Report: #363961

Complaint Review: Melaleuca

  • Submitted: Mon, August 18, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, June 17, 2009
  • Reported By: Sparta Wisconsin
  • Melaleuca
    Idaho Falls, Idaho

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I signed up for melaleuca under the understanding that I would make money because "everybody would buy this stuff". Well after the first few months of limitless phone calls and countless hours of unpaid work. I am disabled in a wheelchair and I have 3 children, 1 terminally ill, and 1 with autism. My husband is my full time caregiver and we receive less than a thousand a month for disability for a family of 5.

After 6 months of being forced to spend at least $50 per month mandatory on their overpriced products (which some were "ok" but not worth the price) I sent a cancellation letter explaining we could no longer afford to put any more money or time into their company. I also informed the person who signed me up and they harassed me to no end to "hang in there" that we would soon be richer than we ever dreamed of....blah blah blah.

The next month a package shows up on my doorstep and lo and behold they charged my credit card $65! I called the company and they claimed never to have got my cancellation letter and it costed me another $12 to send the products back! (I was out nearly $30 from shipping costs which were not refundable)

Again I sent another letter, this time certified, and the following month another package arrives! And may I add, due to these charges it made us short and late on our rent evey month for 4 months in a row causing our landlord to have to cancel our lease.

In the course of that 4 months 9 letters were sent 3 registed, 2 certified and notorized and 4 regular (I have all receipts) And all were received but not claimed to have been recieved and when I called asking for the mail dept and the person who signed for them I was told they no longer work for melaleuca...blah blah blah...
We finally lost our beautiful home and as a result could not find an accessible place and had to resort to living out of our van and using the ymca to shower, and the library for homeschooling our children and use of the computers.

We have now been homeless for 2 months and yet Melaleuca continues to send packages to our old address even though 2 have been sent back (no longer at this address) and they continue to charge our credit card, once for the package (our mandatory backup order + return shipping). I have even faxed and received faxed confirmations that they received our cancellation and they continue to charge us! They were even so bold as to automatically renew our contract without my permission! I have not received even a penny of refund from them (only excuses that I have to call their long distance number as they cannot transfer me to that dept....and I do not have a cell phone or long distance card.) They even have it in their records that we are homeless and we are still getting charged money we cant afford and useless empty apologies and excuses why we cant get our money back.

So, if you see the word melaleuca, TURN AND RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

Lorene formerly from:
Sparta, Wisconsin
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/18/2008 06:30 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Confused & hesitant in a way

AUTHOR: Jd - (Guam)

I just recently been offered to join melaleuca, and actually started with signing in except for the charge account part. My wife is more excited than i am with this. I am more hesitant and skeptical because i know a similar type of home-based business called Amway which my parents were involve in few years ago. And for some reason that didn't work out as expected also.
Now that i researched this business, reading through some good and bad comments makes me very confused whether i should proceed or not. It all sounds so good when you are being prospected by someone to get into this. But what should i believe? we are actually considering using up the money for our necessities that is suppose to last us until the next paycheck, but is it really worth the risk??? Is it worth being broke for 2 weeks plus the monthly payment that is added to our bills for this??? They're asking for $200 some for the value pack stuff.

confused and hesitant,
JD - Guam
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#2 Consumer Comment

Melaleuca has outstanding products and service.

AUTHOR: Frances - (U.S.A.)

I have been an active customer of Melaleuca products for 9 months. The more products I use the happier I am. Their Melaleuca Oil and Melagel relieve my migraines, their Renew keeps my Athlete's Foot and Eczema at bay, their supplements are phenomenal, their cleaning products are far superior to anything else I've ever used and on a per use basis significantly less expensive.

Personally I think Melaleuca is one of these little known gems in life that I am thrilled to have stumbled upon. The customer service (c\s) that I have experienced has been top notch and a breath of fresh air compared to the c\s at other companies.

I called the company one day because their video on nutritional supplements that I had received as a gift didn't work on my TV. I only called because I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Without hesitation the c\s rep said she'd put another one in the mail to me and there was no need to return the one I had.

Another day I had received a Value Pack and called to see if I could exchange the antiperspirant for a deodrant. The c\s rep told me I could exchange up to four items from the Value Pack AND (here's the amazing part) I didn't have to return the four I wanted to switch - I could keep them. I mean, how great is that?
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#3 Consumer Comment

I sold this with no problems

AUTHOR: Jgracey - (Canada)

I'm sorry to see people having these problems, but if you read and understand the commitment before you get into you don't usually have these problems. It sounds like you had a rep who didn't inform you properly.

