Monday, May 28, 2012

Ex-USANA Associates Need To File A FTC Complaint If They Feel USANA Operates A Pyramid Scheme.

If you believe you have been victimized by USANA and believe they are operating a pyramid scheme, then you need to file a complaint with the FTC. This is very important.

Most people who have joined USANA's business opportunity have lost time and money. I strongly believe USANA is operating an illegal pyramid scheme. According to the a FTC letter: "...a multi-level compensation system funded primarily by payments made for the right to participate in the venture is an illegal pyramid scheme." It should be noted that 90% of USANA's net revenue comes from their distributor's own purchases. It should also be noted that USANA requires their distributors to purchase about $1560 each year for a 1-business center account and about $3120 each year for a multi-business center account. These required purchases give the distributor the right to participate in the business venture and be eligible for commissions. If the payment is not made, the associate will lose all group sales volume accumulated (converted to commission when enough points accumulate). Seems like a pyramid scheme to me!

The federal agency responsible for investigating Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The only way the FTC will investigate whether USANA is a pyramid scheme is for "enough" victims to file a complaint. So the most important thing anyone can do who believes they were swindled is to file a complaint with the FTC. It is very simple to file a complaint, although the task may seem daunting. I will provide a step by step walk-through to help guide you through the process.

Click on the following: FTC Complaint Form. This will open into a new window. You may receive an annoying popup from the FTC regarding a survey, just close that window. (That's just one of their attempts to annoy you and prevent you from actually filing out a complaint)

Fill out your contact information and whether you are submitting this complaint on behalf of someone else. Lawyers or attorneys might fill out the form on behalf of their client. However, since there are no actual instructions with this complaint form, I'll assume anyone can fill out this form on behalf of a friend or family member who is being or has been swindled by USANA.

Next, answer whether you are a member of the armed forces or a dependent. Not sure how this is relevant to the complaint, but whatever.

The next step is to choose what type of complaint you are filing. The correct option on this screen is to choose "OTHER" because none of their initial options have anything to do with business opportunities.

Now choose "Business Opportunity and Employment Offers" in the upper menu box. After a few seconds, you'll be able to choose "Multi-Level Marketing/Pyramid Schemes" in the lower box. I find it interesting that the FTC groups those two terms together.

Choose ow you were first contacted regarding USANA's business opportunity. Your choice will will result in a different set of follow up questions. "Email" contact will ask many questions regarding emails. "Phone" with its own set of questions.

Eventually you will come to the question that asks if you know the name of the company or individual in your complaint, or have additional information about them? This option should be chosen as "YES"

This part of the form asks that you tell the FTC about the company (USANA). Company Name "USANA Health Sciences". Address is "3838 West Parkway Boulevard | Salt Lake City, UT 84120". Phone: 801-954-7200.

Additional information is desired but not mandatory. Questions such as how much money you spent on the business opportunity, When you were first contacted, The name of the individual who contacted you, etc...

Now you are asked about "Consumer Information". Here is where you enter who the victim is. It may be the same information as the one entered earlier for the contact info, or may be the person you are filing this complaint in their behalf (Friend, Family Member, Client, etc...)

This next part is the meat of the complaint form. Here is where you get to explain how you were victimized. Perhaps you were told by your upline that you must stay on autoship for the business to work. Maybe you were told only quitters fail. Perhaps you were told you could make millions and were shown pictures of fancy houses and cars in their literature. The FTC needs to know your story.

Finally, you will see a confirmation screen where all the information you entered is displayed. Once you have confirmed the information is correct, click "SUBMIT" at the bottom of the form.

While the FTC complaint form seems long and tedious, it is very important to do. Many people might not file a complaint because they feel embarrassed or ashamed to have been suckered into a scam. Perhaps you were told over and over that USANA is not a scam because they have been in business since 1992 and are a publicly traded company. Perhaps you are told that it was your own fault you couldn't make any money and that you shouldn't blame others for your failure. These are all very serious statements that the FTC really needs to know about. I have received many emails from people who feel this way. Don't blame yourself. 99% of USANA participants lose money. The compensation is actually designed to fail this many people.

If you know someone who lost money in USANA, encourage them to file a complaint.