Breaking RippLn News December 6th, 2013:
I just received a call from Brian Underwood and the RippLn Chat App is now live in both Apple and Andriod Platforms. There will e a special State of Play call tonight where the RippLn team will share more details.
For Apple Users: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rippln-chat/id728837433
For Android Users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rippln
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I started seeing a few articles come out on RippLn and the lack of communication coming from their camp. Then I started receiving some text, emails and social messages asking why RippLn communication had gone dormant.
Now I have to tell you, I was a little surprised, because I was receiving emails talking about the weekly calls, when I realized people were watching their Blog and social profiles.
And, when it came to the critics, I realized they were asking some good questions, so I reached out to Brian Underwood, co-founder and CEO of RippLn to ask a few questions of my own.
I reviewed a document produced by RippLn corporate on their blog, and decided to post it here, and to add some insight and perspective in some areas. Now you may agree or disagree with what I have to say, and if you do, instead of keeping it to yourself, I encourage you to comment and add some value and insight into this conversation.
Evolutions in social media, data and technology have created massive opportunities for innovative business models. Because these ideas are new and different, they often are not easily understood in their early stages. That is the case with Rippln.
Our mission and business model are groundbreaking and we are working tirelessly to fully convey our idea and why Rippln’s time has come. Even still, there is mis-information being propagated and opinions are being offered as facts, particularly on a select few internet blogs.
We’re not surprised that critics have emerged, but we believe what is most important is for people to have accurate information. We want to clear up confusion about some common Rippln myths being spread. Thank you for taking a few moments out of your day to learn the truth about Rippln.
myth #1 Rippln is a Pyramid scheme and a Ponzi scheme.
Rippln is NOT a Pyramid or Ponzi scheme. Anyone can research these terms to learn what they really mean and see for themselves that Rippln is neither. A great reference for accurate information on this and related topics is www.DSA.org.
In short, the FTC defines a Pyramid scheme as something that promises large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or sale of goods. In a Ponzi scheme, payments are collected from a stream of people, promising them all the same high rate of return on a short-term investment. In the typical Ponzi scheme, there is no investment opportunity, and the promoter just uses the money from new recruits to pay obligations owed to longer-standing members of the program.
So what is Rippln? At its core, Rippln is a brand new model for the distribution of products and services, such as apps, software and hard products that merges mobile, online and offline technologies and practices. Rippln is a PLATFORM that tracks the value an individual creates in the marketplace and rewards individuals for sharing goods and services. Rippln’s technology platform also uses gamification techniques to build an audience, promote continued involvement, share products and provide rewards.
It concerns us that some individuals are casually and irresponsibly labeling Rippln as potentially illegal. We take legality and compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations seriously. At the same time, we still retain our sense of humor about life and this video in particular adequately explains the misguided opinions of many lay people when it comes to direct sales. Watch if you enjoy a good chuckle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZiw15VgWoI. It is very funny and likely very familiar to many of us.
myth #2 Rippln is an MLM and only the owners and founders will get rich.
Multi-level, or Network Marketing, is a business model that has provided tremendous income opportunities for many, many individuals. An estimated 92 million people are participating in direct selling worldwide with $153.7 billion in global sales in 2011 alone. See references at www.DSA.org.
We are avid supporters of the industry. At the same time, we are not an MLM – Rippln is a user acquisition business model based on Incentivized Sharing. Our Rewards Program provides attractive rewards for each individual who chooses to participate. Much like any business, the larger the individual’s network (their Ripple) the greater the potential monetary rewards. The amount of money an individual can earn is based on personal production. Anyone who produces a large Ripple has the chance to earn a large income, even if they were referred by someone before them.
myth #3 Rippln is all hype.
Rippln was released to the world on April 13 and entered what we called our “buzz building phase”. The point of this phase has simply been to share the concept of Rippln and allow people to begin laying the foundation of their Ripple.
Of course our communication during this time has been high-energy. We’re excited to be creating something that has never been done before, and we are passionate about our mission. We see a future where anyone can participate in the value they create in the marketplace. It’s a simple concept and based on the numbers who have joined Rippln thus far, over 1 million people agree with us.
Like any start-up business, we have been fine-tuning our model as we prepare for launch. It is prudent to release details only as they are finalized, which we have been doing and will continue to do. It is also important to remember that in today’s fast-paced environment, market conditions change and the most successful companies are the ones that are agile. Our plan is to be massively successful, so it is highly likely that we will continually analyze and adjust our model to further strengthen it and to adapt to what’s happening in the marketplace.
myth #4 Rippln is over-representing the money people can earn from their app which Apple likely won’t even allow in the App Store.
Rippln is much more than one app. Rippln is a brand new distribution model incorporating a PLATFORM that gives individuals the ability to track their social graph (i.e. personal relations of internet and mobile users) across the world and to be rewarded for the value they create in the marketplace as they share a new app, product, or service. Subsequently, the amount of money people can earn is based on the size of their Ripple and their product distribution.
The focus of Rippln’s tech team for the past eight months has been developing and innovating the Rippln Incentivized Sharing platform, and laying the foundation for the upcoming Rippln product ecosystem. Currently, over 15 full-time engineers are working behind the scenes on the Rippln platform and more are being hired regularly. In addition, Rippln has partnered with a software provider that has 14 years of experience and has processed over $1.2 billion in global transactions to track the Ripple.
There are no guarantees in life; however, we believe that over time we will be one of the largest app networks in the world because our users will have the chance to get REWARDED when they refer something… unlike all other technology companies in this space. We are committed to constantly evaluating all products and services we bring to market through the Ripple to provide a robust and attractive value proposition for all of our users.
myth #5 The Comp Plan pays people to promote Rippln versus offering legitimate products.
FACT: Nothing could be farther from the truth. First off, getting into the Ripple as a fan, with access to apps and innovative products, is free. Individuals who choose to participate in the Rippln Rewards program will earn a percentage of in-app purchases and other transactions that take place within their Ripple. No money is made by referring others to refer others. Our model is the first ever model to share the value taking place within a social network and customer transactions back with the people who shared those apps in the first place.
To learn more about the direct selling industry and distinguish opinions from facts, we encourage everyone to visit the Direct Selling Associations official website at: www.DSA.org.
myth #6 Rippln’s leaders aren’t credible or legitimate.
There is mis-information and controversy posted on the internet about Rippln leaders that is unsupported. This seems to be driven by a few people who earn their living by ranking blogs, videos and content in search engines, often using negativity and blind accusations to get higher rankings for their sites. Right now the Rippln brand name and its founders are popular keywords and thus a massive opportunity for these types of individuals to capitalize on the search traffic. This traffic turns into money for them as people click ads on their sites or join their lists. It’s an unfortunate side of the internet that people earn money this way. Just because you saw it on a website, it doesn’t mean it’s true.
The reality is that the Rippln leadership team is uniquely qualified to successfully execute Rippln’s vision. Our team possesses great credentials and represents many of the most proven and talented people existing in this space. Learn more about the key individuals who are driving Rippln’s formation and launch:
The Main Players Behind RippLn
Brian Underwood, Rippln CEO, is a successful serial entrepreneur with a long history of global innovation and forward thinking. He is a global innovator, a title he’s earned over 20 years of building companies that transcend the marketplace. As a youthful motivator, he leads with authenticity, a team mentality and a passionate heart. He is a new breed of CEO. Renown as a world-class strategist and thought leader in the mobile space, Brian established one of the most recognizable brands in text marketing, iZigg and 90210 mobile. As iZigg’s CEO, he did it in under a year. Today, as CEO of Rippln, his sights are set on creating a movement that will redefine the interplay of social networks and mobile commerce. He and his team have developed a mobile platform that will sail in “Blue Ocean” territory, using an enabling technology that is powered by the people to reward the people. It is based on a strategy of mobile engagement, gamification and transformation. The result will be a new monetary model for “Eyeball Acquisition”.
