Empower Network battles affiliates over compliance
On the eve of Empower Network’s Denver affiliate conference, an interesting feud has been brewing between Empower Network and some of its affiliates.
Firing the first shot on the 12th of July, Empower Network published the following ‘important announcement from Empower Network Compliance‘ on their website:
Empower Network Compliance is in the process of investigating Project A.W.O.L. and empowerville.com and its affiliated Empowerville Facebook page for violation of our Terms of Service and Affiliate Policies and Procedures.
It is very important for all affiliates and customers to understand that Empower Network is in NO WAY affiliated with either system or offer.
Empower Network does not endorse, sanction or otherwise condone this type of activity. Nor does Empower Network make any guarantees for income or success.
So you’re not affiliated with either “system or offer”, got it. But what exactly did Project A.W.O.L. and Empowerville do?
Project A.W.O.L, started by Empower Network affiliates Kameron George and Glenn Arcaro, seems to have been pulled offline since the Empower Network compliance announcement was made. The Project A.W.O.L. website today advises visitors that the site is “under construction”:
A bit more poking around however and I’m guessing it was probably a combination of Empower Network wanting to look like they’re doing something compliance-wise, and marketing spiels like this on Project A.W.O.L.’s website that caused it:
Over 99% of our affiliates also choose to also be a customer of one or more of our five products. The Basic Membership is $25/month and the Inner Circle is $100/month, but remember, you’ll get your investment back with only one sale following our simple step by step instructions as Empower pays you 100% commissions.
Empowerville on the other hand appear to be furious with Empower Network for selectively targeting them.
If you visit the Empowerville website, there’s not a lot you can do other than click an “Enter Here” button, which then warns you that Empowerville are trying to access your Facebook “public profile, email address and friend’s list”.
To what end isn’t made clear (spamspam?), however visitors are unable to proceed unless they click “continue”.
Further down the page there’s a tiny little text link though titled “compliance update”. Clicking on that reveals Empowerville’s side of the story:
On Friday, the 12th day of July, 2013, EN Compliance posted ‘Empowerville’ had violated terms within their compliance/affiliate agreement.
They did so without due-process, as no prior warning, nor contact was ever initiated.
For your review, we posted our response along with the compliance video (hosted on their website) in the ‘Forums’ section of our website.
The forums section of the Empowerville website, along with several other areas, have since been taken offline.
When you type “Empower Network” in Google, That article is on the first page (right along with empowernetworkproducts.com, who are BLANTANTLY non-compliant)…
Occasionally we will recommend a tool or course we think is worth checking out; products that will only help you in your business – products we use ourselves!
If you own the 15k Formula, then you already know many leaders recommend tools, websites, and other things to help you market your business. So, what we do is no different.
It would be VERY naive of you to believe that the leaders in this industry do not have an edge… Besides hard work, they have years of experience and knowledge… and they use secret tools, and opt into courses they are not readily sharing with you. In fact, some of them never will (even if you are ALL IN).
Even David Wood, posted this on his Facebook wall. In that post, he said that he spends over $1,000/month on courses and tools. (No disrespect… but that is not $1000/month on EN products, folks!)
In closing, we want everyone to know that unless Empower Network has amended new rules to suppress community and team building, we have not broken any of their terms, and remain 100% compliant.
And, if they ever decide to amend such rules in the future, then Empowerville will not be the only community in noncompliance. EVERY team, Facebook group, etc. will be noncompliant.
Folks, we all sometimes act in haste, and pass judgement prematurely… In this case, EN compliance went against their own policy.
Instead of issuing fair warning in advance, they chose to shoot first, and never bothered to ask any questions later. This is VERY unprofessional and unacceptable, and will not be tolerated!
May the record show that ‘Empowerville’ never received any official warning by EN compliance nor from their legal representation in regards to ‘Empowerville’ or the ‘Empowerville Facebook Page‘ prior to posting their erroneous claims on their compliance page.
NOTE: We are currently in the process of putting together a full list of non-compliant websites. It will soon be published in the members’ area of our website, so that all members can witness this horrific bias, and intolerable double-standard.)
