Amway/Quixtar Sues Web Critics

from the multi-level-lawsuits? dept

Direct marketing firm Quixtar, which some people may recognize as the online arm of well known multi-level marketing firm Amway, has apparently sued 30 anonymous online critics who disparaged the company on blogs and in YouTube videos. Quixtar is claiming that the attacks are from a group of former "distributors" who later sued the company. The distributors are currently under court order not to disparage the company -- so if these posts and videos are from them, it would be a violation of the court order. Of course, if it turns out these aren't from those distributors, then it just makes Quixtar look like a big bully. Actually, that seems likely either way. Apparently, one of the videos concerns a guy showing how Quixtar's products are much more expensive than buying the same products at a grocery store. It's hard to see how that's "disparaging" if it's factually true. Anyway, if Quixtar is trying to hide critical videos about the company, it probably has a long way to go. A quick search suggests there are an awful lot of folks out there posting negative videos about the company.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Todd, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 11:25am

    These guys tried to sucker me into their legal-but-greasy biz. If you are a slimeball and don't mind screwing friendships for a quick buck then you can make millions. There is nothing wrong with it, but it just seems like a sleazy way to do business. The whole "culture" thing they sell to their employees is weird too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    SM, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    No, Todd, there's quite a bit wrong with it, and it's doubtful one would "make millions" even if he didn't mind screwing friendships for a quick buck. Multi-level marketing is a scam, and only the select few at the top make any money from it.

    The "culture" is just another money-making scam from these companies. In many cases selling product is secondary; there is more money to be made from giving speeches, selling tapes, hosting conventions, and all of the other by-products of the amway/quixtar scams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    quixtar hater, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Quixtar are a bunch of crooks

    I almost got suckered into this scam a few years back.
    I was young and eager to make a quick buck, and one of their jackals approached me at my retail job.
    My wife and I actually went and met with him and his wife for "coffee". They tried to come over to our apartment, but we called a rescheduled it a local coffee shop just in case we wanted to make a quick exit.
    Anyway long story short, I found out it was a scam from talking to friends and co-workers, and the guy hounded me for about a month until I had to tell him to f' off after I found him waiting by my car after work.
    See, he gave me some pamphlets, on our first meeting, that he absolutely needed again, so he kept insisting we have to meet for him to pick those, but actually just wanted some more face to face conversations to talk about how rich he was going when it "finally took off" for him and how rich I would be.
    He was a real lifer, going to all the conferences (on his own dime), buying all the books and other crap.
    Knowing what I know now about the scam, I felt bad for him.
    It's the guys he was buying all the books from that were getting rich. He was just a patsy.
    I feel sorry for anyone who has fallen into the Quixtar trap.
    It's a total pyramid scam, and I recommend anyone and everyone to steer clear of these crooks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    I fell for it

    Several years back, a lady I worked with convinced me that this was the future and that I'd be able to make a small fortune with very little effort on my part.

    It turns out that when you make a purchase from them (Quixtar), by the time you pay for shipping & handling to get it delivered, it ends up costing the same or more than if you had just driven to the mall and purchased it.

    I went to a couple of their seminars and the recurring theme is that you should fill your home with Amway products so when people visit you, they'll see that you use Amway products and want some for themselves. And you shouldn't just buy a few products, you should buy every possible product from them.

    Of course what they don't mention is that every product you buy is another commission for them...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    khstapp, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 12:23pm

    Millions my ass

    Very, very few have ever made a decent living doing this MLM crap much less make millions. A number of news organizations have exposed these guys a fraudsters. They sell the dream of riches, not a path to riches. The top echelons in this racket make their money from selling 'how to' seminars to the suckers that get hooked on the dream. IMHO of course.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    Yeah, if it's true - I don't see where there's any grounds to stand on. I can't see why simply stating the truth should be punishable.