Jonathan Budd, Rippln co-founder, turned to the home-based business industry after earning his bachelor’s degree in Psychology. By the age of 26, he was one of the fastest and youngest success stories in the history of direct sales. He launched Empowered Entrepreneurs Inc. to teach others the principles of entrepreneurship and modern day marketing that fueled his success. This company has served nearly 100,000 customers and is one of the largest training and empowerment companies in the industry, with hundreds of thousands a week tuning into Jonathan’s daily emails and inspirational messages. Jonathan plays an active role in defining Rippln’s marketing, product strategy and organizational growth. Additionally, he pulls from a wealth of his relationship resources to ensure the company is always one step ahead of the game. His visionary leadership and product and marketing expertise are helping drive Rippln toward billion-dollar success.
Ann Erlandsson is Rippln’s Chief Financial Officer. A certified public accountant originally from Sweden, she has advised direct selling companies on a range of financial controls, planning and other accounting matters for several years. As a result, she has developed a unique and broad understanding of the business model associated with the payment of commissions, and the cost of goods sold related to direct sales. Ann guards the cash management of Rippln to ensure longevity for its distributors.
Jenifer Grace serves as the legal advisor for the Rippln team. After years of experience in litigation gained at a downtown Dallas law firm, Jenifer sought to help entrepreneurs build and sustain their future. Jenifer has gained years of experience in the industry by assisting clients with corporate formation and governance, advice on state and federal regulations related to their business model and when necessary in the courtroom. Jenifer obtained her law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 2000, then assisted the Dallas Court of Appeals as a Briefing Clerk. With a passion for the individual distributor, Jenifer represents Rippln to ensure the vision of the founders is built on a solid foundation.
Craig Jorgensen lives and breathes all things design and technology. Starting in the high pressure world of traditional print and marketing, he saw the opportunity to catch and ride the technology wave while combining it with his expert design skills. Craig is known for healthily obsessing over projects, treating each and every one as his very own. This special trait along with his family values and attitude towards life and business have made him a linchpin for Rippln as he directs creative and product development.
Jana Lightfoot heads Rippln’s Global Systems and Commission Rewards Platforms. With more than 17 years experience in business, she has created and managed global systems that have supported hundreds of thousands of customers and have grown sales from $0 to $300 million in over 30 countries. Jana’s experience, versatility and passion for streamlining business processes make her exceptionally well qualified for her leadership role on the Rippln team.
After hearing over the last few years that “Terry LaCore was nailed as a corporate embezzler by the SEC” I decided that if I ever had the opportunity to talk with him one on one, I would take advantage of the time. Well in June of 2013, Brian Underwood, CEO of RippLn invited me to meet with Terry LaCore, and talk with him and his attorney Jenifer Grace to get the truth behind the SEC issues.
U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20702 / September 4, 2008
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 2872 / September 4, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark D. Woodburn and Terry LaCore, Civil Action No. 3:08-cv-1555-G/Northern District of Texas (Dallas Division)
On September 3, 2008, the Commission filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas charging two former officers of Natural Health Trends Corp. (“NHT”) of Dallas, Texas, with securities fraud and other violations arising from undisclosed related party transactions from 2001 through 2005. The defendants are Mark D. Woodburn, of Southlake, Texas, NHT’s former president, director and CFO, and Terry LaCore, of Flower Mound, Texas, the former president of NHT’s chief subsidiary and an NHT director.