How the claims of Empower Network’s seemingly selective targeting of affiliates “will not be tolerated” is not clarified. Meanwhile as far as I can tell, other than ruffle the feathers of the top teams already in place in Empower Network, and A.W.O.L. using the word “investment”, I can’t really see why these two teams have been targeted.
And that brings me to the subject of my next point. Really guys, two years of giant check waving, you’re a wussy if you don’t spend $5000+ with us marketing spiels and now you’re going to worry about compliance?
Given both Project A.W.O.L. and Empowerville share the common trait of being relatively small teams and new, it’s hard not to look at this as those already at the top of teams within Empower Network pulling up the ladder behind them.
“Yeah we know we made millions of dollars over the past two years doing what you’re trying to do now but that has to stop.”
Whether Empowerville make good on their revelation of “non-compliant” websites and if Empower Network act on any of the more established teams remains to be seen.
Also on the newly released Empower Network compliance section of their website is a twenty-five minute compliance video, featuring MLM attorney Kevin Thompson and Empower Network President, David Sharpe:
The video (viewable at the end of this article), runs through compliance issues for Empower Network affiliates with the section on “pyramid schemes” (starting around the [12:30] mark).
Referring to the compliance topic as being “humorous”, David Sharpe opens the segment by pretty much stating anybody who calls a company a pyramid scheme has no idea what they are talking about.
Kevin Thompson then takes over, reducing “everybody” to “90% of people”.
[13:45] The reality, the very simple boiled down version of what makes up a pyramid scheme is, “are you paying rewards based on recruitment?”
And so, if the pay plan is driven by product sales, that’s an indication of a good program. And in Empower Network, 100% of the commissions are driven by product sales.
But, product sales alone does not mean it’s a perfectly clean model. You have to sell something valuable. We could have a networking program where we’re selling $10,000 lemonade.
Yes, it’s a product sale and, yes, those sales are funding the commissions but clearly there’d be a problem.
So, how do regulators assess value? Well, number one they want to see some customer sales and, number two, they look at the emphasis of the culture. They look at the emphasis of the program.
If the field is emphasising heavily the financial opportunity and rarely discussing the value of the product, it’s indicative of a program that focuses mainly on recruitment.
Simplifying Thompson’s comments, basically we’re looking at a separation of product sales and affiliate membership, and value in the products being sold.
On the first count, Empower Network do separate affiliate membership from buying their “products”. That said, the purchase of said “products” does qualify an affiliate receive money from other recruits who decide to purchase said “products”.
Note that in Empower Network affiliates and retail customers pay the affiliate who “sold” them the “product” directly, with the company making no money from its “products”.
Now it is possible for an affiliate to market Empower Network’s “products” to a retail customer, which will also qualify them to receive money from other affiliates. However, as the 10,600 current Google search results for the sentence below inform the general public,
Over 99% of our affiliates also choose to also be a customer of one or more of our five products.
Given that buying into Empower Network’s product levels as an affiliate self-qualifies you to receive money from newly recruited affiliates who do the same, that’s obviously what is happening here.
As for value, as has been stated many times before WordPress is not owned by Empower Network and is free. So what do affiliates pay $25 a month for? Well, as above that’s also obvious – to qualify to receive $25 from other recruited affiliates each month.
Such is the nature of Empower Network’s “pass-up” compensation plan, with various numbered commissions mathematically passed up through the entire company, right up to the top where co-founders David Wood and David Sharpe have positioned themselves.
Same deal with the other “products”, which is basically marketing training with the ultimate goal of teaching you how to recruit new affiliates.
For all the talk of transparency and “cutting-edge” nature of Empower Network’s Income Disclosure Statement Thompson and Sharpe mention in the Empower Network compliance video, statistics wise Empower Network do not reveal the revenue percentage derived from affiliates versus that of retail customers.
CEO David Wood claims 37% of $25 sales within the company are retail, however this has no correlation to revenue generation. With Empower Network’s top-tier products costing thousands of dollars, it’s again obvious why these figures are not made public.