    Of course - we're talking about lawyers and the court system too....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 15th, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    Complete Pyramid Scheme

    Yah, they approached me while I was in college.
    Kids there are always eager to make easy money.
    Quite a few people I knew fell for it.
    I didn't even know it was part of Amway at the time.
    Parents and a couple wiser older friends of mine pointed out it was a pyramid scheme.
    Did I mention that they wanted approx 234$ just to sign up to "situate yourself as your own business, and this fee is to cover the paperwork, thats all".
    It was utter bull shit.
    I don't know why people still fall for this shit except for they are too dumb to know the difference.
    Unfotunately, even after college, I have a friend who fell for it. I love it when he brings it up because I hound him on it.
    Actually, he hasn't brougt it up at all recently, like past few months, maybe he finally realized I won't fall for that shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 2:12pm

    My ex-mother-in-law is a sales rep for that business. She's as evil as that company! My point is neither can be trusted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Gerry K, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 2:24pm

    Hmmmmmmm

    Interesting that they are sueing. These people have been praying on the naive for years. This whole internet "thing" has got to be putting serious cramps on their style. The fact that someone can easily search for and get opinions about these scams today, pretty much puts the Amways of the world out of business. The reaction is a typical "survival instinct" approach companies take when the chart on the wall keeps dropping and it's due to the truth. It will be certainly sad if the courts give this suit any kind of credence. The truth hurts these guys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 2:39pm

    Cutco knives

    speaking about other Pyramid Schemes, does anyone remember Cutco knives?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Oct 15th, 2007 @ 3:11pm

    Forbes Magazine Article

    Forbes has run a couple of article "exposing" how businesses are being adversely affected by malicious consumers. The most recent article "Hiding Behind the Net - Anonymity Lets Creeps, Criminals and Malicious Mobs Run Wild" (Forbes, October 15, 2007). These stories seem to be a precursor aimed a developing a public awareness that would allow onerous legislation to be passed to "protect" firms such as Amway/Quixtar by making it illegal for the public to expose their abuses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cow Herd, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 3:14pm

    Well, no. Amway (can't speak to Quixtar) isn't a pyramid scheme, as that term is legally defined. The product may not be as much cheaper, net net, as they would like for you to believe, than retail products are...

    but they sell good soap. Really. You can get some really decent products from Amway, as well as Rexall/Sundown (are they still in business), and perhaps a couple of the other first-shelf MLMs.

    Which isn't to say that I'd drink their Kool-Aid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    nonlawyer dude, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 3:28pm

    author is wrong

    the author has the court order backwards. Quixtar/Amway has a court order (temporary restraining order) to not disparage the training group that they are in court with,not the other way around. The lawsuit was filed because Quixtar slandered some of their distributors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Teilo, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 3:43pm

    Dishonest from the beginning

    I have been approached by these guys multiple times, each time, when they found out that I was in IT, they started theirs routine with, "Well, I have this great computer business that is going to take the world by storm..." or word to that effect. They buzz-word you to death. They tell you that IBM, Microsoft, and XYZ company of the week, is one of their venture business partners. If you ask what kind of business, they talk about "product marketing." When you ask, "What product?" they won't tell you specifically, but it's for all sorts of business, a new concept in sales, yada yada.

    It is nearly impossible to get them to admit that, yeah, this is Amway Online, and it's an MLM.

    If your business plan's #1 rule is, "Don't tell your prospectives who you are and what you do" then it is by definition a load of crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Heap, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 3:56pm

    Take Advantage

    Every time a "friend" of mine tries to get me to get involved in their MLM, I have them buy me lunch. Then, I tell them to take a hike. If they keep pestering me, I ask them to meet me for lunch again, and make them pay again. They eventually get the point, and I get a few free meals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 10:12pm

    Free Speech on the Internet

    Regardless if the story is backwards or not, the lawyers have found a new way to get rich. Every company or individual who believes they have been harmed in some way from negative posts on the Internet is going to sue or attempt to have the website taken down.

    Let the legal battles begin.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    .Net Developer, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 4:41am

    Re: Take Advantage

    I wish I had done that! I had several old 'friends' look me up to sell me this crap. It's kinda sad for them. They look up old friends and call just to sell them this stuff. I got hit up by 2 'friends' in one month. In the same month, some guy came up to me in an Eckerds and complimented me on my jacket, before I could say thanks, he says something to the effect of 'do you want to make money fast'. I thought 'here we go again'.

    Next time I hear 'do you want to make money fast' I will pull out my gun and say 'sure, where is the nearest bank'....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Making the point, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 8:18am

    Free & Responsible Speech on the Internet

    1,2,3,4...17 posts and out of these only about 3 that make a point. The others... just rants from clueless people who portray themselves as "experts". More accurate I should say, "opion experts" for we all are experts when it comes to opinions, right? Few of us are "advice experts" in the true sense of the word. The proof is here: 14/17 posts = opinions & garbage.

