Xooma Worldwide Review: Vemma’s alkaline twin?
Xooma Worldwide launched in 2005 and co-founded by Dan Putnam, who initially served as President.
Putnam was publicly the head of Xooma until about 2012, went he launched EPX Body (weight loss).
Whereas EPX Body had a true retail offering, One80 and The Elite Networker have marked a disappointing focus shift to recruitment over retail sales.
Today Xooma Worldwide is headed up by President and CEO, Ron Howell (right).
With over 30 years of diversified leadership experience, Ron Howell is Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Xooma Worldwide with its global headquarters in Hampton, Virginia.
Howell is mentioned in connection with Xooma dating back to 2005, so I believe he was the other co-founder of the company.
He seems to have taken a more public role within the company around the time Putnam launched EPX Body.
(Howell) has distinguished himself in various businesses and held executive positions in various industries including real estate, distribution, national and international sales, wholesale and retail marketing, financial services and has also held Senior VP, President and CEO positions in national and international direct selling companies.
In the early 2000s, Howell was Senior Vice-President at New Vision, who marketed ‘products that improve pH‘.
Here’s Rod Cook’s (MLM Watchdog) take on the matter from 2005:
In its May 16, 2005 statement, New Vision suggests that the Patent Office has completed the reexamination of XanGo’s patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,730,333) and that XanGo’s patent is no longer valid. This is reckless and incorrect.
New Vision is promoting misinformation about what is actually in its own mangosteen product. New Vision and Vemma, both owned and operated by Benson Boreyko, sell the same product under different names. On the label for its drink, New Vision claims:
“This . . . formula is made in a base of whole fruit mangosteen juice and pericarp [and] whole leaf aloe vera juice . . .”
In contrast, in court documents filed by New Vision in the patent infringement lawsuit, New Vision claims:
•“New Vision USA’s mangosteen product does not include as an ingredient any juice of any kind much less juice from fruit of a Garcinia mangostana L. tree . . .”
•“Aloe vera juice is not an ingredient of New Vision’s mangosteen product.”
•“Defendants do not know, and therefore deny, that New Vision USA’s mangosteen product
contains as an ingredient any pericarp, much less pericarp processed or ground from whole fruit pericarp.”
•“Defendants believe, but do not know, that the fruit from which the powder compound is extracted comes from the species of Garcinia mangostana L.”
New Vision is saying one thing in court and another on its product label. How can New Vision claim that its product is superior when it apparently does not know the product’s ingredients?
In addition to presenting inaccurate information in its statement, New Vision also fails to disclose the present circumstances of its own business.
Just three weeks ago in open court, New Vision’s attorney stated that Mr. Boreyko had to funnel $3 million of his own money into the business last year.
This fact is in contrast to Boreyko’s recent public statements about his past business success.
Based on the most recent Dunn & Bradstreet reports, the 10-year-old New Vision company has lost 90 percent of its sales over the last eight years and continues to trend down.
New Vision’s attempt at a mangosteen drink was in response to XanGo’s category creation success.
Faced with such formidable competition, New Vision has resorted to its unfortunate campaign of misinformation.
Boreyko folded New Vision into Vemma later that year, with Howell going on to co-found Xooma Worldwide with Dan Putnam.
Today there is no mention of Putnam on the Xooma Worldwide website. Whether he is still involved in Xooma’s daily operations, and if so to what extent, is unclear.
Read on for a full review of the Xooma Worldwide MLM business opportunity.
The Xooma Worldwide Product Line
Xooma Worldwide’s flagship product is “X20”, which retails for $35.95 (30 sachets).
Alkalizing, Anti-Aging, Antioxidant, Electrolytes, Hydration, Absorption, and Disease Prevention are all words that can be attributed to an X2O sachet added to your water.
X2O transforms plain water into a powerful alkaline beverage which can help fight against acidic & unhealthy conditions in the body.
Xooma Worldwide do not specify what diseases X20 prevents.
