Is ACN a SCAM?

Review of: ACN Inc.
Multi-Level Marketing:
Greg Provenzano
Version:
Started 1993
Price:
$499.

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On March 8, 2014
Last modified:March 23, 2014

Summary:

ACN is by far one of the better MLM's, but it is still an MLM. That just means that until your organization becomes a growing force, the money will be minimal. The business really becomes persuading someone of switching from a present service to that of a different one. If it can save some money, great. That's good enough reason to switch.

Shop for ACN Products   Services   ACN Independent Business OwnerOne thing is for sure, lots of people seem to be interested in this question: Is ACN a scam or not. Fair question, really, as most people have never even heard of the company.

As a product or service there certainly seems to be a lot of negatives in the press and online. When viewed from the perspective of whether it is a viable business or not, a lot of what the reps say about the earning potential seems almost be too good to be true. If you are looking at ACN as a “business opportunity” I think it would be wise to take the time to do your own due diligence. But lets get certain things straight first.

What is ACN?

ACN Inc. is really just a reseller of phone, internet and other consumer services and products. It all started in 1993 as a reseller of long distance services, and since then ACN has become a formidable Multi-Level Marketing machine that appears unstoppable. The sheer force of their approach to direct sales has vaulted the company to dizzying heights and has become synonymous with such celebrity status by the likes of Donald Trump. And, they are quick to tell you that “you can have a piece of the empire.”

And there are big brand names associated with ACN. AT&T, Verizon, Telus, Bell, T-Mobile, Sprint, Direct TV, Comcast… and many, many more. There are quite a lot of heavy hitters in every category from telephony to energy, and financial. Their tagline is: “At ACN, if its on, you get paid.”

What’s wrong with that?

I’m not going to concentrate on the negative press, as any large company can always be a target for the misinformed or in genuine, as much as the legitimate. The internet is filled with it. What I think some people really want to know is if this is a legitimate company with a legitimate and sustainable business opportunity.

What is Multi-Level Marketing?

Here is my take on it: The ACN business is really just an MLM, just reselling products that everyone seems to use already. Multi-Level Marketing has been around for a long while and, contrary to what a lot of people think, the MLM concept itself is neither a scam nor a pyramid scheme. It appears that way, but its not. No one buys in and then gets ripped off when it eventually collapses. As a business model its brilliant. All you need to do is find a few people who you can sell directly to and encourage them to do the same. Eventually you will have people in your “downline” who’s names you won’t recognize, but you won’t need to worry about that because the money will just continue to flow in, and in an increasingly staggering amount.

As with any MLM model, the trick is to find enough people that share that dream and can continue the recruiting process ad infinitum. You get paid on their efforts and sales many levels deep and wide. And it can start to add up to some serious money. These are the stories that you’ll hear. The ones that got in on the ground floor that have persevered. But many don’t make it in MLM and so its important to know why that is the case and the pitfalls associated with the MLM game.

I say “game” because it I think it is really just that. Essentially you must sell directly to your warm market (read, friends and family), who then in turn must sell their warm market. Marketing to a cold audience is difficult because the MLM effort relies on a certain amount of trust for it to be effective. People who know people, sell directly to their people who, in turn, sell to their people.

The sales recruitment exercise becomes the central theme and so if you don’t like going to meetings or trying to sell to your friends, perhaps MLM isn’t for you. Most new MLM converts, however, have little difficulty at first getting past this unsavoury part of doing the business. Its all new and exciting and what could go wrong. Selling is an art and selling tactfully will not burn bridges, however, most are not sales pros and some bridges will no doubt be burned.  It all depends I suppose, on your intention and willingness to put it out there. After the warm market has been sufficiently engaged, efforts are turned to recruiting the warm people in their downline. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

If you “keep your eyes on the prize” so-to-speak you will no doubt be able to achieve some measure of success, and this is where the MLM dream kicks in. It can be a slow and arduous trek. But it might be worth it for some. Al I have seen is a lot of collateral damage and very few winners. But if that is the business you want, go for it!

What Is The ACN Opportunity?

acn digital phoneIn my opinion, and as far as MLM’s go, ACN is a good one. This is mainly for 3 big reasons:

  1. There is no inventory. You don’t need to buy a huge amount of stock and then try to sell it.
  2. It is recurring. A service only has to be sold once and then as long as customers are paying their bills, you are getting paid. And,
  3. It is services that everyone uses already and wants.

