Cagey Consumer

IHI Acting Responsibly

The message below was received from a Cagey Consumer reader regarding the articles posted about International Heritage Inc.
Take me back to the IHI Consumer Alert.

Bob wrote:

First, are you currently with an MLM company? I am curious because there are some people who are organizing to try to make it illegal for MLM businesses to operate, and other people organizing to try to self-regulate the industry.

The amount of fraud being perpetrated by companies claiming to be MLM (or claiming NOT to be MLM), combined with the ineffective enforcement of existing laws provides the impetus for suggestions that MLM should be outlawed. I think such a law would suffer from the ambiguities present in existing law... companies would claim that the law didn't apply, since they were something other than MLM, for instance. As for self-regulation, I wouldn't hold out much hope for it. (FWIW, I'm not involved with any MLM.)

Also, I was disappointed with your responses to Al's comments. I thought your responses did not serve any purpose in some instances, rather they were almost insulting.

But my responses were intended to be disparaging. I don't want to discourage responses from people who have something to contribute, but the entire gist of Al's message was just that some people are making money with IHI... but showing that some people actually make money with a particular chain letter wouldn't do anything to address the fraud inherent in any chain letter... similarly, Al's message does nothing to address the problems with IHI.

Those who think that I'm not treating IHI fairly and want to dispute that there are problems with IHI while refusing to address the issues as I have framed them, will have better luck putting up their own web pages, Otherwise, there's always the risk of seeing the Cagey Consumer make fun of their comments... even Consumer Reports has been known to laugh at manufaturers' claims.

Now, I'd like to compliment you on your site because I believe it takes education to change things. And as an educator, I believe we have failed in the academic world to talk about MLM. I am changing this in my classes.

You don't give any clue as to what sort of classes you teach or the level of your students. While there's lots of room for teaching practical information to high school students, for instance, I don't know we would agree as to what would be the proper message to deliver to such students about MLM.
Finally, IHI is acting responsibly to the accusations made against it. This should be credited to them. Furthermore, they do have some very good products at attractive prices. In the long run, I think IHI will be a stronger company, however, they should be given credit for taking a pro-active stand for the industry, their representatives and themselves.
That's not how I read IHI's response... as far as I'm aware, they still have a "fast start" program, which effectively pays for recruiting rather than selling, as well as several other features that look like "red flags" to me. Rather than acting responsibly, I interpret their response as one of trying to continue their abusive practices yet somehow get around the applicable laws. As to the quality or value of IHI products, I have no information.
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