I never had any problems with Melaleuca when I was selling it, nor did I have any problems when I wanted to cancel it.

I didn't go into it expecting to make a lot of money, but what I did make was enough to purchase my own products free of charge every month and that was all I was looking for.

It was not hard to sell these products, and it is still not hard to sell them, even in today's economy. My sister-in-law is still selling. The laundry and cleaning products are some of the best I've ever used, and still use the ones I can get. The antibiotic cream is amazing, but we can no longer get it in Canada. I find these products worth the cost. The vitamins etc....not so much.

The first thing I'd say is that the rep who signed you up was out of line and should have helped to cancel your account - a good account rep. will help you with whatever your problem is. Not only that, he/she was not terribly honest about how much money you make selling. You make more if you sign-up others under you. You don't make so much if you just sell it yourself. The rep we had was very honest about that. I knew exactly what I was getting into.

I don't know if you have an ombudsman service in your state, but if you do maybe they can help you, at least by them contacting Melaleuca on your behalf, you might be able to access the arbitration.
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#4 Consumer Comment

A lot of this report rings true

AUTHOR: Patricia - (U.S.A.)

Although there may be some exageration in the orginal report I must defend the original report. It was stated that the disabled person in the wheel chair was unable to pay their rent due to the automatic order sent and lost their "home" because of it. She was not talking "credit card" she was talking the bank "debit card".
I have been doing business with Melaleuca for a few years. I really like the product; however, I do not like the business practice.
As the economy has worsened my earnings have been "nicholed and dimed" to death. At one point I felt that I could not afford to meet my 35 point (about $75.)purchase committment to Melaleuca. I contacted the company and asked that I make a later order (in a new month). They said no. I contacted my bank and told them not to honor the request for payment for Melaleuca from my account. I felt I would be ok and went about my business. 10 days later Melaleuca went back to my account and recieved money for an order I had not authorized "ever". This act by Melaleuca threw me into a tail spin of my account being overdrawn and the charges attached to it. I am talking several hundred dollars by the time it stopped. It took me three months to make up for the loss of the approximate $75.00 order.
I have since attempted to close my account with Melaleca and keep running into snags that they "call not following the procedure for closing the account".
As far as selling the product is concerned it is very much a "pyramid scheme". It is far to expensive unless you are a preferred customer. People will not pay the cost but may be willing if they are a preferred customer. So unless you can get people to consider selling the product, chances of selling the product are probably slim.
I am sure the woman who orginally complained was hoping to make money selling this product and got caught in a quagmire of Melaleuca's double talk when it comes time to end the relationship.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Why do have a credit card?

AUTHOR: Pete G - (U.S.A.)

If you are explaining how bad your situation is i.e. "I am disabled in a wheelchair and I have 3 children, 1 terminally ill, and 1 with autism. My husband is my full time caregiver and we receive less than a thousand a month for disability for a family of 5."

Why would you have a credit card? If you are putting stuff on credit that usually is a good indicator that you cannot afford it on your own.

Come on, stop slamming a company for your troubles. They did not put you in a wheelchair. They did not force your husband to stay home and not work for a living. I'm saddened to hear that anyone has been confined to a wheelchair...for that my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine what that must be like. For your children, I am more saddened by this news of you not having a home for them, but please don't blame a company for your husband and yourself making the choice to have him stay home and not work. We all have choices, but to me...if you are getting credit cards and can't afford to repay the credit cards that in itself is irresponsible.

You are going on a National forum and stating that a company cost your family their home...??? Really? I feel bad that you might actually believe what you've written and have the audacity to tell others your mythical story. I hope you do not teach your children these fictitious and alleged stories as future reference for adulthood.

I wish you and yours all the best...and I hope you no longer believe what you've written.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Juan "Tile & Tub"

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

Juan, the Tile & Tub cleaner is concentrated. Full strength it will turn a very dirty penny
shiny in 30 secs.

KEEP out of the reach of children!!!!
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#7 Consumer Comment

Juan "Tile & Tub"

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

Juan, the Tile & Tub cleaner is concentrated. Full strength it will turn a very dirty penny
shiny in 30 secs.

KEEP out of the reach of children!!!!
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#8 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

It had nothing to do with this company (which I have never heard of) It has to do with the fact you cannot afford a mortgage with 1000.00 month income and kids.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Lost your house???

AUTHOR: Sara - (U.S.A.)

