Tuesday, September 4, 2007

QUIXTAR: Quixtar's Dispute Resolution Process

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Quixtar's Dispute Resolution Process
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 by Gary VanderVen

As Director of Business Conduct & Rules for Quixtar, I’m obviously familiar with all the debate that surrounds our rules, the questions often asked about them, and the ways in which they sometimes violated.

But let me say that the vast majority of Quixtar Independent Business Owners operate their businesses ethically and within the bounds of our Rules of Conduct. And the vast majority of those in violation of our Rules often find themselves there unwittingly – they simply didn’t know that they were even breaking a rule. With training and education, we usually easily bring IBOs back into compliance and see them go on to build their businesses stronger than before.

But when Quixtar and an IBO cannot agree on a Rules action, we have a process in place to bring resolution to the situation. We use a comprehensive dispute resolution process that’s shared with all IBOs. In fact, all IBOs must agree to participate in this process to resolve any disputes that may arise relating to their businesses. The process includes comprehensive conciliation and binding arbitration to seek resolution of issues. These provide an effective, timely way for those who feel they have been wronged to have their arguments heard and addressed.

All companies face the potential for disputes - from employees, suppliers, customers, and, in Quixtar's case, the hundreds of thousands of IBOs it supports. Increasingly, companies recognize that arbitration provides an alternative to the time, expense, and adverse business consequences of traditional litigation.

Essentially, arbitration is a contract between two or more parties to settle disagreements in a certain way. Most arbitration agreements are administered by an impartial third party, such as the American Arbitration Association or Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS). The arbitrator reads briefs and documentary evidence, hears testimony, examines evidence, and renders an opinion on liability and damages in the form of an "award of the arbitrator" after the hearing. Once confirmed by a court of appropriate jurisdiction, the award can be subsequently entered as a judgment.

The Quixtar ADR process allows the parties to use a JAMS arbitrator who has received training, and therefore has some familiarity with Quixtar’s MLM business. This allows the parties to save time and money educating the arbitrator on basic elements of an MLM business. However, either party to the dispute can elect to have an arbitrator who has no prior experience with the Quixtar business.

Quixtar's dispute resolution process was created many years ago in cooperation with the Independent Business Owners Association International trade organization representing all Quixtar IBOs.

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