An Objective Prepaid Legal Services Review – Is It A Scam Or Should You Join

The History Of Prepaid Legal Services:

Prepaid Legal Services, Inc is a multilevel marketing company that sells legal membership plans. The plans provide for legal service benefits, including unlimited attorney consultation, letter writing, document preparation and review, will preparation, traffic violation defense, automobile-related criminal charges defense and a general trial defense. Basically, they allow customers to have access to legal representation and attornies for a FRACTION of what it would cost outside of the membership.

Founder, Harland Stonecipher, started Prepaid Legal in the early 70s after noticing an enourmous need in the market place. The flagship product is the Life Events Plan and currently there are more than 1.5 million members in North America. A couple of years ago, due to a demand in the market place, the ID Theft Protection feature was added to the membership. The power of Prepaid Legal’s concept is that it sells a very unique service that people from all walks of life can get value from. They really don’t have any real competitors in the traditional business or MLM arena.

Training And Leadership In Prepaid Legal Services, Inc.

Prepaid Legal Services is led by some of the most dynamic and documented leaders in the network marketing industry. Besides founder Harland Stonecipher, the corporate team contains many seasoned MLM veterans like Jeff Olson and co-CEOs Randy Harp and Mark Brown. On top of that, there are many seasoned veterans that sit on the Board of Directors. One example is current Board member, Stephen R. Hague, A 35-year veteran of the insurance industry, Hague has served as Chairman and CEO of several insurance companies. Hague replaced former Board member, John Addison, co-CEO of Primerica, when Addison resigned in 2003.

Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. mainly focuses on building a business using offline building methods like contacting your warm market and handing out company DVDs to sharp people you come across. This DVD-approach has caused a major surge in the company’s recruting numbers across the US and Canada. With that said, they have recently instituted online presentation, lead capture pages and webinars for reps that want to leverage the internet to build their business.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Prepaid Legal Services, Inc.?

Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. has many benefits if you are searching for a home based business opportunity. Prepaid Legal leaders are great at teaching and promoting the funadamentals of building a network marketing business. The methods that are taught are simple yet effective, assuming you do not mind contacting people you know. Another attractive feature is, if you are uncomfortable at giving presentations, there are a ton of tools, resources and systems you can use to recruit people into your business. Another huge benefit that might catch your eye if you’re researching Prepaid Legal’s opportunity is that there’s a very generous income opportunity just from selling memberships. In short, the Prepaid Legal opportunity is great for the average person to join and make a profit in their first 30 days.

One disadvantage (if you want to call it that) that Prepaid Legal Services has is the potential for a rep to receive a chargeback. In other words, if a customer cancels their prepaid legal membership within it’s 1st year, the associate willl get a chargeback. Personally, I don’t really see this as a disadvantage because all businesses, traditional or MLM, have some sort of chargeback feature when commission is paid on a customer that cancels, ex. life insurance.

In closing, Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. is an established company that is marketing a service in a groundfloor industry. Besides having a valuable service and a rich comp plan, the fact that customers who have no interest in joining a network marketing business will still buy and hold onto the membership is a huge benefit you need to look at if you’re interested in building a customer base that’ll pay you on-going residual incoem for years to come.

Amway Legal Battles

Amway has been in business for over 50 years. And just like many other companies that have been around for that long, they have had their fair share of legal issues. Of those legal battles they have had, most of them are about product liability or distributor disputes. However, not one of those legal battles has affected the tremendous growth that has occurred within Amway.

As an example, in 1997, Amway sued a polish film maker for libel. The film, Welcome to Life, purportedly defamed Amway, showing a misleading and libelous version of what muli-level marketing was all about. Amway Poland was able to obtain an injunction, preventing the film’s release, and subsequently Amway won the lawsuit.

Other relatively minor legal battles have involved some Amway distributors using copyrighted music on promotional tapes – these usually do not affect the company as a whole and most have been settled out of court. But another type of legal battle gets at the heart of what MLM is…

**Landmark decisions**

Is MLM, and Amway specifically, a pyramid scheme? In other words, is the business model illegal from the start? This is when the big time legal battles started. Losing a challenge on this subject would mean, not just fines, but a complete shutdown of operations – maybe even jail time.

Well, in 1977, Amway was subjected to just such a challenge. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started investigating Amway for deceptive business practices and the charge was essentially one of operating a pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme.

The crux of the issue was this, was Amway trying to make money just from recruiting distributors or was the main business model to sell products. This is a serious charge in a serious venue – the FTC had the power to completely shut Amway down.

After over two years of investigating, the FTC ruled that the Amway business model was legit. They did criticize some of the business practices, and Amway changed some of its sales materials as a result. But the ruling was clear – there was nothing illegal about MLM and network marketing.

This one single decision by the FTC save the network marketing industry as a whole. With the validation of the FTC, network marketers could finally claim what they had always known – MLM isn’t a scam, or a deceptive business practice. Instead, it is a legitimate way to sell products and grow individual businesses.

