I got a call from Talk Fusion’s lawyer today. And the lawyer made threats. The lawyer tried to appeal to my “economic self-interest.”
This made me angry.
And then I thought for a second, this is exactly what I do sometimes. On occasion, I get asked to do things that I’m not fond of doing. Publicly, I’ve made it clear that MLMs should never send Cease and Desist letters unless there’s malicious intent and serious harm. Otherwise, it’s a gun that kicks harder than it shoots.
In my recent post regarding Avon’s departure from the DSA, I referenced some companies “slipping through the cracks” and getting into the DSA. In particular, I mentioned Talk Fusion. And specifically, I mentioned that they sell $2,000 products. In order to clarify, they do NOT sell $2,000 products. Their premium pack costs $1,500.
The video is here, and the segment that led to the call is between 10:30 and 11:05.
Candidly, I could have made my point without referencing specific companies. But, it’s there and I’m not pulling it down or editing the video as requested by their lawyer. The comments were based on my opinions, they’re innocuous and they were completely immaterial for the main purpose behind the video. In other words, I’m not going to be bullied and intimidated into doing something I’d rather not do. I never implied that Talk Fusion was a pyramid scheme. While I have my opinions on the subject, I kept those opinions to myself. In order for me to form a definitive opinion, it would take a lot of work.
Pyramid scheme analysis is very fact intensive and depend on a number of factors, as I’ve made clear in this Battle over BurnLounge article. With Talk Fusion, based on their compensation plan, participants appear to be able to enhance their earning potential based on the starter packs they buy (p. 11). It’s likely possible that participants can qualify for these higher levels by selling the packages (instead of buying). At the end of the day, it boils down to whether the participants are “ultimate users” for purposes of pyramid scheme analysis. In BurnLounge, one factor the court analyzed when concluding that the majority of the BurnLounge customers were NOT ultimate users was by looking at the purchase patterns between participants and third-party customers. In BurnLounge, 67% of participants purchased the $450 item. 17% of the customers bought the same thing. This disparity in percentages led the court to conclude that the participants were buying the premium items primarily to qualify for more money. Do Talk Fusion customers purchase the $1,500 packages at a comparable clip as their participants? Are there requirements to buy the premium products to qualify for bonuses? I lack the data; thus, I’m not 100% sure.
The point I’m making: the point of the Avon video was not directed at Talk Fusion. They need to put on their big-boy pants and get over it. In fact, they should try living in Herbalife’s shoes for a day. Herbalife has been dealing with attacks for over 2 years, and they’re being called worse things than “weird.”
I’ve sent Talk Fusion’s lawyer a message and invited him to write a message for my site. If they want to publish anything here to clarify anything that needs clarifying, I’ve given them that ability.
With all of this being said, they’ve piqued my interest. I do intend on learning more about their business. If you’ve been in Talk Fusion and you’d like to share your experience, please hit the Contact button above and educate me.