    For any serious business undertaker, check these out:

    http://www.pyramid-scheme.org/MLM-Good-Business.html
    http://members.forbes.com/forbes/2005/ 1114/128.html
    (*also, might require subscription*) -> "Hiding Behind the Net - Anonymity Lets Creeps, Criminals and Malicious Mobs Run Wild" (Forbes, October 15, 2007).

    Last of all, get advice only from qualified people who are in life or are going in life where you yourself would like to be. If it's just about people giving you opinions, tell them "no, thank you very much, have a nice day!" and walk away. Do away with them. Focus on your dreams and goals.

    Should the internet be censored? I guess it should be to a certain extent while still allowing responsible people to freely express themselves. That right should be entirely taken away from idiots.
    My background is from a former communist country. Censorship of the media was part of the daily life however, when I think back, its purpose was more to edify and to protect the citizen than to harm him. The idiots were not allowed to express themselves publicly for they were considered to be a threat to society on every conceivable level. So yes, I think that the internet should be censored and for you to take full resposibilty for your idiotic, ignorant comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Stack, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 8:31am

    Re: Take Advantage

    Wow, what a loser! Your mother must be sorry she gave you birth. Do that to me and I will send you back inside her womb.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Stack, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    Re: Cutco knives

    Wow, what a name! I'm sorry for you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Gerry K, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    The Communist Internet

    I believe China is censoring the internet too. A model for the rest us? I think not.

    I was involved in an MLM once upon a time. Then about 20 years later someone I really respect was caught up in the fever where a very high level guy in an MLM was recruiting him. He wanted me to join with him. I did the math, and it didn't work out.

    The main problem with MLMs from the standpoint of the individual trying to build this business is that you are generally working for a negative wage until such point as you finally break even. You, as your own business entity, pay for everything to set up a real business. This can be good for people that have money and no clue how to do this. You will need the money to buy inventory, invest in marketing campaigns and find potential customers. Your support group is your sponsor and some meetings that are generally more hypre and pep rally than any real substanitive thinking. If the truth be told, most people that invest in these MLMs, fail. Usually it can be chocked up as a learning experience, and all you have lost is a few thousand dollars and a half a year. For some, that's not bad for an education, I have spent way more. The problem is, that the education based upon false pretences. MLMs will never tell you their real success rate, because it's pathetically low. It takes a "special" kind of person to succeed at this.

    I fully understand the reason for trying to censor the internet. If 5% succeed and 95% fail, these are overwhelming odds against trying to portray this as a bonafide opportunity. The internet has it's share of idiots on it, but it is the law of large numbers at work that our communist freind will never understand.

    The bottom line - MLMs use tactics that lead to skeptisism, and rightly so. If someone has a huge opportunity, but is reluctant to tell you what it is unless they can come over to your house and have your wife present. The opportunity is suspect, the people that are offering it are suspect and you should be very concerned. If you like the idea, find out all of the information you can before spending $1 on it. Information is the key, our ability to process and act upon a variety of disparate information is called intelligence. Anyone promoting censorship if the information is not to thier liking is a fraud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Naomi Harris, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 10:53am

    Amway/Quitar Suing Web Critics

    What has happened to "freedom of speech" especially when it is the truth? Are we being refrained by "Corporate America" in the name of profits? We must take our government back and let let big business learn that we the people are in control of our government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Martina, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 12:40pm

    I don't think it matters who scammed who--what this article is about is a billion dollar company trying to silence some online criticism. If there is no truth to what is being said about Quixtar/Amway, why are they so worried?

    Truth it, they've gotten so arrogant the owners really believe they can override the U.S. Constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    John, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 3:04pm

    Are they at it again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    John, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    Are they at it again?

    20 years ago, Amway was involved in lawsuits against Proctor & Gamble and its own distributors.

    10 years ago, Amway was involved in even more lawsuits against Proctor & Gamble and its own distributors. (Possibly the same suits, stretched out over years and years.)

