Amway: The Untold Story

Refund Guidelines

[This page was originally created by Dave Midgett for his site, "The Other Side of the Plan"]

The information on this page should be considered a guide only. Please consult the rules and regulations contained in the Amway Business Compendium or contact Amway Corporation for assistance in getting a refund, if necessary.

While I was actively building an Amway business, I heard many upper-level distributors, all the way up to Bill Britt, make many derogatory comments about people who say no to the business or leave the business. I have also heard from many distributors in Yager's organization that state the same kind of things are said. This does not mean that every distributor uses these kind of demeaning comments.

If you are considering leaving the Amway business, let me first say that you are not stupid. You are not a wimp, whiner, loser or any other label distributors may use. You have simply made a decision that you don't wish to do what Amway distributors do to make (or lose) money. Any distributor who attempts to make you feel guilty about pursuing other opportunities is, in my opinion, engaging in unethical and immoral behavior. They have no right to issue judgements on your decision.

If you do leave, you may be entitled to a refund for the unused, marketable products and sales aids sold by the Amway Corporation and also for some or all of the Business Support Materials (BSM's) that you have purchased. You can even get a refund on the Sales Kit you purchased to become an Amway distributor. This page describes your rights that are documented in the Amway Business Compendium and the Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement (BSMAA).

Product and business kit refunds are dealt with below. I'm going to first discuss BSM refunds.

In September, 1997, Amway and the Amway Distributor Association Board introduced this legally binding contract (BSMAA) that a distributor had to sign if they wished to purchase BSM's and attend functions. You don't have to sign it, but you shouldn't have been able to purchase BSM's or participate in the lovely educational systems that seem to generate all the lawsuits against Amway distributors.

This contract states that you are entitled to a refund on ALL BSM's that you purchased in the last 180 days. Your upline should have communicated a return policy at commercially reasonable terms prior to any sale. This would include books, audio/video tapes, or any other type of sales/motivation aids sold to you that was produced by the Amway Motivational Organization (AMO) you got involved with.

You are also entitled to a refund of the ticket price of any seminar, meeting, rally or weekend function with 30 days. You cannot recoup any travel, hotel, meals or any other expenditures, just the ticket price.

Unless you feel that you will have some need for the BSM's you purchased, I would highly encourage you to exercise your legal rights and return them for a refund, especially if you feel you were coerced or tricked into buying the tools. Don't just walk away and toss the tools in the trash.

Here are some things you may want to consider doing prior to requesting a refund.

  1. First make a list of all the BSM's that you wish to return. You will probably need to find the order forms where you ordered them. This is documentation that will prove that you purchased them within the last 180 days.
  2. Make a copy of this list and the documentation and write your sponsor a letter stating that you are requesting a refund on the enclosed list of BSM's under the terms of the BSMAA. You can also request a refund on any function ticket within the last 30 days.
  3. Mail this letter and documentation to your sponsor via certified mail, with a return receipt requested. This will establish proof that you requested a refund and that your sponsor received the request.
Hopefully, your upline will immediately process your refund request. However, if your upline refuses or is is reluctant to honor the legally binding, contractual agreement that you both signed, then the BSMAA allows you to initiate reconciliation/arbitration procedures to force your upline to do the ethical and moral thing and honor the contractual agreement he/she signed. Contact Amway's legal department for assistance.

If it gets to this point, only you can decide whether or not the hassle of going through the reconcilation/arbitration process is worth the refund you would get. Even if the refund is not all that significant, I hope the principle that your upline is not honoring the agreement they signed is enough to keep you going.

If you leave the Amway business in the first year, you may be entitled to a full refund on the business kit you purchased, even though you may have used up all the products.

To assist you in getting a refund, follow this link to Refund 101. On this page you will find a letter and instructions on how to get a refund on your business kit.

When you leave the Amway business, you can also return any unopened products or sales aids for a refund. Please note that all sales aids (catalogs, brochures, advertisements etc) can only be returned if they are still in the original shrink-wrap/box. This is all documented in Rule 105 (e) - The Buy Back Rule in your Business Compendium. This rule is in place to ensure that you do not get stuck with a closet full of unwanted inventory. Be sure to read this rule in it's entirety before trying to get a refund.

Note: This rule can only be applied to unopened merchandise. You might want to consider taking advantage of Amway's Satisfaction Guarantee and return any opened product that you are unsatisified with.

You essentially need to do the same thing you did with tools, with a few things done differently.

  1. Make a list of the unopened Amway products and sales aids you wish to return.
  2. Jot down the PV/BV/Distributor cost/Suggested retail price of all items being returned and the date they were purchased.
  3. If you earned a performance bonus in the month you purchased any of these products, you will need to deduct the performance bonus that you earned on the purchase of each product from the total amount (in other words if you bought something during a month where you earned a 3% bonus deduct 3% of the BV. If you earned a 6% bonus that month, deduct 6%, etc).
  4. You will also need to subtract 5% of the BV as a service charge.
  5. The total refund should include your cost + shipping + tax - performance bonus - the 5% service charge. I strongly encourage you to contact the Amway Corporation and verify that this is correct.
  6. Make a copy of this list and the documentation and write your sponsor a letter stating that you are requesting a refund on the enclosed list of products under the buy-back rule.
  7. Mail this letter and documentation via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will establish proof that you requested a refund and that your sponsor received the request.
The upline direct is ultimately responsible for buying back your inventory. However, if your sponsor and the upline between you and your direct do not honor the Buy-Back rule, they could lose some sponsorship rights. Please read the Business Compendium for more information on this.

If the direct refuses to buy-back the products, then contact Amway Corporation and inform them of the difficulties you are having. They will advise you what to do and issue the refund and then charge the account of the direct accordingly.

Hopefully, your upline will be honorable, ethical, and moral and abide by the rules, regulations and agreements that are in place and not give you any hassles regarding refunds. If they do give you a hassle, only you can decide if it's worth the hassle to force your upline to meet their obligations.