Policy Of Truth

Hi there!

Especially a big giant Hello to all the Usborne Consultants who have stumbled onto our blog, think we suck, but read anyway. Did you have a good time at Convention? Did you collect enough magnets, apparel and other junk to turn around and sell on the Uzzies Exchange Page for profit? Did you wear your tiaras at the Enchantment Under The Seas dance, violating copyright laws by ripping off the movie Back to the Future with the stupid Book To The Future theme? Did you bow down to the man who think of you as his own possession?

Ya, he did it again, offending people left and right on his June 1 conference call with investors. He doesn’t think real highly of you. And if you want to get pissed off with me about pointing that out, well the truth hurts, and I don’t find a single thing that comes out of Randall’s mouth amusing or CEO worthy.

But let’s talk about what he said about 2 weeks prior to the conference call.

As a commenter said on our twitter page, “It’s raining and no one likes my pyramid scheme, sob.” Pretty pathetic I’d say when a CEO of a company feels like he has to apologize to those in his fan club because they’re under attack. I realize one’s prostate shrinks with age, but God Randall, grow a pair already. No one should feel sorry for you, especially when you make 200K a year, and that’s not counting what other assets and paper money his has in EDUC. What a drama queen.

Apparently the conference call just did not go as well as Randall as hoped. One of the callers asked him about consignment:

Extensive research by three different people, two of which who have no position in the Company’s stock have proved this is not right. We also know from various sources speaking on terms of anonymity that the amount of consignment not being paid back is in the seven figure range. We and others have asked the hard questions, no one out of Home Office dares to correct us, in fact they say nothing at all, until now.

On June 2nd Home Office sends an e-mail telling all Consultants that as a reminder Amazon, Ebay etc is off limits to selling, BUT now you can no longer participate in Buy/Sell/Trade groups that we exposed and showed our readers that we question the validity of actual sales coming from actual consumers, not Consultant to Consultant buying and selling.  And shit hit the ceiling obviously.

 

I imagine Randall’s cell phone blew up with texts and phone calls, and he realized very fast this new rule was not going to go over real well, especially is you’re a Leader and you use Consignment to keep your status. You can read the policy here. We have discussed this issue in length, but it needs to be said again. Buying up and inventory loading has been going on for a very long time. We have shown evidence of people taking consignment out and selling it to other Consultants. And guess what. The new policy doesn’t mean shit. It’s about as good as the paper it’s written on.

This Consultant’s explanation really does not make much sense. But, since she pitched a fit, and is in the good graces of Randall, Randall caved and said OK, but change the name of group to it being a book locator group, make sure people say ‘In Search Of’ in posts and make the group private. A private Facebook page means you cannot find it by searching, that you must know another Consultant to gain access. So—books are still being bought and sold, Consultant to Consultant, whether it’s consignment, or free books earned, one way or another you are earning Company commission and rewards and/or cash free and clear. The company, nor this group has no way of tracking what is yours given to you free from the Company.  And they really have no way of tracking where you sell, because Usborne books are all on Amazon’s US site, and on Ebay. This policy has nothing to do with non-consultants or consumers who buy Usborne books at a discount either.  It has to do with writers and critics, such as ourselves, who were setting the record straight. That this Company and its Consultants were involved with unethical selling. When you have a company that cannot get an order out the door, then messes up the order, or sends you a piece of paper to buy the book when it came back in stock which is a complete pain in the ass to get done and shipping is outrageous, some went to other Consultants to fix the customer’s problem, because they hoped by fixing the issue themselves it would be faster to get the missing items to their customer (it was) and they would keep the customer (maybe, maybe not). Home Office expects their Consultants to fix their constant fuck up’s. Many others saw these groups as an advantage to sell, because consumers were not buying the product.

 

Time out, Pink. The DSA (Direct Sales Association) does not give a rat’s ass about you, and the unethical business practices of Usborne Books and More. They are lobbyists in Washington DC making sure this business and other MLMs stay on the very fine line of what the SEC deems a legal business. Directors and Leaders are telling naive Consultants that these new policies are due to the DSA as well, when in reality all this does is cover a lie with another lie, hiding the truth from the public. Writing and calling Home Office and telling them such groups should exist, or they’re going to quit shows you who is in control. It sure as hell is not Randall.

Five days go by and Home Office posts a FAQ about this BST bullshit which can be read here. They’re acknowledging that Consultants are doing wrong, skewing sales numbers, but hey “wink-wink” it’s OK as long as it’s done via private messaging, private groups, or verbal agreement, unavailable for public viewing or in writing. That’s a signature move of Randall– put nothing in writing, but he does plenty of running his mouth, so much so the new CFO who gets paid less than his son is running behind him making sure he does not violate SEC regulations, which he has numerous times, especially on the Yahoo financial discussion groups.

So we have a closed BST group, that went private, BUT the other BST group is still up and running. Supposedly UBAM tattletailers are out in force reporting back to Home Office for not following “policy,” but we have shown there is no reason why that group shouldn’t run business as usual. They offer discounts like the other group and that’s a no-no. According the Administrator on the private group she doesn’t think it’s fair for a customer or non-consultant to receive a discount. Isn’t that nice of them. They think once you offer a discount to a customer, that customer will expect a discount every time they want to buy something, and in turn makes a “high quality” book at a competitive price appear to be cheaper than it is. This is why Randall dumped Amazon, but with Amazon breaking the $1,000/share mark this past week, I personally think that was the dumbest move in the history of business making decisions.

We have Orange telling people how to get around the rules. Consultants, Leaders, all of them do this all time, so this is of no surprise to us. Purple is right the Company makes money the second you sign up. Randall said in his conference call that they don’t make any money off recruiting. Total bullshit. Part of an MLM is recruiting. And they make the majority of their money off people buying those kits. He has lost 2,000 Consultants in the last 3 weeks (probably more since this rule went into effect). He also told listeners the kit is $50.00. That would be if you buy a kit now until June 29th. Then prices resume back to their original costs. This tells us A: he needs money, and B: he needs warm bodies. He doesn’t even bother posting consultant numbers in his press releases anymore since we called him out on how off the numbers are. You’re welcome. 🙂

A post was made about UBAM coming down on Consultants who continue to sell and buy on the closed group, but if you were quitting the business, you can dump your inventory. Again, more Consultant to Consultant buying and selling. And here’s a little tid bit for you. If you make a payment on your Consignment balance and are inactive, you automatically become active again for six months and Randall can bump his consultant numbers, revenue numbers and vomit at will “explosive growth” without breaking a sweat. Nice trick huh?

As the policy rolled out, we began to get an influx of information. And I want to make something very clear. When we get stories, screen shots, what have you, we check and double check the information making sure it is 100% accurate. People are pissed. They’re quitting which I say good for you! Go watch Betting On Zero on Netflix and thank us later for getting out. With that being said, I want to share with you two screenshots we got.

We have one person wanting to trade books for LuLaRoe who is knee deep in its own issues because they have assholes for CEOs. Seventy-seven comments later, I’m sure some trades were done, but on what condition who knows. Randall does not like when people mix Usborne with other MLMs. The second screen shot, a Team Leader no less is wanting to dump her consignment/inventory– sixteen posts worth at 30% off. I think it is a safe bet that that is more that $1,000 worth of consignment, and despite this being posted in the private group, consultants are still buying and she earns her commission, overrides, and rewards for paying off the consignment balance. They can’t have it both ways: A private group where selling continues, and terminating others in the closed group if they’re active, but quitting.

By the way, Randall’s pissing contest with Amazon, Brooks and Taylor and whoever else who wanted to discount his books seems to be ignored by the one company he will never be able to compete with:

If you’d like to contest that this book was in paperback format and in shitty condition, we have it in hand. It’s the same quality that Usborne sells to its customers.

If honesty and integrity was so important to Randall, he and his “possessions” would not act in the manner that they do. They turned a blind eye for years until outsiders started their own independent research of the company and found major holes in reports, expenses, and sales. Behind the scenes, they encourage one another creating more lies about the original lies, and call out the critics and researchers. According to Randall, don’t waste your time reading this blog, we’re just “mean to him.” (insert three year old baby talk). Grow up Randall. We’re entitled to our opinions and feel we owe the public the truth. You see, there are rules and regulations businesses follow, or they are fined or shut down.  When those rules and regulations are not followed, things like the Company’s public stock is over valued, and quarterly and annual reports are not accurate. And the biggest problem is the business model is a predator; seeking at the naive stay-at-home mom who is promised financial freedom, yet loses copious amounts of money by the bullshit script he tell his investors and leaders tell potential recruits. EDC– parent company of Usborne Books and More (traded EDUC) financial books will never be accurate and it’s high time the  public is made aware of this. The merry-go-round has yet to stop spinning and Consultant to Consultant buying and selling continues, no matter what Home Office or any Consultant tells you.

