• Report: #112773

Complaint Review: ACN Communications

  • Submitted: Wed, October 13, 2004
  • Updated: Fri, May 07, 2010

  • Reported By:Kingwood Texas
ACN Communications
32991 Hamilton Court Farmington Hills, Michigan U.S.A.

ACN Communications deceptive, rip-off! Fraudulent! Farmington Hills Michigan

*General Comment: Two hours I'll never get back.

*Consumer Comment: Donald Trump?

*Consumer Suggestion: SURE

*UPDATE Employee: Donald Trump - Nuff Said

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: "so you want to quit your job and fire your boss" --LOL

*Consumer Comment: You Know What's Weird?

*Consumer Comment: Here are my thoughts

*UPDATE Employee: Same old story....

*Consumer Comment: ACN ripoff - how thier people trick you into their game

*Consumer Suggestion: How I got my money back from ACN

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I was only involved with ACN for a very short time, about 20 days. Obviously the 10-day refund request deadline is ridiculous as it is not near enough time to get past all the ACN propaganda and find out what the ACN scam is really all about. Regardless, after about 30 days I informed my ACN upline representative that ACN wasn't right for me and I was no longer going to be involved. The only people I signed up for ACN were my mother and myself. Also, I regret that I recruited a neighbor.

My perception of the ACN business opportunity was vastly different than the reality. The ACN upline representative hounded me to join ACN for nearly a year. Each time I told him I was NOT interested in MLM. Unfortunately, he was very persuasive and persistent, and in a weak moment, he finally convinced me that ACN was vastly different from other MLMs.

The difference was the product. ACN was offering huge discounts on utility bills. However, it wasn't long before I realized ACN was just another MLM pyramid scam. In most cases, there were no discounts. In fact, in my area ACN was much higher than most other utilities - even the leading providers. The bottom line was that my customers were supposed to stay with ACN because they were friends and family and I had asked them for a "huge" favor. It was disgusting!

I was even pressured to sign up my mother as a customer for ACN Energy by my upline trainer. Although I told him she was in the process of selling her house, he assured me that she would not suffer extra charges if she had to move shortly after becoming an ACN customer. This was not true!

I was greatly embarrassed when my poor 76 year old mother was sent a collection notice for not paying a bill for services after she was no longer living in the house and had cancelled service with ACN (ACN requires a 30 day cancellation notice whether you live in the house or not!). This experience proved to me that it would have been disastrous for me to have signed up 20-50 of my good friends and relatives.

Obviously, ACN was not the right choice for me. I should not lose $499 just because it took me a little longer than 10 days to discover the true nature of ACN, particularly since my indecision was due to high-pressure tactics and misrepresentations. Maybe there are thousands of people out there making money through ACN, but my conscious would not allow me to be part of this organization.

After a great deal of effort I was able to acquire a $100 refund for the 2 sales kits I had purchased. By the way, these kits are worthless and a joke - worth no more than $5 each. Yet, I am still out $1052! In addition to my personal loss of $449, I felt obligated to cover my neighbor's $449 loss as well as my mother's $154 overcharge.

I wish I knew how to retrieve the rest of my money. I contacted the Texas Public Utility Commission (I live in Houston, Texas), but they were absolutely no help. I'm considering filing a lawsuit in small claims court against ACN, but I do not know whom to sue (i.e. my ACN upline trainer, ACN, Gregory Provenzano - ACN President, or someone else?). And, do I have to file in Michigan?

Also, I plan to file a complaint with the State Attorney General and anyone else that matters. Unfortunately, this all takes time. I guess that's what these scam artist count on. If anyone has any suggestions, I will be extremely grateful!

Kingwood, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/13/2004 11:06 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ACN-Communications/Farmington-Hills-Michigan-48334/ACN-Communications-deceptive-rip-off-Fraudulent-Farmington-Hills-Michigan-112773. 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 General Comment

Two hours I'll never get back.

AUTHOR: Epontbri - (U.S.A.)


OK, just went to the meeting, watched the video and heard from several reps about how much money they were all going to make.

