Multi-Level Marketing Company Threatens Blogger Who Writes Critical Post

from the just-because-you-don't-like-it,-doesn't-mean-it's-illegal dept

Over and over and over again, we hear stories of companies that simply dislike what others are saying about them online, and send over threatening legal letters with no legal basis. These cease-and-desist letters are mostly designed to scare users into giving in, because there's no law against someone criticizing you or saying something bad about you (assuming it's not untrue). The latest, sent in by Davis Freeberg involves the Everyday Finance blog. The blogger there was approached by a company called "Shop to Earn," which offers a multi-level marketing (MLM) system. The blogger wrote a post about it, which Davis Freeberg describes as "well balanced," though the blogger explained the weaknesses of the system and why he chose not to participate.

So what happens? Yes, of course, Shop to Earn got upset and sent Everyday Finance a legal nasty-gram demanding the posts get taken down. As Everyday Finance notes, it's likely this had something to do with the fact that the posts had made it up the Google search results list. The blogger at Everyday Finance tried to adjust the post, taking out things like the phrase "fatal flaw," but Shop to Earn said that wasn't good enough and Everyday Finance needed to take down the entire site. This is, quite clearly, bullying through cease-and-desist. It's about trying to shut up a negative review of their business model because they didn't like what it said.

And, it appears that Shop to Earn isn't just focused on the blogger at Everyday Finance. The company has also sent cease-and-desist letters to other blogs, which were also extremely critical of Shop to Earn's program (though, that link is also quite well-balanced, pointing out the key flaws to Shop to Earn's program). Apparently, Shop to Earn seems to think that any review of its program that is negative is somehow libelous, and will threaten bloggers with legal action. What it may quickly learn is that (a) someone giving you a negative review and pointing out the obvious flaws of your program is not defamation and (b) trying to threaten bloggers into taking down their site will simply call much more attention to all of those negative reviews.
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Filed Under: cease and desist, defamation, everyday finance, mlm, multi-level marketing, streisand effect
Companies: shop to earn


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  1. identicon
    Love my MLMs, 7 Nov 2008 @ 6:01pm

    Not everyone can be successful at everything

    I have read with interest the many posts and I felt compelled to jump in...

    It always strikes me as odd when people ask if something is a "Get Rich Quick Scheme" but then complain when they don't get rich! I think it is a great program taken at face value to SAVE and EARN.

    The reason it is so upsetting when you trash a company is because your opinion is often read as fact by others and that makes it harder for them to weigh FACTS.

    I have been involved with an MLM for ten years. I have a team of over 400 people all over the country. More than 1500 have passed through over the years. Some have been enormously successful - others not at all.

    What I have found is that the level of your success is directly related to your efforts. I quickly replaced my full time salary working outside my home in an MLM only one day per week. Yes! I worked hours and hours at home! BUT...I was able to stay home with my children and work the hours I chose.

    Those who were unsuccessful had MANY excuses...I have learned that some people make money and others make excuses. The people who succeeded often had two jobs and lots of kids or another story of some kind but they managed to succeed anyway. When asked about their experience with the company, they say "OH...THAT DOESN'T WORK"

    I have seen MLM change MANY people's lives for the better, including mine! I bought a vacation home for my family and had lots of disposable income for the fun extras we enjoyed.

    To just discount MLM because YOU cannot succeed at it is ridiculous! I couldn't be a doctor because I'm not trained to do it! I couldn't do a lot of other jobs because my personality is not suited to it!

    Those who understand e-commerce and mult-level marketing see very clearly why this business model is successful. It is not that complicated. I've been involved with STE for only 6 weeks and already have over 50 enjoying the benefits. I have saved a couple hundred dollars on products I was buying in the stores anyway! Many people have already thanked me for getting them involved because they too have begun to SAVE money and EARN money!

    Again....MLM has many benefits besides the financial - including lifelong friendships, increased self-confidence among others.

    Just my two cents.

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