PS: Want more proof the numbers are a sham? Emails are going out to people who have a consignment balance. They want people to confirm their balances. SAY WHAT?

As Brandon Ferro said on Seeking Alpha:

 

 

Show Me The Money

Every time I see a picture of Tom Cruise, it reminds me of him completely going off his rocker, jumping on couches on national TV, and the religious cult he is part of. He reminds me a lot of a certain CEO, standing on a desk at 75+ years old when his stock price broke a new high about 18 months ago, which is an embarrassment and a joke. Careful Randall, you might break a hip. Hope you have good health insurance.

Let’s start off with Randall’s cronies who continue to surf the internet singing the praises of him, EDC (Usborne Books & More), and the stock. This gentleman, goes by the name of Jeremy Blum on Seeking Alpha has made it very clear in the comments of several articles written about EDUC, that he has a good relationship with Randall, has toured the facilities, and what this company is experiencing are just growing pains. Same shit, different day.

What I find amusing is another commenter called him out on his insider knowledge about the Company. We all know, and have written it here, that Randall has posted things about EDUC that could be SEC Violations. Sooner or later the SEC will wake up and audit him, maybe his board of directors will wake up too. Until then, we wait for the ax to fall.

Jeremy Blum has no creditability.  Why? Because he wrote a cute little puff piece about EDUC on Seeking Alpha back in 2015 and the payout is anywhere from $100.00-$500.00. And then Randall posted that article in his kiss ass club for his ignorant consultants to read, because he wants people to buy his stock.  Funny, he didn’t post any other articles written about him or EDUC. Given the way Blum raves and defends Randall, not the actual company or the stock price, screams that he might want to tread lightly on what he says on open forums.  He seems too vested into a stock he claims he sold last year for a small return. Two words: Martha Stewart.

Here’s a history lesson for everyone:

EDUC came public in 1972 at $3.00 per share.  Today it stands at $8.00 and change.  That’s 2.2% annualized over 45 years. FORTY-FIVE YEARS PEOPLE!  Given inflation has grown that much or more, you’ve made no money on a real basis in the stock over 45 years!!

And, the numbers would be even worse if we take the pre-MLM stock price of $3.00 from a few years ago.  In that case the stock generated a 0% return over 45 years!! On a nominal basis and when you include inflation, you lost money on a real basis over that period!

Are we just talking to a wall? Why are these people so inclined to listen to someone who said last year, “We’re a company that doesn’t require capital for growth.  So, consequently we generate cash, and what do you do with it?  You have a couple of choices, you can buy back stock, or you can pay a dividend…”  “I want shareholders to know that the company is operated pretty much for the shareholders, because I’m the largest one, that’s a unique feature than a lot of other companies who have management that are kind of after themselves, and just take off the top, and do whatever they do.  Whereas in our case, the CEO has marginal salary.  I make more income from my dividend in the stock than I do as a salary.  And I think that’s a nice feature for investors to know that I’m in the boat with the shareholders as well as the management team.”

Alrighty  then.

What is there to argue here?  What is there to defend? So what if you are the largest investor.  It’s a terrible business, always has been and was just made more terrible a few years ago by courting the combustible and risky MLM strategy.

Last week, a smart Consultant posted on the Educational Consultant page about consignment orders being switched over to the new and shiny ticketing system. Yes, that is going to work out grand when in the past, Home Office has said you need to stick out with the same customer service rep until your problem is resolved. This did not go over well with consultants when those reps went on vacation, or quit. And the problems keep happening.

When we saw this, we collectively, said wait, someone IS listening to us! It even brought out of hiding Randall’s son, Todd White, who has been MIA for over a year since the Education Consultant freeze went into place. It was very evident that a director with the initials P.M. was watching the posts and jumped on this thread very fast assuring all was well. Not sure ‘pale blue’ bought it, but apparently 9 people did. Guess what happened next. The entire thread was deleted. The original poster got too close to the fire.

This is not the first time this director has posted things and then quickly deletes them. First and foremost, she is not an actual employer of the company. How would she know if they were doing “fabulously?” We’d venture a guess that if she is anything like the other directors, her words might as well have come out of the mouths of those at Home Office. They spew the same shit, different day too. Ohhh and they bully. They quickly retract or delete all together. Below is an example of the same director above being rude towards a Consultant, slapping her on the wrist for getting out of line. This time she rewrote her post after her failed attempt of putting this Consultant in “time out.” Mature, isn’t it?

Back to the company problems and their numbers, our homework helper got to working looking at numbers again, and it does not look good.

Search interest for Usborne Books in the US continues to comp in negative territory on a year to year basis, but in an accelerated fashion.  Recent data highlights the worst (-27% Year to Year) data point to-date in the deterioration process (see red shade).

The trends are just as bad if not worse as early May 2017 is well below early May 2016.

For those interested in what happens to the stock price of a poorly run MLM/pyramid when its search interest/popularity peaks, look no further than BTH (Blithe).  Search interest peaked in August 2012 and then cratered; the stock peaked at exactly the same time and proceeded to crash with it, falling 94% before bottoming (implies EDUC at ~$1)!!

They too had their problems just like EDUC, but probably not as bad from a financial situation and solvency standpoint (CEO wasn’t making loans to meet payroll!). We have confirmation of this from the conference call Randall had with his investors back in January. Search interest has been -25-30% in each of the past two weeks vs the same weeks from one year ago. That is some combo of existing consultants signing on less and fewer new prospects inquiring about the brand, probably skewed toward the latter. It will be interesting to see them fabricate consultant numbers going forward.  From here on out you can’t trust a single consultant count number they publish, and then voila, two days later they randomly release March sales and attempt to refute the 20,000 number by claiming its really 27,0000. I wouldn’t trust what comes out of their mouths about financials, the company, any of it.

Why are his shareholders as blind and defensive as his consultants? They refuse to give up and sinking more money into a bad investment. What is going to take for them to all sell? And how could the board allow him to sit there for 31 years without figuring out a way to get rid of him?

At what point do you give up, walk away, and allow Randall’s ship to drown all on its own? It’s going to drown.

As long as you keep censoring what people are allowed to say in private and secret groups on social media like ‘dark blue’ the smart Consultant, we will continue to allow Consultants to have a voice through this use of this blog. And we will point out the fake, and the lies and the bullying. You can’t muzzle all of us.

 

One on One

After a former UBAM Consultant contacted us asking us to share her story with our readers, we asked if she would be willing to answer some questions about the company and her experiences. These are things that if you just joined the company or are at the Consultant level, you should be made aware of, because Leaders are notorious for covering up the mishaps and issues within the company.

This is this reader’s personal experience and how she ran her business. So before you blast our e-mail box with kool-aide drinking attacks, go do your own independent research about Usborne, preferably not asking your sponsor or Team Leader what is really the truth. They will remind you people who talk badly about MLMs are angry, bitter, hateful, need shock therapy and so on.  In fact I’m willing to bet when you have questioned things or may have said “I don’t agree with (insert issue),” the immediate response is, “Sorry you feel that way.”

To read this Consultant’s story, click here.

When did you join UBAM and how long did it take you to reach director level?

June 2014. I did not reach director. I only reached executive leader, and was in that position for just one month.

How many consultants were under you?

216, if I recall correctly.

What methods did you use to sell books? Did you:

  • Host online parties

Yes 

  • Home parties

Very occasionally 

  • Book fairs

Some, but not a lot. 

  • Vendor events

Yes. 

  • Take out consignment and sell the consignment to your downline

No. 

  • Sell to other consultants outside of your downline

No. 

  • Participate in other DS groups where you buy a spot in games and buy from other direct sellers and they buy from you

Yes.

How did you recruit people? Blogging, homeschool groups, other direct sales bloggers, ask other direct sales consultants to join under you, and in turn you join their team, ask other direct sales consultants with Usborne or other companies to host a party for you and in turn you host a party for their company?

I did not use any of these methods. I truly sold it as an opportunity to have a business, an income, and to sell books to children.

Do you know how many employees actually work in the warehouse and at home office. How many warehouse shifts are there; is there an overnight shift?

I don’t know. Not many did when I toured, but that was in the old building.

Tell us about the leader board, and what is discussed there.

You mostly have to remain positive about UBAM, and the conversations are about how to spin everything positively — with some complaining about any downlines who are not positive.

