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.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Here is my honest Opinion about ACN. First when you join, you are starting a business, not a job. If you can't make the distinction, don't join. Second this is not a get rich quick scheme, if you think it is, don't join. Third, you need to put in the time and effort to make the business grow, also if you aren't investing anything into your business, don't join.
Forth your residual income will be based on how much sales you make 1-10% commission based on your sales. Fifth, the reason why you recruit others is because of the simple fact you can't make $100,000 on sales per month, unless you're a god at selling. Sixth, the reason why your upline will pressure you in the beginning is because they want you to remake your initial startup fee of 499, and they benefit as well.
Seventh and final reason, if you are so influenced by what others say about the company including my review, and can't make a decision on your own, don't join. Personally for me, I think of this company as a way to learn leadership, sales, and life skills. I already remade my investment, and I'm ready to work this business long term.
ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA -- We were invited to a home in the city by a potential material supplier for my small business who claimed this individual helped him and had ideas that would benefit me. After a 45 minute drive thru Rush Hour Traffic I pulled up in front of stately home. The owner welcomed me and I was ushered into a large den where 7 other people sat waiting for a video presentation featuring an endorsement from Donald Trump. No one knew at that point why they were there.
These were intelligent business owners who were duped into coming as I was. After sitting through the 1/2 hr video and another 1/2 hr of explanation from the trainer it had to be obvious to any intelligent individual that this was just a high end Tupperware type scam. Designed to make the Kool-Aid drinkers wealthy and us suckers poorer. I politely excused myself due to another commitment. All I could think of was the other People and hope they didn't fall for this Pyramid Scheme and the deceitful way I was invited to this home.
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have been a business owner with ACN since December of 2013. When I first started I was working in a corporate sales position and working about 60 hours per week. When I first got started with ACN I was able to build my business part time while being a single mother and working the 60 hours per week. Within 6 months I was able to retire from corporate America and work from home with my 8-year-old little girl. ACN has completely changed my life in more ways than one. Not only has it allowed me to be a work from home mom, but I have also experienced a significant amount of growth in all areas of my life.
ACN has shown me that positive, good, driven, like-minded people are out there. Will everyone be successful? No, just like not everyone is successful in college, pro football, sports etc. It takes a certain mindset and a strong desire to Win in anything in life. Too often we look to blame an industry or a company for our lack of success. However, success is seen with the right attitude, work ethic and desire to truly make a difference. Through ACN I am able to help others be successful and it has been extremely rewarding for me.
I signed up for all the services, identified immediate ROI from my savings alone, tried them out for a bit and then promoted to my family friends and business contacts. ACN provides the environment to win. It is up to us whether we will make the choice to acquire success.
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA -- The same incident has happened to me as far as wanting to disconnect my services when they want! I've been told they will disconnect my Internet Services when they want and it could take up to 52 days; will continue to bill me through the processes. I told ACN reps., "If you want to give me free services that's on them but I'm not posting for it!"
They are a sick in the head company! Meaning how cruel because other big brand, known companies will disconnect immediately after requesting. Like I've told the ACN reps., "When you're talking to me or etc... I have SnapShots, good concrete phone conversations, & etc." If they ever want to go there.
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 quite 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.
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 interferes 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 let's see how the company respond to them.
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.
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- I don't know if this company is a scam or not but my daughter went to get her hair done and went to a training with her hairdresser. She got me involved and I fell victim. The first thing I did was started to call my family but they were telling me what not to say and all this sneaky stuff. I didn't feel comfortable getting them into something I did not really know anything about. By the way, my cousin got upset with me because she thought I was getting her into something crazy. They kept telling me what not to say.
Then, they try to rush me into getting all my friends and family together so that I can get them into something I did not know anything about and could not tell them anything about. I don't want to lose another family member trust due to this company so I just requested my money back. My daughter don't talk to her hairdresser anymore and I don't want to tarnish any relationships the way she did.
I don't know how the company service is. They spoke mostly about how to bring other people into the business so they can get that 499 plus!!! I did not know that I was going to be pressuring my family and friends to switch to a company and I don't know how they service work. Also, this is a JOB. You are working for the company to get them as many people to sign up for THEIR service.