And again, on the subject of value, so too is it obvious why retail figures for Empower Network’s “inner-circle” ($100), video series ($500), “15K Formula” ($1000) and “master’s course” ($3500) are.
If I had to take a guess, and I’m being generous here, I’d be surprised to see anything above a 5% retail revenue ratio for retail sales on anything other than Empower Network’s $25 level. Take away the generosity and you could probably drop that to less than 1% on the 15k Formula and master’s course.
The simple fact of the matter is, without the “affiliates paying affiliates” scheme attached to Empower Network’s top-tier products, nobody would buy them. At least not in any significant proportion when compared to affiliates buying them in order to qualify to receive payments from newly recruited affiliates who do the same.
Yet these ironies seem lost on both Thompson and Sharpe, with none of it being addressed in the video. Instead, Sharpe proclaims that Empower Network is “going to be around for hundreds of years”.
For all the compliance targeting off affiliates Empower Network engages in, one simple truth cannot be ignored: you are not selling anything if your affiliates are paying eachother each month 100% of the money they are supposedly paying to purchase products.
Echoes of Zeek Rewards’ infamous “hamburger compliance” efforts come to mind. Zeek Rewards went attempted to implement compliance only after top earners in the company had recruited large downlines.
David Sharpe refers to affiliates out of compliance as “bad apples” poisoning the tree. However if the tree itself is way out of compliance, does affiliate compliance even matter?
It didn’t for Zeek Rewards. They two tried to cover up almost two years of rampant non-compliance by cracking down on affiliates, all the while ignoring their fundamentally flawed business model.
I’ll leave you with one final observation, that being the seeming abandoning of Empower Network’s “badass” marketing campaign. Here’s how Empower Network used to advertise themselves a week or so back:
And here’s how they market themselves today:
Spot the difference?
Perhaps not all ironies are lost on Empower Network and someone over there realised telling your affiliates to focus on your products made no sense when the company itself
-runs around telling people those who put in thousands of dollars are “badass”
-labels those who don’t “wussies” (who CEO David Wood “punches in the face”)
-holds regular affiliate conferences where top-earners parade about holding up giant novelty-sized income checks and urge everyone to “go all-in” (buy in at every level)
-and congratulates those that “make a decision” to “go all-in” by paying the affiliate that recruited them thousands of dollars, by hauling them up on stage to feel special and using them to set an example for others to follow
This looks exactly like the compliance video for zeek. Same lawyer, same pitch, same everything in a different format but exact same spill.
Were in trouble so let’s get an ambulance chaser, pay his bounty for “advice “, and do a video …. Is it me or is this a flash back? NO CUSTOMERS….SCAM!
How much kev is being paid by these clowns
KT didn’t do the Zeek videos. Grimes and Reese did.
IMHO, seems KT and the rest of MLM lawyers saw the writing on the wall when Herbalife cut off all those “lead generation” companies that chain recruits new affiliates and sell them to the affiliates eager to get ahead, as those unscrupulous tactics make the company look bad, whether actively encouraged, merely condoned, or willfully ignored.
The two “Daves” are merely aping what Herbalife’s doing, trying to escape Ackman and FTC’s spotlight.
Tony Rush is involved …
need one say more about any lack of credibility?
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m having trouble squaring:
[13:45] The reality, the very simple boiled down version of what makes up a pyramid scheme is, “are you paying rewards based on recruitment?”
With this comment that was posted on a previous empower story (sorry I don’t know how to do quotes, so I just copied the whole thing)
When you consider customers = affiliates (we’re not talking retail here), recruiting 2 a day and telling everyone else to, with commissions being paid out being based on the 10,000 times plus quoted statistic that “99% of affiliates buy 1 or more of our products”, Wood is infact describing a pyramid scheme.
There’s no unit of investment or any such in EN. Affiliates must be recruited though in order to create pass-ups (ignoring retail revenue because it’s so insignificantly miniscule that EN don’t even bother making the figures public).
What David is really stating in that paragraph is “I’ve got way more affiliates gifting me thousands upon thousands of dollars each month because me and my downline have been recruiting a lot longer than you have”.
