I was watching Tech Now this week and the technology show mentioned a scam that’s getting the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) attention. I never really cared too much about these scams, because I assumed, like Nigerian princes, people were smart enough to avoid them. However, after realizing that a lot of people are getting scammed by MonaVie, I figured I should write about some other scams when I come across them. It might save some reader a little money someday – and that makes it worthwhile for me. Today’s scam in question… iJango.
What is iJango
iJango bills itself as a “Membership Rewards Community.” What does that mean? It means that you sign up to earn rewards and recruit other members. I love earning rewards. I even like recruiting other members for things I believe in. However, there’s a problem with iJango… if you want to earn rewards for recruiting other members it costs $150, PLUS $20 a month. Tech Now showed this information on their broadcast, but I can’t seem to find it on the iJango website. Several links appear to be broken on iJango’s website, so maybe they are having some difficulty on their site today. In fact, the Vicky Nguyen of Tech TV says that iJango admits to often having a broken site as they are constantly upgrading.
What Tech Now and the BBB say about iJango
After fielding 3400 inquiries after their August launch, the BBB gave iJango an F rating. While iJango claims to be a Multi-Level Marketing website, the Erin McCool of the Silicon Valley BBB says “they have extreme suspicions about what they are doing.”
According to McCool, “People have trouble canceling the service” due to the website’s bugs. It’s always a bad sign when you get stuck with a $20/mo. bill that you can’t get out of.
McCool also said, “We can’t shut them down and it’s a pain staking policy for the government agencies as well.” This is something that has come up in MonaVie discussions a lot. The logic of some distributors is that if they haven’t been shut down, it must be legal. Because of the painstaking process, this is simply not true.
What Founder Steve Smith says about iJango being a pyramid scheme
Tech Now caught up with founder Steve Smith and asked him if iJango is a pyramid scheme. His answer was so hiliarious, I’ve transcribed it below:
SS: It’s a little… it’s a little… it’s a little, different concept because we are bringing customer on who produce revenue for us.
TechNow: How do they produce revenue? So you have partners with companies that pay you?
SS: Yeah for what they do on… on… shopping… and… online
TechNow: Who are those companies? Netflix? I saw you said Netflix… Pricegrabber… are those all companies you have a relationship with?
SS: Those are all companies that we have a relationship with. It’s probably not even a direct relationship. This development team that we brought on brings us a lot of relationships. So for us it would be a third-party relationship that brings the relationships with these people that help monetize the customers that we bring to the site.
TechNow: How is this NOT a pyramid scam? Make that easy for me.
SS: Because we produce revenue from our customers. We get revenue, our customers use their tools and utilities, and we are paid part of that revenue share.
The BBB goes on to say that the relationships with Google, Pricegrabber, and Rhapsody don’t exist. Here you could take argument with what the BBB is saying. I’m sure iJango has a relationship with these companies through affiliate programs like FlexOffers and Commission Junction. Founder Steve Smith is misrepresenting the relationship when he flashes a Netflix logo during a presentation as if to say, “These big companies are partnering with us, so you have to believe we are the real deal” instead of “No one at Netflix has ever heard of us.”
What iJango Users have to say
When asked about how iJango is paying, Paul Bass, iJango user, said:
They haven’t started paying out yet because of the problems with the servers. Even if I was dupped and even if they got my $149… [laughs]… that’s not a lot of downside risk… and the upside potential…
That’s exactly the kind of attitude that pyramid scams want to hear. A lot of $149 and $20 a month bills add up quickly for companies… especially when they don’t really provide a product.
Another user Michelle was interviewed:
TechNow: Can you give me an idea, Michelle of how much money you’ve made with iJango?
Michelle: Absolutely not, that’s a private matter.
I suppose it is a private matter, but if it was signfiicant mone, wouldn’t she be shouting it from the rooftops?
Why iJango is a scam
By becoming an iJango Community Director, you are basically becoming a salesman for them and their company. You are out there recruiting other people and earning commission on everything that they buy (if they buy anything). You wouldn’t pay your own employer to work for them, so why would you pay iJango?
Update: I wasn’t aware of iJango’s founders’ histories. Looks like they’ve bilked people out of millions before. Check out this iJango Pyramid Scheme story.
Kosmo @ The Casual Observer says
“In fact, the Vicky Nguyen of Tech TV says that iJango admits to often having a broken site as they are constantly upgrading.”
Hey, call me crazy, but maybe utilize a development environment and make sure stuff works before promoting to production?
Hey, call me crazy, but maybe utilize a development environment and make sure stuff works before promoting to production?
That’s like saying ‘I should’ve went this school but decided to go elsewhere’ this and that. You know about hindsight is 20/20. Ijango is no different than ANY other legitimate companies out there. You’ll defintely gonna have your trials and tribulations. The jury is still out on this company and time will tell if it’s going to survive.
Lazy Man says
Millions of companies have a development environment. I have one for this website, and I’m just one person working part time.
