ACN Review: $499 affiliate fee and services
ACN (an abbreviation for “American Communications Network”) launched all the way back in 1993, initially operating as ‘a marketing arm for a long-distance reseller called LCI Communications‘.
That relationship ended in 1998 until LCI was sold off, at which point ACN broadened their product and service offering. Today ACN are involved in a number of MLM niches, including utilities, communications, home entertainment and security “and more”.
Based out of the US state of North Carolina, ACN was co-founded by four individuals who, to their credit, have retained their executive positions within the company.
Greg Provenzano (second above) serves as President, Robert Stevanovski (fourth) as Chairman and Mike (third) and Tony (first) Cupisz (twins) as Vice-Presidents.
Chip Barker (right) was brought on as CEO in 2007. Prior to his CEO appointment, Barker served as ACN’s Chief Operating Officer of European Operations.
Due to the age of the company and a lack of information provided in their ACN corporate bios, what each of the four ACN co-founders did specifically before launching the company is a bit of a mystery.
Taken from Greg Provenzano’s personal website (“gregprovenzano.com”):
Greg is a born entrepreneur who had a very successful career in the network marketing industry that began in 1984. He spent nearly a decade examining the industry before founding his own direct sales company
A biography for Robert Stevanovski on an ACN marketing site reads:
After entering the network marketing arena in the late 1980s, Robert held senior positions with two highly successful marketing companies.
ACN Founder Robert Stevanovski These experiences positioned him as one of the driving forces behind the formulation of ACN.
The biography also credits Stevanovski with having ‘managed several businesses throughout the 1980s, directly influencing growth and expansion‘.
In his ACN corporate bio that appears on replicated ACN affiliate websites (which differs from the main corporate bio), Mike Cupisz is credited with having ‘built several successful companies prior to founding ACN.‘ Tony Cupisz bio claims he ‘has worked in direct marketing since 1986‘.
I wasn’t able to find any information on what Chip Barker was up to prior to ACN.
On the regulatory front, ACN has run into problems with the Montana Commissioner of Securities and the Bureau of Consumer Services in Pennsylvania.
In August, 2010 the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen announced the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order and Notice of Proposed Agency Action against ACN, Inc. and several of its founders for allegedly operating a “pyramid scheme.”
In September, 2010 the Commissioner moved to vacate the Cease and Desist Order in full settlement of the case.
In the course of the Commissioner’s investigation, the Commissioner determined that the actions giving rise to the initial concerns were not part of the ACN business model, but instead were isolated instances taking place by certain ACN’s independent representatives in Montana.
The Commissioner and ACN agreed that ACN would implement additional training with its independent representatives.
On June 13, 2002, ACN settled a case with the Bureau of Consumer Services in Pennsylvania wherein it was alleged that a small number of IBOs were “slamming”, or switching consumer services without authorization.
ACN disputed the allegations and the exact details of the settlement are under court seal.
Nothing too serious, although the settlement under seal indicates a likely “we’ll pay the fines but don’t admit to anything” resolution. The Montana cease and desist appears to be related to marketing efforts by the company’s affiliates.
ACN haven’t been pinged since for this, so hopefully that indicates the company and it’s affiliates have cleaned up their act.
For additional information, a read of ACN’s Wikipedia entry is recommended. Otherwise, read on for a full review of the ACN MLM business opportunity.
The ACN Product Line
Due to the nature of ACN’s offered services, I believe they vary from market to market they operate in. As such, the following product information pertains to ACN’s US offering only.
At ACN, Independent Business Owners simply offer the services that people are already using and spending money on every day, including phone service, wireless, natural gas and electricity, merchant services, high-speed Internet, TV, home security and automation and more.
All of ACN’s services are offered at a retail level as follows:
- digital phone service – $24.99 a month (a local and long distance service is also offered, with prices determined by the area the customer resides in)
- local and long-distance phone service – price determined by area customer lives in (I clicked Michigan as an example and was quoted $22.99 plus additional charges or $38.99 (Intnl and Asia-Pacific specific coverage extra))
- wireless service through “Flash Wireless” – $32 to $67 a month plans
- power plans through “XOOM Energy” – prices and energy services offered (electricity and natural gas) vary from state to state
- satellite tv – offered through DirecTV ($24.99 to $34.99 a month) and Dish ($19.99 to $44.99)
- home security – offered through Vivint ($53.99 to $69.99 a month) and ADT ($36.99 to %52.99 a month)
- internet – offered through a variety of internet providers
- merchant services – offered through Anovia Services (ACN branded), no pricing provided on Anovia Services website
With the exception of ACN’s phone services, the remainder of services offered are done through agreements (dealerships, affiliation or the setting up of a secondary company (Flash Wireless, Anovia Services), with third-party merchant providers. ACN themselves only appear to act as the middleman and do not provide the services themselves.