Is there a list of statements to use to quiet disgruntled customers and consultants?

I think there are lists on teams, but none that I know of from Home Office.

Why is there an obsession of no negativity- when so many feel frustrated and it only seems natural to discuss an issue with others with similar situations to get the proper help. 

This was infuriating for me… You aren’t allowed to speak up. It makes people feel silenced, which is not a good way to keep them. No idea “why,” though.

Do Usborne leaders host parties or buy products from each other to meet their monthly goals and quotas?

Yes. From themselves and each other to promote to leader and maintain leader. They call it “buying up.”

After taxes and business expenses, what was your net income?

Low. Next to $0.

What was the real reason Randall instilled the rule last year that if reach a senior level, you must drop your other businesses and focus on your work with Usborne, which ultimately caused your termination?

There was never clarity around what you could and couldn’t do, so many people did more than one direct sales company. Heather (VP of EDC) was against this, but Randall knew that letting people do more than one brought more people in. I think the rule was to compromise with Heather. They both believed you couldn’t focus on exec if you were doing something else. I did not join Matilda Jane until I had demoted back down to Senior Leader, though, so I did not violate that rule. The terms they said I violated were using my Usborne business to promote other businesses, which I did not do until after I was terminated. Then I used my network, which is NOT the same thing as my Usborne business, to promote the businesses I had and am still working with now.

Are you aware that other people were terminated for no reason other than they disagreed with Randall and was given no notice of termination or warning?

I saw one person terminated on the Facebook boards for disagreeing with Randall. So, yes, I knew of at least one.

Why are some people targeted, like you were, while other directors and consultants are free to do as they wish?

I question things. They are not just against being negative, they do not like to be asked questions. Just blindly follow and worship, and all will be well.

Which companies has Randall ended relationships with because those companies wanted to sell UBAM books at a lower price point?

Anyone who wholesales to Amazon or to schools.

Is there a watch list–  meaning outspoken people, that leaders are made aware of so that if a person on that watch list posts something, a leader can quickly respond to them, usually using familiar phrases to quiet them?

I don’t think there is a watch list, unless it’s at the director level. It definitely isn’t at the leader level, because I am sure many leaders would be on it. I do defintiely think Heather Cobb breeds a “clique” mentality, because she is nice to certain people and cold as ice to others. There are some directors who help perpetuate that (B. York, A. Truman, mainly…). There are others who are really in it for the right reasons but don’t ask tough question so they still get to be part of the “club.” Randall eats up the clique thing because he feels like he has thousands of women worshiping him, led by Heather.  **We can confirm there is a watch list.

What is the point of going thru your up-line for help and assistance when many of them will side with the leaders or ignore the consultant all together?

You have nowhere else to go. And some uplines are good and helpful.

Why are no reviews allowed on Usborne’s Facebook page?

They used to allow them, but disabled it during the shipping crises when they were bombarded with negative reviews and comments. They also disabled posting to the page at that time.  **It should be noted that when a business page is created on Facebook and reviews are allowed, the admins cannot delete those reviews.

The UK division does sell to several retail outlets that UBAM refuses to do so, why is that? Was UBAM really losing that much money to Amazon that ultimately made Randall decide to end his relationship with the company, or is there more to the story—he seems very cocky, yet insults Amazon when speaking about that particular company.

I don’t know the real reason he did it, but he claims it was to support the consultants. And it worked, at least for awhile, so they love him for it. I did too.

Do you believe the School and Library side of UBAM will ever be back up and running properly?

Not likely. 

The Usborne books that are sold at Scholastic book fairs, which company actually prints those books?

We were told as consultants that those are printed by Scholastic and so are lower-quality, stapled, with worse ink. I don’t know if this is true.

How much money must Consultants make in order to remain “active” in status? When does a Consultant become “inactive” and HO no longer recognizes that person part of its Consultant number. 

Active means you sell $350 in three months. But the “inactive” actually doesn’t occur for awhile after that, based on how long people would show active in their back office. Maybe six months or until their website expires.

That’s my take. Tell me yours.

 

Post Script: Mad Cow

We wanted to quickly report to our readers a press release that came out today. As we said in the last post, Randall is desperate to cover his tracks and he is doing just that.

We wrote briefly that when monthly revenue reports are released, the consultant number is listed at the end of the press release in the ‘About’ section.

Take a look at February’s 2017 Revenue report and the About Section: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/03/13/936043/0/en/Educational-Development-Corporation-Announces-Record-Unaudited-Net-Revenues-for-Fiscal-Year-Ended-February-28-2017.html

About Educational Development Corporation 

EDC is a publishing company specializing in books for children. EDC is the sole American distributor of the UK-based Usborne Books and owns Kane Miller Books, specializing in children’s literature from around the world. EDC’s current catalog contains over 2,300 titles, with new additions semi-annually. Both Usborne and Kane Miller products are sold via 5,000 retail outlets and by over 20,000 direct sales consultants nationally. 

Today’s press release talking about March’s revenue numbers, White is quoted saying: “Our current active consultant count exceeds 27,000, which is near the highest consultant count in history, despite the challenges associated with delayed shipping that occurred in the fall of 2016.”

About Educational Development Corporation

EDC is a publishing company specializing in books for children. EDC is the sole American distributor of the UK-based Usborne Books and owns Kane Miller Books, specializing in children’s literature from around the world. EDC’s current catalog contains over 2,300 titles, with new additions semi-annually. Both Usborne and Kane Miller products are sold via retail outlets and by direct sales consultants nationally.

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/04/04/953860/0/en/Educational-Development-Corporation-Announces-Record-March-2017-Revenues.html

Do you see the difference? He made sure everyone would read the consultant number count, and somehow in that count he found 7,000 warm bodies between the publications of March 13th and April 3rd.

If you continue to do research on this company, you will also notice revenue numbers always increase by double or a third.

None of this adds up, and when it doesn’t add up, someone is not telling the truth. We have have seen too many posts of people going out of business and desperate to dump their inventory.

 

 

Ya, You Got Trouble

Late last week we heard some news, a rising if you will, of epic proportions that would, at the very least, raise some eyebrows, and hopefully open the eyes of many showing that what we have been writing about for a year now is just not about a lousy MLM and its business practices, but the company is ran by someone who has absolutely no idea what he is doing.  To your standard MLMer or those they prey on, they could care less. They should care because this company is publicly traded and even though it’s a small company, it should be held accountable and follow the same rules that apply to everyone.

Late Thursday afternoon we got word $EDUC took a dive. Not a huge hit, but because the stock is knocking on its all-time low’s door, a 4% drop was pretty significant. Even more significant was the trading volume. On average the company’s volume is around 10,000 shares give or take. Thursday it was 74,000. What does that mean? The market did not like what it was hearing about $EDUC and there was a ton of uncertainty.

Randall has a new outlet where he talks. Good for us, bad for the company. He realizes his words in his kiss ass club fall on deaf ears these days. Why? That would be because the company has lost well over 8 thousand consultants in the last 6 weeks. Go ask an Usborne Consultant or Randall himself how many consultants he has. I’ll wait.

They told you 28,000 right? Yes, that is what they have been fed by the CEO and the leaders, and they are completely wrong. Every time the company publishes earnings, at the end of publication they give you the Consultant number. No one reads that paragraph at the very end, but I guarantee you they will now, because Randall got called out on it. He thought he could fly under the radar and mention/not-mention the number was somewhere around 20,000. We suspect it will be much lower when the new reports come out. He counts every single person in that Consultant number no matter what he says. That would include people who just signed up to get a discount on books, who don’t even bother trying to sell to others.  His sales pitch for the last 18 months has been “explosive growth,” record sales and the new one: growing pains. Sounds like explosive diarrhea to me.

Randall is in big trouble people. And he knows it.

Friday the markets opened and it was an ugly day for $EDUC. From its all time high back in 2015, during the company’s peak, $EDUC broke a new record: a 52 week low of $6.25. For those who are doing the math, that is a 25% drop in 2 days of trading. Volume broke a record too, over 100,000 shares traded. What was in the dark to so many has now seen the sunlight. You hear that Sunshine Pumpers? That’s the sound of a collapse.

So what was it that caused all this chaos, and caught Randall completely off guard, and us sitting around saying “If this is true, someone better have their depends on because they’re going to shit themselves?!”

Seems that someone has been doing their homework on our little children’s book company and what they reveal is damning, to the company, the board, the Consultants, and our good buddy Randall White.

