Archive for the ‘YTB Lawsuit’ Category

Oh, Good Grief…

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
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Remember the group of ambulance chasers that filled a Class Action suit just a day or two after California did?

Well, they’re at it again. (sigh….)

Apparently, being told “no” more times than I can count over the last 3 years isn’t enough and the group has been able to “vacate the judgment” and have it sent back to the Honorable Judge Murphy to re-hash this mess all over again.

For those that don’t know legalese “vacating the judgment” basically means the panel of three Judges put a “void” stamp on Judge Murphy’s dismissal and it’s being tossed back yet again.

Over the years we’ve had some very stern comments towards the Plaintiff’s in this case from the District Court.

Here are some of the quotes we’ve seen towards the Plaintiff’s in their motions (yes, plural) to dismiss:

ungainly monster of 39 pages containing 133 paragraphs

In fact, pursuing discovery in the hopes of turning up something that may lead to a lawsuit seems to the Court to be the very definition of a fishing expedition.

As a general rule the Court is not fond of “ill-founded requests for reconsideration of matters previously decided,” given that such requests “needlessly take the court’s attention from current matters and visit inequity upon opponents who, prevailing in an earlier proceeding, must nevertheless defend their position again and again.”

the Court does not intend to spend a great deal more judicial time than it already has spent in hashing over with Plaintiffs

So long as they are in this Court, however, litigants and their counsel do well not to treat the Court’s rulings “as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant’s pleasure

And my personal favorite:

authorizing a court sua sponte to strike “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter” contained in a pleading

I have to admit, after being raked over the coals so many times by the Court like this, mustering up the nerve to go back takes balls. (Excuse the metaphor.)

But such is the life of an Anti-MLM Zealot. Remember, they’re right, we’re wrong and there’s simply nothing one can do to calm the fears and outrageous perceptions they have surrounding a business model that’s been around for well over a century now.

You may be asking yourself at this point why these “victims” don’t just recoup their investment from the Illinois Settlement that set aside $150K for those who want to grab it. I can’t say for sure, but I’d speculate that the Attorney’s in this Class Action have spent way to much time and money on this over the last three years, and they’re desperate to get something out of this witch hunt. The Attorney’s after all will get a far better “pay day” than the entire Class combined. Just like California who pocketed $875K in the California settlement, leaving a mere $125K for the victims the suit was designed to protect.

To add insult to injury concerning this pleading, it was revealed two years ago that the Plaintiffs in this case have an average of 8 months of dabbling in the business.

Here’s a list of the who’s – who and their time spent “selling travel”.

  • Courtney Speed – 4 months
  • Kwame Thompson – 4 months
  • Grace Perry – 5 months
  • John Stull – 6 months
  • Faye Morrison – 11 months
  • Jeff and Polly Hartman – 18 months

On Saturday, when I wrote about the companies renewed focus on Travel, I revealed that I personally didn’t make money my first year in the business. (2005) Going back, my total commissions for travel was less than $26.00 that year. That said, I did however have bookings that produced travel commissions in year two and beyond.

For example: A client books a cruise with BandBVacations.com today for July, 2012. A deposit is made of around $100 per person for that cruise at the time of booking. Obviously, a cruise line can’t pay commissions to the agent based on a deposit that’s a fraction of the total sale. But somehow, YTB is expected to produce that commission, otherwise it’s labeled as “unprofitable”.

Second, while the suit claims that all the plaintiffs in the suit were both RTA’s and Reps with the company, it’s my understanding that at least one of the names listed was only a Rep, and never paid a dime to YTB to become an RTA enabling said plaintiff to even sell travel. Kind of hard to make money selling travel when you don’t even have a booking engine. In addition, a Rep position is, as it always has been – free. If it wasn’t free, then people would be required to actually “pay for the opportunity to recruit others”.

Payments to YTB Travel is as they’ve always been are to enable someone to sell travel with our Host Agency. Just like Nexion, Uniglobe, Expedia Cruise Ship Centers, or Coral Sands Travel. It’s a business like any other. What you do to produce income from it is up to you. But I’d highly recommend spending more than four or five months at anything you try before you up and quit. That my friends are the individual’s shortcomings – not the business.