The ACN Compensation Plan
The ACN compensation plan is not readily available on the company’s website. ACN does have an “opportunity” page on their site, however it simply presents visitors with a lengthy marketing spiel and then asks them to sign-up as an affiliate.
Only once an affiliate has clicked the “join” button are they then presented with the ACN “Independent Business Owner Agreement”, buried within is a link to the ACN compensation plan.
There is no indication that the compensation plan will be made available once a visitor clicks the affiliate sign-up button.
The plan itself pays affiliates to either purchase or sell services offered to customers. This generates Customer Points which, along with bills sent out to customers then determine how much an affiliate is paid.
In addition to this, the company also pays out a Customer Acquisition Bonus, which is tied to recruiting ACN affiliates and getting them commission qualified (requires the sale of services).
With so many third-party services available through ACN, the company has simplified commission calculation by designating point values to services offered:
- phone services – 1 to 9 points
- wireless – 2 to 3 points
- energy – 1 to 5 points
- merchant services – 1 to 3 points
- home security – 1 to 3 points
- TV and high-speed internet (bundle) – 1 point
- TV – 0 to 2 points
- high-speed internet – 1 point
- tech support (charged service) – 1 to 3 points
Points are allocated per service signed up for by a customer for the life of the service subscription.
ACN Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are eight affiliate membership ranks within the ACN compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Team Trainer – pay ACN $499
- Qualified Team Trainer (required for commission qualification) – acquire 5 Customer Points and sell or purchase at least 3 preferred services
- Executive Team Trainer – acquire 7 Customer Points, sell or purchase at least 3 preferred services and have a Qualified Team Trainer in two individual unilevel legs (1 each)
- Executive Team Leader – acquire 15 Customer Points, sell or purchase at least 4 preferred services and have an Executive Team Trainer in three individual unilevel legs (1 each)
- Team Coordinator – acquire at least 200 Customer Points through at least three individual unilevel legs (at least 600 points total)
- Regional Director – have a Team Coordinator in at least two individual unilevel legs (1 each) and a third unilevel leg that has generated at least 200 Customer Points
- Regional Vice-President – have a Team Coordinator in four individual unilevel legs (1 each) and have a downline generating at least $150,000 a month in customer bills (max $75,000 can be counted from any one individual unilevel leg)
- Platinum Regional Vice-President – have a downline generating at least $300,000 a month in customer bills
- Senior Vice-President – have a Team Coordinator in at least six individual unilevel legs (2 legs must contain a Regional Vice-President ranked affiliate and one a Regional Director) and have a downline generating at least $500,000 a month in customer bills (max $250,000 can be counted from any one individual unilevel leg)
Direct Subscription Commissions
ACN pay an affiliate a direct commission when they sign up a customer to one of their offered services. This commission is paid out as a percentage of the bill charged to the customer (which in some instances can exceed a monthly subscription charge).
How much of a percentage of the bill is paid out as a commission is determined by how many Customer Points an ACN affiliate has:
- 1 to 29 points – 1%
- 30 to 39 points – 3%
- 40 to 59 points – 5%
- 60 or more points – 10%
Residual commissions in ACN are paid out using a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, these are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team. If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
ACN cap initial unilevel commissions at seven levels, however deeper levels can be earned on via a generation bonus (see below).
Commissions are paid out on the bills charged to service subscribing customers that belong to affiliates in the unilevel team, paid out as a percentage of the bill itself.
How much of a percentage is paid out depends on what level of the unilevel team the affiliate whose customer is paying the bill is placed:
- levels 1 to 3 – 0.25%
- level 4 – 0.5%
- level 5 – 3%
- level 6 – 5%
- level 7 – 8%
Note that residual commissions on energy subscriptions for “large businesses” are capped at four unilevel levels (percentages as above).
