ACN Opportunity Review
ACN is based on technological products that are marketed through multi-level marketing. Some say it is a great business opportunity that’s changed their lives. Others call it an illegal pyramid scheme. Which is it?
I recently attended an overview meeting of the ACN business opportunity in Wilmington, Delaware. The presentation was well done and it appeared that several current representatives were having good success in the company. All comments were positive from those present. The video phone was presented as “unique” in the marketplace, which I have since found not to be the case.
The company sells a range of telecommunications services, highlighting a new ACN video phone and service. At the meeting, a video presentation was made giving an overview of the company. Donald Trump is the company spokesman, although from my research it appears he merely “endorses” the company as opposed to having direct participation.
Robert Stevanovski, Greg Provenzano and Tony and Mike Cupisz (twin brothers) founded this company in 1992. They opened for business in January 1993 with only 20 independent reps. They first started their business reselling long distance called LCI Communications. They were with this company for five years, and then Qwest Communications purchased LCI.
In 1998, ACN was listed in INC. Magazine as the 22nd in line of the 500 fastest growing companies privately owned, then making revenue of a little more than $98 million. They have also been featured in Success from Home and USA Today.
In 2004, Vonage’s Visiphone was discontinued, leaving Packet 8 as the only provider in this market. That is until ACN’s recent entry. ACN’s IRIS 3000 Videophone features a large 7-inch digital screen, a light-adjusting camera sensor, digital photo frame for displaying photos, downloadable ringtones, and built-in videomail. It also supports DECT 6.0 Uniden cordless phones and the ability to get news, weather, sports, and other online content. Unfortunately, the ACN and Packet 8 videophones do not interoperate.
In an investigative report Phil Shuman, MyFox 11, Los Angeles reported on “controversy surrounding ACN.” He couldn’t get several independent representatives to answer his question about what the $499 application fee was for. Also, several former representatives claimed that ACN hadn’t met their expectations and that they “prey on the weak and desparate, especially in these financial times.” In addition, Robert Fitzpatrick, author of “False Profits,” stated that this may be a “classic pyramid scheme,” based on the endless chain concept which induces people to invest or purchase product based on the hope of making money.
Bob Stephens, ACN’s legal counsel, disagreed with Mr. Fitzpatrick’s assessment, stating that ACN complies will all law and is a legitimate multi-level marketing company.
For anyone looking for a viable business opportunity, ACN may be a candidate and should certainly be considered. They appear to have a good product and viable opportunity, although the product is not unique in its market. As with any business idea or company, this may not be for everyone, and a little research is always wise.
As in any business, an advertising budget and marketing system will be crucial for success. Success or lack thereof by any particular individual is not a measure of validity of any business opportunity or model. Those chosing to develop their own business, whether it be MLM, franchise, or “niche” startup, should be well prepared if they want to succeed.