Business Review
 

Lightyear Wireless

Overall Rating: Overall Rating
Type of Business: MLM / Telecomm / Wireless Service
Skill Level Needed: N/A
Income Potential: N/A
Website: http://lightyearwireless.com
Recommended: No

Lightyear Wireless Review

By David Harris

Lightyear Wireless is a network marketing/MLM company in the telecommunications arena, mainly concentrating on wireless phone service.  It’s parent company – Lightyear Network Solutions (formerly UniDial) is a publicly traded company based in Kentucky.

With the main company getting it’s start in 1993, “Lightyear Wireless” is one of the larger, well known telecommunication companies in the MLM arena.  There are over 1,500 YouTube videos on Lightyear Wireless  – mostly from reps trying to get you into their business. 

The main focus of Lightyear Wireless appears to be their (as when reviewed) $59.95 a month, prepaid “Unlimited Talk, Text, and Web” plan.  Other plans and services are also offered, but this certainly appears to be the main focus.

Lightyear Wireless pushes this plan over all others in their promotions, and compares their Unlimited Talk-Text-and-Web plan to (mainly) Verizon and AT&T to show the savings one could expect by switching over to Lightyear. 

Other key components Lightyear promotes are the “You + Three = Free” program, and “You + Five = Free”.  Basically, as a Lightyear rep, you get free cell phone service if you get 3 customers to sign up as customers.  Or as a Lightyear customer you can get free service if you get 5 customers to sign up with Lightyear.

It all sounds pretty simple… and in fact I considered switching over myself.  So I did some research.  This is where I started finding some issues that I think should be taken into consideration.

First, it appears the comparisons are to an extent comparing apples to oranges.  The Lightyear no contract plans on the Sprint Network do not have the same coverage as the more expensive “contract” plans in which they are drawing comparisons. 

If you simply look at the coverage map for the LY (Lightyear) no contract plan and compare it to contract plans (even their own contract plans they offer), there is a huge difference.  The no contract plan coverage is miniscule compared to the contract plans. 

Perhaps if you live in a major city, you might not notice it.  But even then the differences can be substantial.  Not only for the cell phone coverage, but for the 3G and 4G data coverage as well.

The Lightyear Wireless $59.95 plan also doesn’t include roaming – but you could add that for $20 more a month.  It appears many people need that, again depending on location.  This would not affect as many people, but if you want unlimited Blackberry emails, that’s another $15 a month.

There is another major cost consideration for switching over to Lightyear Wireless.  Lightyear is a wholesale partner as opposed to a retail partner with Sprint.  What this means is Sprint allots Lightyear with certain phones, which have specific ESN (electronic serial number) codes that allow them to operate on their network. 

So you can’t use your existing phone – you’d have to buy one from Lightyear.  The cost of course would vary, but if you wanted a “smartphone” you could expect to pay perhaps $400-$600  for the phone itself.  You could choose a cheaper phone, but again, you must buy your phone from Lightyear from the models Sprint allots them.

As Lightyear reps would be happy to tell you, you are not required to do a “no contract” plan through them.  OK, so what are the Lightyear “contract plan” costs?  (The plan that I think should really be compared to the AT&T/Verizon contract plans they use in their promotions?)  Currently here are Lightyear’s quoted rates. 

$99.99 a month for “anytime” unlimited calls.  $20 a month for unlimited texts.  $39.99 for their Smartphone data plan.  So we’re at $159.98 a month through Lightyear before any additional charges such as taxes, fees, etc.  Again, the contract coverage map is indeed far superior to the no contract coverage, but it’s still not looking as awesome as it first appeared, right?

Now the business.  That’s the main focus for our purposes here anyway, but I thought it was relevant to point out price/coverage comparisons since that would have to be factored in by you if you were to run a business with Lightyear Wireless. 

Can you make money with Lightyear Wireless?  Yes.  Do people make money?  Yes.  Though I do not view Lightyear Wireless as a business opportunity I would recommend, I will say I do not view them as a scam.  It’s a legitimate company, and they do have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau.

As with all MLM companies, there are multiple ways you can profit from running your Lightyear Wireless business.  Three main income streams are Immediate Bonus Income, Monthly Residual Income, and Leadership Income.  You can start at different levels, but the main recommended level costs $299.99 to get started. 

This makes you a “Senior Manager”, and allows you to get a $100 bonus for every Senior Manager you enroll.  You get more for each step “up” from there:  Regional Manager, Presidential Director, etc., up to a Sr. Vice President.  That is the “immediate bonus income” income stream they promote.

You also can make monthly residual income.  When you become a Lightyear representative, you get their Web Store System which costs you an additional $49.99 a month.  Some tools this includes are 3 websites, multiple lead capture sites, email auto responders, web hosting, free leads per month, etc.   Basically you can make up to 10% residual income from your customers’ cell phone bills and 1-4% of your team’s customers  cell phone bills each month.