Commission eligibility on the first seven unilevel levels must be qualified for as follows:
- levels 1 and 2 – 10 Customer Points
- levels 3 and 4 – 20 Customer Points
- levels 5 and 6 – 40 Customer Points
- level 7 – 60 Customer Points
An ACN affiliate can earn on bill volume beyond the first seven unilevel levels via a generation bonus.
A generation in ACN is defined by affiliates in any given unilevel leg that are placed beyond the first seven levels. Once a Regional Vice-President or Platinum Regional Vice-President is found, the generation expands down a further seven unilevel levels before it is capped.
A second generation then begins, until another Regional or Platinum Regional Vice-President is found, with the second generation capped again at seven levels past the second ranked affiliate.
If no ranked affiliate is found, the first generation (or last uncapped generation) extends down the entire length of the unilevel leg. Note that for the purpose of defining generations to pay the Generation Bonus on, each unilevel leg is considered individually from the rest.
The Generation Bonus pays out in exactly the same manner as it does for Vice-President ranked affiliates, but instead of capping a generation seven levels past a found Vice-President ranked affiliate, the rank required changes to a Senior Vice-President ranked affiliate.
The generation bonus unlocks at the Regional Vice-President affiliate rank, paying out slightly different percentages at the Platinum Regional Vice-President and Senior Vice-President ranks.
Regional Vice-President affiliates 1.5% on the first generation, 1% on the second and 0.5% on the third.
Platinum Regional Vice-President affiliates earn 3% on the first generation, 2% on the second and 1% on the third.
Senior Vice-President affiliates earn 2% on the first and 1% on the second generation.
Note that residual commissions on energy subscriptions for “large businesses” are capped at one generation irrespective of Vice-President rank, and only pay out 0.5% on the first generation’s bill volume.
Customer Acquisition Bonus
ACN’s Customer Acquisition Bonus revolves around recruited affiliates becoming commission qualified within thirty days of joining the company.
Commission qualification requires an affiliate to generate at least 5 Customer Points and sell or purchase at least 3 preferred services. At least one of the preferred services sold must be supplied to an address “outside of an affiliate’s household”.
A quick glance at the ACN compensation plan reveals that most of the services provided through ACN (bar most of the internet and some of the TV, merchant services and phone services) count as preferred.
The Customer Acquisition Bonus pays out using the unilevel compensation structure, paying out commissions over two generations.
A generation in the Customer Acquisition Bonus is defined when an affiliate at the same or higher rank of the affiliate qualifying for the commission is found. As with regular unilevel commissions, each unilevel leg is analysed independently from the others.
How much of a Customer Acquisition Bonus is paid out per qualified affiliate found is determined by an affiliate’s membership rank:
- Team Coordinator and Regional Director – $50 per qualified affiliate in the first generation and $20 in the second
- Regional Vice-President (including Platinum) – $30 per qualified affiliate in the first generation and $15 in the second
- Senior Vice-President – $30 per qualified affiliate in the first generation and $10 in the second
Team Customer Acquisition Bonus
The Team Customer Acquisition Bonus is an additional bonus paid out when an ACN affiliate hits specified qualified affiliate targets in any given month.
For the purpose of qualification, both personally recruited and indirectly recruited affiliates count towards the required targets.
How much of a bonus is paid out and what the specified targets are depends on an affiliate’s membership rank:
- Executive Team Trainer – $100 for 2 qualified affiliates, $500 for four, $1000 for six, $1500 for nine, $2500 for twelve and $3000 for fifteen
- Executive Team Leader – $200 for 3 qualified affiliates, $750 for five, $1500 for ten , $2500 for fifteen, $3000 for twenty, $4000 for twenty-five, $5000 for thirty $6000 for thirty-five and $7000 for forty
- Team Coordinator – $500 for five qualified affiliates, $1500 for ten, $3000 for fifteen, $5000 for twenty, $6500 for twenty-five, $8000 for thirty, $10,000 for forty, $12,000 for fifty and $25,000 for one hundred
- Regional Director – $1000 for ten qualified affiliates, $2500 for twenty , $4000 for thirty, $6000 for forty , $10,000 for fifty, $15,000 for seventy-five, $20,000 for one hundred , $30,000 for one hundred and fifty
- Regional Vice-President – $2000 for twenty-five, $5000 for fifty, $7500 for seventy-five, $10,000 for one hundred, $15,000 for one hundred and fifty, $25,000 for two hundred and fifty, $50,000 for five hundred
Note that the above is paid on what ACN refer to as an affiliate’s “open line”. An open line are affiliates in any given unilevel leg until an affiliate of the same or higher affiliate rank is found.
