This is NOT an official Amway webpage.
This website will expose the inaccuracy of the information available on the official Amway Corporation website. We have copied their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and added out own comments. As you will quickly notice, most of what they say are lies. Amway questions and the answers are colored blue. Our comments are in red.
Is it true that Amway endorses one religion?
No, the Amway business is open to anyone, regardless of religious, political or other personal beliefs; gender; or race. Although we don't keep records on this, we believe you would find a great diversity of religious faiths, including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc., among our distributors and employees. The U.S. Amway Distributor Association Board has formulated speakers' guidelines about the use of a business meeting to pitch individual beliefs about religion or politics.
What makes you think that the senior distributors are going to honor this bylaw when they ignore all the others.
Moreover, Amway offers opportunity to any ethnic group, young and old, women and men, educated or not, disabled or not. The success of our distributors in 53 affiliate markets around the globe shows that our business opportunity transcends borders and differences in language, culture, politics, and personal beliefs.
They will take anyone's money, it is all the same color. But Amway and its distributor organizations have a very strong right-wing Christian bias and this view is consistently promoted in the books tapes and meetings in defiance of the "speakers' guidelines". Some other facts to consider are
Rich DeVos is a former chairman of National Bible Week.
The Family Research Council received a large donation for its Washington offices from Rich and Helen DeVos. The Family Research Council's own Position Statement includes the following narrow-mindedness. " the Family Research Council consequently seeks to reverse many of the destructive aspects of the sexual revolution, including no-fault divorce, widespread adultery, and abortion. (homosexuality) is unhealthy and destructive to individual persons, families, and society. and we oppose attempts to equate homosexuality with civil rights or compare it to benign characteristics such as skin color or place of origin."
Not content with bigotry, they quickly move on to theocracy.
"the Family Research Council believes that the imposition of a high wall of separation of church and state by the Supreme Court during the past fifty years has ironically weakened the freedoms of local communities and school systems to accommodate public expressions of religious faith. We therefore seek ways to limit the Court's involvement in these matters ". (Remember this when you read how Amway supports the First Amendment - see FAQ 20.)
Amway diamonds and management are on the board of Gospel Films, and GF's president was a speaker at Amway rallies.
The DeVos family "handed out more than $8 million in 1994 to fundamentalist churches, conservative political causes, anti-abortion groups, English-only proponents, term-limit advocates and groups that support using the Bible as a basis for government." (From Monitoring the Religious Right.)
Other groups supported by the DeVos family include Council for National Policy, Conservitive Caucus, Of The People, Concerned Women for America, Michigan Right to Life, Focus on the Family, and the Free Congress Foundation.
The Jay and Betty Van Andel foundation funds the Van Andel Creation Research Center, which is trying to prove creation occured as described in The Bible.
Rev. Jerry Falwell receives over a million dollars a year from Dexter Yager's Amway distributorship.
Charles Paul Conn, the author of several enthusiastic books on Amway, receives large donations from Amway distributors.
The World Wide Dream Builders Amway distributorship promotes the works of Christian economist Paul Zane Pilzer. One book title is "God Wants You to be Rich".
Some quotes. -
"When I see Dexter I see Jesus". Birdie Yager
"Now the Amway business is built on Christian principles, and therefore it's built on God's laws, because a Christian is going to live God's laws." Amway Diamond Dave Severn.
"I'm going to tell you what's wrong with this country... it's the people of this nation that got the problem with this nation... they have allowed everything we stand for to go down the tubes by hiring un-Christian people to try and run a Christian based society". Amway Diamond Dave Severn.
"I asked God for a business and He showed me the Amway business". Dexter Yager.
"God gave us a life, and then he gave us a choice; choice to be a winner, choice to be a loser. Choice to live in America or leave. Choice to get in Amway and be a winner, or laugh and be a whiner". Dexter Yager.
"Don't wear the pants in your family", he admonishes the women who make up half his audience. He glowers at the men, "Get rid of your pornography". Bill Britt quoted in Forbes Magazine. c1991.
FYI - If you are told that only unchristian people run anti-Amway websites, have a look at Kim Mather's "Is Your Church a Market Place" or Ken Lowndes' website. Both are committed Christians who are opposed to the religious undercurrent in Amway and the MLM industry.
