Lukoil discount! 1% with the Cashback World Card, 6% with the Lukoil-Card!

LUKOIL is a Russian petroleum company that yielded a stock market value of $ 60 billion in 2018. But more on that later.

Time and again, we receive reports on how use- and senseless the Cashback World Card actually is. There are very few shops which accept the card and the discounts are meagre. Furthermore, one was bound to overpriced and nameless products, the card was nothing for smart spenders.

The Latvian entrepreneur Vrigis M. was introduced to the loyalty programme of Lyoness by a friend who had asserted that it could be very useful for his company. Virgis himself liked the concept of network marketing.

After having attended several trainings, he decided to participate in the Lyconet network marketing programme and bought the starter package for EUR 350. These EUR 350.- were spent to buy units within the Latvian programme. Further, he had immediately activated the Easy Shop Function that costs EUR 50 to 150 per month. With paying EUR 50 per month, he would gain access to all functions of the Lyconet partner profiles.

First, he thought it was an excellent business idea – a customer card for all everyday purchases. By linking the website with his own Facebook advertisements, he managed to add hundreds of users to his downline. Of course, he had also carried out classic network marketing activities in order to introduce the business model to others.

“Overall, I have got 19 units – 4 in the Latvian Balance Programme and 15 in Balance Programmes of other countries. Also, I have attended several seminars in Italy, Prague etc…” Besides fun and empty promises, nothing else had been there, he adds shaking his head.

Virgis tried to build up a dream, mainly on the basis of card users but after he had distributed more than 700 cards, “his income” hardly had reached EUR 10. People told him that neither in shops and restaurants nor at the petrol station, it was worth using the Cashback Card, provided it was accepted at all.

“It is a fact, that, in reality, people are not using this card. Due to the lack of area wide and established retail chains, the products needed in everyday life can not be bought with the card. The ones that use the card the most are participants who really are convinced of the Lyconet programme, who are changing their commutes just for getting the 1 or 2% of their daily purchases back. In my opinion, the saving this card offers is simply too little.”, the 29-year-old says.

The partnership with LUKOIL petrol stations (popular petrol stations in the Baltic states), Lyoness had promoted with great fanfare, were a good example. With the LUKOIL card, customers get a discount of 4 to 6 cents per litre, with the Cashback Card, the discount is just 1% at a purchase of more than EUR 100! Additionally, the discount will be transferred to the Lyoness account within a month or even after a longer time, when using the LUKOIL Card, the discounts of 4 to 6 cents per litre are received immediately. Everyone who uses the Cashback Card at a LUKOIL petrol station made a fool of oneself.

Most recently, Virgis attended the Elite Seminar at Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. He travelled there together with four “even more” enthusiastic new marketers. In the meantime, he had read about the convictions as a snowball system and the prohibition in Norway. At the Elite Seminar, questions concerning these matters were downplayed with harsh words and diminished as “paid sabotage by enviers”, he explains.

Meanwhile, he had found again common sense and conscience, he tells with a smile and concludes: “I am sure. In this company, money can only be made by making other people become participants of the Lyconet Network Marketing. If you ever have attended a Lyconet training, you will have heard that it you can make money with this programme in a number of ways. And at the seminars, they always tell you, that “real money” can only be made if you recruit as many people as possible.”

Lyoness: Italian customers are claiming repayments amounting to EUR 2 million!

The Guardia di Finanza (ital. financial police) of Turin, Corsico and Bologna has received the first claims against Lyoness lodged by customers who are claiming the repayment of money. The total sum of claims amounts to EUR two million. Lyoness is a “shopping community” that had been sanctioned by the Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza e il Mercato (AGCM – Ital. competition authority) because it had put up a forbidden snowball system through which the founders of the community had enriched themselves whereas new sometimes had invested considerable sums without retrieving them or even making profit.

In Italy, there are 241 victims to fraud who are represented by the law office 3A-Valore with the objective to initiate a class action suit at the court of Verona where Lyoness Italia has its legal seat. Together they are claiming a sum of EUR 1,815 million. In 2017 Lyoness Italia had a turnover of EUR 53 million.

In January 2019, the AGCM had concluded that “the support system, used to distribute a cashback system for purchases of goods (means: a refund of a certain percentage of the money spent at partner retailers), is unlawful because it includes a snowball system which represents a misleading business practise according to the Codice del Consumo (Ital. consumer protection legislation)”. The AGCM therefore imposed a fine of EUR 3,2 million on the company. Members had to pay an entrance fee of EUR 2,400 but what really made the system grow was the investment of other customers that also paid an entrance fee.

In Turin, the suit was filed by a 25-year-old man who had joined Lyoness in December 2017 and had paid EUR 50.- per month additionally to the initial fee. He also bought a share of EUR 1,500 and paid another EUR 500.- in order to participate in an event Lyoness had organised in Prague and where he got convinced to buy another share. A total investment “of EUR 7,000.- in a company that had attracted me in an opaque manner and on the basis of false facts, promises that were not kept and a working method that is incompatible with my ideas on morality.”, as he reported to the financial officials.

