Melaleuca Versus 10 ViSalus Distributors

by Ted Nuyten on December 6, 2011

Melaleuca, Black Eye

Melaleuca filed a lawsuit in the USA in the state of Idaho against 10 small former distributors who sign up for ViSalus.

In my point of view this has nothing to do with those sued distributors, this is Melaleuca versus ViSalus.

Not Melaleuca against low level distributors who wish to leave Melaleuca for an other opportunity.

A black eye for the Direct Selling industry… I am calling upon Melaleuca to take this case down, as it hurts the entire Direct Selling Industry.

 

Ted Nuyten

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34 comments… read them below or add one

Ricardo December 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm
That's why i left Melaleuca 10 years ago, after i saw how they stoped sending my upline his $10,000 - $15,000 checks, ONLY becasue he went to another company meeting.

Singapore Sammy December 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm
No-one wins. Except you wonder why Melaleuca would go to the expense of suing 10 distributors unless they had clear evidence that these people were acting in an inappropriate manner.

Chas December 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm
People are not just going to hang around a mlm now like they did back in the 80's hoping they make a better life for there family. There are TOO many other compaines people can come to and make any amount of money. Sounds like a scare tactic to me..

Neil Ashworth December 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm
Melaleuca have no right to stop any independent distributor making a decision to move to another company and need to wake up to the fact that if their model isn't working for someone that person will move on .. look forward to seeing how this one develops Ted.

Howard Mosse December 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm
And Amway is suing MonnaVie because they lost 50,000 distributors in India. This is a world where everyone sues everyone. Get use to it.

Ron Pruett December 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Howard does that mean it would be OK for Monavie to sue you because your wife has taken a position in Visalus. I don't think so. This law suit crap needs t stop. We do not live in a communist country we have the right to pursue freedom, wealth and happiness.

Richard Rogers December 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Ron you are EXACTLY correct!, if the attorneys from compliance in Melaleuca (all companies) had ever been engaged in doing the things that make profit for Melaleuca (selling products or recruiting) instead of just having a parasitic relationship with the company and trying to justify their salary or retainer this would never happen. The MLM industry would be much better off if ALL companies had an attitude of gratitude and looked for ways to encourage their distributors to stay home much the way a smart wife keeps her husband from leaving for another or husbands that do all they can to take care of their wives and children to be a better provider. However, if your wife/husband leaves one MUST become introspective and ask, were my actions/inactions at least partial at fault. You do NOT sue the wife/husband for looking for a better match for their lives/children. Marriage is a covenant made between a man and ONE woman, for LIFE and I'm really not trying to make an equal comparison so I hope you get the jest. I NEVER promised Amway or MonaVie, "until death do we part"!

Bobbby Lukas December 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Stop suing people and work. Build a legacy and not a reputation.

Tom Vang December 7, 2011 at 2:36 am
I think I'm going to sue my girlfriend for breaking up with me!

Todd George December 7, 2011 at 3:16 am
I agree. MLM companies don't own people. Melaleuca needs to get a life and focus on their business.

D MARTIN December 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm
It sucks to be Melaleuca - they haven't a successful business program and causes them to make a bad name for themselves by suing 10 distributors of another successful MLM company. I see how shallow they are to even allow this kind of behavior When Melaleuca feels them slipping away their true unprofessional personel are really rearing up in despiration......It doesn't surprise me in the least - I have heard numerous complaints from others they are leaving Melaleuca due to their wanna be business practices.....Can't blame it on their distributors.........

Tony cannuli December 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm
Mr Martin, Why would you say "Melaleuca – they haven’t a successful business program"??? I am not defending the company. How do you define "success"? Melaleuca has lasted 26 years and does over 900 million in sales annually!!! They are by far 1 of a small group of companies in our industry with that type of track record...

Kenny Gregg December 7, 2011 at 3:28 am
I totally agree I don't get it people are independent distributors or representatives and they have the right to leave if they want it is not a job.

