EPISODE III: Revenge of the FTC

Things went bananas!

So, in the last episode I told you how I was planning on joining two digital communities, locationindie.com and Digital Altitude, right?

Well, things not always go as planned.

Because of DA’s system, I needed to make quite a big investment to be able to sell it and earn commissions from the system. Basically, the system works by inviting other people, and you need to own yourself the product that you’re going to sell, so if you want to sell the top tiers, you need to invest in them first —you’d be able to use it, of course.

I decided to make the investment and I bought the first three products, so I’d be learning from them and also benefiting from the commissions. That was on January the 27th. On January the 29th, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) sued Digital Altitude for “fraudulent schemes that prey on consumers”.

The FTC alleges DA’s marketing claims are misleading. Some of the marketing say things along the lines of “make 6 figures in 18 steps”, or “make 6 figures in 90 days or less”, and although it is technically possible, most consumers don’t actually earn said money.

Payment processors and banks terminated DA’s merchant accounts at least 10 times between July 2016 and January 2017. Some consumers sought chargebacks after DA refused to give a refund.

When the chargeback rates led payment processors and banks to terminate DA’s merchant accounts, DA embarked on further deception to continue to process credit and debit card charges for their sales. Such deception includes actions like opening accounts under their own names, and even stating that they had never had their accounts closed.

Following the complaint filled on January the 29th, a temporary restraining order was granted on February the 1st, and this meant that DA was prohibited from:

  • Stating consumers “who purchase DA’s purported money making opportunities will earn or are likely to earn substantial income”.
  • Stating customers who purchase DA’s purported money making opportunities will receive business coaching the will provide what the consumers need to build a successful online business.
  • Benefiting from using, selling, renting, leasing, transferring ir disclosing financial or identifying information of any person that any DA defendant obtained in connection with any activity that pertains to the FTC case.

 

This is some of the information, which you can find and read yourself from my sources:

http://behindmlm.com/companies/ftc-sues-digital-altitude-michael-force-for-over-14-million-in-fraud/

http://behindmlm.com/companies/tro-granted-against-digital-altitude-michael-forces-assets-frozen/

http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/2018/02/08/digital-altitude-aspire-scam-shutdown-by-the-ftc/

https://www.businessforhome.org/2018/02/ftc-hits-digital-altitude-aspire-with-a-temporary-restraining-order/

 

I don’t take any sides, so I won’t say that the thing was a scam or anything like that, however, looking at both sides, I think there are completely valid points for both.

I agree with the FTC in the sense that DA was not moving in the most ethical ways, opening accounts under different names than the moral person they are.

Other actions that don’t necessarily follow the rules of morality are that the coaches provided to consumers were said to be 6 figure earners themselves, and not all the times was true, and the obvious one, of course, the fact that they advertised the product as something with which you could earn “6 figures in 90 days or less”.

This creates a problem because even though it is actually achievable, and people HAVE done it, it is not likely to work for everyone. First of all, the system meant HARD WORK, and people who wanted easy fast money, were in for disappointment.

Second of all, it also involved a substantial investment, and if people thought by paying for the products (even by just watching the trainings) were going to be earning money, that was NOT going to happen. We need to follow the steps and, most importantly, HUSTLE. Without the hustle, there would be no rewards.

And I see where the FTC is coming from. If you advertise your product as “coffee”, you should give the customers coffee, and not the plant to get the coffee grains themselves.

Now, I agree with DA because, as a customer myself, I know it has good trainings, a good system, and good people in it. I met plenty of people advertising DA and I know they were doing things ethically and as a way to free themselves from traditional jobs or to get some more money for their families, or maybe for themselves, I know many people were on this to live their travel dreams, like myself.

So the future is very uncertain now. Nobody knows whether DA is going to shut down or now, however I know something for sure, and that is that we will (or at least I will) continue, nothing is going to slow down the people who were affected by this. There are a million and one ways to earn money online, and we there is nothing stopping us. I have been in contact with many members and know that big things are coming.

 

Thank you for reading this far!

I’ll see you on the road.

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