Montana says Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) is a pyramid scheme

by louabbott on March 17, 2010

This makes the second time in the last few months that Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing’s legal status has been questioned.

The first time, it was the North Dakota Attorney General.  It appeared to be a minor infraction and was quickly cleared up.

The language in this report looks a lot different. The Kentucky.com web site reported on the action by the state of Montana Auditor’s office on Tuesday March 16, 2010…

Montana has banned a prominent Lexington network marketing company from the state after a five-month investigation found that the company is an illegal pyramid scheme.

Former Danville basketball coach Paul Orberson is the founder and owner of Fortune, which has received as much $1.9 million from Montana residents. The company is prohibited from doing business there until there is a hearing or settlement, said Jackie Boyle, spokeswoman for the Montana Auditor’s office.

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“Basically a lot of the claims they’ve been making are false,” Boyle said.

Fortune has about 160,000 representatives in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, according to Orberson. To become a Fortune representative, the literature says, a person pays the company $299, then sells services such as the Dish Network and True Essentials vitamins while recruiting a sales force of their own.

The person at the top of the pyramid receives commissions from each sale and each new membership. It’s legal, Fortune officials say, because they sell products. However, the Montana authorities disagree.

“FTHM is not a multi-level distribution company but rather a pyramid promotional scheme because the compensation each participant in the program receives is derived primarily from obtaining the participation of other persons in the program and not the sale of goods and services,” the cease and desist order says.

Out of 17 witnesses interviewed in Montana who signed up with fortune, only two made more than the $299 they paid to join the company. There are 1,300 people represented in the complaint, Boyle said.

“Recruitment has happened very quickly here,” she said. “We’ve been getting a number of calls just in the past week, so that number could potentially grow.”

The Montana order also names Diane Graber, an “executive” for Fortune in Billings, Mont., who allegedly earned at least $65,458 through 2008 through Fortune.

The last statement above is the most sobering but important to know. Sometimes the legal authorities go after top distributors!

Without rendering an opinion on this particular case, clearly, it is our responsibility also to know the difference between legal MLMs and illegal pyramid schemes.  It’s not always easy since the illegal pyramids most often try very hard to look like legal multilevel marketing companies.

Read more from the Kentucky.com site.

See also, “Related Posts” below.

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Barney July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Lou – you are so correct. Many pyramid schemes attempt to sell a product to look legit. The biggest problem here is where the actual product goes to and how much perpetual residual income is derived from the group. When the rep is the only (ok – maybe they have one or two outside customers other than family) then all of the sales are internal in spite of a company’s attempt to say otherwise.

When the rep quits after losing his/her shirt all of the monthly purchases stop. The upline loses all of his/her residuals. How can these scams get away with claiming that the business is a real business that can is willable – trustable or sellable? How do you really own a business when you are nothing more than a buyer or goods and recruiters of idiots? What is worse is when the MLM you are associated with has the right and ability to terminate you on a whim with no reason, or move your team to your upline and screw you out of everything.

MLM is not a sellable enterprise. It isnt even classified as a “business” because you only have the right to buy stuff internally and do not own anything.

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louabbott July 18, 2012 at 10:13 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Thanks for commenting, Bill.

You make some good points. But while all the negatives you point out have happened, occasionally companies do it very well also.

I do know people who have earned significant leverage for years, even decades, from their companies. There are a lot of companies that have real customers (outside of the comp plan) buying real products because they really like and want them. There are people who have sold their business and willed them successfully to their children.

The challenge is identifying a company where all of the criteria are correct. That what my whole MLM The Whole Truth Special Report is all about.

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Bill Barney June 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Wow what a lot of debate over just what is a pyramid scheme. In its purist form a pyramid shceme is very similar to a ponzy scheme. This is how it works. One day jack says I will tell three people to pay me $100.00 and tell them that if they each get 3 people to pay them $100.00 they will get $25.00 back from me for each person who paid. Now if they teach each person who paid to sign three others I will give them $12.50 for each that they sign up and a $100.00 bonus check for the first level completion. For each level the bonus check will double and befor long they are millionairs. No other money is infused in the system. Eventually the system is no longer sustainable and it falls appart. However the people who started it in the top three teirs walk away big time winners. However if money is injected into this system through product or service sales then the system has viablity and is not longer considered an illegal pyramid. So is outside money through the sales of products or services being infused into the FHTM model? If yes then it is not a pyramid.

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louabbott June 11, 2012 at 7:37 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

Bill,

Unfortunately, the legal issues are NOT as simple as your comment tries to make it sound.

Many companies with products (and at least some income ‘injected’ into the system) have been attacked by regulators with they result that were closed or effectively put out of business.

The reason for that? Most operators of illegal pyramid schemes want to make it look like they are running a legal MLM.

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NOWdedicated May 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

You are all getting away from what FHTM is offering and BLAMING the fact that most people give up just like anything in life that requires self determination on your own time. Even if most of the money did come from recruitment, every one of those individuals has the same opportunity to build their business! It is not the FHTM’s fault that people are the way they are and they decide not to succeed and would rather blame!
I got started in FHTM about 5 years ago and someone invested their time and effort in me and tried to give me a better chance in life, but I also got distracted with other things in life that made me stop attending meetings and trying to sell the products. I am glad to know that the person that spent their time and effort on me got paid for it, but even starting off paying the $299, that person averaged out to get less than minimum wage with the time they put in. Should they not have gotten paid at all? THAT would be wrong!!!!
Instead of pushing blame, start your own business, be dedicated, and enjoy helping those who want to help themselves!
I didn’t do anything with what I invested, and I didn’t receive free money for it did I? NO!
Now I am regretting (and have been for a few years) not doing anything with what I was so generously taught!
I want more out of life and I am going to get it with my effort and determination with great thanks to an amazing NOW National Sales Manager who spent his very valuable time on me.

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Bill Barney August 11, 2012 at 6:05 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Not in your wildest dreams

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Paul March 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

to Amber,

and yet he doesn’t talk about selling any products, thus he hasn’t made any money, even with recruiting people. Why? Because the people he recruits probably do the same thing. The rep themselves have to sell so many recurring bills or “products” to others to make any money. I believe it is 10 at the moment. Everyone that a rep recruits must in turn make sales as well as bring in more people. If those sells are not met, then compensation is not paid off.

