VizConnect Review: QR codes and video hosting
VizConnect launched in mid 2013 and operate within the mobile niche of the MLM industry.
No corporate address is provided on the VizConnect website, however the company’s website domain (“vizconnect.com”) provides an address in the US state of Massachusetts.
VizConnect also make reference to Massachusetts in their Terms and Conditions:
GOVERNING LAW, JURISDICTION AND VENUE
This Agreement and access to the Website shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, exclusive of its choice of law rules and matters affecting copyrights, trademarks and patents under U.S. federal law.
Heading up VizConnect is Founder Edward Carroll (right). According to Carroll’s VizConnect corporate bio,
A 20-year+ veteran of media, Mr. Carroll leverages his video and media savvy to help businesses and entrepreneurs take advantage of video and mobile marketing.
Ed launched his own production company in 2005 developing special marketing pieces for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and Bosse Sports Clubs as well as other web-based videos for smaller companies.
Seeing the explosive growth in mobile marketing and the need for businesses to access customers on their mobile devices, Ed was instrumental in the architecture of the Company’s software platform.
I couldn’t find any further information on Carroll’s involvement in the MLM industry prior to VizConnect, so VizConnect would appear to be his first MLM venture on the executive side of things.
Read on for a full review of the VizConnect MLM business opportunity.
The VizConnect Product Line
VizConnect operate in the mobile MLM niche, focusing on video content for mobile devices.
As per the company’s “Policies and Procedures”, Vizconnect are
selling company marketing subscriptions to cloud-based video marketing services that allow small and medium size businesses to update print advertising with video messaging.
This is achieved via the use of QR codes, which when scanned with a mobile device bring up a client’s video (hosted by VizConnect).
One VizConnect account costs $50 a month provides 10 video-mappable QR codes. Custom designed QR codes are available for an additional fee.
The VizConnect compensation plan makes mention of subscriptions with “texting”, however outside of the compensation plan there’s no mention of texting on the VizConnect website so I’m unsure what VizConnect’s texting offer is.
The VizConnect Compensation Plan
Every subscription or service sold within VizConnect has an attached Business Volume (BV) point value to it. The VizConnect compensation plan material states that a product or service’s allocated BV amount is equal to 67% of the retail price charged.
Various parts of the VizConnect compensation plan revolve around the acquisition of subscriber points, via the sale of subscriptions and services as follows:
- new subscription sale with texting – 3 points
- new subscription sale without texting – 2 points
- designer QR code order – 2 points
- monthly subscription renewal – 1 point
- logo overlay or color QR code order – 1 point
In order to qualify for commissions in the VizConnect compensation plan, an affiliate must be “active”.
To qualify as active, a VizConnect affiliate must either
- have joined the company within the last 30 days
- made at least one new subscription sale within the last 5 weeks or
- generated at least 3 subscriber points within the last 5 weeks
New Subscription Commissions
When an affiliate makes a new subscription sale, they earn 62.5% of the BV allocated to the product or service.
Referral commissions are also paid on new subscriber signups, paid out down an additional three levels of recruitment:
- Level 1 (as above) – 62.5%
- Levels 2 and 3 (sales made by affiliates you’ve recruited an affiliates they recruit) – 12.5% of the allocated BV
Subscription Renewal Commission
If a subscriber renews their commission beyond the first month, how much of a percentage an affiliate earns depends on how many renewing subscribers an affiliate has had renew over the 5 weeks prior.
- one subscriber renew over the past five weeks – 12.5% of the allocated subscription BV
- two subscriber renewals over the past five weeks – 18.75% of the allocated subscription BV
- three subscriber renewals over the past five weeks – 25% of the allocated subscription BV
Referral commissions are paid out on the renewals of personally recruited affiliates (level 1) and their recruited affiliates, paying out 6% on both levels.