Sounds much less dodgy if you change “affiliates” to “customers” though, despite the fact that they are still not retail customers which is what really matters.
KT never represented Zeek, you got the wrong attorney, KT gives legal advice to EN and many other companies, if the company takes it, thats up to them.
When a company makes an attempt to be compliant, applause is warranted in this industry.
I follow KT, I think he is an outstanding attorney, however, just because he is hired by a company, that does not mean that the company will follow his advice.
I think that the EN people are talented marketers regardless of their tactics or business model, they do teach some great tactics and strategies that help people market better.
I am not a huge fan of EN, but it is nice to see them educate, motivate and rally people for success with other businesses, it works if their affiliates work it and apply their methods to other businesses.
I would be nice to see them focus on retail customers sure up their compensation model, and become a great company, the Industry needs more of that.
Yes, different one but saying the EXACT same thing.
I am in know way knocking KT. I just even see a fine line here. How can they focus on retail? Who would be dumb enough to pay 25 bucks a month to blog. Take the comp plan out and then ask who would buy this.
$25 to blog? Aw hells no. I pay my upline $25 a month just so David Wood don’t calls me a wussy. Fo’realz.
I can’t even recruit any dumbass, not for the lack of trying. Does that make me a, em…A customer? Or perhaps a dumbass?
Maybe I didn’t buy into the courses offered on how to recruit more badass’s, or maybe it is because the market reached saturation.
“Sounds like he just described a ponzi scheme.” is part of zoe’s comment that I was quoting, and when you edited my post should have been placed within the green comment block. Her words, not mine.
He does a great job protecting his clients’ interests, but that includes doing things he normally shouldn’t have done as a lawyer (e.g. participate as an actor in marketing videos).
He should probably have separated between his professional role as an MLM attorney and his career as an actor, to avoid conflict between those two roles. The career as an actor makes his professional role become less distinct and more difficult to interprete, you simply can’t know whether he’s talking like a lawyer or as an actor.
When a company has hired him as an actor, it’s typically a bad sign. As an actor he’s mostly telling half truths in favor of the client he’s representing at the moment, but using his experience as a lawyer to make it sound believable. Inexperienced people will probably believe he’s talking like a real lawyer.
To KT’s credit, SOME of his advice are solid.
It’s just that the rest of it is in a huge gray area that he himself had pointed out years ago, and his speech didn’t clear that up one bit.
Tony Rush is actually a skilled salesman, and that’s a lot better than many of the other ideas circulating around in network marketing. He would probably have managed to sell products too, rather than opportunities with some products attached.
I have actually used him as an example for “strategic skills / sales skills” one or two times, when I compared him (his ideas) to some other ideas that only wasted people’s time and drained them for money. And I will probably use him as an example in the future too, if the dialogue is about sales skills or anything like that.
The fact that some people primarily will join recruitment scams is probably because they already have experience from that type of work, they don’t need to “invent a new wheel” for a new type of business.
SALES SKILLS / STRATEGIC SKILLS
“Sales skills” should include some important factors. One of them is to identify the market you’re operating in, and which methods to use in that particular market. Another skill is to adjust to each and every part of that market, e.g. the potential customers there.
Tony Rush does actually reflect ideas like that, and he has published videos where he’s annoyed with many of the other ideas circulating around, e.g. all the spamming ideas called “internet marketing” and all the “brand yourself as an expert” ideas.
“Sales skills” is also about identifying the potential a program can have, how easy it will be to sell the ideas in a market, and about identifying the potential longevity of a program.
“Sales skills” is also about negotiation skills, e.g. being able to negotiate a better deal for a whole downline when joining a program.
A FEW OTHER IDEAS
The typical “ship jumpers” lack many of those skills, they are only trying to save their own income from a downline, dragging them into all types of scams as long as it is profitable for themselves.
The typical “marketing coaches” are mostly artificially blown up egos. They have understood one part of marketing and sales, so they’re focusing solely on that part = “sale is about selling people’s own ideas about something”. The missing parts are normally about that you also will need to deliver some results, not only ideas.
I called them “half truths”. Half truths will contain some truth, but will disguise other important information that actually may contradict the conclusion presented in the half truths.