Amway required reps to buy the products upfront and keep an inventory and go sell products to people month after month. Most people lost out because they bought the products month after month and could not sell anything. Check out the garages of former Amway reps. I bet there is still boxes of items they had to order that they were unable to sell. Amway was also a publicly traded company, and not privately owned.

FHTM requires its reps to sell and recruit others to sell to be eligible to get paid. Simple as that. And those people who can do that are the ones who are successful.

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H West February 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

As I try to read all the “pro” comments – and I say ‘try” because for some reason most of those “pro” folks have horrible grammar, spelling and proof-reading skills (perhaps an indication of why they are so desperate, can’t find a real job and willing to drink the Kool Aid) – I find a common theme; nobody else understands because they don’t know the “secret,” the Montana suit was thrown out on a technicality (wrong – that was only the first complaint,) everybody else is ignorant because I’m already making money (Yeah? Hows that working for you these days?), For those of us who have been around long enough to see so many of these schemes come and go, the rest of you look like complete idiots. And that’s not really fair. You deserve the right to be burned once. Go forth and flame!

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Cindy February 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

DOES EVERYONE JUST LISTEN TO THE WORDS OF ANOTHER PERSON? OR DO YOU FOLKS WANT TO READ THE TRUTH AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF?

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR. PULL UP THE MONTANA SUIT AND READ IT IN ITS ENTIRETY.

At the end, FHTM was determined to NOT be a pyramid scheme. It is a MLM. The suit was filed due to technicality in terminology. Reps cannot say they partnered with Target, Dish, Walmart, etc. They may say they have a contract with so and so. That was the basis of the suit. The ignorant breed more ignorant. That’s too bad for those who prevent others from making money.

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Amber December 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

Wow!! Reading comments from some of the reps really makes me not want to join, Lol. I have watched videos on FHTM, its same as Amway!! They have “products” so they do not appear to by pyramid company but in reality, if you want to admit it or not 95% of reps focus is recruiting other people!! My father is a rep for FHTM and his primary focus is recruiting others, never once have I heard him talk about products!! He has been in the company two years, travel out of town/state to hear speakers, and worked his butt off however has broke even for the $299 takes to sign up and not made a penny more!! The high up executives are just a bunch of motivational consultants. They make their money off of $299/each person plus very few sales of products and then people paying money to hear them speak. Open up a consulting business and you will make more money than being a rep for FHTM. (And all those who say people who don’t do this business are “lazy” I would have to say those who do are lazy because how hard is it to recruite people and teach them how to recruite people, etc that is why most people join because it is not that hard, well I guess when you find people who don’t laugh over the craziness.)

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Cindy February 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

Your dad was not given the insight to understand this business. I met a Vietnamese woman. Her husband is a huge Vietnamese star whom I was a fan of since I was a kid. She does not speak a lick of English. Her initial motivation was for the discounts. It’s a no brainer. But she just grew because of how simple the concept is.

Of course you will not replace your income if you utilize just the discount. But if you don’t spend, then you don’t see the discount. But if you have people join base on the same concept of you, receiving discounts, getting paid cash rebate for your purchases and others, while you get a referral commission for helping others. I don’t see anyone telling Costco their membership is a scam. Because they never thank or pay you for shopping or bringing in a friend.

If you need help, I am more than happy to help you. This is not for everyone. That’s why there are people who dispatch calls, sales reps, insurance agent, doctors, managers and CEO. Where do you want to be?

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Ryan November 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

More bad news for FHTM!

“Notice of Settlement Procedures for State of Texas v. Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing.”

What I don’t get is, when are people going to learn that this company has too many problems. The message is the same everytime!

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louabbott November 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Ryan – do you any any link or further information for your post?

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Ryan November 3, 2011 at 10:05 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

It is located on the Texas Attorney General website under consumer protection.

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/index.shtml

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Dan November 4, 2011 at 11:03 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

Assurance of Voluntary compliance.
https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/fortune_avc.pdf

Looks like FHTM will pay up to as much as $1,300,000 to Claimants and $200,000 in attorney’s fees and costs of investigation for the state of Texas settlement.

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Cindy February 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

OMG… read the suit before you comment. I don’t think you understand the suit. That’s a real shame. Shame on you.

Scott February 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

Ryan, It’s a shame that you have nothing better to do then smear mud on a great company. You know nothing about the direct selling industry and it’s clear you know nothing about network marketing.

There are huge companies such as Wal-Mart, Target, mcDonalds and the list goes on that have endured law suits….. Does that make the company bad or illegal of course not.

Ryan, WAKE UP!!!!!! if you ever were involved many you should have taken your business serious instead of sitting on your behind to make your business work.

Radio Shack sells items none of which they make…they are simply a middleman to big companies and receive commissions for the sell of those items….no different here. At least in this business model more people can be paid. Franchise is the word here. Wake Up Ryan.

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steve cummings October 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

my girl and i just siged up as arep for fhtm we looked searched for anyway we can get screwed found none i have had my own buiness for ten years no a little bit bout buiness if you belive in your self the product you sell you will reap the benifits sow your field work work hard and enjoy the fruit of your laber steve & lacy

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Justin October 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

I couldn’t agree more, I’m tired of people listening to their broke brother in law and thinking his advice is the best around. People need to find out for themselves, you can work hard and build something for your family and for those that quite on themselves and their families need not to belittle the people that are successful just because they didn’t have enough in them to get of the couch and work at something for longer than five minutes.

