Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
August 20, 2009 - Saint Paul, Minnesota - The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota warns consumers about a company making big promises to potential customers nationwide. An advertisement for the company has appeared in the Twin Cities area, and BBB investigations indicate the service they're offering may be an illegal pyramid scheme.
The company, Austin, Texas-based iJango, has received hundreds of inquiries from consumers nationwide over the past two weeks. Because of this increase in traffic, on August 3, 2009, The BBB in Austin met with iJango's CEO, Rayner Smith, to clarify the nature of their business practices. Mr. Smith and his staff indicated they offer a business opportunity. However, he indicated that potential clients are paid for the recruitment of registered customers and the recruitment of others to do the same, a clear sign of a pyramid scheme. This information earned the company a BBB rating of F. Click here to view the company's current BBB Reliability Report.
This self-described multi-level marketing company claims consumers can pay an upfront fee of $50 to join the program, but recommends purchasing a package for $149.95 and a monthly maintenance fee of $19.95. The company further claims that consumers participating in the program will earn income in two ways:
The recruitment of other individuals to purchase the opportunity and the recruitment of registered customers.
Commission on iJango's commissions that are generated by Web site traffic and purchases through iJango Web site "portals."
However, complaints received by BBB allege concerns with the delayed availability or use of the iJango portal. BBB is awaiting a response from iJango to these complaints.
BBB is also concerned about iJango's claims that they have Web traffic agreements with companies such as Yahoo!, iTunes, Rhapsody and Google. BBB has been unable to confirm these affiliations. Rhapsody has stated they do not have a contract with iJango and Google released the following statement:
"We are not affiliated with that company. Our trademark team is looking into this issue, thanks again for bringing it to our attention."
The BBB recommends consumers exercise extreme caution when evaluating any business opportunity and consider these tips to make an informed decision:
Avoid any plan that includes commissions for recruiting additional distributors. It may be an illegal pyramid scheme.
Beware of plans that ask to purchase expensive products and marketing materials upfront. These plans may be pyramid schemes in disguise.
Beware of plans that claim to sell miracle products or promise enormous earnings.
Don't pay or sign any contracts in an "opportunity meeting" or any other pressure-filled situation without first taking time to think over the decision. Talk it over with a family member, friend, accountant or lawyer.
Remember that no matter how good a product and how solid a multi-level marketing plan may be, investment in time as well as dollars may be needed for your investment to pay off. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information on pyramid schemes and to check the reliability of any company, visit www.bbb.org.
The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to promote through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct; and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the general public. Contact the BBB at www.thefirstbbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.