IncomeAtHome.com & Online Business Systems have dropped their association with Herbalife & have moved their lead generation scam to Veema. - More Information
Oh buddy, if I could tell you how ready I am for this phone appointment! After receiving the email reply that I did about meeting sooner-than-later, I have been a bit anxious to finally speak with mentor, er, personal coach, ahhhh whatever.
Since all the instructions have been so direct and detailed as to how I MUST go through things their way, I figured I would play along. So, I made sure I was fully prepared for my big phone call with my 'mentor.' Computer ready? Check. Extra paper and pens to take notes? Check.
My Internet Business Starter Pack & Coversheet? Check. Cell phone charged up? Check. 'Mentor's" phone number pre-dialed in my cell phone, and only waiting for the clock to change from 1:59 - 2:00 pm? Check.
2:00 pm Tuesday & I'm dialing in for my big appointment. Finally, I should get some answers and find out exactly what all this is about!
Please Note: I am recounting everything to the best of my memory, and from the notes I took throughout our phone call. This is not a verbatim account, but simply an honest recounting of my experience on during my 'mentor' step two phone call.
Ring, ring, ring, ring, and off I am taken to my 'mentor's' voice-mail. I get a message about how they are on the phone helping someone else get their home business started, and that if I wanted to receive a call back, I had better leave a detailed message.
Wait? What happened to all the importance of me contacting them if there was anything that would interfere with our strictly scheduled 2:00 pm appointment? They don't offer the same 24 hour courtesy call that they Require of me? ... So, I leave a voice message letting my 'mentor' know that I called at our appointed time, and would be available when she had time to call back.
2:17 pm, & I get a call from my 'mentor's' business partner. She says she tried to call me from her Skype, but I didn't answer. I told her that I ignored a call from a Restricted Number because a) I was supposed to have an appointment between 2:00-2:30pm, and b) I don't answer calls from Restricted Numbers (if you have to hide who you are... leave a message). She told me that her cell phone was out of battery and that's why she called on Skype, and even said that she doesn't answer calls from Restricted Numbers either... My head is already starting to hurt.
And with the snap of a whip, she launches straight into her script ... "Did you read the Internet Business Starter Pack, and watch the Entire video like we told you to?" she snaps. "Yes, and ..." I try to reply. "I want you to go get some paper and a pen to take some notes before we get started." she cuts in. "I was trying to tell you I have everything ready" I respond.
"You have your book, paper, and something to write with?" she says. "Yes, I did everything that was on your list (well, except for writing my goals in their book - have them, just not in the book), and I have paper and pen ready. ... You know, I ..."
"Now, turn to page of your book and tell me the six goals you wrote down" she snaps. Cutting me off mid-sentence once again.
"What happened to the other lady I was supposed to speak with? I though we had a set appoint..."
"She's busy with someone else. That's why I am calling you. We work together. Now, tell me the goals you wrote down in your book." she said rather abruptly.
"I haven't written my goals in the book because it's hard to set goals when I don't know what it is I will actually be doing as an IncomeAtHome.com business. I have goals, but they ..."
And again I am cut off ... "Well then, tell me what are some of the things you would do with the money you will be earning, what would you do with extra money every month?"
"In order to set goals, I have to have some kind of understanding beyond internet, health & wellness industry, home business and baby boomers to base my goals on. How about you simply tell me who the company is that is ultimately behind IncomeAtHome.com, and based on that, I can start to set some ..."
"You ARE interested in starting your own business aren't you?" she slices in. "You DO want to be able to take advantage of this incredible opportunity don't you?'
"If it is such and incredible opportunity, then why is is so difficult to get you to simply tell me who the big company is that I could ultimately be working for?" I replly in an increasingly frustrated tone.
"Is that all you are interested in right now?' She replied sharply.
"Yea, pretty much. I have paid my $10, read your booklet, watched your DVD, and am now on the phone with you, and I still don't know any more about who the actual company is behind IncomeAtHome.com. So, Yes. I would like to know who it is you actually represent. If this opportunity is so great, what's there to hide? From the commercials, and your booklet, this is supposed to be this easy, step-by-step process, but I have experienced nothing like that." I say in exasperation.
"It's HerbaLife. The company we represent is HerbaLife." she spits out in a caustic tone.
"Really? IncomeAtHome.com is just a huge marketing gymic to cover up the fact that you're actually HerbaLife?" I replied with a very snarky tone. "You guys spent millions to re-package HerbaLife?"
"This is a completely new way to work with HerbaLife." She cuts in, coming to defense of her 'employer.' "This is a whole new way to get into business..."
I cut in this time "No, it's just HerbaLife with a different face on it. If I wanted to get started with HerbaLife, I would've just contacted HerbaLife and signed up to become a 'distributor' and wouldn't have had to go through all of this rigamarole. The way you guys advertise this is kinda deceptive..."
"The way we market (blind marketing I think she said) is a long and accepted way to bring people into business opportunities like this" she came back.
"Really?! I have heard the pitch for more than a few multilevel marketing gigs over the years, and NONE of them tried to hide who they are." I shot back.
"Well, if you don't like the way we market, and you don't like HerbaLife..." she started to say.
"No I don't like the way you market, I think it's deceptive and misleading. And HerbaLife, I could have made a more educated decision, quicker, with the truth to work with instead of this convoluted process you have taken me through. Is calling people back all day from telephone leads and taking them through this process the Business you are selling?" I shot back.