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MLM Truth September 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

It appears to me that the world is filled with negative, pessimistic and nagging people who make up the majority (97%) of the population today who complain, nag and whine and have critical things to say in tearing down the credibility of businesses in the MLM industry and then profess to speak the “Truth”. Opinions that are visibly bias are never truth. It’s preposterous to think that such post and comments hold any validity of truth whatsoever. What is obvious to me in reading through ALL of the post on this site as there are many is that those who FAILED with FHTM and are ex representatives of the company who hold a grudge now because of their apparent failure, have found a place to vent their anger. People ARE succeeding with FHTM whether others failed, got scammed, lost out, and whatever EXCUSE people have accepted and convinced themselves to believe. If people are succeeding and others failed, it’s time to look in the mirror and realize who didn’t have what it took to make it. People blame the weather, the government, their spouse, their boss, their neighbor, their relatives, ANYTHING but themselves! In a world filled with an entitlement mentality, it amazes me that irregardless of what company you Google online, there is ALWAYS naysayers and sites like this filled with people who blame companies and others for their lack of success. Self Responsibility is a dying trend in this world. Blaming others is the only way for people to apparently feel good about themselves. But technically if anyone is ever scammed in dealing with any opportunity, it simply means they were not smart enough to diligently pick something they could succeed at knowing the cost (sweat equity) involved. No one complains because they didn’t hit the lotto and their numbers were duds, ROTFL…. Why not post about how the State Lottery is a scam and took your money? The cashier who suggested you play the Lucky 3 and used persuasion in up-selling you to buy more tickets, why not post about him/her? It is just ridiculous. I am NOT an FHTM rep, but I do when reading and researching things online love a real site that speaks the truth and this is not one of them. Seems to me that if people spent as much time in building their business a they do writing such nonsense, they “might” have succeeded after all. This PROBABLY won’t get approved. Go figure 😉

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Erik February 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Of course state lotteries are a no-win deal. Here’s the difference: At least the odds are posted on tickets, brochures,at sales locations, on the lottery website, etc. “odds of winning are 1 in 4,220”, etc.
(the rare occasions that I play the lottery, I think of it as making a donation to the state and getting an entry into a very large raffle)

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jamey williams June 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

I HAVE BEEN IN FHTM SINCE DEC. 2010. I WAS LED TO BELIEVE THAT IF I GATHERED 3 MANAGERS AND GOT MY 10 POINTS THAT I WOULD RECIEVE A $500 BONUS. WELL 6 MONTHS LATER THERE ISN’T A BONUS CHECK AND I JUST RECIEVED WORD THERE ISN’T EVER GOING TO BE A BONUS CHECK BECAUSE I DIDN’T SUBMIT A FORM, (WHO KNEW?), MY 3 MANAGERS DIDN’T KEEP THERE 10 POINTS FOR 3 MONTHS, (WHO KNEW?)! NONE OF THESE THINGS WERE TOLD TO ME BY THE PERSON SIGNING ME UP. THEY SAID TRY IT FOR FREE BY SIGNING 3 AND GETTING 10 POINTS. I URGE ANYONE WHO IS THINKING OF JOINING FHTM, PLEASE READ THE FINE PRINT AND IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, WELL YOU KNOW THE REST!

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Tim Ogren June 8, 2011 at 2:45 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

FHTM has good products its just the way they choose to market them.
http://www.mlmbusinessblueprint.com/fhtm is also a good resource.

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Bill Norton May 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

After my experience with FHTM, I wrote them a letter that was received but the never responded to it here is some of that letter.

April 19, 2011
To: Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc.
Attn: Compliance
880 Corporate Dr, Suite 300
Lexington, Kentucky 40503

From: ComNet Web Solutions
Attn: William D Norton
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
PO Box 169
Huddleston, Virginia 24104

Letter to FHTM Corporate Compliance RE: Kevin Jones

This is a formal complaint about the actions of Kevin Jones, his representation of the FHTM business opportunity and the deceptive tactics he used to lure prospects in to giving up their personal information and money.

1. He had prospects fill out paper work offline;
a. Using non FHTM compliant applications.
b. Without having them sign the application.
c. Without giving a copy of the FHTM Policy and Procedures.
d. Without giving a copy of the FHTM Privacy Policy.
e. Without giving a copy of the completed application.
f. Without giving a copy of what they were ordering.
g. Without confirming who they were signing up under.
h. Without them knowing who would have access to their information or how it would be used.

2. He would take the prospects credit card information;
a. Without them understanding what they were purchasing.
b. Without them knowing what the total charges would be.
c. Without them knowing what or who would have access to their information or how it would be used.
d. Without having them sign an agreement authorizing payment.
e. He would sign up other people using someone else’s credit card.
f. I also believe he ran a credit check on me and two of my business partners using the information from the application.

3. He made Income claims about the income potential and stated the incomes earned by his up line;
a. He said Susan Frank was earning $40,000 a week.
b. He said Todd Rowland was earning $250,000 a month.
c. He said he was going to make $15,000 in his first month.
d. He made broad claims of unlimited income.
e. He failed to disclose the facts of what the average FHTM reps were actually earning.

4. He would make promises to get prospects to sign up;
a. He promised to put enough reps in their down line to make them regional the same day they signed up.
b. He promised to pay me $12,500 if I would get 11 new reps in by the last day of February 2011, which I did and he didn’t pay as promised.
c. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
d. He made claims that Michael Jordon and a host of other celebrities were in FHTM and that they were coming to present the FHTM business at a local restaurant, of course they never showed up.
e. He ran an ad for a Job fair on Craig’s list when prospective job seekers showed up to a FHTM meeting they were furious.

5. My total cash out of pocket as result of Kevin Jones and FHTM;
a. $1,736.64 billed to my Check Card by FHTM through Kevin Jones actions.
b. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
c. $infinite lost credibility with those I got involved in FHTM based on the promises made by Kevin Jones.

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Bill Norton May 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

This was not posted by Bill Norton Please remove

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Shah Patel May 13, 2011 at 5:54 am Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

why remove – Bill’s comment is the same story that happens nationwide

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speaking of koolaid May 13, 2011 at 11:30 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

What ever happened to “buyer beware”? Anyone who believes everything this guy put out there without getting a second opinion has questionable brain function. People used to say “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”, now they just say “I’m gonna sue!”. And who really gets the screws? The taxpayers.

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james May 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

Pyramid schemes are scams where you never make a profit. I signed up two months ago and have already doubled my investment. So where is the scam? I believe that if you can’t make it in this business then you should never try to work for yourself. It’s just that simple.

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louabbott May 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

Hi James,

Without commenting on FHTM at all, your argument is not valid. Some people do make money in illegal pyramids (though I would not call it “profit”).

Whether a participant makes money or not simply has no bearing on whether the activity is legal or not, a scam or not.

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Kristian Hoenicke May 1, 2011 at 8:11 pm Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

I’ve been a critic of this type of business model for years. I participated heavily in Excel Communications way back in the day, and made the rank of SD/NTD and pulled down some big weekly checks while I was there.

I received 5 figure weekly checks while my monthly residual check never topped $225 (no typo). Only once the company had gone bankrupt and I had a giant reality check did I reflect on my experience. The propaganda and marketing around those types (I would include ACN, Fortune and many others) of ….programs, makes the little guy…the prospect…think that he/she can make significant residual “walk away” income.

Where’s the “walk away” income possible in a situation where your income relies almost completely on constant recruiting? Literally endless recruiting. How’s that walk away income?

Wish I had done some math, and I’d recommend anyone looking at those hypey ridiculous business models do the same. While I was at Excel, at least 98% of my total earnings over a 4 year period came from the fee new recruits paid into the system. Fortune and ACN work the same way. Yeah, they dress it up and try to make it sound awesome, and it is, if you’re into ponzis.

The revenue question someone posted earlier would be very interesting to have answered. Multiply any of these companies rep base times the join fee and subtract that from the company’s total revenue and we’d all have a better handle on where the money really comes from.

I got sick of the hype and lies years ago and bailed. It pains me to think about how many families get hurt by these organizations.

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Edger April 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

FHTM has now grabbed the attention of the FTC. The FTC has put together a nationwide crackdown list on business opportunity rip offs and FHTM is the only MLM company to make the list.

Here is the list by the FTC:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/2011/03/110302emptypromisesstate.pdf

Folks this is getting more serious than anyone would have anticipated. FHTM’s home State local paper the Lexington Herald-Leader, just wrote another article about the company. I found this interesting about what they said is going on in Texas “Officials in the Texas attorney general’s office declined to comment but have sent two civil subpoenas to Fortune, asking for information that dates back to 2006 because of “possible violations of the Texas Deceptive Practices Act.”

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James Copfer March 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

I will make this brief. Do not believe everything you read. If you want the truth about what happened go to the Montana .gov website. Yes their were allegations. Yes FHTM paid money. NO! FHTM is not banned from Montana. NO! FHTM was not deemed an illegal pyramid. An individual distributor violated company policies and made false claims. FHTM agreed to all terms in Montana and has revamped it’s training and literature to help keep this happening again in the future. I am not a rep for FHTM but I do have a distributorship in another company. I hate seeing this type of propaganda about mlm businesses. They are legitimate and an can be an excellent opportunity for people if they do their research and truly work their businesses. These are great opportunities but are not in any way get rich quick schemes. Like all businesses they require effort. You have to work at them to get results.

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Shane Miller February 19, 2011 at 5:32 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

I don’t think the FHTM pyramid scheme is actually there.I am the representative over there.I have never faced any problem working over here..Its accepted that the compensation plans we get are less but still they are very well to satisfy all our needs plus the products FHTM launches,if we distribute it to some other customers then we get a good benefit out of it….So FHTM has proved very useful for me.

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Rick February 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

I was just told that to join is only $200.00 and not $299.00 like everyone else is mentioning. I agree that you have to treat it like a business in order to make it work. The truth is that if you have to get other people in, then it IS a PYRAMID business/scheme. I have done my research and “YES” there is more money in it if others join rather than the products or services purchased. Sounds like the old AMWAY.

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Luis Valasquez December 6, 2010 at 6:42 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
Luis Valesquez December 3, 2010 at 7:14 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
Objective Intelligence October 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

Interesting. You still carry the “FHTM” called a Pyramid Scheme headline….. 5 months after the Montana Atty General allowed the company to go back in business in their state. How can a company be “illegal” one minute and 30 days later be back in business? Oh, and the $1MM fine that you and others report that FHTM paid was actually $100,000. The other $900,000 was FHTM’s voluntary agreement to provide a refund to anyone who requested it. Whether you like the industry or the company or not… at least report or state the facts without distorting them. I have grown tired of people who just look for things to criticize or sensationalize. FHTM, like other reputable MLM companies is a PERFORMANCE BASED business- if you don’t work and don’t grow your skills/abilities you WON”T make any money…Unfortunately I have never heard someone take responsibility for their own failure when criticizing or demonizing a MLM business..I like a performance based opportunity better than a job where compensation is based on tenure or just showing up… and most other driven, intelligent people do too.

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Dean Cameron May 22, 2010 at 9:32 am Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

I guess I would sum up all of the above by saying this: FHTM is a vehicle for the masses to participate in afiliate marketing (companies pay you to sell for them via Internet, Mall Kiosk etc…). You can try and do it on your own and make a higher percentage than FHTM but the marketplace is flooded with jillions of people trying to do this and you will likely not be successful. FHTM is perfectly legal and has been tested twice and continues to do business in those states (not to mention ALL the other States that have not contested FHTM because they see no issue). FHTM is successful because they are helping to model a “perfect customer” to the afiliate marketing world. The only way to get paid through FHTM is for a Manager to be “qualified” by having purchased and sold to others, products and services. Joe is correct in the statement that FHTM’s relationship is not direct with GE or the Mobile Companies…what he is not getting however is that the Wireless Shop and Protect America (both companies have the agreements with the aforementioned) have contracts that would be at risk should any of their sub-contractors be found operating “illegally”. As for the income earned in FHTM it is really very simple. You get paid for how hard you work at this. There is no mystery. The pay plan is very spelled out and is easily determined. The hard part is going to work and making it happen. This is true with ANY business. If people are joining because they think it is an entitlement they will be dissapointed. You can draw this same picture with just about any model. I don’t care what business you start you are at risk of failure if you do not work at it. The MLM industry seems to be the target of those who think you should make money just because you join. Failure rates are high because those who put the efforts needed to be successful are few and far between. That does not mean the oportunity is not there! I am an FHTM Rep. I will see this be successful and will do so with honesty and integrity as I see so many FHTM Reps doing as well. The company and it’s leaders are profoundly great people and I admire them. FHTM cannot control all of the people who are Reps and choose to be less than truthful(new efforts are underway to do so however) but my experience tells me those people are building their castles on the sand and they will not last. FHTM continues to grow and support their business partners. Just today, they have reduced the start up costs across the board and continue to increase residual percentages. FHTM will be a leader in the MLM Industry. I for one, look forward to growing with them.

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Joseph Isaacs April 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:Jackie Boyle

Contact: Jackie Boyle, jboyle@mt.gov, 406-444-2040

Helena- Kentucky-based Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) agreed today to pay nearly $1 million to settle an allegation by Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen that the company was operating a pyramid promotional scheme in Montana. On March 4, 2010, Lindeen ordered the company to stop operations in the state and filed an action against the company, arising from consumer complaints that her office received and investigated. “This agreement sends a clear message to businesses operating illegally in Montana that I am committed to protecting consumers,” Lindeen responded. “Montanans work hard to support their families and I will not tolerate the sale of false promises to them.”

The Order and Proposed Action alleged that FHTM representatives were marketing the company as income potential to participants who agreed to recruit new participants. Those individuals were asked to pay $299 to join the program. FHTM representatives also lured new participants by claiming it offered huge income opportunities through partnerships with large companies such as Travelocity, General Electric, and The Home Depot, when such partnerships did not exist.

Details of the Consent Agreement and Order with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM):

• FHTM agrees to refund up to $840,000 to more than 3,400 Montana participants.

• FHTM and the company’s founders, Thomas Mills and Paul Orberson, will pay a fine of $100,000 to the Montana’s general fund. Dianne Graber, a Montana FHTM representative, will pay a $5,000 fine to the general fund.

• FHTM will contribute $50,000 to the Investor Protection Trust, a non-profit organization that provides investor education in Montana.

• In addition, FHTM will be required to change its business practices in Montana:

-New participants in FHTM will only be required to pay $75.00 to become a representative,

-FHTM will conduct training seminars along with representatives of the Commissioner’s Office, in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula, and will conduct web-based training that is mandatory for all current or prospective representatives,

-FHTM will provide a disclosure brochure to each current and prospective representative outlining FHTM’s program, including the average amount of income achieved and the average amount of time in the program required to reach each level,

-FHTM will reinforce with representatives that product sales are not primarily for self-consumption but for sale to non-participants, and

-FHTM will require its representatives to maintain records of non-participant customers and submit those records on a monthly basis.

Approximately two weeks from the settlement, Montana FHTM representatives entitled to refunds will be receiving letters from Commissioner Lindeen outlining the requirements to get their money. The refund amount is equal to the participants’ cost less any earnings they received from FHTM.

The settlement agreement can be found at http://www.csi.mt.gov. For more information about FHTM, call the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance at 1-800-444-2040.

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FINAL CONSENT ORDER

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Wendy Hoechstetter April 23, 2010 at 2:17 am Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

We received notice today that the Montana case has been settled, with *no* accusations of wrongdoing. Yes, FHTM has been cleared of the accusations of being an illegal pyramid scheme once again.

The FHTM president said that some Montana reps were presenting the plan inaccurately as mainly a recruiting thing, without proper emphasis on the customers. A series of training classes will begin in the next few days to clarify things further for all Montana reps, who are prohibited from continuing to work their businesses until they’ve taken the training, in order to be sure they are not misrepresenting the program.

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Christina April 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

The debate continues!! Pyramid Scheme or Not a Pyramid Scheme? Everything is a pyramid – its the stongest structure known to man! Your corporate job is a pyramid – the government is a pyramid – and social security is a ponzi scheme! The fact is, FHTM is the most brilliant network marketing concept ever! Why not let the average joe take part in the billions of dollars exchanged in the advertising world? Is it fair that only large companies can receive commissions from my monthly bills? Maybe so, since the government feels that only large companies are deserving of a “stimulous bailout”!! Well poo on them! Let the little guy have a chance – FHTM is legal – as a matter of fact – a two time Attorney General is on their legal team.

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louabbott April 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

Unfortunately, Christina, whether we like it or not, whether it is fair or not, whether it makes sense or not, whether FHTM’s business concept is brilliant or not, and whether they have an ex-AG on their legal team or not . . . . . it all makes little difference if other, currently presiding AGs or the FTC, etc., decide they are NOT legal.

It also makes little difference what else may be shaped like a pyramid or actually be a pyramid or ponzi scheme i.e. Social Security.

What does matter from a business perspective, is whether the legal environment is conducive to growing a business or not.

When authorities publicly denounce your company, it is tough to build a business. In the case of FHTM reps in Montana, it is impossible (at least in that State).

I hope for their sake, FHTM can clear up the legal standing there quickly.

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Lawrence Tam April 16, 2010 at 8:02 am Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

wow harsh. I don’t think FHTM is a scam it’s just the payout compensation plan to reps is pretty weak but at least they are retailing something that people want.

shoot, like previous posts you don’t get paid until you make sales. isn’t that why we do this? to make sales?

compare this to a true pyramid where the only money is when you recruit. Maybe Montana needs to see what a true scheme is and compare fhtm to see if it’s even close.

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paul April 14, 2010 at 9:45 am Thumb up 22 Thumb down 9

Paul
02. Apr, 2010

I think Montana made the wrong move claiming that nobody makes money except its owners and a few other high up executives in the company. I happen to know three people in Montana who recently retired from their old jobs and are now making a living with FHTM. But that was before Monica with her fat salary in the Auditor’s Dept had nothing better to than wreck their lives for political gain. Remember, the state auditor in Montana is elected into office. I’m not connected with FHTM in any way, except by the people I know who had their income taken away through an investigation that was more than likely motivated for political gain. Monica’s actions only prove she is not working on behalf of Montana residents by taking away jobs. Isn’t the economy bad enough?

Don’t forget, Monica is a Democrat who campaigned hard for Obama’s take over of health care. And never forget, Obama is nearly 100% against Capitalism. You are who your friends are. If you beg to differ, I would like to hear from you!

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Danny Arrington April 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm Thumb up 19 Thumb down 12

Why wouldn’t the government shut it down? It’s giving people all over the country a way to get ahead and isn’t that in stark contrast to the governments plan for us???

And for everyone who is commenting without understanding the FHTM comp plan, we do not get paid a dime until customers are gathered by our new recruits….who signed up understanding that!

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Pied Pipper March 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm Thumb up 15 Thumb down 11

The state of Washington might be next to shut down FHTM. The BBB there has put out a warning saying it’s moving into the Tri-city area recruiting people. The warning is on BBB site and it was aired on KNDO.

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Sky in the Pie May 13, 2011 at 11:11 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

Keep dreaming. People keep complaining that their MLM didn’t grow like others, it’s because they didn’t put out the effort. Enough lazy people complain it becomes a class-action lawsuit and wastes taxpayer money.

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Justin October 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

If you think the BBB isn’t a scam then you live under a rock, they give the best ratings to the companies that promote them and say they have a good BBB rating. What a racket.

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George March 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm Thumb up 29 Thumb down 16

What a bunch of propaganda… If a person joins, and does nothing.,,the person who recruited them does not get paid.. That person has to produce a sale of a product or service in order for the recruiting person to be paid…Wheres the illegality in this?

I dont think Big companies like ATT, Dish etc would be doing business with a pyramid company… and GUESS WHAT PEOPLE…

SOCIAL SECURITY is a BIG PYRAMID is it not? The government is running one of the biggest pyramids of them all…NO product is exchanged but yet its supposed to be legal

I could be wrong with some of the things Ive said but am I really?

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Joseph Isaacs May 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

AT&T and Dish DO NOT DO BUSINESS DIRECTLY WITH FORTUNE. Wake up and stop drinking the kool-aid.

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Erik February 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Social Security is not a pyramid scheme, because it is based on money paid into it bearing (conservative, granted) interest, which is then paid back to payees later in life. There may be issues if the fund is borrowed from, or if the population curve were to change with fewer young people paying in. At its simplest form, however (Politics and demographics aside,( SS is not unlike an interest bearing bank account. (But this may be a topic best left to a different forum… back to the FHTM discussion. *ding, ding!* next round!)

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Wade Priestner March 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm Thumb up 23 Thumb down 24

Apparently the people commenting here do not understand what a pyramid scheme is.
A pyramid scheme can sell goods and services and still be a pyramid scheme.
FHTM is a pyramid scheme.

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Ian Weir April 9, 2010 at 3:31 am Thumb up 18 Thumb down 11

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, without any product or service being delivered.

Really, you should go back and do your research. 100% of the people that fail at this fail because they gave up on themselves. FHTM Works if you want it to. Its that simple. $400 goes in, my NSM recieves 470, I receive XX Amount so you cannot physically take 400 and pay 470 to people that are enrolled. If this were the case the entire system would collapse and would not exist. FHTM Reps do not see a cent from people that are recruited into the business because they seen something that would improve their lifestyle. Companies contracted with Fortune-Pay Fortune- And guess what, Fortune pays us.

Regards from Canada. FHTM WILL WORK IF YOU WORK !

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Joseph Isaacs May 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

BS FHTM only works for 100 some odd reps. They tell you they had record recruiting months. They never say they had record product sales. They say that they have signed up 400,000 Dish customers – but that cannot be verified by anyone outside of Fortune corporate – and they have no direct relationship with DISH. They are an endless recruiting scam!

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Justin October 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

Not true, you obviously do not know what a pyramid scheme is. People think because it is a multiple level marketing distribution model that it is a pyramid. People think since it is shaped like a pyramid it is a pyramid scheme. I have news for you what does your church’s hierarchy look like? Does it have a person at the top maybe a preacher then a few people under him maybe some deacons, then a lot of people under them maybe the congregation? Church must be a pyramid scheme. What about the school system? Is there a person at the head of a school maybe a principle with people under him like teachers who have people under them like students? Education must be a pyramid scheme. Let’s make a really rash assumption and say your job as an engineer/purchaser/salesman for a large company is a pyramid scheme. Is there a person at the top like a president who has vice presidents under him who has lead advisors for each department under him who have thousands of employees under them who “can never pass the person above them as long as they are there” man the whole world is filled with pyramid schemes. I personally believe FHTM is less a pyramid scheme than my full time job is. If the person that brought me into this company does not personally recruit this month I will pass them in income and promotion within the company. Ask yourself this, if you work twice as hard as your boss this month will they give you his job?

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Yoli March 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm Thumb up 19 Thumb down 10

This is really hard to understand. They are getting paid for selling people on the service/product. Most of the time what happens is once they hear that they can make money by getting others to switch their monthly services, they join the business also.

As long as products/services are being sold and people are getting paid on them, this shouldn’t be an issue.

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Joseph Isaacs May 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

Not true. 95% of the money is made from recruiting and not selling products. The average overide on phone service or Dish Networks is $0.05. The promotions are based solely on the number of people on your team – 12 to be RSM – not the dollar volume of the sales. Over 90% of the product sales are merely to reps so they qualify their business and begin the endless recruiting portion, which is what makes FHTM a Pyramid Scheme.

The cease and desist in Montana was lifted, unfortunately, but Fortune MUST change their ways. No more $299 to get in. No more just selling internally. A disclosure statement with all reps included as to income and average earnings. How will they ever truthfully tell anyone how much most of the repps DO NOT make. In additon, FHTM is on a 2 year probabtion in Montana and the Scurities Commission reserves the right to yank their ability to do business there.

Open your eyes folks and see them for what they really are. The wireless companies and dish networks Don’t pay residuals – instead a one time customer acquisition fee. FHTM makes more money off of their fees, recriprocated websites and My Tel Tag than they do the products. This also makes their system illegal.

The situati

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Justin October 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

It is true that customer acquisition bonuses are paid but your statement about residual income clearly shows your lack of knowledge about an exponential curve. Of course an acquisition bonus is paid the company is rewarding you for finding customers for let’s say Verizon. Guess what, when you walk into a Verizon store at your mall, that’s a franchise, privately owned, this means Verizon pays that private owner an acquisition bonus when they gather a new customer, Verizon also pays that private franchise owner a percentage of the customer’s bill every month, wait a second this sounds familiar Verizon must be a pyramid scheme. Back to the residual income, bonuses are paid to encourage representative to gather more customers and more representatives. You mentioned regional manager in you comment, the pay plan suggests your teaching duplication to your team which means at regional sales manager the 12 members you have brought on should have ten customers each. A residual income of 1.5% on the first level of these 120 customers per month on average bills costing $50 is 90 dollars. as the levels go down when your team finds people that want to join the percentage goes up and your teaching duplication so the 12 on your team now want to go out and get their 12. so they say now after some hard work you find yourself with a team of 144 that is 4 to 5 levels deep conservatively your looking at 1440 customers if all of these people only find 10 customers at an average of 3 to 5% residual on monthly bills costing on the low end $50 you’re looking at approximately 2,880 dollars just in residual income this does not include the customer acquisition bonuses. So you see the power of residuals and exponentials is very strong and the reason most people think you can’t make money doing network marketing is because they are to lazy to work hard enough for a profit they think this is an egg that you can sit on that will eventually hatch. Ask a small business owner such as a restaurant entrepreneur how many hours they work a week for paper think margins and then ask a network marketer who is quitting how many hours they work each week, you might be surprised to learn that in this country you have to work to make money this isnt a get rich quick scheme this takes a consistent and persistent effort to be successful but if you never quite then you can never fail at network marketing because just because a representative quits the customers they gather don’t lose their satellite or cell phone service this means the residual income i spoke of before continues to come in.

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Scott February 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Joseph….. simply not true and that can be proven time after time…..

You get no money if someone signs up…..Period

If the person that signs up purchases product or a bundle of services money is released…. Stop telling Lies.

If you know nothing about the industry or FHTM its best you do better research and then give the truth how it really works….because you are Wrong…..Joseph!

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Tricia Bard March 20, 2010 at 9:56 am Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

This is not good for the whole industry, that’s for sure. We need good press, not more negative press.

I believe that Fortune’s comp plan is very much like the old Excel comp plan. If this plan is now being found unacceptable by some government regulatory agencies, there are other telecommunications and energy MLM companies with the same (or very similar) comp plans that are at risk as well.

My heart really goes out to those FHTM distributors in Montana who had no advance warning this would happen.

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L Johnson March 18, 2010 at 10:47 am Thumb up 53 Thumb down 20

Here’s my two cents – the bonus and the commission are only paid out once products and services are purchased, so the payment to reps is based solely on purchasing products and services. A rep can recruit as many other reps as she wants, but if no one buys anything, no one gets paid. That’s not a pyramid scheme.

Lorna

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Very Skepticl May 20, 2010 at 9:58 am Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

Your wrong you don’t have to sell products to get paid. Most of the presentation to get you to buy in is centered around the fact that you get paid for everyone that signs on under you. I know as I was given the presentation last night and it was clearly stated that no you have to sell nothing to get paid…that the majority of the money is made by signing people up.

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sabrina February 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

Obviously they buy a product when they sigh under you..so actually you are selling..Not only are you offering your product and/or service but you are also offering the opportunity for others to do the same. And guess what, chances are if you offer something and receive commissions for it you’re gonna buy it from yourself..Creating loyal customers for reputable companies.Your knowledge and determination will be the deciding factor of your own failure.

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Know Your Role May 11, 2011 at 9:34 am Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

If you listened to the presentation last night you would have learned that just for people to sign up doesn’t pay you. It’s when that person signs up and gathers atleast 5 customers. That’s called selling products.

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Christina June 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

Products and services do have to be sold or purchased to make any money whether you sell to someone or BUY YOUR OWN PRODUCTS AND SERVICES!!!! No money is triggered unless this happens and that is a fact!

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Dan July 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

No one is debating that, what they are debating is you make 85-95% of your money from recruitment bonuses while you only make a percent on residual. Then most of the customer points are purchased by the rep themselves. One of FHTM sales pitch is “it’s stuff you already use, so why not switch and pay yourself.” If the rep is all of their own customer points and drop out in 6 to 12 months then there goes the customer points as well. With a high drop out rate in FHTM there is no stability in residual, so the focus is on recruiting. Even the leaders in FHTM encourage to make a list of people you know and get them to a meeting so they can hear the high energetic speaker try to sell them and all the feel good stories. I’m concerned on how they operate and concerned now that the FTC has them on their radar. Then it doesn’t help matters that there are 3 lawsuits against the company and several Attorney Generals fully investigating them.

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Justin October 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

Funny thing about lawsuits and large successful companies, they seem to go hand in hand. Just think if everyone only bought and participated with companies that never received lawsuits. Wal-Mart, BJ’s, Costco, Verizon, AT$T, McDonalds, have all had lawsuits and some have lost and the list goes on. Wow the American people would have a hard time finding places to shop since we don’t purchase or affiliate ourselves with companies that have lawsuits pending.

Kevin Mastaw March 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm Thumb up 38 Thumb down 25

The important point to note is the critical statement in this story: “FTHM is not a multi-level distribution company but rather a pyramid promotional scheme because the compensation each participant in the program receives is derived primarily from obtaining the participation of other persons in the program and not the sale of goods and services.” In other words, FTHM is paying a “headhunter” bonus to those in the upper levels for just recruiting new people. That is exactly what makes a pyramid scheme. You’d think network marketing companies would wise up and keep recruiting bonuses out of their comp plans.
REgards,
Kevin

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Sue July 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

You obviously don’t know the FHTM (by the way….it is FHTM….NOT FTHM). That’s the first indication of not knowing the business. Second you say that participants obtain compensation by obtaining OTHER participants and that is how reps make their money. Wrong again, Kev. Products and Services are sold. How? Since you are not a rep, its none of your business. By the way, have you EVER attended an FHTM business meeting or even watched one of the business presentations? I bet not. Before making accusations about any type of company, find out the facts first.

