Live Life 360 Review: Grey pay to play concerns
Live Life 360 launched in early 2014 and are headed up by co-founders Jesse Riddle (CEO), David Wood (President), Sam Robinson (Executive Vice-President of Operations) and Dr. Christina Beer (Executive Vice-President of Science and Research).
In his Live Life 360 corporate bio, Riddle is credited with ‘more than 25 years of business management experience and 10 years of industry experience‘.
A lawyer by trade, Riddle (right) was general counsel for Agel (nutrients) and around 2008 was involved in a number of cross-recruiting lawsuits filed against former Agel affiliates and Monavie’s Randy Schroeder.
Agel filed a lawsuit against Randy and Tara Schroeder alleging that they had violated various state and federal laws.
In the TRO hearing, the Court ruled that Agel had established that there was a substantial likelihood of success on the merits that Randy Schroeder may have used email addresses and names protected by Agel’s agreement.
The Court also found that there is irreparable harm to Agel if Randy Schroeder is permitted to continue the use of that confidential information.
The TRO will preclude the defendant from using any Web site that has Agel in it. And, further, he will be prohibited from any agreement with Yahoo, Google or any other search engine from using—from allowing or requiring them to direct traffic to his Web site or sites when someone types in the word Agel in the search engine.
This week, Agel filed numerous lawsuits against other former distributors alleging that they are improperly using Agel’s confidential information relating to cross-recruiting.
Over the next few weeks, Agel expects numerous and additional lawsuits to be filed. Agel will also request that the court enter Temporary Restraining Orders against each one of these defendants.
According to a statement released by Agel’s General Counsel, Jesse L. Riddle, “If a distributor violates their contract and cross-recruits, they will be sued.”
Riddle has also been unofficially credited with advising Go Fun Rewards to cease their US operations. Go Fun Rewards of course being one of the many reload scams that popped up after the Ponzi scheme Zeek Rewards was busted by the SEC.
When Riddle left Agel I’m not entirely clear on but I believe Live Life 360 is his first run on the executive side of things.
Read on for a full review of the Live Life 360 MLM business opportunity.
The Live Life 360 Product Line
According to the company website, Riddle began Live Life 360 after learning in 2013 that he had a ‘susceptibility to potential cardiovascular problems‘.
After learning this less than encouraging news his subsequent intense quest for ways to strengthen his heart revealed a common thread – Vitamin K2.
Jesse called his friend and business partner, David Wood, to talk about K2. Lacking familiarity with this vitamin they searched for and reviewed all of the clinical studies available and then reached out to David’s physician-brother to ask him about K2.
Through this research, Jesse and David realized they were onto something special; a little known vitamin that is critically important and absent from the diets of most people.
Relating specifically to cardiovascular benefits, Wikipedia’s entry for Vitamin K2 states that
Patients suffering from osteoporosis were shown to have extensive calcium plaques, which impaired blood flow in the arteries.
This simultaneous excess of calcium in one part of the body (arteries), and lack in another (bones) –which may occur even in spite of calcium supplementation – is known as the Calcium Paradox.
The underlying reason is vitamin K2 deficiency, which leads to significant impairment in biological function of MGP, the most potent inhibitor of vascular calcification presently known.
Fortunately, animal research showed that vascular calcification might not only be prevented, but even reversed by increasing the daily intake of vitamin K2.
Live Life 360’s flagship product is ProVital k2, which the company states
contains a unique and pure form of Vitamin K2 and other key ingredients that have been clinically proven to dramatically improve and support health and beauty.
Live Life 360 claim ProVital K2 targets the heart, bone and skin. ProVital K2 comes in capsule form, with a 30 capsule bottle costing $49.99.
Live Life 360 also market a Krill oil blend of Provital K2 ($64.99) and a ProVital K2 based “age defying serum” ($159.99).
Hydro Essential, a concentrated beverage mix that contains ‘essential B-vitamins and a small amount of caffeine‘, is listed on the Live Life 360 website as “coming soon” ($44.99).
The Live Life 360 Compensation Plan
The Live Life 360 compensation plan revolves around affiliates signing up and purchasing one of three “Product Packs”. In addition retail commissions offered to all affiliates, the purchase of a product pack qualifies them for binary commissions, a matching bonus and several other performance-based bonuses.
