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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Woking Council - Why Are They Still Operating A Scam Loyalty Scheme?





Before I start this post, I'd like to stress unequivocally that I do NOT think that Woking Council are knowingly operating the scam Loyalty Card scheme owned by Lyoness.
I believe that Woking Council genuinely think the 'Woking Loyalty Card Scheme' is run by a legitimate company.
But they're wrong. I notified the Council over two weeks ago about my research into Lyoness and Cashback World, and asked them some really basic questions. 

But so far they haven't replied.

Even if they doubted my word, just a few simple phone calls to any of the National Retailers that Cashback World claim are Merchants, would have confirmed what I'd been saying:
That Cashback World have consistently lied about who their Merchants are. They claim National Retailers are members of their scheme, but they aren't. I've asked them.

At the very least, I would have expected the scheme to be suspended, pending investigation, but this scheme is still being promoted:








I've been reading the public document provided by Woking with information about the Loyalty Card. Here they describe how the card works:

'Merchants pay to join the loyalty program by purchasing an electronic platform to record and reward transactions.
Merchants receive 0.5% on all transactions made by a customer who signed up to the scheme in their place of business.

For example: a card provided by 'Woking Tools Ltd' and used in a Marks and Spencer in Perth, Australia, would earn the Woking merchant 0.5% of that transaction...the Council, as 'owners' of the scheme, will be rewarded with 0.5% of very transaction, on any card issued by a Woking Merchant.'


'The proposed programme will be positioned within the growing Lyoness worldwide community, of which its UK operation is but one of 47 countries in which it operates...
examples of well known partner stores include Tesco, Morrisons, Boots, Marks and Spencer, Argos, Harrods and B&Q'.


Firstly, 47 countries? The Cashback World website only has  Merchant stores from 32 countries displayed. 
And Australia isn't one of them.



Secondly, I've already exposed the lie that major Retailers are participants in this scheme:

The only Retailer listed in Wokings example that is a participant is ARGOS.
All the others, except one, have confirmed in writing that they know nothing about this scheme and are not associated with it.
But laughably the 'except one' is HARRODS. Because even Cashback World haven't had the audacity to lie about that famous store! 




Woking Council also state:

 'The operating platform will be provided by Lyoness, the largest international Loyalty programme in the world.'

So Cashback World are the largest International Loyalty programme in the world? Really?
I'm pretty sure Nectar wouldn't agree with that statement.





So what about the financial benefits to Woking Council?

Woking Council state:

'0.5% of each transaction value is rebated by Lyoness to the Merchant (0.5%) and to Woking Borough Council (0.5%)'

So how do Woking achieve that?
By getting as many Woking businesses as possible to sign up. They even helpfully give advice on the best option to join: 

Although there are several Lyoness IT platform options available for the Woking Card Loyalty Programme,it is proposed that Merchants be encouraged to take the 'Basic Programme option'.
This can be supplied at a one-off supply and installation fee of £360 plus vat per merchant, for the platform, initial supply of bespoke cards and marketing...there is also an ongoing fee of £30 per month.'

So in order for Woking to get it's 0.5% commission in transactions, it's asking Woking businesses - all Council Tax payers - to give Lyoness £360 upfront, then another £30 per month, which is another £360 per year, every year. 

So I wonder if that 0.5% in council earnings has covered the council costs yet?

'The scheme will be managed by the Business Liason team, requiring the equivalent of 0.5 FTE(Full-time Equivalent)of resource...
The Woking Loyalty Card Programme requires an officer to manage the scheme (Woking Loyalty Manager)...earning £11,000 per annum.'

How many 0.5% commissions will Woking have to earn to cover the £11,000 per year expenditure I wonder?  'Alot' is the answer.


The Council did a 'Sustainability Impact Assessment' and an 'Equalities Impact Assessment' on Lyoness and Cashback World but unfortunately neglected to do a 'Common Sense Assessment' with a simple Google check and a few basic phone calls. 

