Citizens' Issues
Competition heats up in online survey space with the entry of domestic MLM companies

The online survey fraud is spreading like wildfire in India, as more MLM companies announce ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes, promising over four times on ‘investments’. But don’t get lured, as this works only for a few people at the top, while the rest end up losing money and personal reputation

As if SpeakAsia, which claims to be an online survey company, was not enticing (cheating?) enough of gullible people, a few domestic multi-level marketing (MLM) companies have entered the online survey scam. The only difference is that domestic companies are asking for smaller amounts as investment, compared to SpeakAsia.

After Moneylife exposed the dubious operations of SpeakAsia, one such MLM company, comments have been pouring in about other such MLMs functioning under the pretext of online surveys. (Read, "Another MLM scam in the happening, this time under the pretext of an online survey".)

FLC Online India, like every other MLM company, also makes promises of high returns. In fact, FLC says that after completion of certain units, the member is entitled to bonanza gifts that range from mobile phones to cars like Skoda and Mercedes Benz.

FLC Online India has initiated the concept of a special segment for market research and offers monetary benefits merely for filling survey forms.

Apart from paying regular income, it also gives income through the binary method, which is primarily based on algorithms. In simple words, it aims to involve more and more people in the scheme, luring them through dubious claims.

FLC claims, "Become a part of $25 billion market research industry and earn Rs4,000-Rs40,000 per month from home by giving your opinion about various products of MNCs for only one hour per week by filling online surveys." The promise of income merely through filling survey forms is questionable as the process itself shows.

A person seeking to become a member of FLC must make a payment of Rs6,500 and the company promises to pay Rs1,000 per week till 52 weeks! Further, there is binary income, or per pair income, for which FLC will pay Rs500 and the levels of binary is unlimited. On referring someone to join the company, it promises to pay Rs500 as direct or referral income.

On the binary level, a member making two new members-one each on the left and the right hands (which constitutes a pair)-also gets 10 market points. The 10 market points are equivalent to one unit or one pair and the member can keep on adding up to a maximum or 200 pairs per week.

Further, if the member refers someone in the chain, then he will be given 10 market points per person introduced. But there is a catch in all this. An incentive of two market points is released whenever you have two market points in the left team and two  market points in the right team, which is also known as one pair.

On completing 20 units, which is 20 pairs consisting of 40 people, the member is rewarded with a colour mobile phone, and on completing 90 units the member will get a laptop. This sounds murky, for the company does not mention the specific brand of mobile or laptop.

A simple calculation shows that if one member makes 20 units, the company would earn a whopping Rs2.6 lakh. Consider this: 20 units is 20 pairs, which means 40 individuals. Each individual pays Rs6,500 as membership fee, so 40 members give a total Rs2.6 lakh to the company. On the other hand the company promises only a colour mobile phone as a reward and the brand is not known.

Interestingly, on completion of 350 units and beyond, the reward could be a motorbike, or even a car-a Tata Safari, a Skoda, or even a Mercedes Benz. But there is a time period in which the targets are to be achieved to be eligible for these rewards.

A reader informs Moneylife about another MLM company by the name of Ram Survey, which also makes similar claims. The registration charge is Rs3,500, of which Rs500 is for life-time registration and the remaining Rs3,000 is a contribution towards an e-magazine called Ram Today, the member will receive fortnightly over 11 months. The company promises a weekly income of Rs500 for 44 weeks. Again Rs500 will be paid as binary income and Rs250 as referral income. There are also bonanza gifts ranging from mobile to cars, based on units earned.

Both the companies described, display pan cards and certificates of incorporation (as legal proof) on their web sites. The validity of these documents is to be verified.

Moneylife Foundation, an affiliate of Moneylife, is a not-for-profit organisation that is working to promote financial literacy and has always advised people not to invest in MLM companies that are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, many people continue to be lured into the trap with the promises of high returns and easy income.

You may also want to read

(SpeakAsia still can't show valid, legal documents)

( Stockguru.India allegedly dupes 2 lakh investors of over Rs1,000 crore)

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COMMENTS

sandeep

5 years ago

in http://www.myprogress.in i lost my money 2 lac.pls help me .investigate in the co.

REPLY

Probal Ghosh

In Reply to sandeep 5 years ago

another attempt to popularise your own mlm by criticizing the other. Sandeep who the hell asked you to put in money like that. you did not understand the business model and put in money, it is stuck not LOST. You are one of those who foolishly or GREEDILY get into a business and without studying get stuck and then blame others.

Rajesh

6 years ago

main apni risk per speak asia main paise laga raha hoon kisi ko paresani kyon ho rahi hai. speak asia jindabad.

Fthri

6 years ago

We can bet whatever! this is our money! we can take risk! this is our income! many Indian Journalist are doing non of their business..... don't politicize..

REPLY

AK sHARMA

In Reply to Fthri 6 years ago

what about people, where Speak Asians have collected money on the name of investment...

Read here http://mlmnewsblog.com/2011/05/speak-asi...

