Monday, October 29, 2007

TEAM: Goose...Gander...

Original Source


Thought this was a great post I found out in the blogosphere...I added my thoughts in red...

Original Source:

from Promises To Keep by Charles Paul Conn
"Van Andel and Devos (Woodward and Brady) were doing very well through the 1950's (early 2000's), however the condition of Nutrilite Products (Amway/Quixtar) as a corporation was deteriorating. A long period of internal warfare in the home office in California (Ada, MI) left the company weakened and in considerable disarray. Distributors like Devos and VanAndel (Woodward and Brady) were concerned about the lack of strong corporate leadership, and tried to intervene to help solve problems, but nothing worked. It became more and more difficult for Nutrilite distributors (IBO's) to operate effectively, and the growth of their business slowed."

"The two partners finally decided that Nutrilites (Amway/Quixtar) corporate problems were such that it could no longer be depended on to provide leadership. Their primary obligation, they felt, was to the groups of distributors whom they have brought into THEIR business. They had a commitment to these people, many of whom had left their jobs to build full time businesses, and sold them on a vision on a free and prosperous future. Those promises were not to be taken lightly, they had very little choice. (AMEN...Ditto this whole paragragh!)

"So in early 1959, the two partners made a bold, carefully calculated gamble. They sat in the basement office of VanAndels home (TEAM Office) and officially organized a new company. They cut the tie with Nutrilite (Amway Quixtar), and began plans to develop their own product line, and personally pledged to their distributors that they would build and direct a new enterprise in which their business would always be secure.""They called the new company Amway (TEAM!!). From the beginning of that new company, VanAndel and DeVos (Brady and Woodward) were motivated by more than just the bottom line. They were determined to make Amway work for all those people who trusted and believed in them. They had promises to keep.

(You get the idea...I'll let you make the mental inserts on this next excerpt!)

from The Possible Dream by Charles Paul Conn
"In the summer of 1958, at a meeting of their leading distributor's in Charlevoix, Michigan, they made their announcement; We intend to develop our own product line. We will continue to sell Nutrilite products (they explained) but we can no longer depend solely on that company to supply our distributorships with marketable products. It is up to us to make our own way

"With that explanation, the two partners gave the people there the opportunity to stay with them and the American Way Association or to remain entirely with Nutrilite. (Not computing...this sounds like they gave those folks a choice...doesn't sound like them...) To a person, the leaders at Charlevoix chose to head into a new territory with DeVos and VanAndel.""That was the cutting of the umbilical cord which tied the small group to Nutrilite exclusively. A few months later, in early 1959, Devos and VanAndel sat in the basement office of Jay's home in Ada, Michigan, and officially organized Amway Corp. It was a bold hopeful beginning, a gamble that they could make it alone, and go on to build an organization of size and permanence. With the beautiful blessings of hindsight, one can easily see that it would be a start of something big. At the time, one couldn't be so sure."

Two Words: Goose...Gander!
Posted by Q'Reilly at 6:01 PM


Original Source

Monday, October 29, 2007

Welcome to the latest installment and report from "Behind the Walls of Quixtar." I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I certainly did, as I was able to share a few cups of coffee with some Quixtar employees. The latest information I learned from these rendezvous is nothing short of devastating to the Quixtar war machine. Unfortunately for many Alticor employees this information is quite frightening. So what did I learn from my "close warm personal friends?"

My CWPF's are telling me that the damage to Quixtar, both directly and collaterally, from the ongoing battle with TEAM is mounting quickly. The losses at Quixtar are piling up at a rate that could total more than 125 million dollars by the end of the fiscal year. I am sure the doubters and haters will just discount this information as an insignificant loss for a billion dollar company. Keep watching if you want to reserve judgment, but a company bleeding at this rate can't hide it for long. Additionally there is no end to these losses. Instead, as more and more people lose confidence in Quixtar or become disgusted with the entire situation more volume losses will result. The other thing to consider is that Quixtar desperately depends on sponsoring for survival. The importance of sponsoring and the volume associated with it are magnified due to their abysmal retention rates. I couldn't even imagine showing the plan and attempting to put a good face on the present day Quixtar.

If you don't believe how severely crippled a TEAM-less Quixtar is how about this. I have been told that early retirements and layoffs are now being discussed. This is not some reflex action. These talks are part of an overall internal evaluation of Quixtar. Quixtar is contemplating what it sees as serious "overcapacity" in warehousing and other areas of their business. Many people have speculated that Alticor / Amway / Quixtar are no longer committed to their North American business. Could this battle hasten their exit from North America and provide AAQ with a convenient scapegoat that being TEAM?

Quixtar's problems are chronic and are not isolated to the fact that they have failed to heed the dawn of Walmart and failed to adapt their business practices. Quixtar displays certain schizophrenic behavior by portraying itself as a cutting edge internet business all the while embracing antiquated thinking by denying the age of the consumer. As I have stated before in this blog, Quixtar currently suffers from systemic dishonesty. There is a pattern of deceit that emanates from its core. Whether these problems are fatal largely depends if their corporate leadership can make the needed decisions away from its currently navigated path and back to an ethical course.

Lets look at the current battle with TEAM. Quixtar, led by its legal department, has created a public relations nightmare of monumental proportions. From all accounts Alticor General Counsel Mike Mohr is calling the shots in the TEAM dispute. Well how is he doing? I don't know Mr. Mohr, but I would suggest that if he is calling the shots, that he lacks any degree of emotional intelligence. From the start of this conflict the animosity displayed by Quixtar has been over the top. This likely reflects their General's (Mohr's) attitude. Assuming Quixtar losses of 125 million dollars are correct, is Mohr worth the 125 million dollars? Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning signed a 7 year contract in 2004 for 99.2 million dollars. Manning delivered a Super Bowl title, and is consistently one of the top two quarterbacks in the NFL. That is what 100 million dollars will buy you. In effect Mike Mohr has cost AAQ 125 million or more. What did AAQ get for their money? AAQ got a frumpy fellow, who appears to be orchestrating one of the biggest debacles in American business history. Can Mohr orchestrate AAQ out of existence?

From the beginning Mohr completely ruled out diplomacy as an option. I know you are reading this Mr. Mohr so let me help you. Diplomacy is defined as: skill in handling negotiations, handling people so that there is little or no ill will; tact. Quixtar has and continues to make this out to be about the "evil" Woodard, Brady, and TEAM. But face it Mr. Mohr, you took this tack in spite of 40% of the IBOAI board sounding the alarm. Those were some of the largest business builders you slammed the door on. May God have mercy on you because the market won't.

In closing, I would suggest that we all pray for the employees of AAQ who find themselves in possible peril. Layoffs and early retirements are potentially life changing moments. In the case of AAQ it didn't have to be this way. Decision makers inside of AAQ made choices and the employees will likely face the consequences of those decisions. By the way... I paid for the coffee!

Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 5:28 PM

Thursday, October 25, 2007

QUIXTAR: More on Quixtar Sales

Original Source

More on Quixtar Sales
Thursday, October 25, 2007 by Todd Krause

Greetings from sunny Ada!

Thanks again for your input and questions regarding my last post on the changes the Sales Department is making. Several of you mentioned that, as corporate folk, we don't have the credibility to tell IBOs how to sell or build an organization - you're right, couldn't agree more! Our intended role is not to go around IBO leaders, tell IBOs how to build the business, or take over IBO organizations.

As mentioned in my article dated March 21, this business is based on relationships and technology can't take the place of sitting down face to face. We have lots of data and information that we want to share with IBOs about their specific businesses regarding renewal rates, activation of new IBOs with product, profitability, product mix, sponsoring, etc. and we think IBOs can use this to help make better decisions and to focus their efforts.

We can also share best practices that we are learning as we talk to more and more IBOs about the things that they do to help their business grow. We can also help guide them to training, or look for creative ways to bring our resources to bare in order to help move their businesses forward. But in the end, it is their decision because it is their business.

Over the past several years we (Sales) have relied too much on phone and email. I believe that for us to build credibility and stronger relationships with the IBOs we need to get out and experience their world first hand. We realize that we have to earn the respect and trust of the IBOs, and there will be many who will resist what we are attempting to do. We understand and respect that, but I do believe that this is the right way to go.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

TEAM: Big Swing...AND Whiiiffff...