Both Woking Council and the local newspaper have been told about Lyoness and Cashback World, but unfortunately they're both doing this:



They'd better get their heads out of the sand quickly before Woking tax payers discover they've been had!


https://taratalkstoday.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/lyoness-cashback-world-falsely-claiming.html


https://taratalkstoday.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/lyoness-loyalty-card-accepted-at-woking.html

Friday, 27 April 2018

LYONESS CASHBACK WORLD - Falsely Claiming National Retailers are Merchants




If you go onto the Cashback World website, you can search for participants of their scheme.
http://www.cashback-solutions.com
National Retailers logos are displayed:






 But unfortunately, a lot of these national retailers don't  actually accept this card:



'...don't accept any loyalty cards apart from Morrisons More card.'




 '...this isn't a Loyalty Card that we accept in our stores.'








'...I am really so sorry, no, we do not accept this loyalty card.'








'...our operational support team have advised this card isn't accepted within our stores.' 







'...we don't take Cashback World Loyalty Card.'










' I can confirm this is not a company we are affiliated with. So the cashback would not apply.'






'...we don't accept (Cashback) World loyalty card.'









'...we're not familiar with the Cashback World card.'







'...I have spoken with my team and they have informed me that we do not accept a loyalty card from CASHBACK WORLD.' 











'B&Q have no affiliation with this site.'










'...and our team(at the Strand shop)have advised that we do not accept Cashback World Loyalty cards.' 




'We are sorry to inform you that we do not accept Cashback World Loyalty Card in store or online.'


All the above companies have denied being a Merchant for Cashback World, and yet Cashback World claim they are 'Loyal Merchants' and have their own Merchant ID's. 
Which is clearly a lie. 

And many retailers are also listed twice, for instance, 'Curry's'/ 'Currys PC World' and Top Man/Top Man Acadia, who have different points listed, but are the exact same company.

There are some national retailers however, who do take this card: 
ARGOS, Banana Republic, Halfords(Ireland), Europcar - and I'm waiting for replies from many more, but I'm not so sure they know what they've signed up to.
I had this interesting reply from INTERFLORA:






'Good Morning Tara, You would need to follow the link to our website on cashback world to get the loyalty from what I understand. This is an offer from cashback world not Interflora directly.'


 



So if LYONESS haven't got as many Merchants as they claim to have, then where does all the money come from to pay out Cashback? Can it really all come from Merchants?

Merchants have to pay for their initial chosen package, a dependent monthly fee of £14 and another 'one-off' fee of £210 to join the Cashback World online shopping community:



But just look at all the benefits that thousands of free customers supposedly get:



The money that Merchants are paying - mostly small businesses remember - would hardly scratch the surface of  the tens of thousands of pounds supposedly popped straight into (millions) of free members bank accounts.

So what makes up this 'free' money?

It seems to come from three areas:
1/ Merchants
2/ Online shopping
3/ Referrals

Merchants:
Merchants pay LYONESS for their chosen business package which consists (amongst other things) of free cards, which they can distribute to customers.
When free members go into a shop ( or online shopping) displaying the Cashback World sign and use their card, those members are supposed to get a variety of freebies which include discounts, shopping points and cashback payments which (if they choose) could then qualify them for the 'friendship bonus'.

Online Shopping:
Many of the sites listed on Cashback World have direct links to that companies website. But the contact details for the store have this email address:
service.uk@cashbackworld.com
And the phone number listed is mostly LYONESS as well.





Many of the benefits listed say you'll receive vouchers from online sales. But there are lots of vouchers universally accepted in retail stores/online and anybody can purchase them. 
The message from Interflora proves that there is no direct link between Cashback World and (some of) the Merchants, so Cashback World can pay members from money generated from other means - like referral sales?


Referrals:
To be a member of Lyoness, you need to sign up under somebody. That could be the Merchant, or a friend/colleague.
The 'friendship bonus' pays 0.5% commission to every Lyoness member when their referrals also make purchases in approved Cashback World sites.
And their referrals make commission on their referrals purchases... so the referral triangle gets a bigger and bigger base. 

This is just one of many diagrams showing how one LYONESS member can generate income from the members beneath them.



