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Darrin Moret’s Pyramid Scheme Story on NPR

October 9, 2013

Darrin Moret’s story about his brief venture into a pyramid scheme was first published a month and a half ago and was also mentioned on this site. His tale just got a whole lot more attention after his appearance on National Public Radio two days ago.

Listen to the podcast or read the transcript on NPR.org.

Also on the program was consumer affairs columnist Sheryl Harris of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Harris clears the confusion regarding multi-level marketing companies and pyramid schemes. In legitimate MLMs, the majority of sales are to outside customers — i.e. the general public. In a pyramid scheme, it’s the participants within the scheme who are the primary purchasers of the product. Harris says that people in pyramid schemes are recruiting all the time.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. The Truth Hurts permalink
    October 9, 2013 11:47 am

    I was approached just last night to see an opportunity about making money that sounded legit, so they wanted my opinion on it. I went to see the “presentation” because I genuinely care about the person that invited me; I didn’t want her to get into a mess, either.

    The presentation was from Team National. The beginning was predictable, a speaker phone conference so everyone could hear in the room that people were making tons of money, etc. What did intrigue me was that they do have discounts on buying from many top name stores..an interesting slant. Then out came the White board, and the presenter (who was very likable) showed how you need to put 2 people on each leg and build unlimited depth. I listened to the whole thing, finding out that my friend had already joined.

    I then began to ask the presenter questions;

    Q. Do you have training tools.
    A. Yes. I saw a pack of 3 CD’s plus a success magazine. Cost was about $35.00 per month.

    Q. Do you make income from Training Tools.
    A. Yes, but not a lot. The bigger income is signing people up, but I was told there are about 7 streams of income.

    Q. What is your Retention Rate
    A. TEN PERCENT

    Q. What are other income streams?
    A. At this point, the Presenter said “you have done this before, I can tell.” He told me it wasn’t a pyramid because they don’t have to work hard like those other pyramids. He told me there were about seven streams of income possible. He also mentioned Profit Sharing.

    Q. How much does it cost to join?
    A. $795.00 for a single 2 yr membership that is renewable. $2195.00 for a Life time business membership that will cover you, your business, your family, grand kids, and 5 employees. They will even finance your join up fees.

    Q. What are Profit Centers you mentioned in plan?
    A. If you buy $50.00 worth of their product monthly, you can have another stream of income.

    Now, I am not sure anyone there listening understood why I asked what I did. I hope they search the Internet and see this post though.

    Lets examine this idea

    Join fees $795.00 to $2195.00
    Training Tools $35.00 monthly
    Product Cost so you get big bucks, $50.00
    Website Cost, not sure, although I think it was $75.00 for a year.
    RETENTION RATE 10%

    The math would show that by and large 2 year members are signing up and not renewing..WHY? The Life time members don’t have to renew, so to me this looks like the 10% people are Life time members. As always, you would have to keep building and hosting to make any money forever with a RETENTION RATE like that.

    Bottom line; my friend is already in. I will be kind, and tell her I have been through these Pyramids before, and that I would not jeopardize my business life for something like this. I will ask her what she thinks of the 10% Retention rate. I will be watchful, and ready to talk when things start to go bad too. Man, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I don’t think anyone in the room got what unlimited depth meant for the “Leaders” at the top..go deep and they will be rolling in green backs for a long time, you are their job security.

  2. ResponseToTheTruthHurts permalink
    October 10, 2013 2:04 pm

    Team National is different than Team/LIFE, right? I think we saw a presentation for Team National where the presenter met with us, accepted a beer that our friend/host offered, and showed a DVD of people exclaiming how much they saved buying this and that. We didn’t join and we were involved with Team/LIFE for too long. What a waste of time and money. Everyone involved is so enamored with a pipedream. Sad to see the peons making nothing while upline like the Hawkins show off their big house, flashy cars, expensive clothes and watches, etc. The peons would get so much farther saving their money that they spend on opens, seminars, majors, tools, products, etc. in the bank and checking out “personal development” books from the library!! To those that decide to join, good luck, and prepare yourselves for hours of sacrifice and nothing to show for that time because more likely than not, the people you sign up will quit before you realize what they realized – it’s a waste of time and money!!

  3. October 10, 2013 3:32 pm

    Yes, Team National is different from TEAM/LIFE. Team National’s main site is at bign.com.

  4. Memory Lame permalink
    October 12, 2013 5:09 pm

    I was recently invited to a Team National meeting. It’s apparently gaining quite a bit of traction. What was hilarious was the way he invited me. He actually said, “it is a pyramid style business, so it’s really important that you get in early to make the real money.”

    Lol! I appreciated the genuineness of the invite at least. They must not have the TEAM life system yet to coach them on how to lie and mislead people into joining.

