888 Travel For Less Review: THW Global collapses, 2nd bait & switch
When it launched mid last year, THW Global touted $25 an hour for watching videos.
Trouble is they used Adsense to power these commissions. Adsense strictly prohibit any incentivization to view or click on ads by publishers.
After rolling out their platform, it wasn’t long before Adsense cottoned on and banned THW Global’s account.
As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites with content related to programs offering incentives to click links or ads, read emails, or surf other websites.
Adsense is the biggest advertising publisher network and has been for over a decade. Priority one is maintaining the integrity of the network, so anything that remotely resembles a financial incentive to view or click on ads is banned pretty quick.
This has been the case pretty much since inception, with Adsense getting better at detecting fraud over the years.
Despite this, THW Global seem to think they’re entitled the revenue they generated.
During the period from August 1, 2016 through October 13, 2016 THWGlobal served over 150,000,000 (150 million) video views which consumed over 1,273 terabytes of data transfer from dozens of servers around the globe.
During the same period THWGlobal also served approximately 1,900,569,000 (1.9 Billion) impressions resulting in millions of dollars of display and video ad revenues, which was to be shared with our IV’s.
The final calculation would have potentially resulted in an average hourly rate of nearly $19 per hour for those IV that viewed and commented on the videos.
While at first glance this might look like Adsense withholding the money for themselves, have a think about it.
Where does the money come from? Advertisers.
Had THW Global not incentivized affiliates with income claims of up to $25 an hour, would they have generated anywhere near the views and impressions above?
So why should advertisers pay THW Global “millions of dollars” for traffic that weren’t even the slightest bit genuinely interested in what they were advertising?
After sorting through THW Global’s bogus traffic and adjusting for genuine interest, THW Global were eventually paid
less than 2% of what was expected and the amount ultimately paid was less than 5% of the direct expenses associated with serving the videos.
I believe this was over August and September, with Adsense finally banning the account in October.
With legitimate advertising revenue not even covering operating expenses, let alone enough to pay affiliates “$25 an hour”, THW Global’s admin(s) did a runner.
THWGlobal is left with no alternative but to cease the operations of the video platform and close the company.
THWGlobal will pursue additional legal remedies in this mater however, the time frame and outcome of such is unknown and unquantifiable at this time. We wish all IVs the best in their future endeavors.
Suing Adsense for clearly breaking the Terms and Conditions (that THW Global agreed to when they signed up)? Yeah, good luck with that.
And why did it take THW Global four months after Adsense banned them to inform affiliates they were closing up shop?
Looking forward, a message on the THW Global website advises the affiliate-base has been sold to 888 Travel For Less.
They will take over the software as is, with the full 1.6 million person downline intact as it has been built from day one.
We hope that all IV’s are able to take advantage of the 888TravelForLess opportunity and can move forward with the downlines you have each built.
Effectively THW Global affiliates, whether they consent or not, have been bait and switched for the second time (the first was pyramid recruitment).
Read on for a full review of the 888 Travel For Less MLM opportunity.
The 888 Travel For Less website identifies Mark Elie (right) as President of the company.
Mark Elie’s reputation precedes him with almost three decades of experience in the Travel Industry, he has made a name for himself in the travel industry.
Mark has not only run and operated one of the most successful brick and mortar Travel Agencies but has also built affiliate marketing teams into the tens of thousands promoting the travel industry.
Through K&E Travel Elie has ties to the travel industry. Not so much with the MLM industry it seems.
I wasn’t able to put together an MLM history on Elie, suggesting 888 Travel For Less is his first MLM venture as an executive.
The 888 Travel For Less Product Line
888 Travel For Less has no retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market 888 Travel For Less affiliate membership itself.
Once signed up, 888 Travel For Less affiliates are expected to purchase $100 travel savings membership packages.
When I visited the 888 Travel For Less website I was unable to purchase a membership package directly, even with an affiliate referral code.
To purchase a Travel For Less Customer Membership only please get back with the ISA who referred to this site.
The 888 Travel For Less Compensation Plan
The 888 Travel For Less compensation plan pays affiliates when their recruited downlines purchase $100 travel savings membership packages.
888 Travel For Less Affiliate Ranks
There are six affiliate ranks within the 888 Travel For Less compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- ISA – sign up as an 888 Travel For Less affiliate
- Bronze – generate at least 50,000 GV in downline volume or personally recruit at least three Bronze ranked affiliates
- Silver – generate at least 250,000 GV in downline volume or personally recruit at least three Silver ranked affiliates
- Gold – generate at least 500,000 GV in downline volume or personally recruit at least three Gold ranked affiliates
- Platinum – generate at least 1,000,000 GV in downline volume or personally recruit at least three Platinum ranked affiliates
- Diamond – generate at least 2,500,000 GV in downline volume or personally recruit at least three Diamond ranked affiliates
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by the purchase of travel savings membership packages by downline affiliates.
Each $100 travel savings membership package purchased by downline affiliates generates 10,000 GV, which expires over a rolling twelve month period.