When a company has the need to hire KT as an actor in marketing videos, it’s typically a bad sign. He should have started with a disclaimer about his actor role, clearly stating that he’s doing a paid job as an actor and is not acting in his professional role as a lawyer.
He’s acting AS a lawyer, but not IN his role as a lawyer. That’s a big difference. He’s simply confusing the market by mixing two different roles that typically may be in conflict with each other. And that’s called “lack of integrity” by anyone able to identify the two different roles.
A lawyer should primarily handle his client’s LEGAL interests rather than his client’s marketing needs. Kevin Thompson is clearly handling marketing needs here.
Mixing the two roles is a rather unprofessional behavior. It will lower his value both as an attorney and as an actor. He will mostly be offered jobs from clients in the low range parts of the market with that idea, until both his careers eventually will fail.
M_Norway, how is it a bad thing to educate reps about the right ways to make income claims? About the right ways to position the product vs. money making? It’s not acting, it’s educating. The alternative is that there’s ZERO education, which leads to more unchecked hype. Which do you prefer? At least these guys are leading with basic do’s and dont’s. People in Empower Network are shown the income disclosure statement constantly, which is more than what most companies can say. Where else has KT been paid as an “actor?”
After seeing KT acting on Bidify and a few other ponzie schemes, I totally lost respect for him. I think this whole ponzie + lawyer = compliance is the new marketing fad.
Great post! Way to shed some light on the bias. That being said, we wanted to chime in on a couple of points.
First and foremost, when you enter empowerville.com, we simply collect your email; your friend’s list and and anything else is not collected. Anyone who has ever set up a Facebook app knows this.
Second, we NEVER spam. In fact, we send out an email less than twice a month (or less).
As for the Forums section, it is still up and running: in.empowerville.com/forums
That being said, we have also noticed that EN is working hard deindex our website and Facebook page. They may be using illegal trickery to do so, as Empowerville is a rare term. We should automatically be listed first. But EN is working hard to de-rank us.
Nevertheless, we appreciate this post. There is a ton of bias in EN compliance. One only needs to type ‘Empower Network’ into Google to see this. ‘Empowerville’ is a term we have coined. Therefore, we own the rights to it.
Keep in mind that Empower Network cannot trademark the word ‘Empower’ and even if they were to do so in the future, ‘Ville’ is not a word, so they cannot make the argument that Empowerville is a compound word.
There is a ton of bias in there compliance dept. There are at least 5+ people receiving huge checks at every event who are CLEARLY in noncompliance.
Stay tuned, we’ll be listing them ALL on our website very soon.
Unless it’s pseudo-compliance PR stunt.
Remember, Zeek had no less than TWO MLM attorney teams… Nehra and Waak, and Kevin Grimes’s compliance training. And people did applaud… including quite a few MLM pros. THEN they all had to pick up their chin and glasses off the floor, and wipe the slime off their faces, and endure the everlasting “I told you so’s”.
Because both addresses what the affiliates needs to do, which has an implicit assumption that there’s NOTHING wrong with corporate business model and structure.
Zeek did the same thing… Train the affiliates (“require” members to watch that 10 minute video and charge them $10 each) then have Greg Caldwell and his White Hat Solution virtually beat people over the head in forums and such with more compliance lessons.
Let’s not forget Dawn’s “burger analogy” and “long disclaimer to be read at any meeting with more than 8 people”…
In that particular case, it turned out all to be bull****. The core was rotten from the start. Any fixes they did on the surface was cosmetic and disguise.
In case of EN, the core business is suspicious, and all this “surface compliance” (pretending / insisting / implying nothing’s wrong with the company core) is… well… more suspicious?
Agreed, but this may or may not be the case. Lets see how far they take it.
HaHa, I really like this site!
People are under the impression that all WP platforms are alike. There are .coms that are free and have limited flexibility without the ability to add plug ins. There are non mlm/affiliate companies that charge a small fortune for setting up a self hosted WP site.
