Is ACN A Scam?

Is ACN a Scam?

Right now a lot of people have been accusing ACN as being a scam. ACN is a direct sales company, and companies like this often get confused with pyramid schemes and scams. Is ACN really a scam? This post will dive deep into this question and reveal the truth about ACN and other direct sales companies. You are most likely reading this post because you are curious about the company of someone who has approached you about joining. Good for you. You are doing your due diligence and researching the company before you join. Hopefully this post will give you a better idea of what ACN is all about and whether they are a company worth being a part of.

Before we dive into a review of ACN, let’s learn a little more about the company and its history.

According to ACN’s website:

“Founded in 1993, ACN was the vision of four entrepreneurs – Greg Provenzano, Robert Stevanovski, Tony Cupisz and Mike Cupisz. These Co-Founders had countless years of direct sales experience between them, but were dissatisfied with other companies and job opportunities they had encountered. They realized that the only way to find a company they wanted to be a part of was to create that company.”

Since 1993, ACN has grown to provide essential services in 25 countries. ACN is also the largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and other essential services for home and business.

So what does this all mean?

Basically, ACN sells essential services like phone, internet and energy through independent business owners (IBOs).

How do you get involved with ACN?

In order to make money with ACN, you have to sign up as an IBO. It cost $499 to start with ACN as an IBO. This is a higher start-up fee than most MLM’s. This is because when you join ACN, you don’t have to buy any products to sell. If you compare this fee to the cost of starting a traditional business, $499 is rather small. Once you pay the start-up fee, you are good to go, you can start selling ACN services immediately. It’s important to understand that when you sign-up as an IBO with ACN, you are exactly that, a business owner. You are responsible for growing your business and finding customers.

Recruiting others

As I’m sure you know, recruiting other people is a huge part of a MLM business model. ACN is no different. If you ask anyone that works or has worked with an MLM, they will tell you that the more people you recruit, the more commission you make off the services they sell. However, you make the most money when you grow your customer base.  

This is where people start to blur the lines between legitimate MLM’s and scams. Multi-level-marketing is not for everyone. It takes someone who has a great work ethic. Starting your own business with ACN take long hours and hard work. However, many people trick themselves into thinking they can be successful. They will hear a pitch, and hear the amount of money they can make, and sign up. Many times, these people think that this opportunity will provide them with easy, fast money. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Just like anything else, working as an IBO requires a lot of hardwork and dedication.

When people realize that their road to success will be much harder than first anticipated, it’s human nature to blame someone else. This is where you get people calling ACN a scam. They FELT they were scammed because they didn’t make the money they wanted to. This is no one’s fault but their own.

Are MLMs and Pyramid Schemes the Same Thing?

Pyramid schemes have been around for a long time, centuries actually. It’s no secret, pyramid schemes are meant to prey on the weak and take advantage of good, hard working people. The word pyramid schemes gets thrown around a lot, but what exactly is a pyramid scheme? In a pyramid scheme, the purpose is to get more and more people to join. Why? Because when you join a pyramid scheme, you pay a fee, and a portion of the money goes to the person who recruited you, and a portion of that money goes to the person who recruited them, so on and so forth. A pyramid scheme thrives on people recruiting others, so the people at the top get the most money. What makes pyramid schemes illegal is this- they don’t offer an actual good or service. The process relies completely on finding others, with no actual product or service to offer. This is why pyramid schemes are highly unstable and collapse quickly.

MLM’s, direct sales, and network marketing are often grouped into the same breath as pyramid schemes. Admittedly, there are some similarities between the two, however there is one very important difference. MLMs actually offer real products and services. In an MLM, it doesn’t matter how many people you recruit; if you don’t sell the product and get customers, you won’t make any money.

Many reputable sources have spoken out on the differences between MLMs and pyramid schemes, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. They have said that MLMs, “have a real product to sell. More importantly, MLMs actually sell their product to members of the general public, without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system. MLMs may pay commissions to a long string of distributors, but these commission are paid for real retail sales, not for new recruits.”

So, is ACN a Pyramid Scheme?

ACN is most definitely not a pyramid scheme. If you recall, pyramid schemes don’t offer real products or services. ACN offers services people use everyday including internet, Satellite TV, wireless, gas and electricity, solar power, and much more.

ACN works with business like Vivint, Dish, Direct TV, Century Link and many more. If ACN was in fact a pyramid scheme, would these businesses, who have worked hard to maintain a good reputation, risk going into business with a scam? The answer is no. These companies would not put their reputation on the line if they thought there was even small chance of ACN being an illegitimate company. Those people who have accused ACN of being a pyramid scheme are simply misinformed. Because the word “pyramid scheme” is used so carelessly, it has lost its true meaning. Get educated and learn the differences between illegal scams and legitimate businesses.

Here is a video explaining the difference between direct sales companies and illegal pyramid schemes.

Don’t take my word for it

If you really want to find out if ACN is a legitimate business or not, look to a credible source. One of the most credible sources out there (when it comes to reviewing a business) is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB was founded in 1912. It’s purpose is to help advance trust in the marketplace. While the BBB is not apart of the government, it has provided millions of honest reviews, exposing bad business practices and revealing the truth behind the curtains. When reviewing a company, the BBB rates a business on 7 elements and 13 factors. These factors are as follows:

  1. Business’s complaint history with BBB
  2. Type of business
  3. Time in business
  4. Transparent Business Practices
  5. Failure to honor commitments to BBB
  6. Licensing and government actions known to BBB
  7. Advertising issues known to BBB

 

Rating Points

ACN BBB
Photo credit: Better Business Bureau

Here is how the BBB assigns a letter grade:

ACN BBB
Photo credit: Better Business Bureau

What does all this mean?

If you remember, I said earlier that in order to really understand how a business operates, you need to check a credible source. We have established that the BBB is a credible source. With all of that said, what rating does ACN have? The ACN’s review from the BBB is an A+. This means that they score extremely well on the factors and elements listed above. Do you really think that ACN would receive such high praise from an accredited review platform if the business is a scam? The answer is no. I have read a lot of reviews about ACN and all the negative sites fail to mention this piece of information. It would seem like this is an important piece of information and it would be unfair to leave it out.

ACN BBB
Photo credit: Better Business Bureau

So, is ACN a scam?  

To put it clearly, NO. ACN is not a scam. They are accused of being a scam because people weren’t as successful as they had hoped. They knew that this was not an easy road, but they took the risk and it didn’t turn out well (probably because they thought it would be easy). If you are thinking about getting involved with ACN, know that you will be required to work hard. It won’t be an easy road, but with time, hard work and consistent effort, you can enjoy the freedom of being your own boss – not to mention, create a supplemental income stream.  

 

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