Real TVI Express FAQ: TVIExpress.com Holiday Inc illegal scam in Australia, USA, South Africa, India, and Philippines?

Introduction

These questions are the ones TVI Express customer support will not answer for you, but should. It addresses some of the most asked questions regarding TVI Express.

These are the questions that are NOT answered on TVI Express website, but you’ve always wanted to ask.

These are the questions your TVI Express uplines are afraid to answer.

NOTE: This is about “TVI Express” a company allegedly headquartered in London, UK, and supposedly sell travel. If you are looking for the acting studio, the TV channel, or the mining company, you’re in the wrong article.

This hub was compiled with publicly available information such as news, member comments, and so on. Unreliable information will be included but labeled. This hub will be updated with new information when they become available.

For a chronological view of TVI Express, see “TVI Express Timeline”.

Updated: 29-NOV-2011 Updated with misc changes and latest news
What is TVI Express?

Q: What does TVI Express do?
A: TVI Express itself claims to offer travel opportunity through direct selling, over the Internet. However, several countries have declared that TVI Express is a pyramid scheme.

Q: Which countries have alleged that TVI Express is a pyramid scheme?
A: Following countries have declared TVI Express illegal: United States, Australia, China, Georgia, Tajikstan, Indonesia, Hungary, Namibia, Swaziland, India, and South Africa (and that’s just those with publicly announced charges, others may be conducting non-public investigations).

Q: Wait, United States has alleged TVI Express is a pyramid?
A: State of Georgia, in United States of America, had issued TVI Express members a “cease and desist” order as of 7-SEP-2010, according to several TVI Express supporter websites in the US. The same report also stated that TVI Express is likely in violation of FTC regulations, which is a Federal level crime. Furthermore, a TV station in Maryland have also highlighted TVI Express in its “scam alert” segment, warning people that local BBB chapter (Better Business Bureau, a private consumer protection agency) considered the business extremely suspicious.

Q: What about the other countries? What do other countries say about TVI Express?
A: Other countries not listed above have not made specific allegations against TVI Express. However, the public usually are not privy to specific investigations until they are made public. Some countries’ media have spoken out against TVI Express. Those countries includes India, Indonesia, Botswana, Vietnam, Spain, Germany, and more.

Q: Why did State of Georgia allege that TVI Express is a pyramid scheme?
A: Because TVI Express doesn’t sell anything, but require all members to recruit two more members. This is known as a “cycler”, and in fact, is identical to the “airplane game” as documented in Wikipedia.

Q: What does TVI Express sell? I thought it sells travel?
A: TVI Express itself is very vague about what they sell. It simply claims to provide an opportunity that somehow combines Internet, network marketing (later revised to say “home-based business”), and travel. TVI Express website has no ‘product’ page or section at all. Its own FAQ states “you do not need to sell any products”, so its emphasis is not on selling anything.

There are two items that TVI Express distributors have named as their product (neither is an official explanation) 1) the 7-day 6-night hotel accommodation with free return ticket that you get upon joining, or 2) the access to a travel booking portal you can access through TVI Express “back office” upon joining. However, neither is what they appear to be. The trip is a benefit to members, not a product to be sold, and is nearly impossible to redeem. The so-called backoffice is a relabeled portal to Travelocity, but Travelocity is free to use. Thus, neither is a proper product. The only thing TVI Express really wants to sell is its own membership.

Q: But their FAQ says that you do need to sell products!
A: TVI Express revised their FAQ in June 2011. However, it has yet to reveal what are you supposed to be selling. If it is this mysterious, it surely can’t be travel.

Q: Selling travel is legal. So why is TVI Express called a scam?
A: TVI Express FAQ states that “you do not need to sell any products”. So it is NOT selling travel. UPDATE: TVI Express has revised its FAQ in June 2011 to claim you do need to sell products. However, checking the entire website finds no mention of such a “product”.

Q: But my upline / promoter said TVI Express sells hotel vouchers!
A: Who are you going to believe? The official TVI Express website, or the words of an upline whose words contradict the official website?

Q: But TVI Express is an investment company!
A: Can you prove that? I can cite at least 5 places where it referred to itself as direct sales or multi-level marketing company.

Q: But it’s a ______ (matrix / board / whatever)! That’s not a pyramid! Why are you calling it a pyramid?
A: Whatever name it goes by, it is still a pyramid. 2×3 matrix is same as 1-2-4-8 pyramid. And it doesn’t explain why it sells nothing.

Q: But there are only four levels! It’s a tiny pyramid! Why is that illegal?
A: Just because the pyramid is small does not mean it is legal. Besides, you have two matrices, or boards to “cycle through”, the “traveller board”, and the “express board”. That’s at least 8 levels, even more if you have to cycle through multiple times for some of the “incentives” like luxury car, laptop computer, and so on.