If you set up the WP site on your own you have to host it, purchase what ever plugins you like if they are not free. Lets not forget that EN is highly trafficked and this helps with seo, its much easier to have your content listed on page one with this type of subdomain. Then there is some training, some one to reach out to for tips or how to’s.
So, as you can see a personalized custom WP site with templates, plugins training and trafficked domain does have some value, therefore they could very well target non affiliates to purchase their products.
You may be able to call Bidify a member scheme if you can prove they had no customers, but a ponzi it was certainly not in any way shape or form.
It was never proved to be one, it may have changed its system because Paul B ran a penny auction that was a ponzi that resembled what they were doing, but as I have mentioned before, it will be interesting to see who does get this model right. Thats like grouping every investment firm with Bernie M.
KT would never represent a flat out ponzi hence his involvement with Bidify. What “other” schemes are your referring to? can you be specific and list “other” scheme he was involved with?
Yo, remarks like these lead the less informed who don’t bother to do their own DD a misinformed negative impression of good people or good companies.
Lawyers are Lawyers but I believe KT has no ill intentions with his videos with EN, and he certainly would NOT do anything unethical.
Back on point, it will be interesting to see what EN does in the future.
(Ozedit: This is not the place to crap on about the Federal Reserve and Social Security)
They’re not only alike, they’re identical. WordPress is WordPress. Empower Network don’t own it so can’t sell it. Worse is that you have affiliates paying eachother each month, with the company claiming these are “product sales”.
Why do you think there’s talk of a blogging platform? They know they’re screwed claiming “free” WordPress is what everyone is paying $25 a month for and not simply qualification to receive $25 from those they recruit, is going to result in them being shut down at some point.
Third-party plugins are not Empower Network’s products.
This is a long-perpetuated myth.
As of today, Alexa estimate that just 5.2% of the Empower Network domain comes from search engines. It has been less than 10% for over six months now. You do know what SEO stands for right?
The other 95% of traffic is affiliates visiting the website. With affiliates paying affiliates relying on affiliates and not search engine traffic, this is hardly surprising.
Furthermore pages on a domain are evaluated independently. There’s a small SEO benefit for aged domains but the page is still largely evaluated and ranked on its own merit. That’s every individual page of every blog on the Empower Network domain.
Value, what value? The biggest value of all of a WordPress install is owning the hosting and domain it’s on. Empower Network cannot give this to users. Everything else is comparably available for free (yes, even the “sep plugins”).
Bidify was proven to have no customers when they changed their compensation plan to only pay out a commission on customer purchases of bids.
They were forced to change the compensation plan again after a few shorts months as revenue generated via bid sales was close to $0.
Every other incarnation of Bidify has been an affiliate-funded investment scheme. Coupled with a Ponzi points investment and re-investment model this makes it a Ponzi, just like Zeek Rewards.
As OZ said, Bidify was a ponzie! Never mind the fact that Frode and a bunch others have been scamming people for years.
Now look at CashUnite, KT is also attached to that recruiting ponzie! What do you think the business model is on that one?
If the “education” has been adjusted to fit his client’s needs, he’s acting as a paid actor rather than in his professional role as a lawyer.
I was not talking about income claims there, but about criterias for pyramid schemes. And I was talking about the value of having Kevin Thompson acting in marketing videos. It will eventually become a red flag rather than some “legality proof”.
That’s one of the things “professionalism” is about = being able to separate between different roles, and be able to identify which one is the most important at any given moment.
Marketing needs isn’t among the needs a lawyer should solve for his client. He should primarily solve his client’s legal problems rather than assisting his client in creating an illusion of legality. The client will need to solve problems like that on his own.
Bidify, where he was invited to Thailand by “Fraudy” Jorgensen to act in a marketing video.
Frankly, a lawyer should be one of those people that ONLY appear in a courtroom. 🙂 And the occasional symposiums giving speeches to a proper audience, but only to explain the law and how it applies in a particular situation.
The problem with MLM is MLM is so boundary breaking that it has enticed many lawyers to go beyond their normal personal/work boundaries and appear in videos WITH their clients, ostensibly to talk about law and compliance, but end up producing a marketing video, with IMPLICIT endorsement “I vetted this, it’s legal”. Even if they didn’t mean it, you know it’ll be PRESENTED that way by the various recruiters.
