• Report: #1113741

Complaint Review: 5Linx

  • Submitted: Tue, January 07, 2014
  • Updated: Tue, January 07, 2014

  • Reported By: Former Employee — Rochester New York
Rochester, New York USA

5Linx Key insights from a former Customer Service employee Rochester New York

*Consumer Suggestion: Legit

*General Comment: Not A Pyramid

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Dear 5Linx Reps and Potential Reps,


This posting is especially addressed to you. You may have encountered this posting because you speculate 5Linx's strategy of business. Or, a current representative approached you about joining 5Linx. I am glad you are here. Please note that the following testimony is the truth, the whole truth, and lacks any bias about 5Linx's structure or workforce. 

  5Linx is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, highly comparable to Amway and Avon. Its products and services are majorily based in internet-driven markets such as security software, apps for Smartphones, medical advice from experts delivered in 24/7 time, text services for reaching sales leads, personal websites, and online business cards for personal marketing. 

  If you were approached by a 5Linx member to join the company, then please heed this warning about becoming a 5Linx rep: 5Linx is not in business to help the majority of sales reps make profits; rather, the stakeholder who reaps the most profit by large margins is 5Linx because only the top 20% of sales reps receive earnings large enough to overcome the operating expenses of owning a 5Linx business. If the words "pyramid scheme" entered your mind, then this reaction resulted from the close association with Amway regarding Amway's fraudulent practices toward its members, and your instincts are correct. 5Linx, unfortunately, is still evading the radar, but its leaders know that certain agencies are monitoring complaints and government submittals about 5Linx's compensation model. 

   I assume that a 5Linx rep asked you to join 5Linx. That person's title is called an Independent Marketing Representative (IMR). This title is parallel to Amway's title of an Independent Business Owner (IBO). What these titles actually mean is that a person bought a membership into Amway or 5Linx in order to sell these companies' products and/or services. Here are the criteria required for obtaining a 5Linx IMR membership that will generate monetary earnings: 1) a $249.99 startup fee with a kit, 2) a $14.99 or highly emphasized $49.99 recurring charge in which the first payment is also required upfront with the startup fee, 3) several personal purchases of your own products/services within your first 30-60 days of membership ($30+$25+$50+$20 hypothetically), and 4) ten or twenty acquired IMRs which you personally brought into 5Linx during your first 30-60 days as an IMR.

   The fourth criterion states that you, as a potentially new IMR, are being asked to become a qualified recruit in order for an existent IMR to qualify for his/her 30-60 day bonus= $750.00 (ET position in 30 days). Or, you are being used to maintain an IMR's existent position. The ET acronym stands for "Executive Trainer", a position obtained for acquiring new members into an IMR's existent "organization". This organization is merely an online diagram tree of sales reps (IMRs) who work under other reps who are striving to maintain a status quo for higher payouts. The higher up you ascend in an IMR organization, the more earnings you reap from residual commissions, CAB payments, and sales promos. These positions are maintained by consistently acquiring 10-20 new IMRS every month; otherwise, the rep is demoted thereby receiving less payout. 

   All ten or twenty IMRs must each pay the same fees you paid and meet the same qualifications within the same periods of time from activation. Otherwise, they are not compensated for any bonuses regardless of any sales orders they processed. However, 5Linx reaps the benefits of orders processed. This bonus rule applies to you too. All orders must satisfy the point amounts for the bonuses as well. A descriptive list shows how many points are applied to each particular order. If 4 points including a Globalinx product or 8 points of any 5Linx orders are not obtained within your first 30-60 days, then you will receive no bonuses. Residuals are paid after 90 days of activation. These residuals are small and split between you and your "downline" of reps, and I do mean all other ten or twenty reps. Amway also operates with the term "downline" for its IBO acquisitions of other IBOs into an Amway business. For example, if you sell a product with residual value of $4 per month, then your $4 is split among ten or so reps (IMRs) plus you. If these details describe a "pyramid-like" structure to you, then your interpretation is correct. 

   The 5Linx center for Rep Services primarily teaches call agents to refer you to your online tools for marketing, sales, reports, payouts, and other useful materials: Virtual Office, 5Linx University, and your personal website. In other words, the agents are taught to discourage you from calling the call center and to encourage you to use the online tools given in your membership. Lately, the management reduced hours of operation due to declining call volumes. So, the opportunity to speak to an agent has been diminished. Also, the upper management tightened policies regarding membership cancellations and other policies in response to increased losses of membership revenues and account closings. So, you are now required to submit a letter of intent with document 101 from your Virtual Office through a fax or email in order to close your membership. 

