Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lyoness: Are they a Scam?

Before you think about commenting, please please please read the entire article, especially if you are or are thinking of becoming a Lyoness Premium Member. While my writing is slanted, even jaded at times, against Lyoness the arguments presented are my personal analysis of the matter and how I approach any and all business/money making proposals. I would hope that anyone looking to pursue any business endeavor to apply the same level of rigor before taking any of your own money and putting it in the pockets of someone else.


Who/What is Lyoness

Lyoness advertizes itself as a shopping community, providing cash back on purchases at participating vendors. They claim to have over 2 million members across the world who can receive rebates at a claimed 20,000 vendors. In addition to the shopping network, a claimed non-profit Lyoness Child & Family Foundation receives a portion of the income to help children around the world fight hunger and abuse.

The Lyoness program is broken into two tracks, the first being in the form of a discount card where between 1% and 6% of your purchase (depends on the vendor) is returned to you in the form of cash where this percentage goes up depending on the number of people that join your direct network. The second track is more extreme in that rather than racking up cash back through purchases, a one time gift card purchase (cough cough fee) of roughly $3,000 will allow you up to $25,000 in future payments granting you the title of "Premium Member" assuming you are able to recruit the required number of additional "Premium Members" yourself. There are additional tiers that scale at a similar rate depending on how active you are.


Why I care about Lyoness, MLM scams, and Ponzi schemes

Not all that long ago (2 years ago) I had received a call from a childhood friend who had gotten my number somehow. He cut the small talk to 2 or 3 life updates and went right into sales pitch mode talking about this "awesome program that allows you to make tons of just need to recruit people to sell the products in addition to selling it yourself." After talking to him a bit and explaining the business model to him, my friend saw the light and stopped participating the "program" for more legitimate business opportunities. Hence, started my crusade against all bottom feeding organizations with shady, unsustainable business models.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I was providing advice to a younger member of a online car forum that I am an active member for a career advice in what direction to head in. Nothing too crazy, just some background on what worked for me and advice I had been provided/learned along the way. Almost instantly one of the European members sent me this private message:

I read the message in disbelief - shaking my head and feeling bad for the rest of the general population. How is it in this day and age would anyone be 'convinced' by any of these statements, that boiler plate pyramid scheme lingo could still gather the attention of the masses and swoon them into submission without questioning the facts or doing any sort of research on their own. I'll have to man up and do the investigation myself and present the evidence in a holistic and unbiased manner to get anyone to listen to me. As our conversation ensued, he reviled that he was talking about Lyoness.


Scam litmus test - Google?

If you need to actually ask the question "is such and such a scam," that should be your first red flag, one easily ignored which for our purposes we will do as well. The easiest thing you can do to see if something is legitimate or not is to take the company or product name, type that into Google, and append "scam" to the end of your search term. Sounds simple right

BAM! Instant results but nothing conclusive. Few blogs saying Lyoness is a scam. Few news articles out of the EU claiming that Lyoness is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme (with a bunch of "Premium Members" posting and stating otherwise).

Maybe Google isn't the best way to base a decision since results can be manipulated and adding the "scam" search term focuses in on only the negative aspect of anything. What Google is amazing for however is understanding the landscape of what you're researching or investigating. A quick analysis of the results will surface three types of people writing about Lyoness (more on this later): those that are already in the program, those claiming it to be a scam, and finally "review" websites with nothing but glowing reviews of how awesome the program is.


Maybe WHOIS results can help?

Ok, ok, I'm a technology freak and know a decent amount about the web. Every domain name ( has to maintain a set of information called the registrant information - basic info about how to contact the owner of the web site and where the site is based out of. Here is the results for
Ok it's not all that weird for a company to be owned by another company, United Trade Mark Limited, especially for taxation purposes. What is a bit curious is that the companies, both Lyoness and United Trade Mark Limited, is registered in Malta, a country which has a history of not extraditing nationals to other countries even under mountains of evidence and an extradition policy in place. As of 2009, there has been an explicit extradition policy in place with the US but this policy has never been tested. Something to note but maybe nothing more than that - although it is a bit curious when Malta has a 35% income tax rate. Granted there are some benefits to being an international holding company which I was unable to fully confirm which may lower the tax burden.

The address provided in Valletta, Malta seems to be much more residential than that of a bustling, multi-million dollar holding company based on Google Maps and pictures uploaded in that area. Maybe they are just going for the homely look and feel? You be the judge there.

The single most curious bit about the website's registration record is that it's in the name of the CEO and owner of Lyoness, Hubert Freidl. Kind of weird that his name would be put on the registration information rather than the legal entity which owns the domain (which is common practice to protect the owner). What's even more curious is that the company was founded in Austria but has its holding company in Malta? I'm sure there is a good tax reason that is escaping me here.

Another oddity which I came across is that the Lyoness servers are based in Liechtenstein. Little weird that the servers would be hosted in another country in the EU but not unheard of, especially since historically Liechtenstein has had such strong data protection laws and is centrally located. The curious bit that I found is the domains that are hosted on the same server:

Pretty even split between the money making sites and the supposed non-profit which is the foundation - something to keep in mind for the section talking about the foundation.

Wait a second there almost forgot to point out that there is a reference to an .ag domain for the name servers? Yup that's right, the name servers are setup in Antigua and Barbuda. Odd choice to go that road when your primary business is in Europe. Antigua and Barbuda has been known for it's shell companies and is the head quarters for a number of hedge funds and other large value financial firms.

In the IT world, typically you try and consolidate your infrastructure to a single location to make it easier to manage. If I were to play the devil's advocate I would argue that having computer systems across multiple legal entities (read countries with strong data privacy and security laws that historically don't cooperate with other countries) I would say they are trying to hide something, or at least make the truth more difficult to obtain. But since that's all speculation, I'm sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for it as well. (Oh, I forgot to mention that the founder of Lyoness, Hurbert Feridl, made his money in the technology space - maybe he just prefers all the extra paper work?).


Can we talk about the business model?

So my use of the internet to poke holes in Lyoness was far from conclusive maybe a detailed analysis of the operating model will draw some attention to how the company makes its money and 'pays' its members - maybe that will turn some heads?


Discount Cards (Warning numbers and Economics content)

Lyoness touts itself as a grassroots, social shopping network granting you cash back on purchases made in network. The argument made by Lyoness is that you need to purchase goods to live, so why not purchase the good(s) through their network and receive some money back - you were going to buy it anyway?

On the surface it sounds like a great thing for consumers - money back on every purchase made is money in the bank literally but is it sustainable?


Merchants and why they join

Before we can talk about if it's 'good' for consumers or sustainable we need to look at the fixed costs in joining the Lyoness network as a vendor and what it might represent. (Note that these are for online vendors only since that's all that is available through the website to outsiders) On average there is a $1,068 one time setup fee and an $26 a month network fee (only applicable if your storefront makes 10 transactions through Lyoness a month).

In addition to fixed setup and monthly fees, "a customary 6% commission" (it's not clear just how high this can actually go) is assessed on purchases which are made by Lyoness Loyalty Members meaning that the price of the good was effectively discounted by 6% to sell more of the product. Small price to pay for a vendor or merchant for closing the deal on potential fringe customers (those which might have not bought the product without the discount).

I've always been fascinated by the economic concept which is price elasticity of demand, being the tendency to sell more of a given product the cheaper it is (over generalization but gets the point across) which is the foundation Lyoness discount cards are based on. An aspect which is often overlooked however is that the price benefit (read, lower price) is only "available" to Lyoness loyalty members and the MSRP or base price remains constant - in layman's terms, a $100 pie is still a $100 pie regardless if purchased through a Lyoness vendor or not.

Continuing the pie example, let's say a given store sells 10 of these pies to Lyoness members, resulting in $60 in commission for Lyoness (remember the 6% commission?). The $60 in commission and additional $26 in fees go towards the cash back which the members receive each month. Sweet! (pun intended) Ok so now we know where the "cash" in the cash back card actually comes from - right from the pockets of the vendor. Interesting.

You could argue that a vendor who participates in the Lyoness Loyalty Program will receive more sales than that of a non-member due to the "2 million user" base plastered all over their website which is attributed to a simple concept in economics called the fungibility of goods, that is the ability for one good to be swapped out for another. How many different tablet pc's are on the market right now? As a consumer you have a choice in what you buy and if there are two identical items but one is priced cheaper, economics and common sense would dictate that you would choose the cheaper vendor (Lyoness' Merchant Network).

Pricing of a product in economics is a hot subject and well outside the scope of this discussion but what is a universal fact of business is that no legitimate business will ever sell an item at or below the cost of the item plus their operating margin (how much they paid for the product plus how much running the business costs). Maybe it's common sense but it's something that needs to be pointed out. Using my pie example, it would not be good business for it to cost me $101 to make the pie only to sell it for $100, effectively loosing 1% or more on the sale (remember there are credit card transaction fees etc).

Of course there is a profit margin, the difference between how much the product is sold for and the cost of making the product, which is exists for every product. Depending on the product being sold, you can expect a markup of anywhere between 15% and 50% or in the case of some electronic goods in the hundreds of percents before you as a consumer even see the pricing for a product. If you think that your local retail store is losing money when they have a 50% off sale you are out of your mind - they are still making quite a bit of money off of you even at the discounted rate.

As a business, I'm looking to maximize my profits. If I have to discount my products in order to sell them so be it, especially if that discount is only 6%  compared to my 40% profit margin that I'm sitting on right now. That's the allure of Lyoness for all businesses, that 6% commission is worth the 'extra' sales only if my profit margins are greater than 6% (anything less and I'd lose money). Even with the fixed costs, as long as I can offset those with a minimal number of transactions through Lyoness' network it's a worthwhile endeavor for me as a business owner.

In every single internet post I have seen supporting Lyoness, big names like Walmart, Porsche, and others are paraded around as some badge of acceptance, that "why would big names like these join Lyoness if it were a scam?" The answer: there is no negative reason for a merchant to not sign up as a Lyoness vendor because as outlined above, the only risk to them is the initial setup fee. These organizations don't care where the sales come from as long as there is a sufficient profit to be made. Heck if I had any sort of consumer product and lacked a soul, I'd sign up to sell my products through them as well - well maybe if I didn't have such a good understanding of where their money comes from.

Wait, I thought that this was a post about why Lyoness is bad - you just worked through why a company would join the network - now I'm all confused? I wish it were that simple and I'm getting to that - just remember, they money has to come from somewhere - where specifically? The 6% commission on the sale.


So where is the money made exactly?

Through recruiting people to use the network of course. Oh, I thought I could just use Lyoness to get a discount a certain vendors. Well you can, but then you're not "enjoying the full benefit of Lyoness" and they are taking anywhere between 4-5% of the purchase from you - remember they get 6% commission regardless.

Yes, as a Lyoness member you are encouraged to recruit other people to use Lyoness and in return you get a .5% additional cashback amount for your direct recruits and their immediate recruits. Why? So you can make money off of their purchases. Here is an example take directly from the recruiting brochure:
  • You recruit 10 people
  • Each of those recruit 5 additional people
  • Assume each spends $600 a month at Lyoness vendors
You end up with 60 people in your "Lifeline" (Lyoness term). All together you have 61 people (you gotta use it too buddy!) spending $600 a month, so roughly  $36,600 a month in revenue floating through Lyoness. Well since Lyoness facilitated the transactions they are taking $2,196 in commission and that's the only money they have to pay out all the peons in the system. Let's look at the lowest level, those who get just the 2% cash back on their purchases because they couldn't recruit any of their friends see $12 ($600 * 2%) in cash back for their month's worth of purchasing. One level up, the 5 friend scenario each see $27 in cash back ($600 * 4.5%) and the grand master himself sees $192 in cash back ($600 * 32% ...60 'friends' in all). Let's add up the numbers...

50 people getting $12 = $600
10 people getting $27 = $270
1 person getting $197 = $197
Grand total payouts result in $1,067 potentially paid out to people each month. So really at the end of the day, excluding the 'loyalty commission', Lyoness just made  ~$1,129 for doing nothing but moving money around. At this point in time I'd like to direct you to this wonderful Wikipedia article swapping out the phrase "one time payment" for "purchase from a Lyoness Loyalty Vendor" and you can see what I'm getting at.


Patented Accounting System

Patented Accounting System? Residual Income? Accounting Units? These are all terms which Lyoness places around the payout system to entice users to spend money in the network rather than outside it. These terms may sound official or related in some way to real accounting terms but reality and fact show differently.

Let me first start out by stating that neither Lyoness nor its holding company own ANY patents outside of a handful of trade marks. Patents in the US and the EU are public record meaning you can go and read the detailed documents of how it works in order to prevent derivative works from coming onto the market.

The term accounting unit is nothing more than a representation for the amount of money you have spent/generated through Lyoness. Every $75 in cash back received generates an accounting unit or another way of putting it is that you need to directly spend atleast $3,750 ($75 / 2%) at 2% cash back vendors to generate a single unit or your direct/second level friends need to spend $15,000 ($75 / .5%) in network. The real gotcha is that the money needs to be spent in the right way for the accounting unit to 'complete' itself and the pay outs on an accounting unit show just how much money needs to be pumped into the system to get anything out of it(taken directly from the brochure again):
The over/under number represents how may completed accounting units are required to receive that tier's payout. So 3/3 means a total of 6 accounting units generated, three direct and three indirect, or in real cost terms Lyoness pays you $12 once an additional $90,000 has been pumped through your network - how kind of them. Looking for turning your $75 into $675? That's only going to cost you and your network a cool $1,050,000. Talk about life long income...just not for you.


Why are discount/loyalty programs bad for you as a consumer?

The greater the benefit the membership provides in the form of a discount the greater the tax on non-participants (people pay more for not being part of the club). As more and more people join the 'club' the total operating margins of the organization offering the discount will decrease by approximately the same amount - if you offer everyone in a club a discount of 2% but everyone already belongs to the club, your new MSRP is effectively 2% lower than it was.

A natural reaction for an organization to cope with the reduced revenue would be to increase the cost of the product by exactly the same amount to offset the reduced earnings - that way their margins stay the same - so now your product costs 2% more than it originally did and you're in exactly the same situation you were before, just now you're spending more money and breaking even after it's all done.

In the case of Lyoness the price change would eventually be more drastic, after all 6% is a hefty amount in some consumer good markets. You are probably sitting there thinking "yea, but if I hustle I can get ahead and get an even bigger discount at the end of the day by recruiting more and more people." I totally agree with you but at the same time you are heading to the situation described above quicker.

Another thing which should be pointed out is that the cash back is exactly that, cash given back to you after the transaction has occurred. Basically you are providing a free loan to the company pushing the paper for that dollar amount until it is deposited in your bank account. Sure it may feel nice to spend money and then get money directly deposited into your account in the form of cash, but a more effective use of your money would be in the form of a direct discount at checkout. Oh right, that wouldn't make Lyoness any money and that's why it doesn't happen!

Sometimes I get too "big pictured..."


A non-profit?

I told you I'd get back to the non-profit issue eventually. I have had a hard time confirming if the Lyoness Child and Family Fund even does anything related to helping people. Not to be skeptical but there are no independent audits of the organization in how the funds are spent or allocated or really anything more than artificial press releases that they have done anything more than fund raising events. Not a single financial statement, or spending document is available anywhere - a bit suspect in my book!

A Swiss article that I read had the same concerns that I have which have been left unanswered. Maybe I shouldn't be so skeptical of an organization which "helps" people, but given that their parent company makes money through people spending money I wouldn't be surprised if an audit by an outside organization found some 'accounting irregularities'.

One more thing to note goes back to the server configuration being hosted on the same server. In the US there would be a questionable conflict of interest in running non-profit servers on the same hardware as a for-profit business specifically in how the expenses are recorded. Maybe the EU is a little more relaxed?


Rant reviews galore! Let me in!

It's actually pretty hard to find a negative review of Lyoness on the internet. I find that a bit discerning since every Fortune 500 organization has a slew of hate talk on the internet. Could a company which rips off consumers so blatantly (see above) have such a great system that next to no one has anything bad to say? Actually that's a lie, there are plenty of people explaining how it's a form of Ponzi scheme - maybe that's how you got to this page?


Oh but Lyoness has certifications!

And they all are a joke. Lyoness made a huge deal out of it getting ISO 9001:2008 certification. Any one which has gone through any ISO certification knows that the business is not the one being certified but the underlying business process. This means that as long as you have extensive documentation on what to do when xyz occurs you can be certified regardless of the process itself. I can write up documentation on how to go number 2 in the bathroom everyday but just because the process can be ISO certified does not mean it does not stink from here until tomorrow.

Of course they received the TUV certification...because the TUV certification means that as an organization they do not represent a health hazard. I would hope that an organization which doesn't actually have a product and does nothing more but artificially moves money around is not a hazard to anyone health. Seems to be a weird certification for a company to go an get unless they have a hard time gaining credibility.

Before using certifications as an argument for "this is a legit company" you should look into what those certifications mean and the requirements to get said certification.

Anything too good to be true, actually is

I've heard time and time again that Lyoness is a viable business model utilizing existing global consumption as a viable business model to live off of, something which is too good to be true. The numbers speak a lot louder than any testimonial or sales pitch ever could. Sure you can make some money and game the system, but you just made someone else 10X that much money. When times are tough, as is the situation in the global economy right now after all, people will look to cut corners where ever they can. If that means looking at the micro picture and taking a small discount now and screwing themselves over down the line by all means.

I'm not saying you can't make money off of using the system but what I am saying is that through using Lyoness, an organization which provides nothing more than a minimal discount on a product/service, you are taking money directly out of the pockets of merchants - you know, the ones contributing to society through offering the product or service...