Probal Ghosh

In Reply to AK sHARMA 6 years ago

Hi Sharmaji
There is no collection in the name of investment in the first place. Even if there is what is your problem when the investors (so called) is not worried. Are you trying to raise your TRP as well? What is your take in it? We are simply failing to understand why so much of hulla bulla. It is like a tipical Indian mentality, "Baheti ganga mein haat dho lo" kyun?

MADHU

6 years ago

All these stories does not matter. This business pays and it will continue to pay more n more.

We are a team of people frm different parts of India who is serious into this one.. If u join with us u get special offer frm my side.. call me @ 0 9 6 2 0 7 9 0 9 6 2

Best regards,
Madhu

Probal Ghosh

6 years ago

Please team get your facts and figures correct. Clear your understanding on business models first and than make comments or throw judgments.
The point in hand is in the article " Competiton heating up in online survey........" you have mentioned in the 12th para that the said company is collecting Rs.2.6 lakhs from 40 individulas and in return giving away only colour non Branded mobile..But in te 8th para of the said article you have mentioned that the company is paying Rs1000 p.m. to every indvidual for 52 weeks that makes it Rs20.08 lakhs the company is paying back. This fact you are hiding it in your 12 th para. Waht kind of journalism would you call this one as. Sensationlise the issue and get more readership .....more readership means more advertisements.....hence your claim for non profit goes out of the window.
Gentlemen can you put on your site as to what is your business model. We will like to know it

REPLY

dhruvendra pratap

In Reply to Probal Ghosh 6 years ago

i m totally agree with u partho these journlist are not fair in giving there advise. journlist from moneylife at the conference of speak asia was behaving like he has some personal grudge against the speak asia. the lady with red t shirt was behaving as if she has to bring speak asia down(probably she must be from star news)

vinay

6 years ago

move move&move

zubby

6 years ago

dear sir, pls tell me that abt speakasia....
it is legal or illegal ??????

shahnawaz ahmad shan

6 years ago

hi sir, kindly give me some information about ramsurvey.it is good r fraud.

abhay

6 years ago

sir je jetni company aaj tak aai mlm me ex.amway modi RMP HINDUSTAN LEVER LTD YE SARI COMPANY 100 ME SE SAYED 2 KO FAIDA PAHUNCHAI HO BAKI 98 KO NUKSAAN HE HUA INKE SAATH KABHI BHI GOV. NE KOI ACTION NAHI LIYA SURVEY COMPANY ME JISNE 2 MONTH BHI WORK KAR LIYA USKA PAISA USKO MIL JATA USKE BAD USE PROFIT HE HOTA HAI FIR USKE SATH AISA KOYN MAINE AB TAK 4 COMPANY ME PAISA LAGYA JESME SURVE COMPANY KO CHODKAR BAKI SABHI ME MERA NUSHAAN E HUA ABHI HAAL HI ME EK COMPANY AAI THI NECENT MERA ISME 40000 DOOB GAYA AB JAB MERA PAISA AA RAHA TO FIR ISE KOYN BAND KIYA JA RAHA AAKDE NIKLWA LIGIYE YAHA 100 ME 90 ADMI CHAHTE HAI KI SURVEY COMPANY KE SAATH KOI BHI ACTION NA LIYA JAY.

REPLY

Sumit

In Reply to abhay 6 years ago

I m totaly agree with Ajay.

sanjay

6 years ago

tell me that the ramsurvey is llegal or not because i want to invest. so requested you show me a right path ??

REPLY

ak sharma

In Reply to sanjay 6 years ago

Ram Survey under police raid at Varanasi-Uttar Pradesh

http://mlmnewsblog.com/2011/04/ram-surve...

Bhartendu

6 years ago

sir
i want to know about ram survey is it genuine company in mlm or just a scam.is the legal document they showing is sufficient for investing

nitish shukla

6 years ago

sir Ratanjay ,
i wanna inform u dat recently a information came to me in which it said that ramsurvey is illegal nd on the other hand the company's MD yet not attened any PRESS conference for proving that company is legal....u support too much ramsurvey but u have any proof or documents or vedios that show ramsurvey is legal

REPLY

Ak Sharma

In Reply to nitish shukla 6 years ago

Ram Survey under police raid at Varanasi-Uttar Pradesh

http://MLMNewsBlog.com/2011/04/ram-surve...

Ratanjay

6 years ago

I have been working in ramsurvey plan since nov 2010. Last week someone filed RTI concerning company's certification and validity. It has been clearified clean via local athorities.