They give these triangles different headings, but they all have the same thing in common: Bring in new members, with new money, and you'll get paid for doing so. 

This is the detail of their affiliate programme, all EIGHT levels:




So how do you advance up this ladder of levels? Like this:

"I was introduced to Lyoness by my father in 2010. He told me that I could get cash back with every purchase, for free. Since this sounded like a great idea to me, I registered myself in 2010, and at the same time purchased 3 units (for 150 euros) in accounting category I (then called 'economy class').
Shortly afterwards, my father's upline (and his son) showed me the Lyoness system, and said that if I would down pay 2,000 euros on future purchases now, I would receive 16,572 euros over the next few years, and even more!!! On the condition that I would have four directs under the me, with at least one unit in accounting category I, either through payment or purchases.
He also said the company had been around since 2009 and has been approved by the Chamber of Commerce.
He also told immediately afterwards that it was now possible to purchase units to benefit from the consumption in the American market, again with a minimum of 2,000 euros in down-payments on future purchases. In one to two years, I would benefit from my investments, without doing anything - it would go automatically. And if at some point, I would no longer be interested, I would get my down-payments back in vouchers, thus: zero risk.

This sounded unbelievable to me and like a big chance to earn money, even though I had not yet understood how it was supposed to work.
Thereupon, I subscribed with my father for a business package, since I was only 17 years young and therefore still a minor.

And because I thought that this was the chance of my life to earn from the American market, I down paid immediately another 2,000 euros on future purchases.

Thereupon I tried to understand how the system worked and learned that the Lyoness system is not exactly true, but just somehow logical. I then also used the so-called Unit Calculator and the outcome surprised me a lot. According to the calculator, one 50 euro unit in AC1, after having been put through all accounting categories, is worth 19,458 euros.

I went to an info meeting at Graz airport and had a good look, since I had not understood everything the first time. Then I received from my father's referrer sponsor films by Gerry Seebacher, to enhance my understanding of the system.

The only thing that actually became clear to me was that I will not be given my down-payments in vouchers back, if I do not first pay the full value myself. Moreover, I would be so stupid if I would pay the value of my down-payments myself, because then I would not get more for my units and also my personal billing system would not fill up. Because indeed, down-payments always render huge profits.

My father's upline took me to a huge event of Lyoness (Sensation) on 29.05.2010, where I agreed to go, because I wanted to see it for myself.

I was amazed by the mood of the more than 3,000 or 5,000 people there and them and me felt awesome.

All I thought to understand after half to three quarters of a year was: WOW, amazing, there is no better way to make money, so easy and sooo logical.

On 18/09/2010, on the next Lyoness Sensation (entrance price €99) in Bratislava and I, as an enthusiastic Lyonesse, immediately went out to find an amazing beautiful experience and motivating day. They had not promised too much, when they said 8,000 people from all over the world, already active in Lyoness worldwide, traveled all the way to be present at this event.

To make sure they would not only provide the people with information, they also had Groove Coverage there to play live on stage. At this day, they also announced the TÜV and ISO certifications.

I do not remember it exactly, but Mr. Freidl said something like this: "Other companies must subject themselves to such tests - we have done it voluntarily. We are proud that we have obtained and kept them."

Late 2010, my father's upline said, one must make a deposit in America in the Accounting Category IV, because else one loses bookings, if the other open units (in the other categories) are all filled. Therefore, I down paid another 1,200 euros. I did not know why, but I believed him.

I told others what all is possible with Lyoness, but only a very few believed me, and the others warned me, but I could not imagine that's a bad thing.

I was told that you should leave these people alone - they are wrong for this business. A little later, the Indian, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) markets were opened. It was called gigantic market, huge purchasing volume, millions of people who shop there you just have to go along, and earn from this potential.

I then down paid the next 2,000 euros for IMEA.