  1. Wow. Random Internet Ramblings is exactly what this is!

    From reading your article, you really have absolutely NO IDEA or CLUE how Lyoness operates.

    Providing downright false information like you've done here is most likely unlawful.

    I've reported your site to Lyoness. I hope their lawyers are in touch with you soon to get this false, defaming information off the internet.

    1. And by your post I'm going to assume you're a Lyoness premium member that thinks they are going to get rich off of using the patented accounting system.

      Mind sharing where any of my information is false? While I focus on the negative connotation (yes a word with 4 syllables) of MLM schemes like Lyoness I've shown that the system lives only through ripping off merchants and enticing people through supposed oodles of cash. I'm not saying Lyoness will steal your money but rather they are making a serious amount of money off of you while you get peanuts to show for it.

      Defamation and analysis are two totally different things. I merely voice my opinion and the analysis that went into that opinion with commentary on things which Lyoness intentionally makes clear as mud to take advantage of less informed consumers. I'm perfectly open to a dialog on the matter but at the end of the day Lyoness provides no value and can only survive if you recruit more people the staple food of ponzi schemes and business models which are horrible for people.

    2. In regards to their lawyers contacting me, I suspect if they even bother with taking the time to snuff out another criticism that they would be on shaky grounds. In order for them to do ANYTHING related to defamation/libel they need to meet the following criteria:
      1) That my statements are false
      2) That my statements caused harm
      3) That my statements were made without adequate research into the statements.

      Like I said, please provide an example of a false statement and I'd gladly change it in the post and modify the examples. I'm not an 'insider' and their brochures are intentionally made to be complex. I'm more than willing to listen because maybe I don't have all the facts but based on the facts presented to me from the Lyoness website and premium members' statements coupled with the research into the matter shaped my statements. Like I said in my post, Lyoness is not a scam, just bad for consumers and not really as good of a deal as expressed in the marketing material.

      Since we're on the subject maybe you'd be willing to share just how much cash you've spent with Lyoness and how much you've made? I'd also be interested in getting cold hard facts around annual income of a typical Lyoness member if you'd be willing to share it.

    3. Well Give your self a medal Mister for putting such an effort in to something you do not even support or like i wonder what your "ulterior motive" is for all of this??? maybe its a threat to something that you are doing??

    4. Pretty sure I laid out my "ulterior motive" (why did you put this in quotes anyway?) in the section titled "Why I care about Lyoness, MLM scams, and Ponzi schemes". As much as I love internet medals can't really do anything with it but thanks for offering it.

      So you think I put all that time and effort into this analysis because it's a threat to a business venture I'm working on? I like your thought process here because you're spot on, well if I were forming a competing company but I do have some morals. As much as I love making money I'd rather not make it off of people that don't even realize they are getting ripped off.

    5. Anonymous if you can't answer SlowCarMan's question about demonstrating any falsehood in his article then it only means that you were most likely brain washed and don't know shit! about the company. Meaning you are an ignorant and wish you could make tons of money quick. Let me tell you that its not going to come easy my friend.

    6. Wow, SlowCarMan, your ego precedes you, thinking the attorneys need to waste any time on you. Sorry, had to go there, but that is not the point of my comment. "Ramblings" lost me (1) by their lack of grammar and literacy, and (2) altogether when they spouted the general populace would pay % more equal to the % given Lyoness members. Lyoness merchants obviously will gain by cutting extravagant advertising campaigns in favor of the Lyoness program offered them. Not only is it less expensive to begin with, but small businesses may also offer Lyoness cards to there customers and profit by doing so. "Ramblings" effort is to be commended, but it's a cup full of holes offering you a drink of water. I not once heard Lyoness offered as a get rich scheme. Rather, a CASHBACK shopping network where you have the option to WORK at making some money, and an eventual residual security potential. The membership is free, but you get nothing for free. It's said "nothing in life is free" and that couldn't be more adequately represented anywhere else than at Lyoness. For free you get the membership, the card and CASHBACK for spending money at specific loyalty merchants. Unless you spent millions, that amount is minimal. If you want to make money through Lyoness, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER JOB, by working at it. I see no harm it that. Simple concept. Work. Get paid. Don't work. Don't get paid. The only people that have a problem with that are on gov't handouts. How much Lyoness makes doesn't concern me. It's no more than other companies make that pay "peanuts" to their employees and independents. Winding up, I see that if it suits you, go for it, and if it doesn't, don't. Spew all the negativity you want, because it won't discourage anyone any more than you can be encouraged.

    7. Just wow. Since this is a fact finding mission let me start out by asking where in my analysis is "their (dumb dumb, the correct word choice is 'there') lack of grammar and literacy" in any of my posts? Something that does not jive within the the English language? PLEASE point it out to me. If I were to analyze your comment I would be here all day with your sentence structure, run on and fragment sentences or the fact you post in a single wall of text.

      You are correct in that starting a small business is expensive and that the $3000 'investment' Lyoness asks is small in comparison but you don't also see a sales pitch of turning $3000 into $24,000 as the makings of a get rich scheme? Maybe you've been involved in just one aspect of the Lyoness world. Real companies with real products and services are lucky when they turn a 20% profit margin. You expect me and everyone else to believe a rate of return of 800% to not be a pipe dream? Keep smoking my friend, keep smoking.

      You mean for free you get a card which gives you a negligible discount and makes Lyoness tons of money ? Yea, that's great for them but does nothing for the merchant or the consumer. Well at least you're totally oblivious to where the money comes from and where it goes to. Every person you recruit pays you money to do the same shopping they were already going to do - sounds like you're really helping your neighbor there.

      Have you ever taken even an introductory class to economics? Anything related to managerial accounting practices? It's not that hard a concept to understand. Say 100% of people shopping at a store are Lyoness members, effectively costing the store 6% each transaction. No store in their right mind would not inflate their prices 6% to make up for lost revenue.

      Do you really think that because a store is part of Lyoness that they will stop their advertising campaigns? That is flat out crazy talk.

      You're right, nothing in life is free. People need to work on it. Explain to me here, since we are talking about jobs, where the value add or service is that Lyoness offers? Is it advertising to replace their existing marketing plans? No didn't think so. Is it take money from the vendor for the sale (6% in most cases), taking more than half of it, and giving it back to the consumer as cash back? To me that just sounds like an accounting gimmick since the money returned to you was your money anyway - the only difference here is Lyoness stuck their hand in and got a free pay day.

    8. Thanks to SLOWCARMAN for giving us a clear perspective. If it was a FAIR loyalty programme, why would people at the top get stinking rich and those at the bottom get a normal discount, I agree with SLOWCARMAN - this only benefits the cream at the top. Bring me a scheme that does not discriminate against when you join it. In this scheme the earlier joiners will always benefit - this in itself raises a red flag.

  2. OMG i have just read this and all of your other posts on here about other things as well.. ""do you have anything positive to say about anything"" after reading all the bullshit you post about everything its hard to believe a word that you say about anything at all... oh well some mothers do have em haha your such a wank mate!!!

    1. Uhhhh ok? Just curious what other posts of mine you thought were negative? I have a feeling some of the topics may be a little over your head and that's the difficulty you're having, especially since you quadruple quote something... hint that's not something in the English language.

      Regardless, just because something is negative doesn't make it a false statement (we aren't dealing with boolean logic here). Have you ever written a research paper, argued a point? It doesn't matter what stance you take on the matter assuming you can support it with sound analysis.

      Since you used "wank", you're probably out of the UK. Only ever had experience with people out of one of the universities in Oxford so maybe they do it differently in other parts of the UK...research papers I mean. If only I could have used "it's a negative statement, therefore it's wrong" in my papers...well I would have failed but you get the point. I am interested in hearing where I lost you in my article, maybe I can do a better job at explaining it?

    2. Anything you are retarded lmao! anything hahaha

    3. And you probably live on welfare. Next customer

  3. Good post RITs, these parasitic bstards come out in force when they are criticized. There is a thread on where they are coming out of the woodwork belittling everybody who dares to say anything bad, its quite funny actually as they dont realise they are doing more harm to themselves........

    1. I wouldn't consider it belittling especially when every Lyoness member's argument to my points above has been "you're wrong" without pointing out either a flaw in my data or some lapse of logic. I've got pretty thick skin and love being proven wrong...but only when the rebuttal is more sound than a 5 year old's "because you're wrong" argument.

  4. These comments are the only remotely entertaining thing written on this blog. Slowcarman quit while you're ahead. Thank you and good day.

    1. Where exactly did I say this blog was here for your entertainment? Sure a lot of my posts poke fun at subjects or have some fun commentary but I can assure you this was not one of them.

      At least some one admits that I'm ahead, just not sure of what exactly or if that's a good thing. I'm still looking for a Lyoness 'premium' member to show actual income (like a checks deposited in their account) showing something significant in terms of income. I've heard stories from members saying "such and such a guys has $100,000 in residual income a month by using Lyoness" which I think is hilarious. Even to the people that claim to bring in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars fail to see the bigger picture - that Lyoness just made 10X if not more off of that same income. As the above poster stated, parasites...

    2. I could prove you wrong anytime by showing you the earning from Lyoness. I am a premium member with units in the accounting program. I also have premium members in my downline who are fully aware on what's happening in Lyoness and how the accounting units will bring you income - residual income in time - not a huge amount overnight, but enough to replace anyone's current earnings in few years if working the business correctly (IT WILL NOT APPLY TO BILL GATES OR TIM COOK). While spending $5,000 this year in shopping (I am not a big shopper) I was able to get back over $1,800 as a combination of cashback + Loyalty credit + friendship bonus (which is the part made from 2 levels below me) Also, the people in my team made money - a considerable amount that they did not get from their shopping prior to joinning Lyoness.
      Now I consider you a hypocrate by the comment you made about TUV certification - perhaps you should tell the truth entirely from the official post and comment TUV made about Lyoness - rather than the "STINKY" comment you caused in this posting.
      Please respond to my post and I will be more than happy to show you my earnings and perhaps coach/teach you how Lyoness works... I will monitor your reply ..then let's connect if you have the guts to stand up for most of the false information you are posting.
      I am doing this because your posting was showed to me by one of my indirects; I read it and picked up the "un-truth" (or I should call it the"un-informed lie") right the way.
      Hope to hear from you

    3. Thanks for finding my site and posting here. I don't think you actually read my entire article because if you did you would have seen the very last paragraph where I say Lyoness will give you the money due to you.

      I think you missed the part where you still needed a day job to pay the $5000 to get your $1800 back over the course of the year. Or the part where people get better than 36% discounts (the effective rate you had this year) just couponing or buying on sale items. Care sharing how many people are in your lifeline and how much they had to spend to get you your enormous $1800 check? How many hours did you really spend to get that money back? I don't care if you're honest here, be honest with yourself.

      What is "a considerable amount" to you exactly? Maybe I'm just being "that guy" because I have more than twice that taken out of my pay check each month just for income taxes.

      Replace any one's earnings? Really? Have proof of this outside of "a Lyoness presentation told me so"? The accounting program that is Lyoness is nothing more than a money game, taking your own money and giving it back to you with a kickback to the company. Did you at all follow the math section where I talk about where the money flows to and from? It's a parasitic system. Period. More money cannot flow out of the program than can flow in. Period. Justifying taking money from a vendor, family, friends, or "business associates" just to have them shop at a store they were already going to do anyway is totally kosher in your head?

      TUV? You're trying to discredit me over TUV? TUV certified the process that you will get paid IF you meet the criteria. I sad that. In regards to my statement on getting TUV certified going to the potty, well that's 100% correct too.

      I'll be honest, I totally believe that you received $1,800 from Lyoness. Never said you wouldn't. Might I also point out that your business is operating -$3200 on the previous year since you did not meet your operating costs (thats excluding the 'investment' to become a premium member in the first place). Comparing a MLM to Apple's operating model (one that required research, development, and elbow grease to create) to that of Lyoness is a flat out joke.

      What I'm looking for is someone that actually has a sustainable income from Lyoness that a normal person could actually live off of. Surely if this program was as great as you believe there must be someone out there making $5-10,000 a month in 'residual income' right?

    4. Err, ignore my apple comments. Just re-read your post and saw you were in fact not comparing Lyoness to Apple.

  5. Personally, I commend you for you validated research and not really taking sides, just stating facts. Refreshing.

    1. I'm not sure that the research is validated but atleast I step through some of the thoughts that have run through my head and what I've found that steer me away from the company. I do take side unfortunately in that everything that I have read and research only point to a single fact in my mind: there is a reason you don't hear about people retiring from lyoness.

  6. Thank you SlowCarMan for your time and research into this scheme. If someone can't comprehend your article they probably shouldn't get involved with this Lyoness.

    I started looking into it for a friend who is more gullible than bright and who's judgment has been clouded by the promise of getting rich just by spending money "I already spend." And if I talk my friends into joining too, oh, and if I pay $3,000 to become a "Premium Member" I'll get more money, I could quit my job. I told her she would have to quit her job because she would have to spend 60hrs. a week getting people to sign up and spend a million dollars so you can maybe make $675.00 Good luck on that. Anyway Thanks.

  7. I think you nailed the thing that makes lyoness so appealing. All the marketing material talks to people not spending anything more than they already do which is approximately correct (I'd argue people spend more through the network because of the expectation of cash back in the future). People see this and don't see the flaws in the business model due to the cloudy nature of never ending profits (I'd love to never need to worry About income again, who wouldn't)

    I really think its unfortunate that people believe these schemes to be true. Within a legal sense they are because theoretically you can turn a profit within the lyoness scheme but the logistics of reality quickly change 'the numbers' into something less sustainable. It sounds like you've already taken care of steering her clear of lyoness but is still recommend linking her here for future reference.

    Personally I love open dialog - the more the merrier.

  8. Will Rogers said, "Everybody is ignorant, just on different subjects." I add, some are not content to simply be ignorant, they're even opinionated about it. One of the great liabilities of the internet is that it gives those full of opinionated ignorance a platform from which to spout off, creating an illusion of knowing what they're talking about.

    1. Will Rogers is the man.

      I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert on Lyoness nor it's operating model nor do I make any claim to that. This post is strictly my understanding of the operating model coupled with analysis on how the marketing material says that it works.

      I'm still waiting on a premium member that has found faults in my facts or an error in my logic to be so kind to explain it to me. I guess they are off on some island retired and can't find the time, all because of the Lyoness cash back system. (That was sarcasm just in case your sarcasm meter was broken).

  9. So, if a consumer just wants to make the 2% cashback on purchases that he/she already makes (ie. at Walmart or Starbucks) Lyoness is not worth it?

    1. My stance really is, that Lyoness will gladly take a 4% payday from the average Joe because that's where they make the most money. I really think it turns into a question of if you support giving money to a company which is a drain on society (charging merchants 6% for giving them 'additional' business) and provides no service other than accounting gimmicks.

    2. What a load of crap, my I suggest you do a little more investigation into the whole setup.

      Vendors give Lyoness members between 4% & 30% discount and I can easily show you how a vendor increases their turnover by being a Lyoness Partner.

      Not only that with Lyoness there is NO competition between businesses.

      I would think going through your ranting you don't understand MLM either.

      People like you with limited knowledge really are a pain in the arse.

    3. The real pain, are people that believe these things without the slightest bit of due diligence or just enough to satisfy their money making sensory skills.

      You're smoking/snorting/injecting some serious drugs if you think that there is no competition between businesses in the Lyoness network. Explain to me, how two consumer goods organizations selling the exact same or fungible assets are not in direct competition with each other? You know, like two grocery stores in the same city or on the same street or better yet two car dealerships?

      I think you missed the section where I talk about why vendors join up and I agree that discount programs increase revenue generation. I never said anything contrary to that. What I did say however, is that programs like Lyoness are bad for you as a consumer of goods through the long term effect of raising consumer prices the more wide spread the discount program is. The discount offered and cash back received go directly against the vendor's bottom line and EVERY business needs to stay profitable to stay open.

      Another Lyoness member that did not read the whole thing and selectively skipped sections. Awesome!

      To further the point, MLM is NOT a sustainable business model and never has been. Do they stay afloat, sure. There is also a steady supply of suckers looking to make easy money - what better than a program that "makes you money as you spend money on everyday items."

  10. Are you in high school? Based on the way you present yourself it would appear you are.

    1. Are you a Lyoness premium member? Personally, I love personal attacks at my credibility when the people posting provide no credibility themselves.

      It would appear, like other Lyoness premium members, that you failed to finish any level of higher education because if you had, you would know that when being critical of a point being made that you would be SPECIFIC about flaws in the logic or the data.

      There are three types of people who end up here: ones that drank the Lyoness juice and 'invested' in the company, ones that know it's a scam, and people that are just looking for answers. You can easily tell the difference based on the tone of the comments with premium members being dismissive of anything negative of their beloved Lyoness.

      As I said in my post and numerous comments, if you have a problem with the analysis or data as a premium member, be specific about what I'm wrong about. Saying that I'm wrong or personal attacks only make you look stupid.

      I'll reenforce my request to have a premium member post just how much money they've actually made in the program (with documented proof) versus how much was spent within your Lifeline.

    2. hahahahaha oh god kiddo. I was just merely referring to your behavior.You are reacting immaturely and quite emotionally.Don't take everything to heart. It's as if you are seeking validation from others and are lashing out.Even my simple question has struck a nerve with you.

      In reference to your question. No I am not a Lyoness member nor do I care to be.