  5. The Truth Hurts permalink
    October 13, 2013 8:25 am

    When I attended the presentation, the Man doing the Plan said “it’s not a pyramid, because you don’t have to come back and work in your different legs like those other Guys do. Once its built your done”. Priceless, but sad.

    They did have training tools, plus in order to get an “extra income stream”, you needed to buy $50.00 of Team National Products monthly, not products from any other store, but THEIR products.

    Do the math

    $75.00 for yearly website
    $50.00 a month for products
    $35.00 a month for training tools

    and yes, they do have meetings, but I am not sure what the cost of the meetings were, I was told a “cover charge” at the door. I was also told the meetings are not mandatory.

    Memory Lame, you are so right, this is gaining traction. People are jumping in, but apparently not staying in, if their retention rate is 10%. What amazes me is why the terrible retention rate?? If this is such a great opportunity, then it would appear 2 year members who spend $795.00 getting in are not renewing. I would hazard a guess that the only members making up the 10% are the LIFETIME members who shelled out $2195.00 for a business membership.

    I was amazed at the “never had to build it again logic” wow, after having been through Team of Deception, I was observing and watching everyone at the meeting closely, including the presenter. I find it interesting that the Presenter said to me “you’ve done something like this before” then never called me back..

    I still wonder how I ever fell for Team of Deception to begin with.. I must have had purple juice and didn’t know it!

  6. Setting It Straight permalink
    February 2, 2014 6:30 pm

    Wow, it is amazing how information can get distorted and misrepresented. What you buy with Team National is a savings membership…it’s like a Sams Club on steroids… You get access to buy factory direct furniture, discounts off appliances, cell phone plans, vehicles, retail shopping, etc. A lifetime membership is $2195. There are no buying requirements and no quotas. If you buy one nice bedroom set, you’ve already made your money back in savings. The $35/month is the success club which is personal development (cd’s, success magazine, etc) and is not required. The personal website is not required but many people buy it to get access to the retail discounts…200 stores..target, shopko, Home Depot, kohls, macys, hotels.com, etc. There is an income side that is amazing as you get paid to refer the savings membership…it’s what you do every day when you find a good deal, you tell your friends about it. It is not required to participate on the income side, and there is no charge to participate in it. It’s a great compensation plan as you do get paid for reaching certain levels of points in selling memberships and points for folks who signed up under you, count for you. You can easily out earn people above you, if you want to dedicate time to selling memberships. It’s a direct selling business model. Team National has been in business for 16 years and has never had a state or federal regulatory violation. They have AAA business rating with the BBB. Pyramid schemes are illegal! A company wouldn’t be in business that long if it were a pyramid scheme and the national brand name stores wouldn’t be participating. I love my membership and the savings are amazing… Especially the furniture…not only can you buy it from their factory direct warehouse but they have deals with many major furniture lines like Marshfield furniture where you can get deep discounted pricing.

    I am amazed at the folks who have told me they think it’s a pyramid scheme when they first here about it, but they don’t even know what a pyramid scheme is. There’s a big fear throughout the country because of illegal pyramid schemes where people have lost a lot of money… You save money with this company, and the most you could lose if you do nothing after you join is the one time payment of $2195. Be sure you get your facts before you jump to conclusions…sounds like some newer members may have not been well informed when they presented it.

  7. Vogel permalink
    February 3, 2014 8:25 am

    Team National sounds like a bad facsimile of Lyoness. I would imagine that these “buying club” MLMs are a dreadfully bad investment and that the sales pitches are pure BS. My hackles are instantly raised when I see someone resorting to worn out canards like “it can’t be a pyramid scheme because pyramid schemes are illegal and no one has shut us down yet.” That’s the mark of an ignoramus or a liar. Bad move.

  8. robin permalink
    August 13, 2014 1:17 am

    Lifevantage with their
    Mlm to sell their snakeoil
    Protandim is a pyramid
    Scheme too.

    [Editor’s note: More information about these two schemes can be found on Lazy Man’s website.]

  9. Gina Davis permalink
    August 14, 2014 11:45 am

    Well, we’ve been in Team National for 4 1/2 months. We saved $2000 on flooring ($2000 cheaper buying through TN than 3 prices locally.) My friend, also a member, found her cheapest price on bunk beds online at $1100 each. She found them through Team National for $460 ($150 freight by the way.)

    Why is saying that” pyramid schemes are illegal so this can’t be a pyramid scheme” a foolish thing to say? This is not a pyramid scheme anymore than Mary Kay or Avon are pyramid schemes. And COVER CHARGE? That is nuts. There is no cover charge to attend a meeting, for goodness sakes. Also, this company has been featured in Success from Home (sister publication to Success magazine) magazine more times than any other at-home business. And “retention rates” have nothing to do with a person’s compensation in this company. The original commenter doesn’t understand the company structure or compensation plan. Lastly, here are some of the companies affiliated with Team National: Met Life, Sears, and At&T. Do you think these companies would be involved if this were a scam?

