CALIFORNIA -- I was recruited into ACN by a family member who I like and respect. She asked me if she could hold a business meeting at my place to show me a great business opportunity that would help me become an independent business owner, and asked that I invite at least 5 or 6 friends or people I knew. When I asked her about it, she said it was a franchise and that I would be investing in it and I would get awesome returns very quickly. I thought it sounded great, though I was skeptical at first. But then I reasoned that it must be investing in stock from this franchise.
At the meeting she proceeded to show us a DVD presentation of the company, the business model, and the potential profits you can make. She went on to explain how everything works. It was interesting that she refused to answer questions anyone had. She'd only say that questions would be answered later and continued with the presentation. Every time someone would ask something they would either get an evasive answer, or told to ask later (I would later learn that that is a trained tactic that you have to use to keep people focused and to get them to listen to everything first).
Then she mentioned that to sign up, you have to pay a one-time sign-up fee of $499! That's when she lost everybody. No one was interested in spending that kind of money, especially in this economy! But she hyped it up saying that it was nothing compared to the returns you could get. Then she began to outline the business model.
Here is how it works (mind you, you find out about all this only after you pay the $499 fee and start building up - a recruiter will never disclose these details until they have your signature on a contract and you turned in your money): once you pay the $499 fee to sign-up, you're officially in, as a TT (Team Trainer) but you're not qualified yet! In order to qualify, you have to first purchase their flagship product, a video phone that connects to the internet (after all you have to have the product to demonstrate, right?).
The video phone costs over $100, plus a $30 monthly service fee (forget SKYPE and MSN and all the others that you can use for free!). You do that, and you're still not qualified. You have to have 3 services with ACN, so in addition to the video phone, you have to switch over 2 services of your choice from your regular providers (cell phone, internet, home security, land-line phone, etc.) to ACN! Plus, you have to dish out another $30 a month to maintain your own ACN website!
Wow, pay all that and only now you're qualified and are a representative at their first level, QTT! Oh, and there's also a $150 annual membership fee to stay with the company (but no one tells you this...I found out on my own after doing my research!).
So now the fun started. Actually, I didn't even sign up myself. She did. She used her credit card to pay the fee as I wouldn't have money until my next paycheck. That's how much she wanted me to join, so now I felt somewhat obligated to at least give it an honest try. Needless to say, no one else at that meeting signed up.
I quickly learned that she and everyone above her were my "up line" (the ones that would train and mentor me in my "business") and that in order to succeed, earn cash bonuses and move up the ranks, I had to build a "down line" of people under me. That means I had to recruit, recruit, recruit, and then help those I recruited recruit others under them, and they afterwards and so on.
At the same time, I had to make sure they all bought the video phone and switched over their services in order for them to qualify and for me to earn customer points. (I could also get those by re-selling services to customers from all the major cell phone, DSL, land line and home security companies.)
The bigger the "down line" and the more "customer points", the higher your rank level (you have to earn each level one a time before you can earn the next one). Level 0: TT - Team Trainer (Entry level); Level 1: QTT - Qualified Team Trainer; Level 2: ETT - Executive Team Trainer; Level 3: ETL - Executive Team Leader; Level 4: TC - Team Coordinator; Level 5: RD - Regional Director; Level 6: RVP - Regional Vice President; Level 7: SVP - Senior Vice President.
What really gets you is that they tell you that at first, your main income will be bonuses for recruiting and earning customer points, and after that if you build up your "down line" and get more and more people to switch services, you eventually earn a lot of money through residual income (a percentage of people's bills from these services goes to you). Sounds too good to be true? Sounds like a MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) Pyramid scheme? It totally is on both counts!!!
I have to admit that I smelled the rat early on, but it was too late. I'd already invested my money and felt obligated to my family member so I was determined to make it work. I started organizing meetings to which hardly anyone came, and after several weeks of trying, I was only able to recruit 2 of my friends (I feel guilty about that even today). My "up line" did her best to come and try and help me out, but it turned out to be futile as none of the people I knew had $499 to spare and they'd all bail out as soon as they put 2 and 2 together and figured out it was a MLM Pyramid scheme
This type of business model can end up alienating you from family and friends because the first thing a recruiter will tell you is to make a list of all the people you know and start inviting them (obviously, if you know people with money, much better) and if they refuse, to keep bugging them until they come. Then you need to do everything in your power to convince them to sign up - of course, after you have been meticulously trained on how to do it.
Needless to say, Team Trainers are required to attend a lot of training meetings and seminars so they can be "qualified" to train others. Of course, each one costs an expensive entry fee. Your "up line" will tell you over and over again to follow the system and that you absolutely must attend the training because there is a certain way to do things and get results and if you do it on your own, you will fail. They tell you that you can't do it unless you are trained first. (Brainwashed would be a better word - you are brainwashed to think ACN is the best thing in the world and you are trained meticulously on how to get people to part with $499 and everything else!)
And here I come to the other part of this company that really bugged me - the training events! To begin with, they all cost money with the international 3-day events that take place in major cities costing about $150 (not including transportation, food and lodging of course - you pay those on your own!). I had to attend several regional training and meetings and all they were about was just hype, hype, hype, rah, rah, rah, and TCs and RVPs trying to convince and recruit attendees to sign up for this "tremendous business opportunity"!
