Crush Global Review: The ghost of WakeUpNow?
Crush Global launched in September of 2016 and are based out of Kentucky in the US.
A marketing video on the Crush Global website identifies Josh Henderson as founder and CEO of the company.
Josh Henderson (full name John S. Henderson, right) is the CEO and Founder of Lightyear Wireless’ MLM division, Lightyear Network Solutions.
Lightyear Network Solutions was founded in 1997.
In 2000 Lightyear Wireless changed its name to Lightyear Communications.
In 2002 Lightyear Communications went bankrupt. A year later in 2003 all Lightyear Communications assets were transferred over to Lightyear Network Solutions.
The company continued to operate as a wireless reseller MLM opportunity. The company name Lightyear Wireless became synonymous with Lightyear Network Solutions.
As “Sherman Henderson”, prior to Lightyear Network Solutions Henderson was CEO of Unidial Communications.
As I understand it, Unidial Communications was the predecessor for Lightyear Network Solutions.
In 2013 Lightyear Network Solutions was sold off to Birch Communications for $22 million.
In 2011, as Josh Henderson, Henderson founded Dynastar Energy.
According to a 2011 press-release, Dynastar Energy was
positioning itself as the premier leader with a direct sales model to acquire energy services customers initially in Texas, Pennsylvania and New York.
Dynastar Energy doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere and was quietly wound down in subsequent years. Henderson does not list DynaStar Energy on his LinkedIn profile.
Henderson’s cites his involvement in Crush Global dating back to March 2015, suggesting corporate planning for the company began long before its launch this year.
Read on for a full review of the Crush Global MLM opportunity.
The Crush Global Product Line
Crush Global sell “savings and rewards program” memberships.
Gold membership ($299 and then $49.99 a month)
- access to Crush Mall
- entertainment discounts
- dining discounts
- shopping rewards
- travel booking engine
- resort booking engine
- Crush IMS platform
- wireless reward points
- energy reward points
- restaurant.com gift cards
Platinum membership ($499 and then $99.99 a month)
As above plus
- discounts on wellness, energy and wireless
Individual third-party merchant products and services featured on the Crush Global website include:
- wireless plans ($20 to $69.95 a month through Tempo Wireless)
- Crush IMS – “an all-in-one business marketing tool”, retails at $39.99 a month
- Crush Mall – “a web-based platform which aggregates savings, deals, and rebates from participating merchants” (provided by Linkable Networks and Azigo)
Travel, energy and “essential services” are all marked “coming soon”.
The Crush Global Compensation Plan
Crush Global pay affiliates to sell Gold and Platinum memberships.
Various products and services are also offered via third-party merchants, which also pay out via the Crush Global compensation plan.
Crush Global Affiliate Ranks
There are five affiliate ranks within the Crush Global compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Brand Agent – maintain one active Crush Global membership (can be self-purchase)
- Regional Director – have a total downline volume of 1200 GV a month with no more than 50% coming from any one recruitment leg (also no more than 50% can be an affiliate’s own self-purchases)
- Vice President – have a total downline volume of 5000 GV a month with no more than 50% coming from any one recruitment leg (also no more than 10% can be an affiliate’s own self-purchases)
- National Vice President – have a total downline volume of 50,000 GV a month with no more than 50% coming from any one recruitment leg (also no more than 1% can be an affiliate’s own self-purchases) and have three Vice President ranked affiliates in your downline
- Executive Vice President – have a total downline volume of 200,000 GV a month with no more than 50% coming from any one recruitment leg (also no more than $500 can be an affiliate’s own self-purchases) and have two National Vice President ranked affiliates in your downline
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by the sale of Crush Global memberships.
GV generated by Crush Global membership and third-party merchant products and services are as follows:
- Gold membership = 300 GV and then 40 GV a month
- Platinum membership = 500 GV and then 75 GV a month
- wireless plans are 10% of the cost of them (eg. a $64.99 monthly wireless plan generates 6.4 GV a month)
- online shopping mall = 19 GV a month
- online shopping purchases generate GV as determined by what is being purchased
- travel lifestyle membership = 49 GV a month
- travel bookings = varies per booking
- energy = varies per customer
- solar = varies per customer
- Crush IMS = 40 GV and then 30 GV a month
- identity theft protection = 12 GV a month
- IT support = 11 GV a month
- TeleHealth = 13.5 GV a month
Note that Crush Global affiliates who maintain Executive Vice President for six consecutive months are not required to meet the monthly requirement above.
Retail & Recruitment Commissions
Crush Global pay a direct commission on the sale of a Gold or Platinum membership to retail customers and recruited affiliates.