It’s not at all like saying, “I should’ve went this school but decided to go elsewhere”, or believing hindsight is 20/20. It’s simply taking reasonable safety precautions. It’s like getting a car, you put on a seat belt. You don’t just drive, get in an accident, and say, “I probably should have gone a different route.”
I don’t know if the jury is out on this company. When the BBB starts to say bad things about your company it is very different than other legitimate companies.
“I don’t know if the jury is out on this company. When the BBB starts to say bad things about your company it is very different than other legitimate companies.”
Me thinks the BBB have more of a vendetta against Ijango than they would admitted to. Here’s the lowdown: Ijango was giving 10-day deadline for some clairity about the company’s compensation plan. The management was talking to the BBB of Central Texas (Austin)however, CTBBB went ahead anyway to leaked out to the press before the deadline. To me, that’s considered grounds of a nasty lawsuit. Last word is that the company and CTBBB agreed to remove the negative ‘F’ rating off of Ijango’s record.
Lazy Man says
As of this comment, it looks like the CTBBB has not removed the “F” rating.
However, I was referring to the BBB of Silicon Valley, a fairly separate to the one from Central Texas. So it’s twice as bad that they’ve got two different branches of BBB upset at them.
The BBB has no vendetta with any company, their mission is to look out for consumers.
Regardless of the point about the BBB, IJango basically boils down to a product-based pyramid scheme.
Two things: Ijango is NOT a prymaid scheme. It’s Community Directors gets paid in two ways, when signing up members who browsed the portals thru web traffic, advertising and shopping for FREE and sponsoring community directors who singing up their members.
No BONUSES are paid to upline on just reruiting Directors unless they signed up at least 3 members to triggered the bounses.
Also, Ijango just launched it’s Online Ads program where reps can signed up local companies to advertising their business online for $249 one time fee and $99/mo thereafter. And more products are on the way.
Secons:I’m not saying the BBB as a whole has a vendetta against MLM companies as a whole. The BBB is a great organization and should be continued as a watchdog of shady companies scamming it’s victims of products and services that they cannot delivered. However, what they should’ve done, is to followed their own portcol when dealing with any companies with questionable marketing strageties and giving them a chance to clarify it before announcing it to the media. BBB of Central Texas did not followed the portocol and it could result of a legal action against them for not doing so.
Conclusion: I am not an Ijango rep not promotioning the opportunity. I am a Ijango member using the web portal like I am now. And it did not cost me a cent to surf
Lazy Man says
MooseShady said, “No BONUSES are paid to upline on just recruiting Directors unless they signed up at least 3 members to triggered the bonuses.”
I’m going to quote About.com now:
“The big difference between MLM and a pyramid scheme is in the business’ operations. The entire purpose of a pyramid scheme is to get your money and then use you to recruit other suckers (ahem – distributors). The entire purpose of MLM is to move product.”
And you are saying Community Directors pay IJango for the right to earn bonuses from IJango when they recruit 3 other members. That matches the exact definition of pyramid scheme from About.com. It’s not even an MLM because IJango has no real product to move.
I’d need more information about the online ads program. I couldn’t find anything about it on IJango’s website with a few minutes of looking. From your description I have trouble understanding if it’s IJango reps paying the $249 and $99/mo or the local companies.
That’s quite an unusual conclusion. You are pretty defensive of the company and know a lot about the behind the scenes deal with the BBB for just being an average member using the web portal.
Also, it’s odd that you would make a claim that it doesn’t cost you a cent to surf. It doesn’t cost anyone money to surf the Internet excluding fees. It’s not like Google is charging me money when I do a search there. So you are essentially saying that IJango is giving you what the rest of us already have… awesome.
“I have trouble understanding if it’s IJango reps paying the $249 and $99/mo or the local companies.”
You are so way off base! Local companies pays $249 and $99/month to advertised with Ijango Adz. Not the reps. What’s great about Ijango Adz is that they can advertised on Yellow Pages, Local.com, Yahoo and Google So, I don’t understand your logic on this matter.
“That’s quite an unusual conclusion. You are pretty defensive of the company and know a lot about the behind the scenes deal with the BBB for just being an average member using the web portal.”
Nope. You may think
what’s sad about Lazy Man, it’s you taking about.com’s word instead of getting the real lowdown by talking to the company. How about talking to the Ijango reps on how they feel about the opportunity.
Sorry that my fingers clicked the submit button prematurely, but what I was saying in my reponse to your comment about the company situation with the BBB and that I was getting defensive about it. you may think so but apparently, it’s not the case. Also, I was not damning the BBB as a whole. BBB is a great organization in awaring the public of real scams out there. I was just pointed out that the BBB of Central Texas had jumped the gun on Ijango without the company’s a chance to explain on it’s comp plan.
One more thing. To clarifying the Ijango comp plan; Reps does get paid bonuses when they recruited other reps who gather at members but the real revenue of Ijango comes from web trafficing every time the members surf the web and shops online and well as adverstisment from local companies.
Like I said, if you really wanted to get the real scoop on Ijango, call the company or talk to it’s reps about the opportunity because simply, you’re just getting one side of the story. Do your research carefully about Ijango before whether it’s a pro or con.
