Viv Review 3.0: Stronger upfront bonuses, still pay to play
A few weeks back a reader reached out to suggest I revisit Viv in light of compensation changes.
My first port of call was Viv’s website, on which I was only able to find a compensation plan dated September 2020.
I assumed any compensation changes were more recent, so I turned to Viv’s social media profiles.
I found a video titled “2021 Comp Plan Enhancements UNVEILED!”, uploaded to Viv’s official Vimeo channel on December 15th, 2020.
As far as I can tell this is the latest version of Viv’s compensation plan. It is thus the basis of this review.
Read on for an updated Viv review for 2021.
Viv corporate appears to be much the same since launch.
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 2020 second 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’s offering appears to be unchanged. Ditto Viv’s Pro Membership.
Pro Membership is $139.98 and then $69.99. The service provides access to third-party subscription services.
- ediCall – “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)
Viv’s Compensation Plan
Viv has gotten rid of residual unilevel team commissions and replaced them with upfront bonuses.
The rest of the company’s compensation plan remains mostly the same.
Personal Customer Points
Personal Customer Points (PCPs) 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 PCPs.
Given these are also products however, it is assumed they do.
PCPs are required for Premium Service Subscription commissions and residual commissions.
Network Points (group PCP) is used to track Weekly Base Pay qualification.
Several bonuses within Viv’s compensation plan have a Power Team component.
A Viv affiliate’s Pro Team is defined as the first three upline levels. That is the recruiting affiliate, the affiliate who recruited them and the affiliate who recruited them.
From there the first Pacesetter or higher ranked affiliate is counted, and then the first Silver Partner or higher ranked affiliate.
Thus in total, each Viv affiliate’s Power Team is made up of five upline tiers.
Note that the Power Team bonuses are coded.
This means that PaceSetter and Silver Partner (and higher) ranked affiliates collect Power Team Bonuses below them.
E.g. if you’re immediate upline is a PaceSetter, they’ll receive the first three Power Team Level tier bonuses plus their PaceSetter tier bonus.
This leaves only the Silver Partner tier to pay out.
To keep things simple, I’ve referred to each of these five Power Team levels as follows:
- Power Team Level 1 (the affiliate who recruited you)
- Power Team Level 2
- Power Team Level 3
- Power Team PaceSetter+
- Power Team Silver Partner+
Pro Membership Sales
Viv affiliates receive $25 per Pro Membership sale to a retail customer or recruited affiliate.
$15 is also paid to the Power Team, however specific amounts are not provided.
Premium Service Commissions
Viv’s current compensation plan mentions affiliates can “earn on other sales”. No further details are provided.
Viv’s previous compensation plan detailed commissions on HomeSecure ($150), IntelliHVAC ($150) and EnerG2 ($75) “premium service” product sales.
Whether these commissions remain the same or pay out differently is unclear.
Fast Action Bonus
The Fast Action Bonus replaces Viv’s Fast Track Bonus. It is paid out during a Viv affiliate’s first 60 days with the company.
The Fast Action Bonus incentivizes affiliates to sign up for Pro Membership.
This is done through reduced Fast Action qualification criteria:
- Viv Consultants qualify for the Fast Action Bonus by submitting thirty bills
- Viv Pro Consultants qualify for the Fast Action Bonus by submitting ten bills
Commissions paid on satisfying the above qualification criteria and submitting bills are as follows:
- turn in ten bills and earn $150
- turn in fifteen bills and earn $200
- turn in twenty bills and earn $250
- turn in thirty bills and earn $400
There is also a $50 upline commission paid at each Fast Action tier.
Finally, each Fast Action bonus tier also has a Power Team component:
- the ten bill tier pays $3 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- the fifteen bill tier pays $3 to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $5 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- the twenty bill tier pays $5 to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $7.50 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- the thirty bill tier pays $7.50 to the Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $10 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
It’s not clear if these amounts are split across the Power Team or equally to each upline Power Team affiliate.
Fast Action Builder
The Fast Action Builder rewards affiliates with $150 for selling three Pro Memberships.
This is recurring bonus available during a new Viv affiliate’s first 60 days with the company.
Pro Memberships can be sold to recruited affiliates or retail customers.
The Fast Action Builder also pays a $50 upline bonus, as well as a $35 to the Power Team.
- $5 is paid to the Power Team Levels 1 to 3 tiers
- $10 is paid to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
The Savings Bonus kicks in if a customer or recruited affiliate using the AutoPilot service saves $150 or more on a bill.