Carol Scheid December 7, 2011 at 3:53 am
If these companies took care of their distributors through a better more lucrative comp plan, instead of lining their own pockets and distributors read their P & P's all the way through there would be a lot less problems in the industry. The P & P's are there to protect the company not the other way around. Remember they are drafted by attorney's, look for the loop holes.

Greg Granger December 7, 2011 at 6:44 am
These companies, just like Todd G. said, don't own us. We are all "independent contractors", and we are free to make our own decisions. If that decision is to move to another company, then so be it.

Kenny December 7, 2011 at 7:21 am
A really good friend of mine is in Mela... the main reason I didn't join isn't because of the products. It's because of the company. One has to stay working it to continue earning money. I think it is wrong for them to be able to sue and possible win in these cases. I mean look at the NBA. With the recent strike players were talking to teams in Europe and owners were going to allow them to play overseas.And these owners have millions of dollars invested in these players. What does Mela invest in the reps? Nothing you pay them for the right to work their business. I'll pass.... If you really think your program or business is that great, why be scared to allow your reps to take advantage of other businesses if it benefits ones family?

David Kelsey December 7, 2011 at 9:23 am
Ted, good call and yes it doesn't solve a thing. Of course we don't know what they actually did, if they distributors were not ethical, their problems will follow them wherever they go. The company and leadership however, should take a page out of their own training books and look at the three fingers pointing back at them. If they choose to see the loss as an opportunity, they have a chance to grow from this. At the end of the day, I live in California and it is a right to work state . . . so be it!

John S December 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Hi Ted, I wonder how long these very aggressive companies think they are going to survive if their reputation for litigation encourages the new generation of serious team builders to involve themselves with organisations with a better attitude to their business partners. Let's face it without the Distributors - none of them would survive. This recent posting by Eric Worre would perhaps be a good starting point for the owners - http://networkmarketingpro.com/2011/11/15/mlm-corporate-ethics-morality-nmpro-583/

Lenny Sofsky December 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm
What a shame, people get punished here for wanting to grow. Not very "MLM" like.

chipmacgill December 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm
Well, let's be honest here. I agree with most, that you should be able to leave a company and keep your "residually recurring" income. But that seems to be naive. Melalueca is not the only company that does this. I know quite a few TOP multi-six figure/7 figure earners who were terminated and their income frozen for just showing up at other meetings, let alone their "wife" or significant other securing a position and working it on the downlow with another company (nice try-I am sure you wouldn't be helping your SO with their new business.) Lastly sorry if I don't recognize anyone else's name her except the extraordinary Mr. Kelsey who is doing very well. I am sure you all are top leaders, but it is probably due only to your hard work. But imagine having worked with a recruit and building his/her organization up to the point where it was 80% of your income. That person has also become a celebrity in your company, revered by 1000's. Then that person leaves, even if they say "hey, I won't talk to anyone I didn't recruit" guess what? They don't have to. As soon as a few people find out they have gone. They will all go. At least to look "Mr. so an so, has gone where? He was just on stage last week at our convention, he makes a million dollars a year. He didn't recruit me, but I always wanted to be in his organization" you get the point, you may have said the exact thing or had it said about you. Companies use this tactic to keep people in place. Look at what is happening at Legal Shield/PPL, I bet we will be reading about the lawsuits in upcoming issues very soon. Not saying at all, that I don't agree with you. I feel that our income is our income. I just think that thinking they will pay us, while we move to another company and potentially tear the former apart is naive. In the recruiting pitch of every company they tell us it is income for life. I bet not many of us read the associate agreement. I haven't, from any company, until I have a problem. I'll bet it says you get paid as long as you stay with the company and don't do anything to misrepresent the company (that would include showing up at and/or joining another company) That is why they always say. Your income is "will-able and saleable" That seems to be crap.

Kris Wiedemann December 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm
LMAO! Howard did you divorce your wife because she joined visalus, just like you cut our friendship?