Our freedom of religion is the envy of many oppressed peoples. Don't let a corporation like Amway overpower our rights.
Does Amway have any influence over a distributor's business?
To become an Amway distributor, an individual must sign an agreement to abide by Amway's Rules of Conduct. Each year, they voluntarily renew that promise when they renew their Amway business.
And recently, when they went to sign up again, distributors found they were signing away their right to sue the company.
Our Rules promote ethical direct selling principles and provide practical procedures for all distributors to observe in operating their Amway business. The Rules of Conduct mandate certain business practices. Amway has the right to enforce these Rules through its contract with its distributors - up to and including terminating that contract.
Furthermore, Amway played a key role in drafting and implementing the direct selling industry's World Code of Conduct, which closely resembles our own Rules and rests strong responsibility for compliance with each company. Companies that do not comply with the World Code risk expulsion from their national direct selling association, as well as that association forwarding information to regulatory authorities where appropriate. Amway strongly supports and endorses this Code.
This whole argument is based on the false notion that they are direct sellers, and this is not the case.
Has Amway ever reprimanded a distributor?
Yes, although it's rarely necessary. Amway gets very few complaints. For example, in North America, we received about 200 complaints last year (293 in fiscal year 1995; 204 in fiscal year 1996; 227 in fiscal year 1997). That is remarkably low, given the number of Amway distributors in the U.S.
The majority of complaints received are settled by communication and education. Disciplinary action against distributors was needed in fewer than 10% of the cases. Only a few of these cases required contract termination.
It is Amway's refusal to reprimand distributors that I find most disturbing. While Amway admitted in court that they canceled a couple's large distributorship due to a late renewal fee, they fail to take action against the multi million dollar scam that Dexter Yager, Bill Britt and other conmen are running.
What steps does Amway take for serious rules violations?
In most cases, when we first learn about violations we work to train distributors to avoid repeating mistakes. This is the most common and effective way to resolve most issues and foster responsible conduct. If that doesn't work, we may take action against a distributor, which may include suspension of his or her business for a time, or a mandatory re-education program or even financial sanctions. In the most serious cases, we may terminate a distributor's contract - although this is rarely necessary.
What a load of nonsense. Who is going to retrain and reprimand Dexter Yager or Bill Britt or any of the big hitters, when they are in control of almost all of the company's trade now.
What is the difference between Amway and illegal pyramids?
In 1979, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that Amway is a legitimate business opportunity, not a pyramid. The Amway Sales and Marketing Plan, which has been recognized and cited by federal and state courts as the example to follow for multi-level marketing plans and after which many other direct selling companies have modeled their plans, is based on retail sales to consumers. Distributors may earn bonuses if those they sponsor produce sales, but they do not earn bonuses for the mere act of having sponsored someone.
The Federal Trade Commission's 1979 report said that Amway was not a pyramid scheme because Amway had retail customers. This argument is wearing thin as Amway do not have retail customers anymore. Most of their products are sold only to their distributors. The FTC report did not cover the "motivational organisation".
A copy of the report is available on the MLM Law website at http://www.mlmlaw.com/library/cases/mlm/ftc/amway.htm
Unlike illegal pyramids, Amway and other legitimate direct sellers:
Don't charge expensive fees to join, and refund most or all start-up costs within a reasonable period if a person decides to get out of the business. Many pyramids charge exorbitant start-up fees and, even if they claim to offer a refund, often don't honor that promise. To become an Amway distributor, you only purchase an Opportunity Kit (in the U.S. costs less than $175), which costs far less than most other business opportunities. What's more, the cost of the Opportunity Kit is refundable should you decide to leave the business for any reason.
Here we go again; Yes, we all know it is cheap to join Amway, but it costs thousands of dollars a year to remain in good standing with the Amway tool scams. (The books tapes and rallies are collectively known as "tools".)
Pay no commissions or bonuses unless products are sold. Amway does not pay bonuses for the mere act of recruiting another person into the business. Pyramids, in contrast, often do.
Are you idiots asleep in Michigan. It is no secret that bonuses are paid without retail sales - this is how the business is run now. It is the whole basis of a pyramid scam.
