Ad Watchdog TINA.org Files FTC Complaint Against Energy Supplier Stream Energy Deceptively Marketing Business Opportunity
September 12th, 2018
TINA.org collected more than 120 deceptive income claims made by the company and its distributors including claims of participants quitting their jobs, becoming stay-at-home parents, paying for their kids’ college tuitions without incurring debt, traveling the world, and driving luxury vehicles, among other things.
However, the vast majority of Stream distributors do not earn anywhere close to the amount of money that would support such lifestyles or allow them to get out of debt and onto the path toward financial freedom as many testimonials claim. In fact, according to Stream’s own 2017 Income Disclosure Statement, the average distributor lost money last year by enrolling in Stream’s business opportunity.
“Stream’s use of exaggerated income claims to promote its business opportunity results in real harm for consumers,” said TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “TINA.org calls on regulators to put an end to Stream’s deceptive marketing practices once and for all.”
In its Business Guidance Concerning Multi-Level Marketing published in January, the FTC specifically warns MLM companies about the use of deceptive income representations to recruit participants. Just one month later, the FTC took action against the MLM Digital Altitude for employing deceptive income claims to lure consumers to the business.
TINA.org initially collected a sampling of inappropriate income claims by the company and its distributors as part of a larger investigation in 2017 into the deceptive recruitment practices of the MLM industry as a whole. This investigation found that more than 97 percent of member companies of the industry’s trade group, the Direct Selling Association (DSA), engaged in misleading marketing schemes that peddled false and unsubstantiated earnings claims trying to convince prospective distributors to join their MLM network.
To read more about TINA.org’s investigation of Stream Energy’s deceptive income claims, see: www.truthinadvertising.org/tina-org-complaint-throws-water-on-streams-income-claims/