|Received:||6/8/2006 11:03:18 AM|
|Subject:||Business Opportunity Rule|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 437|
Comments:Dear Sir or Madam: I am writing this letter to express my strong opposition to the proposed Business Opportunity Rule R511993. Although the responsibility of the Federal Trade Commission is to protect the public from "unfair and deceptive acts or practices," I do not think the proposed rule would contribute to a healthy and profitable climate for small business owners. In fact, it would make it very difficult for me to continue to operate my business as a Shaklee Independent Distributor without duress. I depend on Shaklee income for my livelihood. I have been a Shaklee Business Leader for 33 years and have always followed the guidelines of integrity set forth by Shaklee Corporation. We do not need a Rule which depresses our business. It is unfair to place such stipulations on small business owners in direct selling when most other business ventures must meet no such disclosures as the Rule proposes. One of the most confusing and burdensome sections of the proposed rule is the seven-day waiting period to enroll new distributors. Most of the people who sign an application do so to purchase Shaklee products at a wholesale price. In other words, they are solely consumers of the products. If they later wish to build a business, all they must do is supply Shaklee Corporation with their Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number. There is no additional kit, fee or application required. If there is dissatisfaction with any product the unconditional Shaklee guarantee is an effective tool for reimbursing the member or consumer. The proposed rule requires the disclosure of a minimum of 10 prior purchasers nearest to the prospective purchaser. There are many problems with this proposed requirement. In this day of identity theft, I am uncomfortable giving out the personal information of other Shaklee distributors, without their knowledge or consent, to strangers. I understand that those who sign up after the rule takes effect would be told in writing "If you buy a business opportunity from the seller, your contact information can be disclosed in the future to other buyers." I believe that this would dissuade new people from signing up as distributors as they are concerned not only about identity theft, but also about their privacy. People today are understandably reluctant to share their personal information with individuals they may never have met. This is an unfair hurdle for building a business and an imposition on members who are strictly buying products. Providing the ten references also could damage the businesses of numerous Shaklee distributors. Lower ranking distributors often are involved in more than one direct selling company. Providing a list to a potential recruit, who may already be a distributor for a competing direct selling company, may be an invitation to solicit existing distributors for such other opporunity. The ten reference requirement also is an administrative burden. In order to obtain the list of 10 prior purchasers, I will need to provide Shaklee Corporation with the prospective distributor's address, and then wait to receive the list of the 10 nearest distributors who became distributors within the past three years. Each prospective recruit will need a customized disclosure statement. This will result in a delay far longer than seven calendar days before any potential recruit can sign an application. In view of the fact that many people enter direct selling part-time to earn extra income for a specific goal, such as holiday purchases or a family vacation, the long wait which the proposed rule will entail may make the goal unattainable. Please reconsider and modify the proposed Rule so that millions of distributors are not negatively impacted.