Viv Review 2.0: Pro membership recruitment scheme
A reader contacted me requesting an update to our Viv review.
Hi Oz. Since you published your review there have been some changes with comp plan and services offered.
Would you update the review and verify if the new comp plan moved Viv into ponzi territory?
Our original Viv review was published in November 2018.
Viv still don’t link to a copy of their compensation plan on their website. A “compensation at a glance” PDF is available via Google, but it’s not complete.
Still, it was enough for me to see there had indeed been changes made to Viv’s compensation plan.
Today we revisit Viv for an updated review.
Viv is still based out of Connecticut and headed up by CEO Cami Boehme (right).
Check out our original Viv review for more information on Boehme’s MLM history.
Viv’s products haven’t changed significantly since our original review. The company still sells utilities and third-party service subscriptions.
Offered utility services are split into home and business.
The home service is Autopilot Savings:
- customers “upload their bills” to Viv
- Viv’s merchant provider haggles with the customer’s service providers
- customer saves money
That’s how it’s supposed to work, with Viv collecting “50% of the savings each month you save”.
“Pay-in-full discounts” are also mentioned but no specifics given.
For energy bills Viv still uses Utiliz to manage automated service provider switching.
For business Viv offers much of the same. The only additions I noted were bill auditing and an efficiency service for climate control (aircon, heating etc.) and refrigeration.
No pricing is given, with Viv’s website instead directing potential customers to “request a consultation”.
Viv’s third-party service subscriptions appear to be the same as they were in 2018.
Pro Membership costs $139.98 and then $69.99 a month.
Viv’s Pro Membership provides access to
- MediCall – “access to a virtual MD 24/7” ($29.99 a month separately)
- TechRescue – “24/7 tech support” ($19.99 a month separately)
- GetAway – “exclusive travel membership” ($29.99 a month separately)
- OutReach – “marketing automation & gamification” ($29.99 a month separately)
Note that the above is accurate as per Viv’s online store dated January 2020.
Their compensation plan material references additional services. It is unclear whether these services are still offered.
Viv’s Compensation Plan
Viv’s compensation plan is based on direct commissions and a unilevel team for residuals.
Rank-based Weekly Base Pay is also provided, along with a Generation Bonus to flesh out the unilevel team.
Note that Viv affiliates must have a Pro Membership to earn the Mentor Bonus and Weekly Base Pay.
Personal Customer Points
Personal Customer Points (CPCs) are points allocated on the sale of utilities to Viv customers.
Viv’s compensation documentation doesn’t specify whether individual subscription services and Pro Memberships generate CPCs.
Given these are also products however, it is assumed they do.
CPCs are required for Premium Service Subscription commissions and residual commissions.
Network Points (group CPC) is used to track Weekly Base Pay qualification.
Pro Membership Sales
Viv affiliates receive $25 per Pro Membership sale to a retail customer or recruited affiliate.
A Mentor Bonus provides a residual commission on Pro Membership sales.
Viv’s compensation documentation states the Mentor Bonus pays “$5 to three qualified levels”.
Whether these are basic unilevel team levels or generations is unclear.
Premium Service Commissions
Viv’s compensation plan details commissions on HomeSecure ($150), IntelliHVAC ($150) and EnerG2 ($75) “premium service” product sale.
IntilliHVAC is the energy efficiency product. The others don’t feature in Viv’s online store so it’s unclear whether they’re still offered.
Note that a Viv affiliate needs 5 PCP a month to qualify for Premium Service Commissions.
Viv pays residual commissions 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.
Viv caps payable unilevel team levels at six.
Commissions are paid out as a percentage of sales volume generated across these six levels as follows:
- level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) – up to 50%
- level 2 – up to 11%
- level 3 – up to 9%
- level 4 – up to 7%
- levels 5 and 6 – up to 6%
Note that Viv’s compensation documentation does not clarify why stated residual commissions are “up to”.
Also note a Viv affiliate needs to be generating 12 PCP a month to qualify for residual commissions.
Weekly Base Pay
Weekly Base Pay is a rank based weekly commission paid to Viv affiliates.
Rank qualification is based on Network Points (NP), which is the sum total CPC generated by a Viv affiliate and their downline.
- Promoter 160 – generate 160 NPs a month and receive $10 a week
- Promoter 320 – generate 320 NPs a month and receive $15 a week
- Promoter 650 – generate 650 NPs a month and receive $25 a week
- Pacesetter – generate 1250 NPs a month and receive $50 a week
- Partner – generate 2500 NPs a month and receive $100 a week
- Silver Partner – generate 5000 NPs a month and receive $175 a week
- Gold Partner – generate 9000 NPs a month and receive $250 a week
- Platinum Partner – generate 15,000 NPs a month and receive $500 a week
- Diamond Partner – generate 25,000 NPs a month and receive $750 a week
- Executive – generate 40,000 NPs a month and receive $1000 a week
- Silver Executive – generate 60,000 NPs a month and receive $1500 a week
- Gold Executive – generate 90,000 NPs a month and receive $2000 a week
- Platinum Executive – generate 130,000 NPs a month and receive $3000 a week
- Diamond Executive – generate 200,000 NPs a month and receive $5000 a week
Note that no more that 40% of NPs can come from any one unilevel team leg.