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William smith June 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) is a pyramid promotional scheme.
This company is stealing people money, they are doing this to the people that don’t speak English so they have no idea what they sing up for

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chris lester August 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

Dear Mr.smith
i am very sorry to tell you this but i am american and i speak english very well. i have recently became a Fortune Hi- tech Marketing (FHTM) rep. and i did exstensive research on FHTM and yes i have found bad ratings but i have also found many more good. FHTM is designed on word of mouth advertising of product and services.the people that receive a income from FHTM is the ones that do the work. If you start as a FHTM rep. you must not make the mistake that you can sit on your but and make money. you have to do the work FHTM is a JOB end of story
-thank you

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Michael Brenner July 9, 2011 at 11:35 am Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

I have attended a FHTM meeting. The focus was on “$200, $200, $200” from becoming a regional manger and recruiting more people under you. The fact you actually were supposed to sale things was almost an after thought. It was presented in the show but it appeared to be there only to satisfy the claim that products are sold so it isn’t a pyramid. I distinctly remember remarking on the way home, “Did you notice the entire focus was on money you get from recruiting and not how much you can make on selling? I wonder what percentage people average from each source because if you strip away the internet store front, this is strictly a pyramid.” Yet, the storefront online was barely mentioned.

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Rodney December 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

Well said Sue. I been in this business for about four weeks now and i love it. The truth is if you work this business it will work for you. If you pay to get in but do nothing with it or give up the first time someone tells you no then you not gonna get anything out of it. just work it and stay with it.

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Justin October 25, 2011 at 11:58 am Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

Unfortunately Mr. Mastaw your statement about receiving “headhunter” bonuses from recruiting people into FHTM is incorrect. Independent representatives for FHTM are not paid a dime for signing someone up. The person the independent representative signs up must first gather a certain number of customers for the companies that are partnered with FHTM before the IR receives any money at all. This is what makes FHTM a viable and legal business. As an independent representative if you sign up 20 people and all of them pay the fee to own their own business and sit on their butts and collect zero customers then you as the IR make zero dollars. Why would fortune 500 companies like Dish Network pay FHTM millions of dollars to gather new representatives if those representatives were not gathering customers for their products?

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James November 25, 2011 at 3:18 am Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

Every time some whining loser is guilty of NOT doing the work, NOT understanding his/her products and NOT duplicating the process of their trainers…they balk “pyramid scheme”…go get a 9 to 5 job and swing a hammer because your comments reflect your lack of intelligence.

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louabbott November 25, 2011 at 8:42 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

Your comment reflects your lack of understanding of the industry and is in the least, a gross oversimplification of the issues discussed on this post, James.

Yes, there are some very good network marketing companies that do smart business without getting into trouble with the legal authorities at every turn.

There are also many companies that call themselves legal network marketing companies that are no more than thinly disguised illegal pyramid schemes. And sooner or later, the authorities take action.

It is both conscionable and wise to know the difference between the two.

For me, and many like me, we love working hard and have had our share of success. For me, and many like me, it is not as much a matter of “Can we do it?” but “Should we do it?”

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Rocky III March 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm Thumb up 55 Thumb down 27

Lets see…are they actually if you go out and pay to start your business ($299) and sell to others or consume products yourself and then teach others how to do the same thing then you are a pyramid scheme because you recruited others to do the same thing?

If that is the case then most all insurance companies are illegal pyramid schemes too. Lets see they have a General Agent that can sell products or buy from himself and then he goes out and recruits other agents (who incidentally must pay to take class and a test so there is a cost) to do the same things while he sits back and gets paid a bonus from the company to recruit them and a percentage of their insuance sales too.

What about a Real Estate Agency? What about a restaurant franchise? Why the double standard? Some can and some can’t? Open your eyes people and deal with a dose of reality. The reason people make it or fail in a business has nothing to do with anything but THEMSELVES!!! Just because you don’t have the ability to succeed in one thing don’t label it a scam. If that is the case then I guess all the professional athletes on TV are scam artists too being they can do something that most people can’t either. It called discipline and hardwork…for the lazy people it’s called a scam, scheme, pyramid, etc. Just call it what it is…YOUR EXCUSE!

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Eugenia March 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm Thumb up 22 Thumb down 23

Very well said RockyIII, I agree, only the lazy people will call all those names, because if you truly believe in your products, have a passion for it and Work hard, you will succeed and not find any excuse.

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Don March 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

In this bad economy why not if the pears can actually make ROI. Better then having to pay out Social Security Insurance if out of a job. Maybe they should just let the ones that do not have a good income do it.

But as judges go. They will say in some cases it is hard to judge because there was no wrong or right. Everybody has the right to save there own lives, but if they break the law doing it they are wrong.

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Ced Reynolds March 17, 2010 at 11:26 am Thumb up 25 Thumb down 24

Sorry to hear this news about another company in our profession. I guess the regulators don’t think it makes much sense for big businesses like ATT, Verizon, Dish, Dupont and others to use a portion of their advertising budgets to pay commissions to Network Marketing companies.

What kind of sense would it make for these big businesses to pay “bonuses” to a Network Marketing company for acquiring loyal customers who pay recurring bills month in and month out? These big businesses spend millions of dollars in advertising and I’m sure they just love banking on the ROI, lol.

Why wouldn’t these big businesses jump at the chance to take a portion of their advertising budgets and set it aside to pay commissions to a Network Marketing company each time they brought them a new customer? This is not new money. It’s a portion of the already existing budgets the big businesses were planning on using with the media but have now set aside pay another advertiser (FHTM) for delivering “fresh new loyal customers.”

Of course I’m not government regulator and I don’t know all the rules. It just seems to me that if a company brings in more revenue than it’s expenses and they have a viable business model, they should be fine.

$299 (FHTM sign up cost) x 160,000 (# of reps in article) = $47,840,000

What needs to be determined to bring more clarity to this matter is what was the revenue from the sales of products and services.

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Brent April 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm Thumb up 13 Thumb down 13

When I was in I asked questions…before the six day trial period was over. I found that very little people wanted to answer my questions and I waited for several hours to get my answers on the phone with the corporate offices. I found out that the commission for the phone service was $1, I had to realy pull hard to get that info from them. And when I looked into the other products it was the same story. I pulled out and received my money back. I am surprised that they are allowed to operate at all.

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