Lazy Man says
Just to go back a couple of comments, I asked for clarification and you said it was “so way off base!” Asking a question is never so way off base!”
As for Ijango rolling out an advertising program, that’s nothing that new. As I stated in the article, Ijango says that they have relationships with a number of companies, and it turns out that it’s through third parties. Let’s see the press release from Google about supporting iJango. Otherwise, I can claim advertising from Yahoo and Google on this site (I rejected Yahoo as it wasn’t paying me enough) – it doesn’t mean I’m a big business – I’m a one-man shop.
I’m not taking About.com’s word… I watched what the BBB had to say and how iJango defended themselves (they chose not to!) in the news segment. I also put 2 + 2 together and realize that they are charging someone money to join a commission-only position… a very poor an questionable business practice. and they are just giving general guidelines
I’m not taking About.com’s word for it… I’m using them to support a conclusion that I made on my own. There’s a Grand Canyon of a difference.
Perhaps that BBB in Central Texas jumped the gun… perhaps not. I can’t speak to that as I don’t have either side of the story. I do have Silicon Valley’s BBB giving the quotes against iJango as I stated in the original story.
IJango had an opportunity to defend themselves in the news article that I cited. If they want to talk to me they can easily leave a comment here or hit the contact button. The ball is in their court… let’s see what they do.
“I watched what the BBB had to say and how iJango defended themselves (they chose not to!) in the news segment”
Yes, they already have. A few months back, Company’s Chairman Steve Smith was in the Ijango meeting in the San Francisco area when a television reporter for an NBC affilate asked him about the Ijango negative report from the BBB and answered any questions for that reporter.
“As for Ijango rolling out an advertising program, that’s nothing that new. As I stated in the article, Ijango says that they have relationships with a number of companies, and it turns out that it’s through third parties.”
I do not know about third parties so I cannot give any creedence on it. However, I do know that Ijango has relationships with companies like Google, Local.com, GoDaddy and YellowPages.com and others.
“I also put 2 + 2 together and realize that they are charging someone money to join a commission-only position”
It’s called Membership Rewards program. members can enrolled other members at NO COST to signing them in Ijango web portals and they get paid cashback rewards when they shops and a 5% commission when other members shops online. However, in order to get paid multiple levels, they can upgrade to a Community Director at anytime.
“Let’s see the press release from Google about supporting iJango. Otherwise, I can claim advertising from Yahoo and Google on this site (I rejected Yahoo as it wasn’t paying me enough) – it doesn’t mean I’m a big business – I’m a one-man shop.”
I would love to see Google give Ijango support they need. As soon the all the furor dies down, you’ll may see many companies comes out supporting Ijango. We’ll just wait and see that will happened.
Lazy Man says
I forgot Steve Smith actually did comment, I included the quotes above. It was nonsensical gibberish at best.
Again, I have relationships with Google and could have one with GoDaddy in about 5 minutes if I wanted to (I have no use for a relationship with them). These don’t validate iJango.
I have no problem with the free membership. However, the Community Director program is essentially a pyramid scheme. We covered this before. If iJango gets rid of the Community Director program and getting paid on multiple levels, then I wouldn’t call them a scam. However, that would sound a lot like the BlastOff Network.
I don’t think any companies are going to be supporting iJango. It’s not like companies are going out of their way to support Ebates and they’ve been around years and years.
Eos Rewards browser launched last night. We get paid as the company indicates. iJango/Eos is the real deal. The company, which was sold a ‘bill of goods’ initially, chose to step up to the plate, invest money, talent and time, in bringing into reality the concept that iJango was presented to it as.
The new .com site launches in a day or two. What iJango has done is sheer tech business, no scam involved, and allows ordinary people to derive income from the internet.
I know people today spending thousands to become real estate agents – and insurance agents – and stockbrokers. I have news for you: those are multi-level, and as often as not, true scams that relieve innocent people of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There’s a congressional hearing going on right now about bonuses to bankers. I’ve never seen an mlm bonus questioned by congress.
2010 is the 100th anniversary of mlm or direct marketing. This is the year that we are coming into our own as an industry. iJango is a small part, but we are legit, serious and growing.
Thank you for this forum.
No doubt that ijango launched prematurely. That is a long and boring story. The most remarkable thing on this forum is the total lack of due diligence. Take a deep breath and watch what ijango is now and where the company is heading. They are utilizing the industry best practices and now have a top rate IT team. I could easily slander any individual or company based on derogatory hearsay, and partial truths from long ago (long ago being relative to the age of the entity)
I applaud the effort to “look out” for others best interest, however I believe such action should be predicated on legitimate and thorough information.
All The Best Always!
Lazy Man says
Much like the NY Times putting out an article in 2003, that information may become dated over time. I’m not saying that this is dated, but at the time of the article it was accurate. Everything that I wrote was true at the time (unless you have other data). The Better Business Bureau did go out if it’s way to make those comments.
