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Telecom Plus MLM Compensation Plan Review 2.0

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Introduction to Telecom Plus MLM Compensation Plan

I have never been to England, but when I was in high school, I went to a planetarium show based on the music of Pink Floyd, and I was inspired to write about my ideas about music.  Even before the Pink Floyd laser light show at the planetarium in the summer of 1998, I already had a hobby of borrowing CDs from the public library and listening to the them reading the CD booklets. (That was how we learned about music in the days before Wikipedia and YouTube.)  As soon as I came home from the planetarium, I got to wrote what would be the first post of my blog, Classic Rock Ragnarok.  (Actually, in 1998, we called them e-zines, not blogs, but that is essentially what it was.)  Well over half of the posts I wrote on Classic Rock Ragnarok were about songs by British bands and songs that have been recorded by multiple artists, some of whom were British.  All this is to say that I have always known that I liked British music.

A much bigger surprise turned out to be how much I enjoyed British junk food once I had the chance to taste it.  I am from the Midwest, and the reputation of Midwestern junk food precedes it.  If you happen to have spent your life living in a bubble of health food on one of the coasts, I encourage you to Google “county fair” and the name of the Midwestern state of your choice.  If you do happen to have spent your life living in a bubble of health food on one of the coasts, allow me to guess that the reason you ended up reading a multilevel marketing (MLM) blog is because you or your sister got invited to a Stella and Dot “trunk show”, and you are wondering whether you should run in the opposite direction.  (You should.)

Imagine my surprise when, during a road trip to Minneapolis, I discovered a restaurant where many of the menu items are British junk foods, usually of the sweet variety.  Sometimes I wish I could order these tooth-rotting delicacies online and stockpile them in my basement, but I know that it would be impractical to do so because my basement is already full of boxes of fungus coffee from a previous MLM outing.  I do, however, look forward to the next time I can get my hands on my favorite British candies and cookies.  These are just a few examples.

Digestive biscuits sound like the last thing anyone would want to eat, but do not let the name fool you.  A digestive biscuit is a very basic cookie with a texture somewhere between a cookie and a cracker.  Plain digestive biscuits are just that, and for this reason, they are nothing too exciting, but once you cover one surface of them with chocolate, it becomes a different matter entirely.  It is easy to consume an entire package of them in the time it takes to drive one exit on the highway.

Another favorite British candy of mine is the Cadbury Crunchie, a candy bar consisting of honeycomb toffee coated in chocolate.  Honeycomb toffee is a porous substance known variously in the Midwest as angel food candy, fairy food candy, sea foam candy, and sponge candy.  The reason it is called honeycomb toffee is that, in cross section, it looks rather like a honeycomb.  It is so sweet that it makes you intensely thirsty.  It actually is possible to get honeycomb toffee candies in the US, but it is not very common.  One time when I was in elementary school, my uncle brought us some chocolate covered honeycomb toffee from the Ghirardelli headquarters in San Francisco, and I really enjoyed it, but in retrospect, it could not hold a candle to the British stuff.

Two British candies that have no ingredients other than milk chocolate also warrant mention.  The remarkable thing about these candy bars is the texture of the chocolate.  The Cadbury Flake is made of flakes of milk chocolate that barely hold themselves together in a cylindrical shape until you unwrap the thing.  For this reason, the Cadbury Flake is best enjoyed as a topping for ice cream.  The Aero bar is a chocolate bar made of milk chocolate and air bubbles.  It doesn’t sound like anything special, but the texture of chocolate mixed with air is truly delightful.

And then there are the candies which are not chocolate bars.  British Smarties are nothing like American Smarties; British Smarties are closer to M&Ms than any other candy I can think of.  The difference is that they are bigger, and the candy coating is a bit thicker and sweeter, so that you taste more chocolate and more candy coating.  Not only that, but they are delightful pale colors, rather like chocolate Easter eggs.  Jelly bears sound like they would be just like American gummi bears, but there are some important differences.  Jelly bears are bigger, and they must have higher gelatin content, because they are of a firmer texture than American gummi bears.  Fruit pastilles are likewise a simple pleasure.  They are sold in a tube, like Rolos or Mentos, and they are gummy candies covered in slightly sour sugar.  They taste a bit like American Chuckles, but more compact and with a firmer texture.  My favorite ones are the purple ones.  They are not grape flavored, like most purple candies in the US, but rather black currant flavored.  Finally, I must mention Wine Gums.  These are diamond-shaped gummy candies that have the names of types of wine (such as “Port”) printed across them.  It would be a stretch to say that they actually taste like wine, but they do have that pleasantly firm British gummy candy texture, and just the act of eating wine themed gummy candies is a delightful subversion of the wine snob trope.

