„Goodbye baby I won’t be back here again” – said Billy the Kid at dusk as he left his unsaddled mare in front of a Tennessee saloon. The same My Dear is need to be said to Unicity, a network marketing company, of which fake businessmen had tried to make business in our beautifull country here by the Vistula river.
As the American MLM concern (and his German branch CEO in particular) named Unicity Interntional has beeen pouring warm urine on Poles for more than a year, I’ve decided to publish here the true story in English and by this close this company’s case in Poland. I am going to talk to the Head of Network Magazyn to place the company on the MLM „BLACK LIST”. Auf Wiedersehen! Good By! Adios Amigos!
VERSION FOR HEARING IMPARED:
Das Networker Pancerfausten
i.e. a story on Unicity company and the ways of screwing
up a good business just before it has started.
Marcin Mieszczak, Szymon Kuś, (Network Magazine)
Published by „Network Magazine” 18/08/2009
Sometimes it happens that a promising good business ends in tears. In recent months two Polish Network Marketing leaders, Grażyna Magdziak and Stanisław Szymczak , have experienced such an end.
Last automn they have started cooperation with two German “businessmen”, Daniel Müller and Aleksander Herr (www.intma.ch), the networkers who suggested them building Polish structures of Unicity Europe Inc. (www.unicityeu.net).
The offer seemed to be very attractive. The company originated in the USA (www.makelifebetter.com) is a producer of high value diet supplements and it has been operating in Network Marketing for many years. Therefore, such a well known brand [in the Eastern Europe] was above suspicion. Moreover, four years ago the American representatives of Unicity tried to launch Poland.
Among the leaders who visited Poland were Glade Poulsen and Rick Peterson as well as Stewart Hughes, the present president of Unicity. Despite the difficulties in getting the appropriate permissions, there were no quibbles about their ways of running the business. It has been confirmed by the words of Peter Wieloch (who is currently participates in creating MLM on the basis of his own company, MITRA). He was then an active participant in introducing Unicity to the Polish market:
– We were satisfied with the cooperation then. The representatives of Unicity were acting professionally and actively supported us in our work. In my opinion the products were of high quality as well. The fact that finally the enterprise hasn’t succeed was caused by the difficulties in getting the required permissions which have been an obvious barrier in the way to the legal sales in Poland. It doesn’t change the fact that my impressions left by the contacts with the foreign managers of Unicity are absolutely positive. I have learned a lot from them, especially in the field of MLM, and I have been using this knowledge ever since – said Piotr Wieloch begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
We’ll further return to the issue of getting the required permissions for the Unicity products sales in Poland. It has reappeared during the current Unicity’s attempt to launch Poland. Let’s now move back to the beginning, where…
All that glitters is not a diamond
Especially as the organizer of the Polish Unicity structures occurred to be a man who has the rank of a diamond in Unicity structures. His name’s Alexander Herr and he is directly responsible to a double diamond, Daniel Müller.
A reliable company, a promising product (Bios Life Slim, a diet supplement boosting weigh loss), the support of Unicity’s high rank businessmen, together with the experience and connections held by Grażyna Magdziak and Stanisław Szymczak, all of these factors have portended well for the future and it promised a very lucrative MLM business.
Alexander Herr has became a sponsor of Szymczak who in turn has sponsored Magdziak. The Polish characters have signed the applications of cooperation based on the network franchise. They have invested money in the starter kit, have received their own ID numbers and have been signed in the official internet page of the Unicity company. They have immediately started working and building their own structures to achieve as much as they could before the official opening of their business in Poland.
– I can’t tell it was easy. We were organizing everything on our own. To get such a good result I had to invest much of my private capital. I have paid for the translation (from German) of contracts, materials concerning the product and an internet site www.erfolgsteam.pl. I do realize that in order to succeed in business you need to incur some expenses. However, the lack of Mr. Herr’s financial support, who has claimed that only him as a diamond in Unicity can open a new market , has started to puzzle me since then – admits Stanisław Szymczak.