Other products Xooma Worldwide market include:
- X20 PM – “supports easier and more restful sleep when taken before bedtime”, 60 capsules retails for $37.95
- Focus Up – “the world’s first energy think drink”, retails as a box of 12 single-serve sticks for $35.99 or 45 capsules for $35.95
- Metabowize AM Formula – “a proprietary morning and/or mid afternoon metabolic, thyroid and mood support system”, 60 capsules retails for $37.50
- Metabowize AM Xtra – “all the great benefits of AM Formula with double the energy boosting power”, 60 capsules retails for $39.50
- Metabowize PM Formula – “controls cortisol which is often associated with a dysfunctional metabolism, poor health and obesity”, 60 capsules retails for $37.50
- Metabowize Nature’s Body Cleanse – “increases the consumption of dietary fiber, which helps decrease bowel transit time”, 60 capsules retails for $37.50
- Metabowize Protein Fiber Shake – ” consists of fibers that expand upon delivery to the stomach, ultimately helping to further curb appetite and cravings, while the other fibers work as a food source for healthy bacteria”, 30 servings retails for $74.95
- Natural Cellection – ” a uniquely formulated wellness compound that contains vitamin, herbal and mineral ingredients to support energetic cellular rejuvenation”, 240ml bottle retails for $150
- KardiaXyme – “a breakthrough discovery for cardiovascular health and inflammation control”, 60 capsules retails for $65
- RevitalMind – a ” brain support formula”, 60 capsules retails for $65
- SilverMAX – a silver preparation “to maintain their health and well-being”, 240ml bottle retails for $44.95
- SilverMAX First-aid gel – a “homeopathic gel for broad spectrum of minor wounds”, 120ml bottle retails for $32.50
- Chocolate Fix Mix – “all the health benefits of chocolate without all the calories and fat”, 14 single-serve packets retail for $39.95
- Xooma Blast – water additive for “powerful antioxidant protection”, 20 single-serve sticks retail for $32.95
- LifeSource – “a premium quality multivitamin, multi-mineral formula”, 120 capsules retail for $57.95
- Pet20 – ” transform your pet’s water by allowing for improved hydration, adding essential trace minerals & electrolytes and increasing the alkalinity”, 30 single-serve packets retail for $30
- Assimilator – “a potent combination of natural plant enzymes in a proprietary formulation with essential ionic trace minerals”, 90 capsules retails for $37.50
- Berry Balance – a “unique multi-berry extract with several patented and trademarked ingredient complexes”, 60 capsules retails for $39.50
- Adult SuperFood – “provides support to the re-building process in the body”, 60 capsules retail for $25
- Omega 3/75 – “a unique and powerful combination of pure fish oils”, 60 soft-gel capsules retail for $37.50
- Joint Health – contains OptiMSM, CMO (cerasomal-cis-9-cetylmyristoleate) and Glucosamine to “protect and support joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, connective tissues and bones, and aid in post injury joint repair”, 90 caplets retail for $64.95
- Ellagic Acid – “potent natural extracts, derived from a unique variety of red raspberry seeds and have been shown to promote apoptosis (the turn-off process leading to natural cell death) in cancer cells with no harmful effects to normal cells”, 150 capsules retail for $59.95
- Ellagiderm Cream – “help protect, nourish, and promote healthy skin”, 56 gram bottle retails for $37.50
- Life’s Harmony – “designed to promote healthy progesterone levels essential for hormonal balance in women of all ages (and also in men)”, 56 gram bottle retails for $31.25
The Xooma Worldwide Compensation Plan
The Xooma Worldwide compensation plan pays affiliates to market the company’s products to retail customers.
Xooma Worldwide affiliates are also paid to recruit new affiliates and build a downline.
In order to qualify for commissions, each Xooma Worldwide affiliate must maintain a standing monthly $25 or more order.
This is referred to as maintaining “active status”.
Affiliates who do not retain active status have their binary volume on both sides reset to zero.
Xooma Worldwide Affiliate Ranks
There are ten ranks within the Xooma Worldwide compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Marketing Representative – must be active and have recruited at least two active affiliates (one on either side of the binary)
- National Marketing Representative – generate at least 100 PV a month and personally recruit and maintain at least four active affiliates (2 on either side of the binary)
- International Marketing Representative – maintain at least 100 PV a month and personally recruit and maintain four other affiliates who do the same (2 on either side of the binary)
- Senior Marketing Representative – maintain at least 150 PV a month and maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary)
- National Manager – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 2500 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
- International Manager – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 5000 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
- Senior Manager – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 10,000 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
- National Director – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 25,000 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
- International Director – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 50,000 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
- Senior Director – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 75,000 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
- Executive Vice-President – maintain at least 150 PV a month, maintain at least four personally recruited 100 PV a month affiliates (2 on either side of the binary) and generate at least 100,000 GV a week in your weaker binary leg
Xooma Worldwide pay affiliates 24% commission on the Product Volume (PV) generated by retail customer orders.
Additionally, a second level 10% commission is paid on retail orders generated by personally recruited affiliates.
Residual retail commissions of 2% are also paid out to Senior Marketing Representative to Executive Vice-President ranked affiliates.
This 2% bonus is paid to the first found ranked affiliate at each rank between Senior Marketing Representative and Executive Vice-President (there are eight ranks between, with the first found affiliate each paid 2%).
Xooma Worldwide pay a direct commission when an affiliate signs up with a “cash back package”.
