You ever notice when something is really hot on the streets then other companies basically copy it? Think about it, first there was Coke, then Pepsi popped up. iPhone came to the scene then Google came with Android phones. It seems to be an inevitable business practice. Obviously it makes ‘Cents' otherwise companies wouldn't do it. But some companies are smart and add a few changes which usually plays off the weaknesses of the original hot company. Well Customer Advantage is basically following the same trend.
What is this The Customer Advantage about?
The Customer Advantage is trying, and I stress the trying part, to get into the local market discount/coupon business. Have you heard of Groupon? It's basically the same idea, where you sign up for free and local businesses will send you discount offers and coupons in your email, or smart phone app that you can purchase, or not. Pretty simple idea and Groupons is wildly successful because of it. As expected tons of other companies are trying to jump on the bandwagon to make this work for them as well. Well The Customer Advantage is yet another company that has thrown their hat into the ring. However they've sort of differentiated themselves by offering members credit for recruiting local businesses to their Groupon like service, which is an interesting way to expand their earnings and help build their base.
How is The Customer Advantage doing?
Well, from what I can tell, not so good, but there is still hope. Here is the problem, they have been in ‘pre-launch' since the end of 2010 and at the time this review was written they were still in pre-launch (last I checked). The original launch date was set for February, then March, then a holding pattern due to changing servers that could manage the numbers of emails, then another hold for hiring staff, and some unexpected personal issues. Why is this bad? During most of the pre-launch they've been recruiting people but there weren't any offers of discounts/coupons being sent to members. Hello, isn't that the whole purpose of why folks signed up? So how likely are these members going to come back and actually use this service if they haven't received any of the promised coupons and discounts for nearly a year? And if the members aren't using the coupons then the business owners will also pull out as well since they're not benefiting.
I guess they realized this was bad too. So to get some interest going, they offered 1000 Co-Op spots ( that are currently filled) for $75 where you would not have to do the recruiting, they give you 15 people and then if any of them signed up for the Co-Op, you would get the downline credit for their coupon/discount sales. That was done in March, so they got 75K from all these folks and still no launch. Yea, like I said, not so good.
Okay so on the surface this doesn't really sound all that promising. However to their defense, in June, the first discounts/coupons were sent out in two cities Boston and Bellingham, WA as test markets, to get the systems and support teams practice runs. As of July 8th they added Ft. Collins, CO and promise a an upcoming national launch with 120,000 members. So it could be they are getting their act together.
How much do you get paid and How do they pay you?
Well if they actually become profitable, You get 5% of what the people you sign up directly spend, and 2% for the down line. However just keep in mind they just sent out their first coupon offers in June 2011 to just three cities. So we'll see if they actually pay and how. Click here for an explanation from one customer advantage website on how the percentage commissions work.
Another way to earn money is to enroll a local business to offer discounts to Customer Advantage members. If you are able to do this you will receive 2% commission on all sales made through the offers made by that local business you recruited.
With regard to how members will be paid, we will be offering several options that you may select from at the time you request commission payment. These will include simple and fast electronic solutions such as PayPal, ACH and several other revolutionary methods. You be able to choose the payment system that works best for you.
How do you join?
You must be invited to join! What is this a secret society? I hate with companies do this. I understand how it helps existing members but it's annoying nonetheless. So yes a current member has to sign you up, from their Customer Advantage website. Fortunately, signing up is FREE which is always welcome. When you do sign up, you will get a website url to use that has a couple of videos to explain how it all works. So anyone who signs up via that website is your direct referral line. Here's a link of a visitor who requested that I review this company if you're interested in joining.
– Prelaunch for over 6 months is not a good sign. It could still work, but it seems like they bit off more than they can chew. But any one that has opened a business will tell you that ‘Poo Poo' happens so that could be the case here. Who knows?
– Poor support staff and communication. They do have weekly webinars, but they seem to be more hype fest to keep people from jumping ship as I imagine many would do after being in pre-launch and delayed so long. From what I've read the past webinars provided little help or advice. Although recently as things have gotten moving again, they seem to be more informative.
– The success of Groupons makes it hard for copycats. Think of Google, who's been successful at beating them at search. Does anyone really use Yahoo or Bing? The fact of the matter is most have tried and failed. This may very well be the same type of sinking ship scenario especially when you consider how crowded this type of business has become. Or they can end up being like Google Android phones who are quickly surpassing the dominance of Apple's iPhone. Time will tell!
– Groupon style advertising may be a tough sale to small businesses because there has been a lot of negative media attention which has been reporting that small businesses are getting hurt by Groupon Deals.
– The Groupon style business model only seems to work well if you live in a highly populated area where they offer deals. If you live in a middle of no where it's going to be hard to recruit businesses or people to sign up for Customer Advantage.
– The Current Customer Advantage members are getting discouraged and I don't blame them. That means they won't be recruiting, so the member base will be slower to build and may not be active. This isn't good for the business they're recruiting who may decide this is a waste of money and time on their end.
So Is The Customer Advantage Network Legitimate?
Honestly I can't really call it a scam in this review. You're not really investing any money. But you are investing time which we all know is money. You're also putting your name out on the line for a company that hasn't proven themselves which may kill your reputation when you're trying to recruit people for other opportunities. Companies like The Customer Advantage like to play up the fact that Groupon is a proven business model that is making some ridiculous money. However just because Groupon was able to be successful doesn't mean these guys can do it.
Now with that said it doesn't mean it's impossible. After all people told me I was on crack for pursuing this whole work at home thing. They argued this because they never knew anyone that succeeded at it, I couldn't. But I was a knuckle head and always argued just because you couldn't do it doesn't mean I can't. Obviously I proved everyone wrong and I work at home full time and helping you guys do the same. So this company may be able to pull an impossible feat as well. However until I see some actual proof of consistent payments from various people over a long period of time, then all these claims are like farts to me. It's a lot of hot air that just stinks.
Keeping all this in mind, I probably would not go anywhere near this thing until it has been up and running for a year and I know people are getting paid. Don't fall for the hype that you won't be able to make money if you enter the opportunity later on. Look, I tend to be late to the party with many of the opportunities I've reviewed and recommended to you. But it's never stopped me from making money because the internet is a big place with billions of people. No matter what people tell you, their reps won't be able to tap into everyone of them. So even if you're late to the party, you'll still have people to target.
If any one here has joined The Customer Advantage and has started to receive email deals or made money, please feel free to chime in below. We would love to hear from you. If anything has changed or any information listed in the review is incorrect please don't hesitate to correct me below. Honestly it was hard to keep up with all the frequent changes and updates with the company. So i won't be surprised if a lot has already changed since writing this.
In any event, if this company doesn't appeal to you, There are plenty of other legitimate ways to make money online so be sure to check out some of my favorites on my recommendations page. A lot of them are non-traditional opportunities but we cover the traditional work at home jobs here as well. And if you're totally new to our little hole in the wall, i would encourage you to read my Work at Home guide to help you manuever around the work at home world. It has proven very valuable to the folks that actually take the time to read it and tends to answer most questions.
That is it for now, have a great week! I'm hoping to hear from The Customer Advantage folks and their experience with the company. Hopefully we can have some real talk.