    3. Just curious what part of my behavior you think is immature? I get emails and comments all the time from Lyoness premium members saying that I'm wrong and saying my analysis is flawed, with it driving me slightly insane that they provide no evidence that what I've laid out is wrong.

      I'm extremely emotional on the subject of MLM and other scams because people believe them so blindly. Pardon me for trying to save even one person from falling prey to Lyoness' complex marketing material. I guess we should leave the general population to figure it out on their own that while on paper Lyoness' accounting system is the best invention since the wheel, reality is starkly different?

      Just to point out (again), you're the one that came to my blog and attempted to discredit me through asking if I was in high school - well maybe you had a different motive that was lost in your concise comment? For your own satisfaction, I did in fact graduate from a top 10 private high school in the US a number of years ago.

      Just curious, for my own satisfaction, how or why you even bothered to post here if you're not a Lyoness member or looking to become one? Bored google searching? Found on some "work at home" site? I mean, it's obvious that I lack even a GED, so why is what I have to say relevant to your agenda? People don't post unless they have some sort of agenda, especially so when they come back and respond.

  11. It is obvious my general comments have struck a few of your insecurities.I will not say another word for fear of what they might drive you to do. In the most sincerest way, please seek a psychologist/psychiatrist.

    1. Man the internet is full of interesting people. So rather than an open discussion around what you see as "high school logic" and nonspecific generalized statements you classify as my own "insecurities," you think I should seek medical help? I can only see this as ill-fated attempt to discredit my analysis above since, again I'll point it out, you provide no evidence or counter argument to ANYTHING I've said in my post. That's a great idea! (Sarcasm)

      From your comments, your agenda is pretty obvious and anyone with any sort of level of education can see that. Normally I'd delete troll comments like these but it's just too, too funny.

  12. Lyoness is a scam as was Zeek Rewards. The facts are clear; no real product produced or sold. No real income except the money paid by merchants and new members. Monies paid out exceed monies derived from merchant discounts. It is a scam and it will fail.

    1. Totally agree with you, except for the part where the money paid out exceeds the monies derived from the 'network'. It actually ends up that Lyoness it's self keeps a large percentage (over 50%) of the money for themselves.

    2. No dog in this fight but the misinformation regarding Lyoness is mind boggling.

    3. I'll make the request for the 50th time, what part of my analysis do you classify as "misinformation?" Saying something is wrong and proving that something is wrong are totally different things.

    4. Glad that you're adding to the discussion through some form of analysis. Cheers.

  13. Hey, Thanks for doing the research. I appreciate it. I have a good friend of mine that just became member and wants me to join in. I dont understand much of Lyoness so I am doing my own research. I simply dont understand their math. Example: Lowes a home furnishings retailer already offers 5% discount to preferred customers up to 10% discount in some instances. Without the need to be on Lyoness club. If I join Lyoness I am getting 0.5% cash back on my purchases and perhaps 0.5% on other people purchases that are under me. That still gives Lyoness or Lowes 4.5% or 9.5% to them. I dont know who gets to keep that amount. So how is that helping me?? Sure, If I get to screw hundreds of people under me I may get to make more than my 5 to 10% back. (assuming that I can get that many people to join under me). What happens to those hundred or more people? It is a Pyramid.

    1. Ding ding ding, we have a winner. The numbers and payout scheme is intentionally confusing - if people knew how much Lyoness was making off of them to get that $100 cash back eventually people would sing a different tune about how sustainable they are.

      I know I did a horrible job at laying out the numbers but the bottom line is Lyoness gets free money for nothing more than move dollars around. I'd rather have my 5 or 10% discount at Lowes knowing they get all the money than getting 100% cash back on my purchase and knowing that Lyoness just took 6% off the top for facilitating the transaction and is making money off of everyone in my 'lifeline'.

  14. Thanks for the info man. I had no idea about this company and I applied on Odesk about a telemarketing job for Lyoness. They replied but I'm thinking about turning down the job. They said I would have to use my own phone and to search leads on white pages, and to think I would go to jail selling some MLM junk that I barely know about? Screw that!

    1. Yea, Odesk is full of stuff like that. It's nothing more than one of Lyoness' peons looking for another way to get more people in their lifeline. Glad you're staying away.

  15. SlowCarMan

    These links to my own Blog might be of interest to you and your readers.

    Although European-based, 'Lyoness' is part of what was once an all-American phenomenon.

    'Lyoness' is a classic 'Prosperity Gospel/income opportunity' cult, using co-ordinated, devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion to shut down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of its core-adherents.

    The tedious, scripted-reactions of intellectually-castrated 'Lyoness' worshippers, are perhaps the most-conclusive proof of this analysis.

  16. I would also like to see a post from a Lyoness Member who has made money.

    1. And that's why they try and bash me. They can live their own pipe dreams and think they are getting somewhere in life but they are doing nothing more but putting dollars and cents in someone else's pocket.

  17. As with all 'Prosperity Gospel/income opportunity' cults, deluded 'Lyoness' adherents have been conditioned to parrot the same 'positive' script. Thus, when challenged, they will steadfastly pretend to have made money, but they will never want to produce independent evidence in the form of audited accounts (particularly, income-tax payment receipts) to prove that they have made a net-profit.

    This is simply because, in the adult world of quantifiable reality, no such evidence exists.

    The common sense questions which law enforcement agents should put to the self-appointed 'Lyoness' Fûhrer, Hubert Freidl: are as follows:

    Since the organization's instigation, exactly how many people around the world have signed-up with 'Lyoness,' and exactly how many of these alleged 'Independent Business Representatives' have got back more money than they paid in?

    What quantifiable evidence can you supply which would prove that the so-called 'Lyoness income opportunity' has had any significant and sustainable revenue other than that deriving from a never-ending chain of losing participants?

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. Have you heard about the "INCOME DISCLOSURE" presented by Lyoness in all workshops? It shows the average, maximum and the amount of hours it took per month to make this income.

    2. No I haven't. Mind sharing with the rest of the class because it's surely no where on their website and I suspect it's all worded in the form of "up blah blah dollars" to cover their asses.

  18. I will agree with Slowcarman on the ethics and also the long term effects of a program like this. I didn't know the layout of the program, which is why I ended up here, as a close family member is involved. I don't know to what extent, but they have talked to me several times about it so I am finally trying to get some answers. Your explaination of the program makes sense, and I agree is a concern in the long term, so that is enough of a danger sign for me. Not to mention I was involved once at a very young age in an mlm, and learned my lesson and what to look for. Thank you for your information.

    1. Glad that you did your research before sipping on the Lyoness nectar. It's easy to fall for these things, especially with the way the payout program is intentionally obfuscated and complex.

  19. All the "anonymous" messages that bash the author of this article, are OBVIOUSLY from Lyoness and try to make the article seem unreliable. But you don't need a brain to realise that!! Good work man!!!

    1. Yay, more and more people see what I'm talking about. At least I'm not totally crazy. :-)

    2. Excuse me, but what type of evidence do you have to support such an illogical statement? It would be just as presumptuous of me to state that all those who agree with the author either a) know the author personally and feel obligated to support him or
      b)the author himself has written all of the anti-lyoness statements.

      Let's be logical here and not assume things.

    3. I some what agree with the second poster (oct 25, 2012 @ 11:30) that just because there are negative posts does not mean that they are all from Lyoness.

      I would have to say however, that the posters with negative or attacking feedback tend to lack any sort of credibility/evidence to their claims.

      Not that this is an easy thing to quantify, but I suspect the likely hood of a non-Lyoness member supporting Lyoness in such a fashion that they defend them on a public internet forum after reading an article like this one to be a little far fetched. Also assuming that an organization like this is not out to make money off of you is just as illogical.

  20. SlowCarMan

    Your readers might be interested to learn that the bosses of 'Lyoness' have already set-up various (apparently 'independent') propaganda Sites. On one, someone claiming to be a 'retired investigative journalist, Jeanette Hayworth,' steadfastly pretends to have rigorously investigated 'Lyoness' on behalf of a friend and found it to be a marvelous income opportunity.

    The broadcasting of apparently independent information denying their criminal activities (in order to prevent victims from coming forward), is a classic reality-inverting tactic used by 'income opportunity/prosperity gospel' cults. It should be recognized as forming part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity, as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970.

    I would advise free-thinking observers of 'Lyoness' to try to avoid using two-dimensional 'Negative versus Positive,' jargon, to describe the organization. This is always constantly repeated by the instigators of group's like 'Lyoness.'

    'Lyoness' is a dissimulated 'income opportunity / prosperity gospel' cult and ongoing major organized crime group.

    The above is only a 'negative' statement for child-like persons whose minds have been conditioned to look at 'Lyoness' in two dimensions. In the adult world of multi-dimensional reality, it is a description written in accurate deconstructed terms based on the rigorous examination of quantifiable evidence.

    The leaders of cultic groups systematically categorize, condemn and exclude as 'unenlightened , negative, impure, evil,' etc. all free-thinking individuals and any quantifiable evidence challenging the authenticity of their imaginary scenarios of control. In this way, the minds of cult adherents can become converted to accept only what their leadership arbitrarily sanctions as 'enlightened, positive, pure, righteous,' etc. Consequently, adherents habitually communicate amongst themselves using their group's thought stopping ritual jergon, and they find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with 'negative' (i.e. free-thinking) persons outside of their group.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  21. It is very interesting how people like you CarMan and David, are concerned about someone intention to have cash back by using a cash back program. Interesting!
    And more interesting is the fact that you are very concerned about "how much the owner is making". Why care? If one wants the cash back than join and if not stay out.
    To make it simple for you, Lyoness is a cash back card. You shop at stores affiliated with them and you get cash back. Simple as that. No one is asking for money or to become a premium member.
    ps. I'm not a Lyoness member but I will become one.
    Good day!

    1. My concern is really that people don't understand how these programs and discount cards work in reality nor do they understand the potential long term impact on the prices that they will pay on consumer goods in the long run.

      I totally agree that the concept is a simple one, just use the card and you get your predefined percent cash back.

      Let me phrase this another way. If for every 100 dollars/euros/pounds, you spent at a store you received a dollar back (1% cash back) while the person that gave you the card got 5 dollars and then vendor received 94 would you feel any different?

      My problem isn't the discount card or that the vendor is offering goods at a discount for loyal members but that Lyoness takes a cut of the pie for giving you that dollar back and making 500% more than you are off the deal. Here in the US, almost every single store has a discount program for being a 'member' but because these programs are administered by the store itself, there is no greedy third party with their hand in the cookie jar. See the difference?

  22. Hi - my name is Dave.

    Question for the host - I follow the analysis you have given under "So Where is the Money Made Exactly?" involving the downline participant 0.5% contributions, and the percentage left over going to the Lyoness organization. What I don't see addressed in the "Patented Accounting System" section is where the payouts for "units" is coming from. Would not these payments also be coming out of the 6% "charge" paid by the vendors? Thus, is there a way to estimate the residual % actually going to Lyoness corporate after both the initial percentage payments and the unit payouts are made?

    Thanks for your excellent blog. We have family members who have been sucked into the Lyoness vortex and are drawing more of our friends and family into it with the promises of MLM "nirvana." So I'd like to get a better handle on the numbers side of things.

    1. Hi Dave.

      Glad to see people are interested and following the analysis. The payouts for the units come from people in your lifeline spending money. What I should have done is flipped the graphic on its side so it looks like a pyramid (WOW imagine that ;-)).

      The basic idea is that once a person has completed a $75 accounting unit it starts to count towards your payouts. The accounting units fill based on how much of a discount you receive through using the cards. So say one person has a 2% discount, they would need to spend $3,750 ($75 dollar unit divided by .02) to fill the accounting unit.

      Everything that runs through Lyoness comes from the 6% Lyoness cut paid by the vendor. In terms of figuring out how much goes to Lyoness, it's really based on the lifeline network the person has setup. If you go back to the previous section on how much lyoness banks for moving money around $1,129. Even if your lifeline network is able to complete all of the accounting units for you to generate the $675 payout, they'd still be banking $454 and that's the worst case scenario for them. Because remember, to complete an accounting unit, a little over a million dollars needs to be run through your network (depends on how the lifeline is) which just generated them $60,000 in fees.

      The reason MLM scams like this work is that, there are always people at the bottom of the pyramid that are not the worst case scenario for Lyoness bringing in more money.

      I might make a full post on this because the math is complicated but a quick summary is that Lyoness, even at the members which get the full accounting unit payouts, is still making obscene amounts of money for no service provided.

  23. Dave - I would advise you to forget the mathematical and linguistic complication of 'Lyoness' own presentations.

    Take it from me, if anyone tells you anything about any alleged 'opportunity to make money' which cannot be immediately understood: it is thought-stopping hocus-pocus.

    Just remember, if 10 persons each place 10 dollars on a table, no matter how you divide up the resulting 100 dollars, it is impossible for them all to receive more money that they contributed in the first place. This simple logic applies no matter how many persons hand over 10 dollars, 100, 1000, 100 000, 1000 000, 10 000 000.

    Thus, the most-fully deconstructed explanation of pyramids and Ponzis is they are all dissimulated closed-market swindles without any significant or sustainable revenue other than that deriving from their own participants. Thus, the victims of closed-market swindles can be described as persons who have been deceived into buying infinite shares of their own finite money.

    No matter how linguistically and mathematically complex the presentations (or even attempted explanations) of the so-called 'Lyoness Income Opportunity,' self-evidently, the only money flowing into the economically-incestuous 'Lyoness' pyramid, is coming from a never-ending chain of investors (arbitrarily, and falsely, defined as 'Independent Business Representatives' ) who are condemned to occupy its lower levels.

    Indeed, for the insignificant minority of grinning schills to have arrived at the profitable summit of the 'Lyoness' pyramid, the overwhelming majority have been required to remain as deluded, de facto slave recruiters in its unprofitable base. At the same time, all these persons' losing-investments, made on the false expectation of receiving future reward, have been laundered as 'lawful sales based on value and demand.'

    Furthermore, since profits have been generated from, and sales-tax paid on, these ultimately unlawful transactions, by the various companies who have sold 'Lyoness' their gift vouchers, the bosses of 'Lyoness' have actually lured legitimate businesses and governments into deriving substantial benefit from a serious fraud.

    That said, a lot of the cash generated by this unoriginal racket is coming from peddling chronic-victims effectively-valueless materials (particularly, tickets to meetings) on the pretext that the purchase of these will enable participants to achieve a future Utopian existence.

    You have probably looked at the videos on You Tube of last year's 'Lyoness' orgy of deluded self-gratification, held in Budapest. I'm reliably informed that this event, which was attended by 11000 of the 'Lyoness' faithful, generated millions of Euros in tickest sales alone. Classically, of 'income opportunity' cults, 'Lyoness' adherents will also been deceived into booking their travel tickets and hotel rooms via their groups.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  24. Hi I am a brand new Lyoness member and I just wanted to share my perspective of the company. I am not here to defend Lyoness but to make sure I am not going to recommend a bad product or enter a broken system. Also I am not a premium member just a regular member who signed up for free.

    As I understand it the idea behind Lyoness is that in return for a portion of the products of an example company i.e. Walmart which is always 1% Lyoness provides a loyal customer base that will always use Walmart over Target. Lyoness has a negotiated rate with Walmart of 4% of every transaction. As I said 1% goes to Lyoness, 1% goes to direct/indirect recommender, and finally 2% for the member in the form of cashback and loyalty cash. With other companies the rate may be as much as 30% but the only rate that increases is loyalty cash with 1% cashback and 27% loyalty cash(Lyoness still gets 1% and recommender and indirect recommender still get .5% each). Im not sure if that is what has already been said or not but I keep seeing 6% on this thread and it seems like there may be some misinformation but maybe not.

    Also something that was stated was that with a merchant like Lowes who already has a cash back or discount plan the net price is actually worse. That is false. When making a Lyoness transaction you get the exact same deal you would already be getting for instance when I shop with Walmart with my 3% credit card I get that on top of my 2% Lyoness benefits. In the end I receive 5% money back. That is a pretty straightforward deal in my mind but if I am missing something please let me know.

    Also there is the idea above from Mr. Brear that Lyoness is telling people that you walk away with more money than is put on the table. That is false. Lyoness wants to give merchants a better outlet for their advertising dollars hence "network marketing". The idea that you are giving the merchants you always shop with a way to track your loyalty and over time they will reward you for that. Also if you recommend a lot of people to the card you will also be rewarded for that but only for as much shopping happens under you. In the end everyone will be making small pieces of the corporate pie but isn't a piece better than nothing?

    Again I really just want to make sure that what I have been told is the truth. To me this is a fairly straight forward deal that uses the brilliance of a pyramid scheme. Lyoness has a business model that is strikingly similar to VISA but instead of charge cards we are dealing with rewards cards. Unite all the stores and take a piece of every transaction. Worked for Visa why not Lyoness?

    1. Thank you for coming out an saying you are currently a member. Difficult to get anyone to admit to it.

      Lyoness America is operating under a differnt guise than the one operating over seas and there is also a vast difference between the people that are just discount card holders versus premium members.

      The 6% rate that I throw around in my post is the standard rate found on Lyoness' website (and I think I had found up to 10% depending on volume) for becoming a new vendor. Companies like Walmart have negotiating power that far exceeds that of any local store but the numbers game still holds true, just not in as extreme a fashion.

      What you have there is pretty spot on for the run of the mill discount card and how the programs are supposed to work. There is a slight issue however that there are a number of people that take it to an extreme (encouraged by Lyoness the best that I can tell) in thinking that the discount card model is a viable business model for sustained wealth. You obviously had not participated in one of those sessions or interacted with someone that has.

