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I honestly think you just became my personal saviour.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Richard Mitchell and I am from Queensland in Australia. I recently signed up as a herbalife distributor because I saw the ad's that you have been talking about on your website. They were all over the place. I have huge credit card debts and when someone says I can make $1500 a month, I didnt really think about the consequences I just knew with that sort of cash I could pay my credit cards off fast.
Anyhow, I paid my $35 for my information pack and I read the information. I then paid my $277 for the IBP. At this stage I found out that the company was herbalife (I had never heard of them).
They said in their books that you didnt need to keep an inventory and that you could make huge ammounts of money. So ofcourse I am thinking....sweet.
I spoke to my mentor and this is when all the hidden costs starting coming up
Firstly, I had to place an initial 550 volume point order at the cost of nearly $1000 for my inventory (but the books said I didnt need an inventory).I refused to place this order. My sponsor then said I was wasting my time and shouldnt bother being in business if I wasnt prepared to make a sacrifice.
Then I was told I had to sign up for a herbalife retail website at the cost of US$100 for setup and then US$40 per month. On top of this was the business opportunity website they said i needed which would cost an additional US$100 for setup and US$40 per month.
I then needed to setup TouchFone which was a cost of $22 a month plus a toll call to get my touchfone messages.
They then said I would need a business bank account, a business credit card. I had to goto http://www.vistaprint.com.au and purchase fliers, business cards, banners for my car etc..
Once I had purchased all these things I had spent a huge deal of money and my credit card bills were looking worse than ever.
I went about placing fliers on cars and doing the herbalife surveys at my local shopping centre. I attending all the training seminars they recommended.
I spoke to my sponsor and said I wanted out. I just couldnt afford to keep paying the monthly costs without seeing some return on my investment.
She just kept giving my the spiel "This is your own business and you have to invest money to get started" and "The harder you work the more you will get out of it"
I have no been a distributor for a little short of 3 months and have seen nothing in return.
I told a good friend of mine about my situation and they did some research for me and came back to me with a list of websites (which is how i got your email address).
I took a good look at these websites and was shocked to see that herbalife is basically a "lie."
I regret ever signing up for a herbalife distributorship and I am about to write a letter to herbalife themselves saying I would like to distributorship cancelled.
Thank you for everything you are doing. You are saving people a lot of time and money. I am greatful for your websites and the amount of time and effort you have put in to researching about herbalife.
june 12, 2004
June 14, 2004
This is Venu from Bangalore, India. I just finished reading your original article on Herbalife at www.cockeyed.com and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your research. I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a couple of years ago, having attended a couple of closed-door motivational Herbalife meetings meant to net more distributors. It was easy to fall for all that revolutionary brou-ha-ha about changing the world (or at least, our city) with their tried-and-tested miracle products. I shelled out Rs. 1500 (around $30) for the distributor kit and pored over the manuals for a few days, attributing my puzzlement at some of their policies to my lack of knowledge about the larger picture. Can you imagine, they are still telling everyone that Mark Hughes, the star founder of Herbalife Inc. is still its CEO (a DEAD person is CEO!?) I do think that you have to be desperate to stay in this 'business'... while pounding into our heads some ways to approach people, my mentor actually told me to stand at a petrol pump (gas station) and chat up the people who came for filling up ... I have done those things too, like cautiously putting home-printed fliers into people's mailboxes at night, getting snarled at and chased by dogs, being told off by security personnel or castigated for intruding on someone's property... I seriously considered becoming a supervisor at one go, that would have halved my bank balance, but thankfully I didn't because the maths just didn't add up... I have bought that promotional material my mentor said I would surely need to succeed, trying to brainstorm my way to making thousands of rupees in profit... made the much-awaited sales calls and seen the 'oh nooooo... not this again!!' annoyed look on people's faces.... tried to recruit new distributors by placing an expensive ad in the paper, of which only 4 made it to the venue for the induction meetings, and none of them signed up!... all this in just over a month's time, I guess I didn't take too long to figure out their game. Why, at one of the so-called-trainings, I asked a supervisor-trainer about ephedrine and its harmful side-effects, and you wouldn't believe how he clammed up. I think they might be dumping these in India now, since people in your country didn't let them get away with it. I vaguely recall seeing 'Ma Huang' as one of the ingredients on a bottle. I realized that the truth about this business is, that the money is made not by the distributors but by the company, when they coerce you into buying their starter kits and badges and assorted rubbish. When something stinks so bad, you've got to get out and close the door... that's what I did, and I'm lucky I did that, before I compromised on my ethical standards and lost all my friends to boot.
For a long time, I wished I could warn more people about falling for this work-from-home scam, but I don't know how. Two years ago, they had made their presence felt loud and clear. Today, I see ugly posters and car stickers and newspaper ads all with that hideous slogan.. "lose weight now, tell me how". It hurts to see they're still around :-(
Thanks and good luck,
I live in the UK and the problem is just as bad over here, with the flyers on lampposts and poles all over the place.
My wife and I got sucked into the "scam" with promises of riches beyond our widest dreams by some friends who were apparantly making a huge success. They introduced us to the guy who brought herbalife to the UK, and yes he had made pots of money - well the percentages raked in from mugs like us - big surprise.
We coughed up £2,500 (around $4,000) and set off. We posted the flyers under windscreen wipers in the local cvar parks and crept around like criminals putting up the flyers on the lampposts when the traffic subsided, and lo and behold after a month we had two clients - what a success story!
Well, we learned the hard way, and it didn't take too long for it to sink in. The only way to make money out of a business idea (especially this one) is to be the one who had the idea, or be very close to him and get some other mugs to do the hard work! Yes some made money, but they were the ones with the personality of a used car salesman and scruples to match.
Now it rears it's ugly head again - in the form of Global OnLine Systems. I have just been laid off and am looking for employment and other interesting opportunities, so when I received an email from one of the online agencies I have registered with (Jobfastfind.com) I thought it was a creditable approach. I intend to register a complaint with Jobfastfind.com.
Well, gradually, through the presentation I sensed the familiar smell of Herbalife, even though not a single mention was made on the entire web site, so I Googled "Global Online Systems" and top of the list came your site, confirming my suspicions. I found your site extremely interesting, highlighting the insidious practices of the Multi-Level Marketing Industry and Herbalife in particular. Let's face it MLM is Pyramid selling tarted up to make it legal, regardless of what Herbalife will tell you.
So, thank you for being there to stop me from parting with any more money - $50 is expensive trash, because that is where it would have ended up as soon as it hit the doormat and the real identity revealed.
If you are ever looking for an international angle on any of your future features, I'd be glad to contribute.
Keep up the good work.
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May 30th, 2005.