"Yes, and I can see that this is a opportunity you are not interested in. You're not interested in being an HerbaLife distributor." she responded.
"No. If what you do, is what I would be doing. I'm not interested. I'm not interested at all." I replied.
"Well, then I guess we are finished then." and with that, she hung up.
I was actually a little bit stunned on many levels. Getting past all that crap, I started asking myself "I know HerbaLiife has been around for years, but what is so bad about it, that they need to wrap this huge deception around it in order to sell it?"
Later that evening I received a volly of emails from my 'mentor.' The first was an auto-generated, insert contact name here, 'thanks for checking us out, sorry it's not your thing.' form email. Then there was the second auto-generated email... "so, you didn't fall for our deceptive little business scam, how about some HerbaLife products!' ... Yea, I'm gonna buy products from a company who I just decided was such a scam i didn't want to 'go into business with them.' These folks have got some gall.
But, it's the third in the volly that really caught my eye ...
At your request, I'm forwarding you the instructions on how to return the Home Business Training package. Make sure you return it before your 14 day viewing period expires to avoid being charged the deposit of $39.95. Also, please be sure to include the cover letter that was included in your package and/or clearly mark your name and my name on the package so that the return can be processed properly.
Return the Training Package to:
9207 North 9th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85021
Upon receiving the training package back, you will be credited so that you are not charged any further for the information.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share this incredible business with you!
Wait, wait, wait ... Wut? Send back the booklet & coversheet, or I'm gonna get charged another $39.95? They're saying that this booklet, DVD, and coversheet ... They're so called 'Internet Business Starter Pack' is worth Fifty Bucks? Are you f'n kidding me?
My email reply;
Return the Training Package?
I have not received a training package.
I received your 'Internet Business Starter Pack,' but that could hardly be considered a 'training package.' As it was nothing more than a information-less 17 minute video, and a first year college-level copy-paste project of all the MLM language used over the last 30 years. Oh, but it was printed on glossy paper.
And, what is this additional charge you have mentioned?
I agreed to pay the $10 (and did) to basically find out that you guys are Herbalife (via the Starter Pack and your convoluted process to hide the Herbalife name till the last possible minute), what else could you possibly charge me for? You want your 'Starter Package' back?
Please reply with complete cancellation instructions, as I will take every available legal action against you, IOBS, and Herbalife if you place any further charges on my credit card.
The 'mentor's assistant's' reply:
When you requested our "Training Package" you agreed to a 14 day free viewing period. I understand you don't like MLM's or our method of advertising, however, placing it in an envelope and returning it regular mail is hardly a hardship especially when we offer a money back guarantee should you be charged before the package arrives at our warehouse.
Please go back to the website and you will see it in the same print as the rest of the ad.
Ahhhh Crap! Burned by the fine print. Dangit. Dangit. Dangit.
Wait, wait, wait a minute. Wait just one freaking minute. They could care less whether I signed up as a distributor or not. If they could have got me working towards step three and four, then they know they've clipped me for a minimum of fifty bucks because there is no way I will get their sacred Internet Business Starter Pack. The main company makes $50, not bad considering their cost against it was minimal, even when you include the national advertising campaign, the glossy booklet, DVD & shipping.
What about the mentor's who called me? You may ask. Well, they are HerbaLife's 'free' Internet call center/boiler room. They have basically tricked folks into paying them to come work in their call IncomeAtHome.com center.
Surprise! There's no business, but the business of selling other desperate folks on the business of selling other desperate folks on the business of selling other desperate .... ∞ ... Nickle and dime'ing them until you either loose them, or they're dumb enough to fork over hundreds, and many, up to thousands of dollars to get their 'business of selling other desperate folks to sell other desperate folks the idea that this is a business.'
One recent statistic I found showed that 84% of all the commissions paid out through the HerbaLife system, go to less than 1% of the distributors at the top.
And, this information isn't hard to find, once you start looking.
So ... to go back to an earlier question ... 'Why did this guy go to all this trouble to build this website?'
I know what it's like to be employed by someone else. I know what it's like to be self-employed. I know what it's like to risk everything on that self-employment dream, loose essentially everything, and end up living out of my suv for months while trying to get my feet back on the ground. So, it's not that the home business, self-employment thing is a brand new concept to me.
What was a new concept to me, was that a company like HerbaLife would go to such lengths to a) cover up their involvement until the last possible moment, and b) design a system that prays on folks in a desperate situation, nickle and dime'ing them throughout the process. So, that even if they don't 'take advantage of this' great opportunity,' they're still gonna get burned for fifty dollars. Even worse, they contracted some of the biggest names in Talk Radio from across the country. Many of whom I respect and listen to on a regular basis. How could these folks look at this program, and say "Yea, I'll do a personally recorded commercial for it. That's the kind of program I can get behind!"?...
If the program was actually presented to them, as it was presented to me during my short experience. And they said 'Yea, you rip'em for a minimum of $50 a clip, and with that money you're gonna pay my million-dollar personality fee to record the commercials." Then I'm pretty much ticked off.
So, I had to ask myself ... "Are you going to do anything about it, or are you just going to blow it off and let thousands and thousands of others get ripped off for $10, $50, hundreds, or thousands of dollars?"
This is the result.
The Long History Of Legal Issues