Of course there were a lot of positive testimonies (some even tearful) about how good this was, how their lives changed, blah, blah, blah (great actors, I must say!). Then they would go on to tell stories on how they recruit people and how stupid and foolish were those who refused to sign up because they were not "seeing the light" and were "unbelievers" and too lazy and contented with their mediocre lives (at that point to me it sounded like the type of pitch a cult would use).
I totally felt that they encouraged a culture of superiority and browbeating. They would say in those stories how those that refused to sign up and take advantage of the opportunity were stupid and losers, and they would laugh at them and feel sorry for them. I have to say I did not like this one bit.
Then my "up line" (my family member and original recruiter) calls me up one day to tell me I should go to the international event in Charlotte, NC (I live in CA) the following weekend. Of course, I can't afford such a trip at the time, so she tells me that she'll cover everything (airfare and hotel) herself, but that I need to go because I couldn't miss this, it was the greatest opportunity of my life, and so on. All I had to pay for was the $150 ticket to the event.
So she books me on the red-eye flight to Charlotte that Friday night. She has me travel with another of her recruits. We get there at around 6 am or so and our hotel is not ready because check in is not until 10 or so. So we go to get some breakfast and wait until check-in time. Finally, I get to my room. I'm sooo sleepy as I haven't slept since the day before! I go to bed at and have less than 2 hours as the first meeting at the Time Warner Arena starts at 12. I make it there, and I'm astounded at the sheer number of people!!! The place was packed to capacity with thousands of hyped-up ACN members!
I was part of our regional team, and we all sat together. Well, that first day was about 8 hours of training, testimony, hype, rah-rah rallies, and more training (no breaks or lunch - I had to go on my own against the scowls of my teammates for missing out!) By the time is over, I'm beat. We go to dinner and I find out from the team leader and my "up line" that everyone in the team is expected to be at the Arena's door lining up at 4:30 am to get the best seats! Never mind the thing didn't start till 8.
When I protested, I was literally belittled in front of everyone for being lazy, that I couldn't miss it, that it was too important, that it was my future, etc. blah, blah. In other words, I was made to feel guilty about protesting for my right to get a couple of more hours of shut-eye. How dare I when ACN was the most important thing? Didn't I know that personal needs go out the window?
By the time I make it to bed it's like 11 pm. Only about 4 hours to sleep. This was already Saturday and I hadn't had a full night's sleep since Thursday night! The next day I was up with the rest of them (against my better judgment and the fact that I was already exhausted) at 4:30 at the Arena's gates. We waited for over 2 hours before they opened the doors. Finally we went in and spent the next 12 hours (from 8 am - 8 pm) listening to more training, testimony, hype, rah-rah rallies, more training, and overemotional award ceremonies. Only a half-hour lunch break all day.
When it was over, I thought I'd finally get to go to my room early and sleep! But to my horror we are told that we are all going to another hotel for a super important after-meeting with our whole regional team (about 300 people or so) and we couldn't miss it. I soooo protested again and was again belittled with the guilt trip. So we go.
I can hardly keep my eyes open. At that meeting it was just more of the same! Pep, pep, hype, hype, rah, rah - I was so sick of it! It's like they want to drain out everything out of your brain and stuff it only with ACN so you can't think about anything else! It's literal, intense brainwashing!!! I try to get up and get out only to be stopped by my companions. I can't understand how they don't seem to be as tired as I am!
Finally I just get up and go to the back. My "up line" tries to stop me and I tell her I have a headache and need to step out. I find a couch right outside the doors of that hotel ballroom where we were, and of course I'm so exhausted it doesn't take me long to doze off. Then my "up line" comes and sees me and she wakes me up. I never saw her so mad! She got all on me about how dare I do that when I have this opportunity, that I can't be missing out, that it's too important - blah, blah. By that time, I shut her and everything else out.
I managed to stay awake (but like a zombie) until everything was finally over at 11, and they still wanted to go to dinner! I excused myself and said I'd rather go back to the hotel to bed. They reminded me that the next day (Sunday) was the last day and they again wanted to line up at 4:30. This time I put my foot down and said, "No way!" More belittling, more guilt trips, but I wouldn't bite. So they finally said that I could do whatever I wanted and good luck finding a seat the next day.
I finally went to bed at around 12 and was up at 7 (thing started at 7 with a religious service as it was Sunday, and the actual closing meeting started at 9). I got a good 7 hours of sleep, but I was still tired as I had a lot of sleep debt! I got to the Arena around 8:45 and the closing meeting went on until 2 pm when everything was finally over!
After that, my up line tried to talk to me about how I would benefit from all this, how it was for my own good, how it was my great opportunity, etc. But I was done. At that moment I decided that ACN and all it's hype and exhausting training and sales pitches and recruiting schemes definitely were not for me.
I went home and put all my ACN stuff away for good and I don't regret it one bit! The only reason I put up with it all is because I felt obligated because she paid for everything. But to me, it's not worth it. I lost my money, and nearly got ill with over-exhaustion. It took me one full week to feel recovered and finally refreshed.
ACN is a Pyramid MLM scheme that will not work for the vast majority of people that sign-up. The business model may make sense on paper, but doesn't really work in the real world unless you know a lot of people with money already who want to try something new. Plus, you have to be passionate about selling and have no scruples about convincing people to come up with all that money even when you know they are most likely to fail, and you have to have the willingness and the ability to endure those endless training and events.