Original Source

Big Swing...AND Whiiiffff...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

They're back at it. The eager beaver legal team over at Amquix has decided to make another blind, legal stab into the dark.
Reminds me so much of Cyclops in Homer's Odyssey drunkenly stumbling around his cave with a sharpened plank in his eye yelling "Nobody did this to me!" "Let's sue Woodward and Brady!" "Let's sue some nameless bloggers!" "Let's sue the TEAM office!" Keep streching guys...keep stretching. I actually found myself chuckling reading this 20 page legal document...let me sum it up for you..."We own these people...they won't stay...that's not fair...make them stay!" They are making it very difficult for anyone that has even a couple of functioning synapses to take their side of this argument.

Here is the wet paper bag full of fresh doo that they are trying to sell the judge : "The Line of Sponsorship is highly confidential...and we own it." Wrong and wrong again. The Line of Sponsorship is made up of MY family, friends, neighbors, co-workers me again how that is"confidential" information?! Let's ask this question...If the computer system over at Amquix took a dump...who would be able to recreate this "confidential" information more quickly...Amquix or me?! Hmmmm...I'll help you with the hard ones...ME! I know these people personally...I spent the years in the living rooms creating this Line of Sponsorship. Amquix attached a computer number to them and now claims ownership? Wow...gotta put a quick call into Uncle Jack and let him know he has been picked up on a quitclaim deed...

Here is how it works in the real world...unlike the Alice in Wonderland called Amquix...
Bobby Bowden...Head football coach at Florida State...does what most good head coaches would do. When he first hires on with Florida State, he brings in a staff of coaches that he knows and wants to work with. They come together and create one of the top football programs in the country. No problem with that. But, recently they have been turning in lackluster performances, and they are plummeting in the National rankings. It is looking very much like Bobby will either be fired or resign at the end of the season. Either way, here is what Bobby is going to say to his staff..."Guys...we are family. I am sure that if you want to stay at Florida State, they will find a coaching job for you here. But, I think it is time for a fresh start. What do you say we all stick together and make another run at the National Championship with a new team?!"

Now, I am gonna step way out on a limb here and say that Florida State University is not gonna be suing Coach Bowden for stealing THEIR property! Not gonna happen...They are Bowden's family and friends...he assembled them...he taught them the strategies...he developed them as leaders...They have the right (and in my opinion the obligation) to follow their leader...

Posted by Q'Reilly at 9:08 PM

QUIXTAR: Why we fight, part 1

Original Source
NOTE: Click on the title of this post to see my response in the comments.

Why we fight, part 1
October 24th, 2007 @ 8:45 pm ET…

After being on the defensive for 20 straight legal attacks, we filed suit yesterday against the corporation that owns TEAM.

We filed suit because the single legal case we brought (and won) in this matter listed Orrin Woodward as a defendant—but Woodward then claimed to have magically disappeared as the manager of TEAM before the case was heard. (A legal trick like that is like pretending Rich and Jay have nothing to do with our company—but never mind. We’ll straighten it out.)

We filed suit because TEAM has had multiple chances to play by the rules in this dispute, but have gambled that they do not have to play by them. They have interfered with non-compete agreements. They have interfered with non-solicitation agreements. They refuse to arbitrate.

But most of all, we are filing suit because TEAM has taken proprietary business information from Quixtar that IBOs could be using right now to build Quixtar businesses.

If you leave your place of work today, you would leave behind your tools and information so that those who remain can carry on the business. You can’t help yourself to your computer, the stapler, the coffeemaker—or the company’s customer list.

That is ethically and morally wrong. It is also legally wrong. And that’s why we filed suit.

TEAM: Terminated...Part 1

Original Source
NOTE: See the original for links to all referenced materials.

Terminated...Part 1
Wednesday, 24 October 2007

It's old news to most people that both Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady were terminated by Quixtar on August 9, 2007 a/k/a "Judgment Day." For some reason, I don't understand why Quixtar is attacking Team so viciously. Recently, they filed a contempt motion and argued in Grand Rapids that Team violates an injunction every time they host a meeting. In other words, they feel that Team has no right to exist. Quixtar lost. After suing 30 anonymous bloggers and trying to shut down Team, I'm curious to see the next move on the chess board.

I've recently had the opportunity to review the termination letter that Quixtar gave to both Woodward and Brady on Judgment Day. After reading this termination letter, something is seriously fishy. There are three main points that I'll make in three separate posts.

A. Timing

Why was Woodward and Brady terminated on August 9? Was it because they resigned? If that's the case, it seems absurd that Amway would say, "You can't quit because you're fired!" Amway's story has been that Woodward and Brady were terminated because of bad business practices. I find it a strange coincidence that Amway would drop the hammer on Woodward on the same day that he resigns. In Randy Haugen's affidavit, he gives his account of the Judgment Day meeting within one week of the event. In his affidavit, in paragraphs 5, 6 and 7, he states, "Early in the meeting, I expressed my concern regarding the new business model. I felt my organization would never be able to survive the coming changes without an effective change to the product pricing strategy. Specifically, I said, 'this new business won't work for us. I just don't want to do this model.' I further stated, 'I just can't put my life in this model.' Both Jim Payne and Rob Davidson said that they could understand my problem in promoting a business I no longer believed in and also stated they respected my choice."

Randy statement is corroborated by Mike McCormick's affidavit, who was serving as Randy's attorney at the time, and Orrin Woodward's affidavit. In Woodward's affidavit, in paragraph 13, Orrin wrote, "I plaintly stated [to the Quixtar executives], 'I just can't continue.'" In paragraphs 20 and 21, he wrote, "After we talked for over an hour, the Quixtar executives wanted to take some time to think about a separation plan. Before leaving, Mike Mohr asked if I'd like to see the 'remediation package.' Since I clearly communicated my intent to negotiate an amicable departure, I felt it unnecessary to review any BSM issues for a business I was asking to leave."

Woodward's and Haugen's affidavits are corroborated not only by the affidavits of Robert Dickie, Ron Simmons, and Chris Brady, but by the two attorneys that were also present: McCormick and Thompson. Furthermore, it seems that their affidavits were also corroborated by Todd Krause's affidavit. Todd Krause is a Quixtar executive that was also present at the Judgment Day meeting. In paragraph 21, he states, "However, Quixtar was never able to present these points [that Woodward and Brady were in default of their contract] at the August 9 meeting. The meeting began by Haugen (an IBO invited by Woodward) requesting an opening statement. He then voiced his disagreement with the new direction of the company, and stated that he was looking for a way out."

So Woodward and Haugen open the meeting by effectively resigning, then Quixtar asks Woodward if he'd like to correct certain BSM issues, Quixtar requests a break to discuss separation terms, considered Woodward's proposal, and they terminated Woodward and Brady for contract violations. Hmmmmmmmm. This scenario is more messed up than a soup sandwich. Since the genesis of the termination letter is so messed up, it makes me wonder if the grounds for termination are even authentic.

For now, I encourage you to take the time to read over the affidavits and see if you can start piecing this complicated puzzle together. You just might make this case your new hobby:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

QUIXTAR: Training & Education -- What's Your Wish List?

Original Source

Training & Education -- What's Your Wish List?
Monday, October 22, 2007 by Alison Hague

Those of who follow the Opportunity Zone may recall a post from Jim Payne last spring titled "One Step Closer to World Class Training," in which he introduced me, Alison Hague, as Quixtar's new Director of Training & Education. I'm sure the title of that post sparked many different thoughts among readers. All I could think was ... "Gee, no pressure there!"

I'm happy to report, however, that in the months I've been here, I've been privileged to work with an amazing team of talented and hard-working professionals who have made great strides in providing excellent training resources for some other talented and hard-working individuals -- Quixtar Independent Business Owners.

We've researched the competition and solicited input from IBOs at all levels of this business and we've heard over and over again from you about the importance of training. We're responding with courses to help you develop business-building skills and product knowledge to support you as you grow a successful business. All of this training is available under the umbrella of "Quixtar University". You will have the option of taking instructor-led training, online training and audio courses so you can learn anytime, anywhere, and in the way you learn best.

Some recently launched courses include brand courses specializing in Artistry, Simply Nutrilite, and Ribbon; basic business skill training courses; and Welcome to Quixtar Orientation, an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand orientation to business.

By reviewing your feedback, I have an indication that we're on the right track with the training we're providing. For example, after its launch, QU had visits from about 300 users. This number grew to 10,000 quickly and since it’s been promoted, the number has reached more than 40,000 IBO users. Now that the Welcome to Quixtar Orientation has launched, we expect thousands more.