IF, in fact, any of this did happen (which I don't believe for a second) why did you not have your debit/credit card cancelled and reissued with a new number as soon as the second charge appeared? Your bank or credit card company would have taken care of that for you with one phone call to their toll free number. Melaleuca has a 94% retention rate so you can't say people quit left and right. I have had some customers cancel their account and it is a very simple process. I have never had a problem getting that done for one of my customers.

While I do feel for you with all that you have to endure healthwise I still can't help wondering why in the world you would let something go on so long and do nothing productive about it. As for the phone calls to Melaleuca, they have a toll free number that will get you to just about anyone you want to talk to, i.e. customer service for all aspects of your account. Now, I wonder, if you returned half of your order each month for however long, why didn't you just go ahead and cancel your account long before you did. Additionally, there is NO CHARGE for the Melaleuca website.

I have been a Melaleuca customer/marketing exec for 6 years and have honestly NEVER returned a single product. I love everything and I spend less money than I would on the store brands and get a much better product. Certainly I am getting safer, healthier products as well. With the Melaleuca vitamins and supplements I have lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure to normal levels and never had to take any chemical prescriptions. And, I have the utmost respect for the company and it's owner and management team, honesty and integrity are their top priority.

Now, here's what I think happened in your case: Either you had the misfortune to enroll with an individual who turned out to be a less than desirable mentor/trainer, therefore leaving you with the feeling that you could not move your business forward; or it simply is not the right home based business for you and you decided to look to someone else to blame for your failure. Melaleuca has excellent products, excellent compensation plan, excellent FREE training, excellent customer support and excellent management. If you can't make a go of your business, look inside yourself and don't try to place blame just because you can't face your own failure.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Melaleuca is the most honest company I've ever seen.

AUTHOR: Carol - (U.S.A.)

I'm very sorry to here of this customers misfortunes, however, I really have to question the comments made against Melaleuca. First off I have been a customer of Melaleuca for over a year and a half now. Their products are awesome. They are very well researched, many holding patents. We have saved so much money using their concentrated non-toxic products. Anyway, in response to the long distance calls-they have several toll free numbers to service their customers. ALL their products have a 100% money back guarantee. They don't have a specific person in charge of cancelling accounts. They have very large operator pools of people to take orders and give customer service. If a credit card was given as the preferred form of payment and there were problems cancelling the Melaleuca account, (which normally is very easy to do) the credit card company could have been notified and payments stopped. I have turned my family and friends (over 40 people in total) onto this company and they have all been very pleased with the products and exceptional customer service they have been given, as am I. It wasn't mentioned in this article but it was in another one I read so here goes...Melaleuca is NOT a pyramid scheme! It is a referral based company. I don't stock any products in my home, I don't sell products to anyone. I simply love the products and integrity of the company so much that I tell people about it and tell them how to order the products for themselves! As long as people I have referred remain customers I get a referral check each month. It's that simply!
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#11 Consumer Comment

Wow you lost your Home???

AUTHOR: Juan - (U.S.A.)

If you have a certified letter showing that Melaleuca received your cancellation, then all you have to do is forward that information to your Credit Card company and they will reverse the charges.

I recently signed back on to Melaleuca after being away for 5 years, and first of all, the products they have, especially the Ecosense line, really saves a LOT of money. Second, when you actually SHOP online, instead of not ordering and getting the backup order, you get like $20.00 a month in free products in your first 5 months. That's $100.00 in free products!! To top it off, usually, when I go to hit "Checkout", a special comes up offering some products at 30% off, or buy one get one free, or other great promotions that saves even more money.

Maybe Dishwasher detergent, Laundry Detergent, Vitamins, Shampoo and all that stuff costs more here in South Florida than it costs up there, but we're definitely saving money and loving the products.

As a side note, my 4 year old has Autism, and took a sip of the Tub & Tile cleaner. My wife panicked and called our pediatrician. It turns out that our Pediatrician was also a customer and he said not to worry their tub and tile cleaner would at the most give him a stomach ache, but he would be fine. I don't know of any other Tub & Tile cleaner that works like that, if it would have been anything else, he would be in the hospital getting his stomach pumped.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

Lost House, but still have a credit card!?

AUTHOR: Tn - (U.S.A.)

