Cash allowance for tuition fees. Cash allowance for laptop. Cash allowance for cellphone.
Those are just a few of the many promises of Michael Angelo Medina to lure innocent students to join his Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program.
No grade requirements. Sometimes Medina called it a scholarship and sometimes he said it’s not. Most of the time, he said it’s financial assistance.
Wow. Such a noble act of the gentleman who owns Zafire Nature Beauty and Wellness.
In this article, we examine Zafire and Medina’s cool (but not so cool) strategy to entice struggling and hardworking students.
We will determine whether Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program is legit or a scam, how it works, and whether it is real financial assistance.
Table of Contents
Background and Company Profile
Sometime in December 2019, the most generous, honorable, and visionary (no pun intended) founder named Michael Angelo Medina built Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness.
Mr. Medina looked for resellers and distributors for his amazing (according to him) products but couldn’t find them.
However, he didn’t give up.
One night, he dreamed (just for laugh) of someone telling him to create the coolest strategy to market his products. And so, lo and behold, the Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program was born.
The God-fearing and soft-spoken (cough, cough) founder wants to help you in financing their studies through the financial assistance program.
First, he needs 20. Then, it expands to 500, 5,000 and to infinity.
Perhaps Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness is expanding rapidly and making a lot of money so Medina needs to find more students and help them.
Or, he needs more money to finance his scheme?
What do you think?
Before, you answer the question above, first, lets us know what products Zafire is selling. Then, we will determine how these products are connected to the financial assistance program.
Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness Products
Zafire sells the following beauty and wellness products:
Glass Skin Set @ Php750
- Glass Skin Serums
- Sleeping Mask
- Glass Skin Toner
- Foaming Facial Wash
- Day and Night Cream
AHA Set @Php550
- AHA Cream
- AHA Serum
- AHA Soap
- AHA Toner
Rejuvenation Set @Php450
- Rejuve Clear Soap
- Rejuve Toner
- Rejuve Toner
- Rejuve Sunblock
Bleaching Set @650
- Bleaching Soap
- Bleaching Lotion
- Bleaching Whip Cream
Zafire’s products aren’t cheap. They are expensive so students or anyone will have a hard time selling them.
Does price equate to quality? Not in this case.
According to some students, Zafire’s products made their faces worst. Some items were left unused because they are afraid to use them due to a lack of expiry dates.
In addition, several students said delivery took months and the company has no refund policy.
What is Zafire Student Financial Assistance (SFA) Program
According to Michael Angelo Medina, the founder of Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness, the Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program is a concrete solution to prevent a lost learning generation among youth.
Based on the company’s General Provisions and Guiding Principles, the program aims to help students by providing financial assistance to support their educational expenses and to create an avenue where they can enhance their skills and talents.
What are the qualifications to apply for the Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program?
Generally, scholarship or financial assistance has a certain grade requirement.
No failing mark. An A or B. No grade below 2.5 or 2..0. The policy depends on the grantor of the scholarship or financial assistance.
However, Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness Financial Assistance Program raises our eyebrows.
You just need to be 16-25 years old, a senior high school or college student with a good attitude and literate.
Not really. At first glance, there is really something wrong with this student financial program from Zafire.
How will the company finance its so so-called assistance program? Is Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness a billion-peso company that can support the 5,000 or an infinite number of students?
There is no such thing as free lunch today.
Even Facebook, Google, or YouTube aren’t free at all. These tech giants collect your info and sell it to advertisers. You use their platforms for free while they take your info in return and make money from it.
So, if there is no grade requirement, what do you think Medina wants from you in return?
Read the next section and find out.
How the Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program (SFA) Works
Application for the Zafire Student Financial Assistance isn’t straightforward.
First, you need to like their official Facebook page. Second, watch Michael Medina’s 2-hour video orientation. Third, fill out the application form. Fourth, wait for your ZQN (Zafire Qualification Number) and further instruction.
We are not surprised that the Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness page has reached over 400k followers. The self-proclaim CEO wants to get the most of these innocent students by requiring each applicant to like their page.
We wonder if Medina really cares.