However, extremely good results of the actions taken compensated for all the doubts. Numerous presentations and training sessions all over the country were producing real effects. The structures were widening and lenghtening, the number of people interested in the cooperation was growing. Unfortunately once again it has occurred that, as it very often happens, where the money is there will always appear people who want to take advantage of another persons’ individual success.
A translator steps on stage
As the linguistic barrier was an obstacle in the communication between the German and Polish contractors, Müller and Herr decided to employ a translator. The person they chose is Mariusz Piątek, a Pole who lives in Berlin and has a German citizenship. Additionally, Stanisław Szymczak had signed a sponsoring contract with him. Well then, Piątek has became a part of Szymczak and Magdziak’s structures. Mariusz Piątek, who have never been in MLM before, was responsible for the right communication between the German and Polish partners, as well as the growth of Unicity structures in Poland. There was no sign of impropriety in his work. However, it occurred that there were some improprieties, huge ones…
– It was Herr who decided that Piątek will become the translator. Before that a good fiend of mine, Marian Felka, had been doing the job. Piątek and Herr were on such familiar terms that Herr appointed Piątek the coordinator of the whole Unicity activity in Poland. I wasn’t against that those days. Moreover, I thought it would be the best for us. After all, Piątek lived in Berlin and spoke German fluently so he could contact the German representatives more efficiently. With time, it occurred that during the meetings and presentations he was mistranslating Herr’s statements. There appeared many false promises and information concerning the company’s growth in Poland. On the one hand it caused many unclear situations, and on the other hand it caused dismay in those people who spoke German and were taking part in the business meetings – says Szymczak
The mistranslations are just a prelude to the impropriety in the subject matter. On the 12th of May Alexander Herr sent an email to all the Poles connected with Unicity, which brutally accused and slandered Magdziak and Szymczak. It accused them of telling lies, plotting, sabotaging the meetings, breaking agreements, postponing the payment for manager kits, etc. As a result of those charges our characters have been definitely, with no comment, excluded from all the meetings and presentations taking place in Herr’s structures. They have immediately diasppeared from Unicity structures present in the company’s internet page.
Slander and theft
For the obvious reasons the accusations have caused unrest in the people connected to the case. According to Grażyna Magdziak and Stanisław Szymczak all the accusations made by Herr were to discredit them in the eyes of their associates. They both emphasize that this attack was unexpected and extremely unpleasant, especially for the fact that they have always been caring for their good reputation when working for years in many other MLM businesses. This makes us to put a question: why to attack people who were so devoted to building a common success? Everything indicates that the reason was very clear and notable at the same time. It occurred that before the unfortunate email was sent, our Polish characters had been deprived of all the people in their structures. In the Unicity websites all the people who concluded a contract with them have been ascribed to another sponsors. Szymczak had been deprived of such partners as Grażyna Magdziak, Janusz Kłak- Kirstein, and nota bene the Mariusz Piątek. Mrs. Magdziak, in turn, had been deprived of such people as, for instance, doctor Helena Czarnojan. As we all know, in no respected MLM business such reshuffle can be done. Not only is such action unethical, but it also obviously violates the rules of network marketing in general.
– It was me and Mrs. Grażyna who built Unicity structures in Poland. We have concluded contracts with the key people on whom all the structures are based now. Yet, the contracts have been forged and now in Unicity websites other people are present as their direct sponsors – says Stanisław Szymczak.
– The most stunning fact was that initially Herr and Piątek were trying to get my assent to take those people away from me. Mariusz Piątek asked me for this several times, he even offered me money. Of course, every time I refused which resulted in slanders and attacks. It came as surprise to me. I work in MLM for years and I have never seen such a practice. I have always tried to build my business relations on the basis of partnership. The moment of concluding a contract is always preceded with long conversations and consistent trust building. Therefore I could never let myself to break those bonds – adds Grażyna Magdziak.
Other people who were also involved in building Unicity structures in Poland also had reservations about Mr. Herr and Mr. Piątek’s behaviour. This was true in the case of, among others, Marek Szaroletta whose sponsor has been Mrs. Magdziak. He claims that he was proposed to take part in changes concerning the structures’ configuration. As many others, Szaroletta is appaled by the groundless charges against the people who were opposed to the aggressive and unethical ways of building a business.