VizConnect Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are five affiliate membership levels within the VizConnect compensation plan and, along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Associate – purchase an affiliate kit
- Team Leader – be active and recruit at least three active affiliates
- Director – be active, recruit at least four active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 100 subscription points over a rolling four-week period
- Senior Director – be active, recruit at least five active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 200 subscription points over a rolling four-week period
- Executive Director – be active, recruit at least six active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 300 subscription points over a rolling four-week period
Note that the above is only rank qualification criteria, with it being entirely possible for an affiliate to be paid less than their rank entitles them too if they fail to meet the following additional “paid as rank” qualification criteria:
- Associate – be active
- Team Leader – be active and have a downline that has generated at least 20 subscription points over a rolling 4 week period
- Director – be active and have a downline that has generated at least 50 subscription points over a rolling 4 week period
- Senior Director – be active and have a downline that has generated at least 100 subscription points over a rolling 4 week period
- Executive Director – be active and have a downline that has generated at least 150 subscription points over a rolling 4 week period
Note that from the Director rank above, only 60% of the total subscription point balance counted can come from any one leg of an affiliate’s 3×7 matrix.
Residual commissions in VizConnect are paid out using a 3×7 matrix compensation structure.
A 3×7 matrix places an affiliate at the top of the matrix, with three positions directly under them (level 1):
In turn, these three positions branch out into three positions again (level 2) and so on and so forth down a total of seven levels.
Commissions are paid out via the matrix based on 4% of the BV generated by an affiliates downline. How many levels an affiliate is paid out on in their matrix depends on their VizConnect affiliate membership rank:
- Affiliate – 2 levels
- Team Leader – 4 levels
- Director – 5 levels
- Senior Director – 6 levels
- Executive Director – 7 levels
Additional Matrix Position
Once a VizConnect affiliate reaches the rank of Director and has personally recruited at least three new affiliates, the company gives them an additional matrix position they can insert into their existing matrix.
This additional position begins a new 3×7 matrix within an affiliate’s existing matrix, effectively allowing them to double-up on commissions where positions in both matrices overlap. Note that subscription points are exempt from being counted more than once, regardless of how many matrix positions a VizConnect affiliate has in the compensation plan.
If an affiliate fills the first two levels of this new matrix and has an additional three personally recruited affiliates in it, they are then entitled to a new matrix position.
Via this process an affiliate can continue to build new matrix positions within their existing matrices indefinitely.
Matrix Check Match Bonus
A Director or higher ranked VizConnect affiliate can earn a matching bonus of between 5 to 20% of the matrix commissions paid out to their personally recruited affiliates.
How much of a percentage is paid out to an affiliate is determined via the following criteria:
- Director rank with at least one additional matrix position – 5%
- Director rank with at least two additional matrix positions – 10%
- Senior Director rank with at least three additional matrix positions – 15%
- Executive Director rank with at least four additional matrix positions – 20%
National Leadership Bonus Pool
Each month VizConnect takes 1% of its global commissionable volume and puts it in a National Leadership Bonus Pool.
Director or higher ranked affiliates can qualify for shares in the pool, subject to the following qualification criteria:
- Bronze Director (20% of the total pool) – reach Executive Director rank and have at least five matrix positions in total
- Silver Director (20 of the total pool) – at least one personally recruited affiliate qualifies as a Bronze Director or higher
- Gold Director (30% of the total pool) – at least three personally recruited affiliates qualify as a Bronze Director or higher
- Platinum Director (30% of the total pool) – at least four personally recruited affiliates qualify as a Bronze Director or higher
As with matrix commissions, in addition to the initial qualification criteria above, there is also ongoing qualification criteria which must be met:
- Bronze Director – have a downline generating at least 250 subscription points each month (no more than 60% from any one matrix leg)
- Silver Director – have a downline generating at least 500 subscription points each month (no more than 60% from any one matrix leg)
- Gold Director – have a downline generating at least 1000 subscription points each month (no more than 60% from any one matrix leg)
- Platinum Director – have a downline generating at least 2000 subscription points each month (no more than 60% from any one matrix leg)
Note that Platinum Directors also qualify for one share in the Bronze, Silver and Gold Director bonus pools.
