Introduction to National Motor Club MLM Compensation Plan
I had planned on starting my National Motor Club of America review with a few metaphors for home multilevel marketing (MLM) only works when people are ignorant as to the alternatives, but while I was researching this National Motor Club of America review, I came upon another piece of news that more urgently needed to be shared. Susannah Mushatt Jones, who was the oldest living person in the world, has died at the age of 116. She did not become famous until she became a supercentenarian and outlived every other American born in the 19th century. I encourage you to read the Wikipedia article about her or any of the obituaries that have been published about her. She did not court fame, but her example deserves to be emulated. If you are contemplating how to achieve financial freedom and what you will do with X amount of money when you get it, I encourage you to consider the example of Susannah Mushatt Jones. She spent her life pursuing educational opportunities for herself and others. She graduated from the Calhoun Boarding High School in Alabama, and hoping to extend the educational opportunities she and her classmates had to many more African-Americans, she enrolled at the Tuskegee Institute Teacher’s Program. Since her family could not afford the tuition, she left the school and moved to New York City in 1923, but she never gave up on her commitment to her family and her community. She worked as a nanny for wealthy families in New York, and although at first her salary was only $7 per week, she used the money she earned to help others. She was one of the founders of the Calhoun Club, a scholarship fund for African-American youth from her home town. She also provided support to many of her relatives as they moved to New York.
I know I have mentioned Susannah Mushatt Jones before on this blog, as this is not the first time her longevity has made news. Next time someone tried to shove MLM nutraceuticals in your face and give you an earful about healthy diets, you can tell them about the woman who ate bacon for breakfast every day and lived 116 years. More importantly, though, the next time you are at an MLM sales presentation (I hope, for your sake, that you are at an MLM sales presentation in a hotel convention room somewhere and not at a so-called party at the house of a so-called friend), and the presenter is rattling on about all the luxury cars and vacations you can have if you join the MLM business opportunity, I want you to remember that it is not how much money you have that matters but how resourceful and generous you are with it.
And now back to the regular business of Notebook Crazy, as we trudge through the sleaze that is the MLM industry. Ladies and gentlemen, my National Motor Club of America review.
National Motor Club of America: The Company and Its Products
National Motor Club of America, which is headquartered in Texas (a state where both reptiles and MLM companies flourish), was founded in 1957, and it adopted an MLM business model sometime in the 1980s. National Motor Club of America products are various roadside assistance and insurance services. These include emergency roadside assistance, insurance to cover legal fees, some kind of identity theft protection insurance, online shopping discounts, and discounts on eyeglasses, contact lenses, and prescription drugs. Perhaps the most interesting of the National Motor Club of America products is the Personal Accident Insurance. I know it takes a special kind of nerd to find entertainment value in insurance policies, but I encourage you to read the list of exclusions on National Motor Club’s Personal Accident Insurance. It will not cover expenses related to injuries or illnesses resulting from automobiles, aircraft, bacterial infection, war, pregnancy complications, narcotics, suicide attempts, alcohol, or pretty much anything else that can cause illness or injury. It is the ultimate white elephant among MLM products.
Trying to find reliable information for this National Motor Club of America review was a bit of a wild goose chase for several reasons. First, a lot of National Motor Club of America distributors have their own websites, so I found a bunch of fairly similar looking National Motor Club of America websites by different distributors in different cities. Another complicating factor was the fact that there is another MLM company with a very similar name to National Motor Club of America. Its name is Motor Club of America, and I have previously reviewed it here on Notebook Crazy. It was not until I started researching my National Motor Club of America review that I found out that the other Motor Club of America describes itself as “AAA on steroids”. If I had known that when I wrote my Motor Club of America review, I would have lampooned it endlessly.