Plus the leadership income, which has numerous bonuses such as promotional incentives and additional customer bonuses, a revenue sharing pool, travel expense accounts, etc.  As I mentioned, there are many ways to get compensated depending on the work you put in.  As they themselves say, it would take a long time to describe every possible revenue stream – but if you are interested in more details you can of course go to their site.

So if I were to decide to join Lightyear Wireless and run a business, here is what I would be looking at.  I’d have to buy a phone from them, and the “smartphone” I’d want would be around $500.  Add $300 for the marketing system to join the business, plus $50 a month to keep the websites going. 

I’d need the additional $20 for roaming – again assuming I’d want the prepaid, no contract plan… and I already discussed why that might not work for me.  There appears to be a $25 activation fee, plus an additional annual $50 website renewal fee.

So it appears my cost would be around $1,750 for the first year with the prepaid no contract plan.  Of course if I got all my needed referred people to sign up and stay active, I could at least get my $59.95 a month wireless plan for free.  (That is, as I mentioned, the major selling point to get people in.)

Any people I sign up as a Lightyear rep would be paying a similar amount.  So “free” isn’t really free.  The comparisons between the “free” service and the more expensive contract services though other companies don’t hold up in my opinion. 

The promotions for Lightyear Wireless tell you “the time is now” to get involved with them, but though parent company  Lightyear Network Solutions is a publicly traded company, I will say their stock hasn’t exactly risen over the last couple of years. 

I won’t get into specifics here as this is not a stock review site and it would be somewhat unfair to do that here anyway.  But I will say for myself personally, there are enough concerns with Lightyear Wireless that I am not going to do it myself, and I am not recommending them to you.

I do not recommend “Lightyear Wireless

Thanks for reading.

- David

 

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7 Comments/Reviews

Thank you for telling the truth that Lightyear Network Solutions (Lightyear Wireless) is a scam. You are indeed perhaps the only one in the internet telling the truth about the company.

As far as lightyear network solutions (lightyear wireless) goes. They are a pyramid scheme a scam and a cult that is everything but free. I was charged over 400 dollars and was a rep for two weeks.

I was lied to that my phone service was free while being a rep when actually I would have to pay every month for my websites. I was told I could get coverage from them anywhere sprint and most places Verizon has towers when actually I would have to pay more to get coverage from Verizon towers in addition to sprint towers. I was lied to that I could transfer my AT&T phone to a lightyear phone and then people talked me into paying 200 dollars for a lightyear phone. People tried to talk me into paying to go to a conference in Kentucky and said that was free, and later said it costs 99 dollars. The company expects their reps to listen to a many way phone call every week which is mostly adds trying to get their reps to pay them money with the same sales pitches over and over.

How are they a cult? They tell all their reps that if they write or say anything bad about the company anytime in their life that they will get hundreds of responses calling them liars and harassing them for ages after that. Every email they send their reps says please don’t file a complaint about this company. They also have full emails harassing their reps to intimidate them out of ever speaking the truth that they are a scam. They also have training videos that say you can Never Quit.

Final Decision to quit the lightyear pyramid scam cult: First they told me I will earn a profit if I tell five people a day about lightyear while being a rep. Then two weeks later they sent me a list of 250 phone numbers and told me to illegally tele-market lightyear wireless to 250 people a day and to lie on every voice mail machine saying, “this is not a sales pitch.”

After I Quit: Since quitting lightyear wireless seven months ago after being a sales rep for two weeks I have received many sales calls trying to convince me to join back on. I have asked all three people who have tried to talk me to joining back up to never call me again, called their customer service line telling them those people have to stop calling me. They still continued calling me with automated calls. I blocked all three numbers they called me from. Then they called me with automated calls from two other numbers and I blocked those numbers. After that they sent me emails trying to convince me to join back up. I blocked those emails. They emailed me from other emails and I blocked those emails and threatened to take them to court. Then they sent me spam in the mail trying to convince me to rejoin.

That’s way I encourage everyone to stay away from lightyear network solutions (lightyear wireless).

-Joe Smart

Joe,

While David did not personally recommend Lightyear as a business for his own reasons, he explicitly said it was not a scam and in fact a legitimate Company and opportunity. In agreeing with what he wrote then, you contradict your self.

To get this straight, you joined a business without apparently having any clue about how the business worked or doing any research at all. – for example your comments about your AT&T phone or the Verizon versus Sprint service would have been answered by reading the website for about 30 seconds.

