To the couple from The Second Cup

Kindly pardon my eavesdropping; it’s a bad habit. I wasn’t paying much attention to your companion’s chatter until I started to hear some alarming tip-off phrases: “catching the vibe”, “online mall”, etc. Also, all the talk about goals and aspirations was like a flashing neon sign to me, because it’s the standard M.O.: Getting you to “dream big”, then telling you it’s all within your reach if you “build your business”.

Before you make any decisions about “the project”, I urge you (and anyone else who’s reading this) to read my post “The Part-Time Job That Eats Your Soul“. World Wide Dream Builders is one of several alter egos of Amway/Quixtar, a cult-like and predatory corporate entity and Multi-Level Marketing scam that sells people on the idea of “building your own business”, when in reality most of the people who venture into it make negligible profits (if they make any at all, that is) because their money is going into motivational materials (“tools”), motivational conventions (“rallies”), and shady recruitment efforts.

My post contains my own experience with Amway (through an ex-husband who was sucked into it), some of the recruiting tactics used by reps, some of the methods used to get as much money out of you as possible, some reasons why it isn’t a golden business opportunity, and some unsolicited testimonials from people who experienced everything from poverty to relationship troubles thanks to their involvement.

I also recommend you take a look at the blog Quixtar Cult Intervention. It contains a lot of material on how Amway/Quixtar operates and how it can basically ruin your life.

Best of luck!

Now, for the rest of you, I’ll explain: This evening, while waiting for the Signif Other to get out of a book signing, I dropped into Second Cup. I was browsing through some magazines and enjoying a green tea latte (shut up! they’re good!) when three people, a man and two women roughly my own age, sat down at an adjacent table. I eavesdropped a bit as they chatted, one of my few vices. I initially thought they were three friends, until they began exchanging personal stories about their backgrounds, families, hobbies, etc. The man and one of the women were a married couple. I didn’t pay much attention to the banter until the other woman began talking. After describing her work history, she started to drop some phrases that were like warning bells to me. Could it be…Quixway? She talked about a business opportunity involving an “online mall, like Amazon”, with a minimal start-up fee and limitless potential for profit. She mentioned that since joining “the project”, she doesn’t regret leaving a good job she hated, even though it provided benefits. This woman certainly wasn’t any older than 35, yet boasted she’s about two years away from retirement thanks to “the project”.

She explained that “the project” works out best for people with “big goals or aspirations”, and asked the couple to share some of theirs. After they did, she implied that everything they had described could be achieved if they came on board and dedicated themselves to “the project”. She talked about all the free time people in the business have, how they can finally do all the things they’ve always wanted to do: organic farming, playing the guitar, making the world a better place, etc.

A big tip-off came towards the end of the spiel, when the husband said he still didn’t know just exactly what “the project” was. He knew it was an “online mall” affiliated with shop.com, and that was about all.

The rep still didn’t provide the name of the business. She would only say that one of their main suppliers was World Wide Dream Builders.

Bingo. Scamway.

By this time, I knew my conscience wouldn’t let me out of that coffeeshop without at least trying to send some kind of warning signal to the couple, who seemed like very nice people. I decided to slip the last one out the door a note, directing them to this website and Quixtar Cult Intervention. I knew I had to do it when the rep wasn’t looking, because she had already warned her prey that there’s a lot of *misinformation* about her business online, and if they wanted some *reliable* information, she would tell them exactly where to get it. If she saw my note, she would hastily assure the couple that I was just another loser trying to sabotage this promising business opportunity.

This is the note I gave to the husband, as soon as the rep turned her back: “Don’t respond to this note [a little overdramatic, but totally necessary]. She isn’t being straight with you. I speak from experience. Please go here [address of this blog]. There will be a personal message for you there soon.”

Naturally, I don’t know if the couple will actually wind up here or if they will pay much attention to the Quixtar material I’ve posted. But it’s worth a try. After leaving Second Cup, I met the Signif Other at Starbuck’s (I swear, I don’t usually spend all my time at coffee joints – that’s just where we agreed to meet). As I was telling him about the Quixway rep, one of the barristas overheard us (having the same vice I do, apparently) and told us that he has been approached by Quixway reps at work twice. They started out by mentioning shop.com, and asked him if he had twelve friends with whom he could share this unique “business opportunity”. Wary, the barrista told both reps that he only had six friends. They left him alone.

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15 thoughts on “To the couple from The Second Cup

  1. That Scamway can somehow legally function amazes and saddens me. Green tea latte? Really, that works?**Feels incredibly unsophisticated**

  2. Good job with slipping them the note. You're right that Amway is a scam, because you usually get the Amway tool scam along with the Amway product business. If you want to know more about the Amway tool scam, visit my blog, I suggest you start here: http://tiny.cc/D5oJh and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don't get scammed.TK, the "Merchants of Deception" ebook isn't available in electronic form any longer, he's selling real books now.

  3. A while back Tweets was approached with a shop.com offer. I didn't realize that it's another front for Scamway, but I told her it looked like a shady deal, so she passed. Whew!My friend(you know who) that's some jewel in Scamway says that she's into "Business development and marketing" on her FB page. She's been one of my best friends for 48 yrs and she still won't say Amway to ME when she tries to get me "onboard".I can't believe that the legions of true believers haven't deluged you with comments….yet. 😉

  4. I don't know how I'd have handled that SME, I think that was probably the most effective way. It was great that you tried to help that couple.I got approached by a Melaleuca person in the Oliver Square Send Cup a few years ago. It was back in my "nice to strangers" days, so I politely listened to the pitch. I'm a crabby misanthrope now, so I doubt I'd get that far today :)Luckily, I am a cheapskate and have a total horror of trying to sell crap to my friends and family, so these sorts of offers never tempt me.

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  6. Interesting post… Looks like solid-state memory is finally beginning to take off. Hopefully we'll start seeing decreasing solid-state drive prices real soon. 5 dollar 32 GB Micro SDs for your DS flash card… imagine that!(Submitted from Net3 for R4i Nintendo DS.)

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