REPLY

nitish shukla

In Reply to Ratanjay 6 years ago

sir Ratanjay ,
i wanna inform u dat recently a information came to me in which it said that ramsurvey is illegal nd on the other hand the company's MD yet not attened any PRESS conference for proving that company is legal....u support too much ramsurvey but u have any proof or documents or vedios that show ramsurvey is legal.

dhirendra tripathi

In Reply to nitish shukla 6 years ago

Its confirm that police raid ram survey office . company have no agreement with client list shown on their website. after police raid they remove name of ACER,AIRTELAXIS BANK, LG AND OTHER INDIAN COMPANY NAME FROM THEIR CLIENT LIST. ONLY SOME UNKNOWN COMPANY NAME IS PUBLISH. POLICE ENQUIRY IS CONTINUE

nitish

In Reply to dhirendra tripathi 6 years ago

any confirmation about when it will on its usual state,,,

shankar

6 years ago

I was a mutual fund IFA..I use to sell Mutual fund to earn bread and butter by honest means.But govt of india's market wachdog what is know as SEBI did all possible steps to remove the IFA's from earning livlelihood.So what shoud I do know to support my family.If the Govt dont think of us , dont care for our bread and butter than why should I care for other people..I do MLM companies and also reffer to other peoples and earn some thing so what is wrong in it.I am not snatching some ones bread and butter as SEBI did.More and more MLM companies must come so that people forget about other investment espicially Mutual fund..

MMTC announces plans to launch jewellery brand

MMTC’s plan to launch its own jewellery brand comes at a time when Indian jewellers are waking up to the potential of branded jewellery, but will the dream bear fruit?

The government undertaking Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India Ltd (MMTC), which is the biggest bullion trader in India, has announced its plans to launch its own jewellery brand. MMTC already has a silverware retail arm called Sanchi, and plans to have 30 more outlets across India for its new brand. While sentiments are buoyant, it remains to be seen whether the scheme becomes a success.

The announcement comes at a time when the market is booming, and sector commentators feel that with increasing disposable income of the middle class, there is an immense scope for branded jewellery. "Gold and jewellery are traditionally considered to be sound investments. The World Gold Council is optimistic about the future. Platinum and diamond are also catching up. Even during the recession, the domestic demand did not wane. With the number of earning youths going up, branded jewellery will definitely do well," an analyst told Moneylife.

However, lifestyle brands, which have been launched by PSUs, have not fared well in India. Be it Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), whose watches were a rage once, or the khadi products, which have failed to stir up excitement in the youth. The reason for that may be lack of publicity, shoddy products and the 'not hip' tag that remains associated with indigenous brands, sold by indifferent salespeople.

A few weeks earlier, Dubai-based Damas dropped its India retail project due to the organisation's internal problems. Gitanjali Gems, which had entered into a joint venture for the jewellery retail business with the brand two years earlier, has also been hesitant in launching a new chain, which it has been talking about since long.

The other players, therefore, are rushing in to fill in the vacuum. Many of them are strengthening their retail network. With its pan-India network and assured presence, analysts say that MMTC already has an edge over the lesser brands. Currently, MMTC is India's largest trading firm, and the largest importer of gold.

However, it is the smaller or region specific brands like Chandrani Pearls and Joyallukas that have fared well, because they can manage their costs better. Tanishq may be the only exception in this space. The retail sector is facing a severe problem with staffing and cost management, and most of the projects have not been executed well. Moreover, in the apparel-accessory-lifestyle segment, many brands have failed. Barring a few successful ones, many are barely surviving or have quit.

However, the market outlook is positive. According to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the sector witnessed an impressive growth of 46.89% in FY 2010-11 in exports, and the sector is expected to see a growth of 13% from 2011-2013. The diamond industry in India is predicted to remain stable during 2010-11 due to improved prices and steady demand, as per CRISIL.

Thus, jewellers are finally looking towards organising the fragmented sector to make the most of the opportunity. Joyallukas, the Kochi-based jewellery giant, which has been talking about an IPO (initial public offering) for long, is finally coming to the market following SEBI's nod. The IPO will come at May end. The money raised, says the company, will be used to expand its retail presence (especially in north India), with the opening of 14 stores. Other notable players, like Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri, are also strengthening their presence.

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Managing inflationary pressures is the biggest challenge: PMEAC chairman

"We must use all of our policy instruments-interventions in the grain market, fiscal and monetary policies-to bring down inflation further and re-anchor inflationary expectations to the 5% comfort zone," C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council said

Vadodara: Managing inflationary pressures-particularly in food grain prices-was the biggest challenge before the policy-makers, reports PTI quoting C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

Mr Rangarajan, a former governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was speaking on the topic 'the growth path and some concerns on the way' at a function at Federation of Gujarat Industries (FGI) today.

"There are a few areas where immediate engagement of the policy-makers is needed. In the short run, managing inflationary pressures, particularly foodgrain prices, is the biggest challenge," he said.

"We also need to watch out what happens to crude prices in the global markets. We must remain committed to maintaining inflation at a low level."

Saying that he did not subscribe to the idea that high growth demanded higher level of inflation, he stated, "We must use all of our policy instruments-interventions in the grain market, fiscal and monetary policies-to bring down inflation further and re-anchor inflationary expectations to the 5% comfort zone."

The second concern, he said, was the balance of payments as the current account deficit had remained very high at 3.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of 2010-11. "Efforts must be made to bring down the current account deficit to a more manageable level of 2% to 2.5% of GDP."

This, he said was desirable to impart much-needed stability on the external payment front and to reduce the risk to the domestic economy from volatility in international financial markets.

Another critical challenge was fiscal consolidation which was a necessary pre-requisite for sustained growth, he added.

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