Business Builders Bonus
For every five travel savings membership package purchased by an 888 Travel For Less affiliate’s downline, a $50 commission is paid out.
Cumulatively, the Business Builder’s Bonus is capped at $1000.
For Bronze or higher ranked affiliates, the Business Builder’s Bonus pays out $100 (capped at $4000).
Residual commissions in 888 Travel For Less are paid out via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
888 Travel For Less cap payable unilevel levels at ten, with how many levels an affiliate can earn on determined by their rank:
- Bronze – levels one and two
- Silver – levels one to four
- Gold – levels one to six
- Platinum – levels one to eight
- Diamond – levels one to ten
Commissions are paid out on each travel savings membership package purchased by their unilevel team.
- level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) – $5 per travel savings membership package purchased
- levels 2 to 9 – $2 per travel savings membership package purchased
- level 10 – $4 per travel savings membership package purchased
The CRP Bonus is made up of $15 of each travel savings membership package purchased by affiliates company-wide.
Bronze and higher ranked 888 Travel For Less affiliates receive a share of the CRP Bonus at each rank as follows:
- Bronze ranked affiliates earn up to $550
- Silver ranked affiliates earn up to $3000
- Gold ranked affiliates earn up to $6500
- Platinum ranked affiliates earn up to $14,000
- Diamond ranked affiliates earn up to $37,500
If an 888 Travel For Less affiliate advances in rank before reaching the CRP Bonus cap for their previous rank, they cease earning the CRP Bonus on their previous rank regardless.
Joining 888 Travel For Less
888 Travel For Less affiliate membership is free for the first year and then $79.95 a year thereafter.
The glaring compliance issue with 888 Travel For Less is that 100% of revenue entering the company is sourced by affiliates.
Independent Sales Associates (ISA) can purchase our travel Memberships package directly from the company at a wholesale discount of 33% off of the suggested retail price.
There is no way to purchase the travel membership package directly as a retail customer. You have to purchase it from an affiliate directly for $149 annually.
888 Travel For Less affiliates purchase the packages from the company for $100, with that $100 used to pay commissions.
In effect it’s a closed-loop of affiliate funds, used to pay commissions when recruited affiliates spend money.
888 Travel For Less readily acknowledge this in their compensation plan:
The goal with the plan is to refer a large number of ISA in your frontline and teach them to do the same.
The more ISA you refer, the bigger your commission check will be.
Pseudo-compliance exists by way of resell and receipt rules;
In order for you to qualify for commissions, you must
(1) sell to customers or end users a minimum of 70% of your membership orders;
(2) provide your retail customers with an official 888 retail receipt which specifies date of sale, amount of sale, item(s) purchased, and the 888 Satisfaction guarantee.
You must retain all sales receipts for two years.
However how closely this is monitored (if at all) is unclear.
Furthermore collecting receipts on resold inventory is pointless for compliance. Recorded revenue entering 888 Travel For Less is still going to show up as affiliate purchases, with what affiliates do with said purchases irrelevant.
Give out the memberships at your local mall, throw them in the bin, put them up on eBay etc., none of which changes the fact that recorded revenue entering 888 Travel For Less is from affiliates.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most travel-niche MLM opportunities, 888 Travel FOr Less’ compensation plan has nothing to do with travel.
888 Travel For Less affiliates are paid when their recruited downline purchase travel memberships, who are paid when their recruited downlines do the same and so on and so forth.
This is the actual core of the 888 Travel For Less MLM opportunity.
Here, for example, is how a THW Global affiliate group calling themselves “THW Leadership” suggest new 888 Travel For Less affiliates get started:
You should login to your 888 Travel For Less back office (still THW for next 4 to 6 weeks). Purchase as many 888 Travel For Less Memberships.
Travel? What travel?
Sign up, buy as many memberships as you can afford and then recruit others who do the same.
With there being no requirement to purchase travel membership though, naturally the question of why an affiliate would purchase them is raised.
To qualify at the Bronze affiliate rank an 888 Travel For Less affiliate can purchase five memberships ($500).
The CRP Bonus, which is entirely passive, pays a ROI of $550.
That’s $50 profit.
The next rank is Silver, which can be obtained by simply recruiting five affiliates who each purchase their five memberships.
The CRP Bonus pays a passive ROI of $3000.
Your five Bronze affiliates want to advance so between any additional affiliates you recruit and their five affiliates recruited each, this all adds up to your promotion to Gold.
The CRP Bonus continues to pay you out passively, irrespective of whether you sit on your bum and do nothing after qualifying at Bronze or not.
Quite obviously this is a securities offering dressed up to look like a travel-based MLM opportunity.
888 Travel For Less are based out of Florida and as per a search of the SEC’s Edgar database, are not registered to offer securities in the US.
In the event of regulatory action, affiliates participating in 888 Travel For Less who profit from the CRP Bonus investment scheme could be subject to clawbacks.
Failing that, as will all recruitment-driven schemes, once affiliate recruitment dies off 888 Travel For Less will collapse.
This will see those who haven’t recouped their $500 initial spend (the largest group of affiliates at any given time), lose their money.