Subscriber Acquisition Program
Practically a separate compensation plan within itself, I’ve decided to separate VizConnect’s Subscriber Acquisition Program and attached commissions into a separate section of this review.
Participation in VizConnect’s Subscriber Acquisition Program requires an affiliate to either buy into the program ($299.95) or sell at least ten subscriptions. An additional “test” is required to be passed regardless of which initial qualification criteria is used.
Once qualified an affiliate must then maintain qualification, either by selling at least one subscription if they have joined the company within thirty days, or selling five subscriptions and/or renewals over a rolling five-week period.
An affiliate’s own subscription purchase counts as one of the subscription sales required for the purpose of qualification.
If all the above qualification criteria is met, a VizConnect affiliate qualifies for the following additional commissions:
Fast Start Bonus
$25 per 3 subscription sales made within 30 days of joining the company as an affiliate.
Subscriber Acquisition Bonus
The Subscriber Acquisition Bonus is paid out when a Subscriber Acquisition Program qualified affiliate and their Subscriber Acquisition Program qualified downline make their first new subscriber sale.
A VizConnect affiliate’s Subscriber Acquisition Program downline is pooled from their regular downline, however it does not follow the same hierarchy. Affiliates are added to the downline based on the order they qualify for the Subscriber Acquisition Program, as opposed to the general recruitment timeline a regular downline observes.
The first three personally recruited affiliates who qualify for the Subscriber Acquisition Program form the first level (“CBA Link”). The next three form the second level (code 1), the next three form the third level (code 2), the next three form the fourth level (code 3) and any personally recruited Subscriber Acquisition Program qualified affiliates after that form the fifth level (code 4).
How much of a commission an affiliate earns on their personally recruited Customer Acquisition Program qualified affiliates depends on what code level they fall under:
- CAB Link – $75
- code 1 – $100
- code 2 – $125
- code 3 – $150
- code 4 – $175
Note that each Customer Acquisition Bonus pay out is $175, however if an affiliate is not code 4 ranked, they are paid at their level with the remainder of the commission passed up to their upline. This passed up commission is the difference between an affiliate and their upline’s code level rank.
A matching bonus is also payable on any Subscriber Acquisition Bonus commissions earnt by personally recruited Subscriber Acquisition Program qualified affiliates, payable as follows:
- CAB Link – 20%
- code 1 – 5%
- code 2 – 10%
- code 3 – 15%
- code 4 – 20%
Note that coded links stack cumulatively, in that if an affiliate was eligible for a code 3 matching bonus, they would receive a 15% match on all coded qualified affiliates. CAB Link affiliates are excluded from this rule and always pay out 20%.
Once an affiliate has code 4 ranked affiliates generating matchable commissions, they receive the full 20% on all their code levels.
Business Builder Pool
Every time a VizConnect affiliate buys their way into the Customer Acquisition Program, the company deposits $25 into a Business Builder Pool.
The Business Builder Pool is paid out quarterly to Customer Acquisition Program qualified affiliates, with payouts determined by the amount of shares an affiliate has.
Shares are allocated based on how many personally recruited affiliates become Customer Acquisition Program qualified within each quarterly qualification period before the bonus is paid out.
An affiliate earns their first share if three personally recruited affiliates become Customer Acquisition Program qualified within a qualification quarter, and are awarded an additional share per Customer Acquisition Program qualified affiliate they personally recruit within the same quarter.
Affiliate membership to VizConnect is $79.95 and $10 a month thereafter.
The “optional” Customer Acquisition Program fee is $299.95.
From a product standpoint I’m having a hard time seeing the viability of a $50 a month (or $60 if you go by the compensation plan) QR code + hosted video package.
Not too familiar with QR code generation I punched in “qr code generator” into Google and a bunch of free QR code generation websites came up on the first page.