I’ve heard of MLMs making a counselor breaking his ethical code and got involved with his patient(s) (recruited them as his own downline, even paid for their training), but lawyers? Usually they are smarter than that.
Oz, thats like saying all cars are identical because they all have 4 wheels. A self hosted custom wordpress platform (custom template) with an easy blogging module on a server is not free. Maybe not 25 a month to another affiliate but none the less, not free.
I get the affiliate part, totally.
As far as the myth goes, it will need to get busted by a myth buster. A lot has to do with content and key word backlinks, yada yada which they supposedly teach (not sure how much that up sell is).
There is some value, as you said, hosting and domain $88/year depending on hosting and registrar. For people who are clueless, lazy or want to go now, a service like this could clearly sustain $25/mo to people who are willing to pay for it. People pay 5 bucks for the same cup of coffee that could be had for one fifth the price.
They could build a retail base if they chose to. I am not an affiliate of EN, nor am I a fan of EN, just a fan of this site and just trying to keep it fair and balanced.
Yo and a few other keep it one sided at BehindMLM, though it certainly would be less entertaining without them.
I have not looked at cashunite YO, and just because Oz says it’s a ponzie Yo, don’t make it one(no disrespect Oz), I am sure KT would differ if a debate were possible. Can’t be right 100% of the time.
No offense Oz, still a BIG Fan here 🙂 love you too Yo 😉
As far as the your interpretations of what lawyers should and shouldn’t do, I highly doubt that an attorney like KT would jeopardize being disbarred or even doing anything that would have him have to face the bar.
We all post our opinions, would be interesting in an open debate to see how your argument would hold up against KT.
I post my opinion, when I am wrong or off base, Oz or someone shoots holes through it. This is just my opinion, I have no legal experience at all.
Not quite, try the same engine. WordPress is WordPress and the exact same software Empower Network do not own is available free from its actual creators.
Hosting is free (wordpress.com) and custom sales capture themes range from free to a dime-a-dozen.
There is nothing special about EN’s customer theme, it just has a big banner advertisements for EN, that’s all. Heck I could take 5 seconds to replace my header image with a big “HEY YOU, BUY THIS NOW! OMG CLICK HERE!” and place a similar image on my sidebar and it’d look the same.
If you’re familiar with WordPress you’d realise that without the attached $25 gifting scheme and the buying into said scheme qualifying one to participate, EN’s blogging platform is below average.
And with the domain receiving an average of 5% search engine traffic over the past 12 months or so, any claim that its a “viral blogging platform” is rubbish.
Comparing hosting one actualy owns and is free to do whatever they want on is not the same as renting a multi-user WordPress account on the EN server.
WordPress.com offer the exact same WordPress hosting EN provide (they don’t sell it because nobody pays them for it) for free.
This is a hypothetical assertion based on evidently nothing. Retail is the core of any MLM business, EN has no retail because no value is offered outside of the multiple-tiered gifting scheme. Wood claims 37% of sales at the $25 a month level is retail (which is misleading in that it apparently includes affiliates who have not recruited, meaning the actual retail number is probably next to nothing).
Care to guess what the retail percentage is for the other tiers? I’d make an educated guess it’s less than 1% across the board. Wood to date hasn’t released that figure though so we’ll probably have to wait for a regulator to expose what it is (and then it’ll be Zeek Rewards all over again).
I have no legal experience either, just the application of common-sense.
And they’d be getting ripped off, because Squarespace offers better service for less.
Their $24 a month plan gives you your own domain name, UNLIMITED bandwidth, UNLIMITED storage, and bazillion more perks including shopping cart, with unlimited items (both virtual and physical) in catalog, plus integrated tax and coupon in cart.
Squarespace site builder is free to try, pay for it in 3 weeks demo time, upgrade to full e-commerce later.
EN is overpriced, a hallmark of many questionable MLMs.
Great analysis. It seems that this whole supposed “compliance investigation” is just some sort of lip service to appease any potential FTC probe and to try shutting up some of the critics (hi!).