Regional Vice-Presidents (including Platinum VPs) are paid the highest bonus possible between a calculation of their Regional Vice-President and Regional Director open lines.
And finally, any new affiliates in a different country to the qualifying affiliate are counted pro-rata. I believe this indicates that open-lines are geographically restricted.
As per the ACN Independent Business Owner Agreement, the cost of ACN affiliate membership is $499.
With such a plethora of services on offer, my initial reaction was that the ACN compensation plan was going to be a giant swimming mess of confusion. Thankfully that’s not the case.
By consolidating product use into a point-style format and paying out on the bills issued to customers, the ACN plan is relatively straight forward and easy to digest.
As for the services themselves, the phone service looks to be branded ACN and provided in-house (white-label or otherwise) – so the fact that the rest of the services belong to other companies isn’t really of concern. Especially when you consider commissions are only paid out on the bills paid by customers.
That said I’m at a loss to explain why it costs $499 to join ACN. Where does this money go?
ACN are quick to point out in their compensation plan that ‘compensation is earned at ACN only when customers are acquired’, but surely some of the $499 paid also goes towards the Customer Acquisition Bonus. Customers themselves aren’t paying any extra to make up the commission payout – so unless third-party merchants are paying a significant lead bonus to ACN, where else does this money come from?
This brings me to an important point regarding the whole Customer Acquisition Bonus (CAB) and Team CAB. Whilst not overtly suspect, both of these bonuses walk an extremely fine line that leaves them open to abuse.
And ACN seem perfectly aware of this, declaring in their compensation plan that
Compensation is earned at ACN only when customers are acquired. ACN reserves the right to retract the payment of any bonus or commission if it is found that a customer used to qualify for a bonus or a certain commission level was not a valid billing customer.
The specific wording of that warning indicates that ACN has had trouble in the past with fake customers being signed up so that affiliates qualify for commissions.
To their credit, ACN explicitly mention that at least one of the services sold required for commission qualification ‘must be outside of (an affiliate’s) household‘.
But what’s stopping me from signing up a friend, paying the bill myself and then having them cancel after a month?
Some ACN services require a sixty day commitment to generate a Customer Point, but why not eliminate any chance of abuse in the compensation plan by explicitly requiring a retail service sale on top of it having to be an outside household.
Surely something along the lines of a 90 day commitment requirement by a retail customer (can’t be paid for by an affiliate) with the household being external to the affiliate would completely eliminate any chance of abuse?
And I use the word abuse because with the CAB and TCAB paying out on affiliates qualifying themselves for commissions, it’s possible to totally absorb the cost of a few fake customers (or temporary subscription sign-ups followed by a cancellation) at the higher ranked CAB and TCAB payouts.
Like I said, given ACN’s warning I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what’s happened in the past. And how stringent they are today at “finding” non-valid billing customers is a mystery.
Why not just eliminate the temptation altogether. Nobody is going to be signing up and paying subscription fees for three months. Not even for the CAB and TCAB bonuses. And I think it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that if they’re happy with the service, given the nature of the services offered through ACN, most customers will continue to pay for the service well beyond three months.
I feel the implementation of this would go a long way to reduce any question that fake customers are being signed up for affiliate commission qualification.
That said, if worked correctly the CAB and TCAB bonuses are fine. Although a 1 to 2 split in favour of self-purchase of services could probably do with a reversal (2 retail and up to 1 personal subscription sale for commission qualification). Even all three if they really wanted to drive home the importance of retail.
What I do hope is that the $499 affiliate fee isn’t just an attempt to stop affiliates working ACN as a recruitment scheme through the CAB and TCAB bonuses. Other than acting as a direct financial deterrent, I really can’t see why such a high fee is charged otherwise.
From a marketing standpoint, I imagine having to tell people it’ll cost $499 just to join is a big sales pitch killer. I mean how long is it going to take to make that back in service savings?
