Consumers Nationwide Lose Tens of Thousands to Wisconsin-Based Company
Complaints have come from consumers in 38 states plus Puerto Rico, most of which have not been responded to by the company.
Milwaukee, Wis. – In the past five months, more than 150 consumers have complained to the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin about a Wisconsin-based company, with total losses exceeding $150,000.
30 Day Success Formula, which has an F rating with the BBB, uses three Wisconsin addresses – in Oak Creek, Kenosha and Mt. Pleasant. All of them are rental boxes at UPS Stores.
According to the complaints, the company promises consumers they can earn thousands of dollars when they become a member for a fee. However, the only “product” they receive when they join are flyers to help them recruit others into their program. If consumers didn’t receive at least their initial investment back within 90 days, the company would refund their money, complainants said. Flyers weren’t sent on their behalf, and promised refunds were never issued, according to the complaints.
Pyramid schemes have been around for decades, and differ from legitimate, multi-level marketing (MLM) companies that sell the company’s products through independent salespeople. Pyramid schemes are illegal and focus on making quick profits that are earned by selling the right to recruit others. The entire purpose of the scheme is to get your money upfront. There is no real product to be sold. When the supply of willing investors runs out, the pyramid collapses, and most participants lose their money.
Complaints have come from consumers in 38 states plus Puerto Rico, most of which have not been responded to by the company. Consumers say they lost between $89 and $12,500 each. In addition, the company did not respond to BBB’s requests for basic information, to substantiate claims made on its website and to correct a pattern of BBB complaints.
“Don’t be fooled by this company’s empty promises,” said Jim Temmer, president/CEO of the BBB Serving Wisconsin. “The only people making money are the people behind 30 Day Success Formula.”
Many complainants state that they heard about the company through social media posts and advertisements, including endorsements from social media influencers. The company’s online BBB profile has been viewed more than 5,600 times since March 2019.
Justin, from Nebraska, wrote in his complaint, “I have been a member with 30 Day Success Formula since March 30, 2019. I joined at Level 5 for $5000 and purchased 1000 flyers for $1338. The company advertises that they will mail out 500 flyers on your behalf and there is a money-back guarantee if you do not earn the cost you paid to join after 90 days… I myself purchased 5000 leads, printed and mailed flyers which cost over $5000…We have not seen a dime and have over $10,000 in this.”
Several complaints state that they were required to send cash via overnight delivery when they joined.
BBB offers these tips to consumers to help them spot the red flags of an illegal pyramid scheme:
- Beware of any plan that makes exaggerated earnings claims, especially when there seem to be no real underlying product sales or investment profits.
- Beware of any plan that offers commissions for recruiting new distributors, particularly when there is no product involved or when there is a separate, up-front membership fee.
- If a plan purports to sell a product or service, check to see whether its price is inflated, whether new members must buy costly inventory, or whether members make most “sales” to other members rather than the general public. If any of these conditions exist, the purported “sale” of the product or service may just mask a pyramid scheme that promotes an endless chain of recruiting and inventory loading.
- Beware of any program that claims to have a secret plan, overseas connection or special relationship that is difficult to verify.
- Beware of any plan that delays meeting its commitments while asking members to “keep the faith.” Many pyramid schemes advertise that they are in the “pre-launch” stage, yet they never can and never do launch.
- Finally, beware of programs that attempt to capitalize on the public’s interest in hi-tech or newly deregulated markets. Every investor fantasizes about becoming wealthy overnight, but in fact, most hi-tech ventures are risky and yield substantial profits only after years of hard work.
Read an online version of this alert.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.