ACN Inc Recruiting Hard in Kelowna: Do YOUR Research

ACN, a multilevel marketing (aka, pyramid) organization recruiting in Kelowna, across Canada, the US, and around the world.

ACN, a multilevel marketing (aka, pyramid) organization recruiting in Kelowna, across Canada, the US, and around the world.

ACNAmerican Communications Network – is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company dealing in telecommunications technology and plans, television, energy, and other services. As per Wikipedia,

Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.[1] Other terms for MLM include pyramid selling,[2][3][4][5][6] network marketing,[7][8][9] and referral marketing.[10]

I have redded Pyramid as it is the concept by which this general sort of business model is best known. We’ve all heard of “pyramid schemes” and “pyramid scams”. The precise legality of MLMs and pyramid selling appears to be at least somewhat murky. The reasons for widespread skepticism regarding this sort of business structure, however, is crystal clear. From Wikipedia,

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states “Steer clear of multilevel marketing plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors. They’re actually illegal pyramid schemes. Why is pyramiding dangerous? Because plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors inevitably collapse when no new distributors can be recruited. And when a plan collapses, most people – except perhaps those at the very top of the pyramid – end up empty-handed.”[34]

Not all pyramid selling organizations are the same. I’m not going to comment as to whether ACN has engaged in illegal activities. However, putting legality/illegality aside, I do think there is reason for caution.

Why?

Well, for starters, take a look at this Fox News piece on them (this is probably the first time I’ve ever covered something from Fox News in a sympathetic manner):

In case you didn’t watch it, a few bullet points:

  • ACN-ers pay $500 USD to join;
  • The company’s own lawyer admitted that most ACN-ers probably do not turn a profit;
  • As per the lawyer, it is against company policy for ACN representatives to make any promises regarding income generation to potential new recruits. Nevertheless, Fox has footage of reps doing precisely that (to the tune of $33,000 USD a month within six months) at a major recruitment event.
  • The video featured several interviews of people both for and against ACN. The proponents spoke of it as a great opportunity and great company made up of great people. The opponents panned it as a dishonest pyramid scheme that puts more emphasis on recruiting new ACN members than selling product (i.e., a classic feature of pyramid schemes).

Why else am I skeptical?

acn

This is what I saw upon doing my first Google search of “acn”. Indeed,  ACN Scam themed articles are plentiful among the top search returns. Clicking through some of these links, you can read stories of many disgruntled former paying members and friends and loved ones of members. Complaints include widespread accusations of deception, preying on the vulnerable, that various elements of the ACN economic system serve to pressure ACN members into continually buying more and more ACN products (or else they will forfeit their commissions on prior sales), various ongoing costs associated with ACN training programs, ACN-linked problems in the private social lives of members (e.g., friends distancing themselves), and simply not making money.

Of course, there are also plenty of pro-ACN videos and articles. There are those that pitch the virtues and opportunities to thrive offered through ACN. They obviously present the company in a very positive, successful, auspicious, and exciting light. They will profile ACN success stories. And, of course, they speak of Donald Trump: their most famous supporter.

acntrump

There are also articles and videos that specifically respond to accusations of ACN being a scam. This includes advising that ACN is a law-abiding company. Another Common theme in these videos and articles is one of blaming the individual unsuccessful member for any lack of success. That is, if you bought into ACN but weren’t a success, it’s because you didn’t try hard enough, want it enough, work at it enough, etc. It’s all YOUR fault. It’s never that maybe ACN or the rep that brought you in might have done anything to give you unreasonably high expectations. It’s not that maybe the services that you are attempting to sell to people (e.g., phone plans) aren’t always as cheap as they first appear. It’s you.

Now, the spin isn’t always negative. Sometimes the tone is encouraging and constructive – e.g., “it takes hard work and dedication!”, “if you don’t quit, you can’t fail”, “you just gotta try harder!” (Note: This is me paraphrasing the general tone; not a verbatim transcription). Of course, maybe some people don’t want to try harder if trying harder means pestering their families, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, mailmen or passer-byes around town. Furthermore, a key part of the ACN pitch is that you can invest as little or as much of yourself as you like. That pitch probably wouldn’t be as appealing if it was book-ended by “but if you don’t want to work hard, there’s a good chance you won’t make much money at all. Now, please make that $500 cheque out to ACN Inc”.

Officially, ACN makes a point of not promising anything. On the other hand, their representatives have been observed by many (including me) to present ACN as a very, very, very promising venture. All positive and negative spinning aside, at the end of the day, for whatever reasons, most ACN-ers probably aren’t making a profit. And that’s not me saying that. That’s the company’s own lawyer on Fox News.