      The marketing logic you laid out is spot on and those are all reasons for a vendor to join up and participate. The issue that I think both David and myself have with Lyoness, is the accounting unit payouts and the marketing material around that. If you've ever talked to a true blooded, Lyoness premium member they talk non-stop about turning $3,000 into $25,000 like nothing. This post was directed more at those people who expect to make money off of the card which the premium member material implies and deflate their pipe dream.

      I wouldn't use 'brilliance' and 'pyramid scheme' in the same sentence. I will say that Lyoness is nothing like Visa. Visa provides a means to transfer money instantly to the vendor while providing a certain level of security around the transction and giving you the flexability to pay for the item net 30 while charging the vendor a fee for running the transaction and the consumer a fee for 'financing' the purchase. Lyoness gives you a set discount in the form of money back for shopping at in network stores, taking a slice of the pie while doing it.

      In the walmart example you provided, walmart's cost of doing business has now just increased an additional 4% on lyoness transactions. With limited members in the US currently, that 4% is washed away and diluted due to the significant volume of transactions performed. If more people sign up and use the card, that 4% will eventually impact the bottom line and walmart will need to increase its prices to offset that change - raising consumer prices and increasing inflation.

      Another aspect which I have a hard time with is that you still pay the full amount at the end of the day. Your original $100 walmart order on your credit card still resulted in $97 going on your credit card. Depending on the payment cycle, ~$4 is transfered to Lyoness and then some time later $2 back to you. The net benefit is the same, but you just financed Lyoness until that money is back in your account (another difference between Lyoness and Visa). You might say "yea, but at the end of the day, I get my $2 back" which is correct - but just like a bank, that $2 was collecting interest for Lyoness and not you. You just loaned $2 to Lyoness for free plus their cut.

      I'd be happy to share my full interaction I had with the Lyoness member from my original posting. You'll see that we've been dealing with two very very very different groups of people.

  25. 'Brand new member of Lyoness' or the 'Lyoness' Ministry of Truth in thin disguise?

    What was it I said?

    Take it from me, if anyone tells you anything about any alleged 'opportunity to make money' which cannot be immediately understood: it is thought-stopping hocus-pocus.

    All the free-thinking readers of this Blog have to do, to establish the simple truth, is watch the video of the disturbing, pay-through-the-nose-to-enter, 'Lyoness' mass-meeting held in Budapest last year and ask themselves the following common-sense questions?

    Why would all these 11 000 persons be so deliriously happy and excited, if they hadn't been conditioned to believe that they are going to make lots of money out of 'lyoness'?

    Without an endless-chain of recruitment, where exactly would all the existing 'Lyoness' believers' future profits come from?

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. You brought up so many points I will just take them one at a time.

      1.Interesting that I have to be a member of the "Ministry of Truth" in order to have anything positive to say about Lyoness. Again I am just out doing my due-dilligence.

      2.I was referring to the comment where you said that no one is going to walk away from the table with more than 100 dollars. I feel like I addressed that when I outlined exactly what percentages Lyoness and its members benefit from every transaction. The math makes sense to me. I am truly looking for someone to point out something in the math that I have missed because I am no accountant.

      3.I think the concept of the company is something that is easily understood but the execution takes some learning. Just like any other stock, bond or investment. Those things sound like "thought-stopping-hocus-pocus" at first glance as well.

      4. In regards to the video I honestly didn't find anything "disturbing" about it. I saw a company that is excited about thier product and the future of their business. But hey maybe thats because I am already brainwashed but I think this sort of crowd enthusiasm is to be expected at any event of this size. Also I would bet you that most of those individuals already made money off of Lyoness. I have been a member for about 2 weeks and although I have only made a couple of purchases online I have already seen the cash back. So technically I have already profited and I don't see why I wouldn't continue.

      5. If Lyoness stopped growing tomorrow and didn't let anyone in there is still potential to make money. It will not be as fast as if you had been one of the first but in the way the accounting units work everyones units build on each other at different levels. Again simple idea but complicated execution to make it work.

      I really feel that you were only presented a snapshot of the company and you don't understand all the works. I don't claim to know everything about the company or know how every little thing works but there are some big picture things you seem to be leaving out of your analysis. Please if there are any hard numbers or facts that you can point to I would love to see them but at this point all you have shown me is a non conclusive video.

    2. Just a quick note on #2. In Europe as a premium member (might not apply to non-premium member), you get a .5% additional discount for each member you recruit in addition to .5% for their direct recruits.

      You get 20 recruits in your lifeline and you have an additional 10% cash back. The 10% is more than the 6% collected and the money has to come from some place...

  26. SlowCarMan - all these reality-inverting comments from the tedious person signing him/herself 'DD' are familiar classics much-loved by inflexible 'income opportunity' propagandists steadfastly pretending to be objective observer/participants; particularly, the bits where he/she is ridiculing any suggestion that 'Lyoness' adherents might be 'brainwashed' and insisting that I don't understand how it all works.

    However, it is very interesting to note that in my previous comments on your Blog, I haven't used the non-scientific term: 'brainwashing.'

    What I said is that 'Lyoness' recruits are being exposed (without their fully-informed consent) to co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion designed to shut down their critical and evaluative faculties.

    Apart from the name hung over the entrance, the pay-through-the-nose-to-enter 'Lyoness' event in Budapest which features on the video link, could have been organized by any one of numerous 'Income Opportunity' cults.

    Here are some more video links for your free-thinking readers.

    Apparently, 'DD' is now seriously suggesting that if 10 people each put 10 dollars on a table then there is a easy-to-understand, but difficult to execute, means by which the resulting $100 can be divided up so that each contributor can receive a profit.

    Obviously, this puerile alchemy is worthy of Charles Ponzi himself; for, in the adult world of quantifiable reality, it is to economics what creationism is to biology, or perpetual motion to physics. Indeed, superhuman powers, not percentages, would be required to transform a finite $100 into a infinite sum.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. I think that the people that become involved in the US based cashback program see it exactly as DD has stated: the consumer receives some set cashback percentage which also generates funds to the referring parties. Here in the US, consumer protection laws make it significantly more difficult compared to our EU counterparts in marketing things too good to be true.

      On that note, I suspect that Lyoness America is tip-toeing and feeling out the US market and seeing just how popular they end up becoming compared to the parasitic nature Lyoness has within the EEA currently. With the number of scams targeting US consumers these days, many are on the defensive for looking out for scams, specifically things like secret shoppers, bonus cash at specific retailers, etc that come through as being "too good to be true" or even a break even scenario at the end of the day.

      One thing I'd like to point out to DD and other consumers which are considering the cashback card here in the US. While you may reap immediate rewards through using the Lyoness card on your purchases, at a macroeconomic level you are directly contributing to inflation of consumer prices due to the set percentage discount which Lyoness requires vendors to provide. What I mean here is, the 4% discount in the long run will result in a 4% increase in the price of your goods at those same stores effectively causing you to pay more for the same goods and services.

      You may argue that stores which offer discount cards are effectively doing the same thing but this is false. Discount cards like Target's Red Card do offer a discount (say 5%) but that 5% is a write down on the products markup versus a 5% write down then another 4% for a lyoness card resulting in an effective cost to Target as being 8.8% overall. Retailers live and die by small percentage changes in their products and the only viable option for these retailers to stay in business is to raise their prices to accommodate the additional lyoness discount.

  27. The free-thinking readers of this Blog might be interested to learn that, as part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity (as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970), the bosses of the 'Lyoness' mob have attempted to obstruct justice by making (either directly or indirectly) a malicious complaint about the content of 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare' to Google.


    This morning, the Editor of 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare,' received the following, non-specific communication from Google.

    'Google has been notified that content in your blog contains allegedly infringing content that may violate the rights of others and the laws of their country. The infringing content that has been made unavailable can be found at the end of this message. For more information about this removal and how it affects your blog, please visit

    The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at You can search for the notice associated with the removal of your content by going to the Chilling Effects search page at, and entering in the URL of the blog post that was removed. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should consult your legal advisor.

    Terms of Service:
    Content Policy:

    The Google Team'

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  28. SlowCarMan

    At the risk of being called 'alarmist,' I cannot over- emphasise to your readers the danger of pernicious, reality-controlling, organized-crime groups like 'Lyoness.'

    The classic, perverted esoteric tactic of the bosses of all 'Income Opportunity' cults has been to hide their clandestine criminal objectives behind labyrinths of corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, enterprises.

    The evidence clearly demonstrates that lurking behind the enticing 'Lyoness cashback scheme' has been a blame-the-victim closed-market swindle and related advance fee frauds (a.k.a. 'tool scams'). Thus, the real function of the 'Lyoness cashback scheme' has been nothing more than the bait in a trap.

    It is always an error to examine the various related-activities of organized crime groups in isolation. For when looked at in isolation, a lot of these related activities can appear to be wholly lawful. This error is exactly what the the boss of 'Lyoness,' Hubert Freidl, wants everyone to make.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  29. Hi,

    I agree on a lot of what you say. I am myself a Lyoness member and have learned a lot about the system.

    There is nothing like a free lunch and we all know that. We can't get rich of Lyoness without putting down the work and understanding what we are doing.

    If people understand how it works, it might be better. I would say Lyoness is a marketing company using MLM as their marketing technique, and all the members acts as employees of the marketing firm. Lyoness is marketing all the stores that are members. So the stores pay Lyoness, instead of putting money into their regular marketing expenditure. Then Lyoness uses their system (whether it is good or bad, I am not going to say), to pay the "employees". The more people you recruit (or market to) the more money you make. If you can't sell anything, you won't make money with Lyoness.

    When I was approached by Lyoness I was extremely sceptic. In a ponzi schemes, mostly, all the money made in the system is created in the system. This is not completely true with Lyoness because the money created in the system comes from each merchant "marketing budget". Then Lyoness pays this money back to their "sales people" (you and me recomending the card to others). Say for instance with Amway, you cannot purchase gas and other household goods as conveiently as with Lyoness, money created within Amway isn't necessarily money that would be spent anyways.

    I see Lyoness as a fulltime job, where if you work hard, understand all the good things, but also all the negative things with Lyoness you can make money. But if you think you can get rich of just shopping and then recommending it to a few friends, forget it, you wont make any money just save a few bucks here and there.
    It is important to keep in mind that Lyoness is a business itself and they have to make money, just like the profits of any company that has as a primary business of selling products. But here they don't employ anyone.

    I think most of the people commenting on blogs like this believe in the system in the same way as many people believe in religions. But from a human behavior point of view that is also a way to motivate people to sell the product, if you make people have an unconditional belief in what you are selling, it is easier for people to believe you when you are selling it.

    The fact that they are registered all over the world might seem suspect, but honestly most financial firms in the US have sister companies in tax havens to save money, so I wouldn't be worried about that from a business perspective.

    I will finish up saying, a lot of people will have the short end of the stick. They will either think they can make money with Lyoness, but they won't, and some poeple will just use the card for daily purchases and save a few dollars.

    1. Glad to see that someone who is part of Lyoness actually has a handle on how the business model works. If you make money doing, i guess more power to you?

      The religious tone that Lyoness has is hard for me to get over. I can't stand the crazy religious people either.

      On the registrations around the world, the only point I was merely attempting to draw is the choice of countries is a little suspect compared to other organizations that perform services like banking or consumer goods.

      That last paragraph is why I wrote this post. There is alot of fluff going around for people the shell out cash to the company to get ahead in the organization. They are the ones I'm trying to warn, that more than likely you will get the short end of the stick and all you might have for it was a few percent discounts here and there instead of retiring on your yacht while you just made Lyoness tons of cash by propagating the idea.

  30. Again, the classic, thought-stopping 'income opportunity' cult bull-shit appears:

    'There's no such thing as a free lunch,' etc.

    Interestingly, in the 'Bible' Jesus is described as miraculously-feeding 5000 people with only enough food for a family picnic. All Jesus asks for in return, is unquestioning belief. He doesn't charge his unquestioning-believers a fixed-price to enter his 'Miracle Diner' or peddle them a miraculous 'Income opportunity' based on recruiting more and more unquestioning believers.

    The 'positive versus negative' ('good versus evil') techniques used by 'Income Opportunity' racketeers to shut down their victims' critical and evaluative faculties, are essentially the same as those used by traditional religious groups; it is the exploitative purpose to which income opportunity adherents' unquestioning belief is being put, which identifies groups like 'Lyoness' and 'Amway' as being cults.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. Hello David
      Quoting you from above, it will be very interesting for you to start a blog "at the risk of being called 'alarmist" regarding the " reality-controlling, organized-crime groups like taxes and Social security". :)
      Can you do that?

    2. Lol, well played. For the record, David found my blog and started arguing with the posters. I don't agree with all the points that he makes but do get a good chuckle out of the responses.

  31. Thanks for a well researched post! I'm surprised by the comments you're getting, I'm glad you're keeping the post online instead of giving in to intimidation.

    1. This is the internet and I'm thick skinned. Intimidation is one thing, but I feel like I'm arguing with 5th graders here sometimes.

      The only argument I conceded is that Lyoness is "fine" for the US style cash back, which I had already conceded in my post.

      If if there was legal intimidation to remove this post from the internet (for which there is no grounds as stated in one of my other comments), I'd gladly counter the request. I'm a bit worried I won't be able to find a lawyer to represent me though, since they all apparently already drank the Lyoness juice (this was sarcasm if you couldn't tell)

  32. SlowCarMan

    It's a funny thing, but 'income opportunity' cult propagandists invariably post snide personal remarks which are, in fact, merely designed to provoke their critics into anger.

    Cult propagandists put me in mind of arrogant adolescents baiting teachers by mimicking them. Interestingly, the same devious thought-stopping technique (as employed by the anonymous 'Lyoness' propagandist now haunting your Blog and posing as an indepent 'Lyoness member'), is known amongst 'Scientology' propagandists as 'Bull-Baiting.'

    You will observe that I never address transparent propagandists directly.

    It's the same as trying to have a rational conversation with a tape recorder.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. I was originally on a mission to discourage people from joining Lyoness but I'm having hours of endless fun listening to their arguments on why it's viable. Keep it coming because it's hours of entertainment for me.

      Totally agree, you hear the same illogical arguments (tape recorder) over and over from the pro-Lyoness team with no critical thinking on the subject!

  33. Lyoness business opportunity is taking Quebec Canada by storm.

    For starters: With the vast amount of returns on investment one can make by investing in this legal business opportunity, and the fact (as stated by its members) it is a perfectly legitimate enterprise perhaps someone from Lyoness; a spokesperson or whomever, for added credibility, could inform the skeptics and the world as to approximately how many lawyers, accountants, politicians, RCMP, provincial police, government personnel, prison guards, judges, school board officials and other professionals and their families are participants?

    1. Thank you so much for posting this! So isn't it the least bit suspicious to you that you have to keep saying it's a "legal business opportunity" and "legitimate enterprise" so that people would listen? Adding credibility through saying that there are a bunch of "lawyers, accountants, politicians, RCMP, police, and judges" does nothing for me, why? Because I make more money than they do. Saying that these people who are actively employed in those positions and are actively participating in the Lyoness cult is even more of a fallacy than the idea of an unlimited income opportunity.

      President Obama, Michael Jackson, and Gandhi all say I'm right. See the problem with your argument here?

      I'll make the same request to you that I did to other Lyoness Premium Members: show me the money! Well, actually I want to see a pay stub showing off just how much you are actually making. Maybe a W2 or the Canadian equivalent to show how much you made in a 'real job' versus the ultimate employment opportunity that is Lyoness?

    2. Since many other similar systems have these professions involved in their enterprises it would be interesting and helpful to know if these professionals are principals or even just regular participants in Lyoness. Check, for example …ACN.

  34. With al the money pumped into this enterprise someone has to be making money and that moneyhas to come from somewhere.

  35. SlowCarMan

    Perhaps I should have explained that I had a brother in the UK (a high school teacher) who (at a vulnerable time in his life) fell for the version of the Utopian 'Income Opportunity' fairy story entitled 'Amway'. He turned into a human tape-recorder, i.e. a cross between an arrogant foot-in-the-door salesman and a sanctimonious 'Jehova's Witness.' Indeed, until I actually saw the nightmare, sudden, personality transformation that groups like 'Amway' can trigger, I would not have believed that they are cults.

    From my own experience, I now know that once the cultic mind-virus infects vulnerable persons like my brother, the lateral damage it can cause to everyone around them, is quite literally without limit. Cult adherents' previous notion of right and wrong becomes over-turned and absolute.

    Unfortunately, at first, I made the mistake of taking essentially the same attitude as you towards deluded 'Income Opportunity' cultists. I thought they were hysterically funny and, therefore, not particularly dangerous.

    I have to say that, but for the tragic results of cultism, then the phenomenon would be nothing more than a sick joke.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. Sorry to hear about your brother getting caught up in this. Hopefully he was able to recoup atleast some of his losses.

      Maybe I'm just too skeptical and cynical at the same time to give these ideas a chance (a good thing) but I've always been curious as to the mentality of the people pushing these organizations. The target audience is almost always lower wage earners where a few percent change in their discretionary income has the potential to make a significant impact on their lives.

      I get that money is tight with people, no matter how much you have it's never enough. I really can't get over the idea that people think Lyoness is not turning a huge profit off (more than 50%) of them just by using their 'service' and they are doing nothing but taking money out of their friends and family's pockets...

      I'm glad that both mine and your blogs are getting as much attention as they are. The more that people are educated on how the company operates and where the money comes from, the more tools they have in saying 'no' to not only Lyoness but other MLM and similar schemes.