These packages range in cost from $100 to $2499, with commissions paid out as follows:
- Test The Water pack ($100) – $25
- Consumer Pack ($199.99) – $25
- National Manager Builder Pack ($499) – $100
- Platinum Builder Pack ($999.99) – $200
- Complete Business Development Pack ($2499) – $500
Note that in order to qualify for recruitment commissions, a Xooma Worldwide affiliate themselves must have purchased one of the above packages.
Residual commissions in Xooma Worldwide are paid out weekly via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of new affiliates. Commissions are then paid based on sales volume these affiliate generate (including their own purchases).
A “pay cycle” in Xooma Worldwide is achieved when the weaker binary side generates $160 in sales (or affiliate purchases).
For each pay cycle achieved, a Xooma Worldwide affiliate is paid as follows:
- Marketing Representative – 10% of $160 ($16 per cycle)
- National Marketing Representative (or higher) – 15% of $160 ($24 per cycle)
Note that all Xooma Worldwide affiliates are capped at $15,000 a week in binary earnings.
Residual Commission Match
Xooma Worldwide affiliates are paid a 25% matching bonus on binary commissions earned by their personally recruited affiliates.
Note that Residual Commission Match qualification requires the International Marketing Representative affiliate rank or higher.
The Generation Match uses a unilevel compensation structure to pay out a percentage match on downline binary earnings.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Using this unilevel structure, the Generation Match pays out on generations.
A generation in the Generation Match is defined when a National Manager or higher ranked affiliate is found in a unilevel leg.
Note that each unilevel leg is treated independently of the others, and that this National Manager can be found at any depth within a leg.
If no National Manager or higher ranked affiliate is found, the generation extends to the end of the unilevel leg.
In this manner a Xooma Worldwide affiliate can earn a 10% bonus match on up to four generations of binary commissions earned.
- National Managers earn a 10% Generation Match on two generations
- International Managers earn a 10% Generation Match on three generations
- Senior Managers and above earn a 10% Generation Match on all four available generations
Xooma Worldwide’s Rapid Rewards pay affiliates to recruit new affiliates who purchase Xooma products.
Essentially it functions as an autoship incentive, rewarding affiliates for spending 100 in “Rapid Rewards Points” each month, and recruiting others who do the same:
- recruit 4 affiliates who each generate 100 Rapid Rewards Points month = $80 commission
- recruit 16 affiliates who each generate 100 Rapid Rewards Points each month = $320 commission
Note that no more than 10 affiliates towards Rapid Rewards qualification can be counted from one binary side.
Once a Xooma Worldwide affiliate’s unilevel team is generating at least $75,000 in monthly Group Volume, they qualify for a $750 month car bonus.
Note that no more than $25,000 can be counted from any single unilevel leg.
Leadership Bonus Pool
The Leadership Bonus Pool is made up of 2% of Xooma Worldwide’s global sales volume.
The Pool is split into four 0.5% pools, with affiliates receiving a share in each pool as they qualify as a National Director, International Director, Senior Director and Executive Vice-President.
Joining Xooma Worldwide
Affiliate membership with Xooma Worldwide is tied to the purchase of a “cash back pack”:
- Test The Water Pack – $100
- Consumer Pack – $199.99
- National Manager Builder Pack – $499
- Platinum Builder Pack – $999.98
- Complete Business Development Pack – $2499.95
These appear to be the only Xooma Worldwide affiliate options.
When I tried to sign up as an affiliate on the Xooma Worldwide website, I was presented with a page that listed the above options and told I ‘must add at least 1 product to your cart to continue.‘
Xooma Worldwide has a pretty broad product range, built around their X20 alkaline water supplement.
These are products that are clearly marketable to retail customers, assuming there’s a market for them.
What I will say however is that the medical claims on at least two of Xooma’s products stood out like a sore thumb.
The offending product descriptions are for X20 and the Ellagic Acid:
X20 – Alkalizing, Anti-Aging, Antioxidant, Electrolytes, Hydration, Absorption, and Disease Prevention are all words that can be attributed to an X2O sachet added to your water.
Ellagic Acid – potent natural extracts, derived from a unique variety of red raspberry seeds and have been shown to promote apoptosis (the turn-off process leading to natural cell death) in cancer cells.
This despite an FDA disclaimer on the very document the above claims were made by Xooma Worldwide corporate:
The statements in this catalog have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The above statements clearly suggest Xooma products might be used to “prevent disease”, with the Ellagic Acid product description further suggesting it can kill cancer cells.
This renders the FDA disclaimer to pseudo-compliance, and what’s worse leads to affiliate testimonials like this:
My mother was diagnosed with cancer in December and had her first chemotherapy in January 2007.