1)  Donald Trump:  ACN proudly pushes through the stormy seas of sceptisism with Donald Trump at the masthead.  It is important to note that while he seems to be endorsing ACN as a whole, what he is really doing is raising up the phone as he proudly delares ACN to be the best deal in America.  This is a clear indication that the Donald Trump endorsement is about the phone, which seems greatly out of context with the actual product and service sold by this company.  More on that below.

2)  The Video Phone:  The video phone seems like an outdated piece of equipment. Personally, I hate the idea.  I don't like my every move being watched while I chat.  I can't roll my eyes at stupid things people say if they are watching me.  I can't answer the phone in my underwear.  Think about all the reasons why you'd come to hate video calls too.

It's only a matter of time before cell phones integrate video chat across 4G.  We got rid of cords for cordless phones.  Who wants to stand in front of that phone and talk when I have a perfectly good computer that allows me free video chat? 

Lets not forget the scathing reviews that can be found all over ripoff report with technical support and service department tales of woe either.  Staples, a reseller of other people's products gives you 30 days to return items, even if they are opened, no questions asked (except software).  ACN, the primary source of this phone gives you 3 days to evaluate and return.  How generous.

3) The opportunity:  Nobody at the meeting tonight had any idea at all what percentages you would make for originating actual customers.  The reason they have no idea is because the business is about raising $500 recruitment fees.. not about the selling of services.  Despite my having drawn charts and diagrams, nobody there seemed to posses the desire to explain to me how much could be earned on the sale of various actual telecom services to friends, family and neighbors.   There is no clear answer to that question because the amount is so trivial that it's almost irrelevant.

"It's not about that." is the response I got.  If a company doesn't pay me real dollars to sell a real product, what is the point in my signing up anyone else to get involved?

4) The Video:  The video shows two men who claim to have achieved financial freedom through this business opportunity.  It shows these men with two Lamborginis and their luxury homes.  One of them has 3 kids and they are all abound 10.  His wife proudly proclaims:  "Our home is paid for.  We are debt free. We're financially set.   My kids college is set.  Our retirement is set.  We'll never have to worry about money." 

Lets evaluate these statements and ideas for a moment.  Sending three kids to college alone and paying for 6 years of college for each would be over half a million dollars even today.  Given their chosen lifestyle, their retirement fund would need to be in the millions.  Lamborginis are $300,000+

Obviously by "set" they would have to be referring to and assuming ongoing overrides.  Because even if you made $40,000 a month, with that lifestyle you'd never have enough operating cash to bank that kind of money, pay for the home, the college, the retirement fund the Lamborginis and be debt free as well.

It's my guess that the two gentlemen in question are actual company insiders raking in the dough off the sale of seminar tickets, training materials and annual fees.  Even if they are making the money they claim under an identical model you would be under and with no hidden variables; the only reason they would be allowed to continue to do so is because they agree to make appearances at seminars and in the video.

5) Promotional Structure:  Each level in their promotional structure has a clear set of goals that need to be orchestrated in order to be obtained except two:  The top two positions.  Nobody could give me a satisfactory answer as to how someone would get there except that someday they would. Education?  Hard work and determination?  Seniority?  Guess again.  It's the two guys from the videos I'll bet.

5)  Future outlook:   This company could fail just like any other company.  Laws could change making their business model illegal.  Another company could move in with a better deal and the fruits of your hard work could evaporate overnight.  How much time would you lose on a "business opportuntinity" that has left you with no marketable skills, brand equity or solid ongoing annuity of any kind?  Worse yet, you'll have distanced yourself from fruitful business contacts and missed out on opportunities to make more in exchange for a group of pipe dreamers who are way out of touch with reality.  Your friends will stop taking your calls.  Your family will cringe at the idea of having to see you.  Even if you were one of the few shills who was allowed to own the luxury home and cars you'd gain NONE of the respect, power or admiration that someone who actually earned those things would normally get. 