Case study – part two, that is, a strange ignorance not only on the top
Slandered and deprived of their structures Grażyna Magdziak and Stanisław Szymczak have reported to our editorial staff. Being convinced that such activity is unacceptable in any business, we have decided to examine this case. One of the steps we have taken was sending an email to the central office of Unicity International in Bad Homburg. In the email we asked for the official comment on the situation. Imagine our astonishment when we received a reply saying that the head of the company, Gerd Niedernhuber, claims that Polish distributors have never been in Unicity structures and Poland is not a country in which Unicity operates (???).
The case could have been now closed with a statement that Herr was acting lawlessly in Poland on Muller’s command. It could have been done this way but for such obvious facts as giving the Poles ID numbers and their appearance in the official Unicity internet page. Additionally, Stanisław Szymczak has personally met Gerd Niedernhuber and was given his calling card. It appears that the Unicity management is playing stall for time which is reflected in the evasive responses to the complaints made by Mr. Szymczak.
Such a policy is very weird. In every network marketing business can appear some black sheep among its representatives, which should not have a direct impact on the company or industry. In this case, however, at least from the perspective of the current events, the actions of Unicity’s central office prove their lack of professionalism, perhaps even their consent to abuses. Another fly in the ointment have been the certificates. In spite of the fact that Gerd Niedernhuber assures that the company never sells its products without the appropriate licenses, in numerous meetings in Poland it has been said that the company “is in their way of getting the demanded certificates”. It has been confirmed by Peter Wieloch who was present at one of such meetings and personally asked the question concerning this matter.
Let us come back to the case of Mrs. Magdziak and Mr. Szymczak. After Network Magazyn have became interested in this matter and made an intervention attempt, Alexander Herr made an about-turn and decided to come to an agreement with the main characters of this story. In this place the story we’re telling starts to proceed in two directions.
The confrontation that resulted in nothing
There has been a turning point in the case of Mrs. Magdziak (only ostensible,as it quickly occurred). Herr has withdrawn his charges against her. In the official post to the Polish franchise partners he has apologized for the charges explaining that they have been a result of a mistake.
The attempts of mediating between the sides resulted in a direct confrontation which took place on the 20th June this year in Warsaw. Apart from Alexander Herr, Grażyna Magdziak, Janusz Kłak-Kirstein and a new translator, the editor of Network Magazine, Maciej Maciejewski was present as well. During a recorded conversation Herr obliged that until the 30th June this year he will:
– restore to Mrs. Magdziak’s structures the people she brought in
– pay all of the due commissions according to the real condition of the structures
– apologize the aggrieved parties in public
– June and July have passed, as well as August, and… My only gain is that in my structure reappeared Helena Czarnojan and the people sponsored by her. I haven’t received a short email containing apologies and a request for the number of my account to which should be sent the money I made by my hard work. I just think that the serious businessmen do not act this way – emphasizes Grażyna Magdziak.
The manipulative haste
There has also been a confrontation between Mr. Herr and Mr. Szymczak. It took place on the 20th May this year in Radisson hotel in Szczecin. To protect himself against linguistic inaccuracy Mr. Szymczak came with Marcin Wiliński, a man who spoke German. It occurred that even this move didn’t save him from signing the statements in which he withdraws all the demands and complaints concerning Mr. Herr.
– The meeting was held in a very weird and nervous atmosphere. Mr. Herr was in a great hurry, excusing himself for it with an urgent departure of his plane. As a result of the haste, some mistakes translation mistakes appeared and the whole meeting was manipulated. Mariusz Piątek took part in that meeting as well and he was repeating all the time that he has never entered into a sponsoring contract with me. It was a really strange statement, especially for the fact that I still have his email in which he thanks me for having a contract with him – emphasizes Szymczak.
Having Mr. Wiliński’s declaration who admits that during the meeting there were no evidence that would prove Mr. Szymczak being guilty of the charges against him, Mr. Szymczak decided to stand up for his rights. And it’s worth it. After all, several months of his hard work brought very good results for which he should be paid. Not to mention a due compensation for all the other offences that met him and Mrs. Magdziak.