All those things may be VERY, VERY well might be true to today, I’m not sure and having looked into the company more since. Just remember that because the information was from long ago, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. You could read an article about Microsoft having the top home computer operating system years ago, and though the article may be outdated, it’s still the case today.
“I know people today spending thousands to become real estate agents ““ and insurance agents ““ and stockbrokers. I have news for you: those are multi-level, and as often as not, true scams that relieve innocent people of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Fortunately for schemes like this, there’s an idiot born every minute.
Insurance agents, real estate agents, and stockbrokers EARN their way to the top. They can’t buy it. Yes, they spend thousands to get where they are. On an EDUCATION!!! (Likely a worthwhile investment for yourself to look into.)
And to say they are true scams is ludricous and quite possibly the most moronic statement I’ve ever come across!
Real Estate agents get people to part with their money in exchange for a HOME.
Insurance agents for INSURANCE.
And stockbrokers for STOCK.
You know, also known in commerce terms as PRODUCT.
By the most basic definition, Ijango is a pyramid. Pass or fail, that’s exactly what it is. And people like Barb who sing their praises with such asinine logic only do the “company” that much more deserved justice!
HM- Insurance is actually a SERVICE when you get down to it.
It’s an intangible service..then it becomes more of a traditional product until you have to make a claim…
My cash back rewards credit card pays me to use it, so why would I pass up using a free site that earns cash back rewards just for me using it to search, shop, and watch videos online each month?
Please know that nobody here is asking you to join the business.
People are just explaining the SERVICE that iJango provides for free.
Lazy Man says
My article was about those who join the business. If you aren’t going to join the business, you might as well do something like Ebates or Swagbucks. Some 10 years ago or so, I was with FreeRide.com.
I noticed that Blastoff doesn’t require you pay to earn rewards for recruiting others… so again joining iJango doesn’t make sense for that purpose.
iJango does not require anyone to PAY to earn rewards for referring other members via the free member program. Free members earn rewards for sharing the site with their own contacts. It is less than the earnings a Community Director would earn for doing the same activity, but nobody is required to pay to earn rewards for sharing it with others.
Therefore is is similar to the blastoff program, only iJango pays its free members for using the site on top of rewards earned from shopping. Last I checked Blastoff only pays members rewards for their own shopping.
[Editor’s note: It seems like this is a change for iJango from when I wrote the article. Regardless, being a Community Director should be free. You should never have to pay a company money to get money for recruiting business for them.]
The concept that one should not have to invest to have an entrepreneurial free enterprise opportunity is just silly. It has nothing to do with any free market, private property based capitalist economic system.
This is some misguided Utopian egalitarian daydream.
I would like to say the up to date information is essential, and quoting an individuals stuttering in print is childish. I would contend that in an open debate I and many others I know, would simply put you to shame on any subject. For I propose that in front of an live audience you would be nervous and stumble over your words. Especially if it were an extemporaneous debate.
When one has time to form thoughts in writing and edit, proofread and review. Then one has the ability to seem reasonably thoughtful. However one does not publish the early drafts, nor do they create a first take audio file of their attempts at speaking on the topic.
iJango is adhering to industry best practices and standards. Indeed by the leaderships own acknowledgment the start up of this creative and legitimate business model was flawed. However said flaws have been turned around into a tremendous program. I write these things not to diminish any other opportunity, not defame the editor of this forum. I write this to simply elevate the discourse to one of intelligence, respect and due diligence. With my small admonishment to manners, and up to date research, and a fundamental knowledge of business.
I wish all a good day, carry on as you must, refrain from knee-jerk reactions, and childish jibes.
Lazy Man says
The person stuttering was the CEO and it wasn’t due to nerves… he simply couldn’t answer the question, because there was no good answer to give. It also wasn’t in front of a live audience unless you count one news person with a camera. If you don’t wish to be part of that audience no one is forcing you to. If it’s a solid business, there are a number of people who would love to get paid to answer the tough questions.
Dear LazyMan. Re: the last comment. I am very confused what this means “If it’s a solid business, there are a number of people who would love to get paid to answer the tough questions.”
Community Directors for that company don’t earn money for answering questions. Tough, or otherwise.
They earn money to promote the free website. If they are good at what they do and care about people then they are willing to answer questions, but they are certainly not compensated for that. So “who” are the “number of people” who would “love to get paid to answer the tough questions”?
Thank you for the clarification.
Lazy Man says
Sorry, I was multitasking and probably not too clear.
I was responding to the previous comment about the stuttering of the CEO, which I mentioned in the original article. I was trying to say that they could simply hire a CEO who doesn’t stutter on camera and can explain the value proposition behind the business. The “number of people” are those who would love to be paid a CEO salary for being able to handle the pressure of answering questions about the business with confidence. Business schools produce many of them every year. In about every company I worked for about 1/5th of the employees were business development type would be in that “number of people.”
The comment wasn’t directed towards Community Directors at all.
Oh, I see. Thanks for clarifying. Have you actually tried using the site since you wrote this article? You can poke around on ijango.com. Nobody gets any money for you using it there.
