Name: ACN Inc.
Year Launched: 1993
HQ: Concord, North Carolina
Countries: 25 Countries in all continents except Africa
Products and Services: Telecommunications, essential services for home and business and energy.
Website (US) : https://acn.com/us-en/homepage
Cost For Independent Business Owner: Application fee $199 renewable annually for $49. Monthly Business Services Fee: $25 + Misc. Business expenses.
Co-Founders: Robert Stevanovski, Greg Provenzano, and twin brothers Tony and Mike Cupisz
Overall Rank: 7 out of 10
ACN has made some critical changes in its business for 2020. What is the ACN business opportunity in 2020? My review of ACN will answer ths question in detail. Please read on.
Why Are You Here?
- You are not an Independent Business Owner of ACN, Inc. but was searching for more information.
- You are a happy Independent Business Owner of ACN, Inc. and looking for validation.
- You are an unhappy IBO and looking for solutions to turn your ACN business around.
- You may have issues with ACN, Inc. and was looking to see if others had something in common with you.
- ACN changed its Compensation Plan in January 2020 and you wanted to learn more about it.
- You are looking for alternate ways to make money online instead of MLM.
- It was by sheer accident you landed here!
No matter what was the reason, you are at the right place at the right time to find solutions for anything related to ACN or online marketing. You may learn things that may even shock you. Continue reading. You will not be disappointed. Just in case you are, please let me know in the comments section below.
If you are running a successful ACN business please continue. I will be sharing ideas that could help you take your business to a whole new level.
If you are an IBO and earning nothing, I will provide you with solutions at the end that will help you do a better job.
If you just wish to make money online, you will find out how.
So stay tuned. Happy reading.
ACN Inc. formally called American Communications Network is an MLM company that has been in business since 1993. I use the 1993 model BMW above. After it expanded overseas it changed its name to ACN, Inc.
All its services are provided by established company’s that ACN resells through its IBO’s using a multilevel marketing business model.
From 2006 until he announced his candidacy for the US Presidency in 2015, Donald Trump and his family had a business relationship with ACN. Donald Trump made millions of dollars from the company from speaking at the company’s conventions and making videos for its IBO’s to use in the recruiting process. In 2016 all references to Donald Trump were removed from the ACN system, and Donald Trump claimed he knew very little about ACN. The parting of ways ended up very acrimoniously.
ACN claims they are the largest direct seller for the products and services listed above. It has been featured in Success Magazine, Forbes and other Business Journals in a very positive light.
Many lawsuits have been filed against ACN over the years for a myriad of reasons. However, the company has managed to earn an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. They are also involved in charitable programs to help children.
Typical of MLM business models most of the commissions are earned by the top 5% of the company. This means that the remaining 95% are earning very little or nothing at all. In fact, the company disclaimers warn IBO’s that many members loose money. No data is provided as to the average annual earnings of its IBO’s.
In my USANA review I provided a table that showed 51% of its independent associates earning nothing. This appears to be typical.
The CEO of ACN is Charles Barker. A comparison was made from employee polls with two other MLM company CEO’s, Amway and USANA. Here are the results.
- Charles Barker, ACN, Inc.: 55/100 – Grade F Bottom 5%
- Steven Van Andel, Amway Corporation, : 73/100 – Grade B+ Top 20%
- Kevin Guest, USANA Health Sciences, : 80/100 – Grade A+ Top 5%
ACN Co Founders listed in the Summary above are very active in the company.
- Greg Provenzano is the President
- Robert Stevanovski is the Chairman
- Tony Cupisz is a Vice President
- Mike Cupisz is a Vice President
The ACN target market encompasses a very wide array of consumers and businesses. In today’s world, Internet and wireless devices, cable and dish entertainment services and communication devices, home security and control, electricity, gas and solar energy, plus the latest, Identity Theft and Payment Systems, are used by virtually everyone. The Global Market for these products and services is about 2 Trillion Dollars!
This fact is used liberally in promoting the business to prospects. Surely it must be easy to find customers. The connotation is if you threw a dart you will hit your target since it is very wide. In reality this is not so for many reasons that I will discuss later.