Three pretty good reasons, I think. ACN is by far one of the better MLM’s, but it is still an MLM. That just means that until your organization becomes a growing force, the money will be minimal. The business really becomes persuading someone of switching from a present service to that of a different one. If it can save some money, great. That’s good enough reason to switch.

But most times this is really not the case. You might still end up paying the same or even more. People mainly will buy from you to help you out, not because they will save money. The big brands can afford to pay the marking team because there is usually a lot of profit and you would think that less gets spent on advertising, but I personally doubt that. Getting people to pay for ever higher priced service is what its all about, and ACN accomplishes this with great aplomb. Its a win – win situation, except for the consumer. Saving money really isn’t the point, but again, as long as you’re the one getting paid, its all right. Its just consumerism, that’s all.

And, if you are still looking to join an MLM, ACN is a good one to look at first. I personally cannot handle the selling to friends part, but that is me. And the going to meetings; thats not me either. There are lots of ways to succeed in MLM without having to touch your warm market or going to meetings, but this is not the norm and should be done with great care. (If you want some more information on this, leave a comment indicating your interest, that won’t get published)

In Summary…

The MLM dream has a lot of pull. Are there better, more tangible business opportunities out there? For most, I thank the answer is probably. MLM is not for everyone, but there are some unlikely superstars. Personally, I prefer the business of honest problem solving. Solve enough of other peoples problems because you like helping and you will be rewarded. Is there some problem that you could help with and thereby create a business in doing so? If there is click here for more information on how to get going.

 

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Comments

  1. Vitaliy says

    I’m going to have to disagree with you. Most MLM’s are pyramid schemes because they offer no actual product or greatly overprice their training. In this company’s case, they are re-selling services people can get on their own and I would venture to guess…cheaper. I am strongly opposed to most MLM’s because the model is just too questionable.

    • Al says

      I have to agree with your sentiment. Though it is a legitimate business model, and not a “pyramid scheme” in the truest sense, it does resemble one in that the MLM relies on a never ending supply of fodder (people) to feed the machine. The hard work is sifting through that fodder to exploit the hopes and dreams of those who aren’t really suited to that form of business while selling them products that they could likely otherwise get and invariably pay less for. Thanks for the comment.

  2. says

    Great review, MLMs are a difficult business. Most people join with the dream of making begin money. But they don’t have the skills to market or sell. So they are going to fail. You can not be successful at MLMs only on your warm market. You have to be able to market the product and opportunity beyond your warm market. With the proper training in marketing this can be achieved and MLMs can be a good opportunity.

    • Al says

      Steve, you make a great point about sales skills. This is precisely what I dislike about MLM’s: Once you have exhausted your warm market, you have to exhaust your warm markets market, and so on. The sales process relies on selling a product to your friends. Most can see you coming from a mile a way…. Thanks for your comment!

  3. says

    I don’t particularly like the MLM principles but I agree with you that this one has some good points. I like the fact that you try to sell something that “everyone uses already and wants” like you said.
    Great review !

    • Al says

      Hi Jonathan, this is exactly why I think this MLM a bit better than more than most. Essentially, the marketing ploy within your warm market is: “If you’re gonna use it anyway, why not buy from me and help me out…” But this sentiment doesn’t really work on a cold market. If it is truly a good product or service, it should be able to be sold to people other than your friends.

  4. Tariq Khan-Kiani says

    Selling to people you know could is not the hardest job in the world BUT look at this way if someone you know offers you a service for a cost higher than what you are paying at present would you be happy?
    Or a more likely scenario might be the following;
    You provide a service at a SLIGHTLY reduced price but the next year you screw them over with hefty increase. As much as we hate being ripped off, a vast majority will not get around to changing suppliers.

    A more important question if it is a legitimate business, than;
    1. What is £390.00 about?
    2. Why does one have to “recruit” at least 2 people?
    3. Why does one have to sell atleast 8 utility connections?
    4. Why does one have to sell atleast 3 services?
    ALL THIS BEFORE YOU QUALIFY AND GET ANYTHING BACK! The vast majority of people will without doubt fall by the wayside.

    • Al says

      I have to agree with your honest approach, most people will never reach the basic qualifying level. I think that even if the service was the same price, it would still be a lot of trouble to switch services just to “help a friend out”…

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