BidForMyMeds threaten legal action over review
Earlier this week I published a review on the BidForMyMeds business opportunity. Key issues identified in the review was the misleading presentation of BidRx’s executive management as that of BidForMyMeds, a lack of disclosure as to who was actually running BidForMyMeds, and concerns over what was essentially a $17 a month chain recruitment scheme.
Within 6 hours of the BehindMLM review going live, BidForMyMeds got in touch and demand that I ‘immediately post a retraction‘. An Andrew Longcore, claiming to be BidForMyMeds “corporate attorney”, claimed that the review was ‘filled with false and misleading information‘.
Dated January 7th 2014, here’s the email Andrew Longcore (right) sent me:
I am the corporate attorney for Bid For My Meds. I have been recently made aware of a review that was posted on your website, behindmlm.com, about our company.
In reviewing the information that you have posted, I regret that I must ask you to immediately post a retraction as the information you have posted is filled with false and misleading information.
Bid For My Meds is a legitimate representative of BidRx, LLC and as such we sell memberships to the end user that allows them to access the BidRx system to purchase their prescription medication.
We allow everyone to see what their potential savings before they purchase their membership. This feature is the same “free membership” that you indicate that individuals can get directly from BidRx.
While BidRx will grant customers access to see their potential savings, every individual must purchase a membership with BidRx in order to actually place their order.
Bid For My Meds also allows individuals that would like to become distributors to have access to the materials and support needed to be able to pursue that business opportunity in addition to their membership that gives them access to the BidRx system.
Referral Partners of Bid For My Meds are compensated for each membership sale they make.
In addition, Referral Partners can start their own organization of Referral Partners and receive income for the memberships sold by those underneath them.
Your claims that there is no product and that Bid For My Meds is a “pyramid scheme” is nothing more than uninformed analysis by you based on a simple internet search.
The fact that you have not spoken to Bid For My Meds or BidRx would indicate that your statements are negligent in nature and being made with a complete lack of knowledge of the truth being asserted in your statements.
These types of communication are not only harmful to Bid For My Meds but also the reputation of BidRx. The potential damage to both companies reputation is irreparable.
I request that you issue a retraction to your statements immediately.
Failure to do so will force Bid For My Meds to seek outside counsel to protect our rights to the fullest.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.
Very Truly Yours,
BID FOR MY MEDS
Oh indeed I had questions and, as I typically do in these situations, gave BidForMyMeds the opportunity to respond directly to my concerns in the review.
Dated January 8th 2014, here’s the response I sent back to Mr. Longcore:
You state BidForMyMeds is a “legitimate representative of BidRx”. Can you clarify this? Is there any contractual corporate relationship between the two companies? Is BidRx directly affiliated with BidForMyMeds in any way (or vice-versa)?
Further can you confirm BidForMyMeds is not owned and operated by Ralph Kalies and Tom Kellenberger?
If not, can you explain why BidForMyMeds deceptively puts up their information on BidForMyMeds’ “About Us” website page?
Furthermore can you also clarify who then is running BidForMyMeds and explain why this information is absent from the BidsForMyMeds website?
“we sell memberships to the end user that allows them to access the BidRx system”
So, with the above statement, you are confirming that BidForMyMeds sells no retail products or services of their own. They charge fees for access to a third-party system that in turn offers discounts on third-party (twice removed) products and/or services?
If this is not correct please clarify.
“we sell memberships to the end user that allows them to access the BidRx system to purchase their prescription medication. We allow everyone to see what their potential savings before they purchase their membership.
This feature is the same “free membership” that you indicate that individuals can get directly from BidRx. While BidRx will grant customers access to see their potential savings, every individual must purchase a membership with BidRx in order to actually place their order.”
The following is taken from the BidsRx website:
“Membership Fees. There may be a charge to become a Participant of BidRx.com for personal use of BidRx.com as a tool for obtaining prescriptions.
Any charge for participation is included in the cost of your prescription and collected by the pharmacy.”
The above is not a flatrate monthly fee, as charged by BidForMyMeds. As such fees charged by BidRx are not subscription based, but rather based on the purchase of good and services from third-parties.
BidForMyMeds charges a flatrate subscription fee to access BidRx, irrespective of whether or not any goods or services are purchased through the third-party service.
Furthermore, can you confirm any of the money charged by BidForMyMeds is paid to BidRx for membership? Or whether BidRx do not charge members when they place orders for membership because members have already paid BidForMyMeds for membership as you claim?
“Referral Partners of Bid For My Meds are compensated for each membership sale they make. In addition, Referral Partners can start their own organization of Referral Partners and receive income for the memberships sold by those underneath them.
Your claims that there is no product and that Bid For My Meds is a “pyramid scheme” is nothing more than uninformed analysis.”
I refer you to FTC, who state:
“In multilevel or network marketing, individuals sell products to the public.
Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme.”
In BidForMyMeds, I pay my $17 and recruit new affiliates who also pay $17, and I get paid for doing nothing more than recruiting new $17 affiliates.