In the meantime, I went to seminars and other meetings of Lyoness. As time went by, the next Lyoness Sensation was due. I, as a sworn-in Lyonesse, understood it was how they described it. I went on 17.09.2011 to the Papp Laszlo Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest/Hungary (ticket price €199), to be there live and as a present for coming, we received a unit in the continental Asia Accounting Programme. It was booked on 19/09/2011 - the official opening of Asia was at the end of July 2012.

Budapest was the absolute max - 11,000 people from all over the world had traveled there. To beat the other sensations, Shaggy was also invited. Top speaker Karl Pilsl was also there. Something he has said, I will never forget saying: "We live in a time of pioneers, we live in a time of visionaries, we live in a time where people are willing to do things other people are not willing to do."

The idea of Lyoness grew bigger and bigger, nothing could take me down anymore, I neglected and forgot all the negative and sunk, so to say, in the world of Lyoness.

A month later, Spain was opened and again I down paid 2,000 euros for Lyoness units.

The business is so awesome and simple, it must simply function.

It did not take long before the next country opened: BRAZIL! There were the same reasons as to why everyone should participate: huge purchasing volume, etc ...........

It was also made possible for people with little money to join in. When many, small contributions count too.
One should until 1,999 euros, order 200 euro shopping vouchers and from 2,000 euros order 500 euro shopping vouchers.

Since I was running out of money, and nevertheless I wanted to join in (coming anyway umpteen times as much back), I down paid 350 euros (in 150 euro and 200 euro vouchers in AC1) into Lyoness.

One month later came Asia. Asia, the largest market in the world, billions of people shopping and earn on this continent, by doing nothing! Just down pay. The thought of that ............ simply unimaginable.

Therefore, I decided again to put a deposit into the continental Asia accounting programme, worth 700 euros. It was possible to deposit 3 times 7200 euros. Our executive called those deposits the three wishes, the bigger the wish, the more one should deposit. If you wish for little, you should deposit little. Everyone must decide for themselves.

Another successful year had passed and to celebrate, there was the next sensation on 15.9.2012 in Vienna. One had to have the premium status in order to be entitled to be present at this event. As a gift for coming, everyone received a unit in the National Action booking in India. At the end of this event, Mr. Freidl also told us that the people who register online from today on the website would get Lyoness Premium Members. Customers I still did not get today.

As I was low on money again, I thought twice before buying myself a new computer. Instead, I down paid in Asia, so that I could soon buy myself 20 new computers.

So I put down my second deposit in Asia (of 650 euros).

I did not like the broadcast of ORF Report on Lyoness. I thought it were all lies, and that is what all true leaders said too - the ones who criticise this company must not have understood it. I also thought Lyoness could not possibly be ILLEGAL, because Lyoness exists far too long, and has also received awards.

Approximately two weeks later, there was another ORF Report episode on Lyoness. Then, I believed everything would be forgotten again in about a week (which was not the case).

In late 2012 or early 2013, there was another seminar at Hotel Nova Park, conducted by Mr. Psaridis, with over 500 participants. The atmosphere was excellent and all the negative was forgotten again. Purely by chance, at the end of the seminar, he showed a slide about India and how the economy looks like there, and that everyone would work there mostly being (partly) self-employed, and that there were billions of such people there. Closing remarks by the President: "I think we all know that we have the hottest business and what is coming towards all of us sitting here. We will all be a president someday - there is no 'if', only 'when', it cannot be avoided." Therefore, I decided to make a deposit into India again.


Immersed in the world of Lyoness, I gathered all the money that I had left to join in one more time. I down paid 2,000 euros into the National Indian market. According to the Unit Calculator, my down-payments were now worth the incredible, overwhelming amount of 1,787,956 euros (if put through all accounting categories). Naively, I thought that now I would never have to worry about money again. I knew that I would not get this amount of money right away, but in the next few years.

This spring, someone wrote to me on the Internet and said that everything Lyoness told us is incorrect. I got a number that I should call and from that day, the Lyoness world collapsed for me...'


This is just one story from a former affiliate of LYONESS, and there are many, many more on this website:
http://cc-lyoness.blogspot.co.uk


More Information:

Mastercard have confirmed LYONESS are not customers.





