Old friend getting duped into a pyramid scheme

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Andrew07, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Andrew07 macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2007
    Has anyone heard of the telecommunications company ACN? An old friend whom I've lost touch with over the years seems to be getting suckered into being a "representative" for the company. His wife sent us a peculiar questionnaire (prefaced with a "Don't worry, I'm not trying to sell anything..." And he's attending a seminar.

    Just from some quick Google searching, it doesn't seem legitimate. He's young, married and recently had a baby--stereotypical candidates for falling for a get-rich-quick scheme. So has anyone heard of this particular company? My girlfriend told me to suggest to them that they contact the Better Business Bureau before they get in too deep. But then again, this friend and I haven't talked in years and I thought I'd research the company a bit more before I act heedlessly. And Macrumors' folks seem like the ones to ask about something like this :)

    Aw, shoot. I just re-read the e-mail we were sent.

    "Hi ****! First of all I'm not selling anything:) **** and I have bought a franchise, it's a telecommunication business. Right now we are in the process of learning how our new business works. Would you spend just a few minutes answering some questions? This would really help accelerate our learning curve."
  2. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    ACN?! They're still around???

    I was invited to one of these seminars years ago. I went. There's a lot of talk that is not strictly speaking high-pressure, but which makes you feel like an unambitious lox if you don't sign on with them.

    Guy I used to do business with stuck with it; I gave it a pass. Well, correction: I gave it a try. They start by suggesting you sell ACN's service to friends and relatives. I couldn't find a single interested person. I like to think that's less a testament to my poor salesmanship and more a testament to other people's vast experience with having heard "that one" before.

    Anyway, for me it came to naught, but I opted out early. I don't think it'll come to any success; there are too many people out there hustling these kinds of long-distance plans.

    And just to advise your friend: I wasn't asked to invest any money in this thing (which is what true pyramid schemes do), but then again I opted out early. If he "bought a franchise", then I feel sorry for him.
  3. Andrew07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2007
    Apparently he plucked down the $500 already. :( But when it comes to people who have been brainwashed by these programs, what can you say to them? They're absolutely convinced that they are the ones going to rake in the big bucks. Anyone who disagrees with them is jealous or or just plain inept. Pretty sad
  4. laughingperson5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2009
    Uhh.. I try my hardest to not be rude.. But your friend is a complete idiot. WHO FALLS FOR A PYRAMID SCHEME?! I know these are hard times.. But come. on.
  5. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    I'm really sorry to hear that. Sadly, I don't think there's much that can be done until they come to their senses eventually -- even if it's going to be too late, financially. They'll hopefully be wiser and the better for a painful experience and a tough lesson in life.

    I just hope they don't get too far into it before they realize what's going on.
  6. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    Well then, that's a $500 lesson he's about to learn. Could be worse.
  7. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    just tell him a fool and his money soon part. and if he wants to find a fool look in the mirror.
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Then the best thing you can say is "No, I'm not interested."
  9. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    Who the hell would buy a franchise before they learn how the business works? Obviously he was suckered into this...

    Just say your not interested.
  10. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I had a lady type in all of her credit card info into a computer spyware program the other day because they asked for it. Never underestimate stupidity, if it didn't work they wouldn't do it.
  11. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    I feel your pain, brother. My wife got sucked into a pyramid scheme a few months back. I tried everything I could think of to convince here, but to no avail. I was no match for the flashy PowerPoint slide show and promise of "big money fast, Fast, FAST!!!":mad: "So-and-so made $100,000 in his first month. Now he's pulling in $10,00,000 a year! He did, you can too.":rolleyes:
    I went to one of those seminars with my wife (not interested, but I am more supportive than an 18 hour bra.:p). When the guy running the seminar had a Q&A at the end. I stood up voiced my displeasure with the whole Multi-level marketing concept, calling it big pyramid scheme. "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...":cool:. Needless to say, I got booed out of the auditorium.
  12. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Sadly, it sounds like there was only one person with clue and any sense present -- and it seems I'm replying to that one person. You did the right thing in being honest at the seminar, even if others didn't want to hear it.
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    I don't know if it was ACN but when I first started college. One of those telecom companies was trying to get people to buy in. I went to their meeting because when I first spoke with the guy I thought it was some company recruiting employees (This is when the economy was going gangbusters and companies were desperately searching for anyone with IT knowledge so this seemed plausable).

    Anyways once at the meeting I realized right away it was a pyramid scheme. I went on the offensive immediately discrediting them and there company, and quickly countering any defense they came up with. It was great seeing the ashen looks of defeat on their faces. When they realized they would not be scamming me out of my money nor the rest of the group of people that showed up:D.

    I would just let your friend know point blank that this company is indeed a pyramid scheme. Ask how a company that is completely unknown and only has a simple cheap website. Can be a state of the art telecommunications company offering digital telephone, internet, video phone, satellite television and home security.

    At best this company simply sells product packages from a menagerie of large companies. Which it buys in bulk then sells at a profit. At worst they are simply a pyramid scheme. One that you depend on making money off of the performance of people you sell the rep package to.

    If the latter is true I would inform the friend that if he pursues more "reps" that need to pay out cash for a business package. Then he would be as guilty as the company and may as well get rid of all your contact information.

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