Aside from the fact that seeing his handsome face (cough, cough) on screen is boring, is he not aware that watching a 2-hour long YouTube video consumes a lot of data? More data means more cellular load requirements.
With this strategy, Medina’s YouTube channel can easily rack up hours of view and be monetized easily.
This a bad move for the self-proclaim CEO when he can just put everything in writing on its website or in a separate file so that anyone can access it instantly. That will save a lot of money for our dear students.
The application process, requirements, and purpose are discussed in this Zafire General Provisions and Guiding Principles which was released sometime in 2021.
Item No. 3 of Section 8 of the said provisions and guiding principle reads:
“Eligibility Requirement. Applicants are expected to look for people who will support them along the way to determine if they are deserving to be part of the program. These people will show support by crediting an order of product to the applicant by using their Zafire Qualification Number. The program requires 8 points or more, with a minimum of 4,800php product order purchase. Any combination of products is acceptable and constitutes to the point system imposed by the management.“
At first, we all thought that Medina’s Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness will give students financial assistance. However, its own words say otherwise. In reality, financial assistance will come from the effort of the students and not from the company itself.
And we believe it shouldn’t be called as such. It’s called commission.
Looking for people to support you means selling your dreams to someone else so you could get the commission out of the product purchase or referral.
This practice is not a stranger to us. It is called networking marketing, networking or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM). Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness of Michael Angelo Medina used different wordings but the substance is essentially the same.
The abovementioned eligibility requirement in Section 8(3) is a must before you can participate in the program. Various students said, before the guiding principles were issued, one must have sold 8 sets of the company’s products to be a certified member and receive an allowance from the program.
Promises of Zaphire Natural Beauty and Wellness by Michael Angelo Medina
Financial Assistance. Allowance there. Gadgets everywhere.
You name it and Medina mentioned it. Just sell 8 sets of Zafire products and you will get this and that. You will have the financial assistance until you graduate. Medina wants to see you wearing your toga.
These were the words of Medina during the orientation. Referral and sales commissions were never mentioned during this stage.
Those promises prompted many students to borrow or ask for money from their relatives, family, and friends. Since the products aren’t marketable because they are shit and expensive, students purchased the products instead.
Take note. Only a certified member can receive financial assistance up to Php30k a month. To be a certified member, you must have complied with the 8 sets requirement.
Based on our research, most students paid for the 8 sets of Zafire products because they were promised by Medina that they have nothing to do after completing the requirement. They can have the financial assistance that they desire.
However, that wasn’t the case. What happened after the purchase?
It turns out, getting that elusive financial assistance isn’t as simple as what the Zaphire CEO said. They can’t encash the amount in their wallet because it was below the minimum requirement. They can’t reach the minimum threshold because they don’t have commissions.
Financial assistance is based on sales and referral commissions. So students need to sell more and recruit more.
Did Medina lied to the students? Yes, we believe he did.
Commission as Financial Assistance
This is how Medina and his Zafire Student Financial Program trick the students. Instead of calling it a commission, Zafire called it financial assistance.
The information below is taken from the general provision and guiding principles of the company and will help us assess whether the program is indeed financial assistance:
Php200 is given to a certified member for each successful applicant that became a certified member.
- 180php Commission for every Zafire Solid Perfume
- 110php Commission For every Glass Skin Set
- 90php Commission For every Bleaching Set
- 70php Commission For every AHA Set
- 50php Commission For every Rejuvenating Skin Set
Clearly, students need to sell or recruit to have their financial assistance. Hence, it should be called a commission.
Benefits of Certified Member (aside from the commission above)
- Daily Allowance. The daily cash allowance is determined by how active you are in supporting the company and sharing the opportunities with other students, and this refers to sales and referral commissions. These commissions are to help the students achieve 30,000php per month.
- Weekly Allowance. Weekly cash allowance is based on the company’s net income that is being distributed to all certified members, whether active or not.
- Monthly Allowance. The monthly cash allowance is received for being outstanding and remarkable for the whole month. Take note that the maximum cash allowance that the company can offer per month is thirty thousand pesos (30,000php) only.
