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.
VANCOUVER, BC -- ACN in Canada, and I see in the US is a nightmare!! No customer service levels, record your conversations with them as they lie, and I have caught them after I told their customer service reps and Supervisors (easier to find a 4 leaf clover than having a CS agent transfer to them). I simply told them, "I also record my conversations for training and customer services purposes".
Started off with trying to call their billing dept, after 1 hr prior to speaking to someone, most people just give up and pay online. After their threat of late payment and disconnect in Aug 12th letter, for Aug 18th, paid Aug 15th and they admitted to accidentally cutting it off anyway around the 15th. As I was out of the country on the 19th but found out that home phone was cut off from family, tried calling unsuccessfully and finally getting through on 27th. Phone fixed the 29th, but they "accidentally" kicked me off my Telus internet!!!
After 6.5 hrs logged on 3 calls that week (keep track), massive run around, and their avoidance to transfer me to a CS Supervisor, noted all agents names and employee numbers (keep track) as I was able to note their empty promises, lies, and outright denial of following my requests. Run!!! Their services are unreliable as they do not have a good system for disconnect or reconnect of services, cannot get any restitution.
After 7 hrs of total conversation time, I finally got 1 month credit from the supervisor, as prior they would only offer per diem that officially I called them, 27th, to uptime, 29th. $29.99/31 x 2 days - a joke (!!) for my 7 hours of wasted time, financial loss, aggravation and credibility loss with callers for 2 weeks for "the number you called is not in service".
I registered the complaint with the CRTC and they gave me the following complaint method below as I encourage all to do so. I also called Telus to get reconnected tomorrow, and had them ACN supervisor confirm that if I disconnect 2 days before billing period (Sept 27th). I will just pay for the Sept month and nothing more, as I don't believe I signed a contract, and he is on record with me in saying that there will not be any further charges.
My GF who was approached by a "friend" in March to become an ACN representative for $500 is now quitting based on this service level scam and the desire to not have any of her friends go through the same. I guess their $500 sign up and annual dues is the way the screw their own business associate, as there is no financial justification than multi-level commission rip off to justify these fees.
How dare you ACN supporters, who do you think you are? Yes, we need people to mow grass and bag our groceries. You also need nurses and an IT guy fix your computer etc. However, if I understand you correctly, we are not successful unless we (the public) give you $500++ and convince our friends and family to give you $500++, we are losers in life.
As an educated professional woman I am no better than the man or woman who cuts my grass or bags my groceries. The difference between you and us is that WE GET PAID!! You're nothing more than a puppy dog, brainwashed 'door to door' salesmen/saleswoman. However, when you do 'pitch with success' you gain praise (pssst, can't feed your family on praise). How dare you try and use people's kindness with a pitch "can you do me a favor". I NEVER expect to do someone a favor, only to have them turn around and steal my money at their hope of becoming a millionaire. ACN = Narcissism, Anti-Social personality disorder, immoral, no scruples etc.
The problem is people who fall under this category are hard to change, but easily manipulated into anything that gives them the hope of acceptance. Our world is not good enough for them cause "SOMEDAY", they will be bigger and better than the rest of us. News flash... I will always be $500++ richer than they will ever be!! If I want to throw away money at a dream I would prefer a casino or buy a lottery ticket - odds are better!! Good luck at your brainwashing next week in CA. LOLOL. I'll be home comfy on my couch while you're getting 4hrs sleep marinating for a good brainwashing!!
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- What amazes me about these guys is how companies like T-mobile, Comcast, AT&T, COX, Time Warner, HughesNet, Sprint, Verizon, Directv, Dish Network and all these other huge companies were scammed secretly into doing business with them and still continue to do business with them for years and years. Cannot these companies see they are being ripped off??? Don't they do their research? OMG. Canadian companies too leagued with them I heard.
ACN has the right to market these products but the heads of those companies can't even tell they are being lied to and continue to work with them after all these years. They even continued the rip off and lies secretly into 20 more countries and those countries head corporations also allowed themselves to be scammed. Wow. Even the BBB was tricked! saying they have a A rating when really it should be a F. Talk about shysters. Talk about STUPID. Just shows you that the CEOs of these big companies must be real idiots to aligned themselves with a company like ACN. Take it from me, don't trust these guys.
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.
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.
BIRMINGHAM -- Hi all, just a short post. I have joined ACN a year ago and was very reluctant initially as I had heard many negative things about multi-level marketing companies. Further research and understanding of the business model resulted in me joining. I have now been with ACN for 12 months and progressed very well through the ranks. Simply put if you put some effort in you can make a very handsome pay packet. Many people on this review site have had varied experiences but to be honest, if they have not put the work in and expect to get paid, then guys wake up - you will not make any money in any business with that attitude.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Was sold on an ACN phone modem and service by a relative. Original line was dead in three days. Five weeks later, we finally got our phone number and phone service back and a bill for around 160.00$. Not a big deal you would think but our cell phones don't work at home. Cancelled our credit card to protect ourselves from further spurious charges from ACN. At least 16 hrs on hold with ACN customer service. ACN Sucks. No customer service and a capricious, entitled relationship with your credit card. My advice would be to stay clear of ACN or any of its products.
HAPPY VALLEY, OREGON -- I was a ACN customer for a year. When I decided to go to another company after having phone service problems, I felt very taken advantage of. First I did not really want to change and I even avoided my relative who was trying to talk me into selling ACN, finally I bought into the service. So I can relate to those of you who are afraid of losing friends over this company because I was one who avoided my family and grew to resent them and did not even want to answer the phone from them because selling ACN was all that was on their mind.
Well anyway after two months of dealing with them trying to change companies and dealing with all the extra fees that just keep showing up, and one customer service representative that had me so frustrated that I began to cry has just left me with a very bad taste in my mouth for ACN. I just hope people who read this realize that whenever there is pressure to sell something to your friends and family you will, in fact, lose some of them and my question to you, is it worth it?