- $150 to $249 in savings = $5 Savings Bonus
- $250 to $499 in savings = $10 Savings Bonus
- $500 to $749 in savings = $15 Savings Bonus
- $750 to $999 in savings = $20 Savings Bonus
- $1000 to $1499 in savings = $30 Savings Bonus
- $1500 to $1999 in savings = $45 Savings Bonus
- $2000 to $2499 in savings = $60 Savings Bonus
- $2500 to $2999 in savings = $75 Savings Bonus
There is also a Power Team component to the Savings Bonus:
- $150 to $249 in savings = $1 paid to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $250 to $499 in savings = $1 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $2 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $500 to $749 in savings = $2 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $4 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $750 to $999 in savings = $3 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $5 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $1000 to $1499 in savings = $4 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $6 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $1500 to $1999 in savings = $6 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $8 to the Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $2000 to $2499 in savings = $8 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $12 to Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $2500 to $2999 in savings = $10 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $15 to Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
If calculated savings surpass $3000, a 15% “rev share” is paid on the life of the customer account.
This equates to
- $3000 in savings = $225 Savings Bonus, $13 paid to Power Team levels 1 to 3 and $18 to Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $3500 in savings = $250 Savings Bonus, $15 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $21 to Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $4000 in savings = $300 Savings Bonus, $18 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $24 to Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
- $5000 in savings = $350 Savings Bonus, $22 paid to Power Team Levels 1 to 3 and $30 to Power Team PaceSetter+ and Silver Partner+ tiers
Note that as the Savings Bonus is paid upfront by Viv, they withhold the bonus on $5000+ in savings “on receipt of revenue”.
This means that the Savings Bonus is still paid out, it’s just not upfront like the lower amounts are.
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
Qualifying for “Active Weekly Pay” doubles the above amounts.
Active Weekly Pay qualification is as follows:
- sign up for Pro Membership and generate 50 PCP a month (100 PCP without Pro Membership)
- downline PCP should increase at least one week out of the past three weeks
- enroll at least one new retail customer or recruit an affiliate once every 6 weeks
Note that no more that 40% of NPs can come from any one unilevel team leg.
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
An additional 1% is set aside for a Visionary Pool, open to Pacesetter and higher ranked Viv affiliates who
- qualify at PaceSetter within their first 90 days; or
- recruit an affiliate who themselves qualifies as a PaceSetter within their first 90 days.
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.
Viv’s compensation revamp is interesting in that it swings focus back towards their bill savings offering.
That’s not to say Pro Membership isn’t a focus, just less so.
In true pseudo-compliance fashion Viv has financially incentivized Pro Membership by tying it to multiple commissions and bonuses.
Take the Fast Action Bonus for example;
Pro Membership is not required. It is simply the fastest way to earn your Fast Action Bonuses.
Upload an additional 20 bills to meet the requirements without Pro Membership.
Whereas there was no alternative qualification option when we last reviewed Vic in January 2020, they’ve now been added.
So technically a Pro Membership isn’t required but, by Viv’s own admission, having one “is the fastest way to earn” some bonuses.
This is still “pay to play” and lends itself to Viv operating as a pyramid scheme.
You sign up as a Viv affiliate, take out Pro Membership and focus on recruiting others who do the same.
Submitting your own bills for savings and those you recruit doing the same opens up the rest of the compensation plan.
Viv did launch with retail customer qualifiers but ditched them between our first and second reviews.
With the new upfront savings bonuses, one thing Cami Boehme didn’t address in her comp plan changes presentation was what happens if a customer cancels.
In paying upfront bonuses on projected savings, Viv seems to be taking the risk. This is why nothing upfront is paid on $5000+ in projected savings.
The company has obviously determined the risk is too high until the savings are realized.
That’s fine but in paying upfront on the lower savings tiers, is there clawback if enough savings aren’t realized to cover Viv’s upfront bonus cost?
Prior to the upfront change, Viv was paying cents on the dollar on regular bill submissions. That’s a lot of months for the company to cover $5 even on the low end.
And what about the Fast Action Bonus? Ten bills is $150 upfront, again presumably with Viv taking the risk on projected savings.
What happens if enough of those bills are switched again later down the track, before Viv recoups the already paid upfront bonus?
I don’t see Viv taking the hit, meaning there’s likely a clawback clause in the compensation plan.
I’d love to confirm this but Viv still don’t provide a copy of their compensation plan to consumers on their website.
Three years in, this is an ongoing potential violation of the FTC Act Viv clearly doesn’t care about.
The reason this is important is potential clawbacks makes spending what you’ve earned difficult. One can easily find themselves in a cash crunch if Viv one month claws back a significant amount already paid as bonuses months ago.
All in all the concept of providing customers with savings on their bills is solid. It’s just whether the concept can be translated over into a viable MLM business.
Obviously with Viv making drastic changes to their compensation plan, they’re still figuring things out.
Alternatively, if the majority of commissions paid out are still tied to the sale of Pro Memberships to recruited affiliates, then criticisms I raised in January 2020 still apply.
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.
Approach with caution.