On the upside, it is possible to make a killing in this business because 5% of ACNs Independent Business Owners are doing so. The big question is what is stopping this number from being larger?
When ACN, or American Communication Network as it was originally called, started their venture in 1993. The Internet for most people was non-existent. Their first product, or most appropriately service, was to market long distance services by LCI Communications. LCI was eventually bought out by Qwest Communications. It is hard to imagine that making long distance phone calls was very costly back then. The founders of ACN saw a need for low cost long distance phone calls. They also felt that using the MLM business model would encourage rapid growth. It paid off.
Business soared. In 1998, Inc. Magazine listed ACN as #42 of the 500 fastest growing companies in North America. One of their original company manufactured products was a video phone. Once again, with video being widespread today and the fact we can video chat to people anywhere for free, it is hard to imagine it was not always so.
Back then in the 1990s ACN considered this device revolutionary. And only they sold it. Hence, it was a sales driver. That was the genesis of what ACN is today. It is worth noting that their expansion into foreign markets started back then too.
You can still buy the ACN Iris 3000 Videophone on Amazon for under $10. However, it uses ACN’s proprietary VoIP and it would cost you $29.99 a month to use it. With your smartphone in your pocket this product has become a relic of the past.
Let’s see what ACN offers today. The model of being a major reseller of products and services still holds true.
The following products and services are provided by AT&T, Frontier and Spectrum
- Wireless Phones
- Land Line Phones
- Flash Wireless (Specific to ACN)
Home Cable and Satellite Services
The following products and services are provided by AT&T, Frontier, Dish and Spectrum
- Land Line TV
- Satellite TV
- Phone (Local and Long Distance)
- Voice Over Internet (VoiP)
Vivent Smart Home Products and Services
- Home Security Systems
- Smart Home Control Systems
- Identity Theft Protection
- Payment Systems
- Health and Wellness Products (In some markets outside the US)
Lower rates are offered when specific bundled services are ordered.
You can find out more details via the Services Pull Down Menu at the ACN
Cost Of Entry And Maintenance For Independent Business Owners
The cost to have the rights to become an Independent Business Owner (IBO) for ACN is an initial enrollment fee of $199 renewable annually for $49, and a recurring monthly fee of $25. (Note, this has replaced the one time fee of $499 and an annual fee of $99. Plus a monthly fee of $39.95). ACN is now a far better deal than before. Especially as the initially cost of entry is lower.
- These funds are used directly to set the IBO up in business and is not part of the compensation plan. See below.
- IBO’s need to be trained. ACN charges for these events. It can range from $10 for a local training session to hundreds of dollars for convention registration fees plus travel and hotel charges. This is optional.
- It is not uncommon for IBOs who are serious about building their business to go our of pocket substantially before they start seeing a return
What You Get For $199 and $25 Monthly Fee (As Provided Per ACN)
- Business Tracking + Commission & Reporting System
- Personal Customer List
- Personal Online Storefront Where Customers Can Learn More & Sign Up
- Personal Website So You Can Share the Business
- ACN Social Networking Sites
- Training Material & Marketing Tools
- Personal Development Center (Success On Demand)
- The Benefit of ACN’s Product Development and Market Analysis
- Quarterly Subscription to Success Magazine
- IBO Alerts
- IBO Services (Chat and Text Messaging)
- Conference Calling and Video Web Conferencing Services
- Recognition Programs, Product Reports, Bonus Program & Incentive-Based Trips
I feel that these services justify the sign up fees. The cost to become an IBO costs $224 compared to $539 before. Less than half! It was time ACN made this change as the previous charges seems excessive.
Changes were also made to the compensation plan in 2020. I will summarize this below with links to see what it is in detail. I feel this is a big improvement in the old plan. ACN has been busy trying to improve the business opportunity.
ACN operates like all MLM companies. Your commissions are derived from the sales you make personally as well as an override from others who you recruit into the business as well as those they recruit, up to 5 levels deep. The MLM structure is of the unilevel variety. This means you can recruit as many IBO’s in your first level as you wish.
