MLM Company Team Everest Update

Posted on 25. Jun, 2006 by in Fraud & Scams

As you may or may not know, my former post on the MLM company Team Everest has created quite a stir. Granted, members of the company offended by my previous comments have created most of the stir, but it has created a stir nonetheless. Apparently when searching for ‘Team Everest’ with Google my post on the company appears before their own company pages – giving people a negative vibe about the company before they even visit the company’s website. Ironically, the more they comment and belabor the issue, the higher the post climbs within Google’s ranks. However, being threatened with lawsuits and the defaming of my good name I’ve decided to write this post to make everything crystal clear for those who didn’t understand it the first time.

The comments about me personally don’t bother me as much as the accusation that the facts in my previous post were not true. Not wanting to be called I liar I have agreed to post an “addendum” to my previous post by clarifying my position and restating the facts that were not true.

So, first of all I just want to be clear that I do not believe that the business practices of Team Everest are fraudulent. I have therefore moved the previous entry from ‘Fraud’ to ‘Multi-Level Marketing’ at the threat of a lawsuit. What I do want to make clear are the potential dangers of joining a MLM organization such as Team Everest – and I’m not the only one shouting about these dangers. For more information on determining whether or not you should join a MLM company you can visit the following sites:

These sites do a great job of listing the potential dangers of MLM companies as well as statistics regarding their success and failure rates and reports on MLM companies that have been found to be fraudulent. However, like everything in life, only you can make the decision whether or not an MLM is a fit for you. My personal opinion is that MLM companies do not have a great track record and should be avoided, which was the intent of my last post. In fact, a telephone survey of over 200 tax preparers in Idaho and Utah conducted by www.mlm-thethruth.com as well as an “extensive analysis of available public documents” revealed that “about 99.9% of total participants (those beneath the TOPP’s [top of the pyramid promoters] in the overall pyramid of participants) lose money.” I didn’t conduct the survey, so take it as you will, but it sounds like their own first-hand research has revealed some interesting information regarding MLMs.

As for the errors in my “reporting” I received a very long email outlining the errors of my ways. Fortunately, most of the email contained points related to my opinions and not any facts, but there were a few errors in the facts that I did report. For clarification they are:

  • The Ferox pills are not “literally” magic pills. I thought that most people knew that “magic pills” went out of style with Jack and the Beanstalk but apparently I was wrong.
  • The office I visited did have furniture. (It also had empty cubicles.)
  • The new CEO’s previous companies were Utah-based, not from the South. I would love to see a list of these companies by the way, but the new CEO’s profile is not yet online. Oh, and apparently she has lived in Utah for 20 years – my bad. She’s originally from the South.
  • Apparently the goal for the end of July was 1,000 not 5,000 members. According to the comments to the last post, however, the goal of 50,000 members by Christmas was accurate.
  • The founder of the company is not the president of the Hair Club For Men. Again, I thought this was obvious. I suppose humor is a lost art form. But who can forget Sy Sperling’s catchy phrase, “I’m not just the president, I’m also a client.” I loved those commercials…

The rest of my “incorrect facts” were related to my own opinions about Team Everest and the situation that led me there. However, while I am in a “confessing” mood I thought I would also set the record straight by stating that the first time I had ever heard of a job opportunity with Team Everest – accounting or design related – was from the comments on my last post. Apparently they knew more about my potential future in the company than I did.

The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is that I was a person who was deceived into coming to that initial MLM meeting. Regardless of what anyone else there might think, I was the one on the other line when the phone call invitation came and the name of the company or the nature of the company never came up. (Ty Tribble has a great post about honesty in MLM organizations here by the way) In response to that deceit I did what I do best – I wrote about it.

My former post was written to be humorous and to warn people about the dangers of MLM companies in general – which are real. Many of the members of Team Everest even agreed that my post was humorous and one even said, “well congratulations I was entertained.” Thanks for the compliment – I thought it was humorous myself.

One more thing regarding blogging and what I say on this site in general… if you have a problem with something I have said, please let me know. If you want to whine and complain – you know where to contact me. However, to bring other people into your witch hunt is just not cool. Dr. Zimbelman, one of the commenters on the previous post, was a great professor of mine and is an honorable and outstanding guy who also has a passion for exposing things that could potentially be dangerous for consumers – including pyramid schemes – the forefather to the multi-level marketing company. To attack him personally and/or professionally just shows a level of immaturity that I would expect from my own children (they’re 2). He was never asked to comment on this blog in any way, shape, or form and has no control over what I write. I am no longer a student at BYU and therefore no matter how upset you may become over what I say, contacting my mom won’t do anything – I moved out a long time ago.