  36. And when you consider where the billions scammed from victims ends up in shaping and controlling the economy and politics, you are right David, these laughable schemes on reflections, though nothing but a joke, it is a cruel joke perpetrated on victoms world-wide;sadly some of the poorest of the poor.

    They almost make this Lyoness thing seem legal and viable, so where are the supports of this fantasic opportunity gone in the last few posts. Sill like to know how many past and present judges, government personnel,RCMP,provicial and local police, lawyers, accountants, school board officials, teachers and other professionsare currently participants in this enterprise.

  37. It's interesting when one poses direct questions that go to the heart of the issue that those defending Lyoness suddenly disappear. Where did you Lyoness defenders go???

    1. To the last 2 posters. I like to give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of responding here (probably want to ignore this site). I can only hope that they've reread the comments here and have serious doubts on continuing with the program.

      In particular, this recent comment on an older comment has me interested in people understanding what they are saying when they try and defend Lyoness:

      This guy claims, Lyoness is a viable business model, yet spent $5000 shopping and got $1800 back, and that's not even including how much he paid in already to become a member. Last time I checked, businesses made money.

  38. SlowCarMan, I simply loved your research, it is a breath of fresh air in my mind. I've heard today about Lyoness from a premium member who was recruiting people in taverns and coffees here in my town(somewhere in Portugal), then i decided to study this "opportunity" and bumped into this marvelous blog. You said you have moral values, well, i don't... I'm not proud of saying such things, but it is my unfortunate way of being, and with your information I will easily make money with this nefarious system. Not only introducing it to the base of the pyramid as well as to some merchants. And with your information I will be able to ironclad my sale system.

    Thank you very much SlowCarMan, for you donation to my knowledge, and sorry for the errors.

    1. Sorry you post did not pop up right away, it was marked as spam.

      I can't tell if this is sarcasm or what, but no part of my post is positive to Lyoness in any way other than you will be paid the money that is owed to you. Let me break it down for you, just to get your initial 'investment' back from Lyoness you need to have an insane amount of money run through your network. I've been to Portugal and know how small the towns are. Do you really think it's easy to make money with this system? You pay out 3.000 euros of your own money just to get into the 'club'.

      I know that the EU is in a sad state right now, and Portugal's unemployment rate put you at a greater risk of being out of a job - mind sharing what you do for a living if anything?

      Let me call out one section of the post that I did, specifically the section where I show how $75 turns into $625. That requires just over 1 million dollars to be run through your network. Do you really think it's that easy to make that much money that you can sustain yourself? Even if you knew 200 people that spend 5.000 euros a month, you'd still only see 625 euros coming in the door a month. Last time I checked, that's lucky to be social services wages.

      More than likely, by buying into Lyoness, you are just putting money into other peoples pockets.

    2. I certainly agree with you. In Portugal it's a sad investment, but i haven't said where i'm going to "sell". Brazil is the place, i tell you, as a hobby. Besides my lack of moral values, i try to earn every penny. I have spent my short life working as a mulle to see my earnings be sucked by taxes and more taxes. I'm not complaining at all, I love my life. But in Brazil i have enough aquaintances to have more than 10000 "sheeps" lendind very small amounts of money to a possible account. And it is easy to have other commercial surfaces in my pocket.
      About what you said, that what you say here may not help me, i disagree. Because being informed is the first and most important step to avoid a trap, or in this case a tricky question from a "client", therefore i can be well prepared.
      I realy was not being sarcastic. I realy liked this blog and your words.


    3. And before i forget, i'm really against these corporations who exploit people. Lyoness is nefarious at a long term. But when that comes, i'll have my tiny miny small penny in my pocket, and here in Portugal we say " Grão a grão vai enchendo a galinha o papo."

  39. Hey Slowcar, what part of the country or what state are you from just curious. I appreciate your posting as within the last day I have been confronted about joining this group and could never seem to get to the earning scales until here. I am suppose to attend a free workshop to learn all about this tomorrow which is going to now be put on hold. I knew from the begining this was a one sided ponzi with the legality of commerce in second. Was just never given the info on return and well frankly these programs filter money out of our country and hard working peoples pockets to end up in a select fews that offer no future benefit to you or my neighbor or myself. I would like to visit with you about some other things but how does one maybe move towards more one on one communications with you?

    1. I'm on the East Coast USA. If you really want a one-on-one I can post my email.

      It's curious that more people are not astute to the inner workings of companies like this. In the end, the filtering of money out of the country isn't my biggest concern, my real concern is the blind leading the blind, basically giving this company money for providing no service.

      I keep telling myself that I want to attend a Lyoness premium session and ask the 'hard' questions but would certainly be asked to leave. Some questions that should have some interesting answers:
      1.) "I know that you presented an income disclosure slide, what assumptions went into the creation of that slide?" (Wait for them to give a BS answer either how it was statistically induced - meaning made up - or say that they aren't sure)
      2.)"Ok...well, would you mind sharing how much money you've personally 'invested' and spent with Lyoness and the rate of return that you are seeing?" At this point, they will either say "no" or start talking about the amount that they are making now is not relevant, just their future potential earnings.
      3.) "Well, how long have you been with Lyoness?" This will probably be a range of answers so use your best judgement here.
      4. Using the response from #3 and assuming they won't disclose or are currently negative on their earnings: "How could you expect some one to invest in a system when a person has been using the system for x months/years and only/still making $N? Hardly seems worth the effort and use of my personal savings".

      By the end of that series of questions, if they don't kick you out before hand, everyone also attending the session will have the knowledge to make their own poor life decisions like spending that money at a casino instead, at least you get drinks there!

  40. SlowCarMan

    Like all poisoness, Utopian, cultic fairy-stories, 'Lyoness' has been tailored to fit the spirit of the times.

    It is, thereore, no coincidence that the perverted 'Lyoness' belief system has taken root more easily in EU countries which have been the most-damaged by the world economic crisis. e.g. To date, Ireland appears to have been infected by 'Lyoness' to a much greater extent than the UK.

    In the course of my own research, I have recently had a disturbing telephone conversation with the owner of a small Irish business which features on the list of 'Lyoness Loyalty Partners.' In all seriousness this (apparently well-educated) person told me that 'within the next few years, a quarter of all the world's consumers will become Lyoness members,' and that 'Lyoness is going to save the world economy.'

    Sadly, the level of delusion of the most-fanatical core-'income-opportunity' cult adherents is such that they can become genuinely psychotic.

    Back in the 1990s, my own (university-educated) brother became completely convinced that 'within 10 years all British supermarkets would be closed, because the Amway Sales and Marketing Plan was taking over.' He also believed that anyone who didn't join him in 'Amway' was not only a fool (doomed to poverty), but was also a threat to his own salvation.

    In 2007, UK government investigators discovered that out of approximately 34 000 declared, so-called 'Amway Business Owners' in the UK, effectively all of them were making a net-loss annually. It is now known that between 1973 and 2006 around one million UK citizens were churned through the so-called 'Amway Income Opportunity.'

    Since the late 1950s, but for the tiny minority of grinning schills at the top of the 'Amway pyramid,' the overall insolvency/churn rate has always been effectively 100%. The number of 'Amway' victims now runs into the tens of millions worldwide.

    'Lyoness' is just another adaptation of the same old fairy story.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

    1. I've heard similar things recently about Lyoness in Greece "saving" their economy too. I told the guy to get in contact with me when he does and I'd give him 10.000 euros the moment that is announced.

      Sadly, I've lost faith in even university educated people being held to a certain analytical rigor but know a number of people with just secondary school educations that could see Lyoness (and Amway for that matter) for what it really is.

      There always seems to be a time element that these companies feed off of "get in now or you'll be poor" or "if you get in too late, all the income opportunities are gone."

      Any chance you could dig up that report on Amway? I wonder if there is a way to request a similar investigation be done for Lyoness.

      I think I gave Greenwingslave some good questions that would prevent or atleast open up some serious discussion for people looking to join scams like Lyoness and Amway. That more than likely, the people using the system are negative on their earnings. For the few that are turning a dollar, it's far from enough to sustain themselves.

      The focus on future earnings is sickening. Tell me how it is right now, for you...not what it could be in the future. The future changes all the time, reality changes all the time. The only thing people can prove without a doubt is the past and that's what people should base their decisions on - past performance not forward looking statements. There is a reason that all press releases done by any publicly traded company have the disclaimer "this news release has forward-looking statements", because they would get sued for saying the future was certain.

  41. SlowCarMan

    As a result of my informed complaints (backed up by 'Amway' whistle-blowers from the USA), 'Amway' was finally taken to court in the UK in 2007. However, the UK Trade Minister only filed a public interest civil bankruptcy petition against 'Amway UK Ltd.', on the grounds that the company had been in breach of trading schemes legislation that bans signing-up fees for recruits.

    In such cases in Britain, pyramid scheme companies are ordered to repay into court what they have taken unlawfully and are then closed-down as being technically insolvent when they can't. Only then can a criminal investigation be launched. Yet, in private, UK trade officials described 'Amway' as being like the 'KKK' and UK government lawyers openly descibed 'Amway' participants as deluded. I was even warned by one official that my life might be in danger.

    In 2007, UK government officials recovered hundreds of thousands of documents from 'Amway' and discovered that the UK company had never once declared a trading profit in 34 years , and that virtually nothing had been retailed to the general public. Behind the scenes, government officials accepted my own, and 'Amway' whistle-blowers,' analyses that the real money was being made by peddling 'Amway' adherents publications, recordings tickets to meetings, etc. and that this parallel fraud had secretly generated up to a billion dollars in cash in the UK alone. It was dissimulated behind a labyrinth of apparently independent corporate structures over which 'Amway UK's' corporate officers had no legal responsibility. Unfortunately, this Mafia-style labyrinth was not the subject of the UK government's toothless civil investigation and lawsuit.

    As a result, a UK High Court judge (in ignorance of reality) gave an unsafe, almost humorous, ruling in which he accepted that the overwhelming majority of so-called 'Amway Business Owners' had never made a profit and he compared 'Amway' leaders to 'gang-masters', but he broke with legal precedent and refused to bankrupt 'Amway UK' after the company's lawyers (including a former deputy director of the UK serious fraud office) promised that sweeping reforms had already been introduced. No financial penalty was imposed on 'Amway UK' and no independent mechanism was introduced to monitor its future activities. This ruling was appealed by the UK government on the grounds that it was both unsafe and wrong in law, but 2 out of 3 Appeal Court judges upheld it.

    As a result of bad publicity, the 'Amway' racket has effectively been halted in the UK, but dozens more copy-cat scams, like 'Lyoness,' continue to arrive.

    These disturbing events were only partly reported in the mainstream UK media, but some of the documentation is available to the public.

    When the wider picture is examained, 'Amway', like 'Lyoness,' is classic of a major cultic organized crime group, in that it has been set up to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate its bosses from liability. This type of group is what US federal RICO legislation was supposedly designed to address.

    Try searching for 'Amway Blakey Report' (Prof. Blakey drafted the RICO Act). You might be surprised by what you find.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  42. SlowCarMan

    When I first complained to the UK government about 'Amway,' a centrally-controlled campaign of mis-information was launched against me.

    Numerous persons, including government Ministers and senior trade oficials, were sent a defamatory letter from 'Amway's' attorneys which included a copy of a hand-written defamatory letter signed by my brother. In these documents, it was claimed that I was a foolish individual who had invented childish lies about 'Amway,' because I was involved in a vendetta against my brother, - an 'Amway distributor' who had no complaints against the company.

    Such reality-inverting tactics are typical of cultic groups.

    In France, most teenagers are taught in school about the dangers of cults which deceive, manipulate and exploit their followers, and which attempt to maintain an absolute monopoly of information about their hidden criminal objectives. However, even in France, 'income opportunity' cults have remained one of the least well understood forms of the cult phenomenon.

    Unlike France, in the UK, officially the cult phenomenon does not exist.

    Since the 1980s, the British government has, in fact, financed a charity, 'INFORM,' falsely believing that its founder, Sociology Prof. Eileen Barker, is 'a world authority on New Age Religions and groups termed cults.' At the same time, she has been widely-accused of being a propagandist for cults in general and for the 'Moonies' in particular.

    Although she is now virtually retired, whilst acting as a UK government adviser, Prof. Barker managed to infiltrate and obstruct all intellectually-rigorous public debate of the cult phenomenon in the UK for decades. Thus, persons such as you and I, who dare to challenge the authenticity of what cult adherents believe to be reality, have been systematically categorized as 'anti-cultists,' by the likes of Prof. Barker and persons under her influence.

    You might also be interested to learn that, when faced with initial press-exposure in the UK as a cult (during the early 1990s), Amway' managed to round up, and silence, many destitute dissidents in the UK, simply through buying the services of two self-styled cult advisers, Graham Baldwin and Ian Howarth.

    Dissidents were taken back to the company and offered limited compensation in return for signing confidentiality agreements.

    I will confidently predict that Hubert Freidl will follow similar subversive tactics to maintain his group's monopoly of information.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  43. "I've lost faith in even university educated people being held to a certain analytical rigor but know a number of people with just secondary school educations that could see Lyoness (and Amway for that matter) for what it really is."

    So what you're saying is you would rather side with those who are uneducated than those who hold a higher degree? Hmmm...seems to speak volumes about yourself and the people you surround yourself with.

    Personally I agree with Brear he seems to be on point with everything.

    1. You are drawing a conclusion from an example that I made. What I was pointing out is that the level of education does not determine if a person is more likely to fall for a MLM versus not. I provided an example and you are drawing a conclusion over a single example? Reading comprehension was obviously not a strong area for you...

    2. I appreciate the fact that you are one of the few bloggers discussing the deception of Lyoness. However my point here was to be careful how you represent yourself. It would be a shame if someone reading this decided not to heed these warnings because of the source. Stating that high school children have a better understanding of Lyoness than those with a higher education is comical. However it may discredit you unintentionally. It would be as if you were stating that you know many 5th grade students who have a broader understanding of lyoness than most 28 year olds.

    3. Yes Brear provided a valid point "..[some people] with high-level qualifications cannot always think outside of the narrow confines of their own academic diciplines and they are not always blessed with common sense."

      Common sense in this case would be to recognize as most people do that most high school graduates are superficial and will tend to agree with ANYONE who is a higher stature then them. This makes them an INVALID source.

      Perfect example: Person A owns an apartment. He/she states that Lyoness is a scam. Some of the high school graduates may disagree but in the end everyone agrees and praises person A. Person A leaves feeling proud and accomplished. Person B owns a house and approaches the same group. Person B states that Lyoness is great and without hesitation they all agree with person B.

    4. I think I've had a very different life experience than most people, specifically attending one of the top ranked private high schools in the country where every student goes on to atleast a 4 year college. I ended up at a top ranked state university (affording a private univeristy was out of the questions) and my experience was that my highschool education was more demanding on analytical and research skills than any class that I had taken in college. My friends and I have talked about this on multiple occasions and the verdict was that only MIT and a very specifalized program at Oxford (don't remember which college) required more "juice", that being research and analytical skills, than we had been subjected to in high school. The cross section of education we are talking about covers multiple Ivy league schools, multiple private and public universities. Obviously advanced degrees will require significantly more work but your average person never achieves anything higher than a bachelor's degree in the US.

      I'd make the argument that the difference in collected knowledge and ability to argue a point between an 18 year old and a 28 year old is small if not negligable compared to the same criteria of a 10/11 year old and a 28 year old.

    5. I agree my comparison of 5th grade students to 28 year olds was a bit extravagant.However at 28 years of age(recent grad graduate) I view 18 year olds as children and in no means would I consider to value their opinion on a specific subject matter nor waste my time in a debate.It's a lost cause. I gather from speaking with you, you must be significantly younger than me? If so, I understand why you would hold a strong stance on the opinion of those so young.

    6. I have a feeling I might be younger than you as well, but we can agree to disagree there. :-)

      If I told you I was the youngest director (by 5 years) at the company I work for (top 20 market cap stock) would that change your opinon at all?

      Ignorance of ideas due solely to age is something you should consider changing. This is a side tangent, a snap shot of my life. At 18 I was already working full time as a programmer about to enter my first year of college at a nationally ranked private university concentrating in computer science. I immediately had issues with the curriculum for the honors computer science track and arranged a meeting with the head of the computer science department. I voiced my concerns over what was being taught and the relevance any of it had to real world applications. One of my other posts talks more about the specifics and the arguments that I had against the program he was running so I won't go into all the details. The bottom line was, he was utterly convinced I had no idea what I was talking about because I was "an 18 year old child" and no real world experience.

      Reality was, I knew what I was talking about. Fast forward 4 years and I was already making more than he was (after I transfered schools, I continued to work). At the same time I was also already recognized as an expert in my specific niche field and only a third of his age. I'd argue that there are more exceptions to your "18 year old children" than you think out there...I graduated with 145 of them.


    8. Don't even get me started on my net worth. Have fun with your high school friends while I'll go hang out with people my OWN age. :]

      As Brear stated "... some so-called 'intellectuals' can be intensely stupid and narcissistic." Oh if you only knew.

    9. Where are you getting that I hang out with people in high school currently? If you're implying that because I use the phrase "from highschool" that it means they currently are in highschool you should have your head checked or maybe you're just ESL.

      From in the context I use it means a place in the past. Brilliant, I must say.

      So you're in the one percent club too? I'd be happy to compare income and net worth with someone twice my age but this is a discussion about Lyoness.

  44. Personally, I tend to agree with SlowCarMan.

    In my experience, many (but not all) persons with high-level qualifications cannot always think outside of the narrow confines of their own academic diciplines and they are not always blessed with common sense. Indeed, some so-called 'intellectuals' can be intensely stupid and narcissistic.

