Would you like to buy a BMW in less than a year? No loans. Full cash payment!
Your “friend” asks you while showing you pictures of his brand new Audi.
The promise is enticing – You can be your boss; No more 9 to 5.
Qnet is your shot at getting rich quick.
But if you do a little digging, things don’t seem so hunky-dory.
Let me reel you in.
What is Qnet?
Amway, Oriflame, and Avon.
Ring a bell?
These companies offer you a business opportunity. Once you become a member, you get access to the company’s products.
You can earn money through:
- Commissions: Each time you sell a product, you earn a commission.
- Referral fee: Convince your friend to become a direct seller
It’s a neat way to operate. Instead of spending big money on marketing, these companies rely on the power of networking.
Qnet claims to do the same.
Qnet is owned by the QI Group and operates in India through affiliates such as Vihaan Marketing India Qnet Pvt Ltd.
Independent Representatives (IRs) represent Qnet. IRs sell Qnet products, explain the business to others, and recruit new IRs.
The one who recruits you is your upliner, and the people whom you recruit are your downliners.
Simple enough, right?
What Are The Qnet Products on Offer?
Qnet offers health and wellness, beauty and personal care, and travel products. Their products are notorious for being based on dubious scientific claims.
The main selling product for Qnet is a BioDisc that claims to energize your body. Another product claims to absorb 98% of the nutrients in food and make you intellectually superior.
Qnet is highly secretive about the product R&D process, its operations, and its employees. As a member, your only point of contact is your upliner.
Is Qnet a Scam?
Qnet has been accused multiple times of cheating investors across the globe.
In a hard-hitting order against Qnet in May 2016, The Bombay High Court observed that “the deceit and fraud is camouflaged under the name of e-marketing and business.”
Though it is not banned in India, there are hundreds of cases pending against Qnet in the country. Lakhs of victims now lament the loss of their hard-earned money.
The Modus-Operandi: How Qnet Operates?
Let’s see how they operate.
The IRs use “get-rich-quick” messaging to lure people in. IR’s will tell you that their “business project” will yield huge profits and that you can become rich in no time.
Some of the claims can be as ridiculous as “Invest Rs 5 lakhs today. You will earn Rs 5 lakhs, every week, for the rest of your life!”
Many people use their life savings to make this payment. Because, why not? Greed often overpowers your rational thinking.
If you are short, the IRs will encourage you to take a personal loan.
Once you become an IR, you’ll receive some products, and the referrer gets a commission.
Now it’s your turn to bring in fresh members. As the number of people who sign up increases, the upliners get more money as commission.
Welcome to The Pyramid Scheme
Qnet’s business model is a simple pyramid scheme.
Early entrants earn money as the number of IRs increase. Those who join late do not earn enough to cover their first outlay, and the model collapses. Any hope for a refund gets refuted or is left unanswered.
Some people do make money through Qnet.
But the majority do not even earn enough to get their initial investment back.
Desperate to make any money, they end up peddling false promises to their friends and rope in unsuspecting family members.
The number of complaints against Qnet is massive. Many are taking up legal proceedings to get their money back.
In the past, many IRs have been apprehended. The Police have also appealed to the people to remain vigilant and not fall victim to this scam.
Some estimates by the Financial Frauds Victims Welfare Association (FFVWA) suggest that the amount of money victims have lost could be over Rs 20,000 crores.
Yet Qnet continues to run its operations unabated. It continues to recruit new people and garner crores of rupees as “investment.”
Charting the IR Behaviour
IRs generally operate in the same way. The downliners follow the same tactics upliners used to sell to them.
Here are a few things they do:
- Get in touch with you and intently listen to you talk about your business/money troubles
- Change their social media DPs into pictures of them with their luxury cars. In most cases, the images are photoshopped, or the cars don’t belong to them
- Sneakily slide-in mentions of their “work visit” to Malaysia, Thailand, or other foreign countries
- Humblebrag about their latest expensive purchase – a high-end phone, watch, car, or even a house
- Post motivational quotes on their profiles
- Convince you that they have it all sorted out through a “brilliant business opportunity”
- Deliberately avoid answering direct questions that relate to the nature of the business
- Arrange a meeting to discuss some business prospects and convince you that all the information about Qnet on the internet is false
- If the IRs are new, they might get one or two of their upliners to join the meeting to convince you
- Promise a chance of earning several crores in the next couple of years. Depending on how desperate the IR is, the projection can vary
Beware: These people might be your friends or acquaintances. Some may even have your best interests in mind. But most are brainwashed to believe that this is what will make them rich.
Verdict: Qnet Review
Like any other Ponzi scheme, Qnet is a money circulation trap. Your investment is not safe. Recovering even your initial investment is going to be tough.
Most people in the business are ensnared in debt traps and continue to battle against now absconding upliners.
While there is no harm in wanting to become rich quickly, shortcuts like these are how they seem – “too good to be true.”
It would be better to take that money and invest it in something that gives you a reasonable return.