According to the complaint, from 2001 through August 2005, NHT’s top distributor paid Woodburn and LaCore, directly and indirectly, approximately $2.5 million in undisclosed payments. The complaint also alleges that, in February 2004, Woodburn caused NHT to loan $256,200 to a Woodburn family-controlled company, and later took steps to conceal related party nature of the loan when it was discovered by NHT’s new accounting management in the fall of 2004. As a result of Woodburn and LaCore’s activities, the complaint continues, NHT failed to disclose, or inadequately disclosed, the related party transactions in periodic filings, registration statements, and proxy statements.
Troy’s Thoughts: Notice above, that the complaint doesn’t say anything about “inappropriate payments, or embezzlement of funds.” It is very clear, the SEC violations were “NHT failed to disclose, or inadequately disclosed, the related party transactions in periodic filings, registration statements, and proxy statements.”
I think we should also notice that Terry LaCore was NOT the CFO of NHT, and that if we get down to the nitty, gritty, the CFO is the one who usually reviewes all paperwork and signed off on the SEC filings.
My personally conclusion, is that both Mr. Woodburn and Mr. LaCore were in over their heads when it came to filing the correct paperwork for a publically traded company!
Woodburn and LaCore agreed to settle the SEC’s charges without admitting or denying the allegations of the complaint. Woodburn agreed to settle charges that he violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) and Sections 10(b) and 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rules 10b-5, 13a-14, 13b2-2, 14a-3, and 14a-9, and aided and abetted NHT’s violations of Section 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-13. LaCore agreed to settle charges that he violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Sections 10(b) and 14(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5, 13b2-2, 14a-3, and 14a-9 and aided and abetted Woodburn’s violations of Sections 10(b) and 14(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5, 14a-3 and 14a-9. Each agreed to be permanently enjoined from violations of the specified statutes and to a five-year officer and director bar. Woodburn agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty, and LaCore agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty.
Troy’s Thoughts: I would also like to point out that the SEC charges were civil charges and not criminal! Had the SEC truly believed that a criminal act had taken place, I am pretty sure they would have filed criminal charges. And embezzlement is a criminal charge!
Now let’s take a look at the letter Jenifer Grace, Terry LaCore’s attorney sent for a little more details. I am going to post just what I feel are the important parts of the letter, that I want to address, and will post the full letter below!
Thank you for the opportunity to provide some additional background on the Security and Exchange commission investigation involving Terry LaCore and Natural Health Trends. Terry is aware of the negative connotation associated with the allegations that are set forth by the SEC, and until now has remained silent with respect to his version of the circumstances and events arising in this time period in his life. It was Terry’s hope that following the conclusion of the matter with the SEC that he would be able to move on and those closest to him would recognize who he is without the negative comments that abound on the internet. Unfortunately, he silence has been met with a negativity that he believes should be addressed.
Troy’s Thoughts: In the age of the Internet, it is never good to be silent. The era of hoping things will blow over and be forgotten are gone. If a situation arises, that may not be the most positive, then address it, don’t let others decide what to say fo you!
It is understandable that concerns would arise from statements of involvement in an SEC investigation. Mr. LaCore welcomes the opportunity to explain his involvement in the investigation· and lack of wrong doing. As his counsel over the past six years, I would like to provide a somewhat impartial an explanation of the facts and circumstances discovered during my representation.
In January 1999, Mr. LaCore began working with Kaire International, a nutritional supplement and personal care direct sales company. Kaire remains operating today. Mr. LaCore served as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer at the time Kaire acquired Natural Health Trends, Corp (a publicly traded company). Kaire was then reverse merged into Natural Health Trends, Corp. and Kaire was sold to private shareholders. As a result, Mr. LaCore served as an Officer and Director of the subsidiary of the publicly traded entity only via that Merger. Mr. Lacore did not become a director ofNHTC at that time.
Troy’s Thoughts: This is why it is so important if a company goes from privately held to a publically traded company, that competent corporate counsel is hired, to protect the company and officers and directors who might be in over their head when it comes to the regulations for public companies!