Thursday, an in-depth piece was posted on several investor sites about the business practices of $EDUC, the publicly traded company of Usborne Books and More. This article confirms what we have been telling our readers, and shedding light on issues that Randall thinks he can cover up with his sale pitches and words. It’s an excellent read, no, it’s brilliant. Brilliant in its words and its timing of publication. No one saw it coming, not even Randall. I’m going to try to condense a 25 page report down to the highlights, but I encourage our readers to read the whole piece. The article can be found here.

Here are the revelations:
1. Randall did not go to war with Amazon as he claims. In fact he did not even win. He was playing in a sandbox with the big boys, and the big boys said, take your ball and go home you big baby—the company lost 20% in sales as a result AND guess what! Despite his scare tactics of telling his Consultants if you sell on Amazon you’re terminated do not work. As we have told our readers, every single book you can get from a Consultant, you can get on Amazon. Your spies do a shitty job, Randall. What a makes Amazon as good as it is, is that they can get you what you want in a timely fashion, even in the same day in some cases. So yes, one tends to go to Amazon for their book needs.

2. Facebook parties are not productive as much as they push. They fail to produce a captive audience. In fact, some leaders will tell you they don’t even bother hosting a party unless they have 25 people who are actually online. Newsflash newbies, leaders and directors do not waste their time hosting a party. So when they tell you it takes just one party to be successful, they are lying through their teeth. They have other methods of getting their rewards and overrides.

3. We already touched on Consultants dropping like flies, and we have not seen the final fall out yet. You have to remember this is how the company makes its money first and foremost: getting you to fork over $150.00 for that kit that promises you to make a lot of money. What’s worse is home office is aware we know of this massive Consultant drop off and sent an e-mail late Friday afternoon talking about incentives and payouts which can be read here.

4. Randall in typical Randall fashion made a big deal about purchasing a new building, because according to him they had outgrown their old building. He told everyone this was an excellent deal. Total lie. He made it out to believe he had the ability to lease office space to Joe Blow Copy Machine repairer. No, what he did was sub lease the building back to Hilti and that money only covered the interest and principal on the debt he incurred by purchasing the 23 million dollar building. What he should have done was build a metal building by his lake house and store the inventory there, ohh and take pictures of it. This is not rocket science.. some damn money and stay put in the smaller building. But, he has to be a big shot and it did nothing but add onto his growing debt problems. Investors complained about this debt during his first and probably only conference call back in January. They said he should think about doing something about the land surrounding the complex to bring money in. There’s just one problem with that idea: the land and complex are on a flood plain. Maybe he should open a side business that makes and sells swamp buggies for when it rains so the employees can get to dry land safely.

5. We reported about the IT Headaches and how Randall invested (more debt) into this multi-million state of the art software system. Randall did not like what ByDesign created, and ever since has trashed talked them whenever he gets the chance. We made this post to the leaders public back in January via twitter:

If you do not read anything in this article, it is imperative you read this section titled Dis-Information Technology and Information Technology Problems Remain. You especially want to read what the fearless CEO has to say about his ACTUAL Employees: “You might be surprised, it doesn’t seem very hard to pick a book off a shelf and put it in the box, but this is Oklahoma. So I don’t know if I need to tell you more about that.” If I lived in Oklahoma, and someone told me that they thought or they had the impression that people from the state were not smart enough to pick a book off a shelf and put it in a box, I’d want to punch that guy in the face. And the balls. At the same time.

If all that has been mentioned before is not bad enough, and does not disturb you, let me clue you in on the most disconcerting problem to date: there is evidence that several SEC Reg-FD violations have occurred:

  

So, for all you who think you are part of the awesome company, who has such a dedicated CEO who takes your calls, e-mails, speaks to you online (part of the scam is to be visible) and presents himself as a good guy and/or a victim depending on the current issue at the company, here’s a little news tip for you: You represent a weasel who has spent his career scamming unsuspecting people out of their money. After all he has told people, “Our concept is a lot of people sell a little.” That’s probably the only honest thing he’s ever said. He also has told people, “Just because you have record breaking sales, does not mean you make a profit.” Investors and current Consultants read that sentence again and let that sink in. He needs people to come back hence the full blown incentive blitz to get people back. People, turn around a run in the other direction.

We know what’s coming next: damage control. It already started with the e-mail to consultants. He wants the Consultant count to go up so he is going to manipulate that number by giving people free access to Order Pro. It was asked on the leader board about the stock drop and what exactly was going on, because they don’t understand how the market works. What you’re going to hear is the stock dropped because of this article posted. A 20% drop at one point in the day is not the result of one article posted on the internet, I’m willing to bet money on that. There has been uncertainty and doubt for some time now. One thing the article did not touch on, but is a MAJOR part of the company’s fluff of their sales numbers is the ability to take out consignment. Randall does not mention consignment sales in his quarterlies or annual reports because it cannot be counted as revenue until it is paid back. What is strange is that the company does not aggressively go after unsold consignment inventory. This would indicate they don’t care about it because it’s possible they logged it as revenue. Look at the sales numbers and you tell me if you think unpaid consignment are in those revenue numbers he reports. Those reports are unaudited by the way.

Lastly, you are going to hear—how dare you go after a company that sells children’s books and promotes literacy? Right church, wrong pew. No, how dare Randall White use people to free market those books, and encourage recruiting other mindless people, playing psychological games in a cult like fashion.  If that is not bad enough, he has used social media to encourage people who obviously do not follow the markets to buy his stock, just because he has. He is manipulating his own stock prices by doing so, and he is lying to people doing what is the meanest thing a human can do to another human: providing false hope. People are using money they probably don’t have and buying the stock simply because he says to do so. Again, it’s very cult like behavior and it needs to be stopped.

Randall has a lot of explaining, err spinning to do. The internal chaos going on is not going to go away, because this guy is out of cash. Economics 101: No cash, no ability to run a business efficiently. I don’t care what the record breaking sales numbers say. Unless you have cash to stash, this stock is going nowhere. It won’t ever see its all time high ever again. Do yourself a favor, do not ever take financial advice of the CEO of a company who’s only in it for the money.

One more thing. We really hope Peter Usborne is paying attention to the fact his name is going down in flames here in the US. While we have no idea what the contract agreement is between Randall and Peter, but with only 20% ownership in his own company (can’t even afford to be a majority shareholder) one has to wonder if Usborne can take Randall’s rights away to distribute books in the US. Word is he can, but the details of how and under what circumstance is sketchy. It could be true, it could be a scare tactic by Randall himself telling Consultants: “Don’t let Peter Usborne kick me out and take control of the business.”

Randall, you are not nearly as charming as Professor Harold Hill, but you are in trouble with a capital T, that does not rhyme with P, but rather B and that stands for Bankrupt.

That’s my take. Tell me yours.

Mr. White, The Christmas Poo

mrhankey

Hidey Ho boys and girls! It’s time to gather around the fire with your cup of hot cocoa, ohh who are we kidding, grab a cocktail, and take a seat. This is going to take a while.

As we keep telling our readers, the jig is up. Not only is it up, the kool-aide has worn off, and the only way Randall White knows how to rally his leaders in is to post pictures and, post videos. And this video is this biggest bunch of poo we have ever listened to. But first we need to back up and explain some things that have come to light in the last week.

The first thing that happened was the Kiss Ass Club turned into a bitch-fest club with complaints and demands of Consultants asking Randall to do his good deed for them and get that particular Consultant’s orders, or downline, or whatever out the door. People got tired of that nonsense—remember no negativity—and posted this.

minion

The next thing that happened was new releases were listed on the website, but were not available for sale, despite people ordering them. The groups laid blame on ByDesign again. AGAIN.  One Consultant said, “I think it’s safe to say that everyone should be upset that ByDeSign dropped the ball once again… I love this company, but the trust they have put in ByDesign should be a thing of the past.” No, no one should be upset with ByDesign, because it was not their doing. This company has a ton of problems and one of them is a breakdown of communication. And when something goes wrong, it’s posted on the leader board, and slowly trickles down to other people. The proper way to communicate with everyone at one time is to send an e-mail. No IT company would upload new software listing new titles without the consent of the company who is paying them to do the work. People get seriously ill over doing something like that, and usually end up getting fired. This is not some little code hiccup. But, this particular group of Consultants are narcissists by nature, and have to spin these problems to look like they are victims of the mistakes made by anyone but the company.

Over in the land of Buy/Sell Land so I can earn my overrides and my trip to Disney World next summer, Consultants are filling orders for their angry customers.

deadline

angry1angryangry2printing-error

You wouldn’t have angry customers if Home Office did not lie to Consultants. And Consultants pass the same lies onto their customers. They bought the mother of all lies: order before December 5th and your order will arrive by Christmas. If you had and gotten out of Usborne Land where you’re told everything is going to be OK, it’s going to super-duper when they fix it, and here’s a lollipop to make you feel better, we showed that some orders placed in OCTOBER had not been shipped out yet. Perhaps you need a bubble bath and read the book you got for  your promotion book too, cause you’re a GOLD! Feel better? Glad to hear it.

Your promotion item for spending $$$ to market BS

Your promotion item for spending $$$ to market BS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But let’s get serious for a moment. If Randall White had any morals or ethics, he’d tell his Leaders and Consultants with all the inventory to help out their fellow Consultants without making a dime off them. Sure they offer 25% off, but the point is to get the orders to people from other Consultants, yet they would still get their commission from the UBAM and everyone gets their fair share. On the flip side, this is a business, and people want to get their product either free or make a profit. And it is very obvious at this point that Leaders have the foresight of just screwed up things are and take thousands of inventory out to sell downline and to other Leaders. It keeps them from losing their status, makes them look like they saved the day, and screws over the new Consultant who has no clue how to play the vicious games of the MLM world.  In all honesty, the ability to take out consignment has got to go. It’s not a fair way for Leaders to earn their perks, and it clogs up the already very screwed up shipping issues. If you can’t afford to take inventory outright or make enough sales to earn free books, then you don’t need to place an order.

Empty boxes

Empty boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 employees. WOW

10 employees. WOW

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, it’s time to make the strongest drink you can handle, and perhaps get a bit buzzed before you watch the video Randall sent to his Leaders. This guys is a piece of work.  Below are some of our thoughts on what he has to say, and the truth of the lies he told:

My God. Stop the presses.

-Usborne is considered a small business company which means the company must remain under the 250 person threshold.  His annual report submitted to shareholders and the board of directors has never confirmed more than 250 employees.

-People do not want to work.  In these trying times, especially during the holidays, we have never heard a person say, I don’t want to work. Perhaps they don’t want to work for you, Randall. The vibe at the warehouse is probably not the most pleasant.

-Comparing this company to Carrier. This is outright bullshit. And it’s such bullshit, that I feel like I am insulting actual bullshit and the bull it came out of. Carrier was never moving to Mexico because they could not find people to work. They work under a Union where hourly wages are $23.00/hour. The reason why Carrier wanted to move out of the country is because they could pay people 4 times less the amount a Union member deserves. Thousands were about to lose their job in the name of greed. In all the reports we have read, nowhere did we read that “people do not want to work.” This is not the first time White has compared a multi-billion dollar company to UBAM—the last time he did so was back in February when he rambled on about Amazon Prime Shipping Membership and told Consultants that in order to receive Prime shipping, orders must be a minimum of $50.00 and would not be shipping until the entire order was completed. The truth was the change had to do with non-prime members and Amazon upped the threshold for free shipping to $49.00. But, seriously, why does Randall care what Amazon does? He dropped them (we seem to think differently) he shouldn’t give them a second thought, but does he ever have an ax to grind with them for someone who chose to walk away from such a lucrative company, who can now get you what you need the same day—including the ENTIRE CATALOG of Usborne books sold here in the US and UK. Don’t believe us? Contact us privately, and we will be happy to get you what you need. Back to the Amazon lie. When this Consultant asked for further verification on this mis-truth, Randall decided to comment back to her in true Randall White fashion and not so funny dialogue and ultimately terminated her, on social media. In one of the UBAM groups, for no other reason except that was setting the record straight. Everyone needs a place to voice frustration, and this Consultant took a gutsy move and questioned the legitimacy of the CEO’s comment and well, don’t question him or his Leaders. They know it all. If that does not rub you the wrong way, and shows you what a heinous person this company has for a CEO, continue to drink the kool-aide out of your red Solo cup and keep flushing your money down the toilet all in the name of children’s literacy.

-The need for management to maintain productivity. This is just common sense. But, managers come and go out of that place like a revolving door. We have heard more severe reasons as to why they cannot find and keep a sufficient manager, and it allegedly has to do with the lack of pay and racist comments that are used towards workers.

-Randall will take your advice. No he won’t.

-The software and equipment has been in the planning stages for over 2 years. Yes, that is true, but he is always telling people equipment is breaking down, and again that’s just him rambling and attempting to place the blame elsewhere. He’s been calling it state of the art too. Guess it’s not all that now, when you are about to go back to the old system.

-He doesn’t need you defending him. Ohh yes he does. He is in dire need of his ego being stroked. Why else at the end of the video would his VP show up crying on cue about how awesome Randall and this company is?! Give us a break.

tears

-Smart ass comments about slowing productivity down by shipping orders out of order, messing up orders, shipping out damaged or misprinted books and so on. This is infuriating. Day after day we see the kool-aide drinkers sing the praises of this guy. Now we want to share with you the other side—the reality of what happens when you don’t fulfill every order placed. When you don’t hire enough people during the fall selling season (10 employees per shift and 2 people who pick up orders is not enough man power) you’re going to continue to have major problems. But stick with him, because he’s a good man. Scroll back up and read our highlights of the video. When you confront him about a lie in the most professional way you are fired. If you chose to invest your time into another direct sales company, you are fired. If you are not loyal to him and his Leaders, you are placed on a watch list until they make it impossible to do your job that you quit, or you get so fed up and voice your frustration and the inevitable happens: you’re fired.

Damn sign me up!! I would love that kind of abuse in my life!

We found the truth. The reviews below were posted on bestcompany.com from those none too pleased with UBAM. We have added a Reviews Page to our blog and encourage you to fill out the form and tell us your experience.

“This is the second time I ordered books from Usborne. The first time I had no problems. This time is a different story. It has been well over a month and there is no sign of my books. Tried calling – the lines are constantly busy. I have sent two emails – no response. I am very dissatisfied and disappointed. These books were for my grandsons’ Christmas.”  Jill, December 21, 2016

“Hosted a party in the middle of November and was promised the books would be in WELL before Christmas as we all bought a ton of books as Christmas gifts. After waiting almost 3 weeks, I contacted the consultant for an update and was told there have been shipping delays but people are working around the clock and I will for sure get the order before Christmas. Here we are Dec. 20 and they still haven’t even shipped yet. My mom bought these books as the sole Christmas gift for 9 of the grandchildren and when she said she wanted to cancel the order since they won’t be here in time, we were given the option to wrap a piece of paper that says “your books are on their way”… Right..so while half the grandkids are opening toys from grandma and grandpa, the other half gets to open a piece of paper that says “sorry you don’t have a present”. The worst part is, most of them are coming from out of town, so when the books do finally get in, she’s going to have to pay to ship them! I feel so bad for her and everyone else at my party that now has to figure out new gift ideas just days before Christmas. I would’ve felt better if any attempt had been made by Usborne or my consultant to try and compensate them for the trouble – throw in a free book, take a few dollars off the total, or just allow them to cancel the order! But no. This was my first experience with Usborne and will definitely be my last.” -Catherine December  20, 2016

“1) Shipping is inadequate: Takes 4 to 6 weeks your lucky if customers order is complete and undamaged.
2)Home office: You will spend HOURS on hold waiting for someone to come along and blow you off
3) Vague leadership: Team leaders are clueless
4) ticketing system: No one acknowledges the support tickets or ever gets back to you

Save your money dont fall for this nonsense. they hide under the guise of putting books in children’s hand. At the end of the day its only about profit.” -Dawn, December 20, 2016

“I signed up at the end of October as a consultant did not get my kid until mid-December. I have waited over 2 months to get an order from October. Most of the books ship at least a month after they’re ordered. They have moved to a new computer system and it has messed them up terribly, they cannot recover. Very very very frustrating!” -Rebecca, December 16, 2016

“As a former consultant, I want to prevent anyone from dealing with the heartache from buying from Usborne…. DON’T support Usborne! Be kind to your consultant if you do host a party or place an order, because they seriously have ZERO pull within the company to get issues resolved for you any quicker. They feel just as stuck and frustrated as you, but even moreso because now their reputation suffers because of the lack of Customer Service by the company itself.
You can try to call Customer Service but you WILL be on hold for well over an hour, if it doesn’t automatically cut you off at an hour of waiting. Consultants have been known to be on hold for 3 hours just to sort out an issue for a customer.
If you love the books, you can easily find a consultant in your area that may have a copy on hand or has means of getting one from another consultant for you. DO NOT buy from the website and expect to get your books within a few weeks. Shipping will likely be 4-9 weeks. Crazy, I know!!” -Anon December 14, 2016