And on that note, given that other than the phone service ACN’s product line is pretty much outsourced, just how competitive are they?
Some of the online store links in the services section of the ACN website linked to replicated pages of the provider of said service. And the prices advertised certainly didn’t seem exclusive.
If I can get the same service direct from the company, as a retail customer why would I go through ACN?
Definitely evaluate what you can get locally versus through ACN as a customer before considering paying the $499 to sign up as an affiliate. Also checking with your upline as to how many Customer Points of theirs were generated by retail customer service subscriptions wouldn’t hurt either.
And if you really want to be sneaky, ask them what they’d do if they were one or two sales short of hitting one of the upper ranked TCAB bonuses (where anywhere from $4000 to $50,000 is on the line).
If you hear anything about temporary signups calling family and friends to do you a favor, run.
All in all if worked right ACN present an interesting collection of services to market through a well-thought out plan. I do however think the company can further decrease the chance of customer fraud with a few simple changes to their commission qualification requirements.
As it stands, there’s a little too much ambiguity with just requiring a subscription to be purchased for a separate household to the one the affiliate is living in. Oh and perhaps a breakdown of the savings possible when services are purchased through ACN rather than directly wouldn’t hurt either.
As an ACN affiliate it’s obviously going to be a challenge to keep track of every service offered in every US state and what the cost benefits are to a customer. They’ll likely need all the help they can get in that area so any initiative by the company to help out would, I’m sure, be appreciated by the ACN affiliate-base.
Bit of a mixed-bag this one, but if you do take the plunge – good luck!
Update 26th February 2020 – One of the biggest critiques of ACN raised in this review was the $499 affiliate membership cost.
Since publication, this fee has been reduced to $199 plus a $25 a month.
Update 29th January 2021 – ACN co-founder Robert Stevanovski has reached out to advise
Over 85 %-90% of our revenue comes from customers only who are not and never have been a IBO (distributor).
We have a ratio of over 10 services per IBO, in the DSN customer centric recognition, we are only 1 of 8 companies at the platinum level with 10-1 or above ratios.
That’s great to hear and would certainly mean ACN has a healthy retail base to offset affiliate spend.
That plan sounds exactly like the now defunct FHTM, isnt it? They probably arent any more legal than FHTM was. Wouldnt that make their days numbered too?
FHTM had direct commissions paying out on the recruitment of new members.
ACN actually requires the sale of services before the recruitment commissions are paid out (CAB and TCAB).
If enough affiliates were faking that third service subscription then you could argue defacto pyramid scheme, but given there’s no commission directly paid out on the $499 affiliate fee it’s a lot of effort for not much of a payout (unless you and your downline can convince tons of people to join month after month).
It is VERY close to FHTM. In fact many FHTM’ers flocked to ACN. Whats the definition of insanity again?
There are TONS of dogs, cats, pets, “aunts” “uncles” etc registered as customers. I have seen it first hand. FHTM did the same thing.
ACN pays out commissions on recruitment almost exactly like FHTM did. They just hide it a little better, and dont have as many people running around acting like jackasses about their recruiting efforts. They just dont bring as much attention to it.
FHTM did not get in trouble simply because they paid for recruiting. They got in trouble because they were frauds at EVERY level.
ACN has a great training program and does a good job keeping their people in play. Very few make any money but they sure are happy and excited about it. Its just another mass recruiting signup game. The margins on services are miniscule at best. You MUST churn and burn and build (respectivly) MASSIVE teams to make any significant income.
You need roughly 8000 people in an organization with ACN to make what you can make with 150 people in product based companies.. Tell me how that CANT be a MASS RECRUITING game.
Their diatribe is “no lotions, potions, or gels” The silly part is that ANYONE can sell ANYTHING they believe in.
The good part is that ACN has been the only service based company that has lasted. At least they are bright enough to dump a product and move onto the next one when the hype wears off. That doesnt mean there is any money in it for anyone but the top reps, It just means they are good at dangling the carrot.
If this is true, then yeah.
$499 buy in + subscribe to 3 services, cancel after 1-2 months then recruit others at $499 a pop, get them to subscribe/cancel and rake in those CPs to collect CAB + TCAB bonuses.
In these scenarios without hard data I try to give a company the benefit of the doubt, but anyone thinking of joining can check for themselves by asking their potential upline about retail service subscribers (obviously ask to see proof).
