- To all,
Vickie, I am sorry I had to "clue in the clueless", but it is
just to ironic and funny to be left unsaid.. Please forgive me..
What is ironic and funny is that such BRIGHT Private
Investigators can't see the bigger picture.. They say "a sucker is
born every minute", this topic is certainly a proof of concept.. They
also say "there is no such a thing as bad publicity", this topic is
also proof of concept to this saying....
Let's see.. Vickie advertises Prepaid Legal aggressively. Members
get fed up with it, and they make a post about it ADVERTISING FOR HER!
Allowing Vickie to propagate the topic even further.. AND.. Wallah!
Vickie gets another person's interests, and a person that may
potentially sign up.. Way too funny.. ROFLMAO! You guys have been a
bigger help to Vickie than a hindrance.. Keep up the good work.. If
you are going to help Vickie advertise and gain new members, why don't
you sign up as a representative? Then at least you might get paid for
all of your help...
You make a negative post about Prepaid Legal, and Vickie gets an
opportunity to reply to your post in her defense. She is then allowed
to bring out positive points on behalf of Prepaid Legal, thereby
peaking the interest of other members into possibly subscribing to
Prepaid Legal. It is interesting that nobody caught this...
Onto another point.. I have seen Vickie's posts referred to as
SPAM.. Not so! Vickie was invited onto this group to post topics
related to the P.I. Industry (and Prepaid Legal IS a topic that is
directly related to the P.I. Industry.), sorry "fellers", that makes
Vickie's posts solicited until the moderator requests that she stop
posting about said topic. Therefore there is no "unsolicited posts or
email" from Vickie. Translation: No SPAM violation for Vickie!
And onto what I feel is the heart of this topic. I don't believe
that Prepaid Legal is a Pyramid Scheme. I believe that some people
here are just tired of seeing Vickie post about Prepaid Legal every
time she makes a post.. Ok.. It is sometimes irritating to see, I'll
agree. But.. When I weigh that irritation against freely allowing a
person to aggressively work to produce an income and make a living for
her family, I can see not reason to complain. If Vickie wishes to
advertise Prepaid Legal in an effort to produce an income, so be it!
More power to her! I wish her the best, and hope that it does help to
increase the quality of life for her and her children! NEVER would I
try to improperly label Prepaid Legal just because I was tired of
seeing Vickie advertise it.. That is worse and far more malicious than
a pyramid scheme, in my view.
Let me explain what I have found in research about pyramid
schemes. I quoted a definition from the SECs website on my last post.
This is a quote from Debra Valentine, General Counsel for The United
States Federal Trade Commission on Pyramid Schemes: "They promise
consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting
others to join their program, not based on profits from any real
investment or real sale of goods to the public." Prepaid Legal DOES
provide a viable service for a nominal fee, and therefore on that
point alone, the definition does not fit for Prepaid Legal. However,
let's look further... Another quote from Debra Valentine, General
Counsel for The U.S. Federal Trade Commission: "Some people confuse
pyramid and Ponzi schemes with legitimate multilevel marketing.