Yes, I will allow that there is a very small number of people who actually make it somewhat work for them, but that is the total exception. They are those who don't do anything else but that and live and breathe ACN. ACN is definitely not for everyone.
It is a type of scheme that will drain you of your money faster than you can think. You will lose a lot before you start making even the smallest amounts, if any. Yes, I see it as a scam (though there are those that say it is not because Donald Trump endorses it - yeah right, pay a guy a few millions and he'll endorse anything - it's good for business!).
My best advice? DO NOT SIGN UP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! You'll work your butt off, dish out money, get super exhausted, and not see a penny come back until you at achieve at least TC status! And that can take forever! Stay clear of ACN and go find a real job or start a real business of your own!
As for my "up line" I think she's still with them. I don't blame her though. I know she had my best interests at heart and she was more than generous with me. It was my fault for not saying "no" right away. Plus, I was going through hard times and at first it sounded good. But it definitely wasn't for me. I do wish her the best of luck and I still love and respect her, but I wouldn't get back into this for anything in the world!
I'll tell my ACN story without intentionally making ACN look bad, just so you can judge for yourself what it is like to be involved with this organization. In early 2010 I was recruited by a family friend whom I respected. He had just joined through another man that was a friend of his, whom then became my "upline mentor."
He had been independently wealthy, but not because of ACN. In fact, he hadn't profited yet from ACN in the year he had been in it. From what I gathered, his previous business was no longer profitable so he turned to multilevel marketing business opportunities. He told me that he and his wife had unsuccessfully sold health-food chocolates through a multi-level company, and had now switched to ACN which they thought was better.
I had been told by my friend to show up to this guy's place to look at some cars. But after some verbal probing, my friend admitted that this was just a ruse to get me to sit in on an ACN prospects meeting. Out of respect for my friend, I attended. There were about 6 people who showed up to the "personal business reception" (meeting) I was at.
Nobody was even remotely interested in the proposal besides me, even though I personally thought it was an interesting business opportunity. I didn't sign up right away and went to some more formal meetings before signing up. I was pressured to sign up before the end of the month based on the "promotion" they were running. Turns out, they have a promotion every month and just use that as a tactic to pressure recruits into signing up. They apparently want you to feel like time is running out so that you have to join now!
I signed up anyway and got qualified by purchasing a video phone under a two-year contract and the $30/month "business assistant" and a new cell phone. The video phone didn't really work very well and couldn't dial basic phone numbers, so I couldn't use it, even though I was locked in paying an additional $40/month for two years! My mentor tried to get it to work and he couldn't fix it either. That made me lose confidence in ACN's so-called "flagship product" the video phone. It simply didn't work. How was I going to expect people to use this in place of their current home phone if it doesn't even work? Never got the answer to that.
Next came the nuts and bolts of being an ACN rep--recruiting. At this point I was told to draw up a list of everyone I know and call them and invite them to my house for weekly recruitment meetings. I told my mentor even before signing up that I didn't know many people because my family doesn't live in this state and I haven't lived here very long, and that I was concerned I wouldn't be successful in ACN as a result. He said not to worry because I know more people than I think (so he said).
This is where things started to go downhill. I was only able to get a few people to show up to meetings, and half of them were confused as to why they were even there. Nobody in any meetings showed even a remote interest. My mentor and his wife put a lot of effort into helping me with this, but they succeeded only in alienating the people I knew.
He'd tell me to give him their number so he could call them, and I advised him that probably wouldn't work based on what I knew about the people in question. He said he knew what he was doing and told me to follow the "system" and never judge people ahead of time based on whether I think ACN would be right for them. He tried calling a few people and they were annoyed by his approach and told him to leave them alone.
I continued to be positive and was not deterred by initial failure. I continued going to the weekend meetings and was discretely talking to people at my day job about ACN trying to get them to meetings. My co-workers quickly caught on to what I was doing and began making fun of me at work about my involvement in this "pyramid scheme". It got so bad that even after I stopped talking about it, they continued to make fun of me about it, creating awkward and inappropriate situations for me at my work.
I told my mentor this and he told me I need to find a new job. I guess he didn't realize this was my livelihood and I couldn't just up and quit. Once he realized that most people I knew were broke and didn't have any extra money to spend on ACN, he said, "No more broke people." I didn't really know what to do about that because I only know who I know, which I told him that from the beginning.
While this was going on, my mentor was still actively recruiting others in addition to me. One guy he signed up at the same time as me, but that man decided to get his money back a couple days later. The only other person the guy who sponsored me brought to a meeting was his friend who was such a severe alcoholic that he had to leave the meeting early to go get a beer. My sponsor then stopped participating in ACN altogether after that. But I still held strong, not giving up and stayed positive as my mentor kept telling me to do.
There was one prospective recruit that I was hoping to get signed up under me. She was very open to it at first, but apparently read about it online and determined it was a scam. She then got frustrated the next time I called her and told me to stop hassling her or she would report me. This woman was my own mother.