    8 years ago, Amway tried to change its name to "Quixtar" to disassociate itself from its own falling reputation. And if you don't believe me, just read some of the postings, above. Amway has been around for *decades* and everyone knows someone who tried to sell soap or had soap sold to them.

    Also, 10 years ago, I was an Amway distributor... until I found out that the "Amway business" is all about making money from sales-tools and not selling products. My "upline" even admitted as much!

    After I found out, I created a website documenting my experience with the company. Although they never sued me directly, I was issued a subpoena in their case against P&G. They had it in their brains that I was somehow paid by P&G and wanted to find the evidence. I had to hire an attorney to file a legal response to their subpoena. The attorneys then went back and forth about what information they could take from my hard drive (documents: yes, Quicken files: no). And, of course, this cost me more and more money as the attorney billed me for his time.

    It's funny how they didn't want any of the teaching tapes entered into the court record... you know, the ones that tell people to buy more "tools" instead of actually selling products.
    They also didn't need to see my checking account (within my Quicken file) showing how I had spent tons of money to attend meetings and events, pay for tapes, and other tools... and only had a few dollars of income to show for it.

    Before you start to argue that the person isn't "working the system", keep in mind that there have been *numerous* audits which have showed how some of the upper-level distributors barely made any money... and some IRS records showed these people actually made a loss!

    Every few years, news comes out that some upper-level distributors start to sue each other over the profits from the sales of the tools.
    And a few years ago, the big news in the Amway world was that a lot of "Diamonds" quit the business to form their own MLM. It makes you wonder why these "multi-millionaires" (as they're so fond of saying) would quit a business that made them so successful?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Gerry, Oct 16th, 2007 @ 5:55pm

    Can't argue with that........

    Someone a few posts asked if these companies think they can change the constitution. I don't see why they wouldn't feel they could. Our congress and our judicial system stomps on our constitution and the framers intent everyday. Most Democrats want the whole thing thrown out, so they can institute a new document. I believe it's based on something written by Stabler or Stalin or something like that, who knows? Vote for Hillary!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Frank Lotbar, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 9:15am

    Internet Censorship?

    Although I don't agree on 100% censorship, I do agree with the poster nicknamed Free & Responsible Speech on the Internet.
    I believe that there needs to be some censorship on the internet to prevent people with questionable motives from spreading misinformation which can be extremly damaging long term.
    About the Forbes article on the blogs, I find it accurate in its description hence, my belief that internet censorship will ultimately become a requirement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Some guy, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    Why are they so worried? If your business came under attack from some anonymous bloggers and you would enquire damages, wouldn't you be worried? It's not about whether or not your business is honest, it's about profit, it's about your living income source. DOH! If you wouldn't be worried, you were not supposed to have a business. Now, don't tell us that even in your day to day life you had no one to attack you and you being happy, not worried about being attacked...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Gina, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 10:32am

    I have seen the videos on youtube,the blogs and the various websites Quixtar is sueing over.The one where they compare prices at a grocery store to Quixtar is clever.They show the products purchased with the receipt as well as Quixtar's.How they can sue over that horribile.The internet should not be censored in any way.We are not talking about porn here, we are talking about people posting their opinions that you have the right to listen to or not.I think Quixtar is using the excuse that these are former IBO's that once sued.I think they are flexing their muscles in hopes of getting peoples negative comments off the internet.I guess when you spend so much time to hide the truth and people spend so much time in exposing it, this is the course of action to take!!!Where do we draw the line??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Outsider, Dec 21st, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    Simple Answer

    Someone walk down the aisles at Walmart and compare those prices to Quixtar's. It will be easy to determine who's got the better prices.

    The bigger issue is how some top level distributors make a ton of money selling useless seminars and tapes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Terry C., Mar 7th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    WEIRD!!!

    Quixtar is not what almost every body is talking about? Weird, you are all thinking about getting rich? Why? Don't you work? don't you have a job? Quixtar is only a side buisness that if it works will give you a possible chance.(slim as can be EX: lottery ticket isn't better!) Now the people that say that you need to buy are old folks! with them you buy what you kneed! If you need soap Buy soap! Like Oliver Wendell Jones saied, it's almost the same price (EXEPT!!!) you get something back from that can you say the same thing about your standard grocery stores??? I'M shure that if you go to a store and ask them to give you money in return of what you've purchased there they will just laught in your face. But that's my theory!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This