Have no requirements to stock and maintain large, expensive inventories. There are no minimum order requirements. Amway operates convenient, centrally located warehouses and has excellent ordering and delivery programs so our distributors don't bear the expense or headache of maintaining large inventories. Amway in fact prohibits "front-end loading" through two rules. These rules require a distributor to have sold 70% of a month's product orders to be eligible for bonuses that month and provide for the buy-back of inventory.
This is irrelevant as the absence of large inventory does not mean that it is not a pyramid scheme. It is possible to have a pyramid scheme without ANY products at all. The 70% rule is routinely ignored.
Cover all products with ample Satisfaction guarantees so that customers and distributors may get most, if not all, of their money back if they are unsatisfied for any reason. Pyramid schemes that plan only to operate for a couple of months might offer a meaningless guarantee.
Product quality and guarantees are totally irrelevant. A pyramid scheme can have the best products in the world and still be a pyramid scheme. It is the method of distribution that is the scam, not the products.
The following quote is from the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations
"A pyramid is a scheme in which a recruit pays (an entry fee) for the opportunity to receive future benefits (money or privileges) which are primarily derived from that recruit's (and/or subsequent recruits') introduction of additional participants in the scheme, rather than from the sale of products to consumers. "
Finally, pyramid schemes typically operate for a few months before they ultimately collapse and disappear. Amway, however, has been in business for more than 40 years.
It is true that many pyramids fail quickly, but it is not always the case. A recent example was Equinox, which traded for 10 years before being shut down by the Federal Trade Commission. The ability of Amway to survive depends on its enormous quit rate, with almost all distributors leaving within a few years. This stops the bubble bursting as they are replaced by new recruits almost immediately. (Massive donations to the Republican Party don't seem to hurt either.)
Why such a perceived focus in the Amway business on material things?
This is a business, and a main reason people work at any business is to earn money that not only will help them pay their bills, but also meet other goals. Those may be short- or long-term goals, and they could be large (like buying a new house) or small (like saving for a vacation).
There is nothing wrong with wanting better things for your family. It is an admirable thing to set your sights on. But in the Amway distributorships there is an offensive amount of greed quickly instilled in all new recruits, and the "win at all costs" mentality can quickly damage long-standing friendships and family harmony. It is hard to comprehend that after a short while in Amway many people turn their back on the principles that have guided them through life and become self centered selfish puppets for their upline.
A better standard of living is a common motivation and reward for people starting any kind of business. Money - and what it can buy - is the universally recognizable indicator of success that distributors use to motivate and establish credibility for their business. Eventually, each person defines what true success means to them.
Success in the Amway motivational organisations is not measured in money earned; but by the number of meetings you attend, the miles driven to meetings, the number of plans shown, the number of tapes and books you buy, ad nauseum.
Beyond that, people build an Amway business - or any business, really - to satisfy many different needs. Not all relate to money or material benefit. For example, people become Amway distributors to sharpen their business skills or learn how to own and operate their own company.
One of the first things you are taught in the Amway groups is that all jobs are bad and that most other businesses fail. They have obviously not heard about Amway's 95% failure rate. It is hard to imagine how this can be interpreted as sharpening business skills. Even the children of the Amway founders are jumping ship.
Others want the freedom to develop a business on their own time, at their own pace. Some want to expand their network of friends and business contacts, while others merely want the satisfaction that comes from being around so many optimistic, positive-thinking people.
The income earned through the Amway business, and the flexibility the business offers, make it possible for distributors to contribute - financially and with their time - to many charitable Organisations around the world. For example, since 1983 Amway and Amway distributors have contributed nearly $25 million to Easter Seals.
Amway Corporation does give generously to charities, but so do Colombian drug dealers. It does not mean that the business they are running is legitimate.
Why is there so much criticism of Amway on the Internet?
The Internet has provided a forum for millions to express their personal experiences and opinions, and some users have chosen to post information critical of Amway in public areas of the Internet. This information must be considered within the context of more than 3 million people worldwide who saw enough benefit in their Amway businesses to renew their distributorships for another year.
Millions of people believe in alien abductions, but that does not mean I have to agree with them.
Amway supports individuals' First Amendment rights to free speech and recognizes the Internet as a valuable communications tool. In exercising their First Amendment rights, however, individuals must accept the responsibility of ensuring the information they publish is accurate, fair and true.
If you are told not to believe anything you read on the internet, you can agree with it. Say you have read Amway's FAQs and they are full of inaccuracies.