And the response to the online training courses has been very favorable. Here's what some IBOs like you are saying:

“Thank you, every single thing that I can learn through Quixtar demos and educational knowledge will only benefit me.”
“Who else but Quixtar would go the extra mile to see us succeed? Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
“I'm so excited about this educational program. I can't wait to see what's next and get out there and use what I've learned!!!”
“I believe this is an excellent way to educate new and seasoned IBOs. I work for a Fortune 500 Company and this is the type of training that's utilized within the company I work for. Thank you Quixtar for giving your IBOs the most up-to-date resources to grow their business. I'm proud to be an IBO.”
While such feedback has been extremely encouraging, there's certainly much more that we can do to meet your education and training needs. I'm interested in ideas, concerns, wish lists, etc. regarding the content and delivery of training you would like to receive from Quixtar. With your guidance, I have no doubt that we can provide you with "World Class Training."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

We're all a Partying In Louisville

Thursday, 6pm, the last comment was posted here. I went to check the site, and there was no activity. "Strange" I thought. Then I remembered, we're all in Kentucky!

What touched you the most?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

QUIXTAR: One motion, one meeting

Original Source

One motion, one meeting
October 17th, 2007 @ 10:22 pm ET…

We were back in court in Grand Rapids today, seeking a contempt motion that would have halted a planned TEAM meeting in Louisville.

We don’t have the ruling yet—we’ll post it when we do—but the judge said he would not stop the meeting.

Not what we wanted to hear.

But it was one motion, and one meeting.

Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady are still under injunction.

The TEAM leaders we terminated still have a contract to honor.

Their California lawsuit, with its outrageous claims, is still gone for good.

They still have liability for the people and businesses they hurt.

And they still must arbitrate to settle this dispute.

We will prove these claims in arbitration.

That’s fine by us. Because the facts, the law and common sense are still on our side.

TEAM: Partial victory for former Quixtar distributors

Original Source

Partial victory for former Quixtar distributors
Updated: Oct 17, 2007 09:46 PM

GRAND RAPIDS -- A group of former Quixtar distributors will get to party in Louisville this weekend.

This after Quixtar, the e-commerce arm of Alticor, tried to convince a judge that the former distributors were in contempt of court.

Three days of testimony wrapped up just after 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Kent County Courthouse in downtown Grand Rapids.

In the end, it was at least a partial victory for some former distributors involved in a bitter divorce from Quixtar.

Judge Paul Sullivan told the former distributors he would not issue an injunction to stop a large meeting of Quixtar distributors scheduled for Louisville this weekend. The gathering is an event for TEAM, the sales training and support company started by two former Quixtar distributors.

TEAM is already the subject of an August temporary restraining order that Quixtar claims it violated.

The final decision on the issues that prompted the restraining order will go before an arbitrator.

At issue is whether those distributors were using proprietary information they collected over the years as a support organization for as many as 100,000 Quixtar distributors to start a business that would compete with Quixtar. At least 16,000 of those distributors have left Quixtar.

The Ada-based company claimed the Louisville gathering was part of a bigger conspiracy to convince even more to leave.

Judge Sullivan was not convinced by the argument, noting the meeting was scheduled long before the split between Quixtar and the distributors occurred.

"For the 20,000 people who are going to Louisville, this is a huge victory on their part. We're very pleased," said Chris DeWitt, a spokesman for the former distributors.

Judge Sullivan held off ruling on the rest of the claim. But he did say the testimony led him to believe if there were violations of his earlier order, they were more technical in nature, not the result of witnesses lying on the stand.

A Quixtar spokesman says they're disappointed in the Louisville portion of the ruling, but convinced they'll prevail in the rest of the case.

"We believe the people involved in this business are building it on the backs of ours," said Alticor Spokesman Rob Zeiger. "And that's not right. That doesn't abide by the contract and that's one of the things were going to settle in arbitration."

There is no word on when the judge will release the rest of his decision.

QUIXTAR: What's on your Reading List? Part One

Original Source

What's on your Reading List? Part One
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 by Susan Julien-Willson

Reading is a way to learn new skills, inspire ideas, broaden your perspective. I read to become a better writer, a better businessperson, a stronger leader, a better person.

My favorite business books are not just about sales and marketing. They're about leading, about teaming, about design, about writing, about blogging, about creativity, and about communicating-particularly listening.

Today, I'll talk about what I've read and enjoy ... and later this week, I'll continue with the list. Next week, I'll write about my Books to Read list. It just keeps getting longer and longer. So many books, so little time!

Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

by Jeffrey Gitomer
I love Gitomer as much as I don't like him. His language and humor seems unprofessional to me, but for the most part, this guy knows his stuff. He's not a writer, but he can make a point. And this little book is easy to read and refer to often - I also subscribe to his newsletter. He reminds me that it's about relationship and being real. It's about value, not just about price. This book is worth reading if you can handle his language. He apparently did not have the same English professor I had-this professor told the class if you had to resort to four-letter words to make a point, you needed to work on your vocabulary and your writing!

The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer

by Jeffrey Gitomer
Another good sales book by Gitomer. Meatier than the Little Red Book ... I refer to this book often for tips and advice. And I mean often!

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
A parable that makes many good points about dealing with change in your work and in your life. If you haven't read it, do so. It's a quick read and worthwhile.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

by Stephen Covey
I took a 3-day seminar on this - and also read the book. Highly recommend reading this and applying the principles to your professional and personal life. I think I need to re-read it!

Naked Conversations by Robert Scobel/Shel Israel

by Robert Scobel/Shel Israel
This is all about business/corporate blogging and how it's changing the way businesses talk with customers. It's about being real and transparent in a blog and allowing the customer to talk back so you're talking with each other, rather than at each other. Great read. Loved it. It was the first book I read on blogging and it's still my fave. If you want to read about blogging, pick this book up.

Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi

by Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi
Heard about this book at a National Catalog Conference a few years back. It's about lovemarks with emotional resonance that are "owned" by the people who love them-about connecting with consumers and understanding them. It's about passion for the brand, involving consumers in new product development, celebrating loyalty, find and share great stories/testimonials from people who love the brand/products. It talks about the mystery, sensuality and intimacy of lovemarks like Olay, Tide, Coca Cola, Lexus. Very interesting.

The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

by Marty Neumeier
This was given to me by an ad agency and it's a little gem. It's about bridging the distance between business strategy and design. It really clarifies what a brand is - a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or company.

BrandSimple by Allen P. Adamson

by Allen P. Adamson
I can't say enough about this book. It's an easy read and enlightening and informative. Really like the discussion of the best brands keeping it simple and succeeding. Rdknyver recommended it on Sales Speak awhile back. I recommend it, too.

The Identity Trinity by Glenda Shasho Jones

by Glenda Shasho Jones
This is a book about brand, image and positioning for catalogs. Not sure it is still in print, but I believe the author presents at catalog and direct marketing conferences. She's great. The book is a tad outdated, but the principles of good cataloging presented in this book still ring true.

More books coming later this week in Part Two. Until then, keep reading, keep writing, keep sponsoring, keep SELLING!

P.S. Many of these books are available at our Partner Store, Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

QUIXTAR: Former distributor testifies in Quixtar case

Original Source

Former distributor testifies in Quixtar case
Updated: Oct 16, 2007 06:46 PM


GRAND RAPIDS -- Testimony continues in the case against a group of former Quixtar distributors, as lawyers for the e-commerce arm of Alticor claim those former distributors violated an August court order.

At that time, the judge ruled the distributors, who were fired from Quixtar, must stop using sales training and other material supplied by Quixtar to the company. Those distributors were part of an effort to convince large numbers of other distributors to leave Quixtar.

The distributor at the center of the controversy, Orrin Woodward, testified Tuesday he did not violate the court orders. Woodward is among the distributors who sued the company, claiming it's a pyramid scheme.

This is the first time Woodward has spoken publicly about the messy divorce between the distributors and the company.

He was living what many would describe as the Amway Dream. The former GM engineer followed the plan and became a successful Quixtar distributor. "After a couple of years, I reached what they call direct or platinum level."

Woodward also devised a way to train distributors under them. He started his own company, TEAM, offering sales training and business set-up material to other Quixtar independent business owners (IBOs).

But he claimed Quixtar put the emphasis on recruitment instead of sales.

On the stand, Woodward denied he was breaking Quixtar's rules, and his lawyers provided a 2003 letter from Quixtar praising him for his business practices: "By growing right, you create a solid business foundation upon which you can continue to build."

He said he never heard anything different until he was fired in August.

