|Received:||6/26/2006 12:55:48 AM|
|Organization:||Advocare Independent Sales Consultant|
|Subject:||Business Opportunity Rule|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 437|
Comments:I am writing this letter concerning the proposed Business Opportunity Rule R511993. My initial response to hearing of the FTC's intent to make these changes is that in theory these changes might work, but in practice, it only hurts the hard-working, stay-at-home mom like me who is just trying to make extra money selling products I love to people who want them. Any business can be run by crooks which is why as Americans we must be diligent to research who we are buying from and what we are buying. If things go right, we must be a reference for that business, but if not, then we must get the word out and be diligent to make complaints to the proper sources and seek compensation for damages if possible. If there is no recourse, we must grow from our experience like mature adults and not blame the system and whine for more regulations. That won't stop the next criminal from coming up with an even better scam that follows all the rules until they have your money! The FTC should focus on making sure that people can file complaints and research companies easily (like the full disclosure on eBay where you can rate the seller and they can respond) and they should be diligent to identify the people involved in those scams, so they can't move on to the next scam so easily. AdvoCare International, a direct sales company based in Carrollton, Texas, offers high-quality nutritional products. I became a Member of AdvoCare because I like the products and naturally a business followed. Advocare is a solid company that has incredible policies for people getting their money back if they are dissatisfied. Those policies protect all distributors and the company. Here are some of my key concerns. First, I am against the seven-day waiting period to enroll new Members. An unrealistic delay would become extremely burdensome. I think that it is unnecessary because AdvoCare already has a buyback policy for all products and the sales kit purchased by the Member within the last 12 months. Again, people who have done their research would look for this policy before signing up and use a credit card to make that purchase for added security. AdvoCare’s sales kit costs only $50. Retail customers may purchase products that cost more than a kit and they do not have to wait the seven days. Under the proposed waiting period, I will also need to keep very detailed records when I first speak to someone about AdvoCare and will then have to send in many reports to the AdvoCare Home Office. Those requirements would create an impractical and undue burden on my time as an independent Member. Second, and probably the most important, is that the proposed rule requires the disclosure of individual salespeople or product purchasers geographically closest to the prospect. I am willing to provide references, but in this day of identity theft, I will not give out personal information to strangers. People should and will be reluctant to share their personal information with others they may have never met. Finally, the disclosure practice would also cause undue delays in enrolling prospective members. For example, in order to get a list of 10 prior purchasers, I would need to send the address of the prospective buyer to the home office and then wait for the list. How does this help?! Maybe the FTC can require this also be like eBay where members and customers can post ratings, complaints and responses? On eBay I do the research on sellers to see what their history is. There are ways to make this info available without disclosing personal information. I appreciate the work of the FTC to protect consumers, but I believe there are less burdensome alternatives available in reaching its goals. Thanks for your time and attention to this matter! I was scammed by a construction contractor where there are apparently no regulations which I found out on your website once it was too late! Maybe the FTC can focus on having them do all this reference work instead!