I have no clue how long this go around will take to muddle through. I do however, hope that this go around will separate truth from the glorified hype and outlandish claims made by a group who has used words like “failed”, “corrected”, “deficiency”, “amending”, “incorrectly”, and “realized after 100 hours of arguing” in their pleadings over the last three years.

Such is the case of this suit and these Plaintiff’s that have more lives than a cat.

Idiots.

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Opportunities Never Go Away…

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
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They simply find the people who are ready for them.

As I sit here on the eve of another YTB / ZamZuu National Convention in St. Louis, I’m astounded how this company has changed my life to look for opportunity. How it’s prepared and molded my mind for business success. I’ve now overcome the fear of the word “no”, and in that same vein – it’s helped me help others who were willing and open to opportunity themselves.

Not everyone has taken advantage of the opportunities presented to them. I think it was Edison who said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” There’s a reason why the word “work” is placed in this industry we call Net”work” Marketing.

If you really study the MLM model, and become a student of the industry you’ll find that this model instills a work ethic and business savvy that you won’t find in any school. It lays a foundation of real – practical business principles and practices that you just can’t find anywhere else.

That being said – I realize that there are so called “experts” out there who will attempt to argue the points I’ve laid claim to above. You (and they) know the ones that I’m talking about. The obnoxious loud mouths who believe they know better than we do – who have it all figured out. Keep in mind that these are the same jerks who warned everyone three years ago that YTB was going to be shut down by the California Attorney General on the eve of the 2008 National Convention. Their experience has taught them that a company that finds themselves in the midst of a $25 million lawsuit will fold like a wet noodle.

I’ve seen instances of companies actually crumbling for far less money and vicious accusations or monetary compensation – but then again, the examples I can recall are traditional business models – not Network Marketing companies.

Companies like Amway, Herbalife, PrePaid Legal, USANA, NuSkin, and YTB have all been victimized by lawsuits claiming they’re some sort of scam and survived because these so called “experts” who get their little panties in a wad aren’t the business minds, or protectors of industry and justice they claim to be. At most, they’re opportunists themselves who take advantage of people’s fears and insecurity instead of instilling rational and logical thinking. It’s simply a chance for them to grab the spotlight and make themselves feel important.

There’s an ancient Chinese proverb I saw just the other day. “Those people who judge a books by their covers…..have difficulty reading!” When it comes to my experience with YTB and critics, that’s about as close to reality as it comes. With some of the outlandish, bizarre and irrational statements I’ve seen over the years surrounding not only MLM but YTB specifically by these people, that proverb pretty much nails it.

Something else I’ve learned over the years about these “experts”. When it comes to owning up to mistakes, inaccurate speculation, or just plain lies – they’re cowards. Actually, their mind, (more accurately “ego”) won’t allow them to admit they might be wrong. This perception they have is the only thing they have to hang on too.

Let me give you an example.

Last week, I was talking with one of our Directors about the once infamous John Frenaye. If there’s anyone who’s fallen prey to speculation and rumors it’s John. The guy would fall for just about anything posted on the internet as “truth” or “fact” if it has a negative ring to it. Even when there nothing there, he’ll manage to create it just to grab some attention. You can only imagine how “excited” John must have been when word of the California lawsuit was announced the night before the 2008 Convention. You’d think the simple filling of this suit meant it was a done deal the way he sensationalized the cover of this suit.

But those of us who went beyond the simple cover, and actually read the verbiage and actually comprehend our business had a completely different take. So much so, that this Director made a bet with Mr. Frenaye.

Sometime after the suit was filed, the two made this gentlemen’s bet. If the suit was indeed accurate, John would get what he wanted. The total and complete illumination of a so called pariah in an industry he actually doesn’t own but merely works in.

If however the suit wasn’t successful in shutting down YTB like Jerry Brown boldly proclaimed he could do – there would be a public apology by John at the next National Convention in St. Louis.

While there was an attempt to make some sort of assurances that John would keep his word on this – according to the account of the Director who made this bet – John’s enormous ego wouldn’t permit him to even speculate any possibility that YTB could survive the cover of the claim.

The National Convention in St. Louis this week will be the third since the suit was first announced in 2008. Along the way there was a $100 Million Class Action filed which has been thrown out of court more times than a cat has lives, and another suit filed by the Illinois Attorney General that honestly just sat there collecting dust for two years before it quietly went away.