  10. noteam permalink
    August 14, 2014 7:10 pm

    Gina, Success From Home Magazine means nothing. Companies pay for the right to be featured in an issue. Every major MLM company has tried that trick. Years ago, it actually fooled people into thinking it was a real magazine. Not that it’s not a great opportunity for those companies to highlight their business. But it is in no way journalism or a legitimate magazine. It is an advertising piece.

    I’m not even going to address the Met Life, Sears, At&T line. Biggest diversion in mlm. Once again a very old trick. If you can’t see through that, there’s no reason to even discuss it.

  11. Gina permalink
    August 14, 2014 8:22 pm

    No, I don:t understand why Fortune 500 companies being affiliated with a company is a diversion, but since you won’t bother discussing it… We have had a good experience with Team National. Everything they told us has turned out to be true. We have made money and saved money.

  12. Gina Davis permalink
    August 15, 2014 6:10 am

    A few last comments and I’ll leave it. Some people had a bad experience so they paint all MLM’s as bad, with no option in their head that any could be different. But you are stating incorrect information about Team National, so I want to correct that.

    1) Approx 80% of people who sign up buy the lifetime membership (which also covers their kids, grandkids, parents, grandparents and 5 employees.) The 10% figure you stated is incorrect. In my own experience, I have signed up 14 people, only 2 of them bought the two year membership. If people buy into a 2 year membership only to save money (not for earnings) it is entirely possible that they bought furniture, appliances, etc, and didn’t need to renew.

    2) The annual website is optional.

    3) The “training tools” are optional. Actually all the training you need is available for free on their website. What you get for $35 a month is motivational material – books, DVD’s, etc – again, optional!

    4) Please explain how an 18 year old company is operating illegally.

    5) Please explain why Fortune 500 companies would be involved for years with companies operating illegally.

    6) Some of the savings are a) discount on your AT&T bill b) discounts at Sears commercial c) discounts at Goodyear d)discounts on furniture e) discount with Countrywide Mortgage e)discounts on credit card processing for businesses,,, and many more. In addition, TN members who own businesses give other TN members discounts

    7) No one knowledgeable about this company would ever represent that you don’t need to keep hosting to make money or that this is a pyramid scheme that you don’t have to work hard at. It sounds as if some of those presenters were not knowledgeable or that some of you misunderstood. We have made our membership money back many times over.

    Thanks.

  13. Matthew Cole permalink
    August 15, 2014 11:32 am

    Based on research that I have done on pyramid schemes, I can give you an answer to question 4 on how a MLM can survive for 18 years without being shut down. “Consumer protection officials are reactive, not proactive. Since victims rarely file complaints, law enforcement rarely acts against even the worst schemes. Why don’t victims complain? They blame themselves for their “failure” and they fear consequences from or to their up line or down line. (Jon M. Taylor, Ph. D., Consumer Awareness Institute)

  14. Shane permalink
    September 13, 2014 9:27 pm

    I just attended a meeting for Team National. Too many times in this life I’ve been approached with “grand” tales of little work and big money. You pick the company names and organizations. It’s all the same bullshit! With all my heart I sincerely believe, so much as I know; Team National is bullshit. We all want to make money for our old age and children. At some point this is a weakness for us to be preyed upon by either well meaning friends or complete vultures. Hard work,study and a positive outlook guarantee gradual success and money in this life, for our future and our families. Team National is Am way recreated. I’m not a marketing major nor a mathematical genius nor a salesman, but I know bullshit when I here it. Team National is bullshit and you’re seriously duped into idiocracy if you’re selling it or buying. Sure argue and say it’s not all you want. Commonsense and hard work are the only ways to succeed in this life. You don’t need pyramid schemes,confusing figures and arguments you’be preread with psychological manipulations! Yhwh is Master…

  15. Judy Day permalink
    November 10, 2014 7:55 am

    well, I can tell you personally People are saving and making a great income with Team National..some people are determined it’s not legit and it’s a scam…but it’s not It has helped countless people make a good income.. and the savings is unbelievable .. Some just think they know it all and will never say anything good about it.. But I bet they would if the walked to their mailbox every Monday and found a check for more than most make in a month…O well.. some people you can’t help ans so we just move on to someone who will take advantage of this great opportunity.. That’s all I’m gonna say about this.. Some people are so closed minded they can’t see a good thing if it slapped them in the face!!!!