There's hardly a reputable, respected corporation left that hasn't been the target of a Web site.
Not true - there are hundreds of thousands of companies in the world, but only a few hundred critical websites. Very few companies have as many critical websites as Amway.
Amway is only one of a growing number of companies and Organisations that are calling for the responsible use (Censorship?) of the Internet.
This would be funny if it was not so serious. Amway has been trying to close down its critics websites for years. Their false claims that they support free speech are easily disputed.
Sydney Schwartz endured severe aggravation from Amway due to his Amway-The Untold Story website. The site is now closed but you can download a copy from several other sites.
Ken Lowndes had armed Federal agents arrive at his house to take away his computer. They were acting on a warrant issued by Amway following his criticism of the corporation.
John Hoagland hosted the Anti-Amway webring and ran up costly legal bills following his criticism of Amway. He was forced to hand over a copy of his computer's hard drive to Amway.
Ashley Wilkes had to close his "Amway, The Nightmare Builders" website when faced with opposition from Amway. Copies of his information are still available on other websites.
Amway's attempt to close down Dave Touretzsky's site failed. They took exception to him hosting a copy of Amway The Untold Story, and threatened legal action, while at the same time preaching freedom of the internet.
Amway is paranoid about "Amway The Untold Story". It has now become symbolic of the entire anti Amway fight and copies of it appear as fast as they are taken down elsewhere. It is "The Poster They Can't Tear Down" and the nature of the internet means that it could resurface any time and in any country.
Current links for Amway The Untold Story are,
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Amway/ ( A download site).
http://www.verkkotieto.fi/~teeman/schwartz/ ( from Finland )
As for the fact that any company will be the target of websites, this is not a valid defense. It does not answer anything and certainly does not address the issues that the critics are raising. (They use this argument for the lawsuits also, while conveniently forgetting that they are sued hundreds of times a year.)
Amway is also trying to inundate the internet with pro Amway websites and is attempting to manipulate the results of search engines. Amway vice president Ken MacDonald said "We've hired consultants and been working very diligently on all of the secret computer language that helps the search engines pick a site and because of that we've moved the positive Amway sites quite a bit up in the web search engines, and some of the negative sites down. "
They actually did a very poor job of this. Look for Amway on a search site and several "negative sites" come up in the first couple of pages. As for the "secret computer language", this is not a secret and it never was. HTML (the internet language) is at least 10 years old now, and it is easily understood how search programs work. Ironically, Amway's own ban on distributor websites caused them to miss out on internet traffic. One of the factors that search engines take in to account is the number of other websites that link to a page.
Amway in Poland also obtained an injunction stopping transmission of a critical TV program in 1998. Pity Poland doesn't have First Amendment rights. And if we are going to discuss the Constitution, why not include the Forth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure by courts serving Amway court orders against anyone trying to criticize Amway corporation and its distributorships.
I would also challenge Amway to state what they mean by "calling for the responsible use of the Internet" if they are not talking about censorship.
(See page 4 for details of how to prevent this censorship.)
While critics are entitled to their views, the fact remains that the viability and legitimacy of the Amway opportunity has been tested and proven through nearly 40 years of phenomenal success as a low-cost, low-risk opportunity open to all. Amway sales of $5 billion at estimated retail for fiscal year 1999 is both evidence of the popularity of AMWAY products and a demonstration of the earnings of distributors who are able to earn extra income or a living from their own businesses.
The $5 billion figure is false as it is based on estimated retail sales cost. The products are sold mainly to their own distributors so the true amount is much less. In any case, $5 Billion is a major decrease on the $7 Billion reportedly sold two years ago.
We are a people-centered business that touches millions of people every day. And although we have been in operation for more than 40 years, our company, and the direct selling business in general, are still not fully understood. This is ironic and unfortunate. We're working very hard to change this.
If I keep saying it, maybe it will sink in - Amway is not a direct sales business. It is a pyramid scheme selling books tapes and other "system" tools to people who are not selling anything. That is the whole problem, nothing is being sold. It is a scam, a complete and utter fraud.
Any fool can understand direct sales: you could teach it to a monkey in five minutes. What I can't figure out is why Amway people still tries to convince everyone that they are selling, when these "distributors" merely join a buying club and try and get others in with them.
Page 1 .......... Page2 .......... Page3 .......... Page4