How much of a commission is paid out is determined by which membership is purchased and the rank of the selling affiliate:
- Brand Agent – $100 for a gold membership sale and $150 for a Platinum
- Regional Director – $125 for a gold membership sale and $185 for a Platinum
- Vice President – $150 for a gold membership sale and $220 for a Platinum
- National VP – $175 for a gold membership sale and $255 for a Platinum
- Executive VP – $200 for a gold membership sale and $300 for a Platinum
Note that the maximum commission paid out per membership sale is $200 for a Gold membership and $300 for a platinum at the Executive VP rank.
These amounts are paid out per membership sold via a coded compensation structure.
This essentially means that if a Crush Global affiliate not at the Executive VP rank makes a membership sale, the difference is paid out to higher ranked affiliates (capped at the commission rate their rank received).
Eg. If a Regional Director sold a Gold membership, they’d be paid $125. That leaves the difference between $200 and $125 remaining ($75).
The Crush Global system would search the Regional Director’s upline for higher ranked affiliates to pay the $75 difference out to.
If a Vice President was found, they’d be paid $25 ($150 minus $125) and the system would continue to search for a National VP and/or Executive VP to pay the balance out to.
If a National VP was found, they’d be paid $50 ($175 minus $125) and the system would continue to search for a National VP to pay the remaining $25 to.
If an Executive VP was found, they’d be paid the remaining $75, satisfying the full $200 commission payout.
Residual commissions in Crush Global are paid out 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.
Crush Global cap payable unilevel levels at five, with a 5% to 20% commission paid out on monthly membership fees.
Brand Agent affiliates earn unilevel commissions on one level only.
Regional Director and higher ranked affiliates earn on all five available levels.
- Brand Agent – 5% on one level (personally recruited affiliates)
- Regional Director – 5% on levels 1 to 5
- Vice President – 10% on levels 1 to 5
- National Vice President – 15% on levels 1 to 5
- Executive Vice President – 20% on levels 1 to 5
Executive Vice Presidents earn a 5% generational residual bonus on unilevel commissions earned by Executive Vice President affiliates in their downline.
Infinity Coded Residual
The Infinity Coded Residual bonus permits a Crush Global affiliate to earn beyond the first five levels of their unilevel team.
- Vice Presidents earn a 5% Infinity Coded Residual bonus
- National Vice Presidents earn a 10% Infinity Coded Residual bonus
- Executive Vice Presidents earn a 15% Infinity Coded Residual bonus
Crush Global affiliates are paid the Infinity Coded Residual bonus on each unilevel leg until an affiliate at the same rank or higher is found in that leg.
Retail Customer Pool
The Retail Customer Pool is made up of 1% of all memberships sold to Crush Global retail customers and affiliates.
The Retail Customer Pool is paid out monthly to Crush Global affiliates who qualify for shares in the pool.
Crush Global affiliates can acquire a share in the pool by acquiring and maintaining retail membership customers as follows:
- 10 active retail membership customers = 1 share
- 20 active retail membership customers = 2 shares
- 30 active retail membership customers = 3 shares
- 40 active retail membership customers = 4 shares
- 50 active retail membership customers = 5 shares
Vice President and higher ranked affiliates earn a one-generation override on Crush Global membership sales.
When a Vice President or higher ranked affiliates sells a membership, the system searches upline for a Vice President or higher ranked affiliate to pay an override out to.
- $10 is paid out as an override on Gold membership sales
- $25 is paid out as an override on Platinum membership sales
Rank Advancement Bonuses
Crush Global affiliates who qualify as Vice Presidents or higher are rewarded with the following bonuses:
- qualify as a Vice President for two consecutive months and receive an iPhone 6 or iPad Pro
- qualify as a National Vice President for two consecutive months and receive $15,000, paid out as $500 a month for 30 months
- qualify as an Executive Vice President for two consecutive months and receive $50,000, paid out as $1000 a month for 50 months
Note that the applicable rank must be maintained for an affiliate to qualify for ongoing monthly payments.
Lifestyle Reward Program
The Lifestyle Reward program is a monthly bonus paid to Vice President and higher ranked affiliates.
- Vice Presidents who maintain 100 active Gold or Platinum membership subscribers receive $250 a month
- National Vice Presidents who maintain 500 active Gold or Platinum membership subscribers receive $500 a month
- Executive Vice Presidents who maintain 1000 active Gold or Platinum membership subscribers receive $1500 a month
Active memberships are counted in an affiliate’s entire downline, with the exception of memberships sold by downline affiliates at the same rank.