Instead of wasting your time fighting my right to express my opinion about multi-level marketing I encourage anyone involved with a MLM company to prove me wrong. Not with your comments telling me that I “missed out” on your “great opportunity” or telling me how many people have signed up. But in 6 months or a year, shoot me an email and let me know how the company is doing. Spend your efforts signing up more people instead of trying to discredit my opinions. Spend your time building the largest MLM empire the world has ever seen! Build a NuSkin or an Amway – but do it through your actions instead of trying to discredit your opponents. NuSkin has a long list of opposers – there’s even a MLM-Survivor webpage! People deserve both sides of the story as much supporters of MLM companies hate to admit. After all, the truth shall set you free, right?

Just check out my posts and comments about 12 Daily Pro. Even though Charis Johnson is facing some serious crimial charges for stealing millions, there are still loyal supporters that claim that she is innocent and quite literally their “financial savior” for making them so much money. On the other hand is the majority of former 12 Daily Pro members who aggresively defended the company until the FBI and SEC got involved; it was only then that they realized how stupid they were to invest money in the scheme. It is often difficult for people within a company or situation they feel strongly about to take a step back and see it from another perspective. That it what this blog is all about – to provide my perspective on money and personal finance matters so that those who read it can gain an additional perspective. If everyone who didn’t know much about personal finance didn’t have advocates like me, shouting warnings from the rooftops, they might believe every junk fax or email claiming to know the “secrets of making millions!” or wire $5,000 to those Nigerian money scams. Information is power and I love to give people more power by providing them with as much information as I can. That’s what the web is all about…

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17 Responses to “MLM Company Team Everest Update”

  1. Edrei

    25. Jun, 2006

    And Amen to that. Quite literally a perspective and one people can choose to either listen to or ignore. Nothing more and nothing less.

  2. MLM-theTruth.com does not help your argument. Hack site by a hack critic with no clue about the industry, otherwise, I agree with most of what you are saying.

    Some people haven’t figured out that Old School MLM is dead.

    I actually had one of the Team Everest people come to my blog and explain to me why they are different. The funny thing is that she used the same verbage I used in 1992 to explain why Amway was different than other MLM.

    There is a very important lesson here for MLM companies, even if you think that you do everything right, you better have a web inititiave or one person (right oir wrong) can make a big difference in the perception of your company on the internet.

    Team Everest…you can contact me at: . ty (at) MultiLeveler (dot) com

  3. Mark Zimbelman

    25. Jun, 2006

    I just read a good overview of pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. I encourage you to check it out at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/lotionalrt.htm. Here is a sample quote: “Steer clear of multilevel marketing plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors. They’re actually illegal pyramid schemes. Why is pyramiding dangerous? Because plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors inevitably collapse when no new distributors can be recruited. And when a plan collapses, most people-except perhaps those at the very top of the pyramid-end up empty-handed.”

    I don’t know if Team Everest pays for recruiting new distributors but if so, the FTC website says it’s illegal. If not, that’s good news for Team Everest distributors.

  4. AJ

    26. Jun, 2006

    Great post Jason. It is sad to see that humor, sarcasm, and the right to an opinion are lost in a world so easily offended. Love the blog!

  5. John Henderson

    26. Jun, 2006

    Ty, MLM-theTruth.com was suggested because of the “five flags” – and it was explicitly recommended for that. I agree that it’s not a great site (from my cursory look), but the five flags put ferreting out a nefarious deal into easy “codified” form.

    My favorite from the MLM-theTruth.com site though is the “backed by wonderful independent research!” (paraphrase) link that links back to the front page. Great research. FSM has better research (at least there are graphs!). Granted, I didn’t scrounge around on the site too long – so I apologize if the site really does contain the academic research that generated the claims 99.9% loss rates.

    I think it’s also terrible that Team Everest threatened you with a lawsuit. I posted a response to it on the other post, but the gist is that since your postings contained “small errors” and “opinions” (the T.E. guy even said that it was the opinions that were libelous) – it’s just plain not libel. I’m sure you reached those conclusions on your own, and someone with more legal background can comment more.

    Equally, the fact that they said in effect; “I know where you live” would scare me pantless. I mean, not that I believe in internet anonymity – but once someone starts to threaten that they know of your “real” life; it somehow changes the situation.

    Also, as a side note. Someone had referenced that your filing that post under “Fraud” indicated that an ordinary person would think that the compay was fraudulent is just plain crazy. Just from the prior sentence, you categorized the post as fraudulent, not the company. ;p

  6. John,

    Dr. Taylors 5 flags have nothing to do with legitimate (lawful) business and everything to do with his poor understanding of the industry.

    The FTC even disagrees with Dr. Taylor.

    As for libel, keep in mind that you can be right and still be sued.

    This might make for interesting reading for you…

    http://mlmblog.typepad.com/blog/2004/01/where_did_decem.html

  7. John David

    26. Jun, 2006

    As far as I am concerned, anyone who tries to introduce me to a MLM can really stick it. Everest or any other miracle company is doing nothing short of what 12 daily pro does. If I have another “friend” or family member call me about this stuff, I think I will scream. MLM’s are the biggest scams aimed at the gullible–if you are at the top you suck money from the bottom.

