August 29, 2006
By Truth in Quixtar
Quixtar has been making quite a few changes lately and for the most part I think many advocates and critics agree that it is for the betterment of the Quixtar opportunity. Sure there will always be those advocates who still want to call the critics losers, and some critics who won't applaud anything the corporation does. But, for those of us that just want to see the abuse by uplines come to an end, I think we agree that the corporation has finally taken some bold steps and frankly that is the crowd I am writing to in this article.
After seeing the post Qblog did concerning the new advertisement campaign by Quixtar I couldn't help but wonder whether Quixtar would have taken any of these steps if blogs and sites like this one never existed. Would Quixtar have implemented their accreditation program if there was no stories on the internet of people being abused by their upline?
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that I can prove Quixtar made these moves because of the sites and blogs on the internet, but the circumstantial evidence is pretty compelling. Obviously the blogs and sites on the Internet were having some sort of impact hence the reason Quixtar decided to launch their own "Web Reputation Task Force". That of course didn't work out to well for them in the end, but I think you would have to be crazy if you thought that would be the end of it.
So tell us what you think. Would Quixtar still have taken the steps they have taken recently if the "critical" sites and blogs didn't exist? Should IBOs who are praising Quixtar for the new programs they have implemented be giving some credit to the "critics" for having a role in bringing about some of this change? I mean let's be honest, there wasn't exactly a movement by "plugged in" IBOs to tell others about the abuses. At any rate, I now leave this to the readers to discuss and debate.
August 27, 2006
By QBlog in Blog News
I just upgraded the blog software to the latest version. If you notice problems or bugs please send an email to email@example.com. Thanks.
By QBlog in Quixtar
National ad campaign for Quixtar to launch in September
Ads to run on TV and in newspapers, magazines
A multimillion-dollar campaign for Quixtar will soon blanket the U.S. and Canada with print and TV ads.
The goal of this expansive ad program is to generate excitement and pride in the Quixtar business opportunity and in the Nutrilite® brand. By creating and running its own ads, Quixtar will no longer allow its critics to define this business. Instead, Quixtar will tell its own story, in its own words, and on its own terms.
The campaign will kick off in late September with full-page newspaper ads in USA Today that address Quixtar's foundations and the success of Alticor, its parent company. The ads will be followed by a three-month campaign blitz for Nutrilite in Newsweek magazine, beginning in October.
During the last week of September, TV spots for Quixtar and Nutrilite will begin airing on CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox, as well as on cable networks like The Learning Channel (TLC) and FoodTV. The ads are also slated to appear on shows like the "Country Music Awards," "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," "Sunday Night Football on NBC," "Trading Spaces," and "30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray."
This media plan is subject to change, so keep coming back to What's New for updates on dates, times, and specific shows.
First reported by Dave, this marks a new strategy for a business that still claims that it "doesn’t advertise, instead channeling those dollars to Independent Business Owners who generate sales at Quixtar.com."
August 26, 2006
By Truth in A/QMOs
Would you ever buy a nonrefundable ticket if you were not 100% sure you were going to be able to either use the ticket, or attend the event? I wouldn't, but unfortunately this is the very thing I saw encouraged to downline IBOs by their uplines. Downline IBOs were encouraged to purchase expensive tickets "on faith" to the next Eagle Qualifier.
During my time in Quixtar I was a part of the Merris LOS in BWW. Twice a year John and Cathy Merris would hold a big event for those who qualified Eagle. One event was a cruise, and the other was a weekend at a resort down in Texas. My sponsor told me the ticket prices ranged anywhere from $500-$1000. I still have yet to figure out how exactly it is a reward for you to pay your own way at these events.
My entire time in Quixtar these two events were heavily promoted and the hype would slowly build as the events got closer. Upline IBOs would tell their downlines to just "make the decision" that you were going to be there and purchase your tickets on faith. They would tell their downline that by purchasing the tickets they would have that needed motivation to get Eagle done. Sounded great and all except for one tiny little problem.....the tickets were nonrefundable. If you purchased your tickets and failed to qualify, you might as well just literally flushed the money down the toilet.
I never participated in purchasing tickets before qualifying for such an event and I am forever thankful that I did not. During my time in Quixtar I would always wonder just how many people out there lost their money to this horrible idea that was being promoted. At my last function I would get my answer. John Merris stood on stage wrapping up a night owl and remarked that they were no longer going to be able to have unqualified downline purchase advance tickets to his Eagle qualifiers. The reason was what I suspected all along. Too many people were buying tickets and not qualifying for the events, which of course meant they lost a significant amount of money.
For me it was just another nail in the coffin as far as Quixtar was concerned. Here was these upline IBOs who would tell you not to question them. Who would tell you that they had only your best interests in mind when giving you advice. Yet, these same uplines who were looking after their downline's best interests advised them to spend a large amount of money on a ticket they would never get to use. If that is not sad enough the worst part is some IBOs will turn blame on the downline for not doing what it took to qualify, and absolve the upline, who gave the advice, of any responsibility.
That is just how it goes when you get involved in many of the motivational organizations of Quixtar. You will be praised, built up, made to feel good about making a decision on faith. You will be advised that you are doing what it takes to Go Diamond for making decisions that don't really make good sense. But, when the advice you were given doesn't work out. When you are broke, heavy in debt and there is no more money to take. Your upline and other IBOs will look at you and tell you it's all your fault, and while you will realize that yes you do bear responsibility for making the decisions. You won't be able to help but feel betrayed when your upline, who gave you that advice, walks away without taking any responsibility for the advice they gave you.