Live Life 360 Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are twelve affiliate membership ranks within the Live Life 360 compensation. Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Team Member – sign up as an affiliate and maintain a minimum 28 PV a month in sales volume
- Associate – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume and sign up at least two preferred customers
- Manager – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least two preferred customers and be generating at least 1500 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Silver Manager – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least two preferred customers and be generating at least 5000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Gold Manager – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least four preferred customers and be generating at least 10,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Platinum Manager – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least four preferred customers, personally recruit at least one Silver Manager or higher ranked affiliate and be generating at least 20,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Director – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least six preferred customers, personally recruit at least two Silver Manager or higher ranked affiliates and be generating at least 30,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Silver Director – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least six preferred customers, personally recruit at least three Silver Manager or higher ranked affiliates and be generating at least 40,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Gold Director – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least eight preferred customers, personally recruit at least four Silver Manager or higher ranked affiliates and be generating at least 60,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Platinum Director – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least eight preferred customers, personally recruit at least five Silver Manager and one Silver Director or higher ranked affiliates and be generating at least 80,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Diamond – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least ten preferred customers, personally recruit at least six Silver Manager and two Silver Director or higher ranked affiliates and be generating at least 100,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
- Double Diamond – maintain at least 28 PV a month in sales volume, sign up at least ten preferred customers, personally recruit at least seven Silver Manager and three Silver Director or higher ranked affiliates and be generating at least 250,000 GV a month in your weaker binary team
Note that “GV” refers to Group Volume, and is sales volume generated by an affiliates directly and indirectly recruited downline.
Also note that the preferred customer requirements are ongoing, the numbers quoted are required not only to be signed up but also maintained for an affiliate to qualify at any given rank.
All Live Life 360 affiliates are required to maintain at least 28 Personal Volume sales points every 90 days in order to qualify for commissions.
Live Life 360 offer affiliates retail commissions on all of their products. The company defines retail commissions as ‘the difference between the purchase price and sale price‘ of their products.
To give you an idea what retail commissions within Live Life 360 look like, the wholesale / retail difference on a bottle of ProVital K2 is $10.
Rapid Results Bonus
The Rapid Results Bonus is a commission paid out on the acquisition of two preferred customers, acquired within an affiliate’s first seven days with the company.
Preferred customers are retail customers who receive a wholesale discount on their orders, in exchange for agreeing to sign up for a monthly autoship order.
A Live Life 360 affiliate is paid $10 when their first two newly acquired preferred customers place their first orders, and then $15 again when they place their second orders the subsequent month (total payout is $50).
Any additional preferred customers signed up during this initial seven-day period are paid out at a rate of $10 on the first order and $10 on the second order placed.
First Order Bonus
The First Order Bonus pays out an a newly recruited Live Life 360 affiliate’s first order. This order must be made within 24 hours of an affiliate joining the company, and must be for one of the three product packages available.
The First Order Bonus pays two levels in the upline, with the recruiting affiliate making 20% and their upline (second level) 10%.
This equates to:
- 360 Basic Pack ($300) – $60 for the immediate upline and $30 for their upline
- 360 Builder Pack ($900) – $180 for the immediate upline and $90 for their upline
- 360 Pro Pack ($2000) – $400 for the immediate upline and $200 for their upline
Note that in order to qualify for the First Order Bonus, a Live Life 360 affiliate must sign up for a monthly autoship order.
Residual commissions in Live Life 360 are paid out using a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of two positions. These two positions form the start of two binary teams, left and right:
These first two positions branch out into another two additional positions each, with each of these positions also branching out into two additional positions. This process is replicated down a theoretical infinite depth.
Each filled position in an affiliate’s binary team represents a recruited affiliate, either recruited directly or indirectly (via an affiliate’s up or donwline).
Commissions are paid out based on sales volume generated by recruited affiliates in the binary teams, with an affiliate getting paid a percentage of the volume generated by their weaker team.
