Summary of Action
Specifically, TINA.org’s investigation revealed that Team National and its distributors are using a plethora of deceptive, atypical, and unsubstantiated income claims to market the Team National business opportunity. Such marketing materials include claims of participants quitting their jobs, becoming stay-at-home parents, traveling the world, and buying homes, vacation properties, and luxury vehicles, among other things. The problem with these claims is that the vast majority of Team National’s “eligible” distributors — or 88% — received no income at all in 2017 and the average earnings for the remainder of eligible distributors was about $600 for the year.
As a result of these findings, TINA.org sent a notification letter to Team National on December 18, 2017 (as part of TINA.org’s DSA-Member investigation) notifying it of TINA.org’s findings of more than 80 examples of exaggerated income claims. The company responded on December 20, 2017 stating, among other things, that it takes “very seriously the allegations in [TINA.org’s] letter … and are seriously investigating these claims.”
However, TINA.org audited its original sampling of deceptive Team National income claims that it provided to the company back in December 2017 and found that, as of June 2018, all of the claims were still up on the Internet. In addition, TINA.org found more than 100 additional deceptive income claims made by the company and its distributors, for a total of more than 200 deceptive Team National income claims in TINA.org’s database.
Therefore, on June 14, 2018, TINA.org filed complaint letters with the Federal Trade Commission and Florida Attorney General urging them both to investigate the company and take appropriate enforcement action. TINA.org also filed a complaint with the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) on April 30, 2019, which opened an investigation into the company, found that Team National’s marketing materials include income results that can not be generally expected by the typical Team National distributor, and recommended that the company either remove atypical earnings claims or modify them to include clear and conspicuous disclosures regarding the generally expected income of Team National distributors.