“The books are great, but not worth the customer service. I ordered books 2 weeks ago and tried to call them to make sure they would get here by Christmas since they still have not been shipped. It took 42 calls to get through and now I have been on hold for an hour. I do not see how this company will succeed with the lack of customer service. Wish I would have read the reviews on here before I placed an order! Will not be ordering online again from this company.” -Alaina December 12, 2016

While everyone is having a big pow-wow and crying over Randall and his VP, what about all the orders that will not arrive by this weekend? What about the people who took donations for needy children? Why were some orders more important than those who were making a charitable donation? Randall should be disgusted and embarrassed, and those who are his Consultants and Leaders who feed this behavior should be too, crying over some book company and a CEO is embarrassing in and of itself. We might feel different if the tears were real and not crocodile ones because he’s losing thousands of dollars daily, and people are waking up and seeing this company is exactly like all other Direct Sales companies: A multi-level marketing scheme to make him and his Leaders money. Are any of Randall’s grand-kids going to be denied a gift because the company he purchased an item from lied about shipping times? Also, do your homework on UPS. As of Monday December 19th, UPS was shipping ground packages to arrive next day by the end of business. That company is working around the clock as it does every holiday season, because they can’t afford to drop the ball. It’s how they have the reputation they have and people can rely on them to get a shipment to a person even on Christmas Day. We shouldn’t have to remind anyone that Randall White is a millionaire and he nor his family has been denied anything. They will in all likelihood have a lovely holiday weekend. Like many who rise fast to the top, they forget what it’s like to have nothing and want for nothing but to bring a smile to a child’s face. While all of you who are crying and fawning over him, remember, there are more kids out there than not who will not have a nice Christmas. This is suppose to be a company where professionalism is demanded at all times. Ohh. But he’s human. Guess what, so are those kids and the Consultants and customers he left out in the cold.

That wraps up our bedtime story. Make ‘em good holidays Uzzies.  Rainbow copy

 

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

For many years, Usborne has supported the U.S Marine Reserves Toys for Tots Program.  In the back office there are several documents available to consultants who would like to participate in this program to achieve the Toys for Tots mission which is to collect a new, unwrapped toy as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community where the program is conducted. UBAM also matches all donations by 50%, and provides free shipping and handling to the local distribution center.

A happy Consultant praised the CEO in his fan club group (because he doesn’t have enough people who suck up to him) for getting her order out. For whatever reason, he had to work his “magic.”

tot

And then, Gandalf the White, turned into the Grinch. Two different characters in two different awesome books, but stick with us.

A reader contacted us telling us quite a different story about Randall White aka Gandalf and his not so magical ways. Another Consultant was called to serve and give back to her community and decided to join up with Usborne to raise funds in order to deliver books to children in need. Money was raised, the order was placed. However, as of December 1st the Consultant could not get a confirmation if her order had been received or even shipped. She contacted her up-line to no avail (big shock there). She finally reached out to the wizard himself and he said he would do what he could and forwarded her e-mail onto someone else– we’ll call her “Betty Boop.” Three days before her absolute deadline, she messaged all involved and asked for an update, since she still had not gotten a confirmation as to whether or not UBAM had shipped her donation.  White asked her to resend the order numbers, which she did. The deadline passed and only half the orders from actual customers who thought they too would make a difference for a child were shipped. Betty Boop said there was nothing she could do and maybe the distribution center would take donations today (Monday December 19th) that’s assuming they even arrived.

Randall is no Gandalf, he’s worse than the Grinch. He’s Balrog.

The documents in the back office not only tell you who to contact in the Toys for Tots drive, but it also tells you that they (the company) prefer large orders over $500.00. We really don’t buy that that would be because he wants to give away more inventory that they do a crappy job of tracking, after all giving away inventory is a tax write off for the company.

The documents also provide a script, yes you read right, a script for solicitations via phone as well as a letter. Understandably, this company sells a product. However, one would think during the season of giving, a Consultant could come up with an original thought and share it with those they are seeking donations from. Sadly, Usborne nor many of their Consultants have an original bone in their body. Was that a blanket statement about the company as a whole?!

deadpool

OOPS.

Consultants are also told to understand the Marine Coordinator’s time is valuable and establish a good working relationship with them. Isn’t that just assumed? Many consultants can’t be bothered to go stand in the elements and collect donations, yet you have a Marine who was called to serve his or her country. And you see many of them standing in any kind of weather collecting donations. Usborne Consultants? They’d rather set up gofundme pages. Google Usborne and Toys for Tots and look at how many have a website set up.

The gig is up. Enough of posting pictures filling orders—looks like empty boxes if you ask us. You have a 75 year old CEO who thinks it’s charming to post a picture of his wife filling orders while doing a colon cleanse. Does he really think that’s comical or we’re all fools to believe the poor woman was stuck in the warehouse filling orders while waiting for the cleanse to kick in? Apparently the ass kissers of this group love it. Gross.

wife

We would, however, like to thank whoever shared with the Grinch Who Stole Christmas our blog asking where all his warehouse employees are. He found time to be the real hog of the camera, and take yet another picture of his smug self and a few employees. He also finds time to push the ass kissers to the front of the order line, and pick boxes out of the lines to fill himself with his cute little “Hi X!” and his signature smiley face.

employees

But he completely screwed over a Consultant just trying to bring just a little joy into someone’s life who was simply doing work on behalf of his company. Is this guy ever going to take any responsibility for his or his Consultants actions?  Doubtful since there are plenty to clean up the hot mess he and his employees continue to make We’ll wait to see who he lays the blame on.

It’s hard to say what the future holds for this company, but White and those who support and encourage his behavior and company dealings are morally bankrupt.

That’s my take. Tell me yours. Rainbow copy

Out of Touch, Out of Time

The selling season for Usborne is over. It’s been a rocky ride, obviously shown from the company never being able to rebound from its all-time stock price that occurred roughly this time last year.

Let’s do a very quick review. When Usborne started with their $25.00 kit back in 2014, it did not make much noise. In September 2015, it was offered again and it put a very small, unheard book distributor on the map. Thousands signed up. The problem was and continues to be, no one in Tulsa was prepared for the mother of all TNT growths. Shipping delays developed during the fall, which is the most active time for the company and carried over into the 2015 holiday season.  There was a black Friday sale. It caused the website to crash—imagine that. A couple of books, specifically That’s Not My Reindeer was sold at 50% off, and was matched at Barnes and Noble, and Consultants bought them in bulk, causing the book to go out of print before December. Why would Consultants do such a thing? So they can sell it downline for a discount, and full priced to customers unaware of the 50% sale PLUS their 25% discount or commission.

Fast forward to this fall’s selling season. It’s looking to be a disaster, despite what the fearless leader says. That’s Not My Reindeer is back in stock and available at Barnes and Noble for the regular price. No black Friday sales. No cyber Monday deals from the company.  More blame, more pointing fingers. Then this notice is sent out:

xmas-update

It’s hard to believe sales are higher than they were last year. If that is true, and that’s a big IF, it’s because of consultants buying and not a true customer. There is a rush list circulating that pushes Consultants to the top of the ship list. How would that make you feel knowing your order was not processed and shipped in the order it was received? Well, that’s exactly what is happening. Remember, Consultants are the real customers of Usborne.  To encourage people to keep buying throughout December even if the order does not arrive by Christmas because everyone should want books come January and February, the slowest time for the Company is just another slap in the face and shows the company does not give a rat’s ass. Maybe books would be a lovely gift for President’s Day. The gift certificate system does not work properly, and really do yourself a favor and buy a gift card from, I don’t know, Barnes and Noble perhaps?!

deadpool

Even one Consultant realizes this shopping season is over and is begging people to sign up and have a party in January, because free double books. Shock alert: Free double books are made available every January, this is nothing new.

january

Our last blog post talked about Usborne’s need to revert back to their old system. The company said the system is not compatible with their needs, and until they can hire the right kind of people to do the work, lies about shipping will continue.  The following quote was published along with Usborne’s un-audited quarterly report in October:

“The Company has experienced explosive growth during the past 18 months which resulted in expansion of facilities and replacement of operating systems and procedures. In spite of our best efforts, the inordinate demand for our products resulted in a reduction in our service level to our Sales Consultants and their customers as well as our retail distribution outlets. To restore our normal level of service, the Company utilized all available avenues to secure a workforce to process our order commitments. This resulted in inefficiencies including overtime pay, but resulted in reducing the order fulfillment time from 4-6 weeks to 7-10 days and is improving daily. In another effort to reduce costs, the Company implemented a warehouse work schedule Monday-Thursday 10-hour shifts and Friday-Sunday 12-hour shifts, which eliminated overtime and increased capacity by 69%.”

