Summary of Action

TINA.org investigated Stream Gas & Electric, Ltd. (“Stream”), a Texas-based multi-level marketing company that resells electricity and gas to customers, as well as wireless phone and personal protective services, and found that the company and its distributors are engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign.

Specifically, TINA.org’s investigation revealed that Stream and its distributors are using a plethora of deceptive, atypical, and unsubstantiated income claims to market the Stream business opportunity.  Such marketing materials include 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.  The problem with these claims is that the average distributor lost money last year by enrolling in Stream’s business opportunity.

As a result of these findings, TINA.org notified the company on December 18, 2017 (as part of TINA.org’s DSA-member investigation) of its findings of inappropriate income claims, and asked that the company remedy the deceptive marketing immediately. The company responded on December 21, 2017 stating, in part, that  “Stream’s compliance team…is dedicated to teaching our Independent Associates (IAs) how to accurately and transparently represent the Stream brand….When someone misrepresents Stream in any way, we take it seriously.”

However, TINA.org audited its original sampling of deceptive Stream income claims that it provided to the company back in December 2017 and found that, almost nine months later, over a third of the claims were still up on the internet.  In addition, TINA.org collected an additional sampling of more than 100 deceptive income claims made by the company and its distributors.

Therefore, on September 10, 2018, TINA.org filed complaint letters with the Federal Trade Commission and Texas Attorney General urging them both to investigate the company and take appropriate enforcement action.

For information on TINA.org’s involvement in civil litigation filed against Stream, click here.

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