The basic definition of a pyramid scheme is that the business should be a multilevel marketing scheme and it should require constant recruitment into the company to sustain its growth. The person on top will obviously make the most amount of money and people in each subsequent lower level get less money. Looking at ACN from this viewpoint sure does suggest that it is a pyramid scheme, and this has been alleged countless times online.
How the ACN Scheme Works?
First, an ACN representative comes over either through an acquaintance of theirs or directly and tries to sell you their products, which by the way are all legitimate (The long distance calls, VOIP and other services all work just fine albeit at slightly higher rates but the fact is that there are hundreds other who provide the same things at lower cost and using better technology. Even ACN sales representatives agree with this fact). After that they keep visiting you regularly until you change your mind and figure out that by making just 6 more folks join under you, the bonus and commission itself shall allow an early retirement. You pay up $499 to join them, get an instruction tape and an application to sign up, get shuffled over to a seminar or two and left alone to fend for yourself. Essentially, your whole business is trying to get other people underneath you who will do the exact same thing you do. It really is not about selling the products at the end of the day.
The mannerism in which ACN tries to sell its products through MLM techniques may not be illegal or scam material but it definitely does not leave a lot of people rich. Those who pay up and do nothing end up poorer and it is their money that then circulates through the chain trickling up to the top of the pyramid. This basic concept is what definitely makes the ACN a pyramid scheme. Just because their services and products are real and beneficial does not make this kind of marketing better. If anything, it just makes the marketing more deceptive.
The only reason why most sign up with ACN in the first place is because they are sold the fact that working hard will earn money for them and they never again have to work after that, other than to help those underneath them in the lower rungs. All great things to sell a MLM product on but working hard also means that one has to cheat many folks out of their $499 just to get a commission or bonus flowing for an early retirement. That is where ACN’s pyramid system falters because many lose money so that only a few can earn heftily.
It is clear that ACNs are unsustainable and do not contribute anything to the economy. If anything, they merely manipulate people who are easily taken advantage of. By raising awareness about the potential damage caused by ACNs, it is possible that in the future, fewer people will fall into the trap of using these schemes.