A pharmacist friend said that if he had cancer, the first thing he would seek to do would be to make his blood/body as alkaline as possible as cancer thrives in an acidic environment and dislikes an alkaline one.
May 22 2007 Update on Mom: After only 3 chemo treatments the cancer clinic was amazed that they could see none of the original cancer symptoms.
My husband is on home life-support as a result of final stage emphysema, COPD, colon cancer and heart problems. He had to go to the hospital 11 days ago for a very very bad infection at the base of his cranium.
They did several blood and urine tests his chemical balance for all of his electrolytes, potassium, magnesium, etc were all very bad.
So, I started him on Xtreme X2O. He had to return to the hospital day before yesterday they did the same blood and urine tests on him again and they “ALL CAME OUT PERFECT”.
(My husband) has emphysema and is still recovering from a cancer treatment he had 3 years ago and has been in remission for 2 years now. His immune system still hasn’t recovered and he is still subject to any little ailment that goes around.
In the 2 weeks of my husband starting with the Xtreme X2O treated water his pneumonia appears to have cleared up.
These are all testimonials publicly accessible on the Xooma Worldwide website.
New Vision was hit by the FTC for making similar unsubstantiated claims about their product, so you’d think Ron Howell would be on top of stuff like this – but apparently not.
Am I saying Xooma Worldwide corporate and affiliates are full of crap? No.
But if Xooma’s products are going to be marketed on the merit of purported medical benefits, then they need to obtain the relevant approval from the FDA.
On the compensation plan side of things, it’s hard to ignore the similarities of Xooma Worldwide to Vemma.
Different products yes, but otherwise they’re pretty similar (no doubt owing to Howell’s involvement in New Vision).
Before we get into the red flag issues, I’d like to point out that Xooma Worldwide’s handling of retail commissions is great.
The two level system rewards an affiliate when their immediate downline makes a retail sale, and they also get a residual percentage based on their rank. It’s 2% but a nice little bonus that can potentially add up.
Unfortunately it’s all downhill from there.
We’ll start with the affiliate packs, which appear to be the only way to join Xooma Worldwide.
Affiliates pay between $100 and $2499.95 to join Xooma, and are then paid to recruit others who do the same.
As with Vemma, recruiting affiliates on autoship appears to be the core focus of the business model.
This starts with mandatory autoship bundled with any affiliate pack:
Once you have ordered your signup package, you will be placed on autoship.
And continues through rank advancement requirements.
Being “active” requires just 25 PV a month, but that’s only for the first rank (10% binary cycles).
15% binary cycles requires a 100 PV a month commitment.
Admittedly this can be sourced from retail sales, but official Xooma Worldwide corporate marketing material suggests it won’t:
It just takes three simple steps to create your success.
If you know nothing else about Xooma’s prosperity plan – which includes 8 ways to earn income – you could maximize your income potential with this simple three-step approach.
Step one is making the commitment to purchase at least $100 a month for you and your family.
Step two is personally refer four people to becoming new Xooma members.
Step three is teaching those people to duplicate steps one and two.
“Commit to purchase $100 a month” = autoship, with steps two and three recruiting other affiliates who do the same.
As per Xooma Worldwide, these “simple steps” are all that’s required for an affiliate to “maximize (their) income potential”.
And that’s worrying.
The FTC recently sued Vemma for operating a product-based pyramid scheme.
Much of Xooma Worldwide’s marketing material and compensation plan remind me precisely of the content the FTC have objected to with Vemma.
Is Xooma Worldwide operating an autoship recruitment scheme?
Based on what we know, I can’t answer that for certain. But if the FTC case against Vemma is anything to go by, the similarities between the two compensation plan and business models cannot be ignored.
That said and done, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
As a prospective Xooma Worldwide affiliate you’re going to be wanting to check with your potential upline as to how much volume they generate each month in retail sales.
This is not product they purchase and then claim to resell, these are bona-fide retail orders from retail customers each month (including one-off purchases).
Compare this to their own monthly autoship order. And if you can, try to get the same figures for a few of their immediate downline (other affiliate’s they’ve recruited).
If you start to see a familiar pattern of affiliates on autoship focusing on recruiting other affiliates also on autoship, then think very carefully about getting involved.
The FTC litigation against Vemma is still playing out, but it’s increasingly heading towards a definitive ruling against autoship recruitment schemes with little to no retail activity taking place.
A Judge has already ruled that on the merit of Vemma’s compensation plan and business model, that the FTC ‘will ultimately succeed on the merits in demonstrating that Vemma is operating a pyramid scheme.‘
That’s going to have widespread implications throughout the MLM industry, particularly for opportunities like Xooma Worldwide who are using an extremely similar business model.