We refer to the recent article published on the BBC website by Health and Disinformation reporter Rachel Schraer about allegations against QNET in India. We are surprised and disappointed that Ms.Schraer, who claims to be a disinformation reporter, makes a number of unsubstantiated claims in her article about QNET and goes on to state the following:
And while the company has previously publicly denied the allegations, it did not respond when we asked them to comment on the accusations of money laundering and specific cases detailing the behaviour of some of their agents.
This is a false statement as we have documented evidence of all our correspondence with Ms.Schraer over the last two months.
Ms.Schraer first contacted us on Nov 13, 2022 with a set of queries. QNET’s media team responded to these queries on Nov 17, 2022.
Ms.Schraer then sent us another email on Nov 23, 2022 claiming not to have heard from us, and sent us additional queries. Once again, we immediately responded to her within a matter of a few hours on the same day.
Ms.Schraer then went on to publish a podcast on Dec 3 on BBC Trending and made similarly unsubstantiated claims about not receiving any comment from QNET.
On Jan 24, 2023, Ms.Schraer sent us a new email asking for comment on the same allegations she had previously contacted us about. This time she gave us less than 24 hours to respond. Once again, QNET’s media team responded to her within a few hours, well before her stipulated deadline.
Hence, it is shocking to note that her new article claims QNET did not respond when asked for comment. It is unfortunate that a media house of the stature of BBC allows for such obviously biased reporting, especially by a reporter who is assigned to uncover disinformation.
In light of this development, we publish in full, the correspondence with Ms.Schraer and our responses to the allegations sent by the BBC :
Dear Ms. Schraer,
We are surprised to receive this email from you as we have responded to the same allegations and all your other questions previously in a timely manner. Accordingly, when your broadcast aired on 3rd December 2022, we were surprised and disappointed that you falsely claimed QNET did not provide any comments to your questions.
We have documented evidence of all our correspondence with you, including confirmation from our mail service provider that all our emails have reached you. Despite this, you chose not to use any of our responses in your broadcast whilst giving Amway the courtesy of reading out their statement in the same broadcast.
You claim to be a reporter “committed to fighting disinformation”. Actively electing to ignore material provided lays bare such a claim. And now again, you have given us less than 24 hours to respond.
However, we are committed to being transparent as always. We provide you with this response once again and trust you will use our material and give us a fair portrayal in connection with your email.
We are also enclosing the documents we have previously sent you with detailed answers to all your questions (through emails dated Nov 17, 2022 and Nov 23, 2022).
- Court orders
- Previous detailed response document
- Newspaper ad warning public we are not investment scheme
- That QNET “duped a huge number of innocent investors”.
QNET in India operates its business through its franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd. QNET markets nutrition, wellness, and lifestyle products through an ecommerce platform. A visit to our website will confirm that we do not promote any “investment scheme”. Hence the use of the word “investors” is wrong.
We only have retail customers or distributors registered with the Company, legally bound by a Distributor Agreement which clearly states that a QNET distributor can earn commissions ONLY on the basis of sale of products.
In fact, the Company encourages its distributors to report any business malpractice directly to its consumer grievance cell, and we proactively handle genuine complaints. This is also aligned with the expectations of the Consumer Protection Act, as gazetted under the Direct Selling Rules (issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India).
Additionally, QNET has launched a global disinformation centre that we previously informed you about, where we encourage the public to report instances of disinformation related to QNET’s business.
- That QNET is a Ponzi scheme where money is made through new recruits’ investments being circulated and not through selling to external customers.
The statement referring to QNET as a “Ponzi scheme” does not have any legal bearing.
QNET’s franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling India (Pvt. Ltd) and its business legitimacy was recognised in January 2022 by the High Court of Karnataka. This was established after the court heard the submissions of the company on the illegal invocation of the provisions of the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act (KPIDFE), 2004, against the company by the Govt. of Karnataka. While directing the company to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation, the Court protected the company from any further coercive action.
For more info you may refer to this media report: The Hindu
In the past five years, Vihaan Direct Selling has received several other favourable legal verdicts further establishing its legitimacy. Copies of these have been provided to you in our previous correspondence.
- That the company did not tell investors how their money was being used and routed it into shell companies
Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd denies this allegation. We do not market any investment schemes and have never accepted any monetary deposits.
Additionally, as shared with you previously in our email dated Nov 18, 2022, Vihaan Direct Selling has also undertaken an extensive awareness campaign by publishing advertisements in leading newspapers in India clearly stating that the company does not offer any investment opportunities. We have warned the public not to fall for false and misleading claims by individuals misrepresenting the business. We again share with you a copy of one of the ads from an English newspaper, for your reference.
- Accusation of money laundering
Vihaan Direct Selling denies these allegations. We have provided all relevant documentation related to our business practices and financial transactions to the relevant authorities, and we continue to cooperate in their investigation. We are confident of a fair, legal, and logical conclusion of the matter. Please also note the allegations remain simply allegations and carry no force and effect as being any actual “finding”.
Once again, we request you to please ensure that you refer to our materials provided and give us the opportunity of a fair portrayal. We remain available for any further queries.
Public Relations Office
Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd.
(Franchisee of QNET in India)