Real Truth Facts about TVI Express: tviexpress.com is not legal around the world, Tarun Trikha arrested for fraud
TVI Express ( tviexpress.com ), which also calls itself "Travel Ventures International", came out of nowhere in 2009, and after one year claims over 600,000 members around the world. It claims to have offices in England (UK), Cyprus, and India. It also claims to have made thousands of people richer. Here you will learn the real truth behind TVI Express, all supported by facts that YOU can verify.
These are the things TVI Express and your recruiter would NEVER tell you. In fact, they will most likely tell you NOT to look at "negativity news", or come up with stupid excuses or explanations regarding much of the information revealed here. They may even tell you that all this is simply irrelevant. That is a sign that your upline has been brainwashed into the MLM Borg. Objections are irrelevant. You will be assimilated. (Sorry, that's a Star Trek reference)
I am not a TVI Express member. I am NOT going to recruit you for anything. (IMHO, If you see a hub presenting little or no useful information, and only gives you a recruiting link, you should vote down the hub and flag it as spam.)
I have been through many MLMs before. I have been in Amway, NuSkin, Market America, Excel Communications, and others. I did not enjoy it much, but I have learned a lot, and about how MLM is supposed to work. Based on my experience, TVI Express is a scam, but you can read the evidence I present, check them, and make up your own mind.
You may also be interested in reading my other hub series: TVI Express Myths Busted.You may also want to read an expanded version of this hub called TVI Express: an International Scam.
If you are going to a TVI Express meeting soon, you may want to take along a copy of my "TVI Express, 16 questions to ask your upline"
Just where is TVI Express?
On TVI Express's "about us" webpage, it proudly claims it is based in
"Travel Ventures International is a leading multinational conglomerate headquartered in London, United Kingdom."
Yet on the bottom of
that very page, the address listed is in Cyprus, which is a little
island off TURKEY, and it's actually on the border between Middle East and Europe. In fact, one third of the island of Cyprus is Turkish! (the other two thirds are Greek). However, TVI Express uses a London UK phone
number (country code 44).
At least three other companies share the same exact
- FxCompany, a Forex trader -- http://www.fxcompany.net/contacts/
- BCAT, a writing / web design firm -- https://bcatservices.com/contact
By exact same address, I mean exactly that: no separate room number, suite number, for floor number. EXACT SAME ADDRESS. What are the chances of multiple companies sharing exact same physical address?
The Cyprus address is clearly a legal pretense. It is a "virtual office".
Furthermore, if you search in Companieshouse.gov.uk, where every single company in
UK is required to register by law, you will NOT find "TVI Express" or
"Travel Ventures" or anything of that sort. Go search for it yourself. (There is a "TVI Services", but that's in Surrey, not London.)
"All disputes are governed by Cyprus and Indian Laws".
Why would it be headquartered in London if it is NOT subject to UK law? Can they be "headquartered" in the UK but NOT registered as a company in UK? Why would it say things to make you think that it is?
TVI Express gave a new address for their UK office on their website. What they do NOT tell you is that it is actually 16 miles from London, according to Google Maps. (see analysis here ) So it is NOT in London. Yet they still claim to be "headquartered in London".
For visual analysis of this lie, see my other hub, TVI Member Lies volume 6.
Consider the implication: if a company cannot even tell you the truth about where it is based how can the company be legitimate?
No background, no executive names, nothing
If you use Google news search, and use keywords TVI EXPRESS NEWS, you will find nothing about its "amazing growth" or "changing lives". TVI Express was NOT covered by ANY sort of mainstream media at all. Press releases do not count, as they are not checked for accuracy of content. At best, you'll get some filler pieces in some tiny local papers in Indonesia.
The conclusion is inescapable: NOT a single legitimate news source, in the entire world indexed by Google, in the myriad of languages, wrote a single POSITIVE story on TVI Express (except for some "Citizen Reporter" in Indonesia, where they basically printed whatever TVI Express distributor told them to put in).
Yet if you dig a little deeper, you find all sorts of negative news about TVI Express...
What's more, there is absolutely no hint ANYWHERE about who is running TVI Express. When you invest in a company, you'd want to know who is running it, does s/he have a good track record of running profitable companies, and so on. And there's nothing, absolutely nothing about TVI Express's management team on their website. No name, no picture, no nationality, not even the number of officers they have in the company.
