The Lyoness Myths #6: Lyoness is endorsed and certified by renowned institutes

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.

According to the people who will try - or have tried to sell you the Lyoness dream, the Lyoness system is not only endorsed by an incredibly long list of amazingly popular companies and their impressive legal departments, but also by several renowned institutes that have provided Lyoness with a few certificates.

At first sight, these certificates may seem impressive. Quality Austria AG, indeed a renowned Austrian certification agency, has issued Lyoness an ISO 9000 series certificate (ISO 9001:2008).

This certificate is aimed at providing interested people with information about the 'quality management systems' of the companies that have been through an assessment procedure by an official provider of ISO assessments, like Quality Austria. So, the fact that Lyoness possesses an ISO 9001:2008 certificate, means that Quality Austria has decided that, based on the criteria drawn up by the International Organization for Standardization, has a decent quality management system.

What does this comprise? The ISO itself says the following about the ISO 9001:2008 certificate:

"ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization

•needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and
•aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
All requirements of ISO 9001:2008 are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size and product provided.

Where any requirement(s) of ISO 9001:2008 cannot be applied due to the nature of an organization and its product, this can be considered for exclusion."

When one assesses the concrete criteria (translated into plain English) which a quality management system needs to fulfil in order to be certified, one runs into such criteria:

"Identify the unique requirements that your customers want you to comply with."


"Measure your organization's product characteristics".

That is about as close as the criteria get to effective value for the consumers and small and medium-sized business owners that are considering becoming a Lyoness (premium) member. Effectively, the ISO 9001:2008 comprises nothing more than the establishment of a system that measures and documents the processes within the organisation(s). What the actual outcomes are, is irrelevant for the obtaining of such a certificate. This makes the document almost completely irrelevant for people considering to join Lyoness.

Or, as Dilbert says it:

Secondly, there is the certificate issued by TÜV Rheinland. Indeed also a renowned certification agency. And yes, the certificate looks just as impressive as the ISO certificate.

And: (Thanks, anonymous reader who provided us with this copy).

TÜV seems to be in the same line of business as Quality Austria, issuing management certificates which assess whether their is a management system in place and whether this management system meets the applicable requirements. Which requirements need to be fulfilled, depends on which type of certificate is requested.

In the case of Lyoness, a special certificate was drawn up, namely one that certifies that the Lyoness system consistently pays back 'cash' in the form of discounts on purchases made by members of the organisation. This was never the controversial part of the Lyoness system. The obviously illegal parts of Lyoness, e.g. the position system, the advertising campaign investment schemes, etc. were not looked at by TÜV - or at least not certified. The only certified statement is 'cashback with every purchase', which is indeed true (until the scam collapses of course). The amount of cash back is insignificant and nearly no-one uses the discounts, but it's true. Nevertheless, this is an absolutely redundant and irrelevant piece of 'evidence' or 'information' for anyone who is considering becoming a Lyoness premium member (at least around 90%).

In conclusion, both Quality Austria and TÜV Rheinland have not certified the relevant (controversial and illegal) parts of the Lyoness business model and the certificates are therefore irrelevant for deciding whether one should or should not join Lyoness (the correct answer obviously being the latter).

Then there is a third certificate, issued by the less-known 'IQNet', apparently 'an international network of partner certification bodies'. A long list of Lyoness-affiliated corporations are listed on the website of 'IQNet'. The listings all refer to the ISO 9001:2008 certificates issued by Quality Austria. Therefore, no value seems to be added by this 'certificication' (institute) either.

Currently, Plattform Lyoness is communicating with an official of the IQNet organisation about the certificates issued to Lyoness.

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