My roommate made fun of me from the beginning, and even tried to belittle me during some of my meetings to embarrasss me in front of my guests and mentor. I began to think the people I knew were just mean-spirited, but then I realized this was just how people naturally reacted to multi-level marketing and what they viewed as pyramid schemes--and they are highly skeptical, negative, and unhelpful as a result. Everyone who was in ACN that I talked to, even my mentor, told stories about how people they knew had done the same things to them. It's something everyone has to deal within this business apparently.
I had tried to improvise and do things that I felt would optimize my chances of recruiting people, but invariably whatever I did my mentor told me was wrong. Even when he did it his way and the outcome was worse. He kept saying to trust the system, which I continued to do to no avail.
When I watched him present to my recruits, it was like watching a robot with a plastic smile. It was the same formulated sales pitch over and over and to be honest, it felt like a sales pitch from a sleazy car salesman. He'd spend 90 minutes on something that should only take 30 minutes and the people would be squirming in their chairs while eyeing the door just waiting for him to stop talking so they could leave. Meanwhile he would be continually be going over mundane details pointing to figures on a small sheet of paper that no one could really read clearly from the distance they were seated. It was just plain awkward in my opinion.
My last hope was to get my girlfriend to sign up under me. She had a big family and a lot of business contacts which would have been a great asset with a lot of potential. Unfortunately she was convinced by her friends and family not to join, and we broke up soon after.
When finally the people I thought I could count on most to join didn't, I became incredibly frustrated and disheartened and was tired of wasting all this time just to lose more and more money. I had my mentor telling me one thing and everyone else telling me another, and I was trapped in the middle and forced to absorb the strain from both ends. I think my mentor caught on once he realized that even my own girlfriend wasn't joining, and he stopped contacting me. Probably as much cutting his losses as it was him realizing I was done with him and ACN.
I did ACN for about two months actively. During this time I was pressured by my mentor and his wife to go to weekly and quarterly meetings. The weekly meetings became pointless once I was no longer able to get even one person to go with me. The quarterly meetings were huge seminars held in other states that cost $150 to attend, plus transportation and hotel. Even attending one of those meetings would cost me as much as it did to join ACN! And they wanted me to attend 4 of these per year!
Fortunately I didn't waste any more of my money by trying to attend these meetings, but my mentors always attended. I can only imagine how much money they spent on those things. That explains why they were so committed, and quite frankly, desperate, to make this business work. It's pretty transparent and sad once you see it for what it is and realize what is actually going on inside these people's heads.
When I joined initially I was under the impression that this would be part time and not cost an arm and a leg. It became clear as soon as I joined that this was a business of desperate people doing anything and everything they can to make this work, including not setting the correct expectations and using outright deception. I remember finding out about the $150 annual fee after investigating ACN online, and I told my sponsor about it in front of my mentor. My sponsor was shocked and said to my mentor, "You didn't tell me about that fee!"
The truth is they never tell you about it because why would you join with all these extra fees? The fees are almost unending: $499 sign up+ $150 annual fee + $40/month video phone + $30/ month website membership + 4 expensive seminars a year + the cost of marketing materials + the cost to attend weekly meetings and paying for your guests entrance fees, etc. And if you want to just cancel, cut your losses, and get out...you guessed it...another fee of $200 for early cancellation. At least I know now how ACN is able to stay afloat. They charge for everything!
Now imagine them being honest and telling you before you join about what you ACTUALLY would have to pay and what you can ACTUALLY expect? But of course they don't tell you about any of that because NOBODY WOULD JOIN if they told the truth about their business. So they resort to typical unethical sales tactics and do little more than paint you a mental picture of a pie in the sky that is waiting for you if only you would just "stay positive" and keep feeding money and time into this system.
Looking back on it, I think ACN is one of those businesses that you are either too smart or too dumb to get involved in. Too smart, in that you will not join because you will see up front how difficult it is to be successful. Too dumb, because you will not join because you think everything is a scam and don't really understand a complex business model. But either way, most people won't join. And those that do join are now left to contend with all the people who will not join for the reasons stated above.
I knew that there was no guarantee that I would make money in ACN, and I was prepared to lose all the money I put in, and I did. The business model still makes sense to me on paper, but unfortunately this is a people business, and people are notoriously difficult to deal with when it comes to this sort of business. I realize now that there are some people who should NEVER join ACN because it is not right for them. You need to know a lot of people (preferably with money), and you need to be very sociable and a good salesman.
It's unfortunate that the only qualifications to become an ACN representative are a heartbeat and a credit card, because so many people like myself continue to be lied to, manipulated, and then tossed to the side. Then to add insult to injury, they are told they failed because they gave up and were just too negative. But with all that is stacked against you when you join, most people would give up, otherwise continue to lose more and more time and money.
I am fortunate because I was able to absorb this financial loss and move on. I never signed even one person up, so I didn't have anyone upset at me after they lost their money like I did. My mentor, based on what he told me, had a long list of people he got to sign up but whom never made any money. And by "never made money" I mean LOST their money.
What's odd about that is he really didn't make much money off of them, so he really just wasted his own time. Like most multi-level businesses, most of the money he brought in went to those way above him in his upline. I recall one of the first meetings I attended where my sponsor showed up in his fancy sportscar and had got not one, but TWO speeding tickets on the way in. That's a few hundred dollars in fines right there.
