The Lyoness Myths #1: Lyoness is endorsed by major corporations

The Lyoness myths section was developed to assess the validity of the arguments used by Lyoness instigators and adherents to 'prove' that Lyoness provides a viable business opportunity. It should provide people considering to become a Lyoness member with a more balanced view of the 'overwhelming' sales pitch of the Lyoness racketeers, as well as show people defrauded by  Lyoness how exactly they were deceived and lured into Freidl's web of lies.

The first myth to be discussed in this section is the often-heard argument that Lyoness has to be legit: why else would so many large corporations (with advanced legal departments) have agreed to do business with Lyoness and be publicly linked to this company?

Before assessing whether this argument is valid, it should be noted that this form of argumentation lacks relevance for deciding whether one should do business with a company. There have been many known scams which paraded around presentation slides full of logos and names of huge multi national corporations in order to persuade people to join. In fact, nearly every pyramid scheme that used a shopping card as an easy, low maintenance 'product' to be able to plead that it was in fact running a 'legal multi-level marketing scheme', has bragged about its long list of solid partners. See also the prior schemes of Freidl (GTS and Galvagin).

How can that be? Do not these corporations have their lawyers have a look at the company before they sign a contract that gives this company the right to use their name and logo, and claim they are affiliated? Well, there are several possible answers to this question. In the case of Lyoness, third parties have been used to bring the large corporations and Lyoness together. In that scenario, the large corporation (and especially its legal department) may never even have heard of Lyoness. These allegations proved true already in April  2011, when Spar (Austria's largest supermarket chain) and several other notable companies declared that they had not given Lyoness permission to use their name and logo, or even that they were unaware that they were doing business with Lyoness. Lyoness reluctantly informed their 'business partners' about these developments.

When a large share of the European loyalty partners of Lyoness were contacted, most of them declared not to have been aware of an affiliation with Lyoness, and some of them had never even heard of Lyoness. Again, most of the companies had been linked to Lyoness through third parties. Major corporations like the French supermarket giant Carrefour and Lego, after being thoroughly informed of the illicit and fraudulent activities of Lyoness, decided to annul the alleged partnership. Comparable stories have been heard from all over the globe, like for companies as Woolworths, Tesco, Mediamarkt, Saturn, etc.

In general, any company can pretend to be the partner of another company. Most often, one can just copy a logo and a name from the internet and put it on a slide. Especially when this slide is shown in a hall where an invitation-only recruitment meeting is held, and where the business opportunity eclipses the discount card, no-one will ever know. Another way to go is to approach a local franchise holder. In the case of big franchise networks, one will always able to find one that is willing to provide discounts. As you may know, franchise holders often have the right to use the company logo and name (that is namely what they mainly paid for while obtaining the franchise). Through agreements with them, anyone can use the logo and name of the mother company.

It should be noted that such tactics are unsustainable if one is really interested in exploiting a shopping community. However, if the only goal is to make people pay to subscribe at a recruitment event, they may  just suffice.

Lyoness has a significant list of loyalty partners. This is not because so many large corporations with ditto legal departments 'saw the unlimited potential of this company'. In fact, the vast majority of Lyoness' loyalty partners are small and medium-sized enterprises - the main target group of Lyoness' recruitment efforts. In order to become a Lyoness loyalty partner, a company needs to become a 'business partner' or 'premium member' too. This means that an advance payment of at least 2000 euros is required. In most cases, they only signed up to possibly obtain some extra costumers and to benefit from Freidl's incredible 'money machine'.

The large corporations, with who's logo and name Lyoness is planning to brag, obviously do not have to pay. If those corporations have ever heard of Lyoness or actually negotiated with them, they have been sucked up to like crazy. However, in most cases Lyoness just bought a bunch of gift vouchers through a third party. Most corporations do not bother at all who is providing people with discounts on their products (and why would they?) - they will be happy if it increases their sales, and if it does not, it is the problem of the buyer.

The only thing these corporations should be aware of, is that when Lyoness finally collapses, their name might suffer some collateral damage. The ones that have realised that have already demanded their name and logo to be removed from all Lyoness communication and if the media attention keeps growing, others will certainly follow.

In conclusion, do not be persuaded into doing business with a company just because they can present an impressive slide of alleged partners - that proves nothing. The techniques used by pyramid fraudsters are designed to make prospects overlook the obvious fact that no legitimate system will ask you to pay thousands of euros and encourage you to make your friends do the same. Be sceptical towards whom you do business with and do not let racketeers fool you into joining an obvious scam.

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