John being the gullible and clueless soul that he is obviously took the bet. In his mind – the cover matched his perception, and there was just no way on God’s green earth that he’d ever have to muster up any type of apology with these kind of stakes stacked up against a bunch of lowly MLM Yahoos.

Now I can understand the absence of a full-fledged apology in 2009. While John had certainly speculated that bankruptcy or the YTB Founders riding off into the sunset with everyone’s money was an absolute certainty by the time we all got together in St. Louis at the time, none of the facts about our model had really come to light a year later. Nor were any of the suits either settled or thrown out of court outright.

I’ll even let 2010 slide. He was after all holding on to a thread of hope that the laws as they’re currently written in Illinois would magically change or be re-written in his favor.

However, it’s now 2011 and all three suits have either been settled both legally and monetarily or been pummeled to death by the court system as being “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter”.

So that begs a very serious question. Could this be the year that YTB gets the apology from this once infamous critic who now finds himself on the wrong end of this bet?

Honestly, I doubt it. Cowards like John and the other critics who have quietly removed themselves from the soap boxes they once stood on just don’t have it in them. The opportunity to correct the years of slander, malicious abuse and misleading information posted on No Travel MLMs will never go away.

Unfortunately, I don’t see John being ready. A far better alternative is to just quietly fade away like he has. However, because YTB will continue to hold National Conventions like the one this week in St. Louis – the opportunity for him to man up and do so will never go away. ;-P

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Does A Better BBB Grade Really Change Anything?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
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If you’re a regular reader of this site – you should know my views about the Better Business Bureau. Truth is, regular reader or not, the articles I wrote last year are widely read with links from BBB Roundup and Google searches from individuals questioning the validity of the BBB.

Once upon a time, the Better Business Bureau was a well-respected and viable source to gauge a company’s performance. However in recent years, the Bureau has come under tremendous fire with high pressure “pay to play” shenanigans mistakenly reserved for Network Marketing companies.

Their problems all started when the BBB changed their system in January of 2009 from a simple “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” rating system to an A to F “grading” system. Since the switch, the BBB has been exposed as playing favorites to those who pay for better grades or downgrade companies who complain to the BBB about their existing grade – which misleads the public. I’ve seen several posts on Facebook over the last 9 months about an ABC news piece that exposed their horrid tactics. When the BBB gives an A- to an organization like Hamas (the Middle East terror group) and an A+ to a skin head white racist group called Stormfront who bought their grades simply by paying the BBB for accreditation – it raises some serious heat. Anyone who saw the piece knew that the BBB themselves were on the take.

After the airing of this news piece last year, Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal sent an official demand letter to the national headquarters of the Better Business Bureau to stop using the grading system, stating the grading system was “harmful and misleading” to consumers.

Imagine that?

Since writing the articles last year, I’ve yet to see a single thread of evidence that the BBB has changed their tune. As far as I’m concerned they’re still just as shady as the day is long.

To my surprise last night, a memo came from the YTB home office about the companies poor rating the last few years being upgraded to a C+ rating. I have to admit – the first thing that crossed my mind when I read the memo was that the company had succumbed to the BBB’s pressure tactics and paid for accreditation. I’m happy to report however, that the home office DID NOT pay for this upgrade. (YTB is still listed as a Non-Accredited Company.)

So what’s with the change in grade from the BBB?

First, the company’s explanation to the BBB’s change of heart.

According to the memo that was sent out to the field, both Sandy Pippins and Casie Fuqua have been working with the local BBB chapter to clear up some of the misrepresentations the BBB has concerning YTB. Another huge plus for the upgrade in their system is the frivolous lawsuits filed against the YTB International (and other non-relevant third parties who were also named) is now behind the company. I don’t know what happened to “innocent until proven guilty” in this country – but the mere filing of a lawsuit (no matter how outrageous the suit appears to be) constitutes a failing grade with the BBB.

Anybody can file suit – but then you have to actually prove your case in the court of law to determine the outcome.

I realize there are groups of individuals who believe that deflecting on “issues” or trumped up “problems” is the way to go. The BBB grade the last few years was one of the “issues” people were warning others about to stay away. While venting makes these idiots feel better (momentarily), there’s never really any resolution or solution attained using this method. We’ve seen that example all too often from irate and irrational critics who’ve been attempting to slander YTB with what ever they can dream up. If you take a look at then, verses now – these same clowns are no closer to a resolution than the day decided to start crying about these so called problems.