This is different to a binary compensation structure like USANA, where you can only recruit two distributors in your first level. In a binary plan, when you recruit more than 2 personally, you have to place them under one of your downline distributors who has a slot available. In a binary plan commissions are based on overall sales volume in your organization and not restricted to a limited number of levels deep.
ACN has a simple statement to describe how you can earn commissions as an IBO and I quote below in bold print:
How To Earn Money In ACN
ACN Independent Business Owners (IBOs) are compensated in the following ways:
- Personal Residual Income (Modified)
- Overriding Residual Income (Modified)
- Monthly Personal Customer Bonuses (Replaces the weekly bonuses)
- Overriding Customer Acquisition Bonuses (CAB) Bonuses (New for 2020)
- Incentive Trips
When you become an IBO in ACN you are eligible to earn commissions immediately based on your personal customer points you have accumulated. Personal Customer Points (PCP) vary depending on the service. For example:
- Wireless Service = 3 PCP
- Security & Automation = 4 PCP
- Identity Theft Protection = 2 PCP
- Gas = 1 PCP
Since there are so many kinds of ACN services they have provided a document that address the compensation plan as well as tables that define the PCP assigned to every service.
Compensation Plan In Writing < Click To Access PDF File
Let me warn you that this system will take a while to understand. Tony Cupisz, Co Founder and VP created this YouTube video where he does a great job in explaining the Personal Customer Points system and how it relates to the Compensation Plan.
In 2020 ACN had introduced a new ongoing bonus. It is called the Customer Acquisitioon Bonus (CAB). This means that you can earn a bonus based on how many customers you acquire within any 30 day period. Details are shown in the PDF document above.
Tony Cupisz, VP, provides an overview of the new compensation plan in this video that makes it easier to understand.
I’m going to summarize this below.
Percentage Of Sales You Earn In Commissions
- 1 – 39 Customer Points = 3%
- 40 – 59 Customer Points = 5%
- 60 – 99 Customer Points = 10%
- 100 – 149 Customer Points = 14%
- 150 – 199 Customer Points = 17%
- 200 + Customer Points = 20%
Let’s relate the above to cold hard cash. We need to make an estimate on how many customers it will take to earn the customer points indicated above. It is reasonable to assume that one customer will purchase at least 2 products that will yield 5 Personal Customer Points with a monthly fee of $50. Using this assumption we can derive the following commission table based on your personal efforts only.
25 Customers = $1250 in total sales = $62.50 in commissions (50 PCP yields 5% of $1,250)
50 Customers = $2,500 in total sales = $350,00 in commissions (100 PCP yields 14% of $2,500)
100 Customers = $5,000 in total sales = $1,000.00 in commissions (200 PCP yields 20% of $5,000)
200 Customers = $10,000 in total sales = $2,000.00 in commissions (20% of $10,000)
500 Customers = $25,000 in total sales = $5,000 in commissions (20% of $25,000)
1000 Customers = $50,000 in total sales = $10,000 in commissions (20% of $50,000)
These services are billed monthly. Hence, the income shown above is residual and paid to the IBOs monthly as long as the customers maintain their service contract. If you can use online marketing techniques to build a large personal customer base, it is possible to earn significant residual income.
As you can see, it pays to have more Customer Points. The only way to know what these points are is to refer to the compensation plan.
The Importance Of Leverage
Since it takes a very large customer base to earn a decent income, each IBO has an option to build a team 5 layers deep to maximize their earnings through leverage OR create a personal customer base in the hundreds or greater than shown above.
The PCP requirement to qualify for commissions for each of these levels is defined as follows:
Level 1 = 4% Must acquire and maintain 40 PCP
Level 2 = 4% Must acquire and maintain 40 PCP
Level 3 = 4% Must acquire and maintain 60 PCP
Level 4 = 4% Must acquire and maintain 75 PCP
Level 5 = 4% Must acquire and maintain 75 PCP
I got to give credit to ACN that to maximize your earnings you must first achieve significant sales yourself. Once you achieve and maintain 200 PCP, you can stop personal selling if you wish and focus 100% of your time in helping your team do the same.