I've come to recognize the words "Business Opportunity" to really mean "Pyramid Scam", and you should too. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

Donald Trump?

AUTHOR: Huh - (U.S.A.)

So Donald Trump is so great huh? How many times has he gone bankrupt? 3 or 4 times now? And that is your great hero? He was born rich, and hasn't made hardly a dime compared to his father. His father was the largest landlord in New York City, and Donald hasn't come anywhere near his success. The Donald inherited a huge amount of money and real estate and hasn't really done that well with it. He is a big mouth, that will endorse anything for the right price.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Nicholas San Francisco - (U.S.A.)

Sorry to hear about your problems but obviously you were recruited by the wrong person. I have been on the service for 9 years and have saved more money then you can think of. Would you like me to send you a copy of the bill.

A lot of people tend to forget that ACN has many services to offer. Maybe you just signed up on the wrong one. For example, I just got started in April 2007 and I don't push the internet product because I don't like it but Local & LD, Digital, and wireless, ALL DAY LONG.

As far as your $499, its an investment. I'm sure you have bought a Lottery ticket before and have lost.

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#4 UPDATE Employee

Donald Trump - Nuff Said

AUTHOR: Jen - (U.S.A.)

Do you all really think that Donald Trump is going to risk his name and reputation to endorse a company that is a "scam"? Please. You can love the guy or hate the guy, but you can't argue that he is a successful businessman who has made a ton of money.

Like it or not, network marketing is the last free enterprise. Time does not equal money. So all of you who feel more comfortable spending 8, 9, 10 hours a day at your hourly or salary job. thank you for doing it cause someone has to, but you will never get rich. I guess that's why only 5% of the population is considered "wealthy". I don't know if ACN will ever get me into that 5%, but I have no doubt it will at least get me looking into the backyard of the 5%.

I'm sure there are people out there recruiting for ACN and not being honest. I'm sorry if you come across those people. ACN is a legitimate company with 3 former Attorney's General on their legal board. So ACN is on the up and up.

Bottom line, like anything else in this world, you are going to get out of ACN what you put in. $499 to own your own business is not a lot to pay and if $499 is a big deal to you, then you probably don't have what it takes to be successful in ACN anyway and we don't want you.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

"so you want to quit your job and fire your boss" --LOL

AUTHOR: Got - (U.S.A.)

I can't believe I was involved with ACN. My friends and I did it for almost a year. I made money back, at the expense of jeopardizing relationships with my friends and family. My so called team leaders encouraged me to go after people who cared about me which were my " warm market," and that if they did not do me a "favor" they were not on my side at all. I was a college student at that time and was easily manipulated so i fell into acn's trap.

I was taught, by my teamleaders, that you had to fake it to make it, and to edify my team leaders. I was telling people that my team leaders were millionaires and never took the time to think that they were actually jobless and some of them did not even have a car.

Acn is a pyramid scheme and anyone who doesnt think so is brainwashed. I was at one time to. You can make money in it, but you have to trample all over people you love to get there or run over others friends and family like my team leaders. Tim hur and that other chinese lady kim ching chong (j/k im asian myself) or somthing; I forget her name, wait kim huy; I think.

They claim it is not a pyramid and that the money is not made from recruiting people but from residual checks; what a joke. The only people who made money in it were the top scumbags who paid to rent out a conference room in a hotel to recruit or should i say hook new members.

They actually told me to drop out of school and quit my job when I made ETT - lol, quit my life for a grand, these people are crazy. I dont even know what the product was, oh wait, actually it was internet service and gas service or something.

All of my friends and I are out of it now and none of us sufferred to much financial loss but I do feel bad for all of the people under us, I hope they are okay.

ACN is a scam. I say it again a scam!
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#6 Consumer Comment

You Know What's Weird?

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

You know what's weird? The SAME people that approached me for quixtar, approached me for excel, approached me for ACN. It's a pattern. And when you ask them what happened to quixtar, excel, ACN and whatever others, they always mumble, mumble, mumble, but this new deal is really gonna save you some money or make you money.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Here are my thoughts

AUTHOR: Josh - (U.S.A.)

I am in no way affiliated with ACN, but I have been involved in other network marketing businesses that are similar. Let me tell you where I agree with you first. I agree that getting into these MLM businesses and selling to your friends and family is a lazy and cheap way of building your business. Plus, if there are any issues, who will your friends go to? In whom will your friends lose trust? Will they continue being your friends? Believe me, I have been there. So, I am with you there, the list of 100+ names of everyone you know is a stupid way of doing business.

Now I will defend ACN. ACN is a good company and it is not a pyramid scheme or scam. I actually have met a couple of people who are earning a solid residual income from ACN, and I don't doubt they will be able to leave their jobs soon and be financially free. I am looking to get their myself someday, and who knows, maybe I will join ACN. If you want to see a real pyramid scheme, I will be more than happy to show you a true pyramid scheme, but ACN is not one of them.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Same old story....

AUTHOR: Timothy - (U.S.A.)

Here we go. The same old story from people who want a get rich-quick scheme out of an honest venture.

I am a very happy ACN rep and have heard nothing but good things till I come here and find not even a handful of complaints about ACN.

Here is the truth.
ACN is valuable. ESPECIALLY to those not looking to get rich quick, but have a plan for thier future.

ACN is up-front about the opportunity. If a misguided rep told you some untrue things, that is not the fault of ACN. This opportunity is open to all types of people, so yes, there could be some bad apples in the bunch.

Yes, bonuses are where the NOW money is, and it is NOT hard to get them. In the 3 months I have been a rep, I have earned my $499 back, plus 1500 more. Absolutely EVERYONE in my downline who has put any effort into this has done the same OR BETTER!!

There are way more good points to bad in this business, and MLM is the way of the future, like it or not. So you can keep complainiong about ACN all you want. WE are not going away anytime soon, and we are going to take some LEVEL-HEADED MOTIVATED people with us to the top. Period.
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#9 Consumer Comment

ACN ripoff - how thier people trick you into their game

AUTHOR: Todd - (U.S.A.)

I was contacted by one of these people through MySpace and was told that they might have a position open in my area. Yeah right, I heard that in Quixtar and Amway way way too often to buy into it. So I check the ripoff report website and found just what I suspected - a ripoff!

Just wanted to share that this person "susan" who contacted me led me on and said she would be coming here from Canada to San Diego to expand her business. She misrepresented herself and seems just like most of the other blind followers of these sort of scams. I was not her next victim.

Anyway, it seems that if anyone wants to present you with an opportunity of some sort and is not willing to be totally up front with all the info BEFORE you sign up - DON'T DO IT! There is no telling how many of the people do fall prey to this crap, but if people would just be a little smarter and more patient with this sort of thing, less people would be victimized by it.

After I found the truth on this website and through some additional research, I promptly sent an email back to this apparent head hunter and let her know that she can take her little game elsewhere. I wish that these mlm rackets would all just go away and the leaders sentenced to repay all of the money stolen from people in these sort of scams.

I should know better than most, as I was once a little convinced that network or multi level was the way to go...but soon learned that it is just about as confining as being labelled a carnie in the circus for gods sake.

Be careful people, nothing comes for free and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

How I got my money back from ACN

AUTHOR: Terry - (U.S.A.)

Unfortunately, I bought into this business trying to help a friend who is very ill build her down-line. Being naive, I thought bought their line about making money from actual customers. I found that none of my customers stayed because of the poor service. The only people who make money from ACN are the ones who sucker people into signing up in their down-line. Also, ACN makes BUNDLES of money because you have to use your long distance to call customer service and you have manditory meetings that you have to pay to attend. Sorry to ramble . . .

This is how I got my money back from them. I wrote a letter and sent it certified to Greg Provenzano threatening to go to the media if I did not get my money back. They never replied, but I did get most of my money refunded to the credit card I paid with. Four months after I got out, I got my first (and only) residual check. It was for about .70 cents or so. For almost a years worth of work. Good luck!
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