YTB on the other hand is a company that focuses on solutions rather than problems. They act like adults rather than children who haven’t attained the proper tools to resolve the most elementary issues. By discussing their differences calmly and logically (instead of emotionally charged outbursts) any differences or issues are eventually resolved.

Anyone who’s willing to sit down honestly with YTB (or anyone for that matter) will have a completely different view with proper dialog. If you’re capable of actually learning and comprehending basic business – it’s not that hard to see why YTB or Network Marketing works. Besides, if a company can manage its way through all the mudslinging and false claims it had levied against them – there’s got to be something more to YTB than what you may have seen or read here on the Internet.

Another reason why the BBB may have upgraded YTB’s rating is the BBB, (like Steve Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus) may finally realize that they need to supply a more honest review of businesses if they want to salvage any chance of being a respectable organization. From what I hear, pay to play is a big “no no” – and with the cat out of the bag about the BBB – it’s about time they make some changes to this hideous grading system. While the apology from Cox for the BBB’s lack of proper investigation and strong arm tactics was certainly warranted – it’s really just lip service unless you actually DO something to change the way you grade and operate.

As a result, I’m somewhat torn about this new upgrade in YTB’s grade. On the one hand, I want to give the BBB the benefit of the doubt that they’re attempting to make an obvious wrong right. People do it, and companies do it. On the other hand, I also know how lazy our society has become and how a growing segment of the population don’t actually take the time to investigate anything on their own. A C+ could prompt someone to dig a little deeper and the smart one’s would be pleasantly surprised if they obtained information from sources that actually have some type of experience or logical insight.

I guess until I see some more real – honest changes from the BBB, they’re still on double secret probation. Extreme caution and other more reputable sources are still in order when it comes to the BBB for the time being. (I do however hope they can pull it off.)

Regardless of how I feel about the BBB personally – this IS another good sign that the malicious mudslinging that was thrown YTB’s way by confused and uneducated twits’ continues to be wiped away. Like the lawsuits that were designed to destroy a fine viable company – overzealous critics no longer have the BBB to use as a mud ball.

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Last YTB Lawsuit Ends In Another Resounding “Thud”

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
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I would start off with “I hate to say it” but that wouldn’t be accurate or true. Fact of the matter is – I’m rather pleased that “I told you so“.

In a press release announced yesterday, YTB has agreed to enter into a final judgment and consent decree by the court without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law concerning yet another slanderous and erroneous lawsuit against YTB – this one filed by the Attorney General in Illinois.

Total damages of this lawsuit – basically restitution for approximately 300 people. I’m being generous with this number, simply taking the $500 start-up fee in the purchase of an online booking engine and not accounting for any monthly fees. We’ve learned from the Class Action that has been thrown out of court a half dozen times (and counting) that most who look for this type of refund or restitution don’t give the business much time or effort before they throw up their arms and quit.

Total cost of the restitution – $150,000 which represents 0.002% of everyone who’s ever signed up with YTB Travel as a Referring Travel Agent.

It’s important to note that all this money should go to former RTA’s of the company. There’s never been any fee for the right sell these websites to anyone (known as a “REP”) – although someone in the Class Action suit never paid a dime, but wanted restitution anyway.

Even when you combine the restitution to “victims” in the California suit settled two years ago, that still totals less than $300K. If you’re thinking – “wait a minute that was settled for $1 million?” you’re partially correct. Almost 90% or more exact – $875,000 went directly to the State of California, leaving a measly $125,000 for the “victims” that suit was designed to protect.

Look – I know how all these law suits put some people in a tizzy. Frankly, some who don’t know squat about Network Marketing (and never will the ignorant Zealots) became raving lunatics about the claims filed. Problem is – these suits were just that – claims. Most simply skipped ahead and proclaimed YTB was guilty of what was said simply because it matches their limited knowledge about the industry as a whole.

Now those who claim to be experts but have no real – practical experience will certainly have egg on their face. Truth is and always has been that nobody ever paid for the opportunity to recruit others. In addition and like it or not, other Host Agencies do charge a startup fee and monthly maintenance to partner with them.

And let me tell you – there was just no way any court would allow anyone to bypass those facts. Not even an Attorney General.

