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  #1  
Old 07-14-2010, 10:21 AM
DivineComedienne DivineComedienne is offline
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Are green energy companies like Viridian and Glacial really a MLM scam?

I'm trying to figure out if Viridian Energy is a MLM scam, or a legitimