22 January 2008

Do the Math, People

If you want to know all about the business proposition someone you barely know wants to share with you at your house, check out this fine entry over at Wikipedia. I'd especially like to point out the fact that 90% of people who participate in these schemes lose all of their money. Alex and I have become vastly experienced in the presentations related to these schemes during our marriage.

We tried to get out of this latest appointment by telling the lady (with whom Alex works) that we've had the presentation and are definitely not interested. However, she is new at it and said she "needed the practice."

Here are some of my favorite catch phrases that these people frequently use: "A few key people." "If we could solve all of your financial problems, would you be willing to take on a part-time job?" "If money were no object, how would you live?" And by favorite catch phrases I mean, phrases that I hate and wish everyone recognized instantly as totally ridiculous thinly veiled manipulation keys for pyramid schemers. (No I'm not shouting, why do you ask?)

Perhaps if you don't live in Utah, you are not familiar with this annoying phenomenon. My husband and I are approached perhaps once every six months by people that we know only well enough to need to be polite so as not to have to hide at the grocery store. They are trying to sell various financial products or snake oils for far more than they are worth, with the promise that all of our loved ones will soon be on the wagon with us, their money securely in our pockets. We'll be debt-free by age 40!

The pair who came to our house last night asked for referrals. And I smiled inwardly, because I thought, "Now, who among our friends, relatives, and acquaintances do we hate enough to put their names on that list?" And to everyone's credit, I couldn't think of anyone that I even mildly dislike enough to refer.

So if you are fresh out of snake oil, let me know. Alex has a close personal friend that peddles the stuff.


Dansie Family said...

thanks for not referring us. though tom does like to give them their money's worth in sarcasm.

Heidi said...

Ha, ha. My brother always refers us as a joke. It's really the joke that just keeps on giving.

Brittany said...

Ryan and I too have sworn-off MLMs, though I am ashamed that we had to learn the hard way. I worked for one for about 3 months (Primerica Financial Services) before we realized that the only way we could possibly make money was to succor our friends and family into buying a product (in this case, life insurance and mutual funds) they didn't want in the first place. No matter how good a product is, pressure sales are no way to sell anything if you ever want to keep a friend. So, I guess you can say I'm a bit jaded toward MLMs as well--I've not only heard all the lines, I even memorized some of them before realizing how ridiculous and just plain manipulative it all was.

Queen Elizabeth said...

Don't you think those people have a "certain, special" DNA in them that the rest of us don't have?

The Rookie said...

A. Men.

My roommate's aunt had me trapped listening to some "phone service" plan for a good hour or so a few months back "for practice." She wasn't getting that I ONLY USE MY CELL PHONE, THANKS.

If I'm gonna listen to your spiel, at least feed me, people!

Leisha said...

Okay, besides being close to family, I have finally found a benefit to living in Texas! I haven't yet had a snake oil salesman approach me (knock on wood!)

laceeJ said...

That's too bad. pyramid schemes are illegal, f.y.i. Grace is sure cute! She looks like a good mix between you two! You're still creative as ever!