Lyoness likes to falsely take all the credit and lists on its website between 70 000 and 75 000 distributors and partner companies. At first glance, this number is truly impressive, but the reality looks somewhat different.
Of these 70 000 to 75 000 “partners” only 50 630 retailers really exist (source: Lyoness website as of 9th of September 2017), 40 761 of which accept the cashback card and only 9 202 of them have an online shop. What seems to be a lot at first sight is actually nothing in comparison with international standards. Many of these partners are listed somewhere on an “affiliate marketing website” and don’t even know that they are stated as “official” trading partners to the detriment of third parties. on the website of Lyoness, which has been convicted by a final judgement as a snowball system. But this is a strategy which Lyoness uses to canvas for clients. They show off with numbers and effectively display the names of well-known companies on their website. So, Lyoness is using the brand awareness of large companies to canvas for clients for the “distribution of Lyconet”. Lyoness is perverting the cashback principle in order to generate revenues from the distribution of the clouds.
We have contacted many of these partner companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland to inquire directly. It turned out that a much larger number than expected of these “business partners” didn’t know about any partnership and said that they were not willing to enter into a partnership with Lyoness. Some have even announced that they will take legal steps against Lyoness. Understandably, because who would want to be associated with a company which has been convicted as a snowball system by a final judgement? It’s a fact that Lyoness is increasingly losing its most important partners with the highest advertising appeal (Mastercard, eBay, Triumph, Puma etc.) and there are less and less options for the purchasing group.
This is particularly apparent in the case of the praised “Lyoness future markets”, like the USA, Asia and India. In the USA, there are approximately 26 million companies (source: usa.embassy). According to the Lyoness website, Lyoness has in the USA only 2 858 “partners”. When comparing these numbers, it becomes clear that the market presence of Lyoness in the USA is downright ridiculous. India, as one of the largest countries in the world with 1.2 billion inhabitants, has been presented by Lyoness in 2012 as a future BOOM market. At the moment there are 139 companies in India which are listed on the Lyoness website as partners – a meagre number for this promising market. Interestingly, Lyoness published already back then (in 2012) in their advertising mail an “important note”:
“Until the official market entry in India, which will be announced by Lyoness well in advance, it is strictly forbidden to recommend the Lyoness loyalty program in India. Any activity in this respect by a member in India, undertaken before the official opening, will result in the termination of the membership.”
This indicated already that back then it had long been known that in India the distribution of country packages was illegal, but still Lyoness continued to sell them. To this day, Lyoness is only registered in India as a “private limited company” for the purpose of “bookkeeping”. How many million Euros has the executive board of Lyoness made through the “country package India”, money which has been divided among several foundations etc. And in what way do members who invested in the India package years ago benefit from this nowadays? Not at all! In total, 139 small retailers have been generated in India – a country, which had been announced in a grandiose manner as a promising future market – and even these retailers do not seem to be legitimate according to current legislation. The currently offered clouds, which are presumably even more fraudulent, have failed, just like the previous country-, business- and premium packages due to Lyoness being a snowball system. Lyoness members who are still hoping for “passive income” will lose out once again.
Many Lyoness victims have fallen for the promising advertising messages by Lyoness – the following is only a small excerpt.
“Our successful start in the Middle East/United Arab Emirates has given us a first impression of the vast market which is awaiting us. Thanks to the growing business team, first trading partners are already joining our Lyoness network!” (2011)
“India constitutes a sixth of the world’s population and ranks among the fastest growing economies in the world! An incredible future market for Lyoness, which is already being developed!!!” (2011)
“Last chance for a consistent and sustainable participation in the Asian market with 4 billion consumers.” (2014)
“South Africa – a soaring regional economic power! Especially in South Africa, many impressive advancements have been set in motion. Various big, significant industry leaders in a few important key industries are already relying on the Lyoness loyalty program and are offering to the excited members thousands of cashback points, so that they can make use of the shopping benefits.” (2013)
“Lyoness has had a successful start in Brazil. So, the more than 200 000 000 inhabitants of Brazil have from now on the opportunity to enjoy the shopping benefits….Since the start of the Lyoness activities in Brazil, hundreds of points of acceptance have been available to all Brazilian members…The objective is to provide within the next weeks and months a comprehensive shopping network which meets the requirements of millions of Brazilians.”
Lyoness has promised its clients to establish itself in these countries and to build a network of distributors. But the current numbers of distributors are and will probably remain meagre. In Thailand there are currently 238 Lyoness partners, in South Africa 481, in Brazil 581, in Qatar 32, in UAE 69 etc. (as of 9th of September 2017). Often in the lists compiled by Lyoness itself, not even contact details are stated, so their capacity as authorised distributors is questionable. In any case, it is very unlikely that in these bars, shops and beauty salons any meaningful shopping revenue can be generated which could be distributed among the investing members.
Perhaps Lyoness could explain to its members how the company manages to cover its fixed costs through revenues from the cashback business. No Nobel Prize in Maths is required to answer this question, because it is simply not possible.