“Tightey Whitey” is not going to give anyone overtime. Why should he when he, his wife, kids and grand-kids work for free and look like some sort of superhero boxing “THOUSANDS” ( maybe in his head) of orders. We showed that orders are not being shipped in 7-10 business days. Consultants are also blaming UPS because they are not getting notification of their order being shipped. That’s not UPS’s fault. That would be a fault of Usborne: skipping the scanning process or lack of software to inform people their orders have been shipped.

Another letter of lies is circulating the groups of Usborne reminding people that negativity only brings on more negativity and provides these generic, robotic (aka I don’t care, but I’ll take your money) responses to not so happy actual customers:

shipping-delay-discount

Ya, one should feel so much better knowing you matter.  If you are a follower here, you are aware that just isn’t the case.

So to recap, Usborne and its Consultants have blamed: their software designer, shift work, and UPS resulting in delayed shipping. Let’s not forget the TNT. Consultants try to call home office, and get a busy signal for over two hours. If the person who started your support ticket and goes out of town, no one else can be bothered to resolve your issue—you just have to wait until they show back up to work.  For all we know, they may have quit, but you’d think if you have a ticket number someone could look up your account information, it’s the 21st century kids.  You have the ass kissing followers on Randall’s fan page (get a bucket) and you have Randall posting a picture of himself alone in a warehouse packing books. It has to be said again. Where the hell are the actual warehouse workers?

ramble

There are a couple of things going on here. One, shipping delays are looking more and more like they are being done on purpose. It makes Team Leaders, Directors and especially Randall White, now dubbed “Santa White” (again, get a bucket and stop calling him this.. you’re going to scare kids) look like heroes. Two, their higher level leaders earn their rewards and trips. Last, they make extra money off their unsuspecting downline. Not every up-line has every UBAM book in their hands. They go to the groups mentioned above and seek out the books for you and sell them to you when you fall desperate.

20,000 Consultants are not buying on the website. Many of them are inactive sellers. You have 2 groups on social media, one for Consultants to use for their customers to get a book faster, because the system is circa 1994, and another for Consultants to buy/sell/trade to sell among each other. It’s a carousel and the carousel never stops turning.

What this business model really is, is a product based pyramid scheme. We have confirmation of the CEO saying the consultants comes first and your order will keep getting pushed back, and you have a few groups who will sell to frantic Consultants when they have angry customers .

What exactly is a product based pyramid scheme? Here are five tell alls that this is exactly what this company’s business model is.

  1. “Recruiting of participants is unlimited in an endless chain of recruiters recruiting recruiters. When a given market is saturated, and the program must move on to another location or introduce new products or divisions to continue, the opportunity for each new person to make money becomes less and less as the programs expands.”
  2. “Advancement in a hierarchy of multiple levels of “distributors” is achieved by recruitment, rather than by appointment. If the only way a person can profit significantly in the scheme is through recruiting to advance to higher payout levels (or to buy another’s down-line), this strongly indicates a pyramid scheme.” Side note: Randall has specifically said his company business model consists of many people who sell little product.
  3. “Pay to play” requirements are satisfied by ongoing “incentivized purchases.” These are purchases of goods and services that are required to participate in commissions or to ascend in the distributor hierarchy. If they are required to participate in the “business opportunity,” then whether they are used, sold, given away, or stored is irrelevant. They should be considered a cost of doing business.”
  4. “The company offers commissions and/or bonuses to five or more levels of distributors. Even in major corporations, the entire world marketplace can be covered  in five levels of sales management- branch, district, regional, national and international  sales managers. Paying commissions and bonuses on more than five levels in an MLM program primarily enriches those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. You would be wise to avoid any program that pays overrides on more than five levels. Breakaway compensation systems are particularly exploitative, as payments are on a hierarchy  of “breakaway” organizations of whole groups of participants, not just individuals–  creating an extraordinarily high loss rate, except for those at the top of a top of a “mega-pyramid of pyramids.”
  5. Company payout per sale for each up-line participant equals or exceeds that for the person selling the product, creating inadequate incentive to retail and excessive incentive to recruit—and an extreme concentration of income at the top. Whether a “distributor” purchasing products “for resale” would receive about the same total payout (in commissions, bonuses, etc.) from the MLM Company as participants several levels above who had nothing to do with the sale. If so, the company’s payments to the person retailing the product would be pitifully small, while those at the top of the up-line can compound the small commission per sale by the sales of hundreds or even thousands of down-line distributors. This is great for the up-line leaders but lousy for those attempting retail sales. Avoid any MLM company that pays less than half of all distributor payout to the person actually selling the products to outside customers.”

In all honesty, despite the sunshine pumping, you’ll have better luck at finding a Hatchimal at regular price than a customer getting their order on time for the holidays. By the way, you can go to Target and find them there this weekend.

That’s my take. Tell me yours Rainbow copy

Never Gonna Get It

Last spring, we posted an in depth story about Usborne Books partnering with Chick-Fil-A this fall to sell mini books of their Shine A Light series. You can read that blog post here.

Usborne Consultants blatantly ignored the requests of Chick-Fil-A and Usborne not to solicit proprietors, or ask managers to hold story times in their stores.

And here we are again. They are blatantly ignoring a multi-million dollar company. This utter disregard for rules and ethics starts in Tulsa, and spreads like a virus across the country.  When you have no Standard Operation Procedure in place, and CEO who makes up the rules as he goes along, one can obviously see this company is a complete sham.

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Sorry, Blue, wrong answer. Red is exploiting a promotion to benefit their wallet. They are willing to spend $67.00 plus tax, or hoping Chick-Fil-A will hand over a stack of these mini books for free in the name of encouraging children’s literacy ie: pad Randall’s pocket,  when reality they want to use these for their classroom. Parents will be so excited (doubt it, try livid) they’ll ask the Consultant how to get the book– for $12.99 a pop!! That’s almost a $200.00+ profit to Red if every parent buys from this particular Consultant, which, (here’s that standard operating procedure again,) they cannot be buying/selling/promoting their Usborne business unless they are an Educational Consultant (which is in a middle of a freeze, more on that later) for the particular school they works for, and even then, it’s a conflict of interest. Teaching and selling should never go hand in hand, and hoping parents will buy from you  to make you some extra cash to buy a Hatchimal for Christmas.. should be grounds for termination.

That’s my take. Tell me yours Rainbow copy

Website Not Found: Error 404

If anyone has been part of Usborne for the last two years, you would often hear and read about, “Coming soon to the internet: A State of the Art upgraded website along with tools and scanners to go with the shiny new warehouse Usborne moved into back in January!”  The tools, scanners and equipment (some borrowed) were supposed to make shipping faster and more effective. With a simple scan, books could be picked, boxed and shipped to the consumer in a timely manner. The problem is, since November of 2015, shipping problems have been massive. We hear more bad than good so it’s hard to believe when home office claims that shipping times have a turnaround time of 1-2 weeks. For the past year, shipping has taken anywhere from 4-8 weeks. The company does not fill orders as they are received because too many Consultants place large consignment orders and well a $10,000 order takes precedence over a $50.00 from Joe or Joan the plumber.  This results in missing orders, missing books in orders, or the wrong order all together.  In other words, Usborne’s customers do not come first; the Consultant, however, does.

Why is this?

Simple. When Consultants take out consignment, they sell it to their downline or other consultants who are in dire need of a book, because an unhappy customer is fed up with waiting. This will probably be that consumer’s one and only purchase with the company because no one in their right mind would wait over a month to receive some children’s books.  It is no secret that groups exist on social media for this very reason. Consultants don’t make their money in parties, or selling at events—remember an event is free advertisement for the company, not to make some sales and clear personal inventory. There are other people seek out groups that are “buy in games,” and if they win, other people go to their website and make a purchase. Is that an illegal way to buy goods? No, but it is morally unethical. If you wonder why a consultant is winning every home office challenge each month as well as fast tracking their way to team leader, or winning the coveted trip paid by the company each year within 5 months’ time via buy/sell/trade groups, while you’re pulling your hair out and being told “it just takes one party,” that’s how it’s done. It’s Usborne’s and really every MLM’s dirty little secret. Usborne’s only customers are their Consultants.