I wouldn’t give any MLM the “benefit of the doubt,” the industry is too filled with illegal pyramids and tool fraud.
The approach should be for the company to prove legitimate retail sales and lack of tool scams, it would be irresponsible to assume otherwise.
Without a proprietary source of stuff to sell, ACN is much like Solavei… have little to no margin, heading toward a cliff that nobody cares about.
The Wikipedia explained quite well… They quadrupled membership in Canada, but actual subscribers did not grow much if at all.
They are hanging on by ADDing new stuff to sale, but sooner or later their reputation will catch up with them.
Don’t be fooled by ACN. They have a very simple method. Bring people in and deliver high pressures sales presentations and get your $499. Then have you replace your current services with their overprices services.
Then they send you out to do the same to others with the message of “Can you do me a big favor?”. ACN is a great way to abuse your friends and family.
This seems very similar to a company called 5linx that has been around for awhile.
Are you planning to review 5linx? Their CAB are paid out and you don’t have to sell anything. You can just sign yourself up for services to meet your customer points.
5linx are on the review list. If they have customer points and absolutely no retail requirements (households or otherwise), then they sound like they’re in a much worse position compliance wise than ACN.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expect different results.” — Narcotics Anonymous handbook
If you want to qualify, it seems like you have to buy their $49.99 monthly website and training. That’s worth customer points, seems like just enough to qualify at the first level. No incentive to get outside customers because the 30 day bonus.
As a ET, you make $25 for every person you sign up and they get the $49.99 monthly subscription. At the SVP level its $170 each sign up. That’s way more that you can make on residuals.
Common Sense and K. Chang both mention product margins. This is the biggest weakness in service based mlm’s and it is something regulators really need to take a closer look at.
I built a very large organization and was a top level producer in Excel Communications. They were a company much like ACN in that they dealt with commoditized products with margins that cannot support the payouts.
In the beginning Excel was in the drivers seat because margins on LD phone service were high. They actually had a profitable, legitimate business model. However, as margins collapsed with more competitors in the space they relied more and more on rep fees in order to drive the compensation plan.
The fact that customers must be gathered in order to pay commissions should not be the only measuring stick in play. There should also be a reasonable explanation as to how the revenue generated by the customers supports the payout.
For example: In Excel we would sign up a new rep for a couple hundred dollars…. we would then sign up 2 customers for that rep and it would kick out over $500.
The margins on these customers were next to nothing and could come no where close to justifying a payout of $500.
IMHO the token gathering of customers in order to release CAB bonuses that are obviously funded by rep fees has really got to get looked at. ACN is a definite pyramid scheme in that it requires new representatives in order for the existing representatives to remain profitable.
Residual is a complete myth. If they could not recruit for 6mo, as a company, over 99% of the revenue to the field would stop.
I sincerely hope regulators will take a harder look at this in the future so that companies will make more of an effort to derive revenues from retail customers rather than making it though exploitation of the rep base.
I agree, Millions a year for sign ups, and websites/training.
Wow! Not sure who could be at a “loss” to explain the $499 fee to join ACN?
They very detailed in explaining almost everything else (products, CABs, points etc.). Even mentioned two instances of legal issues that were eventually connected to isolated activity among affiliates not ACN. Even developed a detailed explanation of how affiliates could “possibly” acquire non-valid billing customers! Yet failed miserably to advise readers on what the $499 fee included.
The affiliate receives an online store and access to training and information videos, has access to their back office, downloadable materials etc.. The online store is hosted and maintained by ACN.
How far does that $499 go toward hosting and maintaining a online store for a year? Most businesses pass on fees and costs of operation to customers or affiliates. I think my cell phone service passes on several for sure.
The ACN training videos, materials, and tools that are available were developed at some expense most likely. The $499 probably helps defray other miscellaneous costs and of course any secretaries, clerks, or operators would need to be paid.
Funny how someone was at a loss to explain relatively simple business management techniques. Wow! Couldn’t explain $499.00?
Well I’m not sure if the purpose of this site is make any MLM look like it could possibly be legit or not, but my opinion (mine only) is I feel people can possibly be misdirected when things are left out or omitted.
The amount in question is extremely reasonable when it comes to owning your own business versus what people normally borrow from banks for business start ups. Building a online website used to cost thousands of dollars just a few years ago.