In 2001, Natural Health Trends Corp. created another subsidiary named Lexxus International, over which Mr. LaCore served as President. Thereafter, Mr. LaCore was deemed to be a director of a publicly traded company due to the success of Lexxus, and the percentage of sales the subsidiary represented to the parent company.
Mr. LaCore likely should have sought independent legal advice concerning any new obligations he undertook in this role. Terry continued to operate in the manner in which he had operated as a privately held company, and payments of commissions, were handled in the same regard as with the privately held entity. For years, Mr. LaCore forewent salary, and lived solely from the commission payments which resulted from the success of the company. Those commission payments were made to various entities, as Mr. LaCore was not building the company alone.
Troy’s Thoughts: Founders and Officers of network marketing companies have been paid from the top spots for decades. Although this is a common practice and there is not many issues when it comes to privately held companies. It is a must that a publically held company disclose that executives, directors, and founders are receiving compensation from the company, through other payments other than direct saleries.
It is really wise for founders, directors and officers to disclose how they are paid (not how much, just how!) If they are driving the growth, by taking all the risk in the compensation plan, great. If they are just taking a salery and using the breakage to pay bills and salaries great. But if they are taking a salery and taking funds from the top spot, eliminating any breakage, then it had better be documented well. Especially if they have outside investors and the company gets into financial trouble.. private or public!
The software system utilized permitted for the placement of only one entity in the commission spot that was shared by several individuals. Unfortulently, Mr. LaCore was not aware of the need to report those payments in the public filings for the company. Further, Mr. LaCore lacked the experience to put appropriate financial controls in place tl1at would have raised the issue.
Troy‘s Thoughts: Today most software companies have written into the code the ability to send a split commission to more than one person, which allows for accurate accounting!
In 2005, Mr. LaCore resigned his position as an officer and director and became employed as the Operations and Global Managing Director of Business Development for NHTC. Thereafter, further disputes arose and Mr. LaCore was terminated. Agreement was reached between Mr. LaCore and NHTC whereby, he returned any shares he had with the company. See Exhibit B, attached hereto.
Troy‘s Thoughts: I think this is a very important piece of information. If there had been an intentional act to defraud, or embezzle from the company as has been alledged in some rumors, then logic tells us, that the company would not have hired Terry LaCore back, and the SEC would have sought criminal charges!
Thereafter, and telling of their trust in Mr. LaCore, in March 2007, NHT Global sought the services of Mr. LaCore wherein they acknowledged that Mr. LaCore “is one of thc founders of the Company with substantial knowledge and experience in distributing the Company’s products throughout various international markets.” See Exhibit C, attached hereto. NHT Global sought to have Mr. LaCore support all “distributors who are down-line of the Front Line Position and otherwise administer the Front Line Positions as if Distributor where the Master Distributor.” In exchange, the company agreed to pay Mr. LaCore “100% of the amount of commissions attributable to the Front Line Positions.” Mr. LaCore served in this capacity until late 2007 when he formed bHIP Global, Inc.
Following the full investigation by the SEC, the SEC offered Mr. LaCore and Mr. Woodburn a compromise to continued litigation. As an alternative to the continued accrual of attorneys’ fees, and to attempt to end a difficult chapter in his life, Mr. LaCore reluctantly accepted the compromise. The compromise required that Mr. LaCore pay a civil fine of$50,000 to cover investigative costs, and agree not to serve as an officer or director of a publicly traded company for a period of five years.
The Agreed Judgment does not provide that Mr. LaCore admitted any wrong doing. See Exhibit D, attached hereto. In fact, Mr. LaCore still denies any wrong doing and instead has attempted to seek the advice of trusted professionals in his business dealings. In addition to seeking the advice of Grant Thorton on international tax issues, Mr. LaCore has hired full time legal assistance on areas of general liability, securities and exchange rules, and intellectual property.