Then when I was at his house a few weeks later, a process server showed up and gave his wife three more photo radar tickets he'd accumulated. This guy was clearly leaking money like a sieve due to his own personal indiscretions. I drew the conclusion that someone who is that financially reckless would probably do anything to make that money back, even if his business practices are just as reckless. Now this guy was just one ACN rep, but he was the one I ended up with. I'm sure other ACN reps have had better and worse experiences with their mentors.
It's now a year after I joined ACN and I've not heard back from my mentor since we initially stopped contacting each other. I am still trying to find a way out of the $40/month video phone service and I'll probably have to pay $200 to cancel early. So a year later and I am continuing to be drained of my money due to ACN. But hopefully I will soon be done with ACN entirely and can move on with my life.
Please note that I have been 100 percent honest about all this. Clearly I do not like ACN, but I didn't have to call it names and be belligerent toward the company or my sponsor. I figured if I put my honest and accurate account of my experience then people can read this and judge ACN for what it really is, rather than being influenced by a bunch of negative rhetoric.
BRANTFORD, ON -- I signed up with ACN from a friend's referral in March 2013. Tired of big companies nickel-and-diming me to death I looked into it. Dude who came told me it was contract for 1 year. I said no, I'm not signing a contract for a year, what if I don't like it? He said, "not a problem I'm sure we can make it work." If you don't like it I will take care of it for you. So I agreed and signed on. Paid $114 for modem to run my internet and phone line through. Dude told me I will get $100 Visa card back and really it's all paid for, no loss. Neglected to tell me to register online so I can receive the $100 Visa card before first 48 days are up. So I missed the Visa card. Tick me off.
Our first month of service from ACN was horrific. They said they were using Ma Bell lines and that the switch would be easy, it wasn't. The modem kept dropping and we were left without phone or internet for days at a time. My sons worked it through with an ACN tech on their cell phones and he walked them through a procedure that will reset their modem. Worked for a week, next time we had some rain or wind, boom...lines down again for 3 days before we could get a tech on a phone to help us fix it. We tried resetting the modem, didn't work.
Finally get a tech on the cell phone and he says we need a new modem. Another week goes by and we finally get the new modem, get it set up and internet and telephone working fine. I look at calendar and realize we are paying $38 for internet, $38 for phone and have only been able to use them for 2 weeks out of a month.
So I call and complain that I am being charged full usage when I didn't get usage for half the month. I give them the dates the lines went down, when they got fixed, and I repeat this to two different people until finally I get a credit of $38 on my account. I ask about the taxes and am told that it will forward to my next bill and taxes will automatically be included in the credit. So I wait.
21st of the month is when they take the money from my bank account totaling $86/month. They take $98 this time so I call them up to find out why. Can't get through to them. Every time I am on hold, music playing in background, I get cut off and busy signal comes on. I dialed them three times to get someone and kept getting nothing.
So I go online to the chat feature and finally get someone to talk with. I am wondering who I am speaking with because they don't sound particularly smart and keep giving me the same responses. Nothing is making sense. So I explain the problem...overcharged...not given the credit I was promised and I wanted my money back.
Once I give the chat person the total I was over charged...she says it will come back on my next bill. I say to her, "that's what I was told the last time and you overcharged me an extra $10 for a late fee on a bill that is paid the day after I am invoiced through automatic payments." She keeps repeating the same statement. So I ask her... "Are you a robot?" No answer. I think their chat feature is computer software set up to only respond to specific questions.
Next day I call ACN again, wait on "forget" for 20 minutes until finally a real person comes on. I explain everything again and they say they will credit me the over charges. I asked about the taxes and say to them, I don't want the credit on my account because I can't trust them to follow through, I want the credit put back in my bank account just like they take it out. They tell me I will get all my money back and everything will straighten out.
Next week I find a $48.00 credit on my account which is great but what a hassle to get it back. I still don't get the full payment because I was charge the full 86 (supposed to be 43) and then charged an extra 10 bucks for late fee, plus the taxes on all of that. Meanwhile, we are almost 3 months into usage of ACN products. Every month I call and complain to them about my invoicing. No results, just same stuff... "it will be credited on your next invoice" and I am practically yelling into the phone that they keep saying that, but it's not happening.
Fast forward to September. My landlord is selling the house, I got to move and I end up living with a friend. I call to cancel ACN and am told that I will be charged $112.00 for breaking the contract. I argue with them and say I'm not paying it because it's not like I have a choice here. I cannot transfer my account to my friends house so I have to cancel. I get no results from ACN Canada customer service.
I call up my sign-up dude and explain the situation. He says he will look into it. Never heard from him again until I call him up 2 weeks later and ask what is going on. He starts to argue with me that I need to take my account with me and put in another line where I am staying, this will stop the contract breakage. I start to remind him of our conversation at the start of all this and say that he's lucky I stayed on because I didn't get my 100 Visa card either. Anyway...he starts trying to get me to give him my friends numbers so he can bother them with a call, that might stop my cancellation fee. Total **!!! I hang up.
I call ACN and tell them I'm cancelled and not to take anything more out of my account until I get a final bill from them. OMG! They take $46 dollars one week before they are supposed to, then proceed to take another $56 and $48 1 week later. I'm totally pissed now. I call sign-up dude again, start to rave into his ear and tell him I calling Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs Canada if this doesn't get solved immediately. I put it right back into his hands, give him all the data from March onward, the overcharges, the figures I've come up with for taxes charged on late fees I never had, extra charges. I'm freaking on this guy. He says he will take care of it.