The United Kingdom does seem to have a special talent for making candy and cookies even more enjoyable than they already were, but I am convinced that there is no way to make a telecommunication services MLM into something that people would seek out.

Telecom Plus: The Company and Its Services

As MLM companies go, Telecom Plus is quite boring, which is why the introduction, about British junk food, is probably the most entertaining part of this Telecom Plus review, but here goes.  Telecom Plus sells utility services and phone services in the United Kingdom, through an MLM business model.  The complete list of Telecom Plus products includes land line phone service, cell phone service, gas and electricity, Internet, and a package called Broad Call, which combines phone and Internet service.

It costs just under 200 British pounds to become a Telecom Plus distributor.  Your membership kit includes training materials and advertising brochures.  Upon becoming a Telecom Plus distributor, you attend an in person training at one of 20 training centers, which are located in various parts of the United Kingdom.

The Telecom Plus Compensation Plan

It was not difficult for me to find a copy of the Telecom Plus compensation plan document, as someone had posted a slideshow of it, and that person probably knows a thing or two about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), since the slideshow appeared on the first page of results of my Google search for “Telecom Plus compensation plan”.  The Telecom Plus compensation plan document is 13 pages long, and most of it is written in very fine print.

You get a bonus every time you sign up a new customer.  The bonus for selling mobile phone services is 10 pounds, whereas it is 5 pounds for home phone, 2 pounds and 50p for gas and electricity, and 20 pounds for broadband.  Once you have sold Telecom Plus products to six customers, you get promoted to the rank of Qualified Executive, at which point you begin earning commissions on your sales of Telecom Plus products.  The commissions range from 2.4% to 5.3%.  Once you qualify for the Senior Executive rank, you get a bonus of 250 British pounds in addition to your commissions.  When you reach the rank of Executive Director, you get a 500-pound bonus, but only if you reach this rank within your first 12 months of being part of the Telecom Plus business opportunity.

The leadership levels in the Telecom Plus compensation plan are Senior Executive, Executive Director, Group Director, Marketing Director, Senior Marketing Director, and National Marketing Director.  There are rank advancement bonuses for achieving each of these ranks, but you only get these bonuses if you achieve these leadership ranks within a certain time frame.

The Telecom Plus compensation plan pays distributors on an infinite number of levels of downline.  Telecom Plus distributors also have the option to purchase shares of the company.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • The Telecom Plus business opportunity is only available in the United Kingdom, which means that, if you live in any other country, you do not have to worry that someone will recruit you to become a Telecom Plus distributor.
  • I do consider it an advantage when an MLM company has a particular type of luxury car associated with it, and Telecom Plus does. The Telecom Plus compensation plan document says that “a free BMW Mini” is one of the prizes that Telecom Plus distributors can get.  It appears that they can also have access to the use of a Porsche on behalf of the company.
  • The fact that stock options in the company are available to all Telecom Plus distributors and not just the ones at the highest levels of leadership is nice. It is an improvement over the numerous other MLMs that make you spend lots of time and money to reach an elusive bonus pool.

Disadvantages

  • I guarantee that, if you try to sell Telecom Plus services to anyone, that person already has phone service and Internet. For this reason, I stand by my opinion that utility service MLMs have very little potential for offering their distributors the makings of a successful business.  Most people are not out there looking for a new phone service provider.  If their phone can make and receive calls, that is good enough for them.  There is a subset of the frugal lifestyle subculture in which people carefully research ways to get better prices on utilities like phone or Internet, but those people can find much better options than anything offered through the Telecom Plus business opportunity.
  • The fact that the list of Telecom Plus products begins with land line phone service shows just how out of step the Telecom Plus business opportunity, and indeed the whole telecommunication services MLM industry in general, is with the current realities of the business world.
  • The fact that Telecom Plus compensation plan pays on an unlimited number of levels of downline is good news for the people who joined the company at the very beginning, but it is bad news for you if you are just joining now in 2016.
  • It costs the equivalent of almost $300 to join the Telecom Plus business opportunity. I know that there are more expensive MLM memberships out there, but that is still pretty steep.
  • It is also creepy that you only get the rank achievement bonuses if you achieve those ranks within a certain time frame. That is what leads people to sink lots of resources into their MLM operations when they first start out.  It is also why you get the pushy and desperate sales tactics, in which your old high school classmates come out of the woodwork to track you down on social media for MLM purposes.

Conclusion

MLMs that make you sell telecommunications services and other household services to your friends are a losing proposition.  Pretty much the only thing that the Telecom Plus business opportunity has going for it is that it hails from the land of the Cadbury Crunchie.

Hey, residents of the United Kingdom!  Which candies and cookies am I missing out on?  Schedule a call with me and let me know.

 

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