Troy’s Thoughts: I personally believe there is right and wrong and legal and illegal. In some cases we can do what we believe is right, make a mistake, which will cause an illegal act, because of our ignorance of the law. In reviewing all the documentation below, I believe Terry LaCore didn’t do anything wrong, but did violate SEC regulations unintentionally, which created a civil violation (illegal act) based on the letter of the law.
Since the SEC saw fit to offer a settlement and Terry accepted the settlement, and we have NOT seen any new alligations, it truly seems Terry LaCore learned from his mistakes, and has surrounded himself with a solid team of advisors to make sure this never happens again!
I think that you will find that Mr. LaCore made mistakes, but they were mistakes made from a lack of relevant knowledge, not ill intent. Further, a complete review of Mr. LaCore’s history will show that he is a man of integrity that does guard the financial controls of the companies in which he is involved and had attempted to learn from his mistakes. As said above, Mr. LaCore remains available to address any concerns you may continue to have.
Below are all the legal documents Jenifer Grace provided!
A couple of weeks ago Brian Underwood invited me to Texas to talk about the future of RippLn and to get an inside look at the operation. Although, I can’t share everything yet, I can say, that the investment into this company is very high, and the belief of Brian Underwood and his partners that they can launch all four phases and create a gaming changing mobile platform is felt throughout the organization.
So far RippLn has attracted some well known names from across the marketing world. Not only have network marketing pros decided to give it a shot, so have top influencers in Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and the Blogging World.
So far RippLn has attracted around 900K Eyeballs, with the majority of these folks coming from the USA, Brazil, Italy, Mexico and Philippines.
It will be interesting to see how many of these free signups upgrade when the company goes live! Even a small percentage may help cover the cost of the buildout of the platform!
Not since Zeek Rewards, have I received so many emails, private messages and phone calls about what is being hailed as “The Greatest Shift In Network Marketing History!” Well… I am not sure about all that, but I do know a little about the “secret” behind RippLn and betting involved in the Ripple. I have reached out to Brian Underwood the creative mind and CEO behind RippLn. As you can guess launching a company is a huge task, and we were not able to connect this week. So when he gets time we will do the interview and cover some of the questions I can’t answer at this time. I will also include to opposing reviews on RippLn at the bottom of this Prospective to give those who are Getting To RippLn, and starting their Ripple a balanced review of the pros and cons from experts on the outside of things.
Editors 04/24/2013 Update: Another Well Respected Tech Critic, Chris Voss has concerned about RippLn.
RECOGNIZED SOCIAL MEDIA LEADER BY FORBES, CNN, HUFFINGTON POST, ALLTOP AND OTHERS, CHRIS VOSS IS CEO OF STRATEGIX ONE CONSULTING. HE SHARES OVER 20 PLUS YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR OF SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES IN VARIOUS FIELDS OF BUSINESS AND MARKETING.
RYAN LAWLER of TechCrunch.com one of the leading authority sites regarding all things Tech… wrote the following…
So, what is the basis of RippLn? Basically it covers three major trends… Gamification, Social Networking and Mobile Connections. Most folks fully understand social networking and mobile connections, but Gamification is not something most folks have heard of or fully understand.
I wrote my first article on Gamification in 2012, while covering Penny Auctions and explaining how they work, and why people are drawn to them. (How Do Unique Bid Auctions Really Work)
Now I have to say the RippLn video also covers Gamification very well, and is worth watching.
Click the icon above
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Now that should give you some info, to review on Gamification. Now let’s get back to RippLn and what concerns experts seem to have.
I receive solicitations for various joint ventures, affiliate partnerships and network marketing opportunities on a weekly basis. I was recently approached by several people who wanted to share the “next big thing” with me.
This time, with all the hype that could be mustered, I was introduced to Rippln, a new mobile app that promises to change the app world forever.
If you haven’t heard about Rippln yet, I assure you that you soon will.
I’ve had an opportunity to evaluate the opportunity and I want to share my initial reaction with you.
