Charlotte Thomson resides in the UK county of Cornwall. Looking to build a local business to compliment real estate development, Thomson signed up as a Valentus affiliate earlier this year in January.
After six months of promoting Valentus and putting her “heart and soul into it”, last week Thomson received a visit from Trading Standards.
Trading Standards are an enforcement regulator who, among other things, regulate health and safety regulation in the UK.
In a Facebook live video published on August 5th, Thomson recalls the visit;
I had a visit this week from Trading Standards.
I was in my dressing gown holding my little puppy, just got out of the shower.
Just having a normal day thinking everything was fine, and (then) I had two officers at the door, including an enforcement officer, telling me that I’m trading illegally.
Although she stands by Valentus’ products, she acknowledges that they are “not UK approved”.
They’re great products and I believe in them but they are not UK approved.
They’re not registered in the UK. They’re not allowed to be sold in the UK.
For those unfamiliar with the company, Valentus market a weight loss range headed up by their flagship SlimRoast coffee.
Evidently Valentus requires regulatory approval to sell their products in the UK, which for some reason the company has not obtained.
All the more alarming when you consider Alexa cite the UK as the third largest source of traffic to the Valentus website (15%).
Thomson claims at no time did Valentus management indicate there was an issue marketing the MLM opportunity in the UK.
We haven’t had any information on this from the powers above, and we’ve been selling (Valentus products) unknowingly, that this is the situation.
And that’s why I’ve had Trading Standards on my door.
At the time of publication Trading Standards have yet to comment publicly on the matter.
Valentus itself has nothing about their products being illegal in the UK either on their website or social media profiles.
Thomson meanwhile states she’s heeded Trading Standard’s warning, and is unwilling to ‘sell products that I’ve got to look over my shoulder all the time‘.
I want to be involved in a company that’s 100% legitimate, 100% registered, 100% proven (and) scientifically backed up, and that’s followed all the protocol(s) that they should have done.
I don’t think (Valentus) should have launched in the UK without following all these guidelines, without following all these rules and putting all the girls that I work with … in this position.
Thomson has since stopped promoting Valentus.
I cannot be associated with this company anymore because it’s trading illegally in the UK. That is a fact.
I am walking away from the business. I have lost all trust and all faith in this company.
I have worked every hour … since January the 14th to make this a massive business. I am walking away from four figures a week.
Thomson urges anyone who might doubt her claims to contact Trading Standards directly.
I am not the first this has happened to and I’m certainly not the last.
There’ll be more knocks on doors, whether it’s in Cornwall, whether it’s in London or wherever, they’re watching and they know what we’re doing – and unfortunately we’ve been mislead and told a pack of lies.
Thomson announced on August 5th that she’d signed up with Ariix.
BehindMLM reviewed Valentus in January, 2016. We concluded the MLM opportunity leaned towards affiliate autoship recruitment over retail sales.
This seems to mirror Thomson’s experience with the company, as per a followup post made on August 9th;
I was introduced to the business in January and told by Carly Steel and her uplines to order 16 boxes to make the most profit as the cost per box decreases the more you buy.
So for the Leaders to now say they have never sold is nonsense. If we couldn’t sell, why did we need to order ‘stock’?
When I joined the company in January there was no advice or rules on ‘compliance’.
It was only in April that strict rules came in that we couldn’t post company or product names.
We were advised this was because we were at the final stages of registration, but that the products had been approved and we were just waiting on the UK labels.
So yes, I sent a message out about a ‘weightloss coffee’ in Spring time, to Network Cornwall, a networking site that other women use to sell products or advertise their businesses.
This was not a paid database and is optional whether you receive emails from other members, so at no point is this spamming.
THIS despite what fingers are being pointed, is NOT the reason myself, or the company is being investigated.
It is the products and the company failing to adhere to UK laws.
For the company to now be still trading without selling a product is a Pyramid Scheme – Illegal.
So whether they are selling or just ‘recruiting’ they are acting illegally.
All Beth Robinson’s videos that showed how to boost sales and make profit from selling boxes have been removed from YouTube – Make of this what you will.
I have screen prints from their Team Pages telling reps to keep selling but only to close family or friends, and not on social media, to avoid being caught – What sort of company is this!?
I have been advised by Trading Standards that I cannot sell or be associated with the brand, and that other leaders and reps are under investigation for also selling illegally, whether they were doing so knowingly or not.
All I have done is try to speak out and protect everyone else in the firing line.
The amount of lies and deceit from the top leaders and coaches in this company has shocked me – Which led me to my decision not to continue.
Yes I was offered legal assistance but I was also told I would be ‘suspended’ to pacify Trading Standards’ while a separate account was set up in another name.
Ask yourself why would they do this if I was at fault? I do not want, or need to be defended by a company with such unscrupulous morals and little consideration for their representatives.
I am angry, upset and disappointed at the abuse I have received for standing up for myself and the thousands of other reps in the UK.
I will not stand for any more threats and abuse – And any evidence of such will be forwarded to the relevant authorities.
Sounds like there’s a fair bit more than just affiliate autoship going on hey…