David Sharpe bio

If you've been in the multi-level marketing world for any duration of time, you've probably heard a lot of the same concerns repeated.

“Is MLM legit? Is that company a pyramid scheme? How can I tell the difference?”

A leading MLM company that still draws a lot of attention is ACN. Now, if you've been around MLM for a while, you probably know the name. If you're new, though, you may be asking, “What is ACN?”

If you're reading this article, there's a strong probability that somebody contacted you about ACN. The offers sounded good, even too good, and you want to know whether it's a legit business opportunity.

If that's you, then don't worry! This article will explain everything you need to know about ACN. If you're ready, read on and discover the facts about this company!

What Is ACN?

ACN is a leading name in the world of multi-level marketing. Their name stands for American Communications Network. Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, they have expanded to provide service in 26 countries on 5 continents.

History of the Company

The company has a long-standing history. It was founded in 1993 by Robert Stevanovski, Greg Provenzano, and brothers Tony and Mike Cupiscz. Each of these men remains at the helm of the business, overseeing its ventures.

All the founders had direct selling experience individually and came together with a business strategy that worked well.

What was the business strategy? Frankly, it was a pretty straightforward idea. Whereas many sellers pedal things that people want, ACN decided to pedal things people need in their everyday lives.

Services and Methods

What services does ACN provide? In short, they subcontract a plethora of other companies' services with the promise that they will sell them at high volumes for competitive costs.

Some of their home services include the following:

  • Internet and phone bundles through providers like AT&T and Spectrum
  • Heating Gas and Electricity plans through XOOM energy
  • Satellite TV services from Dish and Frontier
  • Identity Theft protection with IDSeal

In addition to home services, the company also includes packages for businesses. Those packages largely mirror those in the home use category, but there are a few differences.

One of the most notable business packages is their Wireless bundle through Flash Wireless, which includes unlimited talk and text and shareable high-speed data.

Pyramid Scheme or MLM Business

The part of ACN's model that makes so many people nervous is its pay structure. There are two ways to earn income through ACN, as with most MLM marketing structures.

Paths of Income

The first way is by direct selling the company's services, which will earn you a commission. These services would include those packages named in the above section.

Direct selling is at the heart of any MLM company. The strategy is to build an army of effective sellers through sales representatives and the recruits they make.

Most people aren't so put off by the prospect of direct selling. What makes them nervous is the second way you earn income through ACN.

The second source of income with ACN is through recruitment. You are responsible as a seller for recruiting other sellers. Once you recruit them, you will receive a portion of their commissions as well.

Moreover, if your recruits manage to recruit others, you will get a share of their commissions as well. This continues down the levels so that you receive shares of several people's commissions.

This structure is the source of the term “multi-level” in multi-level marketing.

How Is This NOT a Pyramid Scheme?

There are several signs that ACN is not a pyramid scheme. For one thing, because pyramid schemes are illegal, they don't usually have longevity. Most last for only a couple of years, as opposed to ACN's nearly three decades.

However, there are more concrete ways of defining a pyramid scheme. The primary difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM is the source of income.

In a pyramid scheme, very rarely are you selling a product. The vast majority of pyramid schemes pay you for your recruitments, not for your services.

While recruitment is a foundational component of most MLM businesses, they have a service they provide and that you sell. If you're ever wary of a potential pyramid scheme, it may help to ask yourself this question:

“If I weren't getting paid to push this product, would I buy it?”

In the case of ACN, you would almost certainly buy at least one of their services. Furthermore, you can check their ratings online. ACN has an A+ ranking through the Better Business Ranking (though not an accreditation).

What's the Catch?

At this point in the article, you should feel pretty confident about ACN's legitimacy. However, the offer may still sound a little too perfect. There has to be a catch, right?

The short answer is, yes, there is a catch. To become a direct seller, you have to pay $499 to become a member and start your independent seller work. Not only will you have to put up $499 for your membership, but your recruits will as well.

Unfortunately, direct selling is not a business everybody is cut out for. Natural marketers with a great deal of confidence and charisma can put up $499 and turn a profit. Others may have a more difficult time.

ACN admits as much in their compensation plan overview, which states that “not all IBOs [independent business owners] make a profit.”

Consider Your Options

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you can answer “What is ACN?” The question now is whether it's right for you. If you are an experienced seller, ACN could be a phenomenal business opportunity for passive income.

However, if you and those you'd recruit are not so sure you can make a profit, it may be best to seek other opportunities.

ACN isn't the only company that offers you a chance to work from home. If you have aspirations towards a career change, consider taking an online marketing training course.

In order for you to develop your skills, you should consider taking a free or paid marketing course. There are a variety of digital marketing courses you can take from businesses that can help you enhance your skills. As of writing this, over 80,000 new marketers have taken the Online Business Builder Challenge (only $7), and that might be a good starting place for you as well.

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