    It was Leo Tolstoy who observed the following:

    'I know that most men - not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever, and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic problems - can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty -conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.'

    Tolstoy, Orwell, Dickens, are just some of the free-thinking autodidacts we can surround ourselves with.

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  45. "In my experience, many (but not all) persons with high-level qualifications cannot always think outside of the narrow confines of their own academic diciplines and they are not always blessed with common sense. Indeed, some so-called 'intellectuals' can be intensely stupid and narcissistic."

    I completely agree.I have seen how many 'intellectuals' have been taken advantage of by those with just a high school education. But then again who associates with recent high school graduates after grad school? It is a sad fact that even the brightest minds lack common sense.

    1. I'll go back to a point I was trying to make: because you hold a degree does not mean you universally know everything about all other subjects. I know plenty of phd's that lack any notion of common sense.

      We are not talking about complicated crystallography, ceramics, brain surgery, string theory or any niche subject matter - we are talking about the merits and pit falls of MLM, specifically Lyoness.

  46. Readers should remember that the belief of 'Income Opportunity' cult adherents is quite genuine: it is what they believe in, and desperately attempt to propagate, that is false. However, self-perpetuating mass-swindles are nothing new.

    History is littered with highly-educated dupes (particularly politicians) who, at times of vulnerability, have been easily-bedazzled by unoriginal, economic alchemists like Hubert Freidl.

    About 5 years ago, in an attempt to explain 'income opportunity' fraud, I published an essay in which I offered a plain language deconstruction of one of the most-outrageous, self-perpetuating mass-swindles of all time - the 'South Sea Bubble.'

    However, if anyone wants a much shorter explanation of the 'South Sea bubble,' as well as a good laugh, then they should watch this video:

  47. SlowCarMan

    I find it very interesting that you are someone who is young, intellectually-curious, blessed with common-sense, highly-qualified in the field of IT and who is beginning to look closely at this contemporary 'income opportunity' version of the age-old cult phenomenon.

    It's not difficult to make the connection between pernicious cultism and computer viruses. A while ago, I began to describe cultism as 'the original computer virus.' However, lately, I've thought that the cult phenomenon in general, and 'income opportunity' groups in particular, could be demonstrated by applying a mirror image of the Turing Test.

    i.e. In a blind interview, would the systematic incapacity of cult adherents, and cult propagandists, to supply direct intelligent answers to thought-provoking questions, lead interviewers to conclude that they are talking to machines which have been programmed to exhibit human-like behaviour?

    Sadly, the same mirror image of the Turing Test would be failed by many persons outside of cultic groups - attorneys, banksters and politicians immediately spring to mind.

    There is most-probably a best-selling (fiction or non-fiction) book in this original idea.

    I would be very interested in your qualified-thoughts on the subject.

    Please feel free to send me your contact details (as a comment) via 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare.' (rest assured, no comment is published without passing the Editor).

    David Brear (copyright 2012)

  48. The scumbags of Lyoness is currently trying to recruit people on Linked in via the "Hong Kong Connection" group. I did however noted immediately this MUST be a scam! A few Google search lead me to many links among these yours too. What a great blog - thank you. Just proved what I was suspicious on. Anyway, loads of people already asked in the forum to get more info of the (quote) "Massive opportunity in Hong Kong and South East right now for visionary people" written by a Mr Jens Borup.

    Confirmed by you excellent blog I wrote to the group this was a scam. Within no time Mr Jens Borup managed to twist a standard reply into fit the forum thread, among this stating that even Nelson Mandela was Lyoness member!!! To make it short, since I noted on the thread that this was a scam (and a link to your blog) no-one followed with more request for this "Massive Opportunity". Pew – I think we saved a few souls here.
    To those who are on Linked in and a member of the "Hong Kong Connection Group" you can go to this link to see the whole correspondence:

    Thank you for excellent blog - keep it up! Claus

    1. Thanks. I had no idea they had also made it to HK. Not surprised. Thanks for linking me!


    Massive opportunity in Hong Kong and South East right now for visionary people
    Dear community
    My name is Jens Borup and I am a business partner in Lyoness - the world’s largest and most successful shopping community.
    Lyoness opened their office in Macau in May 2012 and is already employing 42 people, using Hong Kong as bridge head to China mainland and SE-Asia. Lyoness provides members with a discount cash back card which provides discounts with loyalty partners. All sign ups go through personal recommendation, which means that the recommender receives a small percentage of the turnover of all the cards, he and his team has handed out.
    IMPORTANT: You don’t have to sell any products with Lyoness you only have to offer free discounts.
    Now and for the next 6 months there is a golden window of opportunity for the right minded business people with network in Hong Kong, China mainland and SE Asia. Since Lyoness works worldwide, Lyoness is relevant for everyone no matter whether you live in Hong Kong, Bangkok or Rio De Janiero. Lyoness has offices in all continents and expects 350 million members in 2020. Lyoness are already working with worldwide brands like Apple, McDonalds, Microsoft, Walmart, and 3500 online shops and 25.000 retail shops.
    If you like I can see the huge potential in this concept and want to earn a substantial residual income over the next 1-2 years, now this is the time for you to act. You decide the investment in regards to money and efforts.
    See more under success stories on
    If you are interested in knowing more about the opportunities of Lyoness, provide your mail I will forward a link to the presentation video to you.
    Where were you when companies like Google or Facebook was formed? This is your time to join a success story right from the start and before everyone else.
    Best regards
    Jens Borup


    MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY TO GET SCAM - can't believe anyone would sign up for a thing like this... ...ponzi pyramid game, thats what it is! Guys, there are no "get rich quick scheme" out there. STAY AWAY FROM THIS! Jens Borup (if that is his real name) should be a shame of himself. Just Google "Lyoness + scam" and you will know. Ohh - most likely some of the post here are fake anyway!

    Pls. also see this link I found:

    I'm not surprised if "Jens Borup" is closing this thread very soon due to this "reveal".

    BTW - this is not the first time scumbags are using this group for such dull activities - so please moderators, kindly always have a closer look when you see a post about "massive opportunities" and similar - thanks.

    1. Glad to see other skeptics out there spreading the word about lyoness and scams in general.


    You are more than welcome so watch the presentation video and I would be very happy to send it to you. You can always find bad stuff about any company if you search the internet. But you just pointing out a debate on the internet doesn’t prove anything. I could do the same about Microsoft, Coca Cola or you for that matter.

    What is often controversial is when you can join a concept with little investment/risk. Most business requires a lot of investment and a lot of risk in order to be a part of it. In Lyoness you decide your own investment (max 3000 usd) or you can join without paying anything at all. In Lyoness your income depends on your ability to network, and the time and efforts you decide to invest in the concept (as with any other job). But the concept is basically that you get discount with every purchase. If this was a scam why would Apple, Walmart, Pizzahut, Microsoft, Carrefour, Lidl and 25.000 orther business work together with Lyoness? If they were as smart as you they would probably just have done a quick search on the internet and come to the same result as you. Why would Invest in Hong Kong even consider recommending a scam company on their website? Why is the European golf tour in Austria called Lyoness Open? Why is Nelson Mandela foundation working with Lyoness? Just check or and you will be able to see everything for yourself. Nothing is shady or mysterious about Lyoness at all. All the money within the system is created by the participating shops/companies 25.000 worldwide who gets a very cheap loyalty programme and more consumers. Out of the 2,4 million members of Lyoness only 2% are business partners. The rest is just enjoying all the discounts on their day to day shopping, groceries, gasoline, travel and furniture ect.

    So in this blog you’re not only insulting me calling me scumbag and accusing me of not being a real person. You are also accusing some the people who were interested in the Lyoness concept for being fake persons. And then finally you’re asking moderators to remove MY profile. The only one who should have restricted access to this forum should be YOU for being rude, impolite and throwing around with lies and false accusations obtained with people who have done the same shallow and incompetent research as yourself. No-one has promised anyone to be a millionaire.. In Lyoness there is no “easy money”, they don’t exit. As with everything else your input will be your output. Some people with a big network will just have an easier task than others. My only statement is that this concept will grow very fast in Asia, and there is an big opportunity right now since this Lyoness is in a start up face.
    My name is Jens Borup and with a little investigation (maybe a little more than you have done so far) it should be very easy to find my personal details. I would also be very happy to send my skype name to your mail in order for us to have a proper conversation.

    But despite all you have written I wish you a Merry Christmas.

    1. Haha. I can understand them getting touchy on the subject. I doubt that he/she read this blog or it's comments in full before back stepping and defending what they are pitching. One thing left out by these 'partnerships' is that the discounts are provided by resellers of Apple and not through Apple itself (much the same way that Walmart makes money selling iTunes gift cards). Same goes for Microsoft. Maybe I'm wrong there but there is no explicit support from any of those companies outside of offering a fixed discount on the products. I'm pretty sure none of them would ever risk having their name associated with any third party organization in the form of "hey these guys are legit, use them to make all your purchases."

      So what, they sponser a gold tour - what validity does that bring to the game outside they turn such a huge profit that they can throw money at gold? Pretty sure companies like Enron also had their names plastered on everything too - that turned out pretty well for them.

      Jens said it perfectly, "all the money within the system is created by the participating shops/companies" which I translate to "Lyoness takes the profits from the shops/companies and distributes it to you while taking over 50% of it" (see my analysis section "So where is the money made").

      I'd push for Jens to share his/her pay stub from lyoness. It's a business opportunity right? Why not share how successful your own business is versus how much you spend in 'network' with Lyoness. So far the only person who has stepped forward to share is operating at an $1800 loss on the year...


    Let me repeat my message from my last thread. Lyoness is a scam and Jens Borup is a scumbag for selling such products! His reply is a wel-produced standard answer slightly edit to fit this forum discussion and the arguments is twisted to mislead you. I.e. Nelson Mandela and many other mentioned do NOT support this – I guarantee you this. Imagine if Jens Borup’s headline would have sounded like this “Massive opportunities if you pay me 3000 USD!” None would have asked for more info – that's for sure! No where is it mentioned in his thread that the discount also depends on your investment!! How many of you would go out and buy discount coupons for 3000 USD and then have to lure friends and family into doing the same (what Jens describe as “networking”). Nope, stay far away from this scam and in this way you will have a Merry Christmas! (I hereby predict that next step from Jens would be to have a few of his “friends” telling me wrong – they are more than welcome, but I don’t believe any sane people would jump into this when they first know what is behind).

    1. :-) ding ding ding. Sounds like you've got it under control there. Keep it up!

      And for the record, Lyoness has a tiered 'investment' schedule where you can invest more than the $3000 to get more accounting units. This was the first that I heard of being able to do less than that.

  52. This is labeled correctly.....internet ramblings. This opinion is full of just that....lots of opinions and not much substantiated info. It is far from a bottome feeding program and certainly IS a sustainable business model. The money is always coming from the merchants and we all need gas and groceries every week, every day, THIS is what makes it a sustainable model. No one is convincing anyone to buy or sell products. People are just buying what they've always bought at the places where they've always bought them. This plan is shear brilliance and I would invite you to do your due diligence and really wrap your head around this, you'll be glad you did. And yes, Nelson Mandella is behind this and YES there really is a fantastic Child and Family Foundation. I helped to open our very first school in Honduras. Guess what funded it.....SHOPPING!

    1. Wow, that really hurt my feelings. (Sarcasm)

      I think you and I have very different understandings of what is a "sustainable business model" and the implications the Lyoness model has on merchants as well as what a person gails from joining Lyoness.

      Let me start on your "no one is convincing anyone to buy or sell products" comment. That's a lie. Lyoness Premium Members are only paid out AFTER recruiting other Lyoness Premium Members. What does that entail? Atleast a $3000 one time 'investment' into Lyoness. Sounds like you need to buy something afterall.

      Yes, people are buying what they were already buying. The aspect that you are missing here is that you are effectively taxing the merchant on the purchases within the Lyoness system. What does this mean? That transactions which occur under Lyoness cost merchants and vendors money. When one or two people are doing this, the 6% loss on those transactions becomes minimal. The more people that use Lyoness the more expensive it becomes for the merchant to sell within Lyoness, afterall these people would be shopping and buying these same goods already right? So what happens when 100% of people are using Lyoness? If we held everything being equal, the merchant is now making 6% less on EVERY transaction than they were if Lyoness were to not exist at all. What do businesses do to combat this? They will raise their prices 6% - so much for that discount being useful.

      This 'shear brilliance' works only when a handful of people are involved. Wrap my head around this? I don't think you read the post past the title, I go into extensive detail on how the program works, where the money comes from and where the money goes to: Lyoness takes half. The money ALWAYS comes from somewhere and it comes right out of the pockets of merchants, lines Lyoness' pockets, and you as a consumer get the pennies that are left over.

      As far as the Chile and Family Foundation, I have yet to find a single external audit or third party investigation into the organization. While they may have built a school in your area (always an amazing gesture) that does not mean the organization as a whole is 'fantastic'. Larger charity organizations ALWAYS publish information on how and where the money spent in addition to where the money comes from. The most I've ever seen on the Child and Family Foundation are press releases talking about the good that they do. Heck, maybe they are too busy building schools and helping people to perform the due diligence that other charity organizations do to satisfy their critics.

      On a further note, since you did not read the whole post. This post is related only to the Lyoness Premium program. The cashback cards that you can get, while parasitic and horrible for merchants, are not advertized as an unlimited income opportunity.

  53. Yes Lyoness is a scam ,and any sucker that joins up have fun,after you have been ripped of bye the system,then dont come on here winging that you are now out of pocket,so to all the lyoness freaks get a real job and stop scamming others

  54. SlowCarMan

    Europe's largest supermarket chain, Carrefour, has just confirmed that it no longer does business with 'Lyoness.'

  55. Woolworths and Harvey Norman Australia,have now stopped Lyoness From purchasing any voucers from there companys,as Lyoness was claiming that there retailers were part of the Lyoness group.It goes to prove what length Lyoness will go to to suck people in.So it looks like Lyoness wont last long in Australia.
    They picked the wrong companys for there scam ,so the sooner they get booted out of Australia the better

  56. I have been in direct contact with the legal, and/or corporate, officers of almost all of the major European companies with which the 'Lyoness' racketeers have claimed to be partnered. Not one senior official in any of these companies was aware of what 'Lyoness' is or that their company's name was linked to it!

    To date, only Carrefour and Lego have told me that they no longer do business with 'Lyoness,' but (for obvious reasons) these companies have made no public statement.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

    1. I would love to see a formalization of your analysis and companies contacted. In some cases, I'm going to bet that companies are having their logo's used by Lyoness without their consent.

      Send me an email at and we'll take our discussion offline. (it's a drop email account - I don't trust Lyoness or the characters that attempt to post here). I'll delete this post once I get your email.

  57. SlowCarMan

    Are you aware that because you permit advertising to appear on your Blog, due to the subject matter, your Blog is now being used automatically to promote other 'Income Oportunity' rackets?

    The following is what has appeared (this morning) in a window on your Blog which I have accessed via Goole France:

    Produits Herbalife
    Distributeur Indépendant Livraison dans toute la France 48h

    1. Thanks for the info. I've reported it to AdSense and flagged that category so it won't appear any more. I'm in the process of moving this to a different provider.

  58. I have a friend who approached me this week, and wanted me to go to his meeting for Lyoness. I heard a little of his speech and immediately started getting red flags. I work hard 6 days a week, and i have a family, so i dont believe in these schemes, but i did tell him i would look into it, because like everyone else, i would like to make money for doing very little, but as much as i have read about it. I have decided that my red flags popped up for a reason, and i will just continue to buy my 5.00 lottery ticket every week. Thank you Showcarman, somehow my red flags did not pop up when i read your article.

  59. SlowCarMan

    The e-mail with my contact details was sent to

    Have you not received this?

    1. I have not. Give me a few days and I'll get an email up and running where people can contact me at.

    2. SlowCarMan - if you prefer, you can contact me directly through the Blog, 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare' - no comments are ever posted without editorial approval.

  60. I recently learned that Lyoness runs on a Pyramid "scheme" system. Already, I was suspicious when a friend of mine invited me to join. Also, I smell "scheme" and the "get-rich-quick" type. I am not immediately condemning the Organization as fraud as I have yet to observe, experience and fully understand how it works. As of know I will take precaution and simply observe in the time being. Thank you good sir for sharing your insights and findings as well as your efforts. Good day.

  61. Fantastic read, thanks for the insight. Watched one of their webinars, it hit me funny, so I went searching for more information. I appreciate your time and effort!

  62. Very informative article! You have truly done your research and your use of words and retorics are quite impressive. I am from Denmark and Lyoness has just aired some of their campaigns, it will be interesting to see what impact they will have.

  63. SlowCarMan,

    There are, and will always be, persons who seek fame or fortune in "discovering" things that no one else can apparently "discover". These persons are motivated to continue their motivations typically by the perpetuation of either their fame or fortune. Your highly extensive research into Lyoness would require motivation that must take the form of either self-gratification or monetary reward, or both. Which motivation is driving this current discovery obsession?

    I'm really just curious. Because I found several comments made in your original analysis slanted, as if positioned from the perspective of a non-business experienced "expert". The type of "expert" popular today with our American liberal socialist community. The "expert" who impresses the ignorant with their vast treasure of knowledge. The "expert" who spends hours (paid or unpaid) to research every business enterprise in an effort to find any and all loopholes that MUST EXIST because all business enterprise is EVIL. Do you think business is evil? If not, you're being paid to write as if you do. Logically there can be no other explanation for your heavily worded effort "above".

