ClearUnited Review: Cell phone privacy for a monthly fee
ClearUnited is part of Clear, a company that aims to “decentralize your digital life”.
Clear has been aggregating and developing technologies around personal data ownership and security for nearly 20 years.
There are a staggering fourty-five “key partners & leadership” personnel presented on Clear’s website.
“Founder & Vision(ary?)”, Michael Proper, is buried about halfway down the list.
As per Proper’s Clear executive bio;
Over the past 21 years, Michael has helped start and grow numerous companies in the IT industry and helped to create what is now known as the Managed Services Provider (MSP) sector.
Prior to starting ClearCenter he started DirectPointe (an IT service company) & DPFS (an IT financing company) he also helped launch and establish Calculated Research & Technology and Veritas Solutions (both IT solution companies).
As far as I can tell, Proper has no prior MLM executive experience.
Clear is incorporated in New Zealand but appears to be operated out of Utah in the US.
Read on for a full review of ClearUnited’s MLM opportunity.
ClearUnited markets a range of cellphones they call ClearPhones.
ClearPHONE sets you free: No ads, no viruses, malware, no trackers. No unwanted content.
ClearUnited sells ClearPhones via a three-tier 24 month subscription:
- ClearPhone 220 – $50 a month
- ClearPhone 420 – $100 a month
- ClearPhone 620 – $150 a month
The subscription covers the cost of the phone and can be cancelled after four months with an additional two-month cancellation fee.
ClearUnited provides a bunch of inhouse services. These services are built around ClearOS, Clear’s spin on the Linux operating system.
ClearPHONE uses a hardware manufacturer who also builds devices for other top brands.
However, we have worked with the manufacturer to customize the hardware to fit our needs and also to allow for the tight integration of ClearOS Mobile and it’s ClearGM private network to work together with the phone hardware at the core level of the device.
Presumably if owners of ClearPhone stop paying the monthly fee, they are cut off from Clear’s services. How much this impacts the usability of the phone is unclear.
ClearUnited’s Compensation Plan
ClearUnited affiliates are paid on the sale of ClearPhone subscriptions.
To qualify for commissions, each ClearUnited affiliate must recruit three ClearPhone customers. These customers can be retail customers or recruited ClearUnited affiliates.
ClearUnited Affiliate Ranks
There are eight affiliate ranks within ClearUnited’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Condensation – sign up as a ClearUnited affiliate
- Drop – generate three ClearPhone purchases and/or subscriptions
- Rain – generate nine ClearPhone purchases and/or subscriptions
- Shower – generate twenty-seven ClearPhone purchases and/or subscriptions
- Storm – generate eighty-one ClearPhone purchases and/or subscriptions
- Lightning – generate seven hundred and twenty-nine ClearPhone purchases and/or subscriptions
- Thunder – generate two thousand one hundred and eighty-seven ClearPhone purchases and/or subscriptions
Based on the information provided in ClearUnited’s compensation plan, I don’t believe subscriptions have to be active to count towards the required totals.
ClearUnited pays commissions via 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 recruit new affiliates, they 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.
ClearUnited caps payable commissions at seven unilevel team levels.
How many unilevel team levels a ClearUnited affiliate earns commissions on is based on rank:
- Drop ranked affiliates earn 10% on level 1, 9% on level 2 and 8% on level 3
- Rain ranked affiliates earn 10% on level 1 and 2
- Shower ranked affiliates earn 10% on levels 1 and 2 and 5% on level 3
- Snow ranked affiliates earn 10% on levels 1 and 2 and 5% on levels 3 and 4
- Storm ranked affiliates earn 10% on levels 1 and 2, 5% on levels 3 and 4 and 1% on level 5
- Lightning ranked affiliates earn 10% on levels 1 and 2, 5% on levels 3 and 4 and 1% on levels 5 and 6
- Thunder ranked affiliates earn 10% on levels 1 and 2, 5% on levels 3 and 4 and 1% on levels 5 to 7
ClearUnited’s compensation plan defines a drop as
a minimum of 3 Total paid ClearPhone Customers Fractal of Three Circles Members with a NPS Score of 7+.
NPS stands for “Net Promoter Score”;
To calculate Net Promoter Score, survey all ClearUnited members and see how likely they are to recommend your business on a scale of 0-10.
Organize responses into Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8), and Promoters (9-10).
Then, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage to determine the overall Clear.
As for the rest of ClearUnited’s definition of a drop, I have no idea.
It sounds like the company is grouping three customers who together generate a NPS score of 7+ together, and however many groups an affiliate has equals how many drops they have.
Whatever the grouping, how drops are paid out is unclear. ClearUnited fails to provide this information in their official compensation documentation.
All that’s provided is “paid drops” that correspond with affiliate rank:
- Drop ranked affiliates receive one paid drop
- Rain ranked affiliates receive ten paid drops
- Shower ranked affiliates receive twenty paid drops
- Snow ranked affiliates receive fifty paid drops
- Storm ranked affiliates receive one hundred paid drops
- Lightning ranked affiliates receive two hundred and fifty paid drops
- Thunder ranked affiliates receive five hundred paid drops
ClearUnited’s compensation plan details shared pools. Like paid drops however, the company fails to adequately explain what the pools are or how they are paid out.