UKIP were pitched LYONESS,  but they declined:

https://www.ukipdaily.com/theres-always-another-one/



Some time ago, a party official introduced the Lyoness scheme (specifically see this) to the NEC with a proposal that the Party join the scheme and officially promote it to our members. The Party was told we would earn a commission. Upon interviewing the introducer, the NEC discovered that he was also going to earn a commission, which prior to our questioning, he had failed to disclose to us. We also performed our own due diligence on the scheme and decided to reject it. The Wikipedia page and the reference links on that page will give you a good indication as to why we reached such a decision.
“We became aware that the party official in question intended to promote the scheme to Party members at official UKIP events despite the NEC’s rejection of the scheme. The NEC resolved that Lyoness shopping card shall not be promoted at UKIP events or by UKIP officers to UKIP members, and that such promotion in breach of this motion shall be deemed to be bringing the Party into disrepute“, and the Party Treasurer was directed to inform the official in question of this resolution of the NEC.
“I understand that at the UKIP chairmans’ conference yesterday, the official in question apparently willfully defied the resolution of the NEC and promoted the scheme to branch (and other level) chairmen regardless, apparently with the intent that the chairmen promote the scheme to their members.
“I believe that it is important that all the branch chairmen are made aware of the NEC resolution (branch chairmen would come under the ambit of “UKIP officers” of the NEC resolution) and I believe that our members should be warned of the issues surrounding this scheme and be informed that UKIP not only does not endorse this scheme but that the NEC have resolved to distance ourselves from it.”

And you'll find lots of other good sources of information about LYONESS on this site:

 http://behindmlm.com 

The Austrian Press have reported LYONESS as a pyramid scam:
http://www.news247.gr/koinonia/eglima/sti-dimosiotita-ta-stoicheia-ton-aystriakon-egkefalon-kai-toy-ellina-synergoy-toys-gia-tin-apati-pyramida-tis-lyoness.6367766.html

Source:
 http://www.realscam.com/f48/lyoness-2855/#post122877


So have Switzerland:
https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/d/lyoness-mitglieder-koennen-geldzurueckfordern/


LYONESS company Information:




https://taratalkstoday.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/woking-council-why-are-they-still.html

https://taratalkstoday.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/lyoness-loyalty-card-accepted-at-woking.html


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

LYONESS: Loyalty Card Accepted at Woking Council and ARGOS - Scheme or Scam?



Woking Borough Council in the UK, launched a Loyalty Card Scheme in April 2017.






The Loyalty scheme is run by a company called 'LYONESS'.




LYONESS/LYCONET describe themselves on their corporate page as:

'Lyoness Europe AG has been authorised by Cashback World to expand a part of the global network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), which belongs to the myWorld group of companies, with the help of independent sales partners. To this end, Lyoness markets the Cashback Solutions’ customer loyalty programmes, that grant SMEs innovative opportunities to retain loyal customers and acquire new ones. Lyoness Europe AG has been authorised by Cashback World to expand a part of the global network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), which belongs to the myWorld group of companies, with the help of independent sales partners. To this end, Lyoness markets the Cashback Solutions’ customer loyalty programmes, that grant SMEs innovative opportunities to retain loyal customers and acquire new ones. Simultaneously, Lyoness promotes a part of the international Shopping Community Cashback World, that allows its Members to save money on their daily purchases.'
Together with its partners, Lyoness is active in 43 countries across the globe and currently supports 8 million shoppers and 80,000 Loyalty Merchants in diverse sectors.. Simultaneously, Lyoness promotes a part of the international Shopping Community Cashback World, that allows its Members to save money on their daily purchases.'


The local paper were very enthusiastic, and wrote this article on their front page:





Lets Shop and Save.
Exclusive by Stuart Flitton


WOKING could become a pioneer in hosting a groundbreaking international loyalty card scheme that combines financial benefits to shoppers, businesses and charities.
The proposed scheme would involve shoppers signing up for the Woking Loyalty Card Programme with shops and other businesses in the town centre. 