Raphael Mavi December 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm
Melaleuca has great products but horrible leadership from an ego stand point. They are just made that after all these years and with such great products they can't reach a billion in annual sales. Work on your policies and procedures, improve the compensation plan and then maybe you'll attract the right kind of growth. I am not a Visalus distributor but seeing this kind of news is pathetic in our profession. Melaleuca is known to throw lawsuits around. FEAR is what causes it.

Richard Bliss Brooke December 8, 2011 at 1:19 am
Facts are important here. MLM companies do not sue reps for leaving. They sue for leaving and soliciting. Soliciting your previous MLM company's distributors not only violates the agreement YOU signed...a binding contract but if you are soliciting distributors in your previous company you are viollating your previous upline's income stream and your upline can and should hold the company responsible for enforcing the distributor agreement. Imagine you worked 10 years to build a residual income and your company let some former reps attack it. YOu could sue your company for not defending your inomce. We have horrible abuses on both sides of the isle here but most of your comments above although sincere are baseless. Have you seen a copy of the complaint? Is Melelucca sueing them for just leaving? There would be no basis for such a suit . The fact is we dont know what they did or why M is sueing them. Melelucca has grown an average of 20% every year for over 25 years. Something they are doing works for a whole lot a sales leaders I am at polar opposite with how some companies deal with those that leave...but those that feed on their former upline's income stream DO leave themselves wide open for legal action. If you leave your company, do not solicite...not in any subtle or creative way and you will likely be left alone. There are no guarentees. No guarentee that you will never leave a company that paid you millions and paraded you all over their stages of credibility and no guarentee they wont sue you if you do leave. When we start treating each other...sales leaders and companies with respect and compassion we will build a much more attractive professioni.

Tarak Kadia December 8, 2011 at 2:25 am
Does anyone know what's the basis for the lawsuit?

Rob Short December 9, 2011 at 2:22 am
Richard I believe you know better than most what Melaleuca is capable of. They have frequently and consistently sued people just because they can. I wouldn't be suprised if we see them soon sue Visalus and Evolv because some of their distributors are moving there. They did it to Max International and Organo Gold and who knows who else. How about Terry Dorfman http://www.businessforhome.org/2010/12/terry-dorfman-versus-melaleuca-lawsuit-max-international-and-ken-dunn/ being sued not because she joined another company but because she didn't report someone who did? Can you imagine having a policy that puts a distributor in jeopardy because they know of a person doing another business but they don't report them to Melaleuca? Would you be surprised to learn that one of the visalus folks that got sued had not enrolled even one person while in Melaleuca. So, yes, maybe the lawsuit happened with zero justification! I doubt Melaleuca cares at all or is fearing the damage from these former Melaleuca people but is in fact afraid of how many leaders they may lose in the future because of the success this company is having. This is their tactic, scare the hell of the field so they think twice about going anywhere else.

Kathy Martin December 10, 2011 at 3:35 am
For those who are reading this and are deciding on the right company, do not consider Melaleuca. Most of the distributors working in Melaleuca don't even know what they've gotten themselves into. Can you imagine that once you recruit your mom or dad to buy their laundry soap melaleuca believes they own them and you cannot then sign them up to buy their supplements from another company. It's true. How could anyone devote their lives to a company that could do what they did to Terry Dorfman. I've been told she worked her business 24/7 and that she was receiving rewards as one of the top producers when her business was terminated. Melaleuca does not care how they destroy lives. The most recent lawsuit is just another example. There is so much brain washing there that I don't think most of the distributors can possibly believe that it's true; they can't and keep working. In time though they will know. Frank can't stop himself he'll continue to sue and eventually enough of the field will know someone who gets sued and they'll know them well enough to know that the allegations are ridiculous. I am so grateful that there are now forums to expose this horrendous behavior.