Call the 800 number and leave your calling card in your purse next to your credit card. The Melaleuca company is a 900 million dollar company and it sounds like you have a great case, documentation etc. I am sure you have had hundreds of lawyers contact you because of the merit of your case and offer to work for you for free. Which YMCA do you frequent so that a lawyer can find you?
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#13 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Susan - (U.S.A.)

i never seen in my entire life any homeless with a credit card......
how can people lose a house with melaleuca??????.....just IMPOSSIBLE !!!!!!
Get a job some work....don't blame Melaleuca. Do right things in your honest to your self.....
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#14 Consumer Comment

I considered Melaleuca about two years ago

AUTHOR: Chiliheadwizard - (U.S.A.)

I am incredibly sorry this happened to you! That's just wrong. Sorry I lack the words to say how wrong that is! :(

I considered Melaleuca about two years ago and had no such drama. (Knocks on forehead... I mean wood..) I was pregnant at the time and was researching home-based businesses. Melaleuca was one of four companies I was able to contact, the other three being HerbaLife, Usana, and Arbonne. Only HerbaLife seemed to be "pushy," and even that was only in comparison to the others.

My coach in Melaleuca tried a cool recruiting bid, a "September Special" so to speak, where she paid for the introductory package (that thirty dollar kit) for new recruits. I looked it all over and did the exercises about goal-setting, values, etc. but in the end, I found other goals that seemed more worthwhile to me at that time. I told my contact to reset my status to plain customer and thanked her to what I had learned so far. After about four months, I reset it to direct customer and stated my reasons. They respected it and that was that. Since I went for too long without ordering anything, I think my account by now is dead, but again I had no such issues.

My point is, whoever that coach is that you had is wrong. The coach had absolutely no business filling your head with lavish big-money promises. That was one reason I ran the other way from HerbaLife, as they were pushing for this "manager's package" that cost up in the thousands of dollars and kept focusing more on lifestyle, big houses, etc. and neglecting product discussions by comparison. The coach screwed up by not respecting your requests and the coach needs to be removed from Melaleuca.

I decided Melaleuca was not for me for my own reasons, but they never did anything like this to me. My wishes were respected. This coach you had is a crook or at the least too irresponsible and incompetent to be anybody's coach. Call the credit card company and tell them what happened. They will stop these transactions. I've had to do that with companies in the past that would not stop charging me for stuff, etc and they will help you.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Read the contract, be coachable and do the work.

AUTHOR: Mike. R. - (Canada)

I have been a Melaleuca "monthly" customer for almost eight years now and have helped almost seventy five others open Melaleuca accounts as well. I have learned that if people have problems with any aspect of this fine organization that they haven't read their agreement, they don't listen and they aren't prepared to do the work to be successful. There are no free rides even in Melaleuca and no one should expect there to be.

Melaleuca products in all categories are of exceptional quality, they are safe, work better and are more cost effective ( read economical ). They are also environmentally friendly. My family and friends are healthier and happier using these products.

I have found that Melaleuca and it's employees bend over backwards to satisfy any and all service issues ( no questions asked ) when and if they should occur.

Melaleuca is not perfect, but it is my opinion that it is about as close as it gets.

Thank you. Mike R. a very satisfied Melaleuca customer since 2001.
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#16 Consumer Comment

THEY ARE A ripoff

AUTHOR: Laurie - (U.S.A.)

MELALUCA has over sold its distribution network - there are thousands of people just like you who thought they would make a fortune and they only money they ever make is from those they have signed up to their downlines. If you are fortunate to find people to sign up.

I spoke to at least 5 distributors who were very desperate to sign me up to their downline. You could it hear in their voices, they were spending more on their required purchases then they were making at any time.

Any company that requires you buy the product in order to sell it, is a pyramid scheme and the only ones making money are those at the top of the pyramid.
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

You have the right to have your complaint arbitrated according to #15 of Melaleuca's Terms & Conditions...

AUTHOR: Dotcomgreenteam - (U.S.A.)

As a former employee (due to a home-improvement accident) of the Better Business Bureau's of Central Indiana and Illinois in the U.S., and knowing that Melaleuca is a current member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau, designated by the current BBBOnline logo displayed in the lower right-hand corner of Melaleuca's website (click on it for further information); anyone who has endorsed an Independent Marketing Executive Application and Aggreement and is a current or former Marketing Executive of Melaleuca, Inc. is allowed to have their claims or disputes resolved by binding arbitration, in accordance with condition #15. of the Terms and Conditions definitions located on most any Independent Marketing Executive Agreement.

Additionally, at the bottom of this agreement it states in all capital letters, "I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THIS AGREEMENT REVIEWED BY LEGAL COUNSEL OF MY CHOICE."