The card, run by International company Lyoness Management, is available in Britain but Woking Borough Council would be the first local authority in the country to team up with Lyoness.
The scheme is free to shoppers, who could get cashback up to 5% that would go into their bank accounts and also gain loyalty points. Businesses would get 0.5% on all transactions using the cards they issue, not only in Woking but in any of the 47 countries around the world where the card is accepted.
Woking Borough Council would also receive 0.5% of all transactions, which will benefit good causes through the Woking Community Foundation.
The proposed plan is to be put forward tonight (23rd March 2017) to the council executive, which will be asked to recommend that the full council appoints Lyoness to run the programme at it's next meeting on 6th April (2017).
Participating businesses will have to buy an electronic devise to process card transactions and pay a small monthly fee, but will benefit, not only directly from the money back on transactions, but by increased custom and marketing generated by the card.
It is believed that other loyalty schemes in neighbouring boroughs have been considered but dismissed on cost grounds, whereas the Lyoness version, which will be known as the Woking Loyalty Card Programme if it receives the backing of the full council, is seen as costing the authority very little, whie offering widespread benefits.
It be managed by the Councils Business Liason team as part of it's business engagement duties.
The draft plan involves the scheme being intoduced initially to the town centre, and then to other parts of the borough, with the hope that surrounding local authorities will see the advantages and join in.
It is believed that some local authorities in London are watching the planned Woking scheme closely.
Business Liason portfolio holder Cllr Saj Hussain said: 'This would be great - it will help put Woking on the map as the card will be available globally - as far apart as Australia, Dubai and elsewhere. With the benefits to businesses, shoppers and good causes, it is a win-win situation. I hope the executive and council agrees and look forward to this coming to the town.' 



But 'LYONESS' have been in the spotlight for many years, in many countries, with accusations being made that it's simply a pyramid scam.
Lyoness were the subject of a court case by the Consumer Watchdog ACCC in Australia in 2014:






'THE consumer watchdog is taking a popular loyalty card company to court for allegedly operating a pyramid selling scheme.
Lyoness, an Austrian company founded in 2003, operates a ‘cashback’ scheme which provides rebates to members who shop through a Lyoness portal, use its vouchers or present their Lyoness card at participating retailers.
A number of large brands participate in the Lyoness Loyalty Program, including Vintage Cellars, Overland, Oakley, Microsoft, First Choice Liquor, Liquorland, DealsDirect, Tyrepower and Barbeques Galore.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, although Lyoness has been investigated by regulators in other countries, this is the first court action taken against the company alleging that the Lyoness Loyalty Program constitutes a pyramid scheme.
The ACCC also claims the conduct by Lyoness breached laws against ‘referral selling’, where a consumer is induced to buy goods or services by the promise of a commission or rebate contingent on a later event.'

'...ACCC chairman Rod Sims told news.com.au: “The old days of simple pyramid selling don’t exist anymore, understandably. They’re complex schemes. The judgement we make at a high level is whether your money essentially comes from signing up other people rather than selling something of substance.”
'...the ACCC alleges that the Lyoness scheme also offers commissions to members who recruit new members who make a down payment on future shopping.
According to Mr Sims, Lyoness had around 50,000 members in Australia as of May this year. “Our concern was that this scheme is growing rapidly — by the nature of a pyramid it can,” he said.
The ‘premium’ membership, under which members can participate in what the ACCC claims is the pyramid recruitment side of the scheme, costs $3000.
“$3000 is a good number, but there are all sorts of inducements and a lot of pressure on members to spend more and more money in the scheme,” he said.


The court judgement however, went in Lyoness's favour:

“The manner in which pyramid selling schemes operate…is complex and elusive. The present Lyoness Loyalty Program is no exception,” said Justice Flick.

ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said: “The judgment echoed some of the concerns the ACCC had with the scheme, in particular its complexity and the inducements that were held to prospective members”.

“The ACCC will continue to investigate schemes that encourage consumers to recruit new members. We will take action where appropriate to ensure consumers are not drawn into schemes where the financial benefits held out to induce potential members to join up rely substantially on the recruitment of further new members into the scheme,” Sims said.