As your sales increase, your leadership standing in ACN soars. This will qualify you to earn big bonuses and rewards of company paid business vacations to exotic locales.
Like anything else in life, the harder you work and never give up, the more you earn. Even in an MLM company, you do have the choice of acquiring all the customers yourself, OR building a customer base with the help of the team you build
Although ACN doesn’t post average earnings per IBO they do state the following:
“Less than 5% of Qualified IBOs meet the requirements to receive commissions through their 5th level.”
Support is available by phone and through online chat. Support hours are from 10am to 11pm Mondays to Fridays, Eastern Time. ACN provided the following list:
- Customer Care in multiple languages
- Customer Provisioning, Activation, Billing Maintenance
- Customer Incentive & Retention Programs
- Product Development, Information, Support & FAQs
- Online Account Access
When I searched for ACN customer satisfaction online I found more responses from disgruntled customers. This is not unusual as these folks are more, likely to register complaints online than comments from happy customers. However, the nature of the complaints were troubling.
Communication With Customer Support
This was by far the biggest issue. Most of the problems stemmed from roadblocks to cancel service after being dissatisfied with the company. It was hard to cancel automatic billing as well as to get refunds for poor service. In most cases, new Independent Business Owners also become customers.
Often the poor service also triggers a request to cancel the business agreement. When requests were made for a refund of the $499 registration fee, that was ignored. Now that these fees have been significantly reduced, going forward this may not happen as often.
Processes and Procedures
In cases where ACN responded, they provided a procedure to submit everything in writing following specific rules in order for the refund request to be reviewed. No action could be taken until this process was completed. In the meantime, it appeared recurring charges would continue to be made.
Whenever lawsuits against ACN were filed by IBO’s and customers who felt they had legitimate grievances, ACN was able to resolve these with minimum cost to the company. For example, they were able to plead that the accusers didn’t read the fine print properly.
The Courts remedy was to direct ACN to be more clear in their training and literature so that IBO’s and customers knew clearly what agreements they were signing when making a contract with ACN. Major changes have been made in 2020 to rectify these situations.
I will present my opinion on these issues after talking about the pros and cons.
Pros & Cons
- The product line up ACN offers are items we all use every day. They are provided by well-known National and International brands.
- The registration fees have been significantly reduced, and the services provided have been improved.
- The Compensation Plan has been simplified in 2020 and looks more attractive than before.
- Commissions are derived only from sales.
- Overrides have been reduced from 7 levels to 5 and the commission percentages increased,
- The new plan makes it easier to qualify for the higher end commissions of 20%.
- It is not a requirement to purchase services personally to qualify for commissions.
- Personal purchases are added to the PCP requirements for the override commission quota.
- As good as the business appears on the surface, only 5% of the IBO’s achieve serious earnings,
- The plethora of products promoted has made it challenging to interpret the Compensation Plan.
- It is still a challenge for the majority of IBOs to earn any commissions.
- Talking to family and friends is still promoted as the main business building approach
- Too many IBOs incur losses that will not go away until they start to earn commissions.
- The commissions paid at the lower sales volumes are insufficient to earn a satisfactory income.
- Customer Service has been poor. The jury is out if this will improve in 2020. ACN has taken steps to do so
- Like most MLM companies there is a lot of hype that builds exaggerated expectations
- Although ACN has created an online system to sign up customers and IBOs, there is little or no training on online marketing.
- Many potential customers still prefer to order the services resold by ACN directly from the original source. Like Spectrum, AT&T and Vivent.
- Each Product line can be considered a niche unto itself. Why are IBO’s not trained to become an expert in just one or two product lines of their choice, before branching out into others?
When I was first approached to join ACN about 15 years ago, I felt very uncomfortable with the aggressive company culture. Moreover, the sign up fee was too high. When the only product offered back then was long distanced service, I felt that part of the sign up fee had to be used in the compensation plan. It smacked of a Ponzi Scheme.
