QNET: Legitimate Business Opportunity or Scam?

QNET is a perfectly legitimate company that boasts thousands of successful distributors
and satisfied customers in spite of the many myths, rumors, and speculations that may be circulating on the Internet about the company.

While it makes perfect sense that anyone researching a potential business endeavor
would want to do their due diligence and research with regards to the company they’re thinking of investing in, not all the information published on the Internet is reliable. In
many cases, information you may find when you enter QNET in a search engine may be
outdated, incorrect, or simply false.

Below are some of the common myths and rumors surrounding QNET, debunked.

Is QNET a scam?

No. QNET is a legitimate business operating internationally in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Germany, where direct selling businesses are not only fully legal and authorized, but there are also stringent laws, standards, and regulations that govern the industry. QNET's international operations are completely and transparently legal in every country that the company does business in, and all of its international operations are compliant with local laws in those countries. QNET distributors are regulated by a strict code of professional conduct and penalized if they violate the company's strict policies and procedures.

Throughout its history, QNET has always paid taxes dutifully as required, and has complied with local laws in all the countries where the company has operated. Additionally, QNET has reinvested in each country, and given back to the community by contributing to many philanthropic activities in each of those countries.

Why is QNET accused of being a scam?

Very often, direct selling companies come under scrutiny and media speculation, with people making unsupported accusations that these companies are scams.

Running a direct sales business requires hard work and discipline. Direct selling is not some kind of magic formula that allows people to make money without working or putting in the due effort. People who accuse direct selling companies of being scams are very often those that attempted to make money in direct selling but failed to put in the time and effort to actually build a successful business. In some cases, dishonest or unethical distributors may have misled them.

Because QNET distributors - called IRs, or Independent Representatives - work independently from the company, it is inevitable that a small percentage of them will turn out to be dishonest, greedy, unscrupulous, and engage in unethical practices, making the entire industry look bad. For this reason, emerging economies must acknowledge direct selling as a thriving industry and implement appropriate legislation to govern the industry, as a means to more clearly separate scams from legitimate business opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs.

Is QNET a fraudulent business or some type of pyramid scheme?

No. QNET is not a fraudulent or illegal business, and operates legally in every country where it is based. It is also not a pyramid scheme, as there are key differences between a pyramid scheme and a legitimate direct selling company.

Pyramid schemes are illegal, and in most cases, participants lose the money they invest in these. Pyramid schemes rely specifically on recruiting new participants instead of selling products to make a profit. Typically they charge members huge sign-up fees, and then convince them to invest in large amounts of products that have little or no actual value and are not returnable.

The primary difference between a legitimate direct sales company and an illegal pyramid scheme is that, in a pyramid scheme, participants earn a commission for recruiting people into their network, while in a legitimate direct selling company, there are no commissions paid for recruits. All commissions are earned exclusively based on the sale of products. So, even if a distributor has recruited a large network of people, they do not earn any commissions until those distributors have sold or purchased actual products.

Is QNET banned in certain countries?

No. QNET is not banned in any country. Many companies in the direct selling industry have been met with challenges when entering new and emerging markets, because the direct selling business model is not yet well understood in many countries, and a lack of standardized industry regulations may cause confusion and misunderstanding.

QNET faced such a challenge in 2009 when Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance issued a notice banning the company because company operations were not localized at the time. The company eventually launched a dialogue with the government to express their concerns and in 2012, the Ministry of Finance revoked the ban and QNET began legal operation in Rwanda, which now serves as the company’s East African hub.

In Saudi Arabia, the government did not single out QNET in particular, but went so far as to issue a sweeping ban on all direct sales and the whole network marketing industry. But because QNET was one of the leading direct sales companies in the country at one point and had become a leader in the industry there, media reports frequently focused on QNET when they reported on the country’s general ban on the industry.

What is QI Group and QNET’s current status in India?

QNET is a direct sales company and a subsidiary of QI Group. In India, QNET conducts operations through a sub-franchisee called Vihaan, which was incorporated under the Companies Act of 1956 and has been allotted U52399KA2011PTC060730. Vihaan has been registered under the GST Act as well.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MCA) issued guidelines for direct selling in 2016, and its state counterparts serve as the nodal authority for this industry in India.

In India and especially in Mumbai, QNET has been on the receiving end of an attack to hurt the company’s reputation and stop the company from being able to compete fairly in India. The root of the issue stems from a fraud claim pertaining to a commercial transaction that never took place for Rs.32,000.

This claim reached the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), was investigated for three years, and reached the Supreme Court of India. In March of 2017, the Supreme Court stayed all investigations and FIRs into QNET.

Furthermore, the Karnataka High Court passed an order that eliminated the FIR against QNET and its executives. The court explicitly stated that QNET’s business did not commit any offense under the PCMC Act or cheat under IPC. The court order reaffirms that all direct selling activities must comply with the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

Though the QNET business model is ethical and sound, direct selling has not undergone significant legislation in India. As a consequence, many companies have fallen prey to investigations pertaining to the Prize Chits and Money Circulating (Banning) Act, which has absolutely nothing to do with direct sales. We are hoping that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs’ new guidelines for direct selling will help to address this issue.