LYONESS were also investigated by the Norwegian Gaming Board in 2013, and then again in 2018.  

'... the Lottery Authority has assessed whether Lyoness is an illegal pyramid-like sales system pursuant to section 16, second paragraph, of the Lottery Act.
In the assessment, we have assumed that revenues from Lyoness’s business in Norway are mainly from the acquisition of participants, and not from sales or consumption of goods, services or other benefits.'

'Notification of resolution means that all repatriation of participants and loyalty companies to CashBack World and Lyconet, and all sales and use of benefit cards, discount coupons, customer shares, gift cards, promotional materials, seminars and other products in the workplace must be terminated.'

On January 11th 2018 , the Norwegion Lottery Authority concluded that  Lyoness  was indeed a pyramid scam and banned LyonessEurope AG and Lyoness Norway AS, from operating in Norway.
Seeming to disassociate themselves from these accusations, 'LYONESS UK LTD' have changed their name in the UK to: 'My World UK'.



I emailed Woking Borough Council to ask if the scheme was still up and running, or had it closed down, and this was their reply: 

Dear Tara,
Thank you for your email. Although Woking Borough Council supports the Woking Loyalty Scheme, we do not run it. The scheme is currently seeking businesses to offer the card and there is a plan to start distributing loyalty cards to the general public. So no, it has not closed down. 
Any further detail you may require can be obtained from Jonathan Lytle, cced in above. 

Kind regards 

Chris Norrington

Business Liaison Manager | Business Liaison |


Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6YL
DDI: 01483 743 900 | Mobile: 07768 294 138 | Webwww.woking.gov.uk | Twitter: @wokingcouncil
For general enquiries: 01483 755855

So I contacted Jonathan, pretending to be a prospective Merchant of the 'Cashback World' card:

Hello Jonathan,
Could you please tell me how many people/businesses have signed up to this scheme? 
Has Woking made any money from it yet?
Thanks,
Tara.

And he kindly replied, very quickly:


Good evening Tara
I am very pleased to see you taking an interest in the programme, thank you for the contact.
May I ask if you are a resident in Woking or perhaps run a business ?  I will be very pleased to understand your particular interest and will be very happy to respond accordingly.
I look forward to hearing from you.
With thanks again, and
Kind regards

Jonathan

Jonathan Lytle
Woking Loyalty

D 01483 610610
T 020 3451 8515


'Hi Jonathan, 
... I believe businesses have to purchase a terminal to accept these loyalty cards? I would really like to know how many members of this scheme you currently have and the costs involved with it? Have you got some literature you could email me?'

From: Jonathan Lytle <jonathan@wokingloyalty.com>
Sent: 17 April 2018 16:07
To:
Subject: Re: The Woking Loyalty Card Programme

Hello Tara

That sounds exciting and of course I will be pleased to tell you more. Please send me best telephone number to reach you on for us to explore this together. I have will be pleased to find out more about your plans, how the loyalty programme might work for you, explaining the processes to turn this into an opportunity for you and your business. 

Many thanks
Jonathan

Hi Jonathan,
Thank you for your quick response.
I've been doing some research on the company and have a couple of questions for you.
  1. This scheme is paid for by merchants and it has three entry levels. Has Woking paid any money to join...?
  2. If I joined the scheme at the basic level of £400, how many cards would that give me to distribute, and when I ran out, how much does it cost to get some more? 
Many thanks,
Tara.

As yet, I have had no replies to any of my questions, which is a little odd since they were very keen to help me initially. Hopefully, he will reply to my initial questions very soon, because I have a lot more questions to ask him. Watch this space ...


The Scheme:
The Woking Loyalty Card scheme is free to Woking shoppers, and points can be earned without ever handing over a penny, which in theory, sounds great.

But it's the affiliate scheme associated with the points system that looks suspect to me.