  Any call center reps who challenge the ethics of the management or show genuine concerns for the reps' complaints meet harsh criticism and potential termination. Meanwhile, the corporate culture parades a credo of a "family workplace". In other words, a major reason why a call center agent, who received your call, seems disenfranchised is because that rep survives 5Linx's dysfunctional climate by alienating his/her conscience.

  Please do not compare 5Linx's National Event culture to the Rochester call center. National Events are mere conventions utilized to stimulate current IMR ambition and attract new IMRs. These conventions are parallel to Amway's "Incentive Events". Therefore, 5Linx's "Nationals" do not genuinely reflect the corporate culture which surrounds the call center agents, and they hold no particular value beyond opportunities for acquiring new IMRs who may be guests of current IMRs.

  5Linx's call center operates similarly to Sutherland Global Services, a BPO company with a reputed negative background in violating labor laws and compensation. Sutherland lost several lawsuits from former employees for forced overtime without pay, violations of lunch hours, and withheld commissions. In the 5Linx climate, agents are punished for clocking in beyond the last second of their 30-minute lunches; therefore, most agents feel pushed to clock in earlier than 30 minutes which is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Furthermore, these agents are pushed to study the materials you can see in your Virtual Office about 3-4 hours per week, outside of their standard work hours. Otherwise, they cannot assist you due to lack of adequate time for training, and the management micromanage the agents' calls. All agents only receive about 1-2 weeks of training before being thrown into a cubicle. 

   Now, I listed the poor services you receive from 5Linx's corporate culture. I will display the compensation model, and you can derive your moral judgments from the objective data:


  IMR Startup (1st 30 days)= $249.99   5Linx Earnings (1st30)=$249.99

                                         $ 49.99                                  x        21                                                                                           $5,249.79                                           + $125.00


                       Expenses    -$424.98   5Linx Earnings from Service fees

               Bonus (20 reps) + $750.00                                   $49.99

                                         $325.02                                 x       21



   IMR Startup (1st 30 days with 10 IMRs)= $249.99         

                                          $ 49.99

                                      +  $125.00

                           Expenses -$424.98

                           Bonus     +$350.00

                                        - $74.98


Remember that you must acquire 10 new IMRs into your business before you can earn a $350 bonus. After your 60 days, these bonuses disappear unless a promo occurs for existing reps. These numbers illustrate the startup model.

 Now, the commissions payout after 90 days of consistent activation. Meanwhile, you are paying these monthly charges which 5Linx receives with tightened refund policies that ensure almost total profit for 5Linx and net losses to you, if you are part of the 80% of reps who lose money. Meanwhile, the top 20% reap marginal profits as NVPs, NDs, SVPs, and EDs. 

 Now, the question is: why do I care about sharing this data with you? What moral imperative or benefit do I derive? My answer is that I have been a victim of this company's culture firsthand. I am a PhD candidate with expert power in organizational diagnosis regarding human development. I am concerned with these employers and businesses who are saturating my marketplace, demoralizing my generation's current morale, and exploiting aspirations of others who try to succeed in today's chaotic environment. I want my marketplace to revive with healthy companies who provide great services with win-win solutions for all stakeholders, all stakeholders. The above formulas prove that 5Linx's leadership does not intend to fulfill this function of an organization. 

  Please refrain from buying memberships with 5Linx or its IMRs. I care about my fellow neighbor in today's demoralized society. God Bless you and cherish righteous opportunities with morally conscious organizations. An organization that designs win-lose formulas is not your ideal partner. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/07/2014 05:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/5Linx/Rochester-New-York-14623/5Linx-Key-insights-from-a-former-Customer-Service-employee-Rochester-New-York-1113741. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Marcus - ()

 Facts do matter. Its seem your only complaint is that it cost money to run your 5linx business. That is the case with any business. You stated mostly facts about what it takes to get started in 5linx. However numbers dont lie. intitail minimum investment in 5linx to become fully commissionalble is 350. Yes we aquire customers for 5linx and the companies we are partnered with. Also 5linx is hardly under the radar. Better Business A plus and Accredited. WallStreet Journal ( go to the website and type in 5linx in the search) Inc 500/5000 ( go to that web site and type 5linx in search) 62 million dollar deal with Publicly traded Chromadex. The partnerships we have relationships with speak for it self. Do some people fail yes. Do majority of people fail yes. As is the case an all aspects of society. The will to win or succeed is on the individual not the opportunity. As for the investment to attend the national events that is absolutley optional and is an investment in you not the company. Also rather to personal get on the servces you are paying anyway also optional it just make since to save. Facts are facts


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#2 General Comment

Not A Pyramid

AUTHOR: MoreMoneyIsGood.com - ()

Thank you for your thorough and fairly accurate expression of 5 Linx. This opportunity may not be for everyone, and while only the driven will rise to the top, it does allow practically anyone no matter educational level or station to take it upon themselves to change their financial circumstances. Thanks again.