    As an example of your slant, the merchant discount referred to "above" can also be considered advertisement. Why did you not consider this obvious point? Businesses spend billions on driving traffic to their location through multiple advertising channels. It's what all successful businesses do. Do these marketing billions not also increase the cost of doing business and therefore raise retail prices? Huh? What? ...... Duh.

    Take the money they've paid you to blast Lyoness and enjoy your last payday. Your motivation has just been exposed and your credibility brought into serious question.

    Maybe you should turn your free time now into researching nuclear power, or gun control, or big oil, or any of those other things that you hate, like you hate free enterprise.

    1. You have a very interesting take on my analysis and motives. As I laid out in the first few paragraphs of this post, the motivation for performing this research and writing this blog entry is more along the lines of self gratification and betterment of the population at large. This is far from an obsession of mine; I have dozens of other things that keep me busy during the week and responding to these posts are a form of weekly entertainment.

      I have never claimed to be a business expert however your assumption that I am against businesses and somehow part of the "American liberal socialist community" to be again, interesting, which I'll attack in a minute here.

      I am the last person that thinks business is evil. As mentioned in several of my posts, I work at one of the top 5 pharmaceutical company - quite possibly the most hated industry, on average, of all time. Sure the gun and oil industries have their flavor-of-the-month opposition. You should check out some of my other posts, like my one on gun control (I am an avid gun owner, with an ar-15 and many, many 30 rd magazines not to mention the thousands of rounds of ammunition to go along with it) or the one where I compare a 2011 BMW M3 and a 2010 Nissan GT-R (both vehicles which are well outside the means of 90+% of American households in case you were unaware what those vehicles were).

      What I do think is ‘evil’ are organizations which provide no value for the service they are provided. Let’s look at big pharma: they research and bring to market innovative treatments for every ailment that you can think of. You think your $100 a month drug cost that much to produce? Those pills you pop cost, on average, less than a cent each to make (excluding r&d and supply chain) – some of the highest margins on any product. I sleep soundly every night and smile at each and every paycheck knowing that my company is saving lives each and every day. You could call what big pharma does price gouging but the general public leaves out the billions it costs to bring a single drug to market and focuses on the margin – drug companies have a lot of money to recoup to just break even!

      What does Lyoness give a consumer who participates with them? They give the consumer their own money and the money of their family/friends for something that they were already doing: shopping. It’s a novel idea – people getting paid to do something they already do. The only ‘value’ provided here is for a person to make money off of their peers in a bean counting game of pass the buck. Lyoness marketing would have you believe that their shopping network increases revenue by incentivizing shoppers to go to your store. That is true, but so do weekly specials, clearance items, and general ‘member’ discounts. In a localized setting, competing stores will remain competitive and the only differentiation will be the store culture and the purpose of that store in the eyes of the consumer. Passing the dollars around between family and friends simply hides the fact that Lyoness is operating at ~55%+ profit margin (I use this term loosely because Lyoness has next to no over head) for nothing more than moving money around.

      To be honest, it would be freaking awesome if I did have a pay day from arguing with people on the internet or attacking a specific company’s agenda and motivation. Reality is starkly different as I haven’t been paid by any of the specific companies in this blog and use their names purely as examples.

      Just to get back to some stuff earlier, I am in no way for gun control or against free enterprise (read my other posts). What I am against is false advertising of a ‘service’/’business opportunity’ that is parasitic in nature and next to impossible to turn a profit on.

    2. To further drive home my point, because it has been irking me all day... In my original post I made no references to specific companies and only use fictitious mom and pop examples. Only when posters mentioned specific companies did I refer to them by name.

  64. You're twisting SlowCarMan's words in a bad taste, and with no real arguments whatsoever. He might be somewhat pompous and arrogant here and there, but he's absolutely right about Lyoness. Two days ago I was offered to take part in the scheme and I immediately politely declined. Why? 'Cause I remember. And it freaks me out to see people around me who act ashypnotised, or as if they choose not to remember.

    1. :-) Part of the reason I started this blog is as an avenue to relay to the rest of the world my views on various subjects (gun control, pyramid schemes, car reviews) in a semi entertaining manner. I think that by causing a stir and having people come from all corners of the world to attack or defend my position as the primary reason this blog continues to thrive.

      I should have been more clear in why I write anything at all. This stuff is creative writing to me, something I don't get to do in my current business setting - writing these blog entries are as much entertainment for me as the thrill of generating my own ideas on controversial subjects and vetting it out with the world at large.

  65. Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtful article. We've been bombarded lately to join Lyoness and we needed some good information.

  66. My mother owns a business and some sleazy fuck sauntered over today to try and hook her on this malarkey. I recognized it for exactly what it is but I'm having trouble explaining it to her.
    I appreciate what you are doing here. Stay strong against their legion of spammers.

  67. Enjoyed reading your Blog SlowCarMan! Great stuff!

  68. It turns out that quite a few of the companies that Lyoness calles "Loyalty partners" never even heard about the company.
    Lyoness simply buy vouchers from theese businesses at a bulk rate as any company can do, then pass this discount on to their members.

    An eksample is Tesco, who got their logo removed from Lyoness webside sfter finding out they were being eksployded.

    Walmart is another eksample. They claim no affiliation with Lyoness.

    But don't take my word for it. Find out for yourself by asking them directly by email. Their adresses are on their webside.

    Seems to me Lyoness does eksactly enough to stay out of legal trouble and keep the Business partner pyramid sceeme going.

  69. Omg , reading a few of the 'anonymous's' posts , who knows nothing about Lyoness ..... ???
    As far as I am concerned , the author of this article answered plausibly and impartially a few of my questions, thank you :) !

  70. Having read through many of the comments and being with Lyoness for a considerable time I feel that the essence of how Lyoness works has not been fully grasped. We are dealing with a complex system which has 10 levels of compensation. Also, it appears to be under the control of some of the top earners, these have been in Lyoness a number of years.
    Is it a Scam? no I don't believe it is but people should think very carefully before joining . The lure of making yourself rich can overshadow the reality of what you would need to do to achieve it. This does of course apply to many other types of business.
    To describe Lyoness as a Pyramid, MLM or Ponzi scheme would be wrong.Its trading meets the lawful requirements of various countries. I'm not defending or promoting Lyoness (I'm a little "sick of it" myself) but to give it labels like thatit’s either not understood or there is a misconception with regard to Pyramid Schemes etc. If the reality regarding Lyoness really struck home with people I feel that far less would become involved.
    How it works: 1. You can join free. 2 .Buy Pre Pay shop units £45 each 3.Be a Premium Member £1800 + £400 shopping. The emphasis is being a Premium member; there is no interest below this level. In my experience I’ve been allowed to attend a training meeting for £27.00 then take a test before being considered for training meeting 2. They also hold training meetings exclusive for Premium Team Members however; no information is being passed down . It seems that some Premium members know what’s happening but are not bothered to pass it down. The way Lyoness is structured and run by the Uplines may be the reason why goalposts appear to be shifting” without the lower levels getting to know about it. This brings uncertainty and makes it difficult to work the programme.

    Anonymous Bryan 1st Part see 2nd

  71. 2nd P{art

    Briefly How It Works Using An Estimated 7% Discount off Purchases:

    1. You have a cash account banked after £9.00 is reached
    2. A Loyalty account kept in Lyoness.

    Between 1 to 2% is paid into your cash account. The balance of discount on purchases at an average of 5% is paid into your Loyalty account which stays with Lyoness. The 5% is left to accrue to a value of £45.00 a unit is created in your loyalty account, whichis a Binary matrix by having a £45 unit followed by 35 on the top leg and 35 on the bottom one =71 in total. Bonus payments may be paid subject to meeting criteria. When 70 units have developed the full bonus is paid which is £405 + £118.Bonus subject to criteria giving a total of £523.80.

    Each unit is an estimated 5% of purchase. The amount of purchases needed £900 per unit X 71 = £63900. £523.8 as a % of total purchases would work out at 0.8%. But cheer up we are told, you don’t have to shop all the units yourself because as part of the shopping community, some units from other shoppers will come down below yours automatically. Rest assured that this doesn’t really happen. The only way you are going to get enough units to make it pay, is to go out and recruit people into your life line for them to shop through Lyoness.
    The structure used in recommending goes to two levels and payment is 0.5% for both i.e. Direct and Indirect you recommend 50 and they recommend 50.If you develop a lifeline of 100 people and they spend £400 each per month that’s £40.000 at 0.5% = £200 per month.
    There are inherent problems, shopping has to be done through vouchers or cards. Many people are reluctant to pre plan their shopping, to order vouchers and cards.
    For thousands of people they would be getting up to 2% discount but unable to recruit enough shoppers to get units to cycle through the system. This means that the benefit they would get is restricted to 2% the remainder being lost to Lyoness permanently.It would be far better to deal with a “supplier” not signed on with Lyoness and take advantage of the discount or better prices they may offer.
    I have only touched a little on the “Lyoness System” keeping it a simple. There is no doubt that a substantial income can be made but for me I’m finding it difficult to recommend it to people when I know that the maximum benefit would be just 2%. A lot of shopping is done via the internet and people can save 20 to 30% or maybe more for certain items.
    People are joining Lyoness as Premium Team members so if you have £2400 to spare you will be made very welcome, just remember that if you want to get the units you have pre purchased to cycle you need to go out and recruit. As for me I’m going in the opposite direction, I wish you well.
    Anonymous Bryan

  72. Nice work on researching Lyoness! Keep up the good work!

  73. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. For future readers, there are a few people doing SEO using my blog - those comments will be removed.

  74. Thank you for this article. I appreciate it and it confirmed my suspiscions about this company.

  75. Need more information - - my boyfriends dad has sucked him in!!! Its tragic. What is tragic is my boyfriends dad has an MS in Economics and is a big time banker - a VP to be exact of a large bank. My boyfriend doesnt even have a job right now, and his banker dad has sucked him in. GRRRRRR!!!!!

  76. The 'Lyoness Complaints Centre' can now be contacted at:

    Austrian television has broadcast a video of Hubert Freidl confessing that the 'Lyoness Cash Back Card' is a smokescreen

    Faced with imminent indictment for fraud, Hubert Freidl has quit Austria.

    Many more victims of the 'Lyoness' lie have begun to face reality and organize.

    The former Managing Director of 'Lyoness Austria' has blown the whistle.!

    It has been reported that 'Lyoness Australia' held an emergency meeting, Friday 12th April 2013 (in Sydney) to discuss how the company is going to tackle the deluge of demands for refunds. More than 300 adherents have already woken up to reality and obtained their money back following the departure of Woolworths Australia (a trusted-brand which has been slapped all over 'Lyoness' propaganda in Australia). Apparently, when contacted by phone, Woolworths in Australia now says quite openly that 'Lyoness' is a scam and that Woolworths is not connected to it in anyway.

    It has also been reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received sufficient complaints to open an investigation of 'Lyoness.'

  77. SlowCarMan,

    I appreciate your approach and openness in looking at Lyoness, and your quest for an honest response from a real live premium member is over. I’ll try to keep it simple and straightforward. My only reluctance to posting my thoughts and experience here is getting involved in the snarky reply/counter-reply so typical of anonymous internet debate, as well as becoming the latest target of David Brear’s religious fervor.

    Let’s start with reality. Here is a link to the Lyoness Income Disclosure for 2012: The bottom line is that over 99% of Lyoness members have average earnings of less than $65 per month. Less than 1% has average earnings over $65 per month.

    There are basically two ways to earn money in Lyoness: A) earn recurring commissions on shopping transactions from the community you build, or B) earn one-time commissions on recruiting new premium members.

    You are free to choose how you build your Lyoness business.

    The benefit of building a local shopping community of merchants and shoppers is earning a small slice of a large volume of transactions. If the transactions benefit both the merchant and shopper, they will continue month after month, providing you with recurring income. The challenge is reaching critical mass so there are enough new shoppers to add value to the merchant’s business, and enough variety of merchants to give value and convenience to the shoppers.

    This approach is hard work, takes time, and is only successful if you actually add value to both merchants and shoppers. Merchants and shoppers only care about WIIFM – what’s in it for me. They are smart people looking for a better value. If you can provide them the value they are looking for, you have legitimately earned your commissions. There is nothing sinister or deceptive involved.

    The benefit of recruiting new premium members is the pop of a one-time commission today, rather than the slow drip of recurring small transactions. When members in your team recruit others, you get credit for that as well. The challenge is to build and support a growing network of recruiters that continue to recruit each and every month. No recruiting means no commissions.

    This approach is also hard work, takes time, and is only successful if you inspire the hope of achieving earnings. My perspective is you are selling hope in whatever form they want (earnings, lifestyle, freedom, etc.) and trying to find others who can do the same. Is the object of their hope actually delivered? You can say yes as long as that object of hope can be purchased for less than $65 per month.

    Which approach individuals choose to build their Lyoness business depends on their personal skill set, experience, and motivations.

    How will Lyoness fare in the future? If the focus is primarily on recruiting new premium members, it will crash and burn in another cautionary tale of greed. If the focus is primarily on building a community of merchants and shoppers that willingly enter into transactions month after month to benefit themselves, Lyoness will become what they say they are.

    Full disclosure… I’m with the 99%.

    1. The irony of falsely-accusing me of displaying 'religious fervour,' for challenging the authenticity of this absusive ritual belief system, dressed up as a 'business' and labelled 'Lyoness,' is close to exquisite.

  78. SMC ,

    Stop making sense. How dare you use logic and reasoning to make a compelling case?
    I would dare to say its borderline eloquent!

    And asking for proof from an ardent Lyoness proponent? Using hypnosis,expected results/observations and comparing them to actual results/observations?

    Some you say this is deplorable!! [end my poor attempt at sarcasm]

    My story in a nut shell if may for a moment and a few of my observations-

    I came across you blog while doing my best at due diligence regarding Lyoness.

    A close family member is getting sucked into it and proposed I do as well.

    Admittedly I was not as skeptical as I should have been from the word go.

    They have brilliant marketing.

    As an organization they have the capacity to be a quasi-religious cult.

    (To clarify for anyone willing to read this far. These are my own words/observations. I am in no way implying that SCM had stated this. True I tend to agree strongly with another commenter with his own blog. I feel that commenter is equally is as intelligent as SCM but yet makes his own unique compelling case).

    I have to thank you SCM for bringing this subject to light, you are doing a great service to anyone willing to look at it with an open mind.

    In my case you have helped lay the foundation for a useful debate I can have with my loved one. This person means the world to me and I fear for their well being not only financially but emotionally as well.

    There is no doubt in my mind you are exactly who you say you are. You have been most helpful and this arena and has been an entertaining and at time humors read as well.

    I hope soon to report back that my loved one has heard all sides and taken the correct fork in the road, the path that goes away from this awful scam called lyoness.

    On a side note SCM, if I were to guess would it have been Taft? ..wait, no I would guess Canterbury School. Am I even warm?

    Best and many thanks again,


    1. You're on the right track with Canterbury. Wrong state but right track. I've spent time in CT because an ex girlfriend of mine is a phd candidate at Yale - long road trips to get there. I'll tell you the school was in the tri-state area.

      Hopefully your talk with your loved one goes well and atleast provide some counter arguments!

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. Not sure if trolling or not. No reason to say something like that so I removed the comment.

    4. Not at all dude. Just giving you some props

  79. SlowCarMan,

    Great post! I've been involved with multiple MLMs so I do understand the difficulty in making my losses as small as possible. I say this because only 1% of members make a profit! I agree with you that a profit can be made as long as you treat this like a religion. You literally have to eat, sleep, and breath Lyoness to make it work.

    My long time good friend's wife joined about 2-3 months ago. She spent over $7,000 CAD to buy units here in Canada and also units for Africa ($3,000 respectively). When I heard of this non-sense, I thought to myself "WTF!!!! Africa?!?!" I don't see any way for her to make money in Africa because there's no one for her to recruit over there. No one recruited equals no potential income. The units will just sit there and collect dust. I was told that the opportunity is there because the market is very new (money down the drain).

    She told me about this amazing opportunity but i wasn't prepared to take out anymore money for a new MLM. However, she convinced me to sign up for the discount card and I reluctantly succumbed. I never thought about the long term economic impacts until I read your article.

    Unfortunately to prove your point, I am one of the higher educated that fell victim to this religion.

    I do appreciate your analysis. You are quite the intellectual (I'm sure you'll agree with me that I don't need supporting evidence for this).

    Do you have any other interesting reads?

    1. Somehow I missed your post until just now. Sorry about that!

      It's only money right? There are a lot of things that go over looked in the course of the day. Every action has an impact down the road somewhere. I took a very specific stance on the impact of discount cards and like anything on the internet the opinions out weigh the facts.

      Most of the posts on this blog are 'interesting' reads - I wrote them after all! (lol) Nothing much more on MLM - I've switched companies and have been working crazy hours. Let pharma (second most hated industry) to work in finance (most hated industry).

      Thanks again for your post!

  80. Thank you for this discussion. It cemented the "Something is wrong here" gut instinct I initially got before I got confused by all the numbers and marketing lingo and the promise of easy cash and its huge in Europe. :-)

    I am based in Africa - there is a fast growing Lyoness movement here. A 2% price increase at the major supermarkets is absolutely not what the population needs right now. But an easy way to make money? Everyone wants that, even Africans...