You can’t be a free member from there without a Community Directors website but you can get a basic idea of what the site is, how it works, information about the member rewards program in the footer, leadership bios, etc. I strongly suggest you take a minute to visit that website and give it a second look.
Free members (website users) are actually getting their checks in the mail. They auto mail them once a once after people have earned $10.00.
Kirk Martin says
To whom it may concern.
My wife and I have been involved with ijango for over 9 weeks now and have been GETTING PAID regularly based on our OWN PERSONAL PERFORMANCE.
I happen to know one of the founders PERSONALTY and I can tell you that it is on no way a SCAM.
Open up you eyes people….. the date today is may 7th 2010. ijango was launched in August of 2009 and they had a few problems like a lot of new products do….Any one remember….. Windows Vista??????
just because they had a few issues at start up dose not mean any thing. They are honorable people that are doing something good for people.
I have FREE members in my business that are GETTING PAID regularly as well.
A pyramid scam is what Berny Mad-off did… it is also when the guy at the top makes all the money and the others that work for him make little compared to the top guy, and I might add with no chance of ever making what the top guys make….. sound like anything you heard of????? Welcome to corporate America!!!!!
ijango is good for everyone involved! We are excited to be part of the ijango community!!
Lazy Man says
So to recap what Kirk said… he is friends with one of the founders and he is getting paid. He then compares iJango to a product that he says is known for “having a lot of problems.”
Then he used the defense that all MLM proponents use “Your Job is a Pyramid Too!”
Let’s just say that I’m instilled with confidence here.
kirk Martin says
I am not shocked at all, but you have missed the point of what I was saying.
Forgive my bad comparison.
When Vista first came out their was issues….
When many company’s have launched new products, there are some issues at FIRST, but the issues that ijango had in the beginning, have mostly be resolved and fixed.
The point of my post was to simply say this…
The Product is working like they company said it would and the company is paying people to use the product for FREE!!!!!
Lazy Man says
Does iJango still charge money to earn multilevel commissions? That’s the issue that needs to be fixed. Don’t charge people money to earn commissions in helping you promote your product.
Have you checked out the free user site yet like Chris suggested at ijango.com or are you still basing your arguments on your old information from the original post?
Your argument would be more effective if you updated the post with recent findings.
Lazy Man says
Since I’m the only one who can update posts, it sounds like you are directly this to me but addressing me as OP… that’s an abbreviation I am not familiar with.
As far as I could tell Chris didn’t answer the question as to whether Community Directors can get the title for free. As I asked in the last comment, “Does iJango still charge money to earn multilevel commissions? That’s the issue that needs to be fixed. Don’t charge people money to earn commissions in helping you promote your product.”
I will answer the question myself: Community Directors are billed as a “one time fee of $249.95 and a required monthly fee of $19.95.”
Any iJango supporters would be wise to drop this. I’m not that interested in exposing the iJango scam now. I’m having enough fun exposing the MonaVie scam. I highly recommend you read the history there.
OP- yes of course the company still promotes it product/service on the direct selling business model. ie independent represenatives buy into the franchise, become small business owners and promote the product/service independently.
That’s called direct selling and Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and thousands of other companies promote their products this way.
Wow Lazy Man!
Your business acumen and free enterprise insight are unparalleled! Indeed you will soon be one of the wealthiest and most lauded minds in this industry. Your intrinsic cognition of theses matters is most humbling!
It is incredulous that any individual or company would not instantly hire you to develop successful proven business models. I trust that all will come to realize your imminent brilliance and nearly perfect assessment of these matters and many others yet unnamed. I relinquish to your clear informed view and your vast experience, not to mention your insurmountable prosperity.
Peace and good will to you!
Lazy Man says
While I do appreciate all the praise, it doesn’t take much business acumen to see that a product-based pyramid-scheme like iJango is mathematically unsustainable.
Angela said: “That’s called direct selling and Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and thousands of other companies promote their products this way.”
It’s intersting to see how defenders of pyramid scheme MLMs always use these few examples of halfway-reputable MLMs but then go as far as to say that there are thousands of companies such as these. In fact, if you were to prepare a list of a thousand of the most notable MLMs (assuming that you could find that many) it would have to include some of the worst companies that ever existed; many of which would have been shutdown by regulatory authorities or simply disappeared.
The examples cited above are the exceptions to the rule. I don’t know much about I-Jango yet, but I know a fallacious argument when I see one, and if you are going to use such weak, distorted arguments to defend I-Jango, it says to me that I-Jango is a scam. It may not be, but your arguments sure don’t help prove it to be reputable or viable; quite the contrary.
Pam Brown says
I cannot believe so many people can comment on something they know nothing about. Any of you using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or any other web browser are making millions of dollars for them using their FREE service and that would include Face Book and all those other social sites also. That should piss you off. You can sign up for ijango for free using EOS web browser (powered by Mozilla) and they will pay you for doing that. Nothing to buy just use the web via EOS. IF you do make a purchase on line and it is thru one of their contracted stores like Target etc. you’ll get a percentage of the profit on that purchase. EOS will track it for you. Isn’t it about time a browser shared it’s profits with those who make it happen? Stop getting ripped off!!!