How Did I Come Into Contact With ACN?

Why am I even talking about any of this?

Close to a year ago a new acquaintance in my home of Kelowna, BC, Canada mentioned this “exciting new business opportunity!”. She told me that I seemed like a pretty smart guy and asked if I was interested in new business opportunities. The reasonably open-minded fellow I am, I said that I’d be open to learning more. She told me that it’s a fairly new business involved in the selling of telecommunications and energy services. I asked her what the company’s name was. She didn’t tell me. But she did however say that they’re doing presentations in the next few weeks and that I could learn more about it there. She asked if she could give my telephone number to the information session organizer. I okayed this.

Soon enough I received a telephone call from the person that she had passed my number onto. He came off as a sort of slick, polished, enthusiastic, infomercial-esque kind of guy. Didn’t really strike me as very authentic. Anyhow, we chatted. He told me more about ACN, though never telling me the company’s name. Indeed, I asked him over and over and over again what the company is called. He continued to decline, saying that it was really important to him that he get the chance to present the company to me first.

He invited me to come meet with him and perhaps one or two other people for coffee, at which time he would tell me all about the company – including its name. Then I would be able to research it to my heart’s content. I told him that it makes me very skeptical that he is so nervous to tell me the company name. That if he’s so excited and confident about this company, why is he so reluctant for me to read up on it before I meet him? I told him that, in my experience, the only time I had ever seen anyone be this secretive was when they had something embarrassing and/or incriminating to hide. I cited the “Church” of Scientology.

He continued to say that he will give me the name, but he just wants to get first dibs to present the company to me. I told him that I will absolutely, positively NOT be coming to meet with him or anyone else from his organization without the information that I have asked for up front: THE  NAME OF THE COMPANY! (It’s not like I was asking him for his social insurance number?!). He finally conceded, sending me a link to his personal ACN representative website.

I spent about 10 minutes watching video and looking at the content of the website. Then I did the aforementioned Google search… It wasn’t long before I sent the rep a text message informing him that I was not interested. He wished me well and that was all…. Until I start seeing…

ACN Information Meetings in Kelowna

Twice in the past few weeks I’ve seen ACN info sessions of the sort that I had been invited to unfolding at local Kelowna Starbucks locations. These weren’t big events or anything. Just a few people sitting and chatting over coffee. In the first case, they happened to sit down right next to me. I overheard much of the conversation. Before I even heard the name I was 95% sure it was ACN. It was.

In each of these cases I managed to deliver a quick, subtle message to the recruitees. I simply told them the following:

ACN might be a pyramid scheme. Do YOUR research. DON’T trust me. Just look it up before you commit to anything.

In the latter case, in addition to encouraging the fellow to NOT take my word for anything, and saying that they might be a pyramid scheme, I said lastly that what he does is his business and no concern of mine, but my saying all this to him is just something I felt I had to do if I’m to be able to look at myself in the mirror.

And that’s the advice I’d give to anyone who sees this article. If an ACN rep approaches you and you’re considering joining up, just do what anyone considering any business venture should do: look before you leap.

And, of course, that includes hearing their side, too. I’ve personally spoken to three ACN reps, at least one of them at or near the bottom rung of the organization. One was the recruiter on the telephone. All three have spoken positively about the company. I’d be more interested in seeing some hard numbers, of course. And this isn’t quite as compelling as the company’s own lawyer saying that most of its members probably do not make a profit. But hey, there’s a few more data points for you.

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend the Wikipedia ACN article, which is prefaced with the following pre-article message: The following message:

A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Please discuss further on the talk page. (July 2012)

Make of that what you will…

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34 thoughts on “ACN Inc Recruiting Hard in Kelowna: Do YOUR Research

  1. I went to one of these meetings, everyone was so into it, which pulls you in. I smiled the whole time and made some comments to the person that brought me, may have embarrassed him a little. He’s smart and educated but still got pulled in, it just seemed like a blatant scam – don’t know why people get pulled in. Most people don’t get their 500$ back.

  2. It’s kind of unnerving, huh? All the amped up super friendliness, enthusiasm and business speak? It just comes off as very fake and strange to me. Though, I guess to be fair, if you’re giving any sort of business presentation, maybe you end up sounding that way…

  3. Lies,Lies,Lies, ACN never make none of its members buy products or services it’s absolutely up to you,the money come form the customers bills which have to be paid anyways through ACN or any other provider because this are services people can’t simply live without .I suggest to any one out there looking in to the ACN Opportunity to get your info from the right source. Think about it who’s more credible? some Rom Brown guy or “The Wall Street Journal”, “INC 500″, “Fortune Magazine”, Success Magazine”, NBC Prime Time TV Show “The Apprentice”, would any of this media giants risk their name featuring a scam or a company with a dubious reputation. Heads up my friends ; people like this gentleman keep us from pursue our dreams, spreading false information about legit opportunities like ACN.