From the Pacesetter rank this requirement is dropped to 30%.
Viv pays a Generation Bonus using the same unilevel team structure residual commissions are paid out with.
The Generation Bonus pays out on up to four generations.
A generation within Viv’s compensation plan appears to be defined when a Pacesetter or higher ranked affiliate is found in a unilevel team leg.
- Pacesetters earn 3% on 1 generation
- Partners earn “up to 4%” on 2 generations
- Silver Partners earn “up to 5%” on 3 generations
- Gold Partners earn “up to 6%” on 4 generations
From Gold Partner the percentage cap increases. Viv’s compensation documentation states Diamond Executives earn “up to 10%” on 4 generations but doesn’t provide details on inbetween ranks.
As with residual commissions the use of “up to” is not explained. Also unclear is on what volume Viv’s Generation Bonus pays out on.
Note that 30 PCP a month is required to qualify for the Generation Bonus
Viv takes 4% of company-wide revenue and places it into two 2% Leadership Pools.
- Platinum Partners and higher ranked affiliates receive a share in the 2% Partner Pool
- Silver Executives and higher ranked affiliates receive a share in the 2% Executive Pool
Note that 30 PCP a month is required to qualify for Leadership Pools.
Fast Track Bonus
Viv affiliates receive $150 if they generate 30 PCP within 30 days of signing up.
A bonus $50 is also paid to their upline (the affiliate who recruited them).
During a Viv affiliate’s first thirty days, they receive $10 per five “qualified bills” submitted to the company.
A bonus $10 is also paid to their upline (the affiliate who recruited them).
Note that a “qualified bill” is not defined in Viv’s compensation documentation.
Basic Viv affiliate membership is $99 and then $19.99 a month.
Full access to Viv’s income opportunity (requires Pro Membership) costs $189 and then $69.99 a month.
Note that there is also a free Viv affiliate option (non-MLM commissions only).
The use of “affiliate” in this review does not refer to this Viv membership option.
Since launch Viv’s utilities service has taken a backseat to Pro Membership recruitment.
The Customer Point Bonus appears to be gone, which was the one retail encouragement bonus the company had.
Now Viv affiliates are required to maintain a Pro Membership to fully participate in the MLM side of the business.
This lends itself to Pro Membership recruitment, which given the monthly fees is effectively autoship recruitment.
Autoship recruitment is a strong indication an MLM company is operating as a pyramid scheme.
In Viv, this would take place if the majority of commissions are tied to affiliate Pro Membership volume.
And I have a sneaking suspicion that’s the case.
The utilities at this point can be ignored. MLM + utilities is always a hard sell, owing to the complexity of services offered across multiple states.
This is why pricing isn’t provided, and so it’s not exactly an easy sell.
Price comparison yes. But when you have to hand over 50% of your savings month to month, why not just call up your provider yourself?
Viv’s easiest product to sell is the Pro Membership, but mostly because of the attached income opportunity.
Something that Viv themselves promote as the option with “maximum earning potential”.
They’re not wrong, but that’s the problem.
Income potential in an MLM opportunity should be dictated solely on sales performance, with the majority of sales made to retail customers.
Income potential tied to how much an affiliate spends when they sign up is “pay to play”, again another pyramid scheme indicator.
As a prospective Viv affiliate, what you want to find out is how your potential upline is primarily getting paid.
If it’s through recruitment of Pro Membership affiliates, that’s a pyramid scheme.
The $69.99 Pro Membership adds up to 839.88 annually, which is the bare minimum value you need to obtain just to break even.
Can’t really see that happening for most people, making it’s retail viability questionable.
To answer our reader’s question, no Viv isn’t operating as a Ponzi scheme.
The Weekly Base Pay could be construed as one ($69.99 in and whatever out based on Pro Membership recruitment), but that’d hinge on affiliate Pro Membership sales making up 100% of Viv’s company-wide revenue.
Even if Viv is mostly operating as a pyramid scheme, that’s still unlikely.
In case the point hasn’t been driven home, Viv is likely operating as a pyramid scheme at this point.
Evaluate your potential upline’s primary income source volume and go from there.
Oh and would it kill Viv to provide actual compensation plan information to the public?
No excuses guys, not good enough.
Viv’s presentation of subscription services on their website also needs to be overhauled. Products are mentioned in their compensation summary that don’t feature on their website, and vice-versa.
Also instead of the infinite scroll mess that branches off into what feels like a million different options, consolidate the subscription services into a single-page summary format.
Your affiliates and potential customers will thank you.