But another witness who used to work under Woodward and TEAM said his associate threatened the distributorship she and her husband operated. Melissa Seeback testified that in an August phone call, "we better quit Quixtar and join the TEAM system or we wouldn't have anything left in business."

Testimony continues on Wednesday.


So Quixtar goes on a rampage suing people left and right. They sue a mother of four and a guy who quit back when it was Amway.

Now QuixtarLostMyCents (mother of four) doesn't have much contact information or information about her. Her blog was started in September, a full month after all the shenanigans started. Is it really that hard to believe that a mother of four would feel just a little ticked about the overpriced products she's been buying, hoping to make a better life for herself? I *had* people on my team, who if they would have stuck around until August, they would have probably started a blog just like it. I talked to one of them last night. He is a father of seven, and was really apprehensive about talking to me because he silently bowed out. I talked to him last week and he said that he just could not justify the prices while trying to feed his family.

Now Ed Manley's site. How that one made the list is beyond me. Anyone who has been watching the blog comments (not his blog, but everyone else's) knows that Ed has no affinity for Quixtar/Amway/Alticor nor for Team. In fact, before he knew about the non-compete clause, he was actively trying to help people join Market America so they could continue to have an income without Quixtar. The Quixtar blog claimed that they were just trying to find out who these people were. Take a look at Ed's Profile. He's a male, 46, Aries, year of the Ox, full description of his career change from Amway to Market America. Who in their right mind would think he was a Team operative?

I named my blog Crazy World because I had for years been impressed with Amway, ever since I first joined. My upline all quit up to my Double Diamond (investing scam wiped out the leg), but I was always impressed with the education system and opportunity. When I saw what Quixtar was doing with the "firing" of their top "employees" and then the blog posts and emails, I thought to myself "What a crazy world!" (crazyworld.blogspot was already taken, as was, hence the address).

The more I watch what is happening, the more appropriate I feel my blog title is. Its like I've entered a bizarro world. A product company thinks it can take a leadership role away from its leadership organization in a couple of years time. As the whole process has shown, they are a product company with excellent management, but they are no leaders.

I am not directly in Orrin or Chris line of sponsorship. I, like most Quixtar IBOs, have just heard them on CDs for the last couple of years. I have a list of people I really enjoyed on tape/CD. Dexter Yager, Skip Ross, Jody Victor, Bad DeHaven, Ron Simmons, Rob Hale, Don Wilson, Randy Haugen, Bo Short (oops), Chuck Goetschel, etc., etc., etc. Until my *leadership* decided to join Team's system, I hadn't really put Orrin and Chris into my top CDs list (although I may just not have had the right CDs, I definitely have some now in my favorite list).

Then Quixtar tells people where they can go, who they can listen to, what they can buy. Why can't I buy Team CDs if the teach me how to be a better person, and a better Quixtar salesman? What right do they have to dictate my life in that way?

I understand that things can get heated. I understand that when you have grown up your whole life believing in a company that your parents helped create, how you would be hesitant to see it any different that perfect. But the intense persecution of Team and Orrin in particular is amazing. And then to go on a witch hunt of bloggers just adds to it. Don't they understand that the little bit of negative on the internet was nothing compared to the bees nest they are stirring up now? Before it was a few disgruntled, disillusioned or just plain negative people posting "issues" with Amway/Quixtar online on a regular basis. Now there are possibly 50,000 or so people who would probably have been silent and just slid away quietly to await their 6 months non-compete.

But they have stirred the bees nest and want to blame Orrin for it. The only way for them to really believe that (especially given that at least 7,000 IBOs have left) is that we are all brainwashed and do not think for ourselves, just like the negative website have been saying for years. Statistically speaking, 30 out of 7,000 is very likely to just be IBOs who, after the curtain was pulled back by Chuck Goetschel, Ron Simmons and Randy Haugen, found themselves reevaluating their feelings towards the company they had promoted for so many years. As a matter of fact, I get the feeling that if I asked my upline (and I bet Orrin is the same way) about posting to this blog, I bet he would discourage it (hence why I write under a pseudonym).

Quixtar started this. They are bringing it upon themselves and they are only making it worse by not letting the whole thing just slide away quietly. If they wanted to end it right now, they have the power to do it. Team is leaving. There is nothing they can do about that. Over 7,000 IBOs have left. Many are just going to let their IBO number expire at the end of the year. Just let them go. I bet if Quixtar legal sat down with Orrin and said, "Look, our bad. Encourage your people to pull all that negative off the internet, and let's agree to just drop all the legal." I bet he would. They would be no worse off. We would gladly scrub all the websites and postings. And we could just all get on with our lives.

I tried to find it earlier, but couldn't. I could have sworn there was a blog posting from the IBOAI or Quixtar that said something along the lines of "Lawsuits should be a last resort. We are disappointed in Orrin for filing this lawsuit." Hello. He wasn't asking for damages. He was just asking to get on with his life as soon as possible. But Bo Short left too nasty of a taste in Quixtar's mouth, I guess. Now they are suing individuals for monetary damages? And not even just ex-IBOs (if you were in Amway, you're an ex-distributor, you were never an IBO, but then of course were any of us ever IBOs).


QUIXTAR: Reputation & Me & You

Original Source

Reputation & Me & You
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I was asked to write an article on reputation recently and, while doing so, it really impressed upon me again how important a topic this is not just for companies and brands but for individuals. Certainly a company's reputation is important if it hopes to spur some sort of participation on the part of the public, whether that be as a customer or a representative.
Personal reputation effects so many things that are even more important, in my opinion. For instance, a teen earns a reputation with his or her parents for being trustworthy or not. Caught in a lie about going to a party, the teen will have lost the trust of the parents who will now question every statement made about who, what, when and where. A husband who has been dishonest with his wife and is discovered loses credibility with her, causing her to question his fidelity and his love for her.
I'm a member of the Public Relations Society of America, and it is in the PRSA code of ethics that a member cannot spread lies as part of their communications programs on behalf of a client. I can honestly say that I have not spread lies. In fact, even when it hurts I think it's better to share the truth and maintain credibility and trust rather than be discovered in a lie. By the way, the lie is always discovered. I also become irate when asked to "spin" something. That's a political trick and one that's meant to confuse and obfuscate.
There are times I'm not able to talk about something. There are times I choose not to talk about something. But if I share information with you, it's because I believe it to be true.
I can speak from experience that, as a kid, I did things that probably eroded at the trust my parents had in me. The same is true for my relationships with my wife. After 20 years together (we started dating 20 years ago this month), I think I've come a long way. But I've had plenty of stupid moments. One thing I now know: Truth always is better.
In our business, sometimes sharing a truth may mean you lose a prospect. Sometimes a prospect will believe somebody else's spin and think that our business is not for them (and sometimes they're right--our business is available to anyone, but isn't necessarily right for everyone). I think it's better to share the full truth about our business with a prospect and keep their trust, rather than simply telling them what they want to hear. It's about managing expectations. In the end, they will experience our business for themselves and they will be matching up that experience with what they were told. It is at that point that personal reputations are born.

Monday, October 15, 2007

QUIXTAR: Quixtar and distributors back in court

Original Source

Quixtar and distributors back in court
Updated: Oct 15, 2007 09:00 PM

GRAND RAPIDS -- Quixtar, the online version of Amway, was back in court Monday fighting the distributors who sued the company two months ago.

Quixtar claims the breakaway distributors, who run their own sales training business, have violated Judge Paul Sullivan's ruling in August.

The judge ordered those distributors to stop using proprietary information in their sales training business, to turn over those materials to Quixtar, and stop recruiting other Quixtar distributors, known as independent business organizations, or IBOs.

Lawyers for Quixtar claim the breakaway IBOs have convinced over 7,000 distributors to leave the flock since August.

A separate, federal case filed in California by the breakaways claimed Quixtar is part of a pyramid scheme, claiming the company's business practices made it tough for distributors to do business. The California case was dismissed.

Both sides will have four hours to argue their side of the case. We expect to hear from the distributors on Tuesday, and 24 Hour News 8 will be there for the testimony.

The Sued Bloggers

Original Source

Here are the list of offending sites from the Quixtar lawsuit:

  22. 22-30 Unknown parties who, on information and belief, have anonymously posted defamatory material on the Internet about Quixtar and its principals under various pseudonyms.

I love the vague #22-#30. Am I in that list?

UPDATE:Of the videos on YouTube, only the Shamus (#17) actually works. I may have typed in the video ID wrong from the lawsuit, but I would think I would have gotten more of them right.