It’s not over yet
As the Unicity management have been so evasive as far as all the complaints, requests and interventions are concerned, explaining that they need to investigate the case, it will take some more time to solve it. Regardless the fact how it will end, it will be almost impossible to eliminate the distaste connected with building the Polish structures of Unicity. What a pity! Especially that MLM is a great business. But for the diamonds that do not glitter. And it could have been so perfect…
INTMA ON THE BLACK TOP THE MLM
Published by „Network Magazine” 07/12/2009
INTMA Internet & Marketing AG Company (a partner of Unicity Europe Inc) is now on a blacklist of network marketing companies published by “Network Magazine”.
The contributors to the fact are a few pseudo-businessmen who mutilate not only our beautiful language but also the basic ideas of MLM business in Poland. Some half a year ago “Network Magazine” wrote about a lucrative business run by misters Daniel Müller, Aleksander Herr and Mariusz Piątek, who try to build network marketing structures founded on cooperation with well known and respectable Unicity Company.
After that publication Unicity Company has been trying to compensate the harm and loses to the victims of the three ‘gentlemen’ actions. Our editorial office has decided to take part in negotiations in establishing the definite amount of compensation. Although, in our opinion, the negotiations are very slow Unity Company is trying their best in contrast to Müller. Herr and Piątek, who do not care about anything. What is more, they are still operating in different parts of Poland leaving only stink behind them. We are still receiving some pieces of information about their not really ethic enterprises. Not long ago appeared on the Internet an advertisement written and published by them.
In the advertisement a lot of slogans were applied thanks to which any layman can build up an unreliable opinion about MLM system. These slogans are: ‘monthly salary warranty upon employment’, ‘company car’ or ‘permanent employment company’. All of them are lies. It is widely known that advertisements cannot include untrue information. It is clearly stated by the ‘Act on Counteracting Dishonest Marketing Practice’ adjusting Polish Law to the European Union Law. According to the law, dissemination of untrue or true but misleading information is forbidden. Every customer who noticed breaking the law may demand discontinuing of the dishonest marketing practice, damages, or the appeal costs for a contribution to society.
Things have gone too far and ‘Network Magazine’ editorial office has put ‘INTMA’ on the MLM Company blacklist. In this situation we are also disappointed with the attitude of Unicity Company itself. All of its competent decision-makers know very well and are aware of the activities of Daniel Müller, Aleksander Herr and Mariusz Piątek, who act in the name of Unicity in Poland. They have been informed by us about all the problems. Is it possible then to spend half a year on cleaning up? In a normal business such delinquents would be deprived of their commission, deceived people would be given their compensation and that is it! Yet, such situations have taken place in the history of ‘Network Magazine’. They lasted a few days only. Will Unicity be equal to the task? We will see soon.
ALEXANDER HERR’S ACTIVITY IS BANNED ON POLISH TERRITORY IN THE NAME OF UNICITY
Published by „Network Magazine” 31/12/2009
Network Magazine Editorial Office received a letter from Gerd Niedernhuber. The head of Unicity Network Marketing Company for Europe, among other things, wrote that one of the ‘heroes’ of our publications had been refused the agreement to act in the name of the concern in Poland.
After putting Intma AG Company on the blacklist of MLM companies, about which we had inform the readers in the article titled Intma on a blacklist of MLM companies Network Magazine Editorial Office received a letter from Gerd Niedernhuber – the head of Unicity Network Marketing Company for Europe, who forbade one of the ‘heroes’ of our publications to represent Unicity in Poland.
This is the whole text of the letter: ‘Dear Mr Maciejewski, We would like to inform you that after careful investigation of the matter, Alexander Herr has been denied the right to represent Unicity in Poland since 27th November 2009. As you know, it is not always so easy to come to learn the whole truth – it happens that you receive ten different opinions from ten different interlocutors. Nevertheless, we gathered enough evidence to be able to reach the above mentioned decision. This way we would like to be clearly understood that we distance ourselves from such practices and we will do everything in our power to be able to run honest business. We would only like to inform you about that. Faithfully yours Gerd Niedernhuber, Chief Operating Officer Europe, Unicity Service GmbH on behalf of Unicity Europe Inc., Bad Homburg, Deutschland.