  16. Robert permalink
    November 16, 2014 3:52 pm

    My wife and I have personally been a member of Team National for a month and a half. In that time we have had an AMAZING personal growth as a result of the tools Team National “suggests” you read and listen to (i.e. Success Club). We have already started saving 18% on our AT&T cell phone bill. We are moving soon and selling all of our furniture to buy new furniture (Bassett) at 30 cents on the $. And yes, we have already verified this fact. We will also be saving over $100 on a budget rental truck rental.

    This is the first MLM that we have ever been involved in and I am extremely happy with what Team National stands for. We have already traveled the country to meet our team. We have went skydiving and had the opportunity to personally meet Les Brown as a result of a Team building conference. Life is about taking advantage of the opportunities made available to you, and unfortunately it is human nature to be negative. As Les Brown says, a human being has 40-50K thoughts each day with somewhere in the range of 80% of those thoughts being negative. We are simply conditioned to think negative and this is further engrained by watching hours of useless news and television (yes, I am speaking about you FOX News). And I am just as guilty as the rest of this country.

    As prior military with two tours to Iraq under my belt, it is my “opinion” that this negativity is simply a way to stifle the productivity and ultimate happiness of the masses in this country. Laugh if you want, but for you negative Nancies out there who feel their opinions are facts, I hope you have some real “facts” to support your statements. My guess, and this is just an educated guess, is that for many of you that are posting negatively on an 18-year old 330 million debt free company, have either done a previous MLM, failed to put in the hard work that it requires to be successful and then complained to everyone else rather than look themselves in the mirror and realize, at the end of the day your success is a direct result of what you do, day in and day out; or, you have never even attempted to do anything like this because you are too cynical, pessimistic, and ultimately afraid to take a chance on yourself. Instead you choose to do what 95% of the country does and succumbs to the societally driven mores of: grow up, go to school, go into debt, get a job (either low paying or if you are lucky high paying), spend the next 40 years trading time for dollars, only to wake up when you are 65-70 and realize your life is over and you either have little to show for it, or a ton of money and no real friends to share it with. And chances are you wasted all of your good years grinding away, day in day out, working on your profession, making a living, rather than working on yourself and making a fortune as a result.

    Perhaps you should start listening to some Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, and Zig Zigler, to name a few, and improve your personal belief in yourself. If everyone did this rather than bash something they know absolutely nothing about, the country and the world would be a much better place. And in closing, I have met some of the most POSITIVE, GENEROUS, and HONEST people in this company over the past month and a half. My wife and I are developing our own business, but see Team National as a way to earn a little extra money in the beginning, and who knows, with “real” work, we might just climb to the top! I have yet to earn a check, but not because of the people in this company, but because success takes time and perseverance is the true key to success.

  17. amused permalink
    November 18, 2014 10:30 am

    @Robert The points you try to make in support of Team National and that whole lifestyle in general is filled with opinions presented as fact, just as you accuse the ‘negative Nancy’s” of doing:
    “As prior military with two tours to Iraq under my belt, it is my “opinion” that this negativity is simply a way to stifle the productivity and ultimate happiness of the masses in this country. Laugh if you want, but for you negative Nancies out there who feel their opinions are facts, I hope you have some real “facts” to support your statements.”

    Well, where are your facts, Robert?

    “As Les Brown says, a human being has 40-50K thoughts each day with somewhere in the range of 80% of those thoughts being negative.”

    Excuse me, am I supposed to just take that as a fact? Based on what research and proved how, exactly?

    “My guess, and this is just an educated guess, is that for many of you that are posting negatively on an 18-year old 330 million debt free company, have either done a previous MLM, failed to put in the hard work that it requires to be successful and then complained to everyone else …”

    Well, you’re wrong. If you actually took the time to read this site, you’d see that many of the posters on here have been very high level in MLM’s. Which I might point out doesn’t happen unless they put in the time and effort required to reach those levels.

    And who are you to assert: “95% of the country does and succumbs to the societally driven mores of: grow up, go to school, go into debt, get a job (either low paying or if you are lucky high paying), spend the next 40 years trading time for dollars, only to wake up when you are 65-70 and realize your life is over and you either have little to show for it, or a ton of money and no real friends to share it with. And chances are you wasted all of your good years grinding away, day in day out, working on your profession, making a living, rather than working on yourself and making a fortune as a result.” ?

    That’s pretty insulting. Assuming the masses of people are all mindless worker robots with no depth to their personalities, no friends, nothing to show for their life at the age of 65-70… Really?? You’re serious??
    Quite frankly I’m not impressed. If this is the mindset that Team National is promoting, why would I want to be a part of it?

    And I really can’t stress enough that most of what you said was your OPINION. I see no facts from you to back anything up.

  18. Former Round Table permalink
    November 18, 2014 4:15 pm

    Robert, in your opinion, “95% of the country does and succumbs to the societally driven mores of: grow up, go to school, go into debt, get a job (either low paying or if you are lucky high paying), spend the next 40 years trading time for dollars, only to wake up when you are 65-70 and realize your life is over and you either have little to show for it, or a ton of money and no real friends to share it with.”