Finally I get satisfaction and am told that I will get a $48 dollar credit to my account and that is the end of it. I accept because I'm tired, and don't want to mess around with them anymore. I print off my return shipping label, package their modem and ship it off to them. I mailed it October 14, 2013 Canada post, with signature required and receive an email from Canada post on October 21 telling me ACN received the modem and signed for it October 18, 2013. I'm happy, they are happy, I am walking away from all of this and never using them again.
But wait!!! I get an email end of October saying they haven't received the modem yet. I return the email and give them the tracking number telling them they have it...look around again for it. Nov 12 I get another email stating they have not received the modem and that this was my 2nd notice and they will bill me $65 for unreturned modem. That wasn't hard to clear up as I still had the email from Canada post, which I knew I would need to keep to prove I returned it, and once I got through the lines to a real person, he was personable and helped me clear it up.
My recommendation: ACN is not a good service. There are problems with the modems, the lines don't react well and you get static and noise through the lines. Billing is terrible and I don't think real people actually man the chat lines, if they are real they don't speak English well enough to solve problems efficiently.
They deliberately not mention taxes to you so they can keep the tax after they play with their books and take your charges off and do all kinds of sneaky little things like that. They demand automatic withdrawal, which is always bad and I will never do it again. You have control over what they take out, when and why until its already gone. Then you have to pull teeth to get it back. It's just not worth the mediocre modem and telephone service they provide. They use Bell Canada lines and there is no reason those lines should be that full of static and dropping all the time. It's their equipment. Terrible stuff. I would never recommend them to anyone.
I attended a meeting by a so called 'friend' last week, where they said if I invest $500 of my money, I would see $3000 in return next month. (Period) So it was a no-brainer to go to the meeting and see what the so-called 'ground-level'/'foundation-level' investment was about. What made me to believe this was a scam was the incorrect use of words and hype. After the meeting I did some research of the company, my thoughts were confirmed.
The representative said she just started out 3 months ago, and is currently making 7,000 dollars a month. The real truth is, after searching her name on the internet, she has been in the business for 19 years!!! So even if I asked to see her pay stub, the figures she made would be incorrect to the amount of time she stated to of invested. Who knows if she was making that much at all, and she could also be an inside appointed sales representative of the company. Who knows? Don't trust M.H.D. off the bat.
She tried to tell us how great the video phone is that ACN sells. She hyped that it's only $100 to buy and then only $30 a month to subscribe. All you have to do is plug it into the internet and then have someone else buy the phone too so they can talk and see each other. This product all together is scandalous.
I can buy a video VOIP phone for 100 to 200 dollars on the internet, and use it for ***FREE*** if using Skype to Skype calling, and Skype offers a $2-$3 plan a month to make calls outside of Skype. I feel that ACN is taking advantage of people. My other feelings are that how can I sell a product I don't believe in, which is not the best product for anyone. That in itself is scandalous.
All you have to do is invest in $500 (yeah right!!!) not. After listening to the representative and other people who were in the program, they kept repeating how they have to make a lot of follow up calls and hustling to get their accounts to payback. Not to mention there is a $30 additional fee to maintain your website, and another $150 to $200 annual fee to stay a member. And you have to buy into the program with 3 services.
I currently only have one cell phone service...why add 2 more services a month to add to my bills? Well I didn't get suckered into this pyramid scam. I did my research first. If you want to invest in a money making career- invest in yourself! I am hitting the books.
ONTARIO -- A friend of us told us about this company and gave us a demonstration of the Video Phone. Having most of our family in other provinces and countries, we really liked the idea of being able to see them. We were told that if we were to transfer all the services, 2 phone lines and the internet we would get a discount and that the service was going to be the same or better, at least they promised higher internet speeds and unlimited download. For the phones is unlimited long distance service.
Our mistake was to transfer all the services to ACN. One of the lines was transferred to a digital box and the other one to the Video Phone. I kept the old internet just in case, good thing that I didn't cancelled immediately.
Since transferring the lines, I have had nothing but complaints from my friends and relatives about the connection - very bad echo, beeping noises, hard to hear - sounds like I'm calling from a cave, suddenly be cut off, and so on...
I work a lot from home, so imagine my FRUSTRATION with the ACN service. They replaced the digital box, the ACN internet modem and I was calling almost every single day to get this fixed. Guess what? At the beginning the customer service was very good, we SPENT hrs on the phone trying to the problem solved. But after countless times and hrs, I still was having problems.
At the end one of the technicians told me, "the problem is that you are using the internet and making calls at the same time and that interfers with the phones..." and this was just one of the responses I got. Anther technician told me, "I can't understand what you are saying, do you hear me?" and I say yes. And he said, "then the problem must be in my line not yours." (No comments)
So anyways, this was very FRUSTRATING. But this was just the beginning. When I tried to cancel the service because I could no longer have a good conversation on the phone, the Customer Service became rather "HOSTILE". They wanted me to keep talking with the Technical Support, they cut off the conversation a couple of times and didn't call back, etc. I think they wanted me to get tired of calling them.