How much of a percentage commission an affiliate receives on their weaker team’s volume depends on how much they spent when they signed up as an affiliate:
- 360 Basic Pack – 10%
- 360 Builder Pack – 12%
- 360 Pro Pack – 15%
Note that monthly binary commissions are capped according to a Live Life 360 affiliate’s membership rank:
- Associate to Silver Manager – $1500
- Gold Manager – $3000
- Platinum Manager – $4500
- Director – $6000
- Silver Director – $9000
- Gold Director – $12,000
- Platinum Director – $15,000
- Diamond – $25,000
- Double Diamond – $30,000
Leadership Matching Bonus
The Leadership Matching Bonus pays out a percentage match on the binary commissions earned by an affiliate’s downline. The bonus is paid out down a maximum of seven levels of recruitment, with how many levels an affiliate is paid out on being determined by their Live Life 360 affiliate rank:
- Manager – 10% on level 1
- Silver Manager – 10% on level 1 and 5% on level 2
- Gold Manager – 20% on level 1 and 5% on level 2
- Platinum Manager – 25% on level 1 and 5% on level 2
- Director – 25% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 and 3
- Silver Director – 25% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 4
- Gold Director – 30% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 5
- Platinum Director – 35% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 6
- Diamond – 40% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 7
- Double Diamond – 50% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 7
Rank Achievement Bonus
Starting at the Silver Manager rank, Live Life 360 pays out a Rank Achievement Bonus when an affiliate maintains a newly acquired rank for four consecutive months.
- Silver Manager – $500
- Gold Manager – $500
- Platinum Manager – $500
- Director – $1000
- Silver Director – $1000
- Gold Director – $1000
- Platinum Director – $1500
- Diamond – $1500
- Double Diamond – $1500
Note that these are one-time bonuses only. In the event that multiple ranks are achieved (or overlap occurs during the four-month qualification period), an affiliate is still paid on all ranks qualified for.
Live Life 360 take 2% of company-wide commissionable volume and place it in a Leadership Pool.
All Platinum Director or higher ranked affiliates receive a share in the pool, with a maximum of 10% of the pool being payable to any one affiliate.
Joining Live Life 360
I did try to ascertain what the affiliate fee one has to pay is when joining Live Life 360, but I was unable to find any mention of one anywhere on the company’s website.
The company’s compensation plan only states the following:
Team Member: A person 18 years of age or older who has paid the Enrollment fee and agreed to the Live Life 360 Terms and Conditions and Policies & Procedures.
If one click’s the “enrol” link on the website, Live Life 360 demand a “sponsor username” before letting you go any further.
What I can tell you though is that, whatever the “enrollment fee” charged is, there’s an additional defacto fee charged by way of product packs.
The Live Life 360 compensation plan states:
To be eligible to earn commissions through the Leverage Matching Bonus, Team Volume Bonus, 360 Bonus, Team Members must purchase a starter pack.
Given that this is the bulk of the compensation plan, this pegs affiliate membership to Live Life 360 at a minimum to between $300 to $2000.
The primary difference between the packs, other than the cost, is how much of a commission an affiliate is paid in certain components of the Live Life 360 compensation plan.
The first thing that struck me about Live Life 360 was the multiple similarities between itself and Live Smart 360.
Here’s Live Life 360:
And here’s Live Smart 360:
Near identical name, same blue/black color scheme and circular logo. As far as I can tell there’s no business relationship between Live Smart 360 and Live Life 360 (founded by former CEO Mark McCool), so I’m at a loss as to why Jesse Riddle chose the name and branding.
LiveSmart 360 went into prelaunch back in 2010, so they’ve clearly got the jump on the company name and branding.
When I became aware of Riddle’s legal background, this got even more puzzling. Surely he can see how the two companies are easily confused?
I myself had to first check Live Life 360 wasn’t some new incarnation of Live Smart 360 which I’d previously reviewed. Live Smart 360 is frequently referred to as just “360” in corporate promotional materials, with that only adding to the confusion.
Whether or not this will translate into possible legal action taken against Live Life 360 later down the track I can’t say, but it’s definitely something for prospective affiliates to consider.
Moving onto the compensation plan, I found Live Life 360’s presentation of it to be very well done. It wasn’t too long and did a great job of explaining the plan in a simple and straightforward manner.
The plan itself however is not without some major issues.
I’ll open with one of the minor issues I saw, that being Live Life 360’s inclusion of affiliate-purchased products that are then resold. Quite clearly with affiliates purchasing the product first from the company, what happens after that then has nothing to do with them.