August 24, 2006
By David Robison in Humor
Howdy Quixtar Blog readers! This is Dave Robison, your newest member of the Quixtar Blog writing team. Last week after I posted my second entry to The Qblog, I was granted exclusive access inside the massive Quixtar Blog Complex; with none other than Quixtar Blog founder himself, Eric Janssen.
I've been given permission to print what I witnessed; and I hope this gives readers an inside look into what goes into each entry that they read here at Quixtar Blog.
Once inside the gated complex, Janssen unlocks two tall steel doors and invites me in. As the doors swing slowly open, I'm met with a gust of cool conditioned air and I feel the goosebumps raise on my arms. I look down a massive marbled hallway with doors lining each side; and we begin our tour.
We walked not more than 20 feet when Janssen stops me in front of a white wooden door innocuously signed simply, "RESEARCH".
I open the door to a large room. Inside are huge mainframe computers surround by a circle of desks occupied by slightly orange-skinned midgets working contently at laptop computers. I learn that the mainframe is also linked to a satellite in geo-synchronous orbit above Spaulding Plaza in Ada, Michigan.
"So this is how Janssen manages to stay one jump ahead of Quixtar's Communications Department." I thought. The midgets were reading screen after screen of information being fed off the mainframe. The mainframe, I could only imagine, must have been collecting data from the internet, and privately networked computers worldwide. It was most impressive, but I wondered about the midgets.
"Are they Oompa-Loompas?" I whispered.
"No," Janssen replied, "They're Q-loompas. A cousin; but genetically enhanced with mutated DeVos genes. They are much more focused, than their chocolate-making cousins...and they work for XS powerbars and Seismic Juice."
"Fascinating," I said. And we closed the door and continued down the hall, taking a left turn into a small alcove with one red door signed, "FORUM"
"This is where we collect all the thoughts and opinions of the Quixtar Blog Forum members and publish them to the Internet for all the world to read."
"Can I open the door?"
"I'd rather you didn't, you really aren't ready to see what is happening in there."
"Okay," I said, "I'll wait."
Janssen then turned me around in the alcove and I faced another door.
"What's inside here?" I asked. "There's no sign on the door."
Janssen slowly opened the door to another hallway.
"Where's this go?" I asked.
Janssen spoke softly. "This hallway leads underground where there is a tunnel with rails and a powered railcar. The tunnel leads far away from the Qblog Complex."
"Where does it go?" I asked.
"It ends underneath Orrin Woodward's house."
"Really, unbelievable! Does he know it's there?"
Janssen uncharacteristically screamed, "IT'S A FRIKKEN TUNNEL UNDERNEATH WOODWARD'S HOUSE! OF COURSE HE DOESN'T KNOW IT'S THERE!"
He closed the door and we walked out of the alcove and back down one of the hallways. Along the hallway walls were framed reprints of past Quixtar Blog entries. I asked about the old Qblog Toons prints, but was told that the wall refused to let them hang. The nails holding the frames were constantly pushed out of the wall. No matter; we then stopped at another door signed "QBlog Farcical Help Desk".
I had wondered about the Help Desk in recent weeks, because of it's absence. I opened the door without waiting for Janssen's consent and saw a simple white room with a desk and a two-line phone; unmanned.
Janssen explained, "Umm, we've been having technical difficulties of sorts, the call frequency is not what it should be."
But, no sooner had he given the explanation, the phone rang.
"Sure go ahead," he said.
"Help Desk...How may I help you?"
QUESTION: Yeah, Is this the Help Desk?"
ANSWER: Yes it is. Do you have a question?"
Q: Yeah, what are you wearing?
A: Jeans and a T-shirt, why?
Q: You got a nice voice.
A: Thank you.
Q: I bet you have "purty" teeth.
A: WHO THE HELL IS THIS?
Janssen said, "That's it, all we get lately is calls from QRUSH.
We left the Help Desk room and started down the hallway again. We turned a corner and Janssen stopped at another door, signed "REC AREA". Janssen excitedly said,
"You just have to see this, Dave"
He opened the door with great fanfare. It was unbelievable. It was more than a room; it was more like a stadium; and I wondered how that could possible exist behind just one door, but there it was, anyway.
It was a large dirt racetrack with a grass infield and bleacher seats surrounding the track. I walked across the grass and looked onto the track.
I couldn't believe my eyes. There were monkeys. Monkeys dressed as cowboys. And..and they were racing around the track riding goats. Janssen said, "Sometimes we just get tired of all the Quixtar stuff and we need to relax."
"Monkeys on Goats?" I asked.
Janssen slapped me on the back, "Yeah baby, that's how we roll here at the Qblog!"
Just then Janssen received a call on his cell phone. He excused himself to a nearby office and invited me to browse around.
I left the monkey track and walked on down the hallway and made a turn into a lobby area and saw a breakroom/lunchroom to my right. I saw a large refrigerator and decided to take a peek inside a-la MTV's CRIBS. Would I find the traditional bottle of Cristal? I opened the door to the fridge to view row upon row of cold coffee-flavored drinks, a six pack a of Red Bull and a half-drank can of XS. Also 3 one-gallon containers of lemonade. But, no Cristal.
I closed the door. Just then, my investigative instincts kicked in. Now was my chance to sneak back to the "FORUM" door and discover what was behind that mysterious red door. I ran back down the maze of hallways until I found the correct door.
In minutes, I stood in front of the door. I took a deep breath and opened it.
Inside, it was dark except the glow of a computer screen. Sitting in front of the computer was a dark figure in a cloak. The figure's head was covered from behind by a hood. The figure's head turned slightly towards me, but I couldn't see the face clearly in the dimly lit room.
Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder and was pulled back out of the room. It was Janssen and he didn't look happy.
"I told you NOT to go in there!"
"I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Who is that person in there?"
Janssen said, "Okay, I'll tell you. That's PW."
"PW!" I gasped. "Why does he look like that?"
Janssen sighed, "He's been like that every since last week, when he read the comments to that Star Wars parody you wrote. He just sits there, staring at the screen and muttering to himself, "I AM the Emperor. I am THE Emperor"
"I'm sorry Eric, I had no idea." I apologized.
Finally Quixtar Blog Founder Janssen said, "Okay, Dave; you've seen my complex, my rooms, my monkeys, and my fridge, it's time now for you to go home."
He led me back out the steel doors, and out to the gates.
"Now go home and write something, it's almost Thursday!"
I watched the gates close slowly until I heard them click locked.
I thought; so that was the Quixtar Blog Complex, very impressive, but I still wasn't too sure about the monkeys riding goats. Oh well, I just write for the guy.
August 19, 2006
By QBlog in Arbitration
What is the Quixtar BSMAA? Well, it's an arbitration agreement (pdf) that all IBOs must sign before buying (or selling) any motivational or training materials. That means an IBO who decides to purchase tools from a Quixtar Line of Affiliation must first sign an arbitration agreement that has been described as "fundamentally unfair."
Why should IBOs be worry about signing the BSMAA? Well, a better question to ask is why an IBO is required to sign anything just to listen to some CDs or attend a motivational rally? Doesn't that seem like a bit of overkill, especially considering some of the concerns expressed about the agreement?
At least one anonymous IBO has an answer to that question — "There is no requirement by Quixtar to sign the BSMAA to buy tools. If someone wants you to sign it before they'll sell you stuff, that's up to them."
However, if I call up Quixtar and ask if I need to sign the BSMAA I'm told that yes, I need to sign it even if I just want to purchase products.
I recently called Quixtar Customer Support to inquire about the BSMAA. What follows is the audio of that phone call which was slightly modified to boost the Support woman's voice and to remove her name. The audio is less than three minutes long and I've transcribed it for those who'd rather read than listen.
» Conversation with Quixtar about the BSMAA (1.4 MB mp3 file)
Customer Support: Quixtar customer support, (name withheld) speaking, how may I help you?
Me: Hi, yes I had a question about signing up for Quixtar.
Customer Support: Ok, I'll try to answer that for you.
Me: Ok. Do I need to sign a uh... it's called a business support materials agreement?
Customer Support: Yes.
Me: I do?
Customer Support: Yes.
Me: Ok. Where can I get one of those?
Customer Support: Should have been in the kit. Let's see if that's even available online. Business materials. Did you already receive the packet? The information packet? Some literature?
Me: Yes, I've received that. I don't have it with me.
Customer Support: Ok. Yeah, it should have been in there. Let me see if that's available online.
Me: I just want to buy products. I didn't really need to sign... I mean do I have to sign it to just buy stuff?
Customer Support: Yeah, it's part of the... part of the plan.
Customer Support: But yeah, you can download that from the Quixtar site.
Me: Can I do that from work?
Customer Support: Uh huh. You go to the Quixtar site you go to the build and manage my business and then under resources which is going to be on the right hand side it will have business support materials. And once you click that on in the middle of the page will be business forms. And when you click that on it will say the Business Support Arbitration Agreement. It's an SA-2033.
Me: What is that number?
Customer Support: SA-2033.
Customer Support: Uh huh.
Me: Ok. Thank you.
Customer Support: Thanks for calling.
Customer Support: Bye-bye.
So, if you read the BSMAA or call Quixtar it's pretty clear that IBOs must sign the BSMAA. It's not optional. But why? Is it to give the Quixtar leaders the legal latitude to do what was done to Bruce Anderson or Eric Scheibeler? Or is there some other reason that I'm unable to comprehend? Because I'll be honest, I see no reason to sign an arbitration agreement if I want to be trained or motivated. I never have and never will. Why would you?
By QBlog in Humor
Take my advice and go see Snakes on a Plane right now when you'll be more likely to view it in a theater filled with SoaP fans hissing, laughing, cheering and applauding throughout the entire film. In three weeks it won't be nearly as good if you're sitting in a sparsely populated theater with your Milk Duds and root beer.
I saw the movie tonight and the experience led me to proclaim that it's "the greatest movie ever made. Ever!" And when you go see it, take along this participation script.
August 18, 2006
By QBlog in A/QMOs
You've already heard about Quixtar's Accreditation program but you may not know much about it from an IBO's perspective. Quixtar Backbone Project participant Sharon Schlesinger is a member of the most recently accredited organization and reports on her experience with the process.
The following is an email from Sharon which I edited only slightly for readability:
A Step in the Right Direction
A few weeks ago I e-mailed Eric (at QuixtarBlog) the news that team5K had been accredited by Quixtar. I wanted to present the full story of the accreditation in a way that everyone that visits QuixtarBlog would be sure to see. I asked Eric what would be the best approach: blog or forum. He suggested I be his "reporter" and simply write what I could find out about the process, and he would see that the news was fairly presented and have some visibility.
At the August seminar for team5K, Chuck Goetschel, Founder's Diamond, announced that after a two year effort, the team had been accredited by Quixtar. We had an opportunity to listen to an audio tape of eight different officers of the corporation, including the Chairman of the IBOIA Board and Doug DeVos himself, congratulating the team on this achievement.
The process is arduous, but simple: every word/statement in every presentation/training tool/web site is reviewed by Quixtar to ensure the business opportunity is presented clearly, fairly and honestly.