^^ Are you seriously going to contend it costs ACN anywhere near $499 to set up a replicated storefront?
Pull the other one chief.
Yeah, we could sit here and make up stuff all day, as you’ve done. Or we could call ACN out on extravagant affiliate fees that are either being used to prop up the compensation plan, or are just ripping affiliates off.
$499 replicated storefronts… good grief.
(Ozedit: spam removed.)
All the promotional crap you’re talking about is worth nothing Mr. Williams.
At $500 per IBO, your training videos and hosting costs are well beyond paid at this point. “secretaries, clerks, or operators”… please, the $150 annual renewal fee would be enough to cover that, why need to pay $500 on top of it?
The fact is, you do not own any business or franchise when paying the $500.
You pay $500 for the “opportunity” or selling ACNs services, exactly like an insurance agent would do, except he doesn’t call himself an “independent business owner” because it’s not.
Hey Oz… Wow. Seems like you missed what I was trying to say. I really didn’t state the entire website cost $499 now did I?
I did mention a few other run of the mill business expenses though. You didn’t seem to really address them. Really?
Are there are no businesses that have those types of expenses? I made them up?
I can’t say for sure but it seemed like you tried to redirect the entire expense of $499 to a website… I could be wrong though. Wow! Thought you could do better than that (again).
I really just suggested a few expenses some businesses have that “could be” applicable. I did not list every expense that could apply though did I? I wouldn’t know all the expenses anyway.
I only mentioned a few though to give the “general” idea. I could probably come up with a much longer list just like you said, but there is no need to. I was speaking in general. Your short dismissal didn’t seem like a very good response though?
You know I filled out a rental application for an apartment back in the eighties and I was charged somewhere around $25 just for the apartment manager to process it. I guess the processing costs were passed on to me?
Mr. James. You did make some very valid points. I really appreciate a good response. However “IBO” is merely a title. “Insurance agent” is merely a title. Maybe what a person can claim during tax preparation is what really matters.
As far as promotional crap. It seems like your response may have been edited! Not sure though.
Anyway I believe most businesses are in business to make a profit. So with that in mind I really don’t see an issue with the “initial $499 fee” for an opportunity, membership, or whatever someone would call it.
The $150 is just an annual renewal fee that probably covers everything you said it does. You don’t really pay the $150 until after approximately one year. Actually I think its cheaper than $150.
I remember paying so much upfront for my gym membership… then I made some monthly payments up to a specified amount.
Then after that I just paid a small “renewal” fee once a year maintain my membership year after year.
Affiliates should not be slugged $499. ACN should be covering any expenses through the sale of products to retail customers.
my Xfinity service offers video calling and I don’t need a mythical proprietary phone to do it (since this was long the excuse why someone HAD to join this scam). just sayin’.
IF ANYONE BELIEVES THAT THEY WILL MAKE A LOT OF MONEY WITH ACN OR THEY WILL RECEIVE CHEAPER SERVICES FOR THE PRODUCTS NEED TO THINK AGAIN.
I was an active member of ACN and I was bombarded with company promises that are all total lies.
First my family and myself tried to get the services however it wound up costing more money. Where was the saving?
Secondly I had to pay an initial investment of $499 to become a ACN partner and if I was not happy with the company or vice versa that ACN would issue a full refund the money within 10 days
My mentor was informed that I was very unhappy and wanted to discontinue my relationship with ACN but insisted i continue to give it more of a try.
This is where the trap comes in I believe! ACN uses this procedure to keep the $499. However ACN has offered to refund $150 so why is that?
So now the only way to recover the $499 that is rightfully owed to me is thru the court system.
In closing I would like to add aside from ACN who charges a mandatory $5.00 fee to attend a. Business meeting.
So the bottom line is if you see or speak to anyone from ACN run the other way don’t give them a penny because if you do you will never get it back.
I have been doing ACN for 3+ years. I have about 40-50 people involved out of those active probably 4-5 if that.
I make about $400-$500/Month residually not including bonuses if they qualify which is like 3 services. I never understood people that throw away $499 and go missing lol.
I keep it straight with people they can get it back or get out within 10 days. Most or the expenses is the meetings and going to the events (Flights $100-$350, hotel $50-$150, rental $60-$120, and food $30-120. worst case $1,000 every 3 months when you go to the big event).