No products or services are sold by or through BidForMyMeds to retail customers (non-affiliates).
You are welcome to challenge the above, but you (or your outside counsel) will have to take it up with the FTC.
I await your response to the requests for information I have made above.
As Longcore was of the impression that pointing out red flags in the BidForMyMeds opportunity would somehow damage the reputation of BidRx, I took it upon myself to reach out to them Troy Dooly style to try to get to the bottom of things.
Also dated January 8th, my email to BidRx’s legal counsel was as follows:
I run BehindMLM and recently reviewed the BidForMyMeds MLM business opportunity.
Shortly after publishing my review and analysis I was contacted by BidForMyMeds’ “corporate attorney”, a Mr. Andrew Longcore, demanding that I “immediately post a retraction” on the information I had published.
I’ve responded in kind to Mr. Longcore’s request, having requested several clarification (sic) to the claims made on their website. I am writing to you seeking similar clarification on some of the concerns raised.
Firstly Mr. Longcore claims that BidForMyMeds is a “legitimate representative” of BidRx. Is this true? What is the exact nature of any corporate or business relationship between BidRx and BidForMyMeds.
In comments left on BehindMLM, BidForMyMeds affiliates are asserting the idea that BidRx is the parent company of BidForMyMeds.
Has BidRx authorised the publication of BidRx’s CEO and Vice President on the BidForMyMeds “About Us” webpage?
If BidForMyMeds has been authorised to publish this information, do you not believe this is somewhat misleading seeing as neither Ralph Kalies or Tom Kellenberger have anything to do with BidForMyMeds at a corporate level.
If they do, feel free to advise the details as I’m unaware of any such relationship or involvement.
Also what is BidRx’s stance on BidForMyMeds deceptively using BidRx’s media coverage to further their own business?
This is done on the BidForMyMeds website and has been done by BidForMyMeds affiliates on BehindMLM (citing media coverage that mentions BidRx but makes no mention of BidForMyMeds)
Finally does BidRx endorse BidForMyMeds’ MLM business model, which charges affiliates $17 a month and pays them to recruit new $17 a month fee paying affiliates?
As per the FTC, BidForMyMeds’ business model is a pyramid scheme –
“In multilevel or network marketing, individuals sell products to the public – often by word of mouth and direct sales. Typically, distributors earn commissions, not only for their own sales, but also for sales made by the people they recruit.
Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan.
If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.”
The above is taken from the FTC website – business.ftc.gov/documents/inv08-bottom-line-about-multi-level-marketing-plans
And you can read the BehindMLM review of BidForMyMeds here – (Ozedit: BehindMLM URL removed)
I look forward to your assistance in clarifying information regarding the BidForMyMeds MLM business opportunity. Thankyou for your time.
Despite taking less than 6 hours to respond to the BehindMLM BidForMyMeds review when it was published, four days have passed and neither BidRx or BidForMyMeds have responded to the queries above.
Make of that what you will.
Meanwhile BehindMLM reader “zoe” emailed BidRx on January 9th, to ask “if there was a connection” between BidRx and BidForMyMeds.
Zoe received a reply from BidRx within 48 hours:
BidRx® currently offers two options for individual access to our patented business process that uses the power of the internet to create a Competitive Electronic Marketplace (CEM®) for drugs. As a result, BidRx® usually gets the best prices on prescriptions.
The first option is with a pre-paid membership. With this option, members pay a monthly membership fee and get pass-through best prices from bidding pharmacies.
The option is available from independent marketing companies, including:
The second option is without a pre-paid membership, but with a per-Rx administrative fee added onto the price from bidding pharmacies.
In order to register on BidRx.com, this option requires interested users to get a referral code from one of many independent sale representatives across the U.S. that market BidRx® services.
Reiterating the difference between BidForMyMeds membership and BidRx, it’s clear that the monthly subscription model is only half of the BidRx coin. The “per-Rx administrative fee” membership is free and offers access to the same discounts.
And let me clarify, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with BidRx running these two models side by side. The issue is BidForMyMeds $17 affiliate membership, which pays on the recruitment of new $17 affiliates.
To date no explanation has been forthright clarifying what, other than qualification to receive recruitment commissions, the extra $10 gets affiliates in BidForMyMeds over $7 members.
Neither has BidForMyMeds clarified whether or not they actually market anything at a retail level within the company itself.
Whether or not BidForMyMeds approach “outside counsel” and follow through with their threats remains to be seen. If they do, one would hope they approach someone who is perhaps a little more familiar with the MLM industry than Mr. Longcore appears to be.
Having a $7 a month “retail” membership option becomes irrelevant if the vast majority of memberships sold within BidForMyMeds are $17 a month affiliate memberships.
Furthermore any legal proceedings would result in discovery quickly revealing whether or not the majority of commissions paid out were a result of $17 affiliate recruitment, or the sale of products or services. Putting aside of course the fact that BidForMyMeds themselves have no such products or services of their own (which is a another MLM red-flag issue in itself).
Your move gentlemen.