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Better Business Bureaus of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc.
Press Release, August 1998.
Contact: Jay Newman/Jeannette Kopko
The words "home-based business" may sound appealing, but some home-based business opportunities havent lived up to their billing, including one thats been named in complaints to the Better Business Bureau serving Dallas and Northeast Texas.
Since 1996, distributors and customers have been complaining to the BBB about 2Xtreme Performance International, Inc., 15105 Surveyor Blvd., Dallas. The company sells a line of nutritional supplements through a multi-level marketing plan. To recruit distributors, the company runs infomercials and mails invitations to "seminars" at local hotel meeting rooms to "learn a guaranteed method to put $5,000 to $10,000 in your pocket in tax savings each and every year for the rest of your life." There, prospects are pitched to buy business start-up kits. Initial costs are about $600 to about $1,300.
Most of the 118 complaints filed with the Bureau are from distributors alleging misrepresentation of the total cost of launching the business; failure to disclose all conditions of the multi-level distributorship; and difficulties in getting promised refunds. Complaints from customers are about the products and refund problems.
2Xtreme Performance has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB, due to failure to eliminate the cause of customer complaints as described above. Although the company answers individual complaints, the same problems keep coming up. Heres an overview:
In addition, 2Xtreme offers distributors direct mail pieces that may be misleading. The flyers, on newsprint paper, look like full-page ads torn from a newspaper. The "ads" are for 2Xtremes "Neurotein" weight loss product, to be mailed to potential customers with a hand-written sticky note saying, "(Name), This really works! J." This gives the impression of a personal note from an acquaintance. But the "ad" isnt from any newspaper theres no newspaper name or date on it, only an anonymous "NEWS". Not long ago, the Federal Trade Commission halted similar flyers used by another company, charging that the flyers and notes were misleading.
The BBB has referred information about 2Xtreme Performance International to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for such attention as may be appropriate. Recently, the FTC and 11 states cooperated in "Operation Show Time," bringing 18 cases targeting seminars selling fraudulent business opportunities.
Tips on Business Opportunity Seminars
The following suggestions are based on tips from the FTC:
The Federal Trade Commission has a free brochure, "The Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball," available on the Web or from the FTC Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Telephone: (202) 382-4357.
Note: In February 1999, 2Xtreme was purchased by USAsurance Group of Englewood, Colorado, which also does business as Akani.com.
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This page was revised on December 26, 1999.