The Lyoness loyalty merchants
Earlier, this blog reported that it is a deceptive myth that large corporations endorse the Lyoness business model. Most of the 'loyalty merchants' paraded around by Lyoness are small and medium-sized enterprises, which had to become Lyoness 'premium members' themselves (i.e. cough up 2000 euro) in order to be allowed to give out discounts on the products or services they offer to other Lyoness members. The larger corporations that offer discounts to Lyoness members have often no knowledge of the alleged 'partnership' between them and Lyoness, let alone that they have had a look at the Lyoness business model, let alone that they have endorsed it.
Most of the larger corporations that Lyoness considers 'partners' have in fact sold discount vouchers to third parties, which in return have sold these discount vouchers to Lyoness. Lyoness has used these discount vouchers and the logo and name they came with, to convince doubting prospects and casual observers that Lyoness is a major, legitimate company, running a system which is 'approved' by big multinationals.
Over the years, this story has started to crumble. On several occasions, companies that were informed about the illegal and pernicious activities conducted by Lyoness have taken a public stand against Lyoness and all it represents by withdrawing the permission to use the company's logo and name in presentations and on the website. Also, the discount vouchers were declared invalid.
The French supermarket giant Carrefour and toy producer Lego have, after being informed about Lyoness and the way in which Lyoness presented their 'partnership', taken such action. Similarly, Woolworths Australia admitted that Lyoness was not a company they would like to continue doing business with. In an earlier stage, several Austrian companies, including supermarket giant Spar, had made similar announcements.
Today, Plattform-Lyoness refers to an article published in the Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung in 2012 in which two other major corporations quite clearly state that Lyoness has tricked them into becoming a 'partner'.
Peter Brun, media director for Kuoni, a Swiss travel company, declared that Kuoni had never done business with Lyoness. An online broker had bought up the right to give out discount vouchers to the trips sold by Kuoni and had sold this right to Lyoness. The company decided to end this 'cooperation', due to the largely negative media attention Lyoness had been receiving in Switzerland, as well as to completely restructure the way in which 'partnerships' are constituted and future 'partner companies' would be examined, before they got the write to give out discount vouchers to the Kuoni products.
Microsoft, one of the 'partners' Lyoness was most proud of, had its Swiss spokeswoman (Barbara Josef) explain that Microsoft takes allegations against 'partner companies' and its business activities extremely serious and that after thorough investigation of Lyoness, Microsoft has decided to sack Lyoness from the Microsoft 'partner programme'.