So here I sit today, with the same company, pretty much the same booking engine, and an even better opportunity I had three years ago. My commissions have actually increased from 60% to 75% on travel, and I’ve got an online store that gives me additional commission and provides cash back to my customers.

Instead of going out of business like some had speculated – I ended up with a better business. And I didn’t have to move an inch.

That’s what YTB has always been for me. Nor was there ever any doubt that it would survive. The clowns with the circus act with tails about a “house of cards” this and “endless chain” that don’t have a clue what their talking about. I know the industry from experience, I also know that Founders from personal contact. It was very clear to me that people totally underestimated both. That’s why I stuck around.

Sure there will be those that will continue to harp on the failed attempts to put the company under. They need someone like Jerry Brown or Lisa Madigan to justify their meaningless existence and limiting beliefs. There will also be those that want to focus on the recruiting aspect of the company. If they do more power to them – it’s their problem and misinformation, not mine. Network Marketing has been available and sustainable for the last 125 years. So get over it.

To me – honestly – some acted like such crazed dogs they need to be shot and put out of their self-inflicted misery. It never ceases to amaze me how some will just prowl every nook and cranny to find something they can get upset about. Or even worse, just make it up as they go along. And when challenged with an opposing view, they pretend to talk to someone else who agrees with them. Like that’s healthy or even normal.

I have to admit – it’s hard to believe that all this started three years ago. It sure has flown by. Probably because I always knew the bark was far worse than the bite. While some can’t seem to distinguish the obvious difference between a legitimate Direct Sales company or MLM and some long winded and very broad terminology that scream “pyramid scheme” it’s good to see that right still wins over wrong.

Happy to have all this behind us and I’m certainly ready to move on with a stronger, more lucrative, and diversified company. In that regard, I’m certainly not sorry any of this happened. Times like these always separate the weak from the strong – and the strong always get stronger.

Maybe now with this last suit out of the way we can get back to what we initially set out to do three years ago – Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Travel.

It’s been long overdue.

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YTB International Reports 15% Increase

Friday, September 10th, 2010
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You had to have known this day was coming. Actually, in my opinion – it’s been long overdue. Sooner or later, people were going to figure out who’s right – and who’s been blowin’ a bunch of smoke up everyone’s skirt. (“Skirt” isn’t my first descriptive choice – but you get the idea.)

The longer this charade of ridiculous Internet bantering and meritless lawsuits about YTB being some sort of “pyramid scheme” or “scam” went on while YTB continued its operations – it was inevitable that things would start to turn around.

Zealots can only cry wolf for so long.

In a press release sent out late yesterday afternoon (that flooded my in-box with no less than a dozen “Google Alerts” from various sources) YTB International reported a 15% increase in the number of active Business/Store Owners in the month of August.

YTB is back on the upswing.

The increase follows the Company’s National Convention held in St. Louis, in late August, which provided a number of announcements and new initiatives.

This year’s Convention marked the two year anniversary of a what I’ve always considered a lame stunt by California’s Attorney General – who filed a $25 million lawsuit the day before the 2008 Convention proclaiming he would end the companies “gigantic pyramid scheme”.

I really can’t blame people for falling for the A.G. or the unfounded claims. After all, simple perception would indicate that an Attorney General would have some understanding of the law. After reading the suit however, it became evident that Jerry Brown wasn’t any smarter than the common critic hiding behind a keyboard and screen name who banters away on forums or blogs bashing MLM proclaiming everybody is “paying for the opportunity to recruit others.”

To add insult to injury over how ridiculous this whole thing went down – the $25 million was settled out of court for a mere $1 million. Even more amazing – the A.G. who claimed the suit was filed to “protect consumers” – a measly $125,000 ended up going to consumers with the remaining $875,000 going to the State for the trouble.

Things that make you go “hmmmmm”.

We also can’t forget the “Class Clowns” who simply can’t take no for an answer. You know – the Class Action with nine lives? That redundant joke has been beaten and bloodied to death by the Court system so many times, I’ve lost count. Typical of the anti-MLM crowd who can never actually learn from others who are much smarter (or even more powerful than they) – just keep doing and saying the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

These people don’t need a Lawyer – what they need is straitjacket. (They truly are insane.)