The complaint to SEBI alleged that QNET was a money circulation scheme. The Karnataka High Court has clarified that QNET, which is in direct sales and provides customers with products and services, is not subject to the rules of the PCMC Act.

Is direct selling allowed in India?

The direct selling industry is worth 98.5 billion INR and growing, with the estimation that sales will top 645 billion IR by 2025, with over 18 million Indians working as self-employed distributors of direct selling products.

To address issues surrounding direct selling, India’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Goods, and Public Distribution released the Direct Selling Guidelines in 2016 to help state governments regulate direct selling businesses. These guidelines strengthen regulation, prevent fraud, and protect consumers.

As of mid-2019, these guidelines have been implemented in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Sikkim, Mizoram, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh. QNET is in full compliance with these guidelines.

Why has QNET been accused of fraud, duping investors, and illegal schemes? Why was the company investigated by Sebi and EOW?

QNET has fallen victim to a smear campaign intended to hurt its reputation and prevent fair competition in India. The claim that opened this investigation concerned a transaction for Rs.32,000 that reached the Economic Offences Wing. However, this business transaction never existed, and definitely did not take place.

QNET was investigated for three years, and the case reached the Supreme Court of India. In March of 2017, the Supreme Court put a stay on all FIRs and investigations pertaining to QNET.

The Karnataka High Court has also put in place an order that ended the FIR against QNET and all of its executives. This order explained that QNET did not violate the PCMC Act, nor do its operations fall under the charge of cheating under the IPC. This order refers back to the guidelines that state that all direct selling must be guided by the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

The QNET operational model is an ethical, sustainable, and sound one. The only reason QNET and other direct selling companies have been investigated is because of a lack of regulation of the direct selling industry within India. QNET has been proven not to be a money circulation scheme or to violate the PCMC Act.

Why has QNET had so many name changes?

It is extremely common in the world of business for companies to change their names as their product line or brand evolves and grows. In many cases, name changes are made as a result of marketing analysis or for strategic business purposes. In the case of QNET, when the company was founded in 1998, it offered only one product, which was Commemorative gold coins, and the company was named GoldQuest. As the company grew and expanded its product line, as well as transitioning to an e-commerce platform, the GoldQuest name no longer encompassed everything the company offered, so the name was changed to QuestNet, which was later shortened to QNET.

Are online complaints against QNET Products legitimate?

With any company that sells products, there are bound to be a percentage of people who are dissatisfied with those products for whatever reason, and the Internet gives them a place to express their views. Also, human nature is such that people are often more likely to voice their opinions when they don’t like something than when they are satisfied. Social media provides people with a platform where they can say anything – true or untrue - without consequence, and in many cases, protected by anonymity.

When one considers the vast number of customer orders that QNET successfully and seamlessly ships to satisfied and happy customers yearly, the number of complaints that the company has received are relatively few. Upon scrutiny, it has been found that people who were not genuine QNET distributors or customers posted many of those complaints.

In the case of the online complaints posted against QNET, the company found that many of them were posted by individuals claiming to have had problems with QNET, but who never actually filed a formal complaint with QNET. Many of these are people who claim to be QNET customers or IRs but the names and email addresses that they’ve used on online forums to share their opinions do not appear in the company’s database. Other complaints have been from former customers making unreasonable requests for refund years after purchasing a product. Still others are posted by disgruntled former distributors who found it difficult to put in the work and effort required to make their business successful and arrived at the conclusion that direct selling is not for them. Many of these individuals take advantage of online forums and platforms as well as social media to vent their frustration and negative commentaries.

All complaints filed with QNET’s Global Support Centre (GSC) are taken very seriously and addressed in a timely manner by the company’s customer service team. When a genuine QNET IR or customer files a complaint with QNET’s customer service department, these complaints are logged into the company’s system and tracked diligently until the matter is fully resolved.

Why is there negative information about QNET on Wikipedia?

While QNET has avidly disputed the Wikipedia entry on the company, they cannot do much to correct it, because Wikipedia’s policy does not allow any company representative, PR agency, or anyone who may have a stake in the company to edit entries. QNET has lodged a complaint with Wikipedia administrators regarding the negative bias of the entry, and opened a debate on their ‘Neutral Point of View’ discussion board.

Wikipedia, by its very nature, cannot actually be considered an authentic and reliable source of information, because it is a public forum where anyone can edit and post an entry, which naturally presents problems of possible bias, as admitted by founder Jimmy Wales himself. This problem has been discussed in various media outlets, including the New York Times, as evidenced by these articles on the subject:

Wikipedia Founder Admits to Serious Quality Problems

Snared in the Web of a Wikipedia Liar

The True Face of Wikipedia

Wikipedia: For Real or Unbelievable?

If you are interested in learning more about QNET and have questions about the legitimacy of the company, we recommend contacting the company directly, or better yet, speaking with an actual, active QNET distributor on the matter.

For more information on QNET scam myths in India, visit: