|Received:||6/18/2006 3:05:49 PM|
|Organization:||Healthy Living Alternatives|
|Subject:||Business Opportunity Rule|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 437|
Comments:I am writing today to appeal to you not to go forward with “Business Opportunity Rule, R511993”. MLM companies should have the same rights as any business, and follow the same business practices, but not be imposed with rulings that would make the opportunity for the average citizen virtually impossible. As a distributor and consumer, I am very concerned about these rulings and I know I am not alone. I have worked with MLM companies in the past and know that some out there are not very ethical, but that shouldn't mean that all MLM companies are not ethical. I believe research and awareness should be the factor in stopping these unethical MLM's not legislation that would prevent someone like me, single mother of 2, to have an opportunity to start a home based business. There are some good things about this ruling, and I understand that your function is to protect us, but there are some very wrong things about the “Rule” as well. One in particular that concerns me is confidentially and privacy rights. Some of these rulings are against my civil and constitutional rights. Why should a small business be any different that a large one? As a business we have a responsibility to our distributors and customers to keep their information private, not to mention the laws that govern. The Privacy Act of 1988 regulates the handling of personal information by Commonwealth and ACT government agencies and many private sector organizations. Personal information is information or an opinion that identifies an individual or allows their identity to be readily worked out from the information. It includes such things as a person’s name, address, financial information, marital status or billing details The References ruling would be impractical in finding the “10 nearest existing sales people” and is full of privacy and safety issues and opens the door to possible corporate liability for ID theft. Isn’t this why we have the Federal Privacy Act in the first place? Since 911, security has been an issue and this falls right in line with this concern. Another concern is that a home based business is run out of the home. Disclosing this information could put our families at risk of predators. I started a home based businesses just under 2 months ago called Healthy Living Alternatives. I am a customer and distributor for XanGo and Melaleuca. Neither company stated I had to invest more than just membership, which were around 30.00 each. I researched these companies even before I made the decision to join. I have since shared these companies with friends and family, who are looking into these companies for themselves. “One bad apple in the basket shouldn’t spoil the rest of the apples” because they did not do their research. This is why I am writing today to appeal to you not to go forward with these rulings. We pay taxes, we bleed when you cut us and our families starve when we can not provide for them. Both the companies I am working with have healthy living alternatives to the way we live each day. I chose to go with these two companies for one reason and that is to bring awareness to the consumers that they do have a choice. XanGo Juice is the mangosteen fruit which is changing people’s lives, giving them opportunities and choices to better their own lives as well as others. Melaleuca does the same thing. They provide non-toxic alternatives to a healthier life. Both companies rely on word of mouth, referring customers and neither company forces you or tell you that you have to become a distributor, it is each individual’s choice. But the rulings you are proposing will alternately break and prevent customers to have that choice. Both companies have a strong code of ethics that each individual must adhere to. Both companies realize us as customers and distributors representing them and expect us to use ethical business practices. Eliminating the $500 business threshold would force the majority of direct selling companies to comply with other provisions of the proposed rule that are more appropriate for businesses requiring a greater investment than a direct selling sales kit. The Litigation Reporting seemingly sounds great but is unfair in that it does not distinguish between winning and losing lawsuits nor the irrelevance of the reporting of almost all litigation regardless of the outcome. The Earning Claims ruling would make it difficult to collect required data and really only targets “bad actors” and will not provide accurate data, while legitimate companies will. While all the requirements are significant, the most devastating requirement is the seven day waiting period. This means that a prospective purchaser cannot sign a contract or make a payment until seven days has elapsed from the time he was given all the required disclosures. This requirement is an impractical approach to the problem. If you find something in the store you want to buy, are you going to wait 7 days? If you are prescribed a prescription, are you going to wait 7 days? This is not only going to hurt my business, but as Americans, when we find something we want to use, we would not see right away if the product works or fits us. This waiting period suggests a level of risk that simply doesn’t exist for XanGo and Melaleuca. Melaleuca and XanGo require a very minimal up-front financial investment, and XanGo has a generous buyback policy which presents little or no risk to a prospective purchaser. I understand that there are fraudulent groups out there, but this particular rule unfairly targets legitimate direct selling businesses.