So I called my previous service provider and switched the phone numbers back with them and now ACN is charging me for the cancellation almost 350 dollars for the 3 devices. Interesting enough, the video phone calling to other video phone was working fine, so I told them, give me another phone number for the video phone and I will keep the service of the video phone with you. But no, they say that because I switched the number back to the old company, that is considered a cancellation.
I will put a complain with the CRTC and see where it all ends, but this has been really a TERRIBLE experience with ACN. Right now my friend who convinced me to switch is trying to get the some help from the regional director. But lets see how the company respond to them.
PLAINSFIELD, INDIANA -- My son-in-law just started on the side (and was told all this money he would make in commission). He asked me if I would like to try ACN that I would save money on my phone bill each month and all I would need to do is pay $21.19 to sign up. Well I felt it was okay. I was told when I received the equipment to connect to my adapter that I had with Xfinity.
But I noticed that they had me with a new telephone number, of which I didn't feel I could connect at that time due to my husband just passing away and I would be receiving quiet a number of calls and it would be impossible for me to contact people with this change. Therefore, I did not connect this adapter at that time. It was on 12/22/14 this equipment was shipped to me and it was received on 12/26/14. It was 1/6/15 my phones were cut off by Xfinity.
I called and they told me there was a request that my phones were changing. I had not contacted Xfinity, but ACN had requested this change without my knowing. The end result was I was without any phone service at all. It was at this time I requested Xfinity to reconnect my phones since I had not authorized ACN to have them to disconnect since I was not using their equipment.
I called ACN to let them know I wanted to cancel. I had already been charged $21.19 on 12/22/14, $35.45 on 12/27/14 and on 1/6/15 $133.35 cancellation fee. They informed me I could not return the unused equipment. Furthermore, as of today 1/26/15 they have the nerve to display a charge of $3.00 in pending status until further charges have been applied. I have no idea what this means since I was unable to talk with a person due to high call volume.
I had already canceled service and they charged me $133.35 for early cancellation fee and it had not even been thirty days. I don't see how they can do this since I was originally told by my son-in-law (who was also new at this) that if it did not work out I could get my money back. I am not blaming him because they pretty much did him the same way. He didn't get his commission check they promised.
I am so tired of dealing with these people who think they can do whatever they want and get away with it. Is there anything one can do to stop this type of business from going on? I am sure I am not the only one this has happened to. I did not even have 30 days to decide if this was for my situation. Come to find out they were more expensive than Comcast. I am disappointed that we have people who will take advantage of older adults, especially when just lost my husband.
I tried to explain my situation, but they made no exceptions. I feel taken advantage of. This seems to be dishonest. And I would like to make anyone who has been or is approached by a salesperson from ACN to beware and know that if you sign up for their service you will be charged a sign up fee, $21.19, a monthly fee $35.45, and because I canceled service, early cancellation fee $133.35 - all totaling $159.99. As of today 1/26/15, another charge of $3.00 is in pending status on my credit card of which there is no explanation. Unable to reach by phone due to high call volume.
MENDON, UTAH -- I signed up as a customer for their digital phone VOIP service. We had many struggles with phone quality and dropped calls. I worked with their tech support a couple of times with no success. I did not have a contract with them (part of their incentive to sign up for their service), and they would charge for the following month of service.
I canceled by email within a couple of days of the billing cycle (on a weekend) and called during their business hours to verify the cancellation. The phone representative informed me that I would have to reactivate the account (another month's charge) before she could cancel my service. The email reply came back saying none of this, but that I would be charged a "port out" fee, or I would lose my phone number.
I had already subscribed to another phone service, and they had ported my phone number over before I even requested my service with ACN to be terminated. I told them this, that I owed them nothing more, since they charge for the following month and to again cancel my service. They then charged me for three more months of service (even though I did not have a working number with them), and a late fee. They then sent this bill to a collection agency, who informed me that this would be posted against my credit rating if I did not pay the bill!
I have had to spend a couple of hours with ACN and the collection agency, verifying my email and phone requests to cancel service, and that I have originally asked my service to be canceled because of poor digital service from them (my new digital VOIP provider, OOMA has had no problems). Now they are saying that I should at least pay for a full months service, because the request to cancel happened TWO DAYS after the billing cycle.
ACN advertised that there would be a "no contractual obligation" for signing up for their phone service, but used dishonest, unethical business practices in attempts to collect money from me for services they could not and no longer provided.
CINNAMINSON, NEW JERSEY -- I've been called, emailed about joining this great company, but no one could tell me about it have to go to the meeting. Every week for 4 months to go to one of 4 people's house that I knew. So I gave in and went, all I heard was you'll make lots of money we've quit our jobs. This went on for an hour, I still have no idea what I would have to do but I know I have to fork out $500 bucks for what I have no clue.
So it finally opened up for questions and before I could ask what do I need to do 2 people asked who to write the check out too? As I was shaking my head I got the question out, and that is when they told me you get your friends & family to join these services & you make a percentage back. OK, what is the percentage? 5%. So I asked 5% of what? The total bill (cell or power company). I never did it because I read this tread.
6 months later I went to my 4 friends and asked how much have you made back so far, 2 have made over $300 but have not signed anyone up since November so the bonuses are no longer coming in. So I asked what about all those services that you're signing up? Well they've been so busy signing up all their friends and family they only have their own services on their business. I said again how much have you earned? They said less the bonus and the trip to San Francisco for an ACN meeting, they're both in the negative for $900.