  4. Anonymous: By all means, people should absolutely do their research. They shouldn’t just trust me. I’m just some blogger. So we’re in agreement. People should look honestly into the claims for and against ACN.

  5. You have to have hundreds of thousands of billing accounts(billing volume)but most of there phones are out of date.plus you have to balance legs or you wont move up.I got suckered in.had a big gas account I wanted to sign up.when I called my rvp he never responded back to me.luckily I didn’t set the meetings up to embarrasse myself. It would have ruined my credibility.another time my team coordinator showed up to a meeting I set up an hour and thirty minutes later.I got my residual check for 11 dollar’s and some change.it’s not worth the hard work.I make more at my job in one day then majority of them ACN Rep do in a month.I dropped out.then I saw a company that cost less and it has a spill over effect. http://www.L9app.com/puertorico

  6. Of course ACN is a scam. If it really was a good business opportunity the ACN reps would not have to use deception and dishonesty to get their friends and family to go to the brainwashing meetings. I have made a few youtube videos to combat this horrible ACN scam but of course it can be difficult to compete against the brainwashed ACN sheep and the fast talking ACN sales people. It’s amazing how people get caught up in the hype and they don’t really sit down and crunch the numbers. These are my youtube videos trying to help people not get caught up in the ACN scam.

  7. There are three (3) things that have caused pain and suffering in this world. The they are the three (3) M’s
    Missalignment. Missunderstood and Mistakes.
    If the world can understand this and adjust, all peace would be granted. And judgment would vanish. Yes do re-search and understand the facts FIRST before you JUDGE because you will destroy dreams and realities before they have a chance.

  8. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in
    our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work on.

    You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  9. Yes, do your research but do not believe all the crap out there of acn being a scam or an illegal pyramid. Acn is legal and is one of the most reputable home business opportunities in the work today. Think about it…. 1993 they have been in business. A scam would gave been shut down by now!! And they have partnered with all of tge biggest companies in the telecom world. Verizon, adt , bell, AT&T , planet energy, zoom energy, direct tv and a lot more.
    You will not make money with acn if you do not work at it or if you quit. It is a tough business though because there are so many negative uneducated people out there writing these dumb posts however if you can get past the negative people and are serious about building yourself a legit home business then there is nothing better than acn!

  10. What percentage of ACN rep work actually involves selling products rather than roping in new representatives who have to pay $500 just to join the club?

  11. I have a job in Kelowna (not ACN) and I signed up for it. Did not cost me a thing and they pay me for every hour that I work. If I do not work and they do not pay me, is it a scam then? Can I blog about it as the owner of the company makes the most and does not need to work very hard any more. Must be a scam right? How does the place you work at deal with people that do not work? Will they fire you? Any legal MLM and conventional business takes time and effort to make the big bucks if you can not get past that simple point keep working where you are and do not complain about others wanting and working to achieve more. Most people will blog or complain or call it scam to make themselves feel better about dong nothing. I have spent 8 hrs a day for the past 20 years doing the same thing and still make less than $80,000 a yr. Do your research and find some one in ACN that has spent 10 yrs not 20, working it 4 hrs a day not 8, I bet they make more than $80K a year.

  12. This would be carried out using x-rays, digital photographs or general examination.

    If you are too busy to make to your dental and medical appointments during the regular work week, you may want to consider going to a Saturday
    dentist. No one should be embarrassed about his or her smile.

  13. Nothing out there, traditional business or home based, even compares to giving you the lifestyle ACN does. Freedom, now thats the dream, and the people who have the courage to fight for their frredom, those are the people making the “Big Bucks” at ACN. Enough said!

  14. Yes we are a scam, sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and Direct tv as well as Donald Trump are in on the scam the only ones that aren’t in on the scam are you guys….. You researched on GOOGLE? A 10 year old can write his opinion on google, making google similar to a bathroom wall… Your argument is closed minded and irrelevant

  15. The corporate world is a pyramid scheme (let’s see the president makes all the money off the hard work of the workers. Capitalism is a pyramid scam.(the money goes to the wealthy first, the it trickle down to the rich, upper middle class, middle-class, lower middle class, and lastly the poor. As I see it everything including life itself is a pyramid scheme.