With YouTube being free and nothing beyond the playing of a video being offered in VizConnect’s QR code + video hosting package, who is paying $50 or $60 a month for the service is a mystery to me.
Not withstanding the fact that after generating a QR code you still need to get people to see it. Surely the $50 or $60 VizConnect are charging would be better spent towards promotion of a code than the generation and attached hosted video?
Moving onto VizConnect’s compensation plan, I’m sorry to say it’s a giant mess. What should be a basic matrix-based subscription sales volume plan blows out to fifteen pages of paragraph after paragraph of headache-inducing attempts to explain an overly complicated compensation plan.
By design, the VizConnect compensation plan is just a nightmare to get your head around. Subscription Points, BV, the matrix (with both initial and ongoing qualification, the bonus pools with again two separate qualification criteria… it just goes on and on and on.
I’m no genius but I do have a basic understanding of MLM compensation plans at a base level. In the VizConnect compensation plan I found nothing new, yet due to the way it’s presented and designed found myself going over the same area again and again trying to get my head around it.
Hopefully what I’ve broken it down into makes some sense (it sure as hell should be clearer than the official VizConnect compensation plan material they provide).
Scrapping what they have and rewriting the plan, I’m sure it could be adequately rewritten and simplified into just a couple of pages if that.
Functionality wise, excluding the tacked on Subscriber Acquisition Program (which I’ll address in a minute), when one considers VizConnects QR code + video hosting offering I didn’t see the plan as viable at all.
Affiliates could buy subscriptions themselves but the resulting payouts didn’t warrant the effort. What was the attraction to this business I was obviously missing?
It’s the whole Customer Acquisition Program scheme VizConnect has got going.
If you want a simplified take on the business, ignore the provided QR code and video stuff and forget the bulk of the compensation plan. Focus squarely on the Customer Acquisition Program.
Totally underwriting the legitimacy of the VizConnect opportunity and presenting as a giant red flag in itself, the Customer Acquisition Program requires affiliates to either buy into the scheme or sell ten subscriptions (likely to affiliates they’ve recruited).
Given the unlikelihood of selling ten subscriptions (a lack of retail attraction boils that down to recruit ten affiliates and get them to buy a subscription), I’m punting most Customer Acquisition Program qualified affiliates ponied up the $299.95 fee when they signed up.
Sure there’s an attached test but at just under $300 to apply, I can’t see it being much more difficult than
Question One: Customers?
Possible Answers: Good, great, terrific, wonderful, absolutely or cake.
Once qualified, all VizConnect affiliates have to do then is just focus on recruiting new affiliates who also either recruit or buy their way into the scheme.
And each time they do so and these recruited affiliates recruit their first affiliate (who also does the same), they earn anywhere between $75 – $175, depending on how many new Customer Acquisition Program qualified affiliates they’ve personally recruited.
All of this is possible because
IBAs/CBAs may purchase and maintain one subscription for personal use and have that count toward the qualifications described in the SAB Program.
Buy in for $299.95, pay your subscription and then profit when your recruits do the same.
Where does the money come from? Well there’s a reason why buying your way in costs near $300. And if you qualify via subscription sales, a portion of ten no doubt amounts to whatever VizConnect need to pay out the $175 commission.
Oh and there’s the exclusive Customer Acquisition Program bonus pool too. The more Customer Acquisition Program qualified affiliates you recruit the more shares you get… with the pool being directly funded each time a VizConnect affiliate buys their way in for $299.95.
On its own VizConnect’s dubiously named Customer Acquisition Program has red flags all over it.
It took me a while to dissect but left me wondering if the gross over-complexity of the rest of the plan wasn’t entirely deliberate to throw off the scent.
Pay $79.95 + $299.95 to join the company, $50-$60 for a subscription and then profit $75-$175 (plus quarterly bonus pool) when you recruit others who do the same – so long as you keep paying your $10 a month.
That took fifteen pages of compensation plan material to explain?!