|Received:||6/1/2006 4:23:15 AM|
|Organization:||Maur-Ann Associates, LLC|
|Subject:||Business Opportunity Rule|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 437|
Comments:The proposed Business Opportunity Rule (R511993) that would prohibit business opportunity sellers from failing to furnish prospective purchasers with material information needed to combat fraud and prohibit other acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive within the meaning of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act would adversely limit my ability to be a positive force to the people I encounter daily. The gift I have received from the Shaklee Corporation over the past 28 years (improved health) can be passed on to others more easily if R511993 is not enacted. At this critical time in America's history (escalating consumer pricing, increasing home foreclosures, large corporate decline, the escalating cost of health care coverage) and the desire of Americans to discover alternative health remedies) it is my desire to pass the story of my gift to others without undue restrictions. It is my understanding that those I contact after the Rule takes affect would be informed in writing: "If you buy a business opportunity from the seller, your contact information can be disclosed in the future to other buyers" will discourage people (who might benefit as I have) from sponsoring into my organization and enjoying the goodness available to them. Furthermore, in this day of identity theft, I am uncomfortable providing personal information of other Shaklee distributors, (without their knowledge or consent) to strangers. Both the seven-day waiting period for enrolling new distributors, as well as providing ten references (and the details surrounding that requirement) will seriously block my desire to provide health choices to those seeking such. Finally, the proposed Rule calls for the release of any information regarding lawsuits that allege misrepresentation, or unfair or deceptive practices over a ten-year period. Does it matter if the company was cleared of all charges? Today, almost all business lawsuits contain claims of misrep-resentation or unfair competition. It is not my role to disclose any lawsuits unless The Shaklee Corporation, or its officers, directors or sales department employees, had been found guilty or liable. Also, fifty-year old "success" companies, such as The Shaklee Corporation and its distributors would be placed at a disadvantage when compared to start-up direct selling companies, which may not yet have experienced litigation but which are far more likely to have legal issues surrounding their opportunities. Having been a Shaklee Distributor for more than 28 years, I initially got started because of Shaklee's natural, earth-friendly household cleaning products. Later, my physical health became an issue and I became interested in the Shaklee Natural Nutritional Products (I became convinced). Today I am providing that same avenue to others that each of them might enjoy a more fruitful life as I have been able to do. As the FTC continues its proacive status of protecting consumers, it appears this proposed new Rule contains unintended consequences for intellectual distributors and that there are less burdensome alternatives available to the agency to achieve its goals. I trust you will feel comfortable to contact me if you wish further information. Thank you for permitting me to respond. Sincerely, Maurice E. Ransom, Ph.D.