If you don’t have a good relationship with people and/or not likeable you will suffer but not hopeless, getting services is not always a walk in the park but sometimes people will become your customer without hesitation.
The services are comparable to the market. You can make $200-$300/Monthly residually without recruiting hands down. The main fees, the one time cost of $499 and the $99 yearly renewal fee. The business assistant is a (Optional) service costing $39/Month goes towards qualification.
Cons: Yearly expenses right off the gate one time cost of $499 then $99 yearly. If you attend events and major events (Opitional) $3,000+ (depending where you live).
What you can get out of them is priceless, unless you don’t care to grow as person and change your mindset. It’s tough to get people to switch over or transfer over services if the trust is not there. Prices are comparable to the market.
Pros: Yearly profit $4080-$6000+/Yearly again this is residually with some people below or Without recruits you can make $2400-$3600+/Yearly. Cell phone services can be free with 5 referrals taxes excluded average savings $600-$1200+/Yearly.
Gas/Electric can be free based on average 10 Gas/Electric customers on select markets $1200-$2400+/Yearly. They also offer Vivint Smart security (Rated #1 JD Power), Anovia Payments (Credit Card Service), Digital Home Phone (Like Vonage), Dish, Direct TV, At&t (Not all plans available), Century Link, Fios (Verizon), and Windstream.Sometimes we have deals that can be leveraged as well.
Keep in mind to buy in the franchise of Boost mobile store must have $100,000 in liquid assets or Verizon store if approved. (franchisedirect.com/businessopportunities/boost-mobile-14248/) Profits vary and residual income is based on customer traffic in the area. You are only marketing one service.
It’s hard to compare a traditional to Network Marketing business. I am a realist as well so I hate hype sessions and like people to give it to me straight.
Hope this helps. Feel free to comment or questions and I will do my best to answer.
BREAKING: a class action RICO law suit brought against Trump org and members of Trump family in connection to this MLM scam.
Thanks for that. I’ll be going over it and publishing a summary soon.
In 2004 and 2005, the German forum mlm-infos.com was heavily debated about ACN. Title of discussion: “ACN – the perfect network”
As part of the discussion at the time, the name of the well-known Frank Ricketts was mentioned twice. Unfortunately, I can not see which position Frank Ricketts has held at ACN. But it must have been a so-called “leadership position”. Here’s a quote from March 10, 2005:
On July 26, 2005, the same forum reported that ACN had been banned in Australia:
Note: NOLINK://www.mlm-beobachter.de/acn/courtorder-pyramid.htm – this website does not exist anymore.
It gets really funny when you find numerous tips on how to cancel your ACN contract on the Internet. The German trade magazine “COMPUTERBILD” has published a sample letter:
As usual among fraudsters, German ACN websites do not contain a legal imprint! This already shows that ACN is not a serious company and will never be. In Germany, the form of a legal imprint is required by law.
I like ACN.
I recently had a presentation with an ACN coordinator the entry fee was $199 and now am seeing $499 so which is which.Thanks
Was $499 in 2014 when I wrote this review. Seems to be $199 now plus a $25 monthly fee as per ACN’s website.
Ok bro so the $199 is the new price.
Ok bro, so you obviously didn’t read to the end of the review then.
ACN just acquired our company, Kynect Energy.
Thanks for the heads up. As a Kynect Energy affiliate, any thoughts?
I had a look around and couldn’t find anything official. BehindMLM hasn’t reviewed Kynect Energy so I’ve added it to our review list.
A lot of MLMs struggling right now. Add the energy crisis in Texas to that and it ain’t pretty.
Lots of larger companies scooping up the smaller ones. Long term security for us so no complaints.
Fair enough. All the best.
Most ACN representatives do not make a profit. Those that do have purchased existing memberships that have a substantial downline that can be worked to increase revenues.
There bulk of the pressure is on recruitment to drive bonuses no matter what is said “officially”.
I have been approached on this business literally dozens of times, and had close experience when am employer I trusted became involved.
While I closely watched their involvement for years, there is nothing to indicate this is anything other than a scam that walks a fine line offering overpriced services that would not be viable themselves outside of the ACN model.
Review updated with input from Robert Stevanovski on ACN’s retail customer revenue.