Wealthy Affiliate Scam Complaints: Did Lawsuit Expose Pyramid?

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Chris McDonald
Chris McDonald

There’s a running misconception that people have sued Wealthy Affiliate for being a scam, a pyramid and all kinds of other things. The truth is, it’s Wealthy Affiliate that exposed MOBE, took on the lawsuit, won, and donated money back to those that have lost out because of MOBE.

My eyes lit up at this, so I just had to get involved when I saw the Wealthy Affiliate scam reports, with a detailed review of everything involved so I know whether to steer you toward or away from Wealthy Affiliate.

I’ll tell you exactly why Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam shortly, but I can see why some feel that is. For this, there needs an exponential decrease in the “work from home affiliate marketing I make x amount of dollars in my sleep on autopilot while drinking coffee on a jet ski” BS.

Those claims are just sales pitches to get you to sign up through their affiliate link, with the blind hope that you then pay for the premium subscription.

Less BS and more transparency, which is where I come in…

Is Wealthy Affiliate scam or legit?

What we know answered...

I’m one of the fortunate ones to have been involved with an MLM company before.

That’s right, I said “fortunate.”

That’s because the MLM structure is vastly different from that of a pyramid-type of set up, and I learned a lot about people, health, and an alternative way of living. I’m actually grateful for it since it led me to be able to write this kind of content.

From my experience of years in such an MLM/direct sales environment, I can safely say that Wealthy Affiliate is a far cry from being a pyramid scheme.

I wouldn’t even say that Wealthy Affiliate has an MLM business structure; it’s more of a hybrid MLM style of business. You aren’t heavily reliant on your affiliates from doing uber well to climb some form of hierarchy.

To do well with Wealthy Affiliate—as with any MLM business—the onus is on YOU!

(Cue Uncle Sam meme!)

What were the Wealthy Affiliate Complaints about?

Wealthy Affiliate's logoSo if the Wealthy Affiliate scam complaints aren’t valid, what are people complaining about?

Well, you know people; people like to complain about anything when something doesn’t meet a preconceived expectation.

Most of the Wealthy Affiliate complaints are from those that either:

  1. Didn’t get rich overnight; or
  2. Haven’t been able to sit on their heinies and watch the dollars rolling on in.

I feel this is a huge reflection of a level of society: a sense of entitlement (major buzz word right now, sorry!) and expectation.

There’s no doubt that internet and affiliate marketing work. Programs like Wealthy Affiliate and Authority Hacker simply wouldn’t exist if the industry was fake, but that doesn’t stop the Wealthy Affiliate scam claims.

Something I like to ask people is would you go to a restaurant that’s never been reviewed or to one that your pals jump up and down and rave about? It’s the same thing with affiliate marketing, albeit it’s easier to pull the wool over people’s eyes due to the commission structure of affiliate marketing programs.

And this, my people, is where the Wealthy Affiliate scam misconception comes into play.

The Wealthy Affiliate scam misconception

At no point does Wealthy Affiliate claim or mention that you’ll be able to do any of the following:

  1. Quit your full-time job overnight
  2. Move to the Bahamas
  3. Live on a yacht
  4. Have 100% of your income as passive
  5. Play computer games all day (my dream!)
  6. Sit in your PJ’s all day (although I pretty much do this anyway)

Scams exist because people fall for these lifestyle dreams, which you can have, but you need to consistently work your behind off to be able to do those things.

I love this quote from the great Socrates:

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.

And I feel that’s where you can ignore those who don’t show you how to make money online, but just tell you.

Don’t want to be scammed? Follow the showers, not the tellers, and not the flashers (you’ll get arrested :p).

Some affiliate marketer wannabes might have got the impression that the Wealthy Affiliate program can provide those things, but that’s an implied result of a misconception of affiliate marketing in general, and is nothing to do with the founders, Kyle and Carson.

In my experience, people want the results that affiliate marketing can provide, but they don’t want to put in the work to get there.

That’s why things like the Wealthy Affiliate free access trial exist, so you can dip your toe into the water to see if the shark bites water is warm enough for you.

Wealthy Affiliate: scam or not?

Is Wealthy Affiliate a scam or legit?

If you’ve got this far and are like, “Hmm, I still think the Wealthy Affiliate scam hype is real,” then you’re likely set in your ways and their business model won’t appeal to you.

But I don’t blame you. It takes a certain mindset to be open to making money online, and you should be wary of many things, but not well-established communities and programs that have been making people money online for years, which is what WA is.

If anyone says they have gone financially bust from what Wealthy Affiliate teaches, I’d call them out. It’s not WA that’s the cause, but their own ability to manage their finances. You can be a full member of Wealthy Affiliate for $49 per month, and that gives you access to everything that WA has to offer, including the Jaaxy keyword tool, hosting, and anything else you need to get your site up and running.

I bet many of those slamming online marketing programs spend more than that on alcohol or playing Fortnite.

Is the community to blame for the Wealthy Affiliate pyramid talk?

However, and this is where the affiliate marketing community has a huge sense of responsibility and needs to change, those who blindly promote Wealthy Affiliate as nothing but positive are part of the problem.

There will never be a perfect form of affiliate marketing because we’ll always find something better elsewhere. Whether that’s in price, customer support, an active community, free banners, blah blah blah.

So beware of the Wealthy Affiliate reviews that don’t mention any of the negatives. While it’s a great affiliate program for beginners, one of the biggest Wealthy Affiliate University complaints is that there’s outdated information in there, which you’ll find in my Wealthy Affiliate unbiased review.

This is the only place where the Wealthy Affiliate scam claims can be justified…

The inherent nature of the WA community is built around its affiliates to actively post in the community throughout the training and beyond. What this does is help WA rank for keywords surrounding affiliate marketing in general, and tells the search engines that WA is an authority.

It’s clever, but I feel it slightly forces affiliates’ hands somewhat.

Even so, you don’t have to do this to be successful with Wealthy Affiliate. It’s your choice to do so, which completely debunks the Wealthy Affiliate pyramid claims. If it were a pyramid, you would have to heavily promote the program to succeed but there’d be no product.

And here’s the kicker for me…

You can build a successful internet marketing website WITHOUT having to promote Wealthy Affiliate. The WA product exists in its split training, from start to finish:

Internet marketing—through building your own blog
Affiliate marketing—through promoting WA and other affiliate programs

Wealthy Affiliate lawsuits: key takeaways

Don’t believe that the Wealthy Affiliate lawsuit claims were surrounding the legitimacy of WA’s membership program and training. The lawsuit was on the back of MOBE Ltd filing against WA’s MOBE review, saying that the review had lost business for the plaintiff. That’s what WA was being sued for.

This clearly does shift the beady eye toward Wealthy Affiliate scam claims, though. In this regard, I’ll back Public Enemy and say, “Don’t Believe the Hype.” It is most certainly not a pyramid scheme or a scam.

We’re easily led by excitement, controversy and drama, but there’s no need to jump on the bandwagon. Sure, Wealthy Affiliate’s training and members could do a lot to get better, so avoid the nothing-but-positive promotions. But why not try it for free and find out for yourself?

Go through the free training and see if it’s for you. If not, you lose nothing.

It’s clear to me that the Wealthy Affiliate scam complaints stem from a severe lack of awareness of not just what WA is but from what affiliate marketing can do for you. These will either be from the same people who thought they’d get rich overnight and failed or from those who didn’t get 100 affiliates to join without promoting it.

You’re bright people.

Do your research (or read mine) and avoid the sales pitches and spiel.

FAQs on the Wealthy Affiliate scam lawsuit

No, Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme because a product exists in its affiliate marketing training. You simply do not have to promote Wealthy Affiliate to make money through the program, so ignore the Wealthy Affiliate pyramid scheme comments. Those people don’t know what a pyramid scheme is.

Wealthy Affiliate makes money by consumers upgrading from the free trial to the premium membership. It then incentivizes its customers to promote Wealthy Affiliate by paying them a commission for affiliates that sign up through their links. This is standard affiliate marketing 101.

Yes, Wealthy Affiliate is legitimate and I’ve tried it for myself. The training is extensive and takes you from the very beginning in terms of choosing your niche and researching keywords, through to writing your content and getting traffic. The community is incredibly active, too.

The main alternatives to Wealthy Affiliate are:

  • Affilorama
  • Authority Hacker
  • Income School’s Project 24
  • Savage Affiliates

Most will look toward Affilorama as a comparison, but feel free to check out my Wealthy Affiliate vs Affilorama comparison to see my thoughts. The others are both popular affiliate marketing programs, too.

You can trust Wealthy Affiliate if you’re looking for a beginner course designed to learn the basics of internet marketing and affiliate marketing. If you read claims saying that Wealthy Affiliate will pay off your mortgage within x amounts of months, don’t believe them. These claims won’t come from Wealthy Affiliate.

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