Seeking Alpha

Rogier van Vlissingen

 
View as an RSS Feed
View Rogier van Vlissingen's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • John Desimone Is A Very Crafty Fellow [View article]
    Sacathanas: First of all I don't work there, but I do occasionally refer customers, for I support the mission of promoting green energy. And again the issues of deregulated energy are pretty far afield from what's under discussion here, and in my experience the company has always taken care of business every time when issues arose. I could write a book about the deregulated energy industry, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it would take us too far afield just now.
    Aug 21 04:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • John Desimone Is A Very Crafty Fellow [View article]
    The real art form is lying with "accurate figures," and get it past your "auditors." Where have I heard that one before? Who wants to bother with all these people who read all those numbers anyway?
    Aug 21 10:59 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    EC: the same/not the same. This is the type of confusion that is deliberate in MLM, but simple math would prove out that the probabilities change with every sign-up, and with a number of external influences as well (notice how HLF recently lost some leaders to another co in Malaysia, because the grass looked greener on the other side of the fence?). Because it is too cumbersome for all these people to get their school money back, and re-take math 101, the only option seems to be for the FTC to step in and regulate.
    Aug 21 10:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Going To Finally Stop Herbalife? [View article]
    RJM2 - Amen
    Aug 21 09:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Going To Finally Stop Herbalife? [View article]
    dectra: Your argument, which is frequently heard around here, that Ackman is a stock manipulator, is too silly to be believed. He and his team have a better understanding of the law than to even consider that possibility. HLFs problems are of their own making, and the short-sale just provided the incentive to buy a big flashlight and shine the light on the problems.
    Aug 21 08:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    Eamon Collins:

    You state:
    quote
    The opportunity to earn money is better than reasonable IF people learn how to do it then do it consistently. Most people people don't. Don't blame MLM for people exercising their choice not to do something.
    unquote

    That IS exactly the lie of MLM, and it is made a lie by basic math. Fundamentally the opportunity is always represented as the same for everyone and it never is, from the moment the first person signs up. And even then, it all depends on a combination of luck and skill, so there is never a situation where it is a sure bet, like MLM likes to represent--you just have to work hard and success is guaranteed.

    This is the fundamental lie of MLM. They set up the victims of their advance-fee scam to believe that they failed to "work the business hard enough." The problem is that this type of misrepresentation will never build a stable business. But since the industry won't regulate itself, hopefully regulators will come in and do it for them. If this business can not be turned into an honest business, it will have no future, never mind how long regulators take to deal with it.
    Aug 21 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Going To Finally Stop Herbalife? [View article]
    Powershake: There are things that are buying clubs, because... they are buying clubs. There are services that do or don't charge up front fees. All of the issues that are going on here really revolve around lack of disclosure and misrepresentation. I am delighted to see you treat your customers fairly.
    Aug 21 08:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Going To Finally Stop Herbalife? [View article]
    David Zanoni: It is all about the intention to deceive, about getting the money under false pretenses.
    Aug 21 08:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Going To Finally Stop Herbalife? [View article]
    Exactly, and I was at the front lines fighting it. I would any time.
    Aug 21 08:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    Tony Dee: Fraud in essence is financial gain from deception. The entire industry should be concerned with that. Fraud with a money back guarantee is still a fraud. It is not as simple as you're trying to make it, but the water has been muddied by 40 years of inconsistencies in enforcement and regulation.
    Aug 21 05:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    Tony Dee: First of all the issues and challenges in the de-regulated power business are very different and distinct from what is going on here, but you can count on it that I would be and have been in the forefront of preventing such problems, where they involved me, or seeing to it that they were fixed where they occurred. I have no interest in being associated with any business that is based on deception. In the case you are referring to, I have found the company to work diligently on solving any issues, and as a result I have worked with them to correct problems where they existed.
    Aug 21 05:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    6461431 - I would agree with you. The position is quite convoluted. The fact is regulators have tolerated MLM, just picking off a few abuses here and there - but missing out on the big ones. Amway settled another case in 2010 paying $150 million to avoid having to defend themselves against a private pyramid scheme allegation, yet the FTC was nowhere in sight even then. But, there now seems to be yet another class-action pending against Amway: http://bit.ly/1toaqaA. In terms of the actual investigations, I guess it will all come down to what the actual findings are, and that is out of our hands right now, and any amount of arguing on this site or elsewhere is meaningless. We just have to wait and see what the outcomes are.
    Right now, I am aware of at least one other pending case of a pyramid class-action, combined with a RICO suit (Ignite/Stream) in Texas. Bill Keep's recent funny article http://seekingalpha.co... makes the point very well, and it is about the haphazard regulations as much as about the companies.
    Technically, I would agree that the shorts would have an interest in seeing the company shut down, and time will tell if the findings support that. From an overall business perspective however, whether or not HLF should or should not be shut down is less important than sorting out the legal basis of a fairly sizeable industry once and for all.
    To my mind the whole history has been plagued by inadequate understanding on all sides. Most of the time the dialog wanders off into the trees, and everyone loses sight of the forest. So, what I am hoping for is that besides whatever needs to happen with HLF, the outcome is a useful clarification of the rules. The regulators have been as clueless as the MLM industry itself, though a few understand it quite well and have made out like bandits. But the facts are that deception has been the rule more than the exception, and that is right at the heart of things the FTC is supposed to prevent.
    Aug 21 05:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Going To Finally Stop Herbalife? [View article]
    For starters how about refunding the $59 to the 7,417.039 churnees, who have ex post facto been relabeled 'members,' and apparently were only discount buyers, not interested in the 'business opportunity,' so why make them pay for it? That would be a cool $437,605,301 right there. Indeed if they were only preferred customers, there would be no argument over them failing either, for the difference would be clear at once.
    Aug 20 06:38 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    ben_nimaj: I just have this much confidence in the FTC that if they address it to Herbalife, it is about Herbalife's business. If it were about the weather, perhaps they'd send it to the weather channel. I don't think that 's a wild inference.
    Aug 20 02:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife And The MLM 'Industry:' The Long And Short Of It [View article]
    50 cent it is: While we're waiting for some foodcompany that is dumb enough to buy this lot of trouble, the fastest rising number in all of MLM is Robert E. Smith's book, Downline... an intolerable potential to deceive. It was ranked 700,000 in sales at Amazon the day I bought it, and it is now at rank #52,563 when I just checked.
    Since I'm familiar with the game of Amazon rankings from my own books, I know what that means... the sales of this book are about to hit momentum!
    as to the value of the HLF protein shake franchise, check this out -- with thëir "negligible" (their words) R&D spending they've accomplished just what they paid: http://bit.ly/1uUOmY9
    Aug 20 02:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
589 Comments
839 Likes