These aren’t retail commissions so much as they are the sale of second-hand goods. If I buy a hamburger from McDonalds and then sell it to some random on the street, McDonalds can hardly count that as a retail sale or revenue.
That said Live Life 360 do appear to provide a replicated retail storefront for their affiliates, with any retail sales occurring through the store most definitely counting as retail.
It’d be in the interests of the company to ditch the flawed retail explanation currently given in their compensation plan material, and instead focus on retail volume generated via direct customer orders with the company or orders made online. There’s currently mention of neither.
Moving onto the specifics of joining Live Life 360, I’m going to have to flag the opportunity with some potential pay-to-play issues.
In addition to the affiliate fee, in tying the qualification for the bulk of the compensation plan to the purchase of a Product Pack, Live Life 360 are clearly requiring their affiliates to pay to play.
This is emphasised several times in the company’s compensation plan material. First off is the acknowledgement that by maintaining a pay to play element within the plan, affiliates are effectively purchasing positions (“business centers”) within the company, as opposed to organically qualifying for them based on their (preferably retail) sales performance:
The process of new Team Members purchasing business centers in a Team Member’s down-line is how the Team Member’s organization, with a left and a right leg, is established.
The above describes new affiliates buying business centers in the binary team of the affiliate who recruited them when they sign up.
Then there’s the more direct “buy your way into Gold Manager status” with the purchase of a 360 Pro Pack ($2000):
Team Members who purchase the 360 Pro Pack will be paid at the Gold Manager rank for the ﬁrst 90 days as long as they satisfy other eligibility requirements for commission payments. The company will also recognize them as a Gold Manager for as long as they are active in the business.
Quite obviously a newly recruited affiliate isn’t going to instantly meet the normal “eligibility requirements” at the Gold Manager rank, so I believe this isn’t what the above text is referring to. And even if it was, Live Life 360 affiliates are clearly able to pay $2000 and buy their way into a higher position in the compensation plan.
That’s the overriding issue that no amount of additional “eligibility requirements” can negate.
Finally which pack an affiliate purchases when they join directly impacts what percentage commission they are paid through the binary. This is just straight up pay to play, with those refusing to pay being paid nothing (through the binary).
Those who pay are paid a higher percentage commission, purely based on how much money they spend on a pack. The binary –> product pack commission qualification tie-in is probably the most blatant example of pay to play inherent within Live Life 360’s compensation plan.
So, why did I title this review “grey pay to play concerns” then?
Well, here’s the thing – as damning as the pay to play issues above are, Live Life 360 have gone and partnered them with preferred customer requirements. Thus the paradox exists wherein we have something we don’t see nearly enough of in MLM (retail affiliate rank qualification criteria) and something we shouldn’t be seeing anything of (pay to play).
I can see the argument being raised that affiliates must generate retail activity to get paid, but I’m not seeing how this negates the obvious pay to play aspects of Live Life 360’s compensation plan.
As I mentioned earlier you can’t negate the fact that affiliates buy positions (“business centers”) in the plan, with how much they spend having a direct effect on commissions paid out (binary and qualification for several other bonuses).
There’s also autoship requirements if affiliates wish to qualify for the binary matching bonus, which is a lesser concerns but still comes under the umbrella of pay to play.
What I did like about Live Life 360’s plan was the generous 50% binary matching bonus, but that’s unfortunately completely overshadowed by everything else.
One minor niggle was the Rapid Results bonus qualification period of 7 days. I felt this could be extended to thirty days as it is a bit pushy to ask new affiliates to sign up preferred customers within a week. The Rapid Results bonus is paid out per order so I don’t see how it might break the plan if the qualification period was extended.
30 days might not be as “rapid” as 7 days but I think is still fast enough to not warrant a name-change!
All in all, and again given Jesse Riddle’s legal background (which I’m now assuming was not in the area of compliance), Live Life 360 call their opportunity into question by permitting affiliates to buy rank and tying how much they pay to how much they get paid.
Personally I’m going to stamp this “avoid”, as I feel there’s really no need to mix grey into what is an otherwise reasonable compensation plan. Get rid of the pay to play guys. Oh and watch out for Live Smart 360 if Live Life 360 ever really takes off.
Short of Mark McCool giving Live Life 360 his blessing to use the name, that’s a potential lawsuit that’s going to be perpetually looming over them.