Tools are also evaluated for content compared to cost. In other words, does each individual tool have enough value to the IBO to justify its purchase price. The strategy underlying the team's training system was also reviewed. The training system must be complete, balanced (product knowledge versus community building) and effective. Quixtar wanted to know how IBOs learn about products: through special product education clinics; breakout sessions at events; product demos/displays, etc. And, is as much time devoted to teaching product knowledge as in teaching recruiting techniques?
Another area of review dealt with the income/expenses of tools/events. A contract must be in place that would determine the income/expenses for tools/events and how profit would be shared. Surveys were taken at random of IBOs on the team, asking them a variety of questions, including whether or not they knew that income was earned by the senior members of the team from the tools they purchased and the events they attended. This survey was completed with the results compiled by an independent organization.
The objective of accreditation is for our business to operate transparently with a balance between recruitment and product sales.
The benefits to the team is in the pride we can take in knowing that the opportunity is being presented in a fair and open manner. There will be other benefits forthcoming such as additional product training by the corporation, some greater visibility for the team due to accreditation, some clients shipping savings, etc. These additional benefits are still being structured by Quixtar.
Someone may raise the question, why did team5k go to the trouble to seek accreditation? Quixtar did not make it easy. It was a rather long and arduous journey. Although Chuck likes to give the whole team credit for the achievement, he was the driving force behind the effort. I've been "lurking" on this forum for nearly the whole time I have been an IBO. I don't have much to say; however I did participate in the Backbone Project. I have learned a great deal from all the posters and from the blog itself. A lot of the complaints voiced by some were not what I experienced; but I hesitated to post anything because every active IBO seemed to feel that "it's not the way our team does it." I can only speak from my own experience. Long before accreditation, I believe that team5K had "accredited" itself in its own way, to the best of the team's ability. There was always a careful, thoughtful approach to everything we were taught. I believe Chuck has a long horizon when it comes to strategizing about this business. It is perhaps why he was invited to sit the IBOIA Board. Because of his care in steering the team, it was a huge shock when the Spanos family filed a suit against him.
I read the suit and it sounded more like what is written on the internet than anything I had experienced in my real life business. The suit was settled, never making it to court. However, it still sits on the internet as if it is yesterday's news. The history of that episode may have played some part in Chuck's decision to become "squeeky clean/accredited". He never wanted anyone to go through what he did in what I believe was an unjust action. I do believe he would have become accredited even without the impetus of the tribulation brought by the suit.
Will there be other accreditations? I hope so. Even though accreditation does give team5K a competitive edge, unprofessional behavior on the part of other teams creates a lot of very vocal, angry people. Frequently the negative voices drown out the positives of this business. I do understand there are other teams striving to be accredited. However, I don't know which ones or what their status is in the process. The minimum time from start to finish in the accreditation process is one year. Was it easier for team5K because it is smaller than some other teams? I don't think so. Larger teams will go through the same steps team5K had to go through. Every IBO who reads this letter should ask their organization if they are attempting to be accredited. Put the pressure on your leadership! If all teams become accredited, then Eric will have to find another cause, because his job here will have been finished.
In closing, I am pleased to pass this good news on to all of you.
Sharon Schlesinger team5K
Sounds like team5k is trying to make some big changes from business as usual around Quixtar. My thanks to Sharon for sharing this and giving some additional insight into the accreditation process.
Now, let the pressure begin. How long until Jody Victor, Orrin Woodward, Billy Florence and others get their organizations accredited?
By David Robison in A/QMOs
Lord knows, I have voiced my objections to certain practices of Quixtar-related "motivational organizations." And I know that everybody and their brother that usually visits this blog (myself included) can find plenty of reasons not to spend money on motivational tapes, when your business isn't producing enough profit to afford the motivation.
But, I kinda miss the tapes.
Now understand, I haven't bought a Amway/Quixtar tape since before they came out with them 'dere "new-fangled compact disc thingies." In fact, I guess the last Amway Motivational Organization tape I bought was in 1987, so I expect I have missed out on a bunch new stories of inspiration, preaching and politics, but I still kinda miss the tapes.
What do I miss?
The funny thing about these motivational tapes are...they are...well dammit, they're motivational! They make you feel good.
Now, I realize my predecessor Xanadustc, here at QBlog and his own blog, went into great detail analyzing Amway and Quixtar Motivational tapes regarding their religious messages, but I just want to mention some of my favorite stories.
I remember Ron and Toby Hale talking about feeding their children the "good food" and themselves eating only one meal and then cooking popcorn and drinking water before they went to bed to "feel full"; before they joined Amway. (This story, by the way, has a shmaltz factor of 10+)
I remember Rick Setzer talking about driving down the road in their new motor home, while his wife Sue Lynn made him a cup of coffee. For some reason in the '80s; that impressed me.
Or, Rick could describe eating a pineapple fresh from the fields in Hawaii, and have you salivating with every word; knowing in your heart of hearts, that you too, would experience the same thing one day.
I remember Effie Reed talking about wanting to divorce her husband and drinking to the point her children would "put her to bed"; before she joined Amway. (Shmaltz factor of 8, at least)
And I remember the applause. The deafening applause that went with each announcement of a speaker at the beginning of each tape. Applause, I craved. That was probably the most motivating factor of any tape I listened to.
My favorite speaker was Diamond Dewey Tobias. Dewey was from Florida. He was married to Kay. Kay looked like no other "Amway wife." She was young, tan and looked like a smart "Barbie-doll."
Dewey's tape, "An 'Open' in Atlanta," was my favorite tape. I had to order a second copy, because I wore the first one out.
