Saturday, September 19, 2015

Vemma Lost Injunction Fight. Now What?

If you haven't heard, Vemma lost its attempt to reverse the temporary restraining order put in by FTC when it was shut down. The judge found that the claims and evidence supporting such as put forth by FTC to have merit  and Vemma's counter-argument and evidence insufficient to counterbalance such evidence.

As a result, Vemma will have to change:
...prohibition of the sale of Affiliate Packs, and the linking or tying of an affiliate’s eligibility for bonuses or accumulation of qualifying points to their own purchases of Vemma product, whether through participation in the auto-delivery program or otherwise. 
The injunction will also encompass the “Two & Go” Program, which falls under the above prohibition.
In other words, buying drinks no longer counts as qualifying criteria.

What are the points to take away from this decision?

1. Affiliates are not customers

Affiliates' job are to FIND customers, and be compensated for doing so. They should not be customers themselves, who want product for product's value.

Yet there's no doubt that affiliates are making the purchases in Vemma. That leads us to the next item...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scam Psychology: How Context Makes You Irrational (even though it made sense to you... at the time)

Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court
Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court (Photo credit: southerntabitha)
We are all affected by context of a question than we care to admit, and by presenting certain things with the wrong context, scammers lead us into making irrational decisions, such as join a scam and hand over money.

Let's take the subject "Affordable Care Act", for example, otherwise known as "Obamacare".

Did you know that more people support "Affordable Care Act" than "Obamacare", even though it's the SAME THING? 46% oppose Obamacare, but only 37% oppose Affordable Care Act. People even protested at the US Supreme Court.

[Source: USA Today quoting CNBC poll]

This is ignorance. And this is in the general public.

Scammers LOVE this, which is why there are Obamacare scams.  Just as there are scams about everything.

So why are more people against "Obamacare"? Because the term was used by Republicans as as derogatory term. Never mind that it's actually Mitt Romney (Republican) that really came up with it for his own state of Massachussetts, leading to a new term, "Obamneycare".

In short, Affordable Care Act doesn't have the "context", the derogatory meaning that Obamacare has.

The lesson is very simple: you have to be knowledgeable and ignore context to make rational decisions.

In business and investment, that's called due diligence, which is really just "fact checking" and "critical thinking". You get all the facts and look beyond the context.

And scammers want you to throw due diligence out the window... by hitting you with slogans to ignore due diligence as well as give you skewed context (that are half-truths, misunderstandings, embellishments, conflicting info, logical fallacies, outright lies, etc.) to lead you into their scam.