Lazy Man says
Actually you can use Internet Explorer and Google Chrome in a way that makes neither Microsoft nor Google any money. However, that said, they made the great product, they deserve to get money for their creation. The Mozilla foundation also makes millions when people use their web browser (Google pays them money to be the default search engine). Mozilla deserves to get paid for the great product they made. Ijango should not be getting paid for putting a minor edit on Firefox. To the best of my knowledge they did nothing to make Firefox happen.
By this logic there would only be DIners club and no other credit card certainly no other bank card could offer rewards or cash back besides discover if it had come to be. By your thinking there would only be Ford automobiles and no other member rewards program but S&H Green Stamps. By your logic there would only be one landscaping company, and only one hamburger stand. For in the case of lawn care and burgers and fries there is minimal difference between many establishments. In fact on the topic of hamburger stands by your train of thought only McDonalds would serve breakfast or offer toys with their kids meals.
The totally absurd notion that a company must have a totally unique and unduplicatable product is not only stupid it is simply insane! In fact we would all only use Apple computers if industry leaders had followed your proposed pattern of thinking.
It is quite apparent that you have neither used the free iJango membership not have nay legitimate investigative skills or qualifications. It is also quite evident that you have limited knowledge of the law, business, or sales.
For some reason you have some personal vendetta mindset against a company about which you know very little.
If it works and they continue to adhere to best practices and standards in the industry then so be it. If it fails for lack of interest or marketing then let it be. However it is too early to know for certain. Though one thing is certain this is no scam or so called pyramid scheme. I defy you to illustrate how a referral commission program or a member rewards program are either unethical or illegal. S&H Green Stamps began in 1896, and their concept is still a powerful marketing tool today. Discover started cash back and now almost all credit and even some debit cards ie: Paypal, are offering cash back.
Open source is just that and the IT team and consultants employed by iJango are top flight and ethical professionals. It is beyond me why you have some misplaced anger or mistrust about people and matters about which you have absolutely no personal knowledge or information.
Despite the fact that I will be tempted to reply to your inevitable unfounded posts, and the regardless of the intellectual and logical strength of this post you will most certainly delete it I bid you peace and farewell in your endeavors. I hope you have the integrity to actually leave this post, and actually try the membership. Heck call Austin and schedule a meet and greet to find out what we are about.
Lazy Man says
I agree with you Pam Brown was off her rocker to imply that people should drop Chrome and IE for the EOS Browser. I’m a Firefox fan myself (you can see other pro-Firefox posts on this site).
However, Jamie, you are more off your rocker when you say that I suggested every company have “totally unique and unduplicatable product” No one suggested anything of the sort. It is good that Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, and Opera all push each other create better products. Don’t confuse this with iJango taking an existing browser (Firefox) and forking it into a very slightly version (EOS). It’s not like Honda grabs a Ford car, slaps some new paint on it and calls it a Honda. That’s what iJango is doing with Firefox.
Mozilla made their product open to extension for a reason. Most of the Google Chrome browser (who the previous commenter condemned) is also open and extensible. Even Internet Explorer can be extended. My point is that Pam Brown shouldn’t get on her high horse about people making these products (Microsoft and Google developers) and getting paid for their efforts. Pam Brown should not give iJango some great amount of love for leveraging millions of Mozilla’s man-hours of work… and adding a small few of their own (Mozilla’s XUL is easy to skin, I’ve done it). If anything Pam Brown should be really, really upset at iJango that the EOS browser can not be used without an iJango account (I tried to download it a few weeks back and couldn’t use it). Also iJango doesn’t credit Mozilla openly on the EOS Browser pages (that I could see). In fact, this post says that iJango may have acted illegally in removing all the licensing from Firefox to make EOS.
I fear that critical updates to Firefox will not be applied to EOS and the “top flight IT team of iJango.” From that person’s complaint (see previous link) we can see that EOS has been out since version 3.5.7 of Firefox, but EOS is still at version 1.0. It doesn’t look like EOS has been rebuilt to version 3.6.3.
It speaks volumes that no one has spoken to the nature of having to pay a huge one-time fee and monthly subscription in order to be part of the pyramid scheme.
