Similar to AiYellow mentioned before, MCA seem to have a valid product, but the compensation plan has many of the signs of a pyramid scheme, and when this is pointed out, there were quite a bit of outrage among its affiliates, who answered with all the sincerity they have, but failed the address the question which we will address...
What is MCA?
MCA is a motor club similar to AAA, with a 3 tier membership (10, 15, or 20 a month), seem to have a long history. However was sold several years ago and turned to MLM marketing. (For reference, AAA membership is about $70 a year)
Most promotional websites touting MCA refer to MCA as an income opportunity / motor club hybrid, or mostly as an income opportunity. I have yet to find a single promotional website that PRIMARILY markets MCA as motor club. Obviously this is subjective to my interpretation, but this is somewhat troubling.
Furthermore, TVC and MCA are used almost interchangeably.
The comp plan basically says for every member you refer (who pays 2 months fee to join, and monthly fee there after), you get 4 months fee as commission. However, if they cancel before completing a full 12 months, you have to pay the commission back. (EDIT: There's a comment that there is no "clawback". Until there's confirmation, clawbacks are "unconfirmed") There are inconsistent talks of "residuals" (i.e. small payment per month).
So what is the problem with MCA/TVC?
The problem with current MCA comp plan is that it has virtually no separation between member (no income) and affiliate (earn income).
Some affiliates claimed that you are TVC affiliates selling MCA membership. However, the agreement that you "sign" when you join makes no such distinction. Other affiliates either use TVC and MCA interchangeably, or just refer to everything as MCA, both the motor club and income opportunity.
There are also questions whether you can join TVC for free (i.e. NOT as a part of MCA) and sell MCA membership and earn just affiliate commission, or must you join MCA first to be a part of TVC. Conflicting answers have been spotted. Some say yes you can, some say "no way".
This complete lack of separation between "ultimate end user" and affiliate is putting MCA in danger of being declared a pyramid scheme like what happened to Burnlounge.
One of FTC's criteria for pyramid scheme is how the thing is being marketed. Would any one buy the motor club membership (the alleged product) WITHOUT the income opportunity attached? As nobody seem to be marketing the motor club by itself, FTC could rule that motor club is merely a disguise for the income opportunity (indeed, it's what they argued in Burnlounge, that the music sales is merely a disguise for the pyramid scheme where "moguls" encouraged others to buy more "mogul" positions, leading to a company with 97% moguls [affiliates] , and sales to non-members a mere 5% of total revenue).
Definition of a Pyramid Scheme
Definition of a pyramid scheme has been established in FTC vs. Koscot (1975), where it can be summarized as:
(1) Payment of money to the company;
(2) The participant receives the right to sell a product (or service);
(3) The participant receives compensation for recruiting others into the program;
(4) The compensation is unrelated to the sale of products (or services) to the ultimate user.
"Ultimate user" in part 4 was later clarified in Webster vs. Omnitrition to mean someone who is NOT an affiliate and thus NOT in the company.
As MCA fits all four criteria (there is virtually no ultimate user, as virtually all MCA members are TVC members) it is, by definition, a pyramid scheme.
But wait! There's more!
There are *some* mitigating circumstances, such as the alleged existence of "TVC only" membership where you can sell MCA membership without being in MCA, but this is NOT confirmed, and it is certainly not mentioned on any official website that I can find (only found in forum posts). It is also unclear whether you have to pay to join this TVC Only membership, or how many people have taken this option (if it exists).
Basically, MCA needs to figure out how many members it has that did NOT refer/recruit any body, vs. how many did recruit.
If it doesn't, FTC will likely audit them, then it may be too late to change.
FTC wants to see at least 51% who did NOT recruit any one. That means they bought MCA for MCA (i.e. auto club services), not the "income opportunity".
If a MAJORITY of MCA members recruited, then MCA is in danger of being declared a pyramid scheme, as FTC can then say, with high degree of confidence, that MCA members did not buy MCA for auto club, but for the income opportunity, thus, it is a pay-to-play pyramid scheme.
Therefore, I would NOT recommend joining MCA until this problem has been clarified / resolved.
EDIT: Update entry has been published: