I just joined this forum because I couldn't find another ACN discussion and I consider it's still a big MLM / pyramid scheme active for quite a while now, so I'd like to get a discussion started.
Does anyone here have any experience with ACN? I was never a rep but researched it a lot and MANY people I once considered friends joined and I saw first-hand how it can ruin friendships / relationships.
ACN is basically a company that sells/resells communication, energy and electricity services (among others). It was started in 1993 but was not an MLM at first. It had it's electricity and natural gas divisions but those were sold and I believe they became solely an MLM from there on.
Other than being a customer at ACN (being subscribed with them for your phone / cellphone / TV / etc. services with them), you can become an IBO/rep, which is where the MLM aspect comes in play. Once you sign up with them, you can then sell all the services they offer and earn a residual income from those sales. Since people do not often change plans for those services, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a steady flow of income if it's done right. To maximize your earnings and climb up the ladder in the compensation plan, you quickly realize recruiting people is a must, even if ACN claims no money is made from recruiting.
Until here, everything seems legit about ACN and I wouldn't have a problem with it. Where the problem lies is in the $500 that is required upon sign-up. Yeah, $500, and they don't tell you what that $500 is even for, other than 'Starting your own business would cost you a lot more than that' and the famous 'A gym membership would probably cost your around that, why not join ACN instead and earn money?'. Other than a shitty website with a subdomain and no features whatsoever, you pay $500 for nothing. My assumption is that it goes straight up the pyramid, but of course they deny this.
Then you have $150 yearly renewal fee that recruiters often forget the mention. Then $39,99 a month for the YBA "Your Business Assistant" which is a website with analytics tools and a bunch of other crap. (Don't get me wrong, it's probably useful, but for $40 a month, it's a rip-off). Then you have the $5-$10 weekly meeting and all the travel expenses to go to regional events and national events (acn tickets, travel, food, hotel, etc). So in your first year your start off with $1,000+ of expenses and are bound to make on average $500 for the whole year.
On top of the expenses, the brainwashing going on in ACN is mind boggling. The friends I mentionned earlier were convinced ANYONE not encouraging them or doubting ACN were negative people and were told to cut contact with them. This happened with 3 close friends, which were not even on the same team. This just showed me it's not just one 'rogue' IBO doing it, they're all up to shady stuff. Reading stories online, it's always the same thing. So yes there is a pyramid scheme aspect to this company that make it not legit, but on top of that, there is all the false promises, lies and overall bullshit said by ACN in order to keep you believing in their program and that to me is another big issue. While you're an IBO, they profit from you by getting a large cut on the profit from each recruit you bring (money you will never see), but you also spend countless hours during your weeks that are not remunerated. That's work done for free that you're not compensated for because you're blind to the situation and put 100% of your trust into ACN / your upline, so you don't realize it. That's why they all stick together and tell you to stop hanging out with their other friends, so they can all hype themselves together and believe in this fake 'opportunity'.
If you want to read more, check out ACN Pyramid Scheme - Is ACN a pyramid scheme scam? Find out now!