'Lyconet' have a very complicated points system that's brilliantly deciphered here:
http://behindmlm.com/companies/lyoness/lyconet-review-unit-commissions-that-dont-add-up/

Put simply: The points you earn from shopping can be used to qualify for affiliate commissions. And if you bring in people under you, you receive commissions when they earn points. And they in turn, earn commissions when they bring in more people...and so on, and so on. So the scheme is the shape of a triangle, the base just keeps getting bigger and bigger with every new layer of referrals.

'Cashback World'
Cashback World sells three types of packages to Merchants, who then get varying degrees of benefits, including Point Of Sale materials, Loyalty Cards, Support Services etc. The Merchants can then give their cards away free to their customers, who can then use the card in other participating Merchant stores, earning cashback/points from any purchases. The Merchant also makes money every time their card is used at another Merchants store. 

There are the three levels of packages:


LIGHT - which has a one-off payment of £400.
BASIC- which costs either £31.90 a month OR  a one-off charge of £720.00, and
PROFESSIONAL - which costs either £71.90 a month or a whopping one-off fee of £1040.

But in order for Merchants to re-coup their investment, they have to have a lot of repeat customers into there store, on a regular basis. Because not only are they paying (monthly) for a terminal to process these loyalty cards, they're also obliged to give discounts on their stock, which reduces their already wafer-thin profit margins.

If every single shop/business in Woking used this Loyalty Card, they would all have to give a discount on every single item brought. How is that economically viable? Isn't this loyalty card more likely to drive prices up, than offer savings?
(If any Merchants from Woking are reading this, I'd love to hear your viewpoint and the reality of how this scheme works. Please leave your comments at the end of this post.)

The Merchants:

Cashback World claims to have over 80,000 merchants listed, and have logos from major retailers like Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer on their website.


So I did a little checking, and guess what?
Marks and Spencer (M&S) DON'T take them.




Neither do MORRISONS:



I haven't had a reply from Tesco's yet, but as Tesco has their own very successful loyalty card, 'CLUBCARD', I'm going to safely assume that the answer will be a 'no' also. 

So why are Lyoness displaying famous logos on their 'Cashback World' website, claiming that household names accept them, when they don't?

And interestingly, the ARGOS logo is not displayed on the cashback site, but Argos do accept the card:





p.s The 80,000 merchant post was snipped on Monday 16th April.
Today, Wednesday 18th April, they seem to have accumulated an extra 10,000 merchants from somewhere, as now they're claiming 90,000!






So is 'Lyoness/Cashback World' a scam or a legitimate company?
The greatest source of information on any company, is from it's consumers.
And these Lyoness consumers aren't very complimentary about them:

https://lyoness.pissedconsumer.com/real-scam-201802251197439.html



:

Lyoness on Television

Lyoness was pitched on the Canadian version of Dragons Den, and I think you
can probably guess how that turned out:



The Lyoness Website:
https://www.lyoness.com





The Cashback World website has a disclaimer at the bottom:


* The margin benefits are dependant on the products purchased and the Loyalty Merchant. All hereto information on this website is therefore without guarantee.



 The Lyoness website mentions the word 'investment' quite prominently.








WE HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU:


  • Would you like to offer attractive added value without a large investment?
  • Would you like to cut your marketing costs but still run successful marketing campaigns?
  • Fed up of struggling against large multi-national businesses?
  • Keen to learn more about your customers as well as your market and its potential?
If CashWorld are selling their packages as an 'INVESTMENT' shouldn't they be registered as such? Maybe that's something the Financial Conduct Authority can look at?
https://www.fca.org.uk



In conclusion, if Woking Borough Council and a national retailer like ARGOS accept the Lyoness 'Cashback World' Loyalty Card, then we have to presume that their respective legal departments would have looked at the card and scrutinized the company issuing it? 

But I'm going to agree with the Norwegian Authorities and the Canadian Dragons and say:
 'Thanks, but I won't be investing'! 

20th April 2018 
I found this blog link today which is full of heartbreaking stories of people losing money from Lyoness. How can anybody in their right minds believe that Lyoness is anything other than a scam?
http://cc-lyoness.blogspot.co.uk/


1st May 2018


'...designed by Global experts'


Indeed.