    Funny that your opinion of “societally driven mores” matches the TRUTH of MLM.

    I grew up, went to every seminar for over 10 years, watched literally thousands of people go into debt to attend seminars and purchase motivational materials, and traded my day job for one that required nights and weekends. I spent the next 10-plus years trading time for…nothing! While I made an okay income from the business, I gave up a very successful career, and the MLM only had one year that even came close to what I earned in my previous career. I woke up 10 years later and realized my career was over, I had lost all my contacts and had nothing to show for it. All those MLM friends dropped me when I dared to question the ethics of the business model.

    But you really don’t want facts, do you Robert?

  19. exTEAMster permalink
    November 19, 2014 2:17 am

    Robert… you’ve been able to come to these conclusions about not only Team National and its founder, the decades-old MLM industry and the millions of people who have come and gone from it – as well as their varying levels of success – based on your long and arduous MONTH AND A HALF in the business ??? I can only imagine the time you’ve spent compiling both real and anecdotal evidence to come to these obviously unbiased determinations.

    For comparison purposes, let me go back into my research files and pull out some of the conclusions I was able to draw after my first 45 days in the the Team/Life business. Perhaps not coincidentally, my research from that time also concluded that 95 percent of the population was wrong in their thinking of how going to school, getting a job and establishing a career was the path to take to a happy and fulfilling lifestyle. My research also had found that the founders of Team/Life had insight into how just 5 percent of the population lived this amazing lifestyle that afforded them seemingly endless wealth and the time to enjoy it.

    At that time, I had also discovered that the media and pop culture offered no insight into any future plans for success, that family and friends somehow “didn’t get” the amazing opportunity offered to them despite all of the data I had presented showing how myself and the incredible and amazing people in my upline were building a recession-proof empire, that no other company was as dedicated to helping myself and millions others like me achieve our dreams (not my boss’s) and that the MLM I had chosen was soooo unlike any other … so much so that even people who didn’t have the passion and determination to join my business would be eager to become customers because what I was offering was so great they would have to be idiots not to see it.

    What do you say we compare our findings again a year or two down the road (assuming you have time to do so in between the monthly vacations you will obviously be able to afford by then and the time spent wondering if you should start yet another leg)? I am very curious to see what, if any, revisions you have made to your findings.

  20. Vogel permalink
    November 21, 2014 11:26 am

    Robert said: “My wife and I have personally been a member of Team National for a month and a half. In that time we have had an AMAZING personal growth as a result of the tools Team National “suggests” you read and listen to (i.e. Success Club). “

    You can get those same recommendations and the books for far less money with Amazon, and Amazon doesn’t require commitments or the need to associate with a pyramid scheme and pyramid schemers. A no brainer. BTW, one doesn’t achieve “amazing personal growth” in a month and a half by reading trashy self-help books and associating with deluded scammers. You’re simply fooling yourself.

    Robert said: “This is the first MLM that we have ever been involved in and I am extremely happy with what Team National stands for.”

    They stand for financial losses for the vast majority of participants. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.

    Robert said: “…unfortunately it is human nature to be negative.”

    That’s a platitude dispensed by MLM scammers to persuade people to not listen to reason. It can more easily be argued that an indomitable spirit of eternal optimism is what defines us as a species. But if you want to focus on negativity, I guess that makes you a negative person right?

    Robert said: “As Les Brown says, a human being has 40-50K thoughts each day with somewhere in the range of 80% of those thoughts being negative. “

    Sounds like Les Brown isn’t all that bright. If you want to learn about psychology, ask a psychologist or read a psych book; don’t look to some smooth talking con artist who opines about subjects he knows absolutely nothing about.

    Robert said: “We are simply conditioned to think negative and this is further engrained by watching hours of useless news and television (yes, I am speaking about you FOX News). And I am just as guilty as the rest of this country.”

    I disagree with that premise, but regardless, you’re confusing general negativity with well-founded fact-based criticism of a pyramid scheme. In as many cases as not, being negative about certain subjects is entirely justified. If someone condemns rape and murder, does that make them negative or are they simply taking a logical and morally proper stance? Condemning pyramid schemes and scammers is no different.

    Robert said: “As prior military with two tours to Iraq under my belt, it is my ‘opinion’…”

    It’s your opinion even if you didn’t do two tours. Your claim to military service is completely irrelevant.

    Robert said: “… that this negativity is simply a way to stifle the productivity and ultimate happiness of the masses in this country.”

    Stifling the masses??? Did you get a case of TBI in Iraq? How would condemning scams and scammers stifle happiness and productivity of the masses. What a ridiculous misinterpretation of reality. MLM scams are designed specifically to exploit the masses and they crush happiness for the vast majority of participants. Keeping a grin plastered on your face while someone reams you is not happiness; it is delusion and self-imposed numbness.

