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Monday, July 22, 2019

MLM Scams

Grapes are sour indeed I get it but then I am not writing this post just because I got conned but as a cautionary post for all those people who are planning to join these sorts of marketing companies. A long post with couple of videos and i hope it does help to people out there.

A friend of mine was minting tons of money working for a network marketing company but then I was totally in dark to the nature of the business. I was in between jobs and I questioned him about his business for which he was evasive in his answers and he stated it would be better if I get to know it in person. He arranged for a meet with one of his seniors in the business and during the meet I was told that the business is an ecommerce business and with minimal efforts I would be able to get high returns however I would have to invest Rs 3 lacs to join the business as an independent representative. I diplomatically withdrew from joining the business as I did not know the product that needs to be marketed. Fast forward couple of years later I get a call from my friend stating that he has put up the initial amount required to be paid to join the business and the same can be returned once the business grows. So unwittingly I got lured into a MLM business and on attending the initiation program all the new entrants were briefed of the business and the name of the company is QNET. It was drummed into each one of us to enrol new members and thereby increase ones earning potential as more the number of people you are able to enrol and in turn those persons further enrol persons thereby forming a pyramid with you on a mini peak. Also we were told that we need to attend to weekly meetings that is known as a system wherein various persons in this business gave speeches of their glorious success in the business and what they have achieved so far it house or a car or lavish vacations and so forth. The scheme is to get a minimum of two direct referrals that would be placed on the left and right side under me and so forth.

Just to make you understand the scheme think that you are able to recruit two persons under you and they both recruit two each under them and those four recruit two persons each under them and so forth and then you will be surprised to see the number of persons under you directly.   Commissions are paid for bringing direct referrals and also from the sale of products by you or any person under you and if all the persons under you perform then the amount of money you make as commissions is mind boggling indeed. 

Though an iota of doubt kept lingering in my mind but the greed factor in me made me take the plunge into the scheme and as said I added my wife as my first direct referral by paying a sum of Rs 3 lacs ... greed of getting back in multiple lacs. Well my commission for the first direct referral was Rs 30,000.00 and some commissions due to product buying by persons in the chain on one side to the tune of Rs 40,000.00. Now to increase the commissions I need to bring in new people and it is generally from the circle of friends and relatives I have but then most of my friends are common friend of person who inducted me so I could not find anyone willing to put up the money and also none of my relatives were interested in the scheme so i finally ended with just one person on my left... my wife and none below my wife for i needed to market for her also. I realised this business is not for me within 4 months of joining QNET

Now that realization I started sending out messages to my friend to sell my stake and my wife’s stake for which my friend said he would do so but after a year of me joining the scheme. Well it has been almost two years now and there is no talk of selling my stake... response to email does not come or vague whatsapp messages with no relevance to my request. I have now reconciled that i have lost part of the money I had invested on behalf of my wife since I withdrew the commissions in the account.

For persons not aware of these types of companies here is a brief explanation - Multi level marketing aka MLM is a marketing strategy to promote companies products through independent distributors and give multi level compensations, MLM companies are legal operation as there are products that is being sold. Some of the quite famous and well known MLM companies in India are Tupperware, Oriflame, Avon, Amway, Herbal life. In these companies people are recruited as distributors by persons who are already a distributor and a person having more number of distributors under them earns more compensation by way of commissions. As a distributor one need to have sufficient stock of products for which they would have to pay upfront and the commissions are paid in multi levels in varying percentages right up till the top of the chain

But then many pyramid schemes disguise themselves a MLM companies and the whole operation works on basis of bringing in new investors who in turn are the source of commissions to the persons in the higher levels of the pyramid. QNET is one such company that operates as a direct selling company utilising the loopholes in the guidelines set by the government but the fact remains the company is operating a pyramid scheme. The products mentioned in the company portal is to be bought by the members regularly to maintain their status so as to receive commissions and is not sold to general public. I am sure that these products will not sell in open market for they are so much overpriced and useless. Their main source of income is to con and get new members to join the scheme

Authorities are waking up to various complaints against QNET and early this year Hyderabad police arrested 58 persons from 4 states ..see the news report in this regard News Report of arrests of QNET independent representatives.

Saudi government during September last year termed QNET pyramid scheme as haram and has banned its operation. Immediately afterwards QNET which has planned a Vcon at Dubai was cancelled for fear of arrests. See a video by one Loy Machedo which does give in depth explaination of MLM scams in UAE  Video link of MLM scams

Beware folks do not join the scheme however rosy picture is painted to you by your close friend or relative for if you do you would lose out your investment as you are in the bottom of the pyramid at this point of time. For you to reach the higher levels of the pyramid you would need to induct your close friends or relative and I am sure you would lose out on their relationship.

Be cautious and be safe.

Your comments and experiences can be shared in the comment column.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Toxic Relationships

With all the time in the world to write regularly I still am unable to pen down a decent passage for over a year and half. So I decided that I would write down write down tit bits of  instances happening around me however silly it may seem so that I get into the stride of writing regularly just to thwart the sense of uselessness that keeps invading my thoughts. Circumstance makes me write about relationships....there is always an element of give and take in a relationship to be fruitful but when it is one sided it leads to quite a bitter, painful and a toxic one

Image Courtesy Google Images
Having said that yesterday afternoon I woke up to a loud noise of my elder daughter crying uncontrollably over the phone with her boy friend. She was begging him for his affection and love. This went on for over a hour and finally she threw down the phone with a bang , still crying out loudly. Me as a father could not bear seeing her crying and both me and my wife tried consoling and reasoning with our daughter that it is not right for her to beg for love and affection and the relationship which has such instances cannot be good for her and she is giving chances of being exploited and abused. Well this is not the first time it has happened and such incidents are quite frequent and it does take a toll on my daughter’s mental health. I have advised my daughter to put end to this relationship as it seems to bring only misery to her but then she is not willing to let go of the same. In the present age of women empowerment I find it odd for a woman to beg for affection and love and the boy totally not interested and wants to end the relationship. Both I and my wife explained to our daughter that her actions would only lead to her exploitation and possibly domestic violence if the relationship turns to marrying him and hence it would be better for her curtail this relationship. We even suggested that she stop talking to him for some time and wait for him to realise her importance and he initiate the contact. If not forget about this person for he is not worth crying over. Well she has promised to do follow our suggestions and i sincerely hope that she overcomes her affection of the worthless person.

Being a parent of girl children is quite terrifying indeed since the mind is laced with worries of the children’s future. We have never imposed our thoughts or wants on both our daughters but have explained that the choices they make in life should be able to give them a good life and family. We have supported both our daughters in their choice of education and have not imposed any restrictions on their choice of their life partners in the event of a marriage. 

Now I can just wait, for only time can tell if my daughter will be able to follow the advice given by us and be free of the toxic relationship thereby be happy in her life!!!