Dewey could talk a coon down out of a tree. Wait, is that too "southern?" Okay you northwesterners, he could talk a salmon into a bear's mouth. Better?
Dewey would talk about going down to Cape Eleuthera in the Bahamas just to spend a few days.
"There aren't any phones there, so they can't call you. You can just lay on the beach and be worthless"
This was before cell phones.
Upon hearing the potential income in an Amway business of his own, Dewey was ready to sign up.
"The way I had it figured, a diamond could make $60,000 extra dollars a year; I'd skin dive for Roto-Rooter for an extra 60 grand a year"
And Dewey had his own phrase about just finding 6 people to build a diamondship. It didn't involve the cliche' about a "blind dog with a bone in his mouth." Dewey would say,
"Hey, even if you lived in a closet all your life, at least 6 people are going to open the door and ask you, 'What are you doing in here?'"
When Dewey Tobias finished a speech, you were motivated to join, or motivated to get others to join, so you could be just like him. But more than that, you just felt better about life, your job, and yourself, in general.
So yeah, we now live in the age of sponsoring people in MLM via websites, blogs, email and instant messaging. We've streamlined training with newsletters, e-zines and internet forums. And we motivate through flash presentations, mp3 s and streaming videos, but occasionally I miss putting a cassette tape in the car player and driving home listening to the stories, the cliche's and that wonderfully motivating applause.
I know that the current IBOs that read this blog already have in mind their favorite motivational tape, but I was wondering if the "MLM critics" still possess that ONE tape they secretly listen to?
If not, do you still remember that one speaker that you still admire? Think of it as a guilty pleasure.
C'mon tell me. It'll just be between you and me (and the 10,000 other Qblog readers)
Admit it, don't you sometimes kinda miss the tapes?
August 16, 2006
By David Robison in Humor
A NEW HOPE STRIKES BACK
Young Dave Blogwriter has fought valiantly against Lord Darth Janssen, but now clings desperately to a metal platform, a precipice keeping him from plunging to sure death.
Darth Janssen breathes heavily and speaks.
"Blogwriter, join me, you know that you must eventually blog for me. The Emperor knows this, he has foreseen it.
Dave replies, "I'll never join you...you...wait a minute, why are you breathing so heavily?
"It's my helmet, It supplies me with oxygen."
"Really? I can get you a portable Helios unit, you can wear around your waist."
Darth Janssen asks, "Will I still have this cool voice?"
"Ummm no, you'll be back to your old whiny voice."
"Okay then, never mind, I'll keep the helmet. Now, join me and write about The QUIXTAR with me and my empire.
Dave screams, "NOOOOOOO, I'll never join you, I'm too busy. I have my own blog.
"But Dave, with me your power will grow, your blog will increase in traffic. Already, your power is great, but writing for me; it will surpass all.
"YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! YOU'RE NOT MY FATHER!"
Darth Janssen stands over Blogwriter, his expressionless mask staring through Young Dave Blogwriter. He stretches out his hand towards Dave and speaks softly.
"But Dave, I AM YOUR FATHER."
Dave cries out, "NOOOO, NOOOO, THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE...Besides, I'm older than you.
Darth explains, "It's simple really, I constructed a time machine and transported back in time to a distant galaxy in the year 1962 and met your mother and...and...
Dave stops Darth's speech.
"Dude, that's not only sick and twisted; it's the wrong DAMN movie!"
Darth asks, "You don't believe me?"
"No, why should I believe that story?"
Darth questions again.
"You believed in that 'Diamond in 2-5 years" story, didn't you?"
"Oh yeah, says Dave, "That's a valid point."
"So Young Blogwriter, will you join me and bring order to the QUIXTAR universe? I will allow you to write whatever you want. You may spread the word of The Force of your wisdom and the positive aspects of The QUIXTAR."
Dave ponders the offer and looks over the edge of the metal platform peering deep into the abyss below.
"Ummm actually Darth, I'm really afraid of heights, and I don't really want to fall."
"Then reach out to me, and I will allow you to write at The Quixtar Blog"
Dave says, "Yeah, that sounds good, but I can't reach out to you. You cut my hand off right before this scene started."
"No, I didn't, you got your hand tucked in your sleeve"
Dave looks at his arm, "Oh yeah, you're right; there it is."
Dave reaches towards Darth Janssen. Darth pulls him off the platform onto safe ground.
"So Darth," asks Dave, "Can I write about anything I want?"
"Yes you can, just never call me Darth Janssen again"
"Okay, dude, no problem.
The two bloggers walk back towards the tower elevator door.
Darth stops, and says to Dave, "Dave Blogwriter, this will be the start of a great friendship"
"DUDE!, that's the wrong movie, AGAIN!"
"Oh yes, you are right. Sorry."
By Truth in Miscellaneous
Do you remember Super Size Me? You know that documentary done by Morgan Spurlock where he ate nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days? Anyway, in case some of you don't know a year ago FX networks aired the first series of documentaries simply titled "30 Days", of course done by Morgan Spurlock. Well recently season two has been broadcasting, and as usual it is very interesting to watch.
The whole idea is to take two people from different points of view and put them together. For instance, on season two we have so far seen a "Minuteman" live with a family of illegals, an Atheist live with Christians, and a programmer who lost his job to outsourcing live and work in India. On a side note this programmer reminded me of Eric Janssen. Not in looks or anything like that, more because of his inquisitive nature and the way he carried on discussions.
So I started thinking, (I know scary concept) what about pairing up a Quixtar IBO, and a critic for 30 days? We could have a critic go live with an IBO for 30 days in which the critic would have to attend all meetings with the IBO, and basically participate right along side the IBO. Of course it would be much more interesting if the IBO was "sold on the system" (Sorry Dave, no offense but since you have been dubbed "the critic's choice" I don't know how interesting it would be).
