OK, I now know that money-maker chain-letter implementation is illegal, but my big question --
? Is it for the protection of dumb people? I'd have to say the fact that it didn't work
This may be the dumbest question ever, but seriously, explain to me how this could be wrong. How isn't all of this completely my risk, just like if I wanted to buy a lottery ticket if I wanted, because I wanted to risk it despite the odds?
I just got one in the mail and it seems promising and legitimate. The process makes loads of sense -- and it would be completely my fault of having lost any money from it. I understand a list broker (should I opt to buy from the one the letter suggests) would be getting loads of business, but really, is that not a legitimate business? There are thousands of list brokers who sell names just the same.
I think the government should be obligated to inform the public of the risks involved, yes, but not outlaw it. If I want to try it out, that should be my own business. If I want to send a freakin' dollar in the mail I should be able to if I want, regardless of the purpose.
This particular letter has the usual list of names (6) that you bump up and such. With the dollar to send to the 6 on the list, you also include a note remarking "add me to your mailing list." This is the service that the recipient provides the money-mailer, in exchange for the dollar. Even if I never get mailed anything, isn't it my business of whether I send a freakin' dollar to John Q. Emptypockets? So you bump the top person off the list, and add your name to the bottom.
Then you send the same letter out to 200+ people after getting a list of names from a list broker (one is suggested, but I was going to use someone else because the person listed doesn't have a website although they do have a BBB record (and it's a good one)). Whether I am wasting my money pursuing these services is my freakin' business, and it should be set apart from the chain letter's fault because it's completely my choice. If you're just an idiot and fall for something dumb, I honestly think you deserve to lose whatever you lost. It was totally your risk! How does this not apply to any business ever conceived?
Someone needs to spell out the 'mathematical impossibility' to me, as the USPS says. The letter remarks:
"How does it work? When you send out 200 letters, it is estimated that at least 15 people will respond and send you $1.00 (15 people x $1 = $15). Those 15 people mail 200 letters each and 225 people (15people x 15 responses each = 225) will send you $1.00 ($225). Those 225 people mail 200 letters and get 15 responses, meaning 3,375 people send you $1.00 ($3,375). Those 3375 people mail 200 letters and get 15 responses, and 50,675 people send you $1.00 each ($50,675). Those 50,675 people mail out 200 letters each and get 15 responses, meaning 759,385 people send you $1.00 each. At this point your name drops off the list, but you've got $813,615."
Sure, you may not always get 15 people each time, you could get more or less, but it varies per each mailing. The people you are mailing out to are individuals who have requested money-making opportunities within the last 30-60 days, so it's the right demographic, not just some random person from across the street. Even if you only got 2 responses out of 200 at one point, their particular mailings could snag 30, and shake up the mix but you'd still end up with a fair bit of change, if it was done right (yeah yeah "IF" it was done right -- but that's part of any risk, ever -- IF the ropes are strong enough, IF the parachute was folded properly, IF there's enough gas in the tank, etc.) But, if it turns out profitable for that person, they may mail the same letter out again to a new list, which pretty much doubles your chances of branching off the tree in a new direction and getting even more, such as if it worked so well that the 3rd person mailed the same letter again to 500 people this time. Your name would still be on the same row, and you'd get the same amount of dollars as the mailer did responses from that particular segment.
It's not cheating someone out of something, it's all very plain-as-day explained right in front of you, is it not? How could that possibly be fraudulent?