I’m comforted to know I’m not the only one to get bamboozled by MLM schemes.
Many followers have been kind enough to contact me to share their experiences with MLMs – not just Younique, but Juice Plus, Arbonne, Forever Living…and in this case, Ann Summers parties.
UK mum-of-two Emily [not her real name] has asked for her story to be shared with you all.
Its important for more people to speak out – you could help someone else from losing money, friends and dignity (and eventually bring about the demise of MLM – here’s to hoping!). Your anonymity is always guaranteed.
Read Emily’s not quite fairy-tale below. Memes added by yours truly. 😉
I’m embarrassed to say that I was sucked into a MLM after the birth of my youngest child. I was at a Body Shop/Ann Summers party and had a bit too much too drink (I hadn’t had a drink in months so I’m blaming that for my moment of madness).
All was going well until I woke up the next day and it slammed me like a truck: I had signed up to be an Ann Summers rep! 😮
Millions of thoughts went through my head but the main one was how was I going to sell this shit?! I mean, I can’t even use vibrators due to being allergic to the material used (found out the hard way, so to speak, but let’s move on from that). 😉
Later that day I received a phone call from the area rep welcoming me on board and telling me “how fantastic my business was going to be“. To be truthful I had the hangover from hell, a screaming baby, and a toddler who was insistent on breaking as many things as possible(!), so at this point I would have agreed to anything if this woman would just stop talking.
My partner arrived home and I told him what I had done, expecting him to talk me out of it…but instead, he was totally for it! 😮 A week later I got my kit, and my training party was set. My mentor said she would collect me and take me to her party to show me the ropes. All I could think was “yay, a night out without the kids!!!“
Instead, I had to listen to the woman go on and on about how how much she earns, and had me running around after her! At the end of the evening she dropped me home and demanded that I pay her petrol costs as “it was my training party“.
I was shocked as she kept all the commission from my training party and I had to pay her! I was livid!
A couple of weeks later I “had” to go to an area meeting that was 30 miles away. I told my area manager that I couldn’t get there as I don’t drive and had no one to take me. You would have thought I had just told this woman her dog had died.
She accused me of “letting the team down” and “not taking my business seriously“.
I managed to get a lift from my training mentor and had to pay all petrol costs. The meeting that I had to attend for my business involved the area manager selling raffle tickets and old stock….I was out of even more money.
I finally talked some friends into having parties, which involved them all getting drunk and not buying anything. This went on for the next couple of months and I was not living the dream. The support I got from my area manager and training mentor was rubbish – all they wanted were my sales (which were also rubbish!).
One day I just had enough. I text my training mentor and area manager and said I was not doing it anymore and not to contact me again. I rejected all calls from them and deleted their texts.
A week or so later I received a letter from the area manager telling me that “I let the team down and I’m such a horrible person“. The letter went straight in the bin.
I now had all this stock that I had been told to buy and had no use for it! I was lucky that my sex-crazed uncle had just entered a relationship, so I sold it all to him at silly prices and bought some new shoes.
I’m not bitter about my experience, I just feel silly for getting involved. I really do think these companies target the vulnerable, and its shocking when you see the tactics they use to keep people sucked in.
I would like to thank Emily for sharing her experiences with me, and giving me permission to publish her tale on my blog.
Don’t forget to join the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow (and help me get the #Poonique hashtag trending again!). Alternatively, join in the discussion with Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook. I am also on Instagram now – look for @ellebeaublog!
Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot Watch, Juice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and Timeless Vie. They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision . In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers and interesting lifestyle bloggers I think you will enjoy, such as Chammy in Real Life.
For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to. Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.