiliated is great, but are they representative of the rest of their fellow crossline IBOs? Have their Systems, such as WWDB, changed their messaging accordingly with the new times? Amway has a program called A+ accreditation2 in which the following things are required:

And one of the most important things that A+ approved providers can’t do is suggest that the opportunity is anything other than the Amway business opportunity. It can’t be suggested that it’s a job. A buying club. A tax shelter. It can’t be suggested that the Amway business opportunity guarantees an income for life.

I’ve got to get myself a CD or attend a meeting to see first-hand how the Amway business is being portrayed today. If you look at the leadership of these organizations, it’s more or less the same people from a decade ago. In many cases, these are the people who will be the most resistant to change, yet they are the ones who are doing the teaching and training. Furthermore, they are the ones being looked up to as shining examples to follow by the distributor force — at least until you get kicked out like some individuals. Is WWDB an A+ accredited organization? Is it accredited even at all?

What if an organization does not want to be A+ accredited? Are there lower standards if an organization is simply accredited? What if you don’t want to be accredited3 at all? Can you then say whatever you want?

Finally, as an ex-IBO and current critic, what does it matter to me? Well, for starters, I don’t want IBOs to experience the same thing that I did — the feeling of being misled by the System as to the true nature of the business. I want to see Amway take a hard stance on those organizations that continue these deceptive practices. I recognize the fact that these Systems, at least in North America, represent a large percentage of sales. They don’t want to ruffle the feathers of those that provide them so much. But come on, they’ve had thirty years to deal with this problem!


1 WWDB has a two-year grace period in which an unqualified high pin has to re-qualify in order to be recognized… and apparently reap the rewards from the tools and training business. I am not sure if other organizations have a similar policy, nor do I have any visibility in whether this rule is enforced by WWDB.

2 Is there a publicly accessible list of A+ accredited organizations? The link from a page on the IBOAI about accreditation is broken.

3 At least Amway has an accreditation program. MonaVie’s training systems such as Brig Hart’s R3Global and Orrin Woodward’s TEAM are notorious for their misleading and deceptive talk.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. aurora permalink
    March 6, 2011 4:29 am

    This commenter requested that her comments be removed from this site.

  2. March 6, 2011 5:47 pm

    I was in WWDB. I believe there are fewer diamonds now than when I was involved. Although some WWDBers claim that things are changing, there is very clear evidence that nothing has changed. For example, I still see IBOs online making false income claims. Some of these claims were articles on my blog. The same leaders are still telling downline to get out of debt (except for tool purchases apparently) and they still talk about buying homes in cash, private franchising and lifelong residual income.

    Your occasional site visitor and WWDB IBO Shaun, still talks about the very same concepts I heard more than 12 years ago. Furthermore, WWDB still has that function called Dream Night where they parade around showing off the lifestyles of being a diamond. I wish Shaun well as a man, but I hope his finances don’t get wrecked by bad advice from his “mentors” as I commonly saw in my days. The same leaders I had are also his leaders. Speaking of which, I heard an update on my former sponsor recently and it’s not pretty. I may post about this on my blog in the near future.

    While there some IBOs who talk about products such as Bridgett and Shaun, I do not believe that even they have more than a handful of regular customers. Without real customers enough to sustain your business expenses, you can only make money by continuous rectruiment of downline, which starts the pyramid discussion all over again.

    Amway’s most staunch defender, IBOFB, talks big but there is no bonafide evidence that he is capable of actually building a sustainable and profitable Amway business. If his Amway business was so precious, why did he give the business away to his ex wife in a divorce? You’d think it would be the opposite. Give everything away except the Amway businuess if it will pay you a significant income for years, even if you stop building it.

  3. March 6, 2011 10:38 pm

    Well, one of the things that was taught when we were in the biz was, if a prospect asked “Is this Amway/Quixtar?- then we answer them back with the question “Have you heard of BWW?” Or answer the prospect with the statement “Well Amway is one of our suppliers(as if there are million other suppliers in this biz).” One of the favorite statements of my upline is, “Not stating the facts is not the same as lying.” So this way everything is justified.

    Amway corporate blog is just soooooooo dumb. You see the same handful of pro Amway people commenting there. These same people who have been in the biz for zillion years and yet have not made it big. I wish a lot of people who have experienced the abuses of system/upline especially in the BWW Gala line of sponsorship would go online and share their experience. Gala Los is notoriously famous for breaking diamonds every year, most of whom never requalify.

  4. webelieved permalink
    March 8, 2011 3:20 pm

    On team we were made to believe the TEAM was the business. We were in the business of building communities. We just bought product from whatever company supplied a product…. (quixtar/monavie). Build Communities/Numbers that get on Team system,cds, books, seminars and that do commerce/shop through partner companies (quixtar, mv). We never were told there were other training organizations like WWDB in Quixtar, or Black Diamond University for MV. TEAM was the business, in fact as an open meeting speaker we all were told directly by our upline pc not to ever mention the word Quixtar. The Team was the business, not Quixtar. The Leaders made a lot more from TEAM than Quixtar and I bet it is the same now. I would love to see Team have to open their books, and be audited by a third party accountant. Just to see that everyone was paid fairly, based on their numbers…. Wouldn’t that be interesting???????????????