There’s no doubt that mobile is the future. With hundreds of millions of smartphones on the market, we have all become accustomed to checking email, surfing the web, texting, video-chatting, playing games and buying all variety of applications for our mobile devices.
It was just a matter of time before someone would devise a plan to infiltrate the app marketing by providing an incentive for people to download and use an application. The incentive? Money, of course.
The premise is that when we find an app we like, we share it with friends and family members without any compensation. Rippln believes we should be compensated for our referrals. (Read the full article by clicking here…)
Now let’s take a look at what one critical expert has to say about the RippLn Mobile Income Opportunity
I’ve seen Rippln being marketed as a mobile app social network, which I’m assuming is based on Rippln affiliates being able to communicate with eachother via the app.
Social networks and MLM are nothing new and as usual Rippln marketing material focuses heavily on Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds and other succesful internet properties, asking the question “why aren’t users paid to promote them?”
The key ingredient with each internet property mentioned however is the idea behind it. A key ingredient Rippln is missing.
Facebook, Twitter et al. were all heavily promoted and shared by users because of the idea and service they provided. Rippln ditch the ideas that made all of those companies succesful and simply seek to pay people to promote Rippln itself.
Let’s face it, in the year 2013 a social app that displays advertising and affiliate deals is hardly something to write home about.
Without an idea or service however, all that’s left is affiliates promoting the opportunity itself. And naturally, the Rippln compensation plan leads into that.
Recruit free affiliates and earn commissions and become a “Player”. Then, somehow become either a Global or Domestic affiliate.
Recruit enough free affiliates who then also opt to upgrade or qualify as Global or Domestic affiliates and this “core strategy”, Rippln tell you in their marketing videos, is all that’s required to be a succesful with the company.
The key piece of information left out of the puzzle is exactly what it costs or what is required to become a Domestic or Global affiliate.
Looking at the $80 and $240 commissions paid out, along with matching bonuses I’m going to guess there’s a monthly or one-time fee involved.
The fact that Rippln do not disclose this key information is a serious red flag that should not be ignored.
Most likely the reason this key information isn’t disclosed is that Rippln are attempting to run a “stealth” viral campaign to attract as many people to the opportunity as possible. They’ve apparently even gone so far as to have everyone in the Rippln “inner-circle” sign an NDA.
At the time of publication of this review, Rippln has threatened to terminate any affiliate caught discussing or promoting Rippln using the information from their inner-circle (specifics about the compensation plan, including Domestic and Global affiliate qualification), until CEO Brian Underwood gives the go-ahead.
One can only assume given the lengths Rippln have gone to keep this information under wraps, that it isn’t going to be all that attractive to the end-user.
Best case scenario I imagine that if affiliates have to buy Domestic or Global affiliate status you’d be looking at something just over $80 for Domestic and around $250 for Global (I can’t see it being much higher than that).
If it’s a qualification process then expect to have to recruit a boat load of Player affiliates (free affiliates who have recruited at least 5 new free affiliates).
That $240 and $80 Coaching Bonus has to come from somewhere and it’s not via use of the Rippln app.
Naturally requiring affiliates to buy into the compensation plan would be a red flag as Rippln’s app could simply be ignored, leaving affiliates generating commissions solely on the recruitment of new affiliates.
That said, even if they didn’t have to pay a fee of some sort, with the app being given away for free and Rippln themselves seeming to offer nothing at a retail level (giving something away is not retail), there’s still a question mark over the legitimacy of the program, at least from an MLM business opportunity standpoint.
CEO Brian Underwood’s involvement in various MLM schemes of dubious reputation and legal status certainly don’t inspire any confidence on the subject. Nor do Rippln themselves when they constantly refer to their MLM opportunity as a “game” which affiliates “play” in their official marketing material.
At the end of the day this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a social concept paired with MLM and to date every single one of them has failed to gain any traction. The last social network MLM that went high-profile (and also pulled a silly viral pre-launch campaign) wasWazzub.