    Robert “… for you negative Nancies out there who feel their opinions are facts, I hope you have some real “facts” to support your statements.”

    You might want to actually try reading the site and you’ll find enough facts to keep you busy for weeks.

    Robert said: “ My guess, and this is just an educated guess, is that for many of you that are posting negatively on an 18-year old 330 million debt free company, have either done a previous MLM, failed to put in the hard work… complained to everyone else rather than look themselves in the mirror… because you are too cynical, pessimistic, and ultimately afraid to take a chance on yourself.”

    That’s as uneducated a guess as you could possibly take. You know nothing about the people who post here. You’re simply conditioned by your cult-masters to make such silly proclamations and dismiss everyone outside your little scammy cult microcosm as infidels and lesser beings. The irony is that this air of superiority comes from some of the most inept, naïve, dishonest, and unsuccessful individuals imaginable. I’ll take an educated guess that you’re one of them.

    Robert said: “Instead you choose to do what 95% of the country does and succumbs to the societally driven mores of: grow up, go to school, go into debt, get a job (either low paying or if you are lucky high paying), spend the next 40 years trading time for dollars, only to wake up when you are 65-70 and realize your life is over and you either have little to show for it, or a ton of money and no real friends to share it with. “

    So what you’re saying is that the only people who have money and friends are MLM scammers? I’d rather trade my time for dollars than for empty promises and a room full of two-faced, delusional, greed-driven poseurs.

    Robert said: “And chances are you wasted all of your good years grinding away, day in day out, working on your profession, making a living, rather than working on yourself and making a fortune as a result.”

    I can’t think of any job in the US that pays worse than being an MLM distributor, or an opportunity with less chance of yielding a “fortune”. You may call it “working on yourself” but what you’re really doing is being conditioned to be a remorseless judgmental scammer with a bleak future. You will alienate friends and family, stunt your personal growth, and burn through lots of money in the process.

    Robert said: “My wife and I are developing our own business, but see Team National as a way to earn a little extra money in the beginning, and who knows, with “real” work, we might just climb to the top! I have yet to earn a check, but not because of the people in this company, but because success takes time and perseverance is the true key to success.”

    Oh man! I was going to laugh at that but it’s just too sad. Quite a world of difference between the “fortune” you spoke of making and the reality of earning nothing for your efforts. Hopefully you’ll come to your senses soon and cut your losses, but your cult-like polemic against critics of MLM doesn’t give much reason for optimism.

  21. November 23, 2014 7:36 pm

    Robert, friend. C’mon. You sound like Louis Anderson in Coming To America. Substitute washing lettuce, moving to fries, and hopefully someday moving up to assistant manager with saving 18% off an overpriced AT&T bill, some furniture, and hopefully someday making some money and it’s pretty much the same thing.

    I’d get a mason jar and can some of that enthusiasm. You’re gonna need it.

  22. CJ Gee permalink
    September 29, 2015 5:57 pm

    btw team national has a huge social media dept that responds quickly and en masse whenever they are mentioned in any negative way. It’s actually part of the IDS. That’s why you see some many empty promises and positive praise of the company on the comments section.

  23. John permalink
    October 13, 2015 8:59 am

    This is redicilous. .. everyone’s comments are opinion and that’s fine, but this is fact!!!!!!! I joined Team National and love it. You can’t argue with results and I have had amazing results. I followed the system like it was introduced to me and it works. The fact is when I started using the savings plan is saved money. The fact is if I didn’t do anything but buy from Walmart online through my Team National website (buying the things i was already purchasing) I already, in my first 18 months, saved more than my lifetime membership cost me. The fact is I took advantage of the income opportunity and made more than may lifetime membership cost me in the first 3 weeks. The fact is it has been a great for me and my family. If you don’t like it don’t do it! If you like it try it! The fact is the majority of the people that are talking bad about MY company haven’t tried it and the statements they are making, although with the best intentions, are wrong. The “facts” I’ve read on this site from people claiming it is a scheme or just talking bad about MY company TEAM NATIONAL, are wrong. I know this because I personally work the company. The FACT IS, I work TEAM NATIONAL the way it was shown to me from the people that proved it out for 18 years and it works. If you don’t work at it , any company or business would fail. The fact is I work it, and TEAM NATIONAL is amazing. The fact is I work it but I work less and easier than I ever have in anyanything else Ive ever done and I make more than I ever have. If u like it do it if u don’t then dont. But dont talk bad about somthing that you don’t know about. I know about it bc I work it. I know about it bc this is MY COMPANY! !!!!

