Is the ACCC going after Polaris Media Group?
Over the past few weeks I’ve been in communications with various associates (ex and current), the QLD and NSW office of fair trading and have suspected that something has been building behind closed doors.
I can’t prove or confirm my suspicions at this stage but I thought I’d put together what I’ve observed and heard as together. Curiously they all seem to point to the same thing.
Have a read and perhaps you’ll experience a little ‘know for yourself’ too.
Yesterday the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Peter Kell announced a crackdown on online scam sites.
Working with over 40 international consumer groups the annual crackdown aims to “uncover and disrupt fraudulent websites”.
Whilst the article doesn’t specifically mention Polaris Media Group, I couldn’t help but notice the criteria Kell cited fit the company remarkably well.
They will inspect thousands of websites using terms such as ‘guaranteed income’, ‘get rich quick’ and ‘work from home’ before flagging any that appear suspicious for further investigation.
To illustrate I decided to use the cookie cutter Polaris Media Group site uxl.com.au, which co-incidentally is still being advertised on Foxtel.
This is a business that generates a substantial income. The difference here is this business because of its immediate high cash flow will pay for all of your expenses.
Your first year potential is massive given you do EXACTLY what I say and follow the system.
The system works perfectly as long as you follow it exactly.
A system that works perfectly with immediate high cash flow? Massive substantial income if I just do EXACTLY what you say?! Despite the income disclaimer tucked away at the bottom, it sure sounds like a guaranteed income to me.
So guaranteed income? Check.
Get rich quick:
ONLY the ones that want to realistically change their financial status immediately should call.
I need instant gratification versus building something that could be in 1-3 years.
Why would you want to get started in a business if you couldn’t make a ton of money right out of the gate?
Tons of money right out of the gate? Instant gratification? Changing your financial situation immediately?
Get rich quick? Check.
Work from home
Work from home in your boxer-shorts.
Your success will be achieved with personal mentoring by myself and other entrepreneurs who have already achieved financial success while working from home.
Are you willing to take advice from those who have come before you who generate executive level pay every month from home?
Work from home? You betcha, check.
As you can see the criteria laid out by Kell fits your standard Polaris Media Group website like a glove. And UXL is just one site, there’s literally hundreds if not thousands of them out there.
The first sentence of Rachel Oliver’s testimonial “After losing my job to corporate downsizing” returns 61 google search results. Some of the US players’ testimonials are literally on thousands of websites.
Additionally Mr Kell urged caution when it came to websites that asked you to
provide personal details: Ever seen a Polaris Media website that doesn’t have a form asking you to leave your personal details? Yeah me neither.
send money overseas: …well the founders of Polaris live in the US, that’s overseas right? (I know this is mostly referring to ‘deposit’ type scams and doesn’t really apply to Polaris)
or that required immediate action.
Again from UXL:
If you’re ready to embark on an adventure that will change your life then contact us immediately.
Are your pants on fire yet?
The ACCC announcing a crackdown isn’t the only thing that piqued my interest however. The week after I went public with the NSW office of fair trading’s written confirmation that Liberty League was a scam, was mostly spent two’ing and fro’ing over the phone.
My request was simple (or so I thought) “does the Liberty League classification automatically carry over to Polaris Media Group?” My request was continually passed up the ladder after the representative that originally was handling my enquiry abruptly advised me one day she’d been told she ‘could not comment any further’.
I went to her manager, to her manager’s manager and finally was advised that I my query would be handled by an “investigator”. To date I have not received a phone call.
One gentlemen I spoke to during the telephonic ping pong match did advise me that if Polaris Media Group was essentially the same thing that yes, the classification still stands.
A week or so ago now I attempted to dissect the Polaris Media Group compensation plan and found that the business still isn’t profitable unless you have a constant stream of new associates underneath you. What’s more the much touted game changing residual income plan actively encourages this.
Shortly after exchanging this information however I was met with the same ‘I can’t comment any further, I’ll have to pass your case to someone else’ routine.
Ralph Nader QC (not a QC, but an actual lawyer) from Whirlpool shared his explanation of this sudden restriction of information:
I think you’ll find that is normal practice when there is an investigation afoot. Telling you, a stranger, could compromise their investigation. After all, you could be a 6FC/LLI stooge or passing info on (which you are in fact doing by going public as you receive information).
Of course, if they aren’t interested in investigating, they might take a similar “head-in-the-sand” approach. But given the media release and alleged legal advice, I doubt it.
In addition to this the case I opened with the Brisbane office of fair trading the day after receiving written confirmation from the NSW office was immediately handed over to the ACCC.
I acknowledge receipt of your complaint regarding Liberty League International.
In reply, I would advise that as your matter appears to fall within the ambit of legislation administered by the Australian Consumer & Competition Commission, I have forwarded your letter to that authority for consideration with a request that a reply be forwarded to you direct.
To date I have not been contacted, again suggesting that perhaps internal investigations are still pending.
Whilst I myself have received the cold shoulder following the public statement on Liberty League from the NSW office, in contrast Polaris Media Group associates have informed me that after lodging their own enquiries, the NSW office had actively sought them out and asked some interesting questions.
Dear Mr XXXXXXXXXX
I refer to your correspondence dated 1 September 2009 regarding Liberty League International.
The Office of Fair Trading can provide assistance to you regarding your complaint. You will need to provide the details of who has signed you to this scheme and to whom the payments were made.
You also have the option of seeking a refund through the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal. The Tribunal provides an inexpensive and effective means of settling consumer disputes and is capable of making enforceable orders. Please see the Tribunal website for more details.
Applications can be lodged at any Fair Trading Centre, Tribunal Registry or online at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/cttt.html. Alternatively, you may choose to obtain your own independent legal advice.
I trust that this information is of assistance to you.
In addition to this the associate received a followup email and three phone calls requesting the details of the person who had signed them up to Polaris Media Group. Co-incidentally persistent?
According to another Polaris Media Group associate, CEO Shane Krider responded with ‘hopefully at least one person will get our compensation plan after this’ during an EMC tour around Australia:
Shane Krider the CEO chewed gum the entire time he talked at the conference and warned people not to listen or buy into the negativity that is being generated from the internet or NSW. He assured us to stay positive and that they are definitely not a Pyramid scheme until the courts rule.
The courts, who said anything about the courts!? Is it possible Krider has been given advanced warning something is up?
Interestingly another associate mentioned ‘that blog’ also featured in the recent EMC Australian tour meetings;
They didn’t mention the name, just said “have you seen that blog, you know the one…” followed by “we are going to stop them in the most spectacular way” insert roars of laughter.
Is OzSoapbox about to be spectacularly stopped some time soon? Reader Lawfirm2 doesn’t seem to think so:
I can tell you from first hand experience as the attorney for several LLI defectors that LLI’s scare tactics so far have been nothing more that the proverbial paper tiger.
While anyone can write saber rattling letters, it is an totally different matter to follow up on them–frankly I don’t think LLI even has the resources too anyways.
These could all of course just be hugely co-incidental but the overbearing cynic in me thinks otherwise. A regulatory department all of a sudden goes quiet, another regulatory department is seemingly gathering as much information about Polaris Media Group as possible and the CEO is talking about letting the courts decide if his company is a pyramid scheme.
Maybe I’m not being cynical and it’s really all quite simple.
What are your thoughts?