Business Opportunity Rule #522418-12037

Submission Number:
522418-12037
Commenter:
Sheri Luther
State:
PA
Initiative Name:
Business Opportunity Rule
Dear Sir or Madam: I am writing this letter because I am concerned about the proposed Business Opportunity Rule R511993. I believe that in its present form, it could prevent me from continuing as an Arbonne Independent Consultant. I understand that part of the FTC's responsibility is to protect the public from "unfair and deceptive acts or practices," but some areas of the proposed rule will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for me to sell Arbonne products and sponsor people into the business. One of the most confusing and restrictive sections of the proposed rule is the 7-day waiting period to sign up new Consultants. Not only do Arbonne Starter Kits cost a nominal amount of money, the proposed waiting period gives the impression that there might be something wrong the Arbonne opportunity. During this waiting periodt, I will need to keep very detailed records when I first speak to someone about Arbonne and keep track of when to follow up. One of the main reasons people are so successful in my business is because of the initial excitement about the business opportunity and the products; the waiting period would potentially decrease this excitement, therefore decrease my ability to grow my business. The proposed rule also calls for the release of any information regarding lawsuits involving misrepresentation, or unfair or deceptive practices. It does not matter if the company was found innocent. A lawsuit may incorrectly imply wrongdoing and it seems unfair to disclose lawsuit information unless Arbonne has been found guilty of something. I fear being penalized by the impression a lawsuit would leave, even if I have done nothing wrong. Finally, the proposed rule requires the disclosure of a minimum of 10 prior Independent Consultants nearest to the prospective Consultant. I am glad to provide references, but identity theft is a reality we live with in today's world and I am very uncomfortable with giving out personal information about individuals, without their permission or knowledge, to strangers. Not everyone likes to have their information given to strangers and sharing this information could damage the business relationship of references with those involved in other companies or businesses, or provide an unfair advantage to competitors. In order to get the proposed list of 10 prior Independent Consultants, I would need to send the address of a prospect to the Arbonne corporate office in California and then wait for the list. The proposed rule also includes the language, "If you buy a business opportunity from the seller, your contact information can be disclosed in the future to other buyers" and prospects will be understandably concerned about their privacy. I would find it an invasion of privacy to disclose personal data, for my business purposes. I have been an Arbonne Independent Consultant for almost a year. I became a Consultant because I love the products and our family was in need of a second source of potential income. Since starting my Arbonne business, I have developed a team of 20 or more Independent Consultants across the country and together we are helping our families enjoy better lives. I truly appreciate the work of the FTC in protecting consumers, but I believe this proposed new rule would have many detrimental (and unintentional) consequences and I hope there are alternative means to resolving the outstanding issues at hand, without harming the livelihood of millions of successful network marketers, like me. Thank you for your time and understanding. Sincerely, Sheri Luther Independent Consultant