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


  • Home parties

Very occasionally 

  • Book fairs

Some, but not a lot. 

  • Vendor events


  • Take out consignment and sell the consignment to your downline


  • Sell to other consultants outside of your downline


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


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.



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