ACN Scam? Yes It Is In My Opinion!
The ACN scam was founded in 1993. It was the vision of four entrepreneurs – Greg Provenzano, Robert Stevanovski, Tony Cupisz and Mike Cupisz. ACN began as a reseller of long distance services in the U.S., but over time has grown to offer all the essential services customers in 23 countries use on a daily basis. ACN is one of the most requested business opportunities by my subscribers for a review. Here is that review.
Update October 10, 2014: A class action complaint against ACN has been filed in North Carolina. Here are some highlights:
“The ACN and XOOM sales pitch is in reality false and misleading in that the rates actually charged to consumers are not competitive and bear little relation to prevailing market conditions. As a consequence of this scheme, consumers across the nation are essentially being scammed out of millions of dollars in exorbitant charges for electricity and gas”.
“ACN and XOOM also advise their IBOs to advertise to their customers that by switching to XOOM, they will enjoy energy costs savings. As one IBO has explained, “They tell us during the meetings that XOOM Energy is a way for your family and friends to save money on their electricity and gas bills and for you to make quick money.”
“These statements are materially misleading, because by switching to XOOM, consumers receive energy services that are substantially more costly”. – Source Businessforhome.org
ACN Scam Claims
At ACN, if it’s on, you get paid!
If a 19 year old with no experience can do this, anyone else can. – Marc Isaac, Circle of Champions Member
ACN is a personal development program with a compensation plan attached. – Greg Provenzano, Co-Founder
The owners have a commitment to always putting the needs of the masses above the needs of themselves.
ACN has enabled countless people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to experience financial and personal freedom, allowing them to live the life they’ve always imagined.
I gotta tell you i’m not kidding you it’s overwhelming the money that you can make here. – SVP Debbie Davis
Here is a video example of how ACN members use high pressure sales to scam people.
ACN Scam Reality
ACN originally stood for the American Communications Network Inc. They changed their name to just ACN to reflect their international presence.
Team Trainer application fee $499.
Annual renewal fee $149.
Your Business Assistant $39.99 per month. They claim this is optional, but one of the founders makes it clear you need it to win.
“Your Business Assistant gives you all the tools that you need to plug in every single day, month after month. Every single person out there who is serious about winning needs to subscribe to this package, so that we can pour all the positive things into your life that are necessary in order for you to win in ACN.” – ACN President and Co-Founder Greg Provenzano
$5-$10 per weekly meeting.
$149-$159 plus food, hotel, and travel for ACN Training Events. Some senior representatives will tell you that you should not join ACN if you can’t attend these events.
Here is a video presentation for the ACN opportunity:
You may cancel your Team Trainer agreement, without penalty or obligation, for a full refund, if postmarked within ten (10) business days from the date of this Agreement, exclusive of the date of signing. I understand that if I cancel after the ten (10) day period, I am not entitled to a full refund. – Source ACN IBO Agreement
The ACN Scam
I believe ACN is running a legal scam.
In my opinion, many ACN representatives use misleading statements to get you to join the opportunity. They do not disclose the income you can expect to make on average for this business opportunity in the USA. They use a 7+ level compensation plan that maximizes compensation of the down line at level 5 and above. This scams new IBOs out of the compensation they should receive for making the sales. They limit you to selling non-competitively priced products to yourself and your warm market. This limits your customer market and forces the recruitment of other IBOs to expand your marketing beyond your warm market. This maximizes the amount of Team Trainer $499 application fees and other IBO fees for the company.
ACN strictly prohibits IBOs from engaging in any “cold marketing” techniques for purposes of customer acquisition at any time. Cold marketing is defined as any promotional activity that is geared toward random individuals who have no personal, business, social or acquaintance relationship(s) with the promoter. Examples of cold marketing include, but are not limited to, mass advertising, purchased leads, trade show participation, door-to-door selling, telemarketing, pamphlet distribution, etc. – Source ACN Policies & Procedures
In order to receive compensation, IBOs must maintain a minimum number of personal customer points per ACN’s Compensation Plan. – Source ACN Policies & Procedures
If you do not qualify, you do not get paid a commission even if you have made a sale!
FOR YOUR HOME
Digital Phone Service
Local & Long Distance
Home Security & Automation
FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Security & Automation
Non-competitive product examples.
I have seen many claims that ACN pricing is not competitive. I found these claims to be true in my area.
ACN Flash Unlimited Wireless $47 * Pricing does not reflect applicable taxes, surcharges, and fees.
Virgin Mobile Unlimited Wireless $35 * Taxes included.
ACN only offered one option at $29.95 per month.
AT&T Direct offered lower cost options and a $29.95 per month option with $50 cash back.