    Sue me . . . or bite me Everest!

  8. John Henderson

    26. Jun, 2006

    Ty; I never said anything about the flags assisting in discovery of legal (or illegal) businesses. I truthfully can’t see how one can follow those flags and be profitable while maintaining decent treatment of the employees. Incentivising “[r]ecruiters recruiting recruiters” sounds like a recipe for a quick balloon followed by a sharp pop.

    Regarding the possibility of a suit; that is definitely true. The litigious state of America is disheartening. Even more disheartening is that an individual with a lot of money can press a suit, and bury someone who may not be so well placed. Even if you are doing the right thing and following the law; there’s still a chance you’ll fail too!

  9. Nick Ash

    27. Jun, 2006

    Sad, that morons who can just type have to prove their low life pot shots miss the target, i refer to the owner of this misaligned blog!

    The law deals with the likes of people like this blogger and those that post untruths and heresay.. It wll be a shame that people who think “Freedom of Speech” includes liable. Be glad to see the back of you.

    Oh Professors who use their University email to slander will be loosing their paychecks. Private concerns should be private, some it seems have stepped over the mark. Think be for you type… it might be the last thing you do.

  10. AJ

    27. Jun, 2006

    Nick Ash said “Think be for you type… it might be the last thing you do.”

    Proof-read BEFORE you post.

  11. John David

    29. Jun, 2006

    Nick Ash, besides YOUR hypocritical post regarding typing and writing skills, YOU BUDDY have just walked into a lawsuit! I think your “it might be the last thing you do” counts as a threatening statement.

    I would also consider “would be good to see the back of you” a statement of idiotic proportions . . . either that is another threat or you want to take a gander at this blogger’s behind.

  12. JWM

    07. Jul, 2006

    Nick,

    Proof-read before you post.

    Lible doesn’t have an ‘a’. Liable does.

  13. floridagal

    30. Aug, 2006

    To John Henderson, John David, JWM:

    Come on, don’t be so mean to Nick Ash. Those of us in Florida know how famous he is. He told us. He shouldn’t be so shy about giving us his real name. Okay, he can remain anonymous, but I am indeed honored to be be able to tell you many impressive things about this great man.

    Among his accomplishments are that he is the co-inventor of security window film and has fought terrorists around the world for over 33 years. He has gone fishing with George and Jeb Bush. He has done movies with Robert Deniro, knows Donald Trump, and was of some sort of assistance to Andrew Lloyd Webber. He has attended a state dinner with the Queen of England (or Maggie Thatcher; I can never remember which). He was at Princess Di’s funeral. He has written Broadway plays. The Saudi royal family is a client. He manufactures and installs barriers around the world and has made many trips to Baghdad to protect buildings for the government. He has access to intelligence reports from MI-6 because he was in the SAS. He protects all of the glazing of Sir Norman Foster, the legendary architect of beautiful glass buildings. He did work for our government in glazing protection after the terrorist bombing of Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He protects the glass in a couple hundred airports around the world. We should all be impressed with this one — after the Pope’s funeral, he flew back to Great Britain with none other than Tony Blair. He can put together a pretty slick video presentation. Gastronomically speaking, he is a world class chef. And for you cigar officianados, he has his own cigar brand, using tobacco from Nicaragua that is every bit as good as Castro’s.

    How one man can accomplish so much should have us all in awe. So, come on guys. Cut him some slack.

    —– E N D —–
    ====================================
    ====================================
    ====================================

    Now, if I may, here is some general advice for anyone going into business with someone who is requesting your money. Do a background check for things such as arrests and judgments. It could save you a great deal of grief. If a person never meets you at his office, maybe he doesn’t have an office. Find out if he has credit cards, owns property, and has real and verifiable business references. Anyone can invent them. And they do. Check out the status of his business. If the Secretary of State website in your state does not have his corporation, LLC, or other business form registered, or it has expired, that should be a big red warning flag.

    Just because someone has been on television or in print and has an impressive website, it doesn’t mean that he has valid credentials. News people are very often fooled. Anyone can make claims on a website. Do you own thorough research before giving up your money, and you might be surprised that someone is not really who he is purporting to be. You will be glad you checked.

  14. Floridagal

    18. Feb, 2007

    Nick Ashton is a fraud and a liar

  15. John Robinette

    10. Aug, 2007

    I have a question about your business can you call me please. This is my number 520-272-9667. Thank you.

  16. Nick

    22. Jan, 2009

    So how is Team Everest doing these days? Any succese stories? I am interested and the business model looks sound to me. I wanted to hear from others who have gone through the process, weather good or bad.

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