The only disagreement I have is the negative connotations to "pyramid". Yes, any MLM business model will closely resemble a pyramid structure, but the term pyramid is a misnomer here, as it is now widely accepted as it applies to business models that can ONLY sustain themselves by bringing in new reps, for the purpose of paying the upline solely by this means. 5 Linx has a multi-level marketing pay structure that is an incentive for growing the company (reps). The company is NOT a pyramid because they do have legitimate products and services which they provide directly to consumers. 5-Linx is a legitimate and legal business opportunity. Although it is guilty of luring individuals by presenting the "good life", it does not promise riches, and is transparent from day one what is required to join the ranks of the upper echelon.

As with any business, there are start up costs and there is overhead. Many of the complaints focus on the initial $250-$500 investment, or complain about $50/month overhead. Or they whine about not getting results. Really? If you opened up a restaurant and invested $50K+, and the business flopped, would you blog that having a restaurant is a scam? No, it probably had a lot to do with the business plan, execution, food (products and services), and so on. Most fail because they did not treat this opportunity as a business.

I don't feel most of the disgruntled treated this opportunity as a business, maybe even considered it a means to get-rich. It is not a get-rich business. While you can make good money, it still requires you invest the time and effort to achieve those ranks. The business is easy, tell people about the product and opportunity. The more you tell, the more will enroll, and thus the more you can make. If you don't like the products, find another company to work for, period. This is mainly a sales job (as with any direct marketing or network marketing), its a numbers game. I am a real estate agent, and I provide essential services to my clients. So far, no complaints and I'm getting referrals because of it.

5 Linx is simply a MLM and direct marketing company that provides some of their own products, but has also negotiated residuals from big companies as rewards for customer acquisition. This is only another means to generate residual income over time. Wal-Mart and Best Buy are direct marketing agents for many of the same companies (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc). In Alabama, these companies paid Wal-Mart in excess of $48M (million), simply for Wal-Mart acquiring new or extending contracts. As independent reps, we have the very same opportunity. Instead of having store traffic, I have Internet traffic.

As far as pyramid, it is not. A pyramid is when a company can ONLY sustain the business model by bringing in new reps (as a PONZI needs more investors and money). Pyramids do not have legitimate services. Hence, by law, for a rep to get paid by 5-Linx, they first must be qualified. To be qualified, you must earn 4-8 points by signing up for any of the 5-Linx services or products. If you don't believe in the products, then why work for the company. I switched my existing services (T-Mobile, Direct TV, etc) and by doing so became qualified and even saved a little bit of money.

I'm still new to the business, but my first check was $750 (three times what I had invested). But keep in mind, there were specific things I had to do to get that check. I wanted to prove to my wife I can in fact make money, and didn't have to settle for a $10/hr job. This is an easy opportunity for those who can grasp it. Of course, it won't work for everyone, as many people are afraid of sales. As a sales person, this is by far the easiest product and services I have had to promote.

Either you see it or you don't. Skepticism is natural. I recommend everyone that is on the fence to research the company. One thing I know, big companies like Verizon and GE don't partner with pyramids or scams. Worst case, you join and don't do anything and so you are parted with $300. That's a very small amount of money for a chance to earn long term residuals, a chance to break free of the 9-5 grind, a chance to stop living pay-check to pay-check. Not all of us are PHD's or have the means to provide for our families beyond making ends meet.

I am dedicated to developing my down-line, as I cannot get promoted without doing so. But I choose to run this as a business. If you are considering joining, I urge you to visit my personal prospecting site below. If you like what you see, then get back with me. No hype, no bull. If you join my team, not only will I provide prospecting websites, but I will train you how to market using the power of the internet. Providing step by step what you need to do to succeed. Then you either do it, or you don't. Hope this helps.

(256) 315-MORE (6673)

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