  82. Check their office in Makati Philippines. A person working with them has international warrant of arrest in Europe. Involving setting up an account for a boilerroom scam. "Equi Asia Group Ltd. We can send you copy of international copy of the warrant. He was arrested by authorities in Philippines. Now out of jail. Someone rich protecting him. Warrant in Europe still existing. Name Pettersson

  83. Hmmmmm .... Well you may as well blame ordinary folk like me recommending Lyoness to others ... I keep on reading with interest forums like this, some that have gone on for over a year even ... and nothing has battered an eyelid nor surprised me. Thing is, our current corrupt world, in all governments and sectors have been lying and ripping us off for years ... enslaving us and constantly vying for our control in many, many evil ways over many frames of time. At this point in our planets history, especially since the industrial revolution, never has there been more corruption, war, devastation to humans and the environment, sickness, mental and otherwise, sadness and injustice, especially for those who do not have much of a voice. And the rich get richer and the poor get poorer with our current economical system where ever you live. I believe we are right on the edge of a completely new way of life for our inhabitants after the order of thinking of many great minds before us ... something has to give, and only when the hearts and minds of us are changed first through creativity and competition. I am not formally educated, just attended the school of hard knocks, I am a mother, a worker, a humanitarian. I believe in a 'fair go for all', level playing field, reward for effort, and most of all, doing what I can to help raise peoples standard of living, meaning those close to me and those everywhere, while supporting real change that I keep up to date with through the Child and Family Foundation and also using alternative energy and as much self sufficiency as I can, leaving a smaller footprint for those behind me, inspired by the likes of the Greenfinity foundation ... As a no body to you, but a hard working Aussie single mother like many of us Lyoness members, I'm experiencing a wonderful opportunity right now supporting my team in the US, and with my own eyes, I am seeing Lyoness exploding in membership and small to medium enterprises, (mum and dad business') come on board daily ... We have a heart for small business .... I am watching our little towns get back on their feet and business' grow in an area of Queensland Australia, now attracting more loyal customers, going out of their way to shop, whereas they never would otherwise. Given our stinking current world affairs, and that I am seeing real positive change through Lyoness on many levels ... who really are the corrupt ones? You know something by their fruits ... I believe Lyoness has been accepted by the ordinary folk, embraced in fact due to the thousands of new memberships daily, doing exactly what they say they do, thats why we are becoming unstoppable, If the people lead, the leaders will follow ... Our opportunity to vote with our dollar every day ... this model is the catalyst for change for a new, fairer economic balance in the worlds economy ... Truly, if all we can do is argue in the midst of a dying people and planet while we sit in what we all created doing nothing but damn words trying to prove who is right and who is wrong, leave it to the proactive women folk who are voting with and saving on their weekly budgets to do something constructive. I still see no valid argument anywhere, the system just works and is working and will continue to work is my gut feeling ... thanks for reading :)

  84. sorry, i re read what i wrote, I meant to say our changes through 'creativity' and 'NOT' competition :)

  85. I am in Lyoness, and where I am money is all the meeting leadership talk about; not the 2-12% cash back. And Premium membership is pushed as the only way to go. I have received cash back but I must say it does have the look of one of the airplane money games at the premium level. My other concern is I have called Lyoness on several occasions for the lack of support by our recommender and upline, but Lyoness shows absolutely no concern. I am taking it slow on this one. Will continue to shop but right now not much more.

    1. I think you've confirmed what alot of people suspect. The premium aspect is pushed because the people that recruit you need more premium members below them to make money and so on down the line.

      While I don't like the idea of a cashback card, mainly because Lyoness gets a cut, it's low risk for the consumer.

    2. I am sorry to read your up line in Lyoness is not giving you help and direction. I would NEVER buy a premium membership unless for one of these reasons: (1) I am now buying a lot of product from a Lyoness merchant and creating lots of shopping units myself. I might then only buy 7 units in AC1 not the whole premium package. (2) I am going to be a business building Lyoness member, (3) I am going to be a Lyoness Merchant.

      If you do not understand the reasons behind each of these three examples then you have not been trained about Lyoness.

      I think Lyoness has seen the problem with the way some people are selling the program because they just made the rule if you are a Lyoness member and have not made a purchase you can request another up line sponsor. If you have made a purchase You can also get a new sponsor more in line with helping you develop by just opening a free account in your wife's or husbands name and working that position.

    3. Just curious here, are you a premium member?

      Maybe I'm not following, but how would this 'rule' (which obviously people are not aware of) impact the people lower in the Lyoness ranks? They are basically stuck at that point with the Lyoness dream and lighter pockets.

  86. I am a recent member - but only use the cashback in combination with other other cards to get cheap fuel. And a few "binary" purchases such as computers, TVs. Whether I stay or not - it depends when the truth comes up.

    However, with all such systems - DO NOT PUT IN MONEY. Bet on race horses instead - at least it is more fun to do so.

    1. Or go to the casino. Thanks for your post!

  87. Great work. I was presented to Lyoness by a family member. The logic of their business did not make sense to me. Lyoness is using a "free" sale force to grow their business by convincing them they'll all get rich if they all spent the same amount of money each month.

    1. Glad you saw through it. At the end of the day, there will always be someone on the bottom where the money comes from to support the income of people on the top. Someone loses in the long run just like Social Security here in the US

    2. Wrong. Lyoness is not a "get rich fast" business. You get a free membership then you re-direct money you already spend each month to Lyoness merchants (if product/service to your liking) and you get a reward PAID by the merchant because every merchant want loyal customers.

      "Free sales force" makes no sense to me. People get involved in Lyoness for two reasons; Save on their shopping and or build a business by telling others about the Lyoness opportunity.

      Traditional businesses require an up front investment and hard work for several years before the owner makes a paycheck or profit. Everyone knows how this works that has ever owned their own business. If you have always worked for a company you might not be as knowledgeable.

      Lyoness gives everyone the same opportunity for the same cost. You learn the basic way the company works. This took me two months. You then decide how you want to develop your Lyoness business. This decision has a lot to do with how you are trained and or your special talents. Bottom line like any traditional business it might take you three to five years to make any money. If you think otherwise you will be disappointed.

    3. You might want to double check your facts on how premium memberships are marketed abroad before generalizing.

      Let me ask you a simple, direct question: What value do you/Lyoness bring to the product or service being sold?

      The product is EXACTLY the same. The experience/service is EXACTLY the same. The only difference is that the price may be discounted for the same EXACT service and that money is transferred to Lyoness which does some fancy foot work and pays out less than half of that to the customer.

      Let me ask another direct question: what is the Lyoness opportunity? Is it that you can get paid for other people spending money? How about getting a discount on goods? The latter can be had without Lyoness and the former is border line Ponzi scheme.

      Traditional companies provide value through either enhancements to a product or some service. Lyoness provides neither. I'm sorry, but if your concept of a successful business is one that is underwater for "several years" I would hate to work for you.

      I forgot to ask in your other comment, do you have a job in addition to Lyoness - like one that gives you money so you can spend on more accounting units? That's just one of many problems with Lyoness - because there is nothing being sold you need to dump cash into it in order to make money.

      Can you provide examples on how 'special talents' impacts the way you grow your Lyoness business? There isn't anything being sold or added here so if anything the only skill required is the regurgitate what Lyoness tells you to - not all that special as my dog can regurgitate stuff I hold a similar value to.

  88. I too, just got my free cashback card from a merchant (auto repair), and saved $20 on the $280 repair bill, for no up front fee. Seems like a great idea, and his motivation is that he'll get more customers (volume). I patronize his shop anyway, as he is both honest and reasonably priced, but even he could not explain the "residual income for something people do anyway-shopping" aspect of it. Having tried several MLMs over my lifetime, I am very glad that I found this blog, and by dint of posting today, I have read all prior posts.

    I thought, "wow, an MLM that isn't MLM!" It really is to good to be true, as all MLMs are.

    Thanks for keeping this blog up - I just wish it was on the first page of Google.

    1. For vendors it's not that bad of a deal since they can write off any fees associated with Lyoness as marketing expenses. I'd be curious how detailed his records are and if he actually gets more business being part of the Lyoness 'family', meaning new customers in the Lyoness network versus patrons he already had which he gives the card to. What I suspect is, Lyoness won't really drum up all that much extra business for him and he's just discounting fees by people which were already using him (something places do to encourage repeat business) which he could do without Lyoness.

      If you come back in read this, next time your car is in the shop (hopefully not for a long time!) ask the shop owner about if Lyoness actually helped his business.

    2. SlowCarMan, Have you ever owned a small business?

    3. "I too, just got my free cashback card from a merchant (auto repair), and saved $20 on the $280 repair bill, for no up front fee. Seems like a great idea, and his motivation is that he'll get more customers (volume)."

      DO NOT let SlowCarMan discourage you about Lyoness. Your statment above tells me you like the concept before you read all this negative stuff on this blog. I have studied Lyoness and come to understand it is a great marketing tool for small business mostly because of what you yourself just said.

      Had you not read this negative blog you would have told your friends how they could get a free Lyoness membership (from you) and use that membership at the auto repair shop you just mentioned. Guess what you just earned 1/2% on what that member buys because YOU told them about Lyoness and the auto repair business. Chances are that person you told will be a brand new customer for the auto repair business. It's called "word of mouth advertising" and it is more powerful than any media a business can buy! You got rewarded, your friend saved a little, and the auto repair business got a new customer. Win, Win, Win. What is wrong with that? When you are able to use your Lyoness membership several times a day in your local area you will start to see how the Lyoness rewards program works. Stay in the boat because it's going to be a great ride.

      Ok SlowCarMan blow this apart................

    4. Oh Big Tom...did you read the section titled "Merchants and why they join"? Go back and read that. Did you read my reply even? I asked a simple, realistic question to follow up with the owner on how much repeat business there actually was - my theory is that the repeat/new customers attributed to Lyoness would be IDENTICAL to him operating the ship without Lyoness' greedy hands.

      Since you're obviously a member, will you share how much your 'Lyoness business' generates per month along with how much money is flowing through the network?

      Let me rephrase this. The owner of the repair shop could have just as easily said to the guy "for every one of your friends that comes in here I'll throw $20 your way". He was already a customer (obviously repeat) and now you've given him an incentive to bring friends into the shop all without giving a penny to Lyoness. Let's think about this situation - what did Lyoness actually do for the vendor or the customer in this situation? They gave $20 to the customer - that $20 probably cost $30 to the shop. Lyoness pockets money on EVERY transaction.

      Word of mouth is certainly a powerful marketing element just like social media - no denying that but the entire situation could have been solved with a little bit of effort on the side of the shop owner and wouldn't need to worry about cutting a check to Lyoness. Actually, it's sort of funny here because the shop is advertising for Lyoness when I thought the whole point is Lyoness being a reason to use the shop?

      Again, I agree it's a win all around. New customer is made, original recommender gets some dough but why on earth should Lyoness have their hands in this transaction at all? What did they do other than move money around? The marketing was done by the customer and the shop not Lyoness. What value to they bring.

      For the record I am managing/owner of two start up companies and worked at a small business for 5 and a half years. My relevant experience is that repeat customers are what keep companies in business, period. Small businesses always have issues marketing themselves and that's where Lyoness preys the most - companies that don't know what they are doing or look to outsource their marketing. The EXACT SAME end result could be solved with out Lyoness and no overhead.

      Watch out on that boat your riding because I suspect it will capsize from being too top heavy.

  89. Thank you thank you thank you both for spending your amusement in helping people like me, who want to better my life, realize that this was a scam before I handed my money to a good well educated friend who has been hooked. I will keep my cash back card and my cash in my back pocket.
    It sounded to good to be true so I went searching for answers and you and DB were the only two I found and the only two I needed.
    Thank you from the bottom of my pockets. :) ;)

    1. Everyone wants to better their life, never saw a problem with that. These scams target everyone with intentionally confusing marketing material to make it look like a great business model. At the end of the day, the best thing to say to yourself is "is this too good to be true."

      Glad you're keeping your cash and not handing it over. Please point your friend here as well, maybe he'll get out.

    2. SlowCarMan, I have read your comments about Lyoness and I am not sure if you really understand how Lyoness works. Have you read the Lyoness Compensation Plan dated July 8, 2012? Have you seen the Lyoness Income Disclosure Statement for the US for the period ending December 31, 2012. Do you know how many Lyoness members are in the United States as of today? Do you know how many Lyoness merchants are located in the United States?

    3. Yes I have read the plan, came out 4 days before I posted this content and finalized my research. I also just reviewed the income disclosure statements for the US.

      Is there a specific point you'd like to make here? Since you didn't make any I will.

      If we look at the averages, 98.47% of all Lyoness members within the US 'make' on average $152.34 per month, good for roughly 3 tanks of gas requiring on average 51 hours of work ($3.05 per hour). Next on the income disclosure you have "<2%" (why they went to 2 significant digits for the other numbers and then none for this is beyond me) which average $1,640 per month and 'work' hours ($24.47 per hour) - not terrible. But now we are at an interesting cross roads with the way the numbers add up. We've already covered atleast 99.47% of Lyoness (98.47 + ~1.01% - since they just say '<2' I'm giving them the largest range possible here).

      Let's just take the whole Lyoness population plastered on their website - 3 million. That means 2,984,100 members receive an effective hourly wage of less than $24.47 (made more than that working in college). Now we also need to remember that the US is only a small chunk of the Lyoness pie so the 3 million base number is an extremely high estimate given there are 32 more countries included in that number.

      We now have 3 tiers left, all of which are labeled as "<1%" but only have .53% left to play with. Let's pretend that the next two tiers are .01 and .01% and that .51% have an average monthly $17,546.39 and work 178 hours a month ($98.58 per hour). Now that's not bad - maybe I can be one of the 15,300 members world wide that make that much? I'm not sure you saw what I did there but it's exactly what Lyoness wants to to consider when they don't provide specific numbers - why they gave 2 decimal places for the first two and then opted to not go to the same level of detail for the rest can be nothing more than a slight of hand to conceal exactly how much people at the top make. With the way the numbers are, .01% (<1% lol) could be making almost $100 an hour and you wouldn't be the wiser (for the record that's 300 people world wide).

      What does this tell me? There is an extremely low expectation of being financially viable in running the Lyoness business model - infact, it's really probably only a good idea for ~15,000 world wide. You also need to consider the market risk something like this entails. Some things to consider are your income is directly related to consumer spending - market dips or inflation bye bye pennies. Limited supply of suckers, err, premium members out there. An extremely limited percentage of the population will even consider Lyoness as something to join - an even smaller percentage will put money into something that looks and feels exactly like a ponzi scheme.

    4. Another point to drive home is that "<1%" can also mean .0001% which is 3 people. The numbers guy inside of me says that there is a reason the last 4 tiers are "<2%" and "<1%" and not exact numbers but you make your own judgment call there.

  90. More information.... Office Account manager in Lyoness Makati Philppines name ( Chris Petersson .Also involve in setting up numerous account for boilerroom scams. Beware once you got your name in thier data base your a open target for another bigger scam that you can ever imagine.

  91. I found a picture of the street and also a listing that says their office is up for sale shortly before this blog was written.

  92. Many thanks for your research!

  93. Good day from South Africa! I was approached with the Lyoness Cash back card by a lady I used to work for many years ago. I worked for her and her husband, we had a small manufacturing firm. At the time (in the 90’s) they got involved with every get rich quick thing there was (herbalife etc) and I was only in my early 20’s and could never understand why they would waste their time with these companies, and they always gave up because they never made the quick money. Afterwards I also realized that one of the main reasons she approached me was because my family and in-laws stay in a small town and she said I can try to be the 1st to introduce the small town and will make a lot of money. How awful is it to try and use me like that!

    So when I got the call from her and sat through her presentation in a coffee shop (I felt so sorry for her because she was really struggling to explain this complicated “thing”) I immediately knew this was something I did not want to get involved with. At first it sounds like a card you swipe in stores and get money back. Most stores have their own loyalty cards. But then the truth is no stores allow you to swipe these Lyoness cards you have to buy vouchers/gift cards and you have to pay for these vouchers to be couriered to you…made no sense what so ever. Here in South Africa it also seem that none of the big shops they say they are affiliated with are in fact affiliated with them and one of the big supermarkets will no longer be selling them the gift cards.

    Anyway I am busy reading through all the comments here and have done a lot of my own research. Also know a lady that bought into the business side and she is now very disappointed because you don’t get the money back only vouchers. It seems a lot of people see this as a business they can run for a monthly income!? I think the fist warning sign is the complicated way this thing works, most people don’t understand it.

    Thanks very much for the info. I think here in South Africa this thing has just started and I will still be approached by many about this scam. I have also been on David Brear’s site and reading everything there.

  94. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  95. This is the same post with contact details removed.

    Complicated things do work so don't get turned off because it is complicated. It took me two months to understand Lyoness. I had to watch some parts of the videos many times before I came to understand just how powerful creating a shopping or accounting unit is.

    Lyoness is not a get rich quick deal. No good business is so get that out of your mind now or you will be disappointed.

    Lyoness is a great marketing tool for small business. It will increase the sales of their product or service without increasing their overhead. It will also turn some of their business expenses into new revenue streams.

    If all this was not explained to you in easy to understand detail then you got involved with a new person who just did not know the facts.

    E-mail me at xxxxxxxxxxxx and I will send you some information.

    1. Did you read my post at all? If you did, specifically the section titled 'Merchants and why they join' I go into the merits of both small and large businesses feeding into the marketing that Lyoness 'offers' them.

      I'd argue that it does increase overhead since Lyoness earns a commission on every sale. There is no free lunch - re-read that entire merchant section on how Lyoness costs every business that participates money. Their bottom line is exactly the same, Lyoness just takes a chunk of the profit.

      Let me ask you a serious question. Have you made more money with Lyoness than you put out of your own pocket? It's a business right? So you must be making a healthy profit?