Q: But there are FOUR WAYS to earn money through TVI Express! Surely some of those ways are legal?
A: If you actually read the descriptions of the four ways, all four depend on recruiting:

Board payout — You have to recruit to “fill” the “revolving matrix” to get the board payout.
Residual income — it depends on number of your downlines, and you expand your downlines through recruiting.
Power pool — allegedly a share of the “global revenue”, but you only get a share if you become a presidential associate, and the only way you get to presidential associate is you have to cycle through the express board multiple times, which is, of course, recruiting.
Incentives — villas and cars and laptops… You have to cycle through the express board multiple times, and of course, you do that by… recruiting.

UPDATE: All these explanations were removed from the FAQ, but is still in the “compensation plan” page.

Q: Why is TVI Express a pyramid scheme, and Amway is not?
A: Simple: Amway independent representatives actually have to sell something for their upline to earn money (and for him/herself to earn money as well.) TVI Express’s own FAQ (used to) say “you don’t need to sell any products”. TVI Express has NO sales to outside customers, therefore it is all recruiting, and thus, fundamentally different from Amway (or any other legitimate MLM).

Q: But I am selling TVI Express club membership! It’s a travel club, and selling membership is legal! Membership is a product!
A1: TVI Express never claimed to be a club anywhere on its website. It calls its members “distributors”, not “club members”. So what are you supposed to be distributing? More memberships? Then you’re recruiting.
A2: A real club have real benefits. TVI Express benefits are illusory and disguises its scam. TVI Express backoffice is available for FREE on Travelocity.com, and the 7-day 6-night trip is impossible to redeem and now requires additional $150 in fees. Thus, TVI Express has no real benefits. Reports from South Africa shows that TVI Express is simply NOT booking the trips at all. Many families arrived at hotels and resorts with alleged bookings from TVI Express that either were completely unbooked (“we have no such reservation”) or unpaid (“We have a reservation, but it has not been paid.”)
A3: TVI Express describes itself as a business opportunity, NOT a travel club.

Q: How much do I really get paid if I *do* manage to cycle through both “board” or “matrix” or whatever?
A: $10000 USD into your “eWallet”, plus “reentry into express board”, according to TVI Express FAQ. What do you actually get paid in terms of REAL money? ZERO. NOTHING. NADA. (Read #19 in their FAQ: all payout goes into your eWallet. UPDATE: This was removed as well. What are they trying to hide?)

Q: Why do other websites say $15000 cash?
A: It was NEVER cash. And that extra $5000 is a “group travel voucher”, according to Tarun Trikha, TVI Express advisory board member (who has since disappeared from advisory board). You can only use that $5000 voucher toward some “group event” to be held in your area. This was explained in a conference call dated October 2009, but not on TVI Express website, so the explanation may not be official. The $5000 voucher information disappeared altogether from the TVI Express website in 2010, but was archived on other websites. Any one who said $15000 cash is quoting outdated information, misunderstood, or lying.

Q: What is an eWallet?
A: eWallet is your “account” on TVI Express website. All your “payout” goes into your eWallet, not cash. It may be considered illegal in many countries, as it is considered “banking”. (See TVI Express FAQ #19)

Q: Why is eWallet potentially illegal?
A: Multiple African countries, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland, issued official warnings that TVI Express apparently violated national banking laws by performing “banking activities without a license”. Central Bank of these countries countries are investigating.

TVI Express members in Swaziland claim that they have “global permit”, according to one newspaper in Swaziland. The officials in the Central Bank replied that there is no such thing as “global permit”. If you do business in one country, you have to get that country’s business license.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This sounds remarkably similar to TVI Express members in China back in June 2009. They claimed back then that TVI Express is international e-Commerce and thus China have no jurisdiction over TVI Express. China went after local perpetrators starting in July 2009, and convicted many to prison since.

Q: How do I convert eWallet into real money?
A: Several ways, none of which is simple

Convert the eWallet amount into eVoucher codes, then sell individual eVoucher codes to new members to join, and pocket the money. This is illegal, as it is an “endless chain” / Ponzi scheme scam, where new members are paying old members.
Request TVI Express for wire transfer, which will cost you a BIG chunk of fees, possibly 30-40 USD, and take a long time. It is also rumored by some that TVI Express has started charging a huge “tax” or “fees”, with no further explanation.This cannot be confirmed, but there has been no denial either.
Request TVI Express for transfer balance to Liberty Reserve. You will need to pay a conversion fee, and then there are additional fees to transfer whatever is left into your bank account. It will take some time.There has been reports that sometimes the transfer request is denied with no particular reason. UPDATE: Solid Trust Pay cancelled TVI Express account in 2010.