“They want you to sell home services just on the basis that because you work for ACN your friends will sign up to do you a favor. They tell you that your sales pitch needs to be focused on getting a favor since we cannot promise them any savings nor can we claim superior service. I don’t know about anyone else but I’d have a hard time selling something that had no value added except that you’re doing me a favor.” – Source Ripoffreport.com
The bottom line was that my customers were supposed to stay with ACN because they were friends and family and I had asked them for a “huge” favor. It was disgusting! – Source Topix.com
ACN IBO Internet marketing limitations.
ACN maintains a variety of official company websites and also offers all IBOs the option to sign up for their own personal Distributor Website to help promote their business. ACN strongly believes that it provides its IBOs with all the online tools in order for them to run a successful business, and therefore discourages the creation of any online marketing or advertising outside of what ACN already provides. – Source ACN Policies & Procedures
Click Here for a compensation plan video overview.
Income claims are made in the USA without an Income disclosure that shows average income for IBOs.
“Think about it where could an uneducated housewife with no skills no degree no nothing no confidence where else could somebody like that go in and make millions of dollars.” – Income Claims by SVP Debbie Davis
If sellers make any claims about how much money you might make, they have to give you a separate paper with more specifics. Like, the number and percentage of people who got those results or better. – Source FTC Bogus Business Opportunities
Here is a study from Canada on ACN average incomes.
Fewer than 1 in 200 people who register with ACN will recover their initial investment. – Source ehow.com
Income Statements found on ACN website.
Success as an ACN Independent Business Owner (IBO) is not guaranteed, but rather influenced by an individual’s specific efforts. Not all ACN IBOs make a profit and no one can be guaranteed success as an ACN IBO.
Success as an ACN Independent Business Owner (IBO) is not guaranteed, but rather influenced by an individual’s specific efforts. Not all ACN IBOs make a profit and no one can be guaranteed success as an ACN IBO. Active IBOs are those that earned money and acquired at least one new customer during the year. The average ACN Canada active IBO in 2010 earned approximately $500. ACN Canada IBOs are prohibited from making any claims of earnings other than the amounts provided above.
ACN Problems With Integrity
ACN Integrity Video – In their disclaimer before this video it says: You should make your own decision about whether the ACN opportunity is right for you. These comments are not intended to influence your decision, and you should rely only on your own research when deciding whether to pursue the ACN opportunity.
In August 2013, New York Attorney General Schneiderman sued Trump and his business school for $40m. Schneiderman said the school engaged in persistent fraud and illegal and deceptive conduct and violated federal consumer protection law. In a conflict that was nasty from the start, Schneiderman said then that, “No one, no matter how rich or famous they are, has a right to scam hard-working New Yorkers.” – Source Theguardian.com
Patrick Maser & Michael Maser
Federal records show Michael Maser pled guilty to possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute and conspiracy to launder money and was given a 54 month prison sentence. – Source Triblive.com
He was released from prison in September of 2006 according to Bureau of Prison records.
Patrick Maser pled guilty to conspiring to launder money and was sentenced to five years probation.
Patrick Maser likes to tell people he has no problem recruiting anyone. What is very interesting is that when you start to question representatives about the high failure and loss rates for ACN IBOs, many will say the following: “BUT, let me be VERY clear – ACN is NOT for everyone.“
Montana Securities Commissioner Monica Lindeen accused ACN of running a “pyramid scheme” and filed a temporary cease and desist order back in 2010.
The Commissioner also cited the low average earnings of ACN reps based in Montana. Allegedly, in 2008 ACN recruited 91 Montana participants who “paid approximately $61,741.69 to be a part of the program”, averaging $678 each. All but two lost money, with one making $696 and the other making $700. In 2009 “over 300″ Montana participants joined ACN and paid about $234,800, averaging about $775 each. According to the Commissioner’s Office ACN’s records show $896.86 was paid out to these participants, in total. – Source Csi.mt.gov
Commissioner Lindeen says her investigation found the actions she was concerned about were not part of the ACN business model, but were being carried about by ACN’s independent representatives in Montana.
ACN settled the issue by promising additional training for its representatives as well as helping Montana video phone customers install their service, Lindeen said. – Source Missoulian.com
I do not agree with this settlement. Low average earnings have not been resolved for ACN IBOs even with additional training.
ACN Scam Conclusion
In my opinion, you should avoid the ACN opportunity. They do not disclose the income you can expect to make on average for this business opportunity in the USA. They use a 7+ level compensation plan that maximizes compensation of the down line at level 5 and above. This scams new IBOs out of the compensation they should receive for making sales. They limit you to selling non-competitively priced products to yourself and your warm market. This limits your customer market and forces the recruitment of other IBOs to expand your marketing beyond your warm market. This maximizes the amount of Team Trainer $499 application fees and other IBO fees for the company.
Since some ACN up-lines like to get you to go to your friends and neighbors and call them up and ask them for a favor. I want to ask you for a “huge” favor. Please do not give ACN $499.