As frustration grew about shipping, more and more people got fed up, and #worththewait for an order was the new saying by spring. The company was gloating over explosive growth. The hashtag should have read #nochoicebuttowait. There was, however, a problem with the cool hashtag saying. The CEO on one of the social media groups when asked about refunds to customers said, “Explosive growth does not mean more revenue.” In other words, he wasn’t going to refund a customer’s money, he would give you a book credit instead, or run a contest and pick one lucky family to win $1,000.00 worth of books (yawn). How anyone can buy anything he was saying, waiting, twiddle your thumbs and avoid speaking to angry customers leaves many of us shaking our heads. Customers tried to complain on Usborne’s Facebook page, but the company took down the ability to leave a review. They wanted their little book distribution company to look perfect on the outside when everything was starting to crack at the seams.

Consultants were promised a 30 day notice when the new website would go live. That did not happen, in fact it was about a 4 day notice back in late August that the new website was finally ready and would launch on September 2nd. The website did go live, and it angered a lot of people. It wasn’t a shiny kick ass website they hoped it would be: user friendly, faster processing orders to arrive in a timely manner, easier way to create support tickets if there were errors, but they said it was a move up.  In reality, the antiquated system that sort of worked, made the new website look like it was designed by a five year old with no knowledge of how to code. Many problems occurred, people could not place orders, orders were being credited to other Consultants and Consultants were not getting their commission just to name a few of the many software problems going on.

A few days ago an e-mail was sent to all Consultants from our good buddy Mr. CEO and President Randall White:

“November 23, 2016

To our UBAM sales force:

I think we all can agree that 2016 has been a tough year for our beloved company. That it all stems from our epic growth over the past 18 months is the most frustrating part — but also the best reason to be optimistic. Our struggles are NOT because of a lack of demand for our books, and so we have every confidence that we will right this UBAM ship.

If you’ve been with us for at least a year, you’ll remember that last year’s surge in orders led to website crashes and shipping delays. Those forced a warehouse move and new warehouse software that compounded the delays and led to an increase in shipping errors. These errors quickly overwhelmed our customer service department. Some customers waited weeks for books, had problems with their orders, couldn’t get help from us, and turned on you, their sales consultant — who had no fault in the situation, no answers, and often no way to help.

On the heels of these shipping and customer service issues, we launched a new website with the purpose of improving these major issues and to increase site stability. We had already been working with our web developers, By Design, for nearly two years, and we were all antsy to have a shiny new website that would better communicate with our warehouse.

We knew it was lacking some features, but we felt it could be improved later … and that the tradeoffs were in favor of making the switch now. We were wrong. We did not realize just how many problems we would experience with the By Design system. We did not realize the negative and stressful impact these problems would have on our number one customer: our consultants. I take full responsibility for this decision and truly apologize for all you have been through as a result of it.

Since the launch, we have worked tirelessly to get the laundry list of site issues fixed. Despite our attempts, including the hire of two very talented and dedicated IT consultants, our list of issues does not look much shorter than it did months ago. We are extremely frustrated with the lack of improvement and functionality after all our efforts, and we have lost a great deal of faith in By Design’s ability to make this system work in all the unique ways that a UBAM business requires.

With the level of investment we had in this new system, we had to exhaust all possibilities to make it work — and we feel we have. After endless research and soul-searching, we’ve reached the point at which enough’s enough. The continued impact the By Design system has on our company — most especially the stressful impact on your business and on your customers — is a sacrifice we are no longer willing to make. Because of this, we will be rolling back to our previous IT system.

It is important to note that rolling back does not mean we will be getting the system of our dreams (yet). Returning to the previous OrderPro/e-commerce system will bring a return of its quirks and limitations along with its strengths. Fundamentally, it will be the same system you used previously, although we will be making necessary adjustments to improve site stability and performance. After researching all of our options and their implications, we are certain that, despite its limitations, it will serve us better than the By Design system we currently use.

While we will continue to collaborate with By Design on resolving current critical issues, work is already under way to prepare for the rollback. I wish the process could be a simple flip of the switch, but first we have to go through a rigorous process of preparing the data for migration to ensure we do not recreate any of our current problems. After such a tumultuous time with By Design, our priority is to take the time needed for making it as smooth of a transition as possible.

Following this migration, we will begin work on custom-building a new technology suite designed specifically for UBAM. Having lived the painful reality of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole with a predominantly off-the-shelf system, we know we need to hire a team of developers to craft a system in-house. After all we have gone through with this failed system, we feel you deserve nothing less than the ideal system for your business needs and will be working closely with leaders in the field to develop it to best fit those needs.

For most of us, the pain of enduring this system is still too raw to think of silver linings, and only the distance of time will reveal how we have emerged stronger as a result of the ordeal. But even now, I can say that we have been so impressed with how you have handled this frustrating weight with grace, dedication, and perseverance. Because of YOU, we have been able to continue to fulfill our literacy mission, despite the massive challenges you’ve endured now for months. That is something that should make each one of you very proud, and I know I could not be more proud of all that you have accomplished.

We are confident that the rollback is a significant step towards bringing our company back to our roots and commitment to excellence. Though the term “rollback” is most fitting in a technological sense, it should not be interpreted as a step backwards for the company on the whole. On the contrary, this is a very necessary step that moves us forward. Like an archer that is preparing an arrow to rocket ahead, we are taking the time to pull back the bow, set the stage for momentum, and aim for the future. It is a careful, calculated process that is launching us to greater heights.

You are a significant, valued part of our company, and I am very thankful that you have chosen to remain a part of the UBAM family even throughout these struggles. We appreciate you more than words could ever say. Thank you.

Randall White
CEO and President
Usborne Books & More”

The CEO of this company will blame anyone or anything on why his way or the highway does not work. First he blames the explosive growth. What a classy way to thank those the company scammed into buying a kit to sell Children’s books that have not one a single award in over 2 years. Then he blames the customer service department, which is kind of ironic given no one can get a real person via email or telephone to resolve daily disasters. There are countless reports of the lines being busy and full voice mailboxes.  Last, he throws the company he hired to design the new website under the bus—that was a real class act. He could have easily said he and the company had creative differences and parted ways. But you rarely ever hear an apology from a director or someone who works directly out of Tulsa; it’s always someone else’s fault. Mr. White likes to tell people they don’t understand how his warehouse or his business for that matter works. And it’s very obvious he does not have the patience to train home office so home office can train directors and their teams. The problem is not a web design company, company growth or customer service. The problem and fault lies with the CEO directly, who did not do the proper research nor beta testing before going live with his shiny new toy. He didn’t properly train his directors and downlines so that Consultants could learn the new system to avoid delays in their sales. They’re too busy telling each other what color their personality is. Mr. White is a distributor of books, managing a warehouse is not rocket science. But, he knows nothing about building a compatible website, or handing the reigns over to someone who can, very cheaply it appears, and that is his downfall. He thinks this is still the 80s where he runs his business still like a mom and pop shop. Well, this is 2016, and every direct sales company has a well-oiled website and software system where customers can make purchases, consultants can manage their sales and shock of shocks orders are actually delivered in a timely manner. Mr. White said it himself: “Our number one customer is you the consultant.” He was left with no choice but to use the words “I apologize” because had he not, that would have only angered more people. Mr. White is a bit glib in that he doesn’t care when people go into inactive status, they won’t let you outright quit until a year of no sales over $500.00 has occurred, and he has to keep the 1% that do make him money loyal to him. That’s why he sent out that ridiculous email, he failed and he failed big time. Yet the few, the proud, the loyal, will stand by this guy for reasons unknown because it sure isn’t the paycheck they are getting every week. Still, one major problem continues literally daily. No one can openly vent out their frustrations without repercussions. If you’re being too negative in an already stressful time in the company, you either stop or face the consequences. With that attitude, you can see why he depends on keeping his Consultants who make him money happy; those are his customers. His money makers. And being that he’s a salesman, he’ll tell you anything you want to hear, along with posting endless pictures of himself, by himself no less, surrounded by supposed orders being filled by him or ready to ship just to show you he’s #allin. Side note: Where are all his warehouse employees in those pictures?

Will there ever be a new system? That’s hard to say. The company has been butting heads with a website building company for over 2 years, and many of us can attest that he is not the easiest person to work with or for. He says in the above email that he has hired two IT Consultants to work with the company to design a new website that is compatible with the company’s needs. Maybe he should contact the now defunct Blockbuster video and see if he can purchase their inventory processing software. At least they were able to keep track of all inventory and ship out correct orders within 5 business days. If all else fails, revert to the dewy decimal system, that has been a winner for over a hundred of years. You can’t get any more antiquated than that, and it costs little to nothing to use!

So, are you #allin? Try #getthehellout

That’s my take. Tell me yours Rainbow copy