Boycott Watch  
December 24, 2009
The ACN Phone MLM-Pyramid Scheme
Summary: If you have to pay for a job, it's not a job
    Boycott Watch has never been a fan of MLM's, or Multi-Level Marketing because they tend to operate like pyramid schemes - the last person in looses the most. The only question is if you will be an end point because you are either unable to build your own pyramid for whatever reason, or the pyramid closes for whatever reason. In the case of ACN, a company which sells Internet phones, the company's structure is really centered on selling new agent agreements rather than phones, and the actions of their agents prove it.

    When it comes to Internet phone service, anyone can buy items such as the Magic Jack, with a year of service for about thirty dollars at a drugstore, allowing you to plug any phone into it for use over the Internet. ACN wants its customers to buy their video phone for about $200 plus service for thirty dollars a month on a one-year contract. While few people have video phones or want to be on-camera while talking on the phone, those who do can just use Skype and the same phone service can be purchased for less from real telecom companies where you can use any phone, including a video phone if you want.

    ACN on the other hand really just wants to sell you the rights to become a rep for their company at about $1,000 a pop, then get you to sell additional agent agreements because, as one of their reps explained to me, "that's where the real money is!" The company is not interested in the technological skills marketing skills of potential resellers, only that they have the money to sign up. Naturally though, their "agents" purchase the phones, giving an additional sales commission to the person who got them to pay to become an ACN agent in the first place.

    Fred Taub, President of Boycott Watch observed several ACN pitches and all were centered around selling agreements, not selling phones. Fred Taub further stated "whenever I ask an ACN agents detailed questions about the phone service they have no answers, I believe that is because agents are brought in regardless of technical skills - it's all about agents getting other people to become agents."

    Some may claim that with ACN and other similar companies a person is purchasing a franchise, but that is not the case here either. ACN neither offers exclusive territories nor a retail system with ongoing training and monitoring like a real franchise does. Our advice is to avoid all Multi-Level marketing deals.

    Boycott Watch sees ACN as a scam. If that company really wanted to sell phones, the agents would be encouraged to sell phones, not agent agreements. More importantly, nobody should ever pay money to get a job. If someone wants to hire you for your skills, then they will hire you for your skills. If a company want to hire you and pay to train you, that's fine, but never pay a company to be trained for the job they may hire you for. If you want training or education, get it from a real educational institution

    Unfortunately, ACN wants people to essentially pay to work for them - they just want your money - It's not employment. Boycott Watch therefore advises people to avoid all such companies on all levels.

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