Beau Carlisle December 11, 2011 at 1:51 am
Most companies have a no proselytizing clause for up to 2 years after leaving the company and includesnever contacting the downline or any otherassociate/distributor for recruiting them into another company. These only make the company look bad because it's supposed to be free enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Ryan H December 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm
Has anyone ever heard of a non-compete clause in the real business world. Has any ever been sued for violation of a non-compete clause. You all seem to feel like just because you are in the MLM world that you are exempt from real business practices. Wake up people. If you decide to jump in and build any sort of MLM business you should understand what you are getting yourself into. I would hope that there are policies and business rules in every business that you should all read and understand before you decide to spend time and energy building. What you all have failed to realize is that most companies want honesty from their distributors. That's all. They want people who are honest and have integrity. Wouldn't you ask for the same thing with people that you are working with. Is that too much to ask for? Most companies that have been able to sustain considerable growth have been able to do it because they put policies and procedures in place to protect prostitution of company hopping. You all know someone that has done it. And lastly, don't go judging a company based on heresay... You can have whatever speculation you want, but until you know both sides of the story, don't pass judgement. Kathy, you apparently don't understand Melaleuca. And that's perfectly okay. KNT3

Chris P January 11, 2012 at 6:06 am
Very well put Ryan!  I agree that anyone wanting to work from home or join any sort of MLM business should read and understand what they're committing to when doing so.  Independent contractors are yes indeed - self-employed, but they don't own the company they're contracted to do business with and be a partner of.  They're agreeing to that company's policies and to represent that company well in the market place.  Read your own non-compete/policies/procedures and see if you've joined the right MLM business for you.  You might be surprised that your company has policies in place also...that are there to protect the company and its image. I have found that many companies using an MLM business model are full of smoke and mirrors with huge promises to make all this money and fast...but the majority of these companies end up hurting several people financially.  "Get in on the ground floor and ride the wave to the top"... We've all heard this...but what if you're just a little too late and miss that boat---well you end up like the thousands that are left treading water until they burn out and drown in that MLM and get hurt financially.  SO..my point, don't judge and speak harshly of Melaleuca or any other company that is willing to abide by its own policies...Do your homework and get the facts straight, hear both sides, and show me another company with 26 years of consecutive growth!  They're obviously steering their ship in the right direction by implementing policies and acting on principle.

LJR February 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm
Have any of you read the details of the suit? Melaleuca is not suing because people left the company. People leave MLM's all the time. It what they did with the information gathered while in the company and their customers once they left. It's just like working in corporate America in sales. When you are in sales they often make you sign a non-competition agreement or a confidentiality agreement which means if you leave the company you can not take your customers or divulge key information for at least a 1-3 year period. Get all the facts.

alexander george November 24, 2012 at 11:39 pm
First, get the facts straight. Melaleuca is not even an MLM. Second, understand that any home business company has policies that prevent sharing leads for two different services. Melaleuca literally touches base on every service and necessity product for a family or home. The person above mentioned that they took away a 15000 check because he attended another meeting. Impossible. It had to go deeper than that. And this stuff regarding ViSalus - It's simple another MLM business that will not last. You speak of Direct Sales. ViSalus is not even a listed member of the DSA, any legitimate home business' governing body. I've seen the comp plan, as I study other companies compensation plans in order to point out there down falls. I've studied Melaleuca's. From what I've experienced people who work Melaleuca honestly will have a business to last forever and a company to call 'home'. People who work in ViSalus come from other MLM deals that eventually failed. Know what you're committing to. Melaleuca is not even a sales job!

Pierre Bourget December 27, 2012 at 3:20 am
we are 2 of the 10 people suid by Melaleuce do you want our story.

Lynn January 9, 2013 at 6:22 am
Wellalex,ljr.cris,Ryan and the others You bring judgment on the fact that you do not know YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED AND REQUESTED TO KNOW THE FACTS AND I KNOW THE FACTS Melaleuca has made ??a serious mistake suing people who could not defend themselves Now that they have nothing to lose they will spend the rest of their lives to say the real truth about Melaleuca.and Melaleuca will fall and crash and burn in hell

Kyle February 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm
An employee of JPMorgan Chase can not go to work part-time for Citigroup. It's the SAME thing folks.