  16. sales is a career a talent a gift if you will ACN assumes everyone can sell :your great grandmother, your introverted retired fisherman uncle etc anyone with $500 if you don’t you are not ambitious or close minded or “don’t support your friends and relatives ” you will lose your quality friendships and family and have very little odds of succeeded. You sell service utility contracts at higher then market prices and out dated technology all the under the guise of a respectable business, the ones thrashing the nay sayers are protecting their easy money of preying on the weak minded. You have better odds of success by buying lottery tickets that’s why 99.9%
    fail at ACN recruit recruit recruit $500 $500 $500

  17. People go to college an pay tons of money, however everyone does not graduate! Find another way to make money because your information is one sided!

  18. I look at this and giggle to myself. Such negativity from people. you always hear the negative about things.

    I love the structure behind multi level marketing. I enjoy networking with others and giving others the opportunity to make some extra money on the side. You say you don’t make your $500.00 back but that is not true. Business like this (examples: candle light, Amway, heath food products, and many many more) are setting people up to have a home based business where you can take advantage of the write offs that a business can have. I looked at lots of MLM business and this one was by far the best. why would I want to try to sell people juice or shampoo or vitamins? I don’t want to change peoples habits. if you going to sell a product it may as well be a product that people use every day no matter how bad the economy is. People are always going to have a mobile phone, always have internet, always have TV and natural gas. if your jobless are you going to pay for your vitamins or mobile phone????

    So for all of you people that have yet to join ACN don’t depend on all of this negativity. check into it yourself and I’m sure you will be surprised on the compensation plan.
    And just an FYI. Since I have paid my $500.00 to have a home based business 2 months ago, I have received over $1000.00 in compensation, I no longer pay for my home phone or internet and I have been doing this part time – maybe putting in 6hrs a week. Not too bad in my eyes. just because one wasn’t successful doesn’t mean others cant be.

  19. I do find it surprising that this blogger spent 1 hour at a meeting and has absolutely no experience with the process, yet came to some pretty harsh conclusions. That’s like looking at the prime rib on somebody else’s table, sticking your nose up at it and saying, “Well, it doesn’t look good to me so it must be liverwurst. I think I won’t eat anything. Now let me critique this restaurant thoroughly.” Rubbish.

  20. ACN is a real company selling real products. If you order directv, a real directv is set up in your home. If you get vivint, a real vivint security system is set up in your home. If you have service issues, these companies take your call and resolve your issues because you have a real account. IJS

  21. Acn works if you make it work for you. I’m a single mom and now generating a second monthly income. I find it sad you spent time blaspheming a company you never took the time to even see presented. This opportunity isnt for everyone, but but does work and is certainly NOT a scam.

  22. Seems all the acn people are also googling acn scam to find all these blogs and discredit them. Amway come to mind? Make up your own minds on it. If it sounds too good to be true IT usually is. And it seems that these acn people can’t take criticism very well with all the rude comments.

  23. I got here from googling the search phrase “total number of distributors in ACN”. I just got started with ACN 12 days ago and I’m well aware of the risks. As a post-secondary student, I’ve done a lot of reading and I must admit that it’s a little hard to be in a business bombarded by a lot of negativity. I’m 20 years old, I have a full-time job, my hourly wage is exactly twice the minimum, and I’m doing ACN part-time. Some people think that we just bring people in and put their start up fee in our pockets, but just to surprise everyone, I actually signed up 3 of my close friends and I paid for their $499 to get started. Like in any legal MLM, sponsors don’t get paid for recruiting. There is a system in place for each MLMs and if you understand and follow that system, you’ll definitely see your return on investment.

  24. This is absolutely incorrect information. If you have time to sit on a computer all day listening to this instead or working and doing something with your life, then obviously your’e not going to be great at a fabulous business opportunity. It still means you have to do work and not sit on your bottom all day lad.
    Cheers, you underachiever.

  25. So it sounds to me like we’re back to square one…

    Where everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

    We aren’t entitled, however, to slander. You shouldn’t be badmouthing a company you didn’t see presented, just because you watched some youtube videos and read some blogs.
    I had someone ask me “Who do you get your financial advice from? Do they have more, or less money than you?” The people writing these blogs obviously didn’t know how to get their money back, and so obviously didn’t understand the business concept. If someone spends $500, and doesn’t stick with it long enough to see their return on investment, then they probably didn’t have the skills needed to have joined in the first place.
    And to whoever says that the ACN reps are just defending their ways of money-making, OF COURSE THEY ARE. And they have a right to.
    Everybody in this world wants to get ahead, and we all achieve that in different ways, albeit some more productively than others.

    Your “way to get ahead” is obviously in some other field. Take it with a grain of salt, figure out what YOUR WAY is, and stop slandering the people who actually use this opportunity to their benefit.