Such is the life of “stoo-pid” critics who can never seem to read properly or learn anything new to ease their suffering and phobias. If you could ever catch one of them hiding out behind a screen name and keyboard they’d have the letters F.E.A.R. lambasted on their forehead.

And if you don’t know what FEAR means – it stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. These dumb clucks will fall for just about anything as long as it sounds negative.

I haven’t bothered to check into any of the bantering since Convention. While I’m not sure how anyone could argue with “Free” I’m sure there have been some pretty good stabs at creating drama – simply because they need that kind of fix to make themselves feel normal. Separate the word “dis – ease” and you’ve got a pretty good understanding of how these people tick.

The last time I checked in with the “chicken coop” they were in some tizzy about Coach, Scott, and Kim pumping up the stock before Convention. Oddly enough, no Form 4 was ever produced showing any of the three purchasing or selling a single share. The only documentation filed with the SEC pointing to any of the three also happened yesterday when Kim Sorensen transferred 4 million shares to a Limited Family Partnership for estate planning purposes.

Just another example in the mile long list of myths and rumors that have once again been sqashed with actual documentation – exposing how desperate and dumb zealots can be.

Can’t say that YTB is out of the woods just yet, even with this increase in Business Owners. It’s only one month – and we’ll need to string together a number of months before the heat really gets uncomfortable for the “chickens” peaking over the other side of the fence.

If you happen to spot them, just smile and wave. Then go out and find somebody who’s brighter and smarter than they are and willing to learn.

Not that hard to do considering. Just keep moving forward.

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Memory Lane

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
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Now that we’re inside 30 days until the Convention, most of the “news” and “upgrades” are saved for those who actually show up in St. Louis. I went back to July, 2008 to review all the excitement of our largest Convention to date – the buzz about Lady Liberty – and clear signs that YTB was doing everything they could to appease California’s claims about YTB being a “gigantic pyramid scheme”.

The month before Convention, YTB announced they were contemplating a franchise model, and also removed the booking engine link from the marketing sites although nobody really knew why these changes were being made so close to Convention.

Hindsight is always 20/20 – and it’s clear looking back that YTB and California were communicating at the time. YTB was making the appropriate changes during their discussions to conform and ease the concerns California had.

Discussions had been going on since January 2007 when YTB came out with booking requirements for credentials in California. New legislation passed in the state required that any agent had to actually book travel before they were qualified to carry any card offered in the industry.

Typical of critics and zealots who have no clue – they thought this legislation would stop the massive growth of YTB and end the reign of MLM’s in their industry. What it did was put YTB on the map in California. At the beginning of 2007 there was somewhere around 3000 RTA’s in the state. By the end of 2007 – there were more than 20,000.

Oooops.

So zealots and critics do what they always do – they come up with more obstacles. Another group of “professionals” convinced Royal Caribbean to pull the plug on bookings with them to make it look like suppliers were now against MLM.

Problem was – business isn’t that stupid – bookings are bookings and only one other company YTB did a small number of bookings with pulled the plug besides RCL. (There was one other, but I can’t remember who it was. We never did business with them to begin with but any critic could tell you because it matters to them.)

After only securing 3 vendors with no more in sight, critics then came up with more complaints and more hoops that YTB had to jump through in order to remain “compliant”. The heat was cranked up after the company showed a profit to the SEC and was labeled a “Darling” instead of a “scam”. The company got their stock symbol off the Pink Sheets and back onto the OTC.BB. We also can’t forget YTB’s 9 point jump in Travel Weekly’s Power List from #35 to #26.

It scared the living daylights out of the dolts who can’t accept MLM and Network Marketing as a legitimate and viable business model. Remember THEY have to be right – otherwise they’re entire world collapses. MLM’s just can’t do things like this – it’s not right and there has to be something wrong here. (Small thinking I know – but look at whose pointing fingers at us.)

Since nothing critics said or did appeared to be working – they did what they always do when MLM grows to big too fast for their comfort zone. You file a $25 million lawsuit and for added impact they did it the day before everyone got together for the largest Convention to date.

That ‘ill show ‘em! Right?

Wrong…

Fast forward to 2009, and we find Jerry Brown announcing that he “brought an end to an elaborate pyramid scheme” in a very amusing press release. Legal documents however confirmed that all the time and money spent on the litigation pointed directly to the hoops YTB jumped through before the suit was filed to appease concerns about being an illegal pyramid scheme.

