|Received:||7/16/2006 3:09:41 AM|
|Commenter:||Sheila Joy Phillips|
|Subject:||Business Opportunity Rule|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 437|
Comments:While the intention of the proposed rule is meant for the public good, attention should be paid to the differences between unscrupulous, fraudulent pyramid schemes and the like, and legitimate business models like Quixtar/Amway (which has been the legally accepted model for network businesses in the United States, and I believe other countries as well) for at least 2 decades. The proposal would allow incredible invasions of privacy (requirements to disclose specific earnings, personal information for financial substantiation, Independent Business Owner [IBO] contact information to prospects without knowledge or consent). Aside from invasion of privacy, sponsors would be penalized by giving information for 10 other IBOs, any of whom would be happy to register the prospect themselves. The requirement to disclose a litigation list does not specify the difference between cases found against sellers and those filed but without merit, nor does it allow for the distinction between individual businesses, educational organizations associated with Quixtar/Amway, and the corporations of Quixtar/Amway themselves. In the meantime, dishonest companies would merely ignore this rule. The requirement of a 7-day waiting period would cause the loss of 7 days of potential income for a registrant, and prevents him/her from immediate refund of money should he/she become unsatisfied. Rather, eliminate from the proposal 1) the waiting period, at least for opportunities like Quixtar where a prospect can get his money back if not satisfied; 2) the requirement to provide 10 references; and 3) the requirement to disclose past litigation. 4) Also, if disclosures are needed, require a simple, standard, easily understood disclosure such as "average monthly gross income for 'active' IBOs," and 5) IBOs should possess substantiation for any claim but should not be required to disclose it except when required by the FTC and similar state agencies in an agency investigation. The vast majority of IBOs are members of educational organizations (such as International Leadership Development [ILD]) that provide at least quarterly seminars and encourage the use of teaching references that are not sold for profit, but rather to develop profitable practices. As with any business, people may participate fully or not at all, with varying results, but usually the education results in better business conduct and personal growth. In my own experience, I have attended business meetings related to ILD and Quixtar that covered topics as varied as the importance of marital and family relationships and how they impact business; specific strategies in over coming obstacles (some presented by speakers Larry DiAngi, Rudy Rudecker, Mason Weaver, and via teleconference by Bill Porter); tax seminars; improvement of personal psychological and physical health; environmental impact of product manufacture and use; goal setting and achievement of those goals; how a well-developed business allowed an IBO to go on medical missions; and the history and role of capitalism as a foundation of the United States. Business should be a means, not an end in itself, and some of the points in the proposal would hinder legitimate business opportunities from aiding people going from a handout to helping others. Please consider the alternate solutions. Thank you for your attention.