After Niedernhuber’s decision, the dishonest advertisement offering jobs in network marketing automatically disappeared from the website of Intma AG. As ‘Network Magazine’ has been standing on the guard of MLM Polish sector MLM for six years, to the extent possible cleans up in the field of business and eliminates swindlers as well as shrub companies, we are really glad with the decision and the attitude of the head chief Gerd Niedernhuber. However, ….…
There is still inexplicable matter, if I am not mistaken, the most important commotion culprit – Mariusz Piątek, the personal super interpreter of Alexander Herr. According to the victims of Intma AG, Piątek’s activities and especially his untrue translations and business combinations contributed to the whole conflict.
In another letter to our editorial office Unicity Company turned to the readers of ‘Network Magazine’, who had contacted in any way with Mariusz Piątek in Poland and feel deceived, with a request of information about that as soon as possible. It can be done with the help of our Office.
Yesterday we checked in the Net if Mariusz Piątek tried to enroll Any New employees for and on behalf of Unicity. We found a lot of Piątek’s adverts about jobs on various portals. Unfortunately, all of them are similar to those which caused the ban for Alexander Herr. Here are some examples of them:
„Category: jobs, region: the whole country, Subject: Marketing MLM, Content: Swiss Marketing Company is looping for workers in the whole country in Poland regardless the age or education. Possibility of getting a full time or part time jobs, unlimited wages and success achievement in the company. It is not connected with insurance, medicines, bedclothes, or electronic devices. Cooperation with unicity. ‘Be one of the first in Poland.’ INTMA AG Marius Piątek.”
“Lose weight without a diet, self-denial, exercising and earn money. Are you looking for a job? Welcome!!! Minimum salary 2.000,00 Euro of guaranteed monthly income for first 100 managers. It is also for people without any experience!!! COUNTRY MANAGER POLSKA MARIUS PIĄTEK.”
It is widely known that advertisement cannot lie. It is regulated by special acts. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection many a time has fined companies with large sums of money for publishing advertisements misleading customers. It is not possible to broadcast commercials or advertisements encouraging people to enroll for full time jobs with company cars, very good salary or any other bonuses. Later on such people are informed during the first meeting that MLM business matters.
According to the law a misleading advertisement is such that gives erroneous notion about a certain product or service – explained Agnieszka Majchrzak press office specialist of The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (department of social communication and cooperation with foreign countries). In connection with such advertisement, a consumer makes decision which would not have been made if the person had had reliable information.
Misleading advertisements is a very dishonest marketing practice. It does not matter if the consumer decides to use the offer. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection annually conducts about 30 proceedings concerning commercials and adverts. The regulation about competition and consumer protection gives the president of The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection possibility to punish entrepreneurs who violates collective consumers interests with as high fines as 10% of last year’s incomes.
Not only by advertisement may customers be misled but also some information included to a certain product. Every year . The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection commissions some works to the Trade Inspection which aim to control the quality and the validity of marking selling products like i.e. juices, soft drinks and water. The office’s practice shows that our editorial office often deals with such commercials. It is enough to mention such cases as Żabka Polska, Veroni Minerale, Father Klimuszko’s herbs, SKOK, or BZ WBK bank.
The regulation about competition and consumer protection may help customers to enforce their claims as it gives them possibility to bring an action against entrepreneurs in individual dispute. In such a course of action the court verifies the enterpreneur’s marketing practices and decides about their honesty. In such cases the entrepreneur has to prove in court that the marketing practice used by them did not misled the customers – added Agnieszka Majchrzak
In such matters misled customers may use the help of, among others, a customer commissioner. The customers are provided with free advice calling to 0 800 800 008 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0 800 800 008 end_of_the_skype_highlighting infoline.
At the end it has to be mentioned that concrete sum of compensation for Polish victims of above mentioned matter is being negotiated with the help of our editorial office. Unicity Company assumed an obligation of covering the compensations. W hoped that everything would be clear by Christmas. Unfortunately, it has not happened. We are patiently waiting for the stand point of Unicity and we promise to inform our readers about the matter’s progress.