Multilevel marketing programs are known as MLM's,(4) and unlike
pyramid or Ponzi schemes, MLM's have a real product to sell." Prepaid
Legal offers a REAL service AND PRODUCT! The service is apparent by
the attorneys making their self available to the subscriber as much as
the subscriber needs their availability. The product is in the form of
documents such as wills, estate planning documents, corporate forms,
contracts, etc., etc. Moving right along, let's look at the danger of
the pyramid scheme or the ponzi scheme.. In the pyramid scheme and the
ponzi scheme there has to at least be a potential for a "collapse that
will leave investors with a financial loss with nothing to show for
their investment".. Suppose a level of the pyramid scheme collapses,
all of the people under that level take a loss, and have nothing to
show for their investment. Usually a high percentage of the investors
that find their self with no one to sell to after the collapse, then
we have a true "victim of a pyramid scheme", and further the investor
will not find their self alone, it is estimated that an average of 70%
of the investors find their self in the same situation, with nobody to
sell their "product" to. Private Investigators, Bail Bondsmen, almost
any type of business owner needs legal council. Business is on the
rise, more and more people are becoming self employed. I can't see the
need for legal council "bottoming out". Lest we not forget that the
representative also gets their own Prepaid Legal package, so they are
not investing in just a chance to sell Prepaid Legal, they are also
getting a service and product in return. The FTC used this statement
as a gauge to labeling a pyramid scheme: ". . . will encourage both a
company and its distributors to pursue that side of the business, to
the neglect or exclusion of retail selling. The short-term result may
be high recruiting profits for the company and select distributors,
but the ultimate outcome will be neglect of market development,
earnings misrepresentations, and insufficient sales for the
insupportably large number of distributors whose recruitment the
system encourages." Prepaid Legal does not neglect the sell of their
service and products for gaining customers, they make their service
available and provide a product to those that sign up as soon as they
sign up! People like to refer to Amway as a pyramid scheme, but in
reality it is NOT! In the 1970s the FTC made a decision on whether or
not Amway is a pyramid scheme, here is a little about that decision
FTC AMWAY DECISION
"In In re Amway Corp.,(19) another landmark decision from the 1970's,
the FTC distinguished an illegal pyramid from a legitimate multilevel
marketing program. At the time, Amway manufactured and sold cleaning
supplies and other household products. Under the Amway Plan, each
distributor purchased household products at wholesale from the person
who recruited or "sponsored" her. The top distributors purchased from
Amway itself. A distributor earned money from retail sales by
pocketing the difference between the wholesale price at which she
purchased the product, and the retail price at which she sold it. She
also received a monthly bonus based on the total amount of Amway
products that she purchased for resale to both consumers and to her
Since distributors were compensated both for selling products to
consumers and to newly-recruited distributors, there was some question
as to whether this was a legitimate multilevel marketing program or an
illegal pyramid scheme. The Commission held that, although Amway had
made false and misleading earnings claims when recruiting new
distributors,(21) the company's sales plan was not an illegal pyramid
scheme. Amway differed in several ways from pyramid schemes that the
Commission had challenged. It did not charge an up-front "head
hunting" or large investment fee from new recruits, nor did it promote
"inventory loading" by requiring distributors to buy large volumes of
nonreturnable inventory. Instead, Amway only required distributors to
buy a relatively inexpensive sales kit. Moreover, Amway had three
different policies to encourage distributors to actually sell the
company's soaps, cleaners, and household products to real end users.
First, Amway required distributors to buy back any unused and
marketable products from their recruits upon request. Second, Amway
required each distributor to sell at wholesale or retail at least 70
percent of its purchased inventory each month -- a policy known as the
70% rule. Finally, Amway required each sponsoring distributor to make
at least one retail sale to each of 10 different customers each month,
known as the 10 customer rule.(22)
The Commission found that these three policies prevented distributors
from buying or forcing others to buy unneeded inventory just to earn
bonuses. Thus, Amway did not fit the Koscot definition: Amway
participants were not purchasing the right to earn profits unrelated
to the sale of products to consumers "by recruiting other
participants, who themselves are interested in recruitment fees rather
than the sale of products."(23)"
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am NOT the "expert" here.. But.. I am a
fairly intelligent person that can read and write and add and
subtract, and RESEARCH! Although at times it may appear that I can not
spell! LOL. I have had debates on issues similar to this in the past,
whereas interpretations were different, and I can tell you that in the
past my interpretations were proved correct in court, whenever a case
that was on topic to the different interpretations was heard. In the
future, I am confident that we all all see that Prepaid Legal does not
meet the definition of a Ponzi Scheme or a Pyramid Scheme. I think we
will see this play out in the federal arena in the near future. Until
it is decided by the FTC or the SEC that Prepaid Legal is a Ponzi or
Pyramid Scheme, I think it is wise not to call it one.
By the way, does anyone know how the Ponzi Scheme got it's name?
I saw an interesting little documentary on this tonight.
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the fate or our enemies in our hands....."
Sun Tzu 500 B.C. "The Art Of War"
It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the
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timid souls who knew neither victory or defeat.
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