What does this mean: “Don’t confuse this with iJango taking an existing browser (Firefox) and forking it into a very slightly version” and frankly it is based on Mozilla and the Flock variant. The credits are all there:Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv:22.214.171.124pre) Gecko/20100223 Firefox/3.5.5 EOS/1.0 and if you click the credits they scroll as in every derivative of Mozilla. The ability to track rewards are nearly 600 Online retailers and return the rewards to the user is a significant enhancement. Maybe as some point they will release this as an add on. Regarding updates you have a valid point. Though the next version is on the way and as the company grows they will continue to make critical updates a high priority. I know this to be afact as I’m onthe weekly leadership calls and these issues are openly discussed. I still contend that the only argument you seem to make are that there should be no cost to starting a business and that EOS is not significantly different than any other Mozilla browser. The check I just received as a free user is more easily facilitated by my use of our browser. Is this all perfect. No neither is Safari, IE, Opera, or Firefox for that matter. Does the compnay know they need to be on top of all this? Yes indeed. There is no pyramid scheme, the company provides a tremendous value in both Online and live support and of course as stated over and over the membership is free. I must say that all your knowledge is hearsay or conjecture and that you have not once gone to the source or actually used the browser or service. To me this is like one saying that they don’t want to try chocolate because it looks like feces and somebody told them it tasted as bad. It would be better to simply try the chocolate and decide for oneself than trust irrelevant third party statements and no personal experience. Kudos to you for having the guts to leave my previous post up. Please come up with and authentic script and actually try the deal or kindly drop your erroneous and uniformed libel of pyramid and scam. Did you know that yo promote payday loans on your page? While not illegal it is certainly ethically questionable. I presume that you don’t knowingly condone such a ripoff. If you do know than the strength of your argument has been terribly weakened. It would indicate that you are willing to truly take advantage of others for profit. I’ll give you the benefit of the date and presume that your large marketing dept or webmaster makes such decisions and you were unaware. If you purposefully promote this usury that speaks volumes about you indeed.
Anonymous Aussie says
I’ve taken a look at the iJango compensation plan and website promoting the “opportunity” and it’s no wonder the BBB have grave concerns about this being a pyramid scheme…
Let’s look at how people are compensated – after paying a whopping $249.95, you have the opportunity to make back part of the initial investment by earning the right to a “recruitment” fee for head hunting members into your community who in turn recruit members also, bonuses paid on active members you’ve personally recruited for each month they remain active (i.e those who have earned the right to collect commissions), shopping commissions from those you have recruited below yourself bonuses paid when you introduce businesses to advertise on the site and monthly commissions as long as the business continues to advertise.
Clearly, it wouldn’t be easy for people to source the business of a small company or business and convince them to invest in the scheme – not on a consistent basis anyway. Most people don’t like selling and it’s not something everyone was born to do in any event.
Apart from the above, all of the remaining bonuses appear to relate to the recruitment of other members into your community and it is this behaviour that the compensation plan encourages – what easier way is there to recoup the initial investment fee than to recruit an active member into your community (a nice $100.00 to the CD!).
If I were thinking of investing in anything like this, I’d ensure I’d educated myself on what a pyramid scheme precisely was BEFORE handing over any money to anyone. The FTC provides some very useful guides as to identifying a legitimate MLM company as opposed to a pyramid scheme (www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/invest/inv08.shtm or http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/dvimf16.shtm).
Some of the red flags include the focus of recruitment rather than selling, whether the plan is designed to make more money by recruiting rather than sales that are made, whether commissions are offered for recruiting new people, whereby advancement is achieved by recruitment rather than appointment, the requirement make purchases or ongoing fees in exchange for the right to earn commissions from those recruited.
The first thing that catches your eye is the “member gathering bonus” – you couldn’t get anymore blatant regarding the issue of recruitment than that and this is, as stated by the FTC ““ “a time tested tip-off to a pyramid scheme”.
There are reasons why these schemes are illegal ““ it’s a fraudulent business model where it’s mathematically pre-determined that the vast majority of participants will lose (greater than 90%). If it looks like a pyramid, if it operates like a pyramid – it’s probably safe to assume that it is.
Don’t even get me started on the dubious history of the iJango founders ““ a HUGE red flag in itself and probably a good enough reason not to invest!
Aloe Garden says
I’ve had a couple of people approach me trying to get me to join this iJango thing. After checking out the business model AND the history of the people behind this, I was fully convinced this is another crap in the outhouse.
You people supporting this, you are either fully aware that iJango is a waste of time and money except for those on top of course, or you are naive and ignorant internet stats and trends.
I’ll try to make it easy for you to understand. Learn what Google page rank is. Learn what an Alexa rating is. Then check out iJango.com’s web stats.
iJango has been around for how long? And its traffic is pretty pathetic for a “search engine”, ain’t it?
Do you realize LazyMan’s blog has a higher page rank and more unique visitors than iJango does?
I bring up this argument because some of you are comparing it to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and saying that these companies make billions off of everyone using them without repaying a cent.
That is true. You use their search engines for free and they make money off the advertising. Those dollars go into improving search results constantly and if you want to make money with the big search engines, you can join their content publishing networks and get pay per click revenue, or you can invest and buy some shares in the stock market.
If iJango decided to go public and started advertising themselves as a top search engine on national TV, well then I’d say they are trying to compete with the big 3.
But don’t you understand that the people primarily using iJango are the members?
How many people do you really think use iJango because it’s “their favorite search engine”?
This model DOES NOT WORK online. It has been tried before, not just with search engines. It doesn’t work.
People, please…don’t be fools. iJango will never come close to being a top search engine. Most people will not use it because they don’t see a point in paying a startup fee or a monthly fee.
Much of the revenue generated by iJango members will be reversed because there will be a tremendous amount of click fraud from people who think they can just blindly click ads and make money off of it.