In a press release, Lyoness declared: “Our business model provides that every person who signs up for the free programme Cashback World, can retrieve the repayment of a part of the price paid at a partner retailer as well as bonus points that bring further advantages. Lyoness has made some amendments worldwide to guarantee maximum transparency and to prevent some individual marketers from making irrational investments, and therefore contravene orders from Lyoness itself, before they have not at least retrieved an appropriate part of the revenues generated by the system itself. Since Lyoness does not agree to the authority’s position at all, especially not in relation to the accused snowball system, it appealed against the judgement in order to enforce our rights and to prove that the complaints are groundless.”

Press Source:

Note: This is exactly the same state of affairs like in Norway approx. two years ago. Back then Lyoness also denied operating a snowball system although it had already been sentenced as such in Austria and Switzerland.

Supreme court sentences the „bogus constructs” of myWorld/Lyoness/Lyconet!

With its national and international company names Lyoness/Lyconet/myWorld has always been playing the shell game with courts and victims. Despite massive resistance, the Viennese Lawyer Dr. Josef Fromhold has managed to realise a judgement of the Austrian supreme court that ends the game of hide and seek.

With the resolution 4 Ob 69/19d of 28 May 2019 the Austrian supreme court in Vienna has confirmed an important judgement and rejected the recourse filed by Lyoness. For the first time the bogus constructs used by Lyoness have now been recognised as such.

Lyoness Europe AG with its head quarter in Switzerland have used a sophisticated firm construction in order to sabotage the enforcement of the injured parties’ rights. With a back and forth of international and national lack of competence, the snowball system Lyoness so far had juggled quite cleverly:

Lyoness Europe AG was the contractual partner of all European members. Only members from Switzerland did not – as it would seem obvious – have Lyoness Europe AG with its headquarters in Switzerland as their contract partner. Contractual partner of Swiss members was the subsidiary, Lyoness Management GmbH, with its headquarters in Austria.

Paradoxically, on the one hand, the international purchasing group for all European members is operated by Lyoness Europe AG with its head quarter in Switzerland, and on the other hand – but only for members in Switzerland – it is operated by Lyoness Management GmbH with its headquarters in Austria. Therefore, members in Austria and Switzerland did not have a contractual partner with headquarters in their own country. There is no factual justification for this. Lyoness Europe AG is only used as a front since it has not yet carried out any business activity in Switzerland at all and only has an accommodation address there. The whole business is operated out of Austria. All companies of Lyoness responsible for organisational matters are located in Austria. The operational business is controlled out of Graz, where also the legal department of the company is located. Actions of development, distribution and promotion are operated out of Austria, this has also been stated by the Austrian Public Prosecutors Office for Corruption within the proceedings against Lyoness Europe AG.

As a point of contact, the member did have a company with the same name (Lyoness Austria GmbH, Lyoness Deutschland GmbH etc.), but he/she unconsciously contracted with a company from abroad. Lyoness AG therefore falsely purported to be a national contract partner.

Until recently, the national companies were subsidiaries of Lyoness Europe AG. But from the moment the first suits against the swiss company were filed in Austria on the ground that the Austrian national company was a subsidiary of Lyoness Europe AG, Lyoness Austria GmbH was renamed mWA my World Austria GmbH.

Also, the shares in Lyoness Austria GmbH were transferred to myWorld International Limited with headquarters in London, that had been founded only shortly before. The share capital of this company amounts to laughable 100 pounds and the company itself does not have any revenues.

Lyoness now alleged that they did not have anything to do with Lyoness Austria GmbH anymore.

This allegation is clearly disproved: Hubert Freidl was accounted for “person with significant control” (at least 75% of the shares, at least 75% of the voting rights and the right to nominate and dismiss the majority of the companies’ officers).

Since this also had become clear, myWorld Holdings Limited was presented as “person with significant control” on 21 January 2018.

But myWorld Holdings Limited with the same address, 3rd Floor 40 Bank Street London E14 5NR and a share capital of 100 pounds is a property of Freidl: The shareholders are Hubert Freidl with 90% and Marko Sedovnik with 10%. Hubert Freidl is again accounted for “person with significant control”.

The courts have sussed this game of hide and seek and on 21 August 2018, the regional court of Graz has decided that Lyoness Austria GmbH untypically had not only acted for itself but mainly for the parent company Lyoness Europe AG and had been under surveillance and control of it (AZ 257 C 841/17y). Lyoness Europe AG gave the impression that their subsidiary was under their full surveillance and that they were taking part in the national legal communication via their subsidiary, which was also named as their service company in the Terms and Conditions.

Contracts with national members had been processed via the subsidiary. Lyoness Europe AG at least conveyed the impression that its subsidiary is authorised to act and operate under their name. The plaintiff has the right to make legal transactions with Lyoness Europe AG exclusively via their subsidiary as their competent national company which also has a domestic bank account that is quoted in its commercial documents. The exact legal construction and the relationship between Lyoness Europe AG and its subsidiary were not completely transparent to the plaintiff, therefore it does not harm to know about the fact that Lyoness Europe AG has its head quarter in Switzerland

Lyoness Europe AG filed in a recourse to the Austrian supreme court and was rebuffed.