  24. Joe Banks permalink
    March 29, 2016 7:13 am

    ResponseToTheTruthHurts – “Everyone involved is so enamored with a pipedream.”

    “Sad to see the peons making nothing…”

    “The peons would get so much farther saving their money…”

    “personal development” books from the library!!”

    “To those that decide to join, good luck, and prepare yourselves for hours of sacrifice and nothing to show for that time…”

    “because more likely than not, the people you sign up will quit before you realize what they realized – it’s a waste of time and money!!”

    Team National is full of all sorts of peons, like Cardiologist, Neonatal nurses, Dentists, Pediatricians, Chemists, Biologist, Rocket Scientists, Lawyers, CPA’s, CFA’s, Commercial Airline Pilots, Investment Bankers, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Agents, Auto Dealership Owners, Restaurateurs, Assorted Business Owners, Police Officers, Firefighters, MBA’s, etc… Wow… so many backgrounds to list… Unbelievable the amount of peons that are Team National IMD’s saving money and making money…

    Pretty smart peons… BTW, I am one of those peons…

  25. March 29, 2016 7:40 am

    Robert: I can see by the detractors and their attacks to your message it touched a raw nerve with some readers… They felt the guilt, hurt then shame of their negativism and in reaction lashed out against you and your positive message… It’s called transference… Don’t be bothered by their reactions… its their way of dealing with their self esteem…

    BTW, great message… very encouraging and uplifting…

  26. Vogel permalink
    March 30, 2016 1:20 pm

    Joe Banks said: “Team National is full of all sorts of peons, like Cardiologist, Neonatal nurses, Dentists, Pediatricians, Chemists, Biologist, Rocket Scientists, Lawyers, CPA’s, CFA’s, Commercial Airline Pilots, Investment Bankers, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Agents, Auto Dealership Owners, Restaurateurs, Assorted Business Owners, Police Officers, Firefighters, MBA’s, etc… Wow… so many backgrounds to list… Unbelievable the amount of peons that are Team National IMD’s saving money and making money…”

    It’s clear that you’ve honed your objection handling skills deflecting complaints from 2-digit IQ types and assorted sad sacks who really constitute the bulk of the distributor population in corrupt enterprises like these. There might be a couple of credentialed individuals at the top of the pyramid, but to suggest that these are the rule rather than the exception is either purposely deceptive or incredibly ignorant. For the most, companies like these prey on the desperation of people who have few other options.

    After you finish grappling with that reality, perhaps you’d like to furnish a list of all these esteemed individuals to which you alluded. I expect to see in your detailed list the names and professions of everyone you mentioned (I’ll settle for even one example from each profession). No need to bother with listing real estate and insurance agents; profession that are about as exclusive and impressive as a newspaper subscription. Just list all the cardiologists, pediatricians, chemists, biologists, rocket scientists (har!), commercial airline pilots, investment bankers, and police to start with.

    It’s always fun to go through the fact checking exercise and find out that in fact the “esteemed MD” is actually a retired fossil who had their medical license revoked since the 80s, or that the “shrewd MBA” was convicted of securities fraud and disbarred by the SEC. I bet for all the thousands of people involved in this confidence game, you can’t come up with a bona fide list of 10 professionals who can withstand even the tiniest bit of scrutiny. There’s a reason why washed up hacks end up relegated to plugging these incredibly sad MLM scams – desperation/greed.

  27. March 30, 2016 3:57 pm

    Vogel: My response was to ResponseToTheTruthHurts’ blanket statement about “peons.” I simply pointed out that not all in TN are “peons.” You obviously didn’t comprehend my statements but yours are pretty transparent. You flamed me in order to voice your visceral discontent with MLM’s claiming them all to be “corrupt enterprises”. Your words not mine. It’s apparent your disgust lies with your own inability to function socially… Could be from feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, or perhaps from low self-esteem or low confidence, inability to calibrate socially, unable to talk in public forums or the feeling of loneliness in social gatherings… You choose… It’s not for me to be a judge of you as you are towards others.

    As for the listing of names and professions you’re requesting of me to back up my claims…
    I’d be wasting my time gathering this information then presenting it to you. You’ve already made up your mind about the operational and functional aspects of TN and are unshakably too smart to comprehend how TN works… But Yeah… Sure, I’ll do this and I’ll provide names and numbers so you can contact them directly then listen to their testimony on how TN has changed their lives. But first, I’ll need to clear it with them as far as disclosing their private information to you and in a public forum…

    If you are not satisfied with this then by all means friend me on FB and you can interact with my TN family directly, telling them how much of a scam you think TN is and how much you think of them being “2-digit IQ types and assorted sad sacks”…

    If you lack the ability to do this then you are nothing more than a Keyboard Commando hiding behind an avatar screen name, wasting your life flame others…

  28. Vogel permalink
    March 30, 2016 7:20 pm

    Joseph Banks said: “As for the listing of names and professions you’re requesting of me to back up my claims…[crickets chirping]”

    As I thought. The confirmation is appreciated; psychoanalysis from a tool, not so much.