You don't even know who the owners of TVI Express are. All you got is a statement that it is supposedly owned by a "prestigious investment group". As the company has lied about being based in London, UK, anything the company states is suspect.
Even the website itself, TVIExpress.com, have domain privacy turned on, so it shows no information on who owns the domain, which is rather strange for a company allegedly based in UK. Remember, they are NOT registered as a company in UK!
If you buy into this "opportunity", just to WHO are you handing your money? And if they are indeed benefiting so many people, why are all the news negative? Why is TVI Express being investigated as a pyramids scheme?
Wikipedia illustration of 8-ball scheme
TVI Express Board Picture
Looks like a pyramid, smells like a pyramid...
TVI Express uses "a revolving matrix" as a part of its compensation package, which looks exactly like the "airplane game" or "8-ball scam" variation of the pyramid scheme. In fact, it is already under investigation in Australia and Hungary as pyramid scheme. Australian authorities already gotten a court injunction against three TVI Express members in the area, ordering them to stop promoting and recruiting, or get hit with contempt of court.
It is easier to illustrate the 8-ball scam or the airplane game with a picture from Wikipedia. Let's say you are the blue dot. You need to recruit enough people to fill the red dots (well, you recruit the "co-pilots", and they can recruit the crew, who then recruit the passengers, just two each...), and you get paid and get out of the game, by taking money from all the people who have already paid. Got that?
So what does the TVI Express "matrix" look like? Look above for a picture from a recruiter website
The 1-2-4-8 structure is unmistakable. The "leader" gets paid when he filled all the positions below him, and he can only fill the position by recruiting more people.
What's more, you need to go through TWO of these boards: a traveler board, and an express board, to score your big pay out: $10000.
So each of them paid $250 or whatever... The company would have pocketed over $60000 (do your own math) before paying out your $10000. Not much of a payout, is it?
When confronted with the resemblance, TVI Express said... NOTHING. There is no information on TVI Express website explaining why it is NOT a pyramid scheme.
What they also do NOT tell you is they fit the definition of pyramid scheme in the European Union, as well as American Federal Bureau of Investigations, better known as the FBI.
FBI said the following about pyramid scheme:
Pyramid schemes, also referred to as franchise fraud, or chain referral schemes, are marketing and investment frauds in which an individual is offered a distributorship or franchise to market a particular product. The real profit is earned, not by the sale of the product, but by the sale of new distributorships. Emphasis on selling franchises rather than the product eventually leads to a point where the supply of potential investors is exhausted and the pyramid collapses. At the heart of each pyramid scheme there is typically a representation that new participants can recoup their original investments by inducing two or more prospects to make the same investment. Promoters fail to tell prospective participants that this is mathematically impossible for everyone to do, since some participants drop out, while others recoup their original investments and then drop out.
You are told by TVI Express to sell nothing, but to recruit at least two people. How is that NOT a pyramid scheme based on the definition given?
Or if you are in Europe, let us try the European Union definition of pyramid scheme (PDF):
“Establishing, operating or promoting a pyramid promotional scheme where a consumer gives consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the introduction of other consumers into the scheme rather than from the sale or consumption of products.”
You are paid by introducing others into TVI Express, right? It's called "board payout". The TVI Express says you need to sell nothing, so you *are* paid primarily from recruiting. That means it is a pyramid scheme based on the EU definition.
Does TVI Express address this concern? Not at all. Are you worried? You should be.
What does a distributor really distribute?
TVI Express claims to be a business opportunity. It refers to members
as "distributors". But in its own FAQ, it states clearly "you don't
need to sell any products".
"This [TVI Express] is a real opportunity and a real Business company with REAL PEOPLE WORLDWIDE making fantastic monthly incomes that will come to them month-after-month, year-after-year."
-- cited from http://www.tviexpress.com (look near the bottom)
3. Do I need to sell any products?
No. You don’t need to sell any products...
-- cited from http://www.tviexpress.com/faq.php#2
"Become a TVI Express Distributor"
-- http://www.tviexpress.com , look at the bottom right corner
So if you don't sell any products, but you are a distributor, what exactly are you distributing? And what do you get for distributing it?