The most detailed story I found about what it is actually like to be a National Motor Club of America distributor comes from an account written by Derrick Williams of Philadelphia in 2014 and published on Rip Off Report. (Spoiler: It isn’t pleasant, but it never is when MLM is involved.) For a while, things were going fine for Williams and his National Motor Club of America website. He joined the National Motor Club of America business opportunity in 2010 and recruited over 500 National Motor Club of America distributors. One day in February 2014, Williams received an email asking him to remove videos he had posted about the National Motor Club of America compensation plan. Williams removed the videos less than 24 hours after receiving an email. Soon after, he got a phone call from his upline distributor, saying that the company was considering terminating Williams’ membership and asking if he had anything to say for himself. Williams said that he had not knowingly violated any of the company’s policies and that he had removed the videos as soon as he was asked to do so. Shortly after that, he received notification that his National Motor Club of America membership had been terminated, and just like that, the business he had spent four years building was gone. What follows next is a classic story of a descent through the levels of MLM hell as Williams tried in vain to get answers out of National Motor Club of America. (National Motor Club of America is far from being the only MLM whose former distributors have written about their Kafkaesque adventures in trying to get answers out of the MLM company.) Williams’ former sponsors started saying that he was fired for insubordination. (I do not know of any other industry besides MLM where, in the 21st century, you can get fired for insubordination.) By the time all the dominoes had fallen, Williams’ upline sponsor Deborah Washington had been terminated as well, as well as a National Motor Club of America distributor named Dominique Reid, whom Williams had personally recruited, although Washington was later reinstated. Williams started doing research, and he discovered a disturbing pattern of National Motor Club of America distributor having their memberships terminated for trivial reasons when they were about to reach the highest levels in the National Motor Club of America compensation plan. Williams learned the hard way that there just is not very much room at the top of the pyramid.
The National Motor Club of America Compensation Plan
There is no description of the National Motor Club of America compensation plan on the main National Motor Club of America website, and I explored that website quite thoroughly. Derrick Williams’ account of how his tenure as a National Motor Club of America distributor ended badly alludes to the fact that posted videos about the National Motor Club of America compensation plan, but, at the request of his supervisors, he took them down. I did find a link on a Google search that claimed to be a PDF file of the National Motor Club of America compensation plan document, but when I clicked the link, it went nowhere.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The fact that National Motor Club of America distributors are encouraged to market National Motor Club of America products online is a huge improvement over the home sales party model. I must say, though, that, if the MLM element were absent, an insurance-themed party sounds like it could be a lot of fun, especially if enough alcohol were involved. In my younger days, I would have attended such a party dressed as Oscar the Grouch and told all the other party guests to scram when they tried to get me to insure my trash can against dents and biohazardous waste.
- As is the case with any insurance-based MLM, people already have the insurance they want and need. In some cases, they are required by law to purchase it, and in other cases, if they are lucky, their employers provide it. It is not possible to market National Motor Club of America products to people as something they never knew they needed. The question always arises with MLM business opportunities of where all the customers who buy the products are going to come from, and this is especially true of insurance MLMs like the National Motor Club of America business opportunity.
- Williams’ story of being given the runaround for months, losing his business and, to add insult to injury, being accused of insubordination, really sounds like a nightmare. It should be enough to deter anyone from joining the National Motor Club of America business opportunity.
You do not have to read very many of my reviews on Notebook Crazy to know how much I enjoy road trips. In fact, I enjoy them even more than I enjoy dressing up as Oscar the Grouch and being whatever the opposite of the life of the party is. And I don’t mean to knock insurance. Insurance is great. If you don’t believe me, then just ask anyone who doesn’t have it.
My issue is not with insurance, and it is not with emergency roadside assistance. There have been plenty of times I have been very grateful for both. (One of them was the time I drove more than three hours to provide emergency roadside assistance for my brother Bryce, who didn’t want our parents to ask questions about why he was in the place where his car broke down, but that is a story for another day.) My issue with the National Motor Club of America business opportunity is that it is a whole lot of MLM hassle built around trying to get other people to sell MLM products that people do not need in the first place.
I get really mad when I read stories like the one Derrick Williams wrote on Rip Off Report. Can you imagine losing a business you worked on for four years, just because of some stupid MLM hijinks? I can’t imagine how much work it must have been to recruit 500 distributors. I know that businesses always involve risk, and there are no guarantees that your restaurant will not burn down or that the product you sell will not become obsolete, but at least you can chalk most business failures up to “stuff happens”. It is a lot less demoralizing when, one day, a colleague you thought was a friend randomly decides to play the insubordination card on you, and four years of work goes out the window.
It makes me mad to think about it. Like, really mad. Like, so mad that I need to go for a drive to calm down. And, yes, I already have emergency roadside assistance. I got it through my car insurance company, and it will never turn around and accuse me of insubordination.
I am not always such a grouch, only at parties and when I write about the MLM industry. If you want to see a more pleasant side of my personality, schedule a call with me.