  29. Vogel permalink
    March 31, 2016 7:35 am

    Let’s ignore for the moment that Joey felt the pressing need to respond just now to a 3-year old post and let’s focus instead on Team National’s income disclosure statement. It is probably the worst I’ve seen yet out of a dozen or so MLM IDSs, all of which were terrible – but TN’s takes the cake. The IDS shows that the company has a total of 34,842 active distributors. The average annual income for 82.3% of TN distributors is – wait for it – 36 cents!!! 99% of distributors earn below $16K (poverty level income) and a mere 0.1% crack six figures.
    https://communication.mybignbusiness.com/documents/Income-Earnings-Disclosure1.pdf?version=3

    The IDS omits altogether the top rank of the company – i.e., “Eagle” level” which consists of a mere 12 distributorships, at least one of which happens to be held by an insider shareholder (Robert Fason).
    https://communication.mybignbusiness.com/documents/Income-Earnings-Disclosure1.pdf?version=3
    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1101216/000111650203000734/nationalcompanies-def14c.txt

    The IDS also says that there are 35 distributors at the next highest rank (Double Platinum) but the company’s “TN Leaders” webpage shows a mere 17 distributorships at this rank.
    http://teamnationalsuccess.com/

    To make matters worse, a comparison of the current leader webpage with an archived version from a couple of years ago shows only two new distributorships at the Eagle level and two at the Double Platinum level. Archived pages for dates further back than this were not available, but the point is clear. The odds of cracking the upper ranks of the company are effectively zero (less than 0.01%).
    https://web.archive.org/web/20141218093139/http://teamnationalsuccess.com/

    Team is charging up to $2K for the opportunity to sell essentially worthless discount coupons and to receive motivational training content that’s available elsewhere for free. A terrible product and a pathetic business model.

    So while that analysis puts to rest any notion that TN is a worthwhile business opportunity (at least for vast majority of participants), I’m still dying to know the identities of the alleged cardiologists, rocket scientists, and investment bankers involved in this scam that Joey B mentioned, and whether they are among the vast majority of TN victims earning 39 cents a year, or the small handful making 6 figs through the exploitation of roughly 35 thousand peons. And yes Joey, “peons” – the term you objected to so strenuously is your misguided post – is perfectly appropriate, as would be “victims”, “naifs”, “suckers”, etc.

  30. Joseph permalink
    April 4, 2016 2:46 pm

    Vogel: I am not here to disabuse you of your misconception of TN. It’s apparent from your cynical rants you have a strong personal opinion about TN that you want other people to accept and that’s the reason why you have gone on this tirade about TN. Furthermore, I’m not here to let you spew your venom at me and I’m not going to continue being your enabler while you hide behind a keyboard to snipe at me with your juvenile responses.

    Finally your pseudo analysis is ambitious at best, albeit woefully unformed.

    I will leave you with this, you should seek help from a professional for your anger problems. During the course of our exchange here, I have never once seen you say anything positive. If I actually knew you in person, I would be continually watchful about you. You don’t seem to be enjoying life very much. You carrying around a huge amount of venom and misdirected anger. Which are manifestations of self harm and harm to others. It’s really not good for you, your family, neighbors or co-workers.

  31. Vogel permalink
    April 5, 2016 7:14 am

    Joseph: “I am not here to disabuse you of your misconception of TN.”

    What misconception would that be? I quoted figures directly from the company’s income disclosure statement indicating that, for example, the average distributor (82.3% of all active distributors) earns 36 cents a year, or that 99% of distributors earn less than poverty level wages.

    Joseph: “It’s apparent from your cynical rants you have a strong personal opinion about TN…”

    Quoting data from the company’s income disclosure is not a personal opinion, and it is very dishonest of you to try to suggest otherwise.

    Joseph: “Furthermore, I’m not here to let you spew your venom at me…”

    By “venom” you mean “data”. Got it. From now on when I post data, you can simply look the other way.

    Joseph: “Finally your pseudo analysis is ambitious at best, albeit woefully unformed.”

    In what way exactly? You failed to even attempt to show one instance where my “analysis” (i.e., simply reciting earnings data from the IDS) was “woefully unformed.”

    Joseph: “I will leave you with this, you should seek help from a professional for your anger problems.”

    That’s a transparently feeble means of dodging the earnings data the company presented for their distributor pool.

    Still waiting for you to identify those “cardiologists, rocket scientists, and investment bankers” that you boasted about who are allegedly promoting this scheme in which the typical participant can expect to earn a whopping 36 cents a year. Crickets chirping…

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