Amway Has Such A Great Image

I was browsing the web today and found this cartoon from Joy of Tech.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

If You're Coming After Me ...


If you are coming after me in you 30 or so lawsuits, please just email me ThomasEvanAnthonyMorris at gmail dot com. It will save you having to fork out the money to reimburse me for the legal expenses, and my attorney says that if you do come after me, we can probably get quite a bit for legal harassment in a countersuit.

I don't want to go down the legal road if I don't have to. Please, just email me. We can setup a phone call or meet, whatever you need to assure you I am a lone gunman. Along those lines:

I am acting of my own accord. I have never met Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Randy Haugen, Don Wilson, Ron Simmons or any of the other plaintiffs in the California suit in person. I have heard many of them on tape and CD over the years. This blog, however, is not, nor has it been, encouraged by any of the Mighty 15, nor by my mentor.

As you may guess by looking at my email address, my real name is not Tom. I write under a pseudonym, not to hide from the law, but to allow me the freedom of expressing myself without the worry that it will reflect poorly on my mentor or team. Neither my mentor nor anyone on my team know that I am maintaining this blog.

Friday, October 12, 2007

QUIXTAR: A New Direction for Quixtar Sales

Original Source

A New Direction for Quixtar Sales
Friday, October 12, 2007 by Todd Krause

There has been a lot of talk about the transformation of the Quixtar business and I wanted to give you an update on the changes happening in the Quixtar Sales department. In an effort to build IBO partnerships and strengthen the Quixtar team environment, Quixtar Sales is currently undergoing a departmental reorganization to take on more of a consultant role with IBOs.

Ideally, a consultant is a provider of valuable expertise, insight, and third-party perspective that you can't necessarily always get from your own inner circle. Obviously, we have expertise and insight into the Quixtar business that could benefit IBOs. As consultants, we will not only listen to IBO concerns, resolve problems, and manage relationships, we also will provide IBOs with more business data that will equip them to make better business decisions and maximize the results of their efforts. Our mission in Sales is to deliver data-driven insights and consultation that leads to responsible, measurable and sustainable growth.

The plan to shift to more of a consultant role consists of three steps:
1. Drive Internal Change Management: The key to moving this concept forward and allowing it to succeed will be both internal and external change management.
2. Refine Existing Solutions: Members of Sales currently have information tools and training to help them be effective when consulting with Platinums and above.
3. Increase Line of Affiliation (LOA) Involvement: We can only be successful when we work in partnership with leaders and their organizations to help them define and reach long-term profitability goals.

The most important tool for internal change management is communication. We've been communicating in department, team, and one-on-one meetings, keeping other departments and IBO leaders in the loop on what we're doing.

As Sales transitions to a focus on Business Solutions through consulting, many organizational changes will take place. Business Solutions will no longer be a stand-alone concept within Sales, but instead will be the only way that business is done. Quixtar Sales also will recruit, develop and retain people who increase the department's capacity to conduct credible business consulting.

We'll increase our Sales team to better support our contact with IBOs, their downline, and the emerging leaders. We'll add LOA Field and Home Advisors who will meet one-on-one with IBOs and provide them the data and information they need to succeed. This means that the Sales Advisor will no longer be a voice on the phone, but a presence in the IBO's hometown.

Other than the obvious difference in LOA Field and Home Advisors (Field will be traveling and Home will be stationed at Quixtar), the two positions share many similarities. Their common responsibilities will be, but are not limited to:
-- Participate in quarterly LOA planning meetings
-- Participate in or conduct select Platinum and above meetings
-- Analyze and recommend areas of improvement for Platinums and above
-- Participate in LOA/Quixtar Events
-- Trials day

Stay tuned for more information via email and voicemail about this new plan. We want to keep IBOs informed about the direction we're taking and manage expectations up front.

QUIXTAR: Guerrillas in the midst

Original Source

Guerrillas in the midst
October 12th, 2007

Yes, we did.

We filed suit this week in Ottawa County, Michigan seeking to learn more about a number of “John Does” who have cropped up online since our dispute with Orrin Woodward and TEAM began.

Because we believe we can prove that some of their sites and posts were engineered or directed by Woodward, TEAM, their lawyers or their PR agency. And that those sites were purposely used to post material that violates a court order.

To us, this is a necessary measure in a commercial dispute. Because we believe the TEAM machine has been fighting dirty, abusing the online discussion and end-running the court.

(It’s also a necessary step in a technical sense – the companies that host these sites will not divulge information without a subpoena. You can’t get a subpoena without going to court. So if you want to demonstrate that Blogger X’s “spontaneous” site is actually part of a planned-and-paid-for strategy of commercial attack… that’s the road you have to go down.)

So we are seeking to support the legal system – and not attack First Amendment speech. Tough line to walk, but we’ll walk it. Because we believe in both principles.

It could very well be that some of these sites truly are spontaneous, just angry citizens independently voicing their opinions without direction from anyone else. We have no problem with those folks. We don’t want their money, we regret wasting their time and we will even offer to reimburse their costs.

There are plenty of individuals out there posting critical comments about our company, on this site and others. We welcome the debate and value their opinions. (Don’t believe that? Scan through the 4,000 comments of all stripes we’ve posted here since August.)

But e-guerrillas who won’t own up to being bought and paid for in a commercial dispute so they can end-run a court of law are another matter. We invite them to come on out – and fight in broad daylight.

Here is the 30 John Doe suit. I *highly* suggest you read it. It is a really good read.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

TEAM: Former Quixtar Diamond George Guzzardo Speaks Out

Original Source

Former Quixtar Diamond George Guzzardo Speaks Out
October 11, 2007

We have submitted our resignation from Quixtar. Jill and I would not be able to build a profitable business under the Amway name and with all the changes Quixtar has made.

In the past, I have always thought that Quixtar valued the individual IBOs and the IBOAI as they were the voice from the field. The new IBOs were told they would have representation. In the last year, my rose-colored glasses have not just been cracked, but have shattered. In my opinion, it seemed like the company lost interest in working with us. Perhaps it was because the 2nd generation owners never really had an entrepreneurial vision or personal loyalty to the IBOs. It appears as though we were a source of revenue rather than human beings pursuing a dream. Our commitment was obviously never reciprocated. How sad. Many companies change and become management top-heavy and they lose sight of the times and the vision with which the founders started. The way we were treated over the last month also shocked us. We felt our trust and commitment were violated. We worked very hard this past fiscal year and achieved the Founders Diamond level and never received a personal communication. Instead, we and our organization received a wave of corporate threat letters and we felt as if our group was sucker punched. One incident which demonstrates Quixtar at an all-time low was when a couple who had driven many hours to their new Platinum seminar were stopped at the door in Grand Rapids and told that they were with the Team and therefore their invitation was withdrawn. This couple had never violated any rules and had performed at a level their community would highly respect.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if Quixtar would rather not have a North American business and wishes we would just go away. It honestly appears that the entire business has been sabotaged from the "higher ups".

This is not a business I will be associated with in the future. To all those who will become Amway salesmen; 'Good luck". How will you explain to your associates that it is no longer Quixtar, but is really Amway?

As for me and my family, the words that matter are trust, integrity, commitment, loyalty, purpose, strength of character, responsibility and leadership. I know there are men and women of integrity with a cause. We have developed close relationships with them through the Team and we are blessed by those associations. Our lives are simply better from our connection to the Team. I feel blessed to have God place me in association with the kinds of families as the Woodwards, Bradys, Marks, Goetschels, Florences and Haugens, just to name a few. I pray I can rise up to the level of their character.

George Guzzardo

Posted at 01:56 PM

Monday, October 8, 2007

Declaration of Independence from Quixtar

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the business bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to pursue these rights, businesses are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the partners. That whenever any form of business becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the partners to alter or to resign from it, and to institute new business, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their prosperity and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that businesses long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such business partner, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these business owners; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of business. The history of the present leadship of Quixtar is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these business owners. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

They have refused to keep the cost of goods sold at a reasonable and competitive level.

They have changed the contract under which partners operate without the consent of the business owners affected by it, nor without redress other than resignation and loss of income.

They have continually and repeatedly ignored the vote of the ADA and IBOAI board in regards to several issues, including pricing and the name change to Amway.

They have shown their control over the IBOAI by threatening to nonrenewal of its contract.

They have, in several instances around the world, taken over sales and marketing training, a topic of which they have very little experience.

They have maligned, belittled and slandered those who request peaceful separation.

They have shown that they are more concerned about their hefty profits for the DeVos and VanAndel families than the plight of the business owners, especially the newest business owners, without which there would be no growth.