Once you read through their FAQ, it becomes clear: the FAQ states that you have to recruit two people, and teach them each to recruit two more people, in order "make money while you sleep".
In a real network marketing organization, you have to teach your downline to sell things. In a pseudo-network marketing scam, you only have to recruit, and TVI Express only wants you to recruit. It is a scam.
Express recruiters have switched tacts and instead claim that TVI
Express is a giant "travel club" that you buy in with a one-time fee of
$250. Ask them WHY does the TVI Express website says the members are
distributors, and what are they distributing? (besides the opportunity
itself, which is recruiting?) And if they claim it is a travel club, ask them WHICH TRAVEL CLUB IN THE WORLD REQUIRES its members to RECRUIT MORE PEOPLE, and pays huge bonuses for doing so? And WHERE in TVI Express website or presentation claim it is a "club"?
This 7-day 6-night thing... what is it really?
One of the biggest draws of TVI Express is you supposedly get a certificate for 7-day 6-night accommodations at a 5-star hotel, and return plane tickets for that $250 you pay initially.
What you actually get is an e-mail sent to you with a special code, with the border design blatantly stolen from a different website, also doing these "travel certificates". Arousing even more suspicion, TVI Express itself has downgraded its own claims. Its website now says
- 6 Nights/7 Days Vacation in a 3-5 Star Property *
- Free flight ticket offer*
Yet there is NO MENTION of this downgrade on their website.
Those who have actually joined reported that all you got is an e-certificate e-mailed to you that contains a redemption code. On it, I quote:
"This certificate is valid for a registration validation form offering 6nights and 7days accommodations for two, in a three to five star property across the globe."
So it's not necessarily a 5-star property, but anywhere between a 3-star and a 5-star. And there is no mention of the return plane ticket.
Furthermore, even the border on the certificate itself was blatantly stolen from another website. They have the exact dimensions, and the exact same designs. The only thing different is the color. (See pictorial analysis)
What's more, TVI Express's own announcement states that 11 5-star properties are now available to visit. What the announcement did not say, but is obviously from reading the list itself: they are ALL IN INDIA.
A further announcement have pushed back the redemption yet again to March 1, 2010, and yet again, to an undetermined date! Then TVI Express DELETED the announcement of the second delay, which made it appear as if the redemption was active on March 1, 2010!
What's worse, booking portal only came only June 9th, 2010. So the original announcement was a lie as well. Not only did they lie in March, they compounded the lie by deleting the outage announcement.
The announcement that mentioned 11 hotels also says that "hundreds" have enjoyed these properties. ( http://www.tviexpress.com/announcement1.php?id=52 ) With 600000 alleged members, and only hundreds have enjoyed these properties. Later statements revised that to "thousands", but with alleged 1 million members, that's a redemption rate of less than 1%. That's not a product at all.
It's clear that this 7-day 6-night thing is clearly NOT what you think it is.
Then the shocker: in June 2010 TVI Express announced that it will cost you extra $150 to redeem the certificate. Defenders of TVI Express insist that TVI Express have always claimed that 'tax and processing fee' can be charged, but there is no such language on the certificate itself.
If TVI Express can "shrink" its own promise retroactively, what else can they do to you later? Why did they delete their own announcement that says the engine will be down for more time? Will they EVER open a 5-star property for booking in YOUR area that you can go to? And what exactly DID you get for that $250 that you paid initially?
Poll: Is TVI Express a scam?
Do you think TVI Express is a scam?
The collection of above information are just a sample of things TVI Express and their members would NEVER tell you. These are not simply negative views about network marketing, but specific problems about the way TVI Express operate.
TVI Express has thus far refused to address ANY of the questions raised. Some TVI Express members have addressed these questions by using logical fallacies and weasel words. In short, they lied for themselves and TVI Express. TVI Express is also cheered by some "marketing coaches" who happily cheer people to join TVI Express with some weasel reviews, just for a chance to sell some marketing techniques (probably of dubious value).
It is my opinion that TVI Express is a scam of global proportions, and any one who joined had been scammed. However, you need to make up your own mind. Would your TVI Express recruiter answer any of these questions? Or will they just dismiss it as "sour grapes" that you should just ignore? Why?