On 28 May 2019 the Austrian supreme court unmasked the bogus construct and stated that the change of names of Lyoness Austria GmbH and the sale of company shares are irrelevant. Lyoness Austria GmbH is a subsidiary of Lyoness Europe AG and therefore it is responsible for suits against Lyoness Europe AG.

The circumstances unmasked within the proceedings indicate a permanent establishment of the subsidiary as the centre of business activities of Lyoness Europe AG in Austria.

The consequence is that all European victims don’t have to file a suit[IB1]  in Switzerland anymore, but they can do it in their home country either at their place of residence or at the place of the headquarters of the national company.

There is now also the possibility for victims from all over Europe to file a suit against Lyoness Europe AG with the court in Austria, where their actual headquarters are. The address in Buchs, Switzerland which was declared to be the place of Lyoness Europe AG’s headquarters, is only a fake residence. In Austria, there have already been hundreds of judgements that have forced Lyoness to make repayments. This is for several reasons and mainly due to the operation of an unlawful snowball system.

Lyoness/Lyconet: Snowball system on Instagram: the main thing is quoting big names!

On 18 June 2019, the renowned economic magazine “WirtschaftsWoche” once more reported on the snowball system Lyoness/Lyconet. Here you can find the article:

With this promise Lyconet lures people in social networks. To gain confidence and trust, the company relies on famous partner companies – partly without their knowledge.

The man tried to gain my trust, especially by quoting famous names. Of course, this makes a good impression. It conveys reliability. Obi, Douglas, Media Markt, Fressnapf, McDonald’s, Walmart, Red Bull, even Formula One. They all were involved, he murmured on the phone.

He had sent me a message on Instagram to recruit me as a distributor for Lyoness. And I agreed. Not in order to become rich, as he had promised to me. But because I was curious.

Lyconet is a distribution platform that is currently cultivating one of the oldest rip-offs in social networks: the snowball system. And this via bonus cards by which one should save money while shopping. So-called Cashback cards. The man who contacted me via Instagram also distributes these cards. And he wants me to become a colleague.

Ironically in social networks, the world’s oldest trick works especially well: the snowball system. How criminals are abusing digital biotopes of vanity and self-staging.

The difference to the payback card known in Germany which one can use at every large chain: You get your money back, immediately when purchasing, he tells me on the phone. I would make money with passing my card on to other people who are using it for their purchases. With recruiting new companies. And with new distribution partners that I will recruit.

How much money I am making is measured in “Shopping Points” that are emerging every time somebody uses my card at a shop. Just like playing a video game: The more points I collect, the faster I will reach a new level of career. Hannes tells me that he was on level 3. Earnings: 200 EUR per month. At level 8, one could earn up to 150,000 EUR per month. Simply by other people that go shopping.

The snag: To make money, I first have to invest money. 299 EUR for the software with which I can register customers, companies and new marketers. And 2000 EUR for the Starter Package. On a reference day, I will get the money back and will additionally get a monthly participation in sales. At least, that is the promise.

In fact, as I learnt later, there are numerous people who make advance payments – but never see any money again. And there are some big companies standing out with their names rather involuntary.

In Germany, hardly any retailers are taking part. And certainly, no large chains. But: barbershops, nail spas, pubs. “Everyone who is in a bad economical position and considers the possibility for acquiring new customers via the discount card the last chance”, says a person who opted out of the Lyconet management and wants to remain anonymous. In truth, he tells me, the company bought large numbers of vouchers from large chains. This makes Lyconet a major client – and therefore called the large chains their partners in return. The vouchers were passed out to the marketers. Their value was not even merely in proportion to the money the marketers really invested.

Lyconet is related to some large chains by a so-called affiliate marketing program: Lyconet guides visitors of their own website to the sites of MediaMarkt, Müller or Saturn – and receives a commission for it. The large chains are not accepting Lyconet’s cashback card. To most of the people who are visiting the website of the purchasing group Lyconet it seems that these large chains are partner companies. Lyconet even gives them a partner shop ID, just like the small enterprises, that really are accepting the Cashback card, were given.

A phone call to Douglas: A speaker of the perfumery chain points out that Douglas was not a partner company of Lyconet. The connection was “only by a punctual cooperation in the field of affiliate marketing to only a very limited extent.” Douglas did not know anything about the dubious business practises of Lyconet, so the speaker says. In the future, they would stop any cooperation. Similar comments I hear from Saturn, MediaMarkt and Fressnapf. They all were listed by Lyconet as cashback partner companies. Without prior agreement.

Upon request, Lyconet rejects any dishonest intent. Lyconet did not have “any knowledge” of marketers who are making false promises of profits in social networks. They also reject the accusation of advertising with fake partner shops. Nevertheless, they are advertising with the logo of the fast food chain McDonald’s. The main thing is to quote big names! intent