If you’re thinking the pyramid schemes are illegal – you’re spot on. Programs and companies that fall into that category are shut down – abruptly.

Since little had changed and Jerry’s claims about shutting the company down fell woefully short – we showed up a year later for another Convention.

California’s suit did work to some degree however. The suit did bleed the company of money with litigation and we never achieved the franchise model announced in 2008 as a legitimate or respectable “franchise”. We still don’t have a franchise to sell. After California took $875,000 from YTB’s pockets, (leaving only $125,000 for the “victims” they claimed they filed it for.) they handed their false claims over to Illinois to squeeze more money out of the company. The company continues to tolerate this myth that someone actually pays for the opportunity to recruit others into a pyramid. (Something that YTB has never done since it’s inception in 2001.)

The Illinois litigation has been stalled since it was filed – ironically filed  just 4 hours after the settlement with California was announced more than a year ago. After passing the baton, millions continue to be spent by both sides over ignorance, bitterness, and sheer stupidity instead of actually spending time and money on franchising.

Now that we’re two years removed from California’s stunt and we’re gearing up for our second Convention since the California A.G. announced his goal of ending our “pyramid scheme” I have to wonder if critics of YTB still think they won and we lost. Sure YTB has been bloodied and battered over California’s claims. The perception over the mere appearance of the word pyramid scheme would put some companies out of business.

Unfortunately, perceptions and accusations can’t overcome or extinguish truth or fact. The false claims from States like California and Illinois and the incessant shaming of our founders and members of YTB by overzealous critics has – in its own way – done some good.

Anyone who takes what they’ve read verbatim or doesn’t conduct their own due diligence about YTB (or Network Marketing in general) certainly won’t take the steps necessary to build a business. I learned very early on in my carrier with YTB that changing habits and perceptions over the ridiculous myths about money just rolling in without doing any work is an unnecessary step in the process. For the vast majority, it stacks the odds against them. While it’s not impossible – it’s a long shot at best that you can extract the weeds that choke logical thinking or change lazy habits if someone is unwilling or uncooperative.

To use an already overused verse – “You can lead a horse to water – but you can’t make them drink.”

I’ve seen and heard about the fears about brain washing. I’ll freely admit that I’ve been brain washed and take the term literally.

Thanks to my journey with YTB and the study I’ve done over the years, my mind has been cleansed. Dirt, stains, limiting beliefs, or any matter that doesn’t serve me has been washed away. One definition is “to free from spiritual defilement” which is appropriate when it comes to the brain. You are what you think about most of the time. What you focus on expands.

Some will continue to focus on perceptions, claims, fears and phobias. (Daily no less.) While the smart ones will see right through the hype and limiting beliefs. I find it fascinating that it’s the folks at YTB who are the ones who mislead and hype everything up. We’re the ones labeled as uncooperative and unwilling to see the light.

Looking back and reading memory lane documented here – and the fact the another Convention is less than 30 days away – me thinks it’s the other way around. ;-P

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Update: Entire YTB Class Action – Dismissed

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
21
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For anyone hoping that the one remaining defendant left in the Illinois Class Action would save the day – sorry. (Not really, but “sorry” sure sounds good!)

Saw this coming a mile away: If it’s going to be tried at all – it will have to be done in State Court. A guy who spent just 6 months attempting to become a “travel agent” and quit cause he couldn’t make any money. (Gee, a whole 6 months was all it took to figure it all out?)

This from KMOX news:

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOX) — More now on the federal suit against an on-line travel business accused of operating a pyramid scheme.

A federal judge in Southern Illinois has formally dismissed the entire consumer lawsuit against Wood River-based YTB  – also known as Your Travel Biz .

The judge had dismissed most of the original plaintiffs last week, based on the fact they aren’t residents of Illinois where the company is based, but were suing under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.   Now the court has ruled the final plaintiff, who is an Illinois resident, must take the case to state court.

Plaintiffs had alleged YTB was operating an illegal pyramid scheme.  YTB charges investors for the right to sell travel packages.  Investors claimed they weren’t able to make money without recruiting new investors.

The Illinois Attorney General has also filed a lawsuit against YTB based on consumer complaints.

~~~~

Two years of praying that $100 million would put YTB out of business…out with one last puff of smoke.

Buh – Bye

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