Click fraud is nearly impossible to achieve these days. ijango serves up Google ads. They are a partner. No other company has as much power and technology to combat click fraud as Google.
There’s even a good chance that iJango will eventually lose their account with Google.
I really don’t see this as a long term company in any way, shape, or form.
A direct selling model only works well when you have a good amount of people who are NOT distributors actually buying a product from the distributor to use personally. If the majority of people buying a product are the distributors themselves and the retail aspect of the product is miniscule, at best, then it’s essentially a pyramid. Monavie, Zrii, and all the other crap juices are such perfect examples of this.
You members of iJango ARE those people. And iJango IS the distributor. The product is an assortment of affiliate commissions and PPC revenue.
You are actually the 3rd party in this. Anyone who is NOT a member of iJango and uses it through your link becomes a 4th party. Minus the click fraud and affiliate fraud that is bound to happen, how much revenue do you really stand to make?
You’re better off writing a few good articles on something you know or are passionate about, and posting them on Associated Content, Squidoo, or Hubpages, and then getting a revenue share from them. Your articles will get way more traffic and clicks, and you don’t have to pay a dime nor do you have to defend yourselves all the time.
Paying anyone for the chance to earn a commission is just ridiculous.
Kirk Martin says
you are a liar and out right deceptive and I tell you this sir, you have and will continue to receive your reward.
Have a good day.
“You wouldn’t pay your own employer to work for them, so why would you pay iJango?”
all i have to say is…UNION you pay to work there dont you?
Lazy Man says
Last I checked, a union wasn’t required for a number of jobs. As a software engineer, I have never had to be part of a union.
However, more importantly, payment to a union is not payment to your employer. The union ensures that you get fair wages and these wages are guaranteed. iJango doesn’t guarantee any wages at all.
So it’s a really bad analogy.
Everyone has entitled to it’s opinion, but do not entitled to it’s own facts.
I have a friend who is in Ijango, and he’s making five figures monthly; not just on the customers who does searching the net, but build a good organization who did the same. Remember, it’s free for the customer to signed up.
Bottom line, you can money or make excuses; but you cannot do both.
Lazy Man says
No the bottom line is that it is a straight forward illegal pyramid scheme. There are a number of ways to make money illegally, doesn’t make them right.
I hesitated writing this post, because I really didn’t want to ruin LM’s perfect last word on the matter. Nevertheless…
I just found this forum and thread some 18 months after my neighbors got snookered by iJango.
I must say, deftly parried, LazyMan. Well waged, sir. My hat’s off to you.
Steve Smith has changed the name from iJango to Nexcel and Nexcel Financial. After the iJango fiasco (and before it the Ultimate Choice Travel scam) he decided to pursue marketing of a debit card. Since early 2011 he has marketed this prepaid Master Card debit card although he did not have bank approval. It is difficult to get a bank to back a card when Steve Smith owes IRS over $50 million dollars, has filed bankruptcy and sold most of his belongings. The man is dead broke and borrowing money like crazy from his rich friends. Sad when you have to con the people closest to you!!!
Although the compensation plan has changed many times in the past year and half (and to my knowledge not a dime paid out) he has now changed the entire plan. When it began it was supposed to generate income by paying you up to 70% of the bank generated fees each month on a FREE card. So you would earn about $2-$3 per month from each card you referred. Then it was going to pay you $10. per active card you referred. Of course, you had a $49.95 sign up fee and a $19.95 per month affiliate fee on both options. When he failed to get bank approval he changed the entire program. All the while he has collected $19.95 per month from the suckers by keeping them on the hook with weekly calls and “wait a couple of weeks” promises.
Now it is a PowerCheque Network program and it costs $349.00 per year and you can only sign up businesses or organizations for payroll purposes. Who in the hell has the ability to sign up companies (big or small) so employees can be paid on a debit card??? So all the big bonuses you get are coming from the suckers you sign up and they sign up…who even knows how much income is generated with these cards. When I Googled PowerCheque Network it sounds like they are not in good standing either.
Steve Smith should have retired after Excel instead of blowing the over $200 million he received from the sale of Excel. He is now flitting from scam to scam trying to get back on top and trample all the little guys he has to steal from to get there. At least with a simple pyramid scheme you can coerce your friends and family to join but who is going to sign up thinking they can talk some big businesses into converting their payroll to a debit card (and paying $$$ to do it) so you can make $1???
Nexcel will kick off officially on August 1st. Didn’t iJango kick off on the same date? Maybe they need to let the old pyramid schemes and names die and not try to change a few things and revive it. Rest in peace.
Lazy Man says
Wow, this is great information. It looks like I’m going to have to write a follow-up in a bit.
I considered this a closed case awhile back. I guess it is going to open back up.
Not a moment too soon! Although he will kick off the business officially on August 1, 2012 Steve Smith has been charging representatives for over a year already. Hopefully with forums like this you can save thousands of people a lot of money and time spent on a pyramid scheme built around a famous name….or should I say infamous?