Apps Network Review: Android phone apps and MLM?
There is no information on the Apps Network website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The company’s website domain (appsnetwork.co) however was registered on September 3rd 2012 and lists a “Rajesh Chatterjee” as the owner, operating out of Hamilton in New Zealand.
Chatterjee previously launched the Network Empire MLM opportunity earlier this year back in April. After analysing and reviewing Network Empire’s business model, I concluded that the idea of paying a company to build a website for you and then renting it back to them for a ROI didn’t make much sense as a MLM product.
Coupled with recruitment commissions offered through Network Empire’s compensation plan, things were looking pretty dodgy.
Research into the current status of Network Empire reveals that, although the company website is still up and running, the scheme collapsed in July 2012 with affiliates receiving no further payments after June.
After disappearing for two months, Chatterjee then sent an email to a top affiliate of Network Empire, stating
You’re getting THE PRODUCT that you’ve purchased. You have NOT purchased the income and that can’t be guaranteed.
Be rest assured, I’ve checked my legal liabilities long back and happy to see anyone in the court of law – should we both wish to host & fund a costly lawyers feast.
Through their compensation plan, Network Empire guaranteed affiliates a ROI of $10 a month for the first three months and $20 a month over the next three years for every website purchased by affiliates.
After the collapse of Network Empire in July, Chatterjee appears to be back three months later with a new company launch, Apps Network. Read on for a full review of the Apps Network MLM business opportunity.
The Apps Network Product Line
Apps Network create mobile phone apps, which company affiliates are then able to purchase.
Current niches Apps Network offer apps to members include:
- real estate agent
- car dealers
- designing a feng shui class
- fitness guide
- “hot bollywood video”
- “news Hamilton NZ”
Salons and Spas, restaurant, bars and nightclubs, chiropractors, dental services, plastic surgeons and “NZ Travel” are also on the list but are currently marked “work in progress”.
The Apps Network Compensation Plan
The Apps Network compensation plan offers affiliates the chance to earn commissions based on the recruitment of new members and payment of monthly membership fees.
There are four levels of membership within Apps Network:
- Gold PersonalApp – $100
- Gold – LocalBiz – $200
- Platinum PersonalApp – $100 ($10 a month)
- Platinum LocalBiz – $200 ($10 a month)
With the primary difference being the Gold plans only offering recruitment commissions on one level of recruitment. The Platinum plans offer recruitment down 10 levels of recruitment and offer monthly residual commissions upon payment of membership fees.
Gold Membership Commissions
Both Apps Network’s Gold membership options pay out a one-time flat rate commission upon recruitment of new affiliates. How much of a commission paid out depends on the membership level a newly recruited affiliate signs up for:
- Gold and Platinum PersonalApps members – $30
- Gold and Platinum LocalBizApps members – $70
Note that this is a one-time commission.
Platinum Membership Commissions
If Apps Network members opt to pay a monthly membership fee, they are able to earn commissions paid out down ten levels. Apps Network use a unilevel compensation structure to do this.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of their team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1). If any level 1 affiliates recruit new members, they are placed on level 2 and so on and so forth.
Using this structure, Platinum Apps Network members earn recruitment commissions, paid out down ten levels on the recruitment of other Platinum members as follows:
- Level 1 – Personal Apps $30, LocalBiz Apps $70
- Level 2 – Personal Apps $7, LocalBiz Apps $10
- Level 3 – Personal Apps $4, LocalBiz Apps $6
- Level 4 – Personal Apps $3, LocalBiz Apps $4
- Level 5 – Personal Apps $2, LocalBiz Apps $3
- Level 6 – Personal Apps $1 LocalBiz Apps $2
- Level 7 – Personal Apps $1, LocalBiz Apps $2
- Level 8 – Personal Apps $1, LocalBiz Apps $1
- Level 9 – Personal Apps $0.50, LocalBiz Apps $1
- Level 10 – Personal Apps $0.50, LocalBiz Apps $1
Note that commissions are still earnt on the recruitment of Gold members ($30 and $70), however this is only paid out on direct recruitment (level 1).
Residual monthly commissions are also paid out to Platinum members upon payment of recurring monthly membership fees. As with the recruitment commissions, the monthly residuals are also paid out down ten levels:
- Level 1 – $3
- Level 2 – $0.70
- Level 3 – $0.40
- Level 4 – $0.30
- Level 5 – $0.20
- Level 6 – $0.10
- Level 7 – $0.10
- Level 8 – $0.10
- Level 9 – $0.05
- Level 10 – $0.05
Note that because the monthly membership fee is the same for both Platinum membership options, the monthly residual commissions paid out are also the same.
Offered to all Apps Network members, the company pays out a bonus recruitment commission of $100 per five new affiliates recruited (any membership option).
Joining Apps Network
Membership to Apps Network is available in four options:
- Gold Personal Apps – $100 (no unilevel commissions or monthly residuals)
- Gold LocalBiz Apps – $200 (no unilevel commissions or monthly residuals)
- Platinum Personal Apps – $100 and $10 a month thereafter
- Platinum LocalBiz Apps – $200 and $10 a month thereafter
Whereas Rajesh Chatterjee’s previous MLM offering leaned towards being a Ponzi scheme (members invest and earn a guaranteed ROI over 3 years), Apps Network goes in a different direction, strongly resembling that of a pyramid scheme.
The commissions offered are all tied into the payment of membership fees, with affiliates only able to earn money upon recruiting new members. Residual commissions are only paid out of monthly membership fees so they too rely on recruitment.
Apps Network do state that members can resell purchased apps to ‘businesses in your community‘:
Sell our app service to businesses in your community. You can charge them premium one of and on-going monthly fees.
As guidance, $500 – $1000 one-off and $50 / month is a very attractive price point for most businesses. It’s up to you what you charge your local biz customers and that extra money is yours. You don’t need to pay or disclose that to anyone.
However this appears to be a private transaction outside of the Apps Network compensation plan and business opportunity. Within the opportunity itself the only way to get paid is via recruitment of new members and payment of monthly membership fees.
Furthermore, there’s also the question of value to a business in a templated app that appears to serve no function beyond that of a virtual business card.
Whereas with a Ponzi scheme the liability lies with the company (they have to pay out continuous ROIs), Chatterjee seems to have decided to shift this liability over to affiliates (they now have to recruit to earn). This might prolong a collapse but inevitable Apps Network members are going to run out of people to recruit.
Unfortunately rather than focus on the actual sale of viable products to customers, all we’ve got here is a membership driven pyramid scheme. Network Empire lasted only a few short months and I suspect the same will be true of Apps Network.