So for all you people that are out there saying this is a GREAT business tell the people the truth HOW MUCH ARE YOU MAKING??? Tell us why it's so great, it still sounds like a pyramid scheme.
MONTREAL, QC, H3B3K3 CANADA -- Let me explain to you the awful experience I have had with this company (ACN). I purchased a video phone back in September of 2010, costing $250. I bought it so that my family that live in a different province to us could see my new born baby.
Since having the phone I have had nothing but complaints from my friends and relatives about the connection. Here are some of the complaints: very bad echo, beeping noises, hard to hear (sounds like I'm calling from Timbuktu!); I will be having a conversation for 10 minutes or so and suddenly be cut off from the person I was talking to and a voice comes onto my speaker phone saying, 'The number you have dialed is not in service' (Kind of weird when I had just been speaking to the person). And so on...
I have made calls to ACN regarding these faults/problems at least 5 times. I would call more, but I have a newborn baby to care for so its hard for me to spend 1-2 hours on the phone with ACN trying to figure out the problem. Every time I call, they get me to go to my computer and run tests to see if there is a problem with my internet. After doing this (every time I call), they agree that its not my internet that's the problem. Still nothing gets resolved.
I finally got transferred to customer service as the technician said there was nothing else he could do. After spending another hour or more on the phone to the customer service representative, she informs me the only thing they can offer me is to change my phone to a land line. I told her that was not what I wanted, I wanted a video phone for a reason...so that my family could see my baby. I asked more than 5 times for ACN to send me a replacement phone and I would send back the faulty one. She denied me! I was appalled with the lack of care and concern that she had therefore I requested that she cancel my service.
Not only would she not replace my faulty phone, she then informs me that I would have to pay half the cancellation fee which would be $170. The woman had me to tears. I am a stay-at-home mother with a small income and don't have $170 to hand out that easily.
In any case, my question to her is 'why should I pay a cancellation fee for something that you people at ACN can't resolve, and why are you not refunding me my $250 for a phone that clearly isn't working as you advertise?' I obviously told her how disgusted I was and that I'm appalled with the way this has been handled. I asked her 4 times to put me through to her supervisor and after informing me that she was the supervisor, I asked to speak to the manager, she said she couldn't do that.
I am absolutely furious with ACN. Listen to me people...my rights as a consumer indicates that you legally have to reimburse me for the 'faulty' phone!!! And how dare you try and charge me for a cancellation fee for something that isn't my fault...it's yours!!! ACN is a disgrace as far as I'm concerned and I don't ever want to deal with them again! SHAME ON YOU for putting me through this!
BROOKLINE,, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- A friend of mine recently joined ACN. ACN is a form of pyramid scheme/scam (depending how you look at it). After he attended 1 half hour long meeting, was told the history of the company and told how much money he could make(the independent representative told him that he had made $14,000, and that the person that he had signed on under had made $42,000, that very month), he was sold. He was told that there was a one time fee of 498.00, and that he needed to sign over at least three communication services that equaled to a certain amount of ACN points.
He was told that he should find at least 2 more people to join at the $498.00, switch 3 of their services, and then they each find 2 more who switch over 3 services, so on etc. You get paid very small percentages of the communications bills of the people who joined under you, and paid larger percentages for them paying the 498.00 to join. Just sit back and watch it take a life of its own, see the money roll in. Soon you could be out fishing all the while making money.
He did not read the contract, did not check prices on the television, cell phone and home telephone services and did not ask for check stubs proving the stated incomes. 25 days after joining he was told that he had only thirty days to change over his 3 services, that he would forfeit his 498 if he did not comply.
He soon found that the particular home phone service that suited him did not yet allow him to keep his current in state phone number which led him to have to carry 2 cell phone bills (so as not to lose his home number) that he would change over when the in-state numbers became available. He then changed from cable to satellite dish and had to add a temporary secretary service (offered by ACN) for 29.95 per month (to give him his needed points) in place of the home phone. This service tracks all of the IR's that you've found to join and any moneys you have earned.
It was then also recommended that he attend several training sessions to learn how to present this fantastic business opportunity to all of his friends, that cost only 10.00 per session. His significant other was angry that he was not told all of this before joining, not to mention the added costs of switching all of their sevices, connection fees etc.
She did some checking into ACN and found that there was more. There is a yearly renewal fee of 149.00, there are also fees between 5.00-10.00 for the processing of each monthly check to you (assuming you make any money and of which the contract mentions without listing any amounts. And last but certainly not least, it also says in the contract that no IR is to tell a prospective IR how much money that they have made, that there is no guarantee that you will make money, it all depends on how hard you are willing to work to find others to join.
Can you make money with ACN? Anything is possible though not probable. It will take you some time to recoup the 498.00 and the rest of the fees. The fact that they are not honest and upfront about their fees, and boast of their incomes after having themselves signed a contract forbidding them to do so.
After much prodding from my friends significant other, he finally asked for a copy of the rep's pay stub who actually did provide it, though it was for the month that he mentioned at the meeting - it was not for $14,000.00 but rather $ 7000.00. While I chose to look at it as false representation, my friend chose to see it as proof that he was making money with ACN, and if he could do it, so could my friend.