In the fall of 1997, Amway introduced two new documents for distributors. The first one was a revised Intent To Continue (ITC) form. Every year, a distributor must sign an ITC (or sign an automatic renewal form) to continue their distributorship. Among other things, this ITC document contains clauses that state you will agree to resolve any dispute through Amway's Concillation and Enforcement Procedures contained in the Rules of Conduct for Amway distributors.
If that doesn't produce satisfaction, you will then be required to submit your claim to binding arbitration. Also, if you become involved in a dispute being handled by the concillation or arbitration process, you are prohibited from discussing any details of the dispute.
You should read this document very carefully. You may wish to discuss with Amway's legal department how these Arbitration agreements affects your rights. You may also wish to seek seperate legal advice. As with any contractual agreement, you should fully understand what impact these agreements have with your rights prior to signing them.
The same holds true for the Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement (BSMAA) form. This document contains important information that the sellers of Business Support Materials (BSM's) must follow. There are also many disclaimers that you should read. This agreement also states that any dispute arising from the use or purchase of BSM's will be handled through the same binding arbitration procedure.
I have heard from other distributors, who has verified that by signing these forms, you will be giving up your U.S. constitutional right to take Amway or any distributor to court. If you do not sign the Intent to Continue form, you CANNOT remain a distributor. However, you can refuse to sign the BSMAA and still remain a distributor, but be sure to ask your upline how much help he/she will give you. In spite of the agreement, it is my opinion that they will find some excuse to work with those that will give them the most income i.e. buying products AND BSM's.
In the year that I have had my web-site up, I have heard from many distributors and have only heard a few people indicate that they were contemplating a lawsuit against Amway or distributors. So I asked a distributor "I'm beginning to wonder who is suing?" This was the reply I got, "According to Paula Voss, very few distributors reach that point. The problem is that the lawsuits attract alot of attention that the corporation,like any corporation, wants to avoid."
It is my opinion, that this is the real reason behind these agreements. It's not the expense, it's not the convenience of the distributors, Amway wants to control the negative. It doesn't matter whether it's true or false.