If you join a business without doing any research at all or take no personal responsibility for your own due diligence then “work” that business for two weeks and wonder why you are unsuccessful, with all due respect, you would be better to look in the mirror than throwing blame for that in every direction other than at your own self. I did not address most of the rest of your post Joe as it is in the realms of fantasy and I’d rather be factual.

To address David’s original post, I respect his opinion, though they are in part build around facts that are significantly different perhaps to those that existed at the time of his review. Lightyear Wireless’ parent company is now Birch Communications. Lightyear has a wholesale partnership with both Sprint and Verizon. Lightyear has coverage maps available on its site that to me, are identical to both Sprint and Verizon’s, but please validate that comment with your own research. You can bring any existing Verizon 3G phone whether active or not and you can bring (with a few limitations) any Sprint 3G or 4G phone, including the Samsung Galaxy S4.

With regard to the “You Plus Three is Free”, I personally have received no bill for unlimited service on the Verizon side in over a year. The service is excellent and identical to the service I had direct with Verizon (I even lose connection in the exact same place as I did prior to switching).

Lightyear service is no contract. It does offer free smartphones for new reps, but the bigger picture is that the consumer can choose to purchase a phone that is right for them and bring it to either of Lightyear’s service. For example, I brought a brand new iPhone 4S – cost to me $350 on Ebay. Even without referring, I was saving $40/month on my previous Verizon service. At the same time I was offered a “free” iPhone 4S on a two year contract with Verizon. Well $40 a month extra for 2 years = $960. The “free” iPhone would in fact have cost me almost $1000 with the Verizon contract.

Obviously free service is excellent and another feature is that the plans include 500 minutes of free international calling/month to most countries. Again even without referring others and qualifying for free service, that is a good value.

On the business side, David described the plan fairly well. There is an additional entry point at $499 to come in as a Regional Manager since the article was written. This provides $600 in free service coupons to give away to aid customer gathering as well as creates a very significant increase in earning level.

I disagree with David on the main issue as to whether this represents a good business choice. First the wireless industry is a fantastic booming market unlike nutrition, travel, real estate etc. What that means is that there is “low hanging fruit” in this market place as being in a booming industry stacks the odds in your favor of success.

Second in comparison to almost anything I can think of in the home business arena, wireless is an entrepreneur’s dream product. It is something people cannot live without and willingly pay for every month. The retention rate in Lightyear is over 4 times that of a “good” nutritional company for example. What that means is that if you do join Lightyear and actually work, you can expect your business to grow consistently rather than enduring the torture of growing and shrinking seen in virtually every product based home based business as people quit their monthly autoships of non-essential products.

Whether of course Lightyear represents the right business for you is of course a choice based on a number of factors. If you are looking at Lightyear, do not make the mistake that Joe made and for sure do your own due diligence. Being successful with Lightyear – or any business – takes a work ethic, a desire and consistency. One of the joys I have with Lightyear though is that I can 100% look people in the eye when introducing them because instead of saddling them with $300/month costs for products they may or may not need just to get paid as is the typical home business scenario, they already have a bill for something they cannot live without and can actually eliminate that bill with Lightyear.

There are business costs of course – no legitimate business does not have them. However, when someone has enrolled just three, their costs of doing business with Lightyear are basically zero. The front end income is excellent so the journey to residual income can be made in profit rather than through monthly cost.

I do not encourage everyone to join Lightyear Wireless as there are so many factors in determining if it is the right opportunity for you. If you are, however, looking for a legitimate home based business opportunity, I certainly recommend you do your due diligence as I think you will see as I do that Lightyear is truly an outstanding business opportunity.

All the Best,

Andy Smith

I thank David Harris so very much for his very thoughtful, in-depth, and apparently fair review of Lightyear Wireless. I have very little experience with sizing up business opportunities and am often at a complete loss regarding what to look for when evaluating them. There are millions of other business opp seekers like me who also have a “vital” need for the kind of light David has been charitable enough to provide; and all of us would surely step into many pitfalls were it not for angels and shepherds like David. Lamps like David’s are an invaluable contribution to the development of a vitally important neighborhood watch on the worldwide web. Kudos to you, David!!! And so many, many thanks!!!

Juan Valentine on :

I myself is a Lightyear wireless Rep this business is not a scam.You can save money and make money on your wireless bill.This business is not for everyone.

Stephanie O'Brien on :

Thank you very much for this practical, in-depth review. I was contacted by one of their reps, and this is one of the first links I clicked while researching his offer. I’m very glad I looked at this before wasting my time.

I am a regional manager and I can honestly say it’s not a scam and I have currently stopped service with plans to return if the ever fix the customer service department and make it easier for customers to join and get customer service in my area with in 1st wk I had 39 intrest 11 signed up and 16 where discouraged of lack of customer service and 12 needed help but all are still very interested in continuing but feel that customer service is terrible and 8 need of help

 

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