Since ACN has evolved to a significant Telecommunications company based on reselling of services from major carriers and suppliers, my opinion has changed. ACN is a legitimate MLM business. This was reinforced by the significant positive changes made in 2020.
I see one big shortcoming in their business plan. It is heavily biased on services more than physical products. If ACN were to offer devices like smartphones, and other digital gadgets, I feel that would provide the emphasis for significant growth. Unlike it being stagnant at the moment.
However, this is still an MLM company. What I like is that personal sales are mandatory to qualify to earn commission overrides from the IBOs recruited. This creates a balance between sales and recruiting. The compensation plan is not dependent on recruiting to earn an income.
Unlike most other MLM companies, there is no requirement to make personal purchases to qualify for commissions. However, since ACN markets services we use every day. I cannot see IBOs not purchasing from their own businesses.
When I Iook at all the other options to make money in a Home Based Business, I feel ACN is not the best choice for the following 10 reasons:
- There is still a start up fee, even though it may be justified.
- No try before you buy option.
- Even though recruiting is not necessary to earn an income, the commission structure at the lower levels means an excessive number of customers are necessary in order to earn enough to quit your day job.
- When you are recruited by an IBO, there is pressure to duplicate the system even if you don’t want to.
- If you wish to build your business online its up to you to learn the skills of content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and traffic build up. Plus the myriad of other requirements necessary.
- Revenue has been stagnant and even falling since 2015.
- Considering ACN has been in business since 1993, its current revenue being under $800 Million is disappointing.
- Seeing that the market segments ACN are in have grown substantially over the years this begs the question of why is ACN not achieving the same level of success?
- Like all MLM’s the attrition rate of IBOs is high. Hence, the cost to train new IBOs will always stay high.
- There is very little or no competition for ACN in the service field they operate in. Hence, it took ACN a long time to revamp its business practices like they have in 2020 to help boost sales.
Clearly ACN is not a scam. It is a legitimate MLM business. The range of services it offers makes this an exciting operation. I feel it would be enhanced if hi tech hardware was added to the mix.
I give it a rating of 7 out of 10.
Have you heard about the concept of Affiliate Marketing? If you have, then great. I’ll be drawing on that down below. If you haven’t, it is NOT a variant of Network Marketing. In fact, it is the opposite. I like to call it Solo Marketing ha! In affiliate marketing you create a website that is used to market products and services in a narrow niche that you are passionate about. OR know a lot about and have a burning desire to share information with others on the subject.
In my opinion above under line item #5 I wrote the following:
“If you wish to build your business online its up to you to learn the skills of content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and traffic build up. Plus the myriad of other requirements necessary.”
I was alluding to affiliate marketing strategies there. I have written an in depth article on how affiliate marketing works and how it could be used by you to build your ACN business. Click the link below:
You will need to develop the know-how and skills to leverage the Internet to build your business. Instead of talking to family, friends and strangers to sell products and services to as well as to recruit into your business, why not use the Internet to attract the people you need to you instead?
All the stress is taken away. It is your website that will do that for you.
Exciting Knowledge & Skills
How would you like to earn how to build your very own business website using content and techniques that will help potential customers and business partners find you from their search engine queries?
- How would you like to learn how to use WordPress to build great websites for FREE?
- How would you like to build 2 websites using WordPress for FREE?
- How would you like to have these websites hosted for FREE?
- How would you like to learn what to do to have these websites ranked high for FREE?
- How would you like to have access to 20 in depth lessons with videos on affiliate marketing for FREE?
Well you CAN! You are so close to learning new skills to build your ACN business totally online.
Or if you wish, you can build other businesses online that have nothing to do with MLM.
This is my #1 Recommendation.
Why? You will be empowered to go places way beyond ACN if you want it to.
The choice is YOURS! Click the banner below to learn more about how this works. You can sign up for free access to this amazing platform with just your Email address. No credit card required. I’ll see you on the other side when you do.
Looking forward to talking with you.