They have shown signs of possibly selling directly to the public, skirting around the business owners entirely.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A business, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the partner of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our Quixtar brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their rules to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our business. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the TEAM, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of this business, solemnly publish and declare, that these united business owners are, and of right ought to be free and independent business owners; that they are absolved from all allegiance to Quixtar, and that all business connection between them and Quixtar, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent business owners, they have full power to contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent business owners may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Friday, October 5, 2007

QUIXTAR: California: Case dismissed

Original Source

California: Case dismissed
October 5th, 2007

We received official word from California federal court this afternoon that Woodward et al v. Quixtar has been dismissed.

The dismissal deals a severe blow to Orrin Woodward’s federal class-action legal attack. Woodward and other plaintiffs cynically claimed that Quixtar was an illegal pyramid scheme in an attempt to avoid their contractual obligations, embarrass the company and damage its IBOs. The company adamantly denied the charges and noted that a Michigan court had already ordered the plaintiffs to arbitrate their claims.

This is a major victory, and we are grateful that the judge agreed with our arguments in the case.

In his ruling, Feess noted that “the Michigan court has already enjoined Plaintiffs from violating the covenants not to compete and not to solicit and sent the case to arbitration.” He later added, “[T]he Court agrees with the Michigan court and believes the parties’ arbitration agreement is valid and binding.

“[T]he court GRANTS Quixtar’s motion to dismiss on declaratory relief abstention grounds and the matter is hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.”


Original Source

Friday, October 5, 2007

The IBO Rebellion felt compelled, after reading some sites in the blogosphere, to set some things straight. I won't bother by directing you to all the incorrect information out there but I will say that this site is accurate. Even the comedy within this site has been dead on with the exception of the altering Mr. VanAndel's audio comments made in the post "Steve Goes to China." Sometimes the truth is painful, so on with the show.

There are some monumental frauds being circulated by the Amway cubical dwellers. You can spot these folks (circulators of deception) a mile away on the blogs. They are nearly the only people supporting Quixtar and their actions. A quick perusal of the various sites shows the same few handles spouting the same Quixtar talking points over and over. Even the real sophisticated ones can't seem to hide it when they do use an alias for their alias. This is a true sign their heart just isn't in it. Hopefully Quixtar sends these people all to Peter Island as a reward. If not the closest these dungeon dwellers will ever get to a tropical vacation is a diamond club brochure. If Peter Island is in the works for these folks I would avoid the "Pirates Adventure" sponsored by the company. It would surely entail these lowly bloggers walking the plank at high seas so as to cover up their existence.

The thing to understand when dealing with Alticor / Amway / Quixtar is they have a pattern. After all they love to brag about being around for more than 40 years. Needless to say there is a track record. The first phase is what every IBO goes through. The "subjugation phase" is the key to the Amway business model. What does subjugation mean? Well for all you out there that aren't quite as refined as Quixtar Legal kingpin Mike (all knowing.... according to him) Mohr, subjugation means the following:

  • forced submission to control by others
  • the act of subjugating by cruelty; oppression
  • subjugated (to be under yoke)

The IBO's have always carried the load at Amway. When this yoke becomes most evident is in times such as now. When IBO's and Quixtar no longer see eye to eye the IBO finds out that their "business contract" with Quixtar provides as much ownership as any Rent-A-Center agreement. Here is just a sampling of the many names, taken from court documents, Quixtar has used to refer to IBO's, "property," "intellectual property," "assets," "trade secrets," and "store fronts." Amway continues to go on snowing people with all their balderdash about partnerships and business ownership. Make no mistake the mule in the field has more clarity about his situation than the average IBO, and Amway likes it that way.

Phase two for IBO's in conflict with Quixtar is termination. This is where Quixtar fools you into thinking there is some process which is fair and equitable for handling disputes. Let's look at our current situation. Quixtar made things quite clear that they decide what is fair and what is not. That little contract you are so bound to..... they don't feel that it prohibits them from doing anything. In situations deamed "very serious," by them, Quixtar quickly jumps from their agreement and into court seeking injunctions for what they call the "public interest." One of the 15 martyrs was terminated for violation of rule 11 of the rules and conduct. Rule 11 is 14 pages long and covers a myriad of items. In this particular case Quixtar stated that this person violated Rule 11 in regards to "lack of candor." Wow, that wouldn't be subjective would it? I find it interesting that I couldn't even find the actual word "candor" in the entire rules of conduct. The big lie on the web is that Woodward and Brady and the rest were terminated for filing a lawsuit against Quixtar. Here they go changing their story again. It is quite clear that Woodward and Brady would have preferred to leave peacefully otherwise why waste the time even going to Grand Rapids. They didn't go to serve papers, that's not how it works. They were terminated and then the lawsuit was filed.

On to phase three of the Quixtar playbook. This is the castigation stage. This is where they light up their Alticor Media Blog with their amateur hour remarks in "JUST GO TEAM." Orrin endures a verbal tongue lashing from people who aren't qualified to mow his yard. This stage continues in press release after press release telling bald face lies about people. I guess when you have been lying as long as Amway has you know just what to say to make it sound possible. One of the best ones in this dispute is in regards to the so called "stacking" violation. Yet another reason for termination that DOES NOT show up in the rules of conduct. If Quixtar can stand there and honestly tell the rest of the Quixtar world that they never knew and never encouraged, how TEAM was building organizations then you will believe anything. To imply for one second that suddenly on August 9th, 2007 things just had to be dealt with defies any form of logic. There is nothing wrong with TEAM approach. It is a proven and effective way to help others win. I am not going to get into the entire TEAM Approach debate here as I find it silly at best. The results of TEAM and those associated with TEAM is well documented.

The last stage for IBO's is the litigation stage. This is where the Big Corporate Bully and all their money attacks using the legal system. Legal expenses can be enormous. This is where they go in with their rules of conduct demanding arbitration. As I sit preparing this post I learned that the California case will not be heard and instead sent back to Michigan for arbitration. Quixtar will scream loudly of this victory. Quixtar will celebrate that they can go back into their preferred hiding hole under the cover of arbitration. This again is their history. What they won't tell you is that the California case was not dismissed on it merits. It just means it will be heard in arbitration. Many of you are familiar with Blackwater the private security firm providing privately paid soldiers in Iraq. Blackwater has deep ties with the Devos family. What I would like to point out is that Blackwater is yet another example of the Devos / Alticor legal strategy. Currently Blackwater is involved in wrongful death suits involving persons working for them. Here is what appeared in today's News and Observer:


Jay Price, Staff Writer

In yet another twist to a long-running lawsuit against Blackwater Security Consulting, a federal appeals court has halted an arbitration hearing that could have rendered a final decision on the case.
The families of four former employees of the North Carolina-based private security contractor are suing the company. The four men were killed in Fallujah, Iraq, by insurgents in March 2004, and their bodies were mutilated and burned by a mob in scenes captured by news photographers and television crews. Two of the bodies were hanged from a bridge.

The incident triggered a wave of violence across Iraq and eventually led to a major U.S. offensive in Fallujah.

An investigation by The News & Observer that year uncovered documents that said the men were supposed to have armored vehicles, machine guns and more manpower for such missions. They had none of those things, and the families sued Blackwater, saying that the company had contributed to the deaths.

Since then, the case has bounced between state and federal courts as Blackwater filed various appeals and motions, including two previous appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the court that issued the stay on the arbitration Tuesday.

Blackwater failed in those earlier appeals and in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier this year, it persuaded a federal judge in Eastern North Carolina that the dead men's contracts barred lawsuits and the only avenue for the dispute was arbitration.

The stay means that the families will have a chance to argue to the 4th Circuit that the suit shouldn't be heard in arbitration Nov. 12, and instead should be sent back to a state court in Raleigh.

So here's Blackwater, willing to put families with dead relatives through hell. Why would Quixtar think twice about attacking and disparaging IBO's? After all it's all in the family right. Take a look around the web at the Blackwater information out there. And I am not referring to the way out wacky left winged sites. In one instance one of the fired Blackwater employees who had potentially damaging information was suddenly rehired and sent on a mission to the middle east, reportedly to avoid being deposed in the above lawsuit.

So when watching this company remember these words SUBJUGATE, TERMINATE, CASTIGATE, and LITIGATE. If you are doing business with Quixtar / Amway what part of this lifecycle are you in? The STCL has been their recipe for success since 2003. Pride cometh before the fall, Quixtar be forewarned, long live TEAM.

Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 6:47 PM

QUIXTAR: Perspection effect

Orignal Source

Perspection effect
October 5th, 2007

We respect perspectives. But they can’t hide facts.

First, the “new” Texas case mentioned in “Spaghetti.” This was a brand new case, with TEAM as the plaintiffs, attacking from a whole different angle than they did in California case. Dismissed.

The “other” Texas case: Simmons et al v. Quixtar will be heard de novo – “from the start” – by a new judge, though the previous judge recommended a preliminary injunction.

The California case: Still waiting.

The Michigan case: Our preliminary injunction remains in effect, as does the preliminary injunction won by the IBOAI.

The TROs: By our count, TEAM’s class-action spammers filed for 18 restraining orders in nine different states:

* One, the Simmons case, only has the recommendation for a preliminary injunction. But we’ll give them that one for now.

* Seven were denied, withdrawn or have expired.

* Ten have yet to be decided.

We would count that as one win for the spammers, seven losses, and 10 games still being played.

Orrin Woodward’s class-action ace D.J. Poyfair has been seen in courtrooms in Michigan, California and Texas. He has yet to attend a win.

TEAM trends:

1. Fewer leaders. We’ve already commented enough on the dwindling number of plaintiffs in the California case. But you may want to read what Fred Harteis has to add to the discussion.

2. Less transparency. When we were in Texas this week, in the course of one day we heard about TEAM; Signature Team Management LLC; Woodward International Networking Systems; and – our favorite – Signature Management Team, LLC, D/B/A TEAM, A Nevada Limited Liability Company.Now, every corporation can get confusing if you sift through enough paperwork, ours certainly included. But in this instance, we don’t like the way Mr. Woodward’s name jumps in and out of the stack, depending on legal and PR needs. Does Orrin Woodward own these companies? Does he run them? Is he a part of them? Yes. No. Maybe so.

3. More business. Or maybe less. There’s that line about “we’re going to a million.” And then there’s what TEAM CEO Robert Dickie and COO Thomas Maguire stated in their Texas affidavits about how business is going: “a deluge of product returns;” customers “calling wanting their money back;” “a significant decrease in tool sales;” attendance “has fallen and events have even been canceled.” Dickie and Maguire claim it is because of our actions; we can’t help but wonder whether attacking us as a pyramid and alienating countless former customers has anything to do with it.

Those are the facts, as best as we can gather them. We welcome your perspectives.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

QUIXTAR: Statement from Fred Harteis

Original Source

Statement from Fred Harteis
October 04, 2007

[There were a lot of rumors about former IBOAI Board member Fred Harteis' alleged association with the California lawsuit against Quixtar. He and his legal counsel have repeatedly stated that the rumors were false, but rumors persisted, so he just issued this "Statement from Fred Harteis -- The Facts" on his websites.]

Since the various members of TEAM filed their lawsuit against Quixtar on August 9 in California, much rumor and innuendo concerning me and my family's Quixtar business has run unabated. For my Quixtar business and the businesses of all IBOs in my group, I've made a concerted effort to stay above the banter and hostility that seems inevitable when people decide that litigation is the only way to resolve perceived wrongs. However, my name continues to surface in this matter and conduct is being attributed to me that is simply inaccurate and false.

To correct the record and misinformation currently situated in the public domain, the following facts are provided:

For more than 35 years the late William Abraham and his son, Rick Abraham (for more than 20 years) have been my attorneys. All of the Plaintiffs in the California lawsuit are and were well aware of the identity of my attorneys. I have never at any time spoken with D.J. Poyfair or any other member of his law firm, the attorneys who represent Plaintiffs in the California lawsuit.

During the meeting on August 9 that occurred at Alticor in Grand Rapids, Mr. Poyfair displayed a draft of the lawsuit to Quixtar in-house attorneys. The draft did not have my name listed as a Plaintiff. Later that day Mr. Poyfair and his co-counsel filed the lawsuit in California with my name suddenly appearing on the front page as one of the Plaintiffs.

At no time did I authorize Mr. Poyfair or any other attorney to include me as a Plaintiff in the lawsuit. Again, I've never spoken with Mr. Poyfair or any other member of his law firm. At no time did I authorize any other person, including any Plaintiff named in the lawsuit, to include me as a Plaintiff in the lawsuit. Moreover, neither Mr. Poyfair nor any other attorney for Plaintiffs contacted my attorney, Rick Abraham, to seek his authorization to include me in the lawsuit. Mr. Poyfair had met Mr. Abraham one or two months prior to filing the lawsuit and knew without any doubt that Mr. Abraham was my attorney.

Once I discovered my name was included in the lawsuit my attorney immediately contacted Mr. Poyfair and his co-counsel and demanded that I be dismissed from the action. Mr. Poyfair contacted Mr. Abraham and admitted that he had never spoken with me at any time.

I understand Mr. Poyfair has on more than one occasion brazenly suggested that he has me in his "hip pocket." Nothing could be further from the truth. The foregoing facts should dispel any such notion.

It has become necessary to provide these accurate facts to diffuse any further rumor or ambiguity regarding my involvement - or lack thereof - in the lawsuit filed in California. The misinformation circulating since the suit was filed has and continues to cause damage to my Quixtar business and the businesses of many IBOs in my group, the tiresome ruminations about Christian morals and values notwithstanding.

To be clear, there are issues with which I am concerned that relate to the Quixtar business. I have raised these concerns with Quixtar and will continue to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Company in a businesslike manner. This is consistent with my practice throughout my tenure in the business. I am and will remain a Quixtar IBO and do everything I possibly can to assist other IBOs in my group to work through these issues and prosper.


Fred Harteis

Posted at 01:17 PM in General

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Response to IBOAI, Yes, we really want to compete with Walmart

The IBOAI must be getting desperate. They asked "You SURE You Want Quixtar Like Wal-Mart?" I turned the question around to what we really want, not to be *like* Wal-Mart, but to *compete* with Wal-Mart.

We want to take the online model and merge it with discount pricing. Wal-Mart has to pay for property tax, land, stores, lighting, shoplifting, inventory, greeters, etc., etc., etc. We want what Quixtar had promised us in 1999. We have given up hope that Quixtar can provide that. To be honest, I took a look at the Market America website, and was quite impressed. Granted it was only a superficial look at the site, but it reminded me of all the talk of what Quixtar was *going* to be back in 1999.

I think most of us have not seen what we want. We are trying to define it. It is something like a cross between Wal-Mart discounting and online-only-ness.

And the troubles that Wal-Mart is supposedly having? I searched the Wall Street Journal's website (thanks IBOAI for not providing a link to the source), and all I found was the following:

From this article at the Wall Street Jounral:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is struggling to redefine its down-market image as other discounters pitch themselves as upscale and palatable alternatives.

And the IBOAI decided that blurb was enough to say "Hah. See, Wal-Mart ain't so tough!" Are we still in 3rd grade? It sure looks like they are grasping at straws.

I'm pretty sure its not just Randy, Ron, Bill, Chuck and Don who have seen the growth curve in their business take a steep change in direction in the mid-90s. Orrin and Chris, from what I understand, didn't really have much of a business before 1999, so all they really know is Quixtar, that's the only growth curve they've seen. But the remaining IBOAI members are not so green. Are they hoping that the trend will change? That suddenly (and magically) their growth curves will return to their early 90s glory?

So Wal-Mart is having a small bump in its road. It may not increase its profits as much as it had hoped, but I don't think it will be anything like what Quixtar will see. I'm looking forward to the numbers posted by Quixtar next fall, if they have the courage to post the numbers. So they've been doing around $1.1 billion. By my estimation, Team represents somewhere between $120 million and $250 million. That's a really rough, conservative estimate, but it should be in the ballpark. So I estimate that $1.1 billion will become $1 billion, or less next year. That is not taking into account the bad name that Quixtar is taking on around the web. Nor is it taking into account that all new potential recruits face the fact that they will become Amway distributors. Nor is it taking into account that prices have gone up again this year (ok, shipping has gone up and prices mostly stayed the same, still costs me more). And Quixtar thought they had a bad name on the internet before. After being shown the plan, someone does a search for Quixtar, and what do they find? Voluminous blogs and message boards talking about the great exodus of thousands of distributors (IBOs at the time) who left because the prices were too high, and getting higher. Then they are going to want to check out the prices, and guess what, they'll be high.