I heartily agree that anyone considering starting, owning, operating any type of business, whether a brick-and-mortar company or a Melaleuca business, consult with your financial adviser, accountant and/or business lawyer. You will receive a plethora of viable business advice that may possibly alleivate much of these unnecessary business disagreements and misunderstandings. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone can or has the acumen to own and operate a profitable business - just take a look at our current economic business disasters if you want further proof!
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

Cancel the credit card

AUTHOR: Chico - (U.S.A.)

This is so simple.
We do it every time the cards are lost. That way no more charges forever.
It is a tragedy so many people have a negative opinion about a company that to me is one of the best in the direct-selling industry. I signed up last year in August. I've sign up a few people and have had some of them cancelled. Never have had a problem.
I understood very well when I signed up I was committing to a monthly autoship/order of sixty dollars a month. I've checked the products and to me it is impossible to buy the same type of products, even if conventional, at any store or combination of stores for less than thirty dollars in a consistent basis. It may be possible for some people somewhere in the country, just not for me.
I come from the industry and seen how other companies require you to buy upfront, pay monthly memberships, buy six times as much product, buy things you don't really have a use for, buy motivational material for them to make a profit, etc., etc.

Anytime there are problems they're more than likely caused by misinformation. Lack of honesty in the person doing the reference--not Melaleuca.

This is my two cents.

Happy Melaleuca customer
San Jose Ca
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#19 Consumer Comment

Unauthorized Credit Card Charges

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

If you have proof of your request(s) to cancel shipments, you should be able to contact your credit card company and talk to them about these unauthorized charges. They might very well not honor future charges and may possibly even refund some of the charges on your account.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Unauthorized Credit Card Charges

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

If you have proof of your request(s) to cancel shipments, you should be able to contact your credit card company and talk to them about these unauthorized charges. They might very well not honor future charges and may possibly even refund some of the charges on your account.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Unauthorized Credit Card Charges

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

If you have proof of your request(s) to cancel shipments, you should be able to contact your credit card company and talk to them about these unauthorized charges. They might very well not honor future charges and may possibly even refund some of the charges on your account.
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#22 Consumer Comment

Keep the notified papers

AUTHOR: Tony - (Canada)

I signed up last month to do Melaleuca again. The first time I was a customer for 2 years, the second I pretty much wasn't thrilled that I had to use a Melaleuca approved website that would cost me money monthly (so I pretty much kept only half thier products and returned them.....with no problems) and in August I signed up with someone back East, but I don't think that is the right organization for me (thus I need to cancel for 6 months before changing enrollers) I sent my letter of cancellation on Friday. The first 2 times I cancelled I did it with NO problems (hopefully this time will be the same to, as I only sent the letter on Friday evening and it's a holiday this week too)

However if what you say is true, then I highly recommend you keep ALL your notarized letters to Melaleuca, and get one of those lawyers who you don't have to pay until you win your case (true if you win your case, they get a bigger cut than what a regular lawyer gets.....but should you lose.....then you still have to pay lawyer fees, so find those lawyers who you only have to pay comission IF YOU WIN)
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#23 UPDATE Employee

Recently joined Melaleuca

AUTHOR: Cheri - (U.S.A.)

Myself and my daughter just recently signed on with Melaleuca. I was curious about other people's experiences so I began looking on the internet for information. As, I'm reading the many posts on this site, I couldn't help but notice that the majority of complaints are from Idaho. My take on this is that perhaps it is an issue in that specific area. I simply find it odd that so many complaints are coming from one state, perhaps Melaleuca should investigate.
Upon joining we were made fully aware that we would be placing monthly orders and that if for some reason we were unable to place an order on any given month, a backup order (which we chose) was established that would be delivered and charged to our account. This was made very clear and not misleading at all. As for problems with cancellation and item returns, I cannot comment as I have had no experiences with that, but again, seems to be within a localized area.
Melaleuca is a business, and for a business to thrive and for you to make the business profitable, a product, service, information, etc. must be sold. It is marketed as a home based business opportunity, and if financially you are not able to make that commitment then you should not sign up. With any company I have been involved with there is always an upfront cost and an ongoing investment to work your business, so if you were told this was not the case, then indeed you were mislead, and I do feel bad for those who fall victim of a scam artist. It is so very necessary to read everything and ask questions to make sure you know what you are commiting to with any business!
I made a commitment to promote these products knowing my "job" was to refer others and get them to buy these products as well. I am excited to try the products and start my business and will most definitely repost as I learn more through my experience.
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