Some of the pyramid’s top earners (Tony Rush, Vick Strizheus, etc.) are doing even worse than those who are under investigation, but they still operate under the embracing wings of EN knowingly.
EN can’t stop anybody who misleads and deceives … because then, EN will remain without any affiliates/customers/victims. Pyramid schemes are just funny like that.
I am an EN affiliate and have been since April. I read what everyone is saying and you all are entitled to your opinion. I think the breakdown in your arguments stems from conjecture rather than cold, hard fact.
When I first heard of the $25 per month fee, I thought it was stiff until I learned of the blogging system that comes already hosted, ready to start posting blogs and comes with 8 Fast Start videos on how to get up and running and monetized and how to drive traffic.
Contained in the wordpress are some widgets that I’ve priced at $49+ to help promote SEO; private forums and access to leaders for private counseling as well as weekly call-ins and additional training.
People throw “ponzi scheme” and “pyramid” around like Baptists calling non-Baptists “cults” in religious circles because they really don’t know what they are talking about.
I just finished watching a two-hour video in the 15K Formula series that was so packed full of helpful material that if I went to a seminar for the same kind of training would easily cost me hundreds of dollars.
There are twenty-four such videos in that series averaging 2-3 hours each and the fee for it was a one-time $1000. It doesn’t take more than two of those videos to realize a thousand dollars worth of training. Also, I can listen over and over to that same training as much as I want.
Since day one, I’ve been impressed with the wealth of knowledge that David Wood provides, whether free or paid, that has helped me become a better blogger and traffic driver.
I’ve enjoyed the privilege of having EN as an authority site on which my blog is hosted and as a result, my wordpress blog in less than four months has an Alexa rating of less than 800,000. Some wordpress sites don’t have that unless they’ve been online for several years.
Sling your nasty comments all you want. I don’t care. Maybe somebody will pay for that information. I like the compensation plan and the new requests to add the Income Disclosure whenever money is discussed.
The lady who got me started in EN, Kim Klaver the author of “If my product’s so good how come I can’t sell it,” has made six figures in EN since starting in early March. MIT and Harvard graduate, she is no dummy and she shows me that this is legit. That settles it, boys.
You mean WordPress… which is free?
So you paid Kim Klaver (or her upline) over a thousand dollars to qualify to “sell” the system to new recruits, who now pay you their monthly fees and a percentage of those they recruit. And this of course “showed” you the system was legit.
How many retail non-affiliate customers you got there chief?
So you joined for the products, and have absolutely NO intention to recruit additional members (i.e. someone just like yourself)?
Or did you really join for the potential income, but is now coming up with post-facto justification for your decision?
The problem here is you’re analyzing the wrong things. You think the as long as the products have value, it can’t be a pyramid scheme. You’d be wrong.
The compensation plan is what determines whether a business is a pyramid scheme or not. The product is often used as a disguise, and frequently bogus products, or products with vastly inflated prices are used in pyramid schemes, but it can be real tangible products.
I am not going to argue about what you think the lessons are worth, as such things are highly subjective, based on your knowledge level and the way the lessons are presented. They are simply, as explained above, irrelevant.
Have you actually sold anything through your blog?
I’m not talking about selling EN itself, so you should separate EN products from other products in an answer.
I’m not talking about recruitment either. That should also be separated.
She has probably been attracted to all the “low hanging fruits” she could find there = people who really want to believe in something and are willing to pay for it?
David Wood is gonna punch me in the face?? Riiiiight..
Never been too worried about a barefoot, skinny, drug addict… Even if they are rich.
Want to thank you about all your info. Wish I knew about you awhile my wife got into EN she was looking for a business she could do from home (she was sick and could not work much).
She found EN me I did not like David Wood looked like a big chicken. But I was behind her she went all in well you know the rest.
She tried but that is a lot money to talk people out of even for us it hurt alot now I would like to punch him in the face but hope may be people get together and do a class action against them thanks for all your info Bob.
Keep it going.
Ps I knew in Denver something was bs when you have the founders and a lawyer talk for 45-60min. well why and all the products can be found out there for half the cost and free.