All Pools are paid monthly based upon NPS & WIG.
NPS we’ve defined in Paid Drops above. WIG is… well, here’s the explanation ClearUnited provides;
To define the yearly ClearUnited WIG, identify where we are each year, where we want to be and by when.
Said differently, you define a starting line, a finish line and a deadline.
How is that used to calculate Shared Pool qualification? Again, I have no idea.
ClearUnited’s pools are funded with ‘a percentage of global commissionable volume’.
- Drop ranked affiliates are paid from a 1% Shared Pool
- Rain ranked affiliates are paid from a 2% Shared Pool
- Shower ranked affiliates are paid from a 3% Shared Pool
- Snow ranked affiliates are paid from a 4% Shared Pool
- Storm ranked affiliates are paid from a 5% Shared Pool
- Lightning ranked affiliates are paid from a 6% Shared Pool
- Thunder ranked affiliates are paid from a 7% Shared Pool
Presumably NPS and WIG factor into how the pools are paid out, however this is not explained by ClearUnited in their compensation documentation.
ClearUnited affiliate membership appears to be tied to the purchase and maintenance of the company’s ClearPhone subscriptions, or a ClearPhone outright.
While affiliate costs are not mentioned or disclosed on ClearUnited’s website, its compensation documentation is titled “ClearUnited Inc. Member Compensation Plan”.
The document defines a ClearUnited member as
a paid customer when subscribed or purchased at a minimum single active ClearPhone.
Note that ClearPhone outright costs are not provided on ClearUnited’s website. The phones however are available outright on Amazon.
Clear themselves runs the Amazon store but whether ClearPhone purchases on Amazon count with respect to being a ClearUnited affiliate is unclear.
Although I can’t say for sure, I believe ClearUnited reflects its management’s inexperience with the MLM industry.
On the product side of things its pretty straight forward. Phones which you can buy outright or on a subscription plan, which unlocks specific features.
I’m somewhat privacy conscious but I’m not paying up to $150 a month for a no-name brand Android phone with privacy and security features.
If that’s your cup of tea, great! I’m not here to persuade you otherwise.
What ClearUnited’s MLM opportunity boils down to is building a base of ClearPhone customers. Either outright phone purchases or the monthly subscription.
Personally I think the catch here is that those looking for what ClearUnited are offering, are likely already aware of what’s available.
To get an idea of this I went looking for ClearPhone reviews. I only found ads.
There’s one guy on Reddit who two months ago was happy the ClearPhone he ordered four months prior to that had just shipped.
Whether ClearUnited has addressed those ridiculous lead times is unclear. If they haven’t, then I can safely say the retail viability of ClearPhone is dead in the water.
A four-month lead in time for a cell phone is a ridiculous sell, even to the most dedicated security and privacy nerds.
In that sense ClearUnited’s compensation plan doesn’t matter. But we’ll go over it anyway.
For starters there are no retail sales qualifiers. There’s the potential for pyramid recruitment, if the majority of ClearPhone purchasers are also affiliates (granted there’s an opt-in layer).
ClearUnited’s compensation documentation needs an overhaul. Basic commissions are explained but paid drops and the shared pools need a proper explanation.
There’s also Clear Token, which on its own might be innocent enough, but how it fits into ClearUnited compensation plan isn’t disclosed. And that raises suspicion.
CLEAR Rewards have liquidatable cash value and can be exchanged into current and future monetary value and assets.
Whereas CLEAR Tokens maybe speculative and have no cash value.
ClearUnited don’t disclose how Clear Tokens fit into their compensation plan. From what I can tell, Clear Token is an internal token.
How a cash value is assigned to it or what they are used for, beyond a payment method for the company to pay affiliates, is also not disclosed.
What we do know is that Clear is giving Clear Tokens away through a convoluted ticket system.
Set up a free ClearFoundation Portal account and free digital wallet for your CLEAR.
Receive Community Bonanza Giveaway tickets by running ClearOS Server, using ClearPHONE, donating to ClearFoundation, sharing storage capacity, and more.
Enter the Bonanza
Enter your tickets on as many days as you’d like to automatically receive an equal share of that day’s allotted CLEAR.
There’s a lot of mumbo-jumbo on Clear’s website to sift through. The general gist of it is your data something something decentralized buzzwords something something big evil tech companies etc. etc.
For all the talk about decentralization though, Clear’s presented business model seems pretty centralized to me.
You’re buying into their ecosystem and taking the company at its word that security and privacy features are as advertised.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing but does conflict with the negative portrayal of centralization on ClearUnited’s website.
ClearUnited’s combination of conflicting brand messaging, an unclear compensation plan, tech products that might take four months to ship and potentially murky integration of an internal token, leaves a lot to be desired.
Approach with caution.