The company offers laptops, netbooks, and cellphones to certified members who showcase their talents and show their determination in pursuing their dreams. The gadgets are given to students to help them in their academics.
Poor Encashment System, Late Deliveries, Unclear Policies and Threat
Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness makes encashment procedures difficult for the students. Encashment is done via Cebuana Lhuillier (minimum of Php2,000) and BDO (minimum of Php10,000.00) every Wednesday only.
Is Medina not aware of the convenient mode of payments? Gcash, Paymaya, Coins.ph? Why use the traditional payment methods?
We suspect this practice is used to control the withdrawal of funds. Minimizing cash outflows will save more money in the company’s bank accounts.
Moreover, students also complained about the late deliveries of their orders and unclear policies for the giving and encashment of commissions.
Likewise, the CEO of Zafire Natural Beauty and Welcome threatened several students who complain, criticized and exposed the company’s wrongdoings.
In the video below, Medina issued a warning that he has all the info of the students who registered for the program.
Medina should be reminded that the use of personal information other than the purpose for which it was collected is a clear violation of the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Financial Assistance Program as an MLM Scheme
We believe Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program is a network marketing scheme. Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness use an MLM strategy to market its products.
The company uses you as its promoter and advertiser. When you can recruit someone who becomes a certified member, you’ll get Php200 as a referral commission. You’ll also get commissions from selling the products.
The company itself will ship the products sold. In effect, you are acting as a drop shipper. Meaning, you sell but don’t maintain an inventory.
The commissions from referrals and sales will now be the basis of your financial assistance. So from this point forward, we will call it commissions instead of financial assistance.
Is Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program Legit or Scam?
We think Zafire Student Financial Program is a scam. According to the founder himself, students can get Php30,000 just by liking and sharing on social media. As a result, students joined the program but realized Medina’s promise was a lie.
They were fooled, a clear violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines. Students did not make money just by liking and sharing. They need to recruit and sell the products.
Moreover, we believe Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness employs a pyramid scheme using its student financial program. Based on its general provisions and guiding principles, the program gives commission when you can recruit an applicant who becomes a certified member.
Watch (1:09) Medina telling his staff if they can recruit at least 3, by October, they will be 6,000. Clearly, the Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program emphasizes the recruitment scheme rather than the actual sale of products.
Furthermore, we also think that Zafire sells security because it is enticing the public (students) to invest or find someone to invest for them in return for up to Php30,000 a month primarily from the effort of the company. Students were promised to earn just by liking and sharing a post.
A company must register and should have a Secondary License from the SEC before it can sell a security or investment contract to the public. Unfortunately, we can’t find evidence that Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness has complied with these requirements. Thus, we call it an investment scam.
Report and File a Complaint Against Zafire and Medina
We suggest you file a formal complaint against Medina and his Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness to the appropriate government agencies.
For issues on the consumer law, such as pyramid schemes and false advertisement, please coordinate with the DTI. The agency has written the procedures here on the filing of complaints. Please check that out.
For matters relating to investments or security, please call the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department at telephone numbers (02) 8818-6047 or send your report to the EIPD at [email protected]
Also, you can report the case to the PNP or NBI Cybercrime division since the scam happened online.
Moreover, we recommend you join the Zafire Student Awareness Group on Facebook. Students there share their stories about Zafire.
Please don’t join the Student Financial Assistance Program of Zafire Natural Beauty and Wellness. In our opinion, it is a pyramid scheme and an investment scam.
The company entices students to give them up to Php30,000 per month as financial assistance just by liking and sharing. However, it wasn’t true. They need to recruit and sell products to get the so-called financial assistance a.k.a commissions.
Zafire SFA Program emphasizes the recruitment side because its products are crap, aren’t marketable, and are expensive. Referring other people to the scheme and making money from their investment is a pyramid scheme.
Also, we believe Zafire SFA is an investment scam because Zafire (the company) lacked the required license to sell a security.
If you are a victim of this scam, please file a complaint to the appropriate agency.
Did you join Zafire? If yes, please share your story in the comment section below.
We hope you find this review article helpful. Please share this with your friends to warn them of the dangers of the Zafire Student Financial Assistance Program by Michael Angelo Medina.