Of course on the flip side we could have a hardcore system IBO go live with a critic for 30 days in which the IBO would have to actively participate with the critic on producing content for their blog or site, and again generally participate right along side the critic. Can you picture an IBO crashing meetings with Perceptive?
In all seriousness though, what do you think would come from such a pairing? Could the critic see anything new or different about this business that would get them behind it? Could the IBO have their eyes opened to see why such criticism exists? One interesting point my wife brought up is that most critics have been IBOs, but most IBOs have never walked in the shoes of a critic. Very true point, but I think with all the different systems and groups there is still some new things for the critic to see, not to mention there are still some critics who have not been IBOs.
So what pairings would you like to see? I thought of a few:
Scott Larsen and Jody Victor (Jody Victor helping Scott with amquix.info), Imran and Brad (Imran going with Brad to meetings, and helping show the plan), Perceptive and Michael (Michael going with perceptive to crash Quixtar meetings)
Tex and MasterGunner99 (scratch that, too many hospital visits could occur for Tex).
And of course my personal favorite... Insider and Qblog (Just think of the possibilities).
August 15, 2006
By QBlog in Blog News
As Tom (aka Xanadustc) retires from blogging I am pleased to welcome another skilled blogger to the Quixtar BLOG lineup. David Robison, the man behind On The Road With Dave, has graciously agreed to add his whit and wisdom to the QBlog each week.
You may remember Dave from the March of Perceptions last year where he shared his perspectives as a Quixtar IBO. Now he's back and here to stay!
Let's learn a little bit more about Dave.
Since 2004, Dave Robison has been the author of "On The Road With Dave".
Dave regularly writes about MLM and his experiences as a Quixtar IBO. His honest and forthright opinions on being a Quixtar IBO has earned him a reputation as "the critic's choice" as he cites both positive and negative aspects of the MLM industry, while staying decidedly "pro-Quixtar".
Dave maintains a regular 8-5 "J-O-B" with a medical equipment company and enjoys his work. Dave is also a part-time stand-up comedian and is pursuing "open-mics" and corporate work in his area.
Dave holds a degree in Journalism and Public Relations.
Please join me in welcoming Dave.
August 11, 2006
By QBlog in Humor
The definition of insanity is continuing to claim that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results when no dictionary actually defines insanity that way.
August 10, 2006
By QBlog in Quixtar
I just received an email from Scott Larsen who runs the AmQuix.info website. The email addresses a recent entry Larsen posted on his "What's New" page that directed attention to a Grand Rapids Press article from July 14, 2006. The referenced article ran under the headline "Alticor leaders cheated investors, suit says" and it describes a lawsuit involving Alticor, former President Dick DeVos and $1 billion.
Larsen's original entry simply ran with the description, "Old news becomes news again for Dick DeVos running for governor in Michigan." (see Google cache screenshot). The email Larsen forwarded me was from Alticor's wonderfully competent lawyer James R. Sobieraj of Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione (a firm that I've had experience with in the past) and its threatening tone demands Larsen's compliance within 24 hours.
What's laughable is the assumptions Sobieraj makes about Larsen's intentions and lack of understanding of the First Amendment. All Larsen did was post a link to an article. He's under absolutely NO obligation to post any follow-up links or offer any clarification. Sure, it might be nice if he had followed up with an update when new information surfaced about the suit but nowhere in the Constitution does it demand that Larsen take any such action. What Larsen posted is true and even provides a method for readers to easily find out more information. Notice that Sobieraj's email doesn't specifically threaten legal action. It only implies such action but there's no clear "Do this or we'll sue you" phrasing because Sobieraj knows he doesn't have a bit of legal ground to stand on in this situation. It's a classic lawyer tactic.
Here's the email. Don't read while drinking milk or soda because you'll surely squirt it out your nose from laughing at
Amway's Alticor's top lawyer.
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 18:49:33 -0500
Subject: RE: Alticor Inc.
Dear Mr. Larsen:
We serve as outside counsel for Alticor Inc. We have reviewed the July 14, 2006 posting you placed on your website entitled "Old news becomes news again for Dick DeVos running for governor in Michigan." Your hotlink for this posting redirects one to a web page on mlive.com, which contains the July 14th story from the Grand Rapids Press entitled, "Alticor leaders cheated investors, suit say." Unfortunately, once again, you seem to have deliberately omitted information which would completely change the conclusions made by someone visiting your site.
The title and text of this article suggests that this lawsuit against Alticor has merit. I am sure that you posted this article on your web site because you believe that it reflects negatively on Alticor. However, it is surprising that you, as someone who holds himself out as a careful and thorough researcher of Alticor, have not posted the July 22 Grand Rapids Press story about the lawsuit. That story, entitled "State appeals court sides with Alticor," reports how the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in Alticor's favor in a matter of days. This article also is available on mlive.com, and I have reproduced the text of the article below for your convenience. We can only conclude that you deliberately omitted this story because it reflects favorably on Alticor.
If you had researched this case with any diligence or sense of fairness, you also would have learned that the recent Court of Appeals decision was the fifth dismissal in a row for this lawsuit. It has been tossed out of federal court, two state courts and two appellate courts. If Alticor had pursued such a futile course of litigation, I am sure that you would have been extremely critical of them. Why is it that you are not even-handed in your analysis or criticism of Alticor's opponents?
This is the latest of a series of incidents in which it has been demonstrated that you have made postings without conducting a fair and reasonable investigation of the facts. Why do you want to continue deceiving your readers with misleading, incomplete and inaccurate statements about Alticor?
Please take immediate action to correct your website's misleading impression of the Wardrop lawsuit.
We look forward to receiving your response and evidence of your steps to correct your website within 24 hours.
James R. Sobieraj
BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE
455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive
NBC Tower - Suite 3600
Chicago, IL 60611
Web Site: www.usebrinks.com
Why The Laughter?
The result of Sobieraj's email is that Larsen has revised his entry to include a link to the more recent Grand Rapids Press article. That's great. Now readers of his site have handy links to the original article and the update. Yet I can't stop laughing. Do you know why? I'll explain.
The First Amendment allows us to be biased. People may not like that but it's our right to be as biased and unfair in our coverage of public figures and corporate entities as we desire. As long as that coverage is true (and sometimes when it isn't) our speech is protected. There's absolutely nothing obligating us to be fair and balanced and communicate all sides of any given issue.
It's that very freedom that allows companies like Alticor and Quixtar to publish reams and reams of rosy reports and testimonials without sharing less rosy reports and complaints. No law requires Alticor, Quixtar or Dick DeVos to publish criticism or unfavorable reports in publications they control. It's their right to be biased. That's the American Way!
Yet what is very un-American is the way Sobieraj uses threatening language to try to force Larsen to remove the bias from his site. If Larsen wants to be biased, that's his right. If Sobieraj wants to eradicate bias from the Internet then maybe he should start with Quixtar.com. If I were Larsen I'd remove the link to the most recent update just to piss off Alticor. Give a metaphorical middle finger to Sobieraj for stooping to such tactics. But I'm not Larsen so I'll just settle for letting the world know the tactics Alticor is employing while I laugh and laugh.
There's one other reason I'm laughing. Sobieraj is basically functioning as a very, very expensive PR manager.
What Others Are Saying About This Post
- Michigan Liberal: Alticor lawyers lean on AmQuix critic
- Liberal Values: DeVos Goons Try To Silence Web Site
- MLM Facts: Eric Janssen supports unethical behaviour?
- Daily Kos: Alticor lawyers lean on AmQuix critic
Favorite comment on Daily Kos:
It amazes me that the Alticor lawyers actually took the time to threaten Larson. I did laugh out loud when I read the letter. Once again, the "man" is trying to stomp on the little guy. This only reflects how Dick DeVos will "lead" Michigan into oblivion. DeVos's solution of, if you can't fix it, eliminate it, will not bode well with Michigan voters.
What's your favorite comment from another blog?
August 5, 2006
By Preston in Amway
An interesting article came across my Google Alerts yesterday that I felt enticed to read. The headline "This is not their fathers' Amway" caught my attention. A few things stuck out in my head as things that make you say, "Hmm."
- Now $4 out of every $5 of the company's revenue comes from foreign countries.
- DeVos was president of Alticor/Amway from 1993 until 2002, during which time the company eliminated around 1,400 U.S. jobs - including about 1,000 in Michigan
- "...in the United States, it (Alticor's business) has been flat to down..." says Ben Rudolph, a marketing professor at Grand Valley State University
- 3 million distributors worldwide
- Alticor... reported revenues of $6.4 billion in fiscal 2005. About $5 billion came from outside the U.S.
The families say they see the company remaining privately held, believing it gives them a strategic advantage in long-term planning. But they didn't rule out the possibility of a change in the future.
"As a family, we look at ourselves as remaining private but we've also learned over the years never say never on anything," Van Andel says.
What would happen to the non-accredited A/QMO's line about "how well a business is doing since it is privately held at the 6 billion mark?" Just how well do you think Alticor would do in the US if it were taken public, given that $4 of every $5 is made outside the United States? Can it really be called "The American Way" when American's themselves seem to be rejecting the business model?
August 4, 2006
By Xanadustc in Miscellaneous
I would like to announce my retirement from the great debate. When I first set out to do this work, I was not certain if it was something that I would be doing long term, or short term. Like all things, I took it to the Lord in prayer. It was actually something that I prayed about for over six months. I was pretty sure in March that I was going to stop, so I selected the one year anniversary of the founding of the Standing Order Tape site as the appropriate closing day.
I wish to extend a special thanks to Qblog for the privilege of writing for QuixtarBlog. I certainly never sought out to do such a thing, but I was granted the opportunity anyway. It was a great privilege to serve with Qblog, Drew, and Preston.
As successful as I have been in this debate, I have been equally successful in other areas as well. I have over 40 kids that I have mentored in some way. Over half of those are very regular. I lead kids in Sunday schools, camps, clubs, as well as a few other things. I am also in the process of completing a doctorate degree which adds time and stress constraints. Further, I am building an online educational resource website around my hobby which leads me the offers to perform demonstrations for schools. With all these commitments, I need to cut some things out, and this debate is one of the things that I wish to end.
I would like to recap now with a brief accounting my life since I saw this thing. It was July 2000 when I first saw Quixtar. I first became a member, then an IBO. Since early on in my involvement, there were two major negative impacts on me. The first was my grades in college dropped drastically. To give you an idea, it was that single semester that caused me to drop from Summa sum lauda to Magna cum lauda. My interest in college work stopped almost instantly. This was a very bad thing. The next thing that happened is that I started to accumulate debt. I was totally against credit card use prior to Quixtar, but afterwards, it was easier and easier to use a credit card because of the fact that material things were seen as being so important. There were other negative consequences to me but those are the two that are the deepest seeded and they are the ones that still get in my way today. I have also noticed that with the sole exception of a small period at the end of 2004, ever since I have seen Quixtar in 2000, it has dominated a large chunk of my life, both as a participant, and a critic. I wish to recoup that lost time in my days, weeks, and months.