Now Quixtar is a small part of the overall Amway. Quixtar does less than 1/5 the volume of Amway + Quixtar. Maybe they really do want to get rid of the United States and Canada Amway. Who knows. I was told that Quixtar was going to be United States and Canada only because most people had the internet. What are those non-US Diamonds thinking about when they consider that their countries are going to get the internet, and they will get to see the history of the great Team exodus?

This is getting weirder and weirder as it goes on. Stay tuned for more fun from Quixtar and their band of merry men, I mean the IBOAI.

QUIXTAR: You SURE You Want Quixtar Like Wal-Mart?

Original Source

You SURE You Want Quixtar Like Wal-Mart?
October 03, 2007

There are some who say that Quixtar should be more like Wal-Mart. They might want to think again. The Wall Street Journal today reported that "Wal-Mart's influence over the retail universe is slipping. In fact, the industry's titan is scrambling to keep up with swifter rivals that are redefining the business all around it."

Posted at 06:25 PM in General

QUIXTAR: Message(s) forwarded

Original Source

Message(s) forwarded
October 3rd, 2007…

Several items hit the office inbox this week that we thought were worth sharing.

One, from our Amway Europe management, is a good summary of the excitement of our UK relaunch and also a good update on other matters in the market. We’re posting that note at the Amway Media Blog.

Two other memos went to Quixtar IBOs from Gary VanderVen and his team in business conduct and rules. They are pretty self-explanatory also.

The most recent memo:

Many IBOs choose to attend meetings and functions that help train and motivate them to become more successful as QUIXTAR® IBOs. While we at Quixtar certainly support this activity, we have recently learned that some IBOs are inviting, and even pressuring, other IBOs to buy tickets to and to attend certain functions whose purpose is NOT to build the QUIXTAR business. Some of these are local Open meetings at which IBOs openly encourage other IBOs to leave Quixtar. Others are major functions.

Please understand that all solicitation by IBOs of IBOs who are not personally sponsored to attend meetings and functions where the QUIXTAR business is not promoted and where a competing business is promoted are clear violations of Rule 4.14, which prohibits IBOs from soliciting other IBOs who are not personally sponsored for other selling activities. Also, such solicitation by IBOs of any other IBOs represents a clear violation of Rule 6.5, which prohibits IBOs from participating in/promoting a competing business.

If IBOs, or former IBOs upline or crossline from you, are pressuring you or IBOs downline from you to buy tickets to meetings and functions where the organizers are not promoting the QUIXTAR opportunity, please let us know immediately, at

We at Quixtar stand with you and can enforce the rules against IBOs who try to violate them – but we need your help. You and other IBOs in the field are in the best position to detect and report this type of Rules violation.

The second memo from rules is a bit longer:

Dear IBO,

An IBO in your upline recently informed us of their immediate resignation from the QUIXTAR® business. In situations like this, it is important for you and all the remaining IBOs in the Line of Sponsorship to understand your rights as well as the responsibilities of the resigning IBO.

First and most important, the resignation of an upline IBO should not hurt your QUIXTAR business. As an IBO, your contract is with Quixtar, and your relationship with Quixtar has not changed. We are always here to support you and to answer any questions you have.

Second, you and every other IBO remaining in your QUIXTAR leg have the right, under your contracts with Quixtar, to be free of any solicitation or interference by the departing IBO. If anyone tells you that a “group” of IBOs or some IBO “leaders” are going to leave Quixtar and join some other business, beware. The Rules of Conduct prohibit the departing IBO from participating in any competing network marketing business (for six months) and also prohibit the departing IBO from soliciting other IBOs to participate in such a competing business (for two years). Every IBO is required to use the QUIXTAR Line of Sponsorship only to promote and sell QUIXTAR-approved products and services. Please refer to Rules 4.14, 4.27, and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, available online for details.

Third, these Rules also apply to you and every other QUIXTAR IBO. No IBO has the legal right to solicit other IBOs for any business other than QUIXTAR . Any IBO who does so is violating the QUIXTAR contract and damaging the businesses of other IBOs. The QUIXTAR Rules are designed to protect you from a former IBO trying to get IBOs downline from you to leave QUIXTAR for some other opportunity.

Hopefully you aren’t facing these problems. But if you are, Quixtar can help. If another IBO is: soliciting other IBOs upline or downline from you to leave the QUIXTAR business; soliciting other IBOs downline from you to purchase BSM or attend business support meetings that are not approved by Quixtar or you; trying to pressure you to resign or to follow them into some other business; spreading false or misleading information about the QUIXTAR business; or interfering with your QUIXTAR business in any other way, please contact Rules Administration at 616-787-6712 or immediately. Quixtar can take action to enforce the Rules and protect your QUIXTAR business and the QUIXTAR businesses of other IBOs. However, if you have any questions concerning these issues, feel free to contact us at any time.

We hope the current situation has not been disruptive for you in building your business. With the addition of hew products, new programs, and $60 million more in the new QUIXTAR Business Incentives Program, there’s never been a better time to build a profitable QUIXTAR business.

The take-away from all three memos: Even in a time of change, we are moving forward, doing all we can to help Amway and Quixtar IBOs grow their businesses.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

QUIXTAR: An IBO in your upline recently ... resign[ed]

Original Source

Dear IBO,

An IBO in your upline recently informed us of their immediate resignation from the QUIXTAR® business. In situations like this, it is important for you and all the remaining IBOs in the Line of Sponsorship to understand your rights as well as the responsibilities of the resigning IBO.

First and most important, the resignation of an upline IBO should not hurt your QUIXTAR business. As an IBO, your contract is with Quixtar, and your relationship with Quixtar has not changed. We are always here to support you and to answer any questions you have.

Second, you and every other IBO remaining in your QUIXTAR leg have the right, under your contracts with Quixtar, to be free of any solicitation or interference by the departing IBO. If anyone tells you that a "group" of IBOs or some IBO "leaders" are going to leave Quixtar and join some other business, beware. The Rules of Conduct prohibit the departing IBO from participating in any competing network marketing business (for six months) and also prohibit the departing IBO from soliciting other IBOs to participate in such a competing business (for two years). Every IBO is required to use the QUIXTAR Line of Sponsorship only to promote and sell QUIXTAR-approved products and services. Please refer to Rules 4.14, 4.27, and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, available online for details.

Third, these Rules also apply to you and every other QUIXTAR IBO. No IBO has the legal right to solicit other IBOs for any business other than QUIXTAR . Any IBO who does so is violating the QUIXTAR contract and damaging the businesses of other IBOs. The QUIXTAR Rules are designed to protect you from a former IBO trying to get IBOs downline from you to leave QUIXTAR for some other opportunity.

Hopefully you aren't facing these problems. But if you are, Quixtar can help. If another IBO is:

soliciting other IBOs upline or downline from you to leave the QUIXTAR business;
soliciting other IBOs downline from you to purchase BSM or attend business support meetings that are not approved by Quixtar or you;
trying to pressure you to resign or to follow them into some other business;
spreading false or misleading information about the QUIXTAR business; or
interfering with your QUIXTAR business in any other way,
please contact Rules Administration at 616-787-6712 or immediately. Quixtar can take action to enforce the Rules and protect your QUIXTAR business and the QUIXTAR businesses of other IBOs. However, if you have any questions concerning these issues, feel free to contact us at any time.

We hope the current situation has not been disruptive for you in building your business. With the addition of hew products, new programs, and $60 million more in the new QUIXTAR Business Incentives Program, there’s never been a better time to build a profitable QUIXTAR business.


Gary VanderVen
Director – Global Business Conduct & Rules
Quixtar Inc.

QUIXTAR: Spaghetti

Original Source

October 2nd, 2007…

We were in court today for yet another lawsuit.

And walked away grateful for another win.

This time, TEAM attacked us in McKinney, Texas, with yet another pile of overheated allegations. (We’ll provide document links later, when we are home from the road.)

Now, if you are asking yourself why TEAM – a Michigan-based company with Michigan-based executives – chose to go to Texas to sue Quixtar – a Michigan-based company with Michigan-based executives – well, the judge wondered about that, too.

And then he dismissed the case.

We’ve talked about the legal spam that TEAM has splattered us with across the nation. We’ll talk more later about “forum shopping,” the massively cynical, abusive and wasteful legal tactic that class action lawyers like those representing Orrin Woodward employ.

But that spaghetti doesn’t always stick to the wall, even when D.J. Poyfair is standing in the courtroom watching his team throw. This time, it was refreshing to watch the judge take his time, hear the motion about whether this case had any place in a Texas court – and then deliver a simple answer: No.