Another win

Proctor and Gamble, Amway’s main competitor, brought suit in 1995, claiming that Amway had allowed its telephone messaging service (AmVox) to be knowingly used to harm P&G. The claim was that rumors that P&G was a Satanist organization had been spread over this service and that the company’s reputation had suffered damage because of this.

After almost a decade in the courts, and lawsuits in multiple States, the case was dismissed in 2003. P&G did win money against four individual Amway distributors in Utah in 2005, but the Amway Corporation remained untouched by the slander.

**Foreign legal battles**

While the legitimacy of the MLM model was proven in the US, occasionally, the same issue has been raised in other countries. Because Amway Global is actually global in scope, these are of interest.

2006 – India started action against Amway under their version of Ponzi scheme laws. While the case isn’t entirely settled, Amway still does business in India and has won against some of the injunctions placed upon it. The original case is still pending, but in the past four years, no grounds have been found to move forward.

2007 – British authorities brought an action against Amway for what were called, “objectionable practices.” The Department of Trade and Industry (the UK version of the FTC) has the power to shut down operations and this was a serious matter. In 2008, the investigation was complete and Amway was found to have violated no laws in Britain.

**A settled issue**

With the results in, the question of whether Amway is a pyramid scheme or not is settled. Challenges to the MLM business model have been mounted, not only in the US, but several other countries. In every major legal battle, Amway had won.

Network marketing remains a viable and completely legal way to do business. In the new millennium, with the rise of the Internet, it may in fact be one of the best ways to do business. Amway has proven their model over and over again – both in the courts and on the ground. If you wish to partner with Amway, rest assured there is no pyramid scheme, no Ponzi operation – just an exciting opportunity.

Amway Legal Battles

Amway has been in business for over 50 years. And just like many other companies that have been around for that long, they have had their fair share of legal issues. Of those legal battles they have had, most of them are about product liability or distributor disputes. However, not one of those legal battles has affected the tremendous growth that has occurred within Amway.

As an example, in 1997, Amway sued a polish film maker for libel. The film, Welcome to Life, purportedly defamed Amway, showing a misleading and libelous version of what muli-level marketing was all about. Amway Poland was able to obtain an injunction, preventing the film’s release, and subsequently Amway won the lawsuit.

Other relatively minor legal battles have involved some Amway distributors using copyrighted music on promotional tapes – these usually do not affect the company as a whole and most have been settled out of court. But another type of legal battle gets at the heart of what MLM is…

**Landmark decisions**

Is MLM, and Amway specifically, a pyramid scheme? In other words, is the business model illegal from the start? This is when the big time legal battles started. Losing a challenge on this subject would mean, not just fines, but a complete shutdown of operations – maybe even jail time.

Well, in 1977, Amway was subjected to just such a challenge. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started investigating Amway for deceptive business practices and the charge was essentially one of operating a pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme.

The crux of the issue was this, was Amway trying to make money just from recruiting distributors or was the main business model to sell products. This is a serious charge in a serious venue – the FTC had the power to completely shut Amway down.

After over two years of investigating, the FTC ruled that the Amway business model was legit. They did criticize some of the business practices, and Amway changed some of its sales materials as a result. But the ruling was clear – there was nothing illegal about MLM and network marketing.

This one single decision by the FTC save the network marketing industry as a whole. With the validation of the FTC, network marketers could finally claim what they had always known – MLM isn’t a scam, or a deceptive business practice. Instead, it is a legitimate way to sell products and grow individual businesses.

Another win

Proctor and Gamble, Amway’s main competitor, brought suit in 1995, claiming that Amway had allowed its telephone messaging service (AmVox) to be knowingly used to harm P&G. The claim was that rumors that P&G was a Satanist organization had been spread over this service and that the company’s reputation had suffered damage because of this.

After almost a decade in the courts, and lawsuits in multiple States, the case was dismissed in 2003. P&G did win money against four individual Amway distributors in Utah in 2005, but the Amway Corporation remained untouched by the slander.

**Foreign legal battles**

While the legitimacy of the MLM model was proven in the US, occasionally, the same issue has been raised in other countries. Because Amway Global is actually global in scope, these are of interest.

2006 – India started action against Amway under their version of Ponzi scheme laws. While the case isn’t entirely settled, Amway still does business in India and has won against some of the injunctions placed upon it. The original case is still pending, but in the past four years, no grounds have been found to move forward.

2007 – British authorities brought an action against Amway for what were called, “objectionable practices.” The Department of Trade and Industry (the UK version of the FTC) has the power to shut down operations and this was a serious matter. In 2008, the investigation was complete and Amway was found to have violated no laws in Britain.

**A settled issue**

With the results in, the question of whether Amway is a pyramid scheme or not is settled. Challenges to the MLM business model have been mounted, not only in the US, but several other countries. In every major legal battle, Amway had won.

Network marketing remains a viable and completely legal way to do business. In the new millennium, with the rise of the Internet, it may in fact be one of the best ways to do business. Amway has proven their model over and over again – both in the courts and on the ground. If you wish to partner with Amway, rest assured there is no pyramid scheme, no Ponzi operation – just an exciting opportunity.