  26. Just because a handful succeed over the majority doesn’t mean it’s a scam. Not everybody can be a singer, an actor, a doctor, a lawyer, or a freaking astronaut.
    The only difference is I didn’t put myself in debt for tens of thousands of dollars before I started making my money.

  27. Not to mention, the training that you get from being involved in this company gives you the kind of mindset and skills that are transferable to other jobs or business’, without the expensive schooling

  28. comparing ACN to be a pyramid?. your thinking of it as a Hiarchy, in that case. EVERYTHING is a pyramid. Who does all the work at any normal hourly job? Frontline Staff. Who gets paid the most? THE CEO.

  29. How come it’s supported by the government if it is illegal? That really makes you think does’nt it.

  30. To all the ACN fans– it’s a personal blog. Stop ripping on the guy for being too opinionated on his own blog.

    I was talked into meeting one of the reps recently, and much of what he says sounds economically plausible. You get more subscribers, you earn more money. You get more people beneath you, you earn more money. You sell various services to people you know, and you make profit off of each payment they make to the service providers.

    And actually, I believe the version of info-poster the rep was using said that they’ve been around since 1970′s (which is odd, since everywhere else it says 1990s.), in East Canada– a point that was supposed to prove that this is a fine business working model that will only grow.

    Now there is where I have a problem. They are selling services on behalf of the service providers–there is a limit to how many people need them in the first place. Say one rep can reach out to 10 people per month. 1,000 reps, 10,000 people per month, 10,000 reps, 100,000 people per month. Sooner or later, almost everyone would have heard of their offers, and almost all potential customers would have started using their service. Then what?

    People who join too late would never get money for their effort–but of course, others will tell them ‘you are not trying hard enough’ because they had an easy time finding a new customers earlier on. So they allocate more effort on finding new people, and less effort on trying to have a normal career. Newbies trying harder= more overlap of people they reach out to. It will be a cycle of people stressing and wasting their time more and more (or quitting without ever making back their $499), while the higher reps go around and try to recruit more people (because their monthly income decreases everytime a subscriber unsubscribes*, and they want more newbies to run around frantically trying to find more people (or contacting the same people over and over again; becoming ‘that guy’ everyone tries to avoid), while they can stay lazing around).

    (*which they surely will, because let’s face it, younger generations are switching to Netflix (~$8-9 /month) or some other mess-entertainment providers, rather than to pay $30+/month for TV that barely shows anything good. Telus is really screwing around with their internet service subscribers, making them change to some other competitors. Skype can replace most outer city call services, while for local calls, there are other options like Bell, Rogers, and other places where they provide Telus coverage cheaply.)

    So once they reach out to everyone in the area, then what do they do? The head of the ACN sees that there’s no more growth possible in the area, so they expand their network to some other countries. They don’t care about the newbies who aren’t making any money and lost most of their friends?–they’ll eventually go back to their jobs waiting tables and make new friends, or something.

    What is really hilarious while you are hearing about the program is that the reps tend to rip on the idea of having to work like working bees below CEOs and higher-ups, and try to encourage you to join by saying ‘you’ll have your own “company”, with people working below you, when you get 3 subscribers’. As if they are not creating bunch of pyramid structures themselves!

    Another thing they do is justify the goodness of their efforts by saying that they are providing cheaper plans for customers by taking out the advertising fees that gets included with the service plans. This feels wrong personally. People in advertisment industry go through years of school (UBC, SFU, BCIT, Langara, etc.) to get to where they are– I think they deserve their positions and wages as much as anyone else. If the advertisement firms are still contracted and paid the same amount of money, then non-ACN consumers are probably the ones paying what ACN consumers are not. (which will pressure people into becoming ACN customers or switching to other providers, accelerating the process towards the plateau (then possibly deterioration). Good luck to major providers involved in trying to keep up with the major & minor competitors’ advancements and expansions while their profits are decreasing.)

    There are very few transferable skills on the job–and most of them, you can get with any other jobs. So why waste time on a job with unstable income and working hours, lack of beneficence in regards to your future career, and the potential to ruin your relationship with your close acquaintances? All the while, your membership will support a business which has little care for their future members (many of who will be desperate, lowly-educated people occupying low-paying positions in society). Sure, few will make hundreds and thousands–but will this be you, and will you be able to handle it once your monthly income starts dwindling? Personally, this seems more like a gambling venture than a real job.

  31. In my opinion, this blogger would probably get a haircut over the phone. He said he did his research, but never mentioned the Better Business Bureau. He also mentioned reps getting paid on recruting other reps. The fact is, no one rep gets paid if there is no services acquired. Yes there is a catch. The catch is not to quit. But again, how can this blogger know if he never started?

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