I am pleased to report that my credit cards are paid off, but I still have over $25,000 of other debt due to my involvement in this business.
Should you wish to keep up with me, I will be devoting a little of the time spent on this site to my new ministry site, religious debates Forum, and blog called Our Walk in Christ. I will also continue to check my email should you with to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a little bit more detail on of my retirement on my post on Standing Order Tape today.
With this, I say farewell, it has been fun. Good luck in your endeavors,
Over and Out,
August 2, 2006
By Xanadustc in Their Own Words
This week, John Crowe tells us about the truth that Bill will teach:
Bill Britt will teach you truth tonight. You may not agree with everything he says, just remember, don’t questions Bill Britt’s fruits; question the fruits of the people who taught you have you think. So that by the knowledge you bring to the function tonight, is to let you think a certain way, well your certain way of thinking has brought you this far…
Download Listen to Britt [MP3] BWW166 “Stay Young at Heart”.
So let us get this right: Everything I know is wrong, and I am to cast it off in favor of what Bill knows because he has money? Next, why does he assume that my thinking is so bad? Is he judging me by the external standard of money (That is the proper context of that verse you are all thinking of)? Not a good thing for a person on the board of directors for Gospel Communications to do from stage unrepentantly!
What is that teaching all about anyway? I wrote about it here.
August 1, 2006
By QBlog in Quixtar
In June, 2006, a Quixtar BLOG Forum member reported that Quixtar was planning to implement an accreditation program. Posting under the username "anonymous coward," the apparent insider explained that "Quixtar is in the midst of a 'Reputation' campaign" to address several issues affecting IBOs.
One phase of the campaign was dubbed the "PDAP initiative" which stands for Professional Development Accreditation Program. Here's what "anonymous coward" had to say:
Quixtar/Amway has for quite some time agreed with the general population that the Kingpins are crooks and out to scam everyone with their support systems, thus ruining the reputation of the actual business opportunity which is fundamentally the sale of products and the recruiting of other sales reps to sell products...
...Enter Jim Payne. The new Sherriff in town. I like this guy... he's got spunk. Quixtar develops (in cooperation with get this... the IBOA board) this long list of what they believe are impossible to attain goals for the Kingpins to accomplish including contracts spelling out compensation guidelines, submission of all materials created to Quixtar legal department for approval or denial, random phone interviews asking questions like: Are you aware that you are not required to participate in any paid education program? and Has it been made known to you that your leadership will make money from the support materials you buy from them? You know fun stuff the Kingpins absolutely hate with every fiber of their being...
...Quixtar is tickled pink. They’re hoping that this “poopy storm” they’ve stirred up will force the Kingpins hands and make them submit to the Accreditation process, thus giving Quixtar the reigns they’ve felt they needed to help get a handle on this reputation problem.
The report of the PDAP initiative was consistent with rumors I'd been hearing from Quixtar insiders for quite some time. Today "anonymous coward" alerted Forum members to the new Quixtar website titled "Quixtar Accreditation."
The Quixtar Accreditation site describes itself as recognizing "professional development programs that are standard-bearers, setting an example for others to follow." From the Whois report, it looks like Quixtar's been planning this for more than a year (site registered February 10, 2005). And a hint from the blog of Quixtar's Director of Communications in April, 2005, seems to further corroborate the lengthy gestation period for this program.
Yet the Quixtar Accreditation site looks oddly rushed and incomplete. The design and layout is very 1998 and the site map link doesn't work.
eFinity and Team5K
Anyway, check out the site and see what this new chapter in Quixtar's story means for you and your Line of Affiliation. As you poke around you may notice that the only accredited LOA is a group known as eFinity. Never heard of them? Neither have I but "anonymous coward" describes them as a company run "by a trio of 30 somethings" who convinced several "groups of different LOAs to band together and be supported by their 'new philosophy' which is essentially all about selling products."
The Quixtar Accreditation site describes eFinity as a "support system whose core principles are centered on an effort to help any Independent Business Owner (IBO) build a strong and profitable Quixtar Business." If you visit the official eFinity website you'll notice that it lists several countries to choose from suggesting an operation extending beyond U.S. borders.
And while eFinity is currently the only listed LOA I've received reports that Chuck Goetschel's Team5K will be announcing its accreditation sometime very soon.
So what should you think about this accreditation? Here are a couple of comments lifted from the Quixtar BLOG Forum:
I think this is a great step in the right direction. Kudos to Quixtar, and I hope that the spirit of the accreditation document (or whatever it is) is followed, and that some LOS's don't try to hide this from their IBOs.
to me, the biggest things are -
(a) politics and religion specifically "banned" from the business seminars
(b) transparency in the PDP compensation.
I encourage you to pore over the site and post your favorite items in the comments below. From what I've seen it's a big step in the right direction for Jim Payne and Quixtar. I like it.
Here are some items from the IBO Communications Platform (pdf) that I find extremely interesting (I bolded some portions):
A business setting/communication is not an appropriate environment for preaching religious doctrine, political causes, or other issues of such a personal nature.
When sharing his personal story during a business meeting, a speaker may make reference to the importance of his religious belief in building his business. However, the comments should be brief, and the speaker must explain that such comments are his personal belief.
Unacceptable: References to the abortion issue outside of worship services.
Prospects and IBOs must be clear about the roles of Quixtar, IBOs, LOSs/LOAs, and the IBOAI.
IBOs must not imply or communicate to Prospects and IBOs the following kinds of statements, which are misleading and inaccurate, “There are more millionaires in this business than any other.”