Letters

Dear Editor



‘B’ for ball’s Olympic effort

How dare you publish an informative, well-worded, concise and hard-hitting magazine, as in this country we have an enviable record of centrally mediated “Manufactured Consent”.
If you carry on there will be no more fig fronds of misinformation to hide behind.
I would like to thank Mr Chris Ball for masterminding the Olympic bid. Without his dedication and his expertise it could all have been very different.
V Grate-full
Cape Town


Horrors! We weren’t invited to lawyers’ AGM

It was with absolute delight that I received the latest edition of noseWEEK. The Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of the Cape of good Hope took place in Cape Town from 13 to 15 October or thereabouts – I presume you were not invited!
Mark Nettleton
Grahamstown


Parliament takes note

Congratulations on your article on AMWAY. I raised this matter in Parliament in August, saying: “The scheme looks like a pyramid one … In an Amway pamphlet it is stated that one’s annual income can be R400 000 … But the US Federal Trade Commission demands that it be clearly stated on labels of AMWAY products that 54% of distributors each nothing, and for t he rest the average payout is 65 dollars [R325] per month.”
Any readers who have had their fingers burnt in this regard are welcome to contact me. Fax (021) 461 9687.
David Graaff MP
National Assembly


We’re classically clean . . .

We read with utter amazement your expose on the Amway multi-level marketing enterprise. Amazement because we had been under the impression that the commercial illegitimacy of such schemes had been effectively legislated against, and that the South African public had lost enough hard-earned money through the previous waves of parasitical invasions to blight our land.
We too have a direct selling organisation, ClassiCare, that brings our ClassiClean products into the homes of people and is neither pyramid nor multi-level. A well-designed, well-run direct selling organisation has enormous advantages over conventional retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay, and can deliver superb value for money right on the customer’s doorstep. The final judgement must be made by customers who are prepared to pay for the value offered, and this is the only test of sustainable competitive advantage. ClassiCare is prepared to stake its future on solid groundwork, hard to beat value-for-money products, and people of integrity backed by proven manufacturers.
The best advice we can give to those presented with lucrative “business opportunities” in this game, is to proceed with caution, check the source and supply chain, and check price competitiveness carefully. Products in the multi-level marketing organisation are typically far more expensive because of the long chain of distributors and agents.
ClassiCare has publicly declared its corporate ethic based, not on Christian “principles”, but on Christianity as revealed in the World of God. This does not, however, give us licence to prey on Christian institutions and churches for customers. As far as we are concerned, our customers are in the marketplace.
C H Roux
MD, ClassiClean (Pty) Ltd


I’m jumping ship

I joined IDA (a division of Amway) a few weeks ago, and read your article with interest. It substantiated some doubts I was beginning to have. Please feel free to publish my letter of resignation to my “Upline” Robbyn (The prices I quote are all wholesale prices, available to registered distributors only. The recommended retail prices are 30% more expensive.)
Dear Robbyn
I have been waiting enthusiastically for Amway to arrive here since I listened to Paul Pilzer’s tape and read his book marketed by the Amway founder. It is on the basis of his encouragement that I signed up.
What I have done in the last few weeks is to obey the Amway call to “Use the Products”, but instead of blindly believing the fantastic claims about the value-for-money they offer, I have been systematically comparing their quality to the brands I already use.
I was initially disturbed by several things, such as needing to use the same quantity of Glister as I use of Colgate, and discovering that Amway’s G&H Complexion Bar lasts just as long as a bar of Vinolia.
Amway’s Dish Drops costs R38 / litre = 3.8c/ml. Per wash: 3.8c x 3ml = 11.4c.
Compare Sunlight Liquid which costs R6.49 / 750ml = 0.86533c/ml. Per wash, that’s 0.86533c/ml x 5ml = 4.326c. Which means that Dish Drops costs 2.634 times more than Sunlight.
Amway’s Glister Toothpaste costs R27/200g = 13.5c/g. Compare that with Colgate, which costs R3.95 for 100g = 3.95c/g. Which means that to brush my teeth with Amway’s Glister costs 3.41 times as much as good old Colgate. (All the crap I have been fed about “you only need to use THIS much” is totally misleading. Have you actually tried it?
Amway’s G&H Complexion Bar costs R13 a bar. Compare that with Vinolia Sandalwood Soap, which costs R2.65 a bar, making Vinolia 4.9 times cheaper than Amway’s product!
These discrepancies are not trivial, Robbyn! They are scary. Amway is trying to persuade us to buy very expensive products , and convince our friends to do the same, so that we can all make money from our networks.
This explains why parasite companies like Amway founder Yager’s InterNet exist to boost the flagging enthusiasm of the distributors. When I can look at an Amway catalogue and see something which REALLY costs less than at my local store, I’ll be interested. I do not want to be associated with IDA South Africa, because there is too much evangelical proselytizing going on, and not enough genuine attention to the facts. Meanwhile, I think I will continue to use products which I know are of good quality, and which won’t bankrupt me.
I want to jump ship. Sorry to have wasted your time, but my conscience prevents me from deceiving people who trust me. They will see through the bullshit soon enough – and I’ll look a fool.
Andrew Shrosbee
Cape town

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