Note that no more than 50% of the required amount of memberships can be counted from any one unilevel leg.
Joining Crush Global
Crush Global affiliate membership is available through a Crush Global subscription or by itself.
If an affiliate signs up for a Crush Global subscription, they pay a one-time $29 fee and remain an affiliate for as long as they pay their Crush Global monthly subscription fee.
Gold Crush Global membership is $299 and then $49.99 a month.
Platinum Crush Global membership is $499 and then $99.99 a month.
Crush Global affiliate membership by itself is $399 and then $39.99 a month.
The crux of the Crush Global MLM opportunity is whether or not retail customers (non-affiliates) are going to cough up $299 or $499 for access to discounts.
I’m going to go with “no”, and here’s why.
First and foremost annual Crush Global membership works out to $848.49 for Gold and $1598.89 for Platinum.
For memberships that are advertised as providing “exclusive savings and rewards”, that’s an awfully high amount to be paying.
I’d even go so far as to estimate that for your average person, they aren’t going to make back the money they sink into Crush Global memberships annually in savings.
Not without radically changing their buying habits, which raises the question of whether or not they’re spending money they need to spend.
Secondly a whopping 67% and 60% of membership fees (Gold and Platinum respectively) are paid out as commissions.
That’s one hell of a mark up that isn’t contributing to a retail membership owner’s savings.
How does paying hundreds of dollars to a Crush Global affiliate each year save you money? Already alternative savings membership programs are in front.
The monthly fee is also commissionable, and again detracts from a membership owner’s potential annual savings.
None of this sounds even remotely attractive to retail membership customers.
What we’re unfortunately left with, is the probability that Crush Global affiliates will be the only membership purchasers. If not exclusively, then at least the vast majority (I’d estimate easily upwards of 90%).
To be fair Crush Global do have the Retail Customer Pool in their compensation plan. But while that might encourage retail marketing of the Gold and Platinum memberships, if it’s not attractive it’s not going to sell.
Unfortunately if the majority of Gold and Platinum membership subscribers are Crush Global affiliates, that means affiliates are getting paid on defacto recruitment.
Not helping is the fact that Gold membership is $71 less than signing up as a Crush Global affiliate without a membership.
Crush Global is practically begging to be sold as an affiliate recruitment opportunity.
In this scenario, Crush Global affiliates would sign up for $29 and purchase either a Gold or Platinum membership.
This purchase qualifies them for commissions, so all they do then is focus on recruiting other affiliates who do the same.
Brand Agent must have 1 active Crush Club GOLD or PLATINUM customer to be qualified to be paid. This can be the Brand Agent.
Crush Global do state that they ‘highly encourage our Brand Agents to acquire outside retail customers“. The reality however is that retail membership sales are not required for commission qualification and can be ignored entirely.
In this sense Crush Global’s retail memberships are pseudo-compliance, with the following statement on the Crush Global website thus false:
No money in the Crush Global compensation plan is made for recruiting Brand Agents. 100% of our compensation comes from the acquisition of customers.
Customers yes but if you’re almost exclusively referring to affiliate customers, that’s defacto recruitment commissions.
If all of this is sounding eerily familiar to you, it’s because you’re probably thinking of WakeUpNow.
WakeUpNow was an MLM opportunity that used the same membership subscription model to provide access to randomly sandwiched third-party discounts, products and services.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, the majority of WakeUpNow membership purchasers were affiliates.
Crush Global is basically WakeUpNow but with wireless and plans for utilities discounts.
An interesting point to note is that Crush Global’s Wireless plans are offered through Tempo Wireless, a relatively new MLM company owned by Birch Communications.
That’s the same Birch Communications that acquired Lightyear Network Solutions. It seems Josh Henderson still has some contacts over in the Birch Communications camp.
There’s nothing wrong with that of course, I just thought it was an interesting point to note.
As a prospective Crush Global affiliate, I’d be asking your upline how many retail memberships they’ve sold.
The Retail Customer Pool requires ten retail memberships but that might be a little high for your average affiliate. So let’s set the number at about three.
That’s one to match the affiliate’s own membership purchase and two more to boost retail membership sales to around 66%.
If every Crush Global affiliate sold at least three retail memberships, then that demonstrates retail viability and “crushes” the pyramid recruitment concerns I’ve raised above.
Whether it actually happens though is another matter.
Update 14th January 2019 – Since publication of this review, Crush Global has ditched its savings and rewards memberships and reworked its compensation plan.
Following a tip-off from a reader in the comments below, this prompted BehindMLM to publish an updated Crush Global review.