  5. March 9, 2011 8:36 am

    These Systems do this because they want you to identify with and be loyal to them, not with the MLM company. This makes it easy for them to move their flock to another company (i.e. Amway to MonaVie, MonaVie to Xowii, MonaVie to Evolv, etc.).

  6. March 9, 2011 7:57 pm

    Hello Amthrax, thanks for the article! I posted the following response to Cindy. Hope it brings some System perspective to the table too.

    ———————————————–

    Hi Cindy, nice post!

    However, I am afraid your main message might have been contradicted by itself. See, basically, you would like IBOs to say, “It is the Amway business opportunity.”

    Yet, at the end, you said, “… the transparent – and simply the right – thing to do is tell people that the opportunity they are considering is ONE POWERED BY Amway.” (emphasis mine)

    Now, to say that “the opportunity is Amway” is conceptually NOT the same as saying “the opportunity is one powered by Amway”.

    Indeed, may I ask, is the Amway business opportunity POWERED BY Network21?

    Why not?

    What’s in a name? Everything, is it not?

    A good name is to be desired above all things, and it is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

    So, how can IBOs say, “We are Amway” when “We are NOT Amway”? You are Cindy, you are NOT Amway. Yes, you are WORKING FOR Amway, that is accurate.

    Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  7. Joecool permalink
    March 10, 2011 12:56 pm

    Rykel, when you sign up, what registration form are you using?

    Where do your products and bonuses come from? Whose rules are you bound by?

  8. I Quit ( and glad I Did) permalink
    March 28, 2011 5:25 am

    Standard doublespeak Rykel. Your response qualifies to list under SSDD.

  9. Former WWDB Lemming permalink
    March 28, 2011 6:22 am

    **Crickets**

  10. March 28, 2011 11:48 am

    @IQ(AGID): May I know what is SSDD?

    @joecool: When I signed up, I signed a contract for an independent business with the MLM company AND a membership application form with the System company. That IS the truth. I am members of BOTH the MLM and the System. My products, bonuses and profit-sharing come from BOTH the MLM and the System companies. I am bound by the rules, policies and code of ethics of BOTH the MLM and System companies.

  11. I Quit ( and glad I Did) permalink
    March 28, 2011 12:29 pm

    Same shit, different day.

  12. March 28, 2011 6:27 pm

    do a yahoo search rykel

  13. Dorothy permalink
    March 28, 2011 8:17 pm

    This commenter requested that her comments be removed from this site.

  14. Dorothy permalink
    March 28, 2011 8:25 pm

    This commenter requested that her comments be removed from this site.

  15. mike permalink
    April 20, 2011 11:32 am

    Oh, orrin misleading? Why is he 7th for top leadership guru? And Chris the co founder 12?

    Your clueless, team will dominate.

  16. Speak Your Truth permalink
    April 20, 2011 12:28 pm

    Is that all you got Mikey? LOL
    May we ask how they got these self-proclaimed titles?
    Glad you join in, we will wait to here your answer…..

  17. I Quit ( and glad I Did) permalink
    April 20, 2011 1:21 pm

    Actually the correct usage would be you’re, not your.
    We’re still waiting for your answer by the way…

  18. I Quit ( and glad I Did) permalink
    April 20, 2011 1:22 pm

    Another Teamer being naughty reading negative truth. Shame shame.

  19. TOD permalink
    April 20, 2011 2:29 pm

    Team cannot even dominate MV. Brig Hart has over 80% of the black diamonds in MV. Heck, Brig has guys on his team bigger than any leader in Team.

    BTW, as far as LLR being a best seller. My local library network does not even carry LLR. They do carry every book by REAL leaders like Maxwell, Godin, Tracey and the like. Now don’t worry about me not being able to check out LLR, I have plenty of copies thrust upon me back in the day so I am good.

  20. Speak Your Truth permalink
    April 20, 2011 5:07 pm

    Brig is kicking their butts? Oh your kidding? What a bummer, not in the local library either? How can this be? “he is 7th for top leadership guru, and Chris the co founder 12.”

    Hey Mickey.. what is your pin level and turbo levels..ahah…your repeated pin level and current system & turbo levels? Just wondering how much you of a clue you really have?

    And even if you believe Orrin is #7, that really has nothing to do with ‘mis-leading,’ now does it?
    Bernie Madoff could have been ranked #1 for many years~was he mis-leading?

  21. Old Mountain Man permalink
    September 7, 2011 1:36 pm

    Amway/Quixtar, and whatever it’s being called now, is the only place I’ve ever been told I am an independent business owner, and can not advertise, have a storefront, etc. My refrigeration business made almost all of it’s business from the yellow page ads. How can I “own” a business and be told I can’t advertise? I was in from 93 to 98, in WWDB, in Felber downline, STP over 400 times, had house meetings by my direct 14 times, 6 of those so crowded that we had people sitting out in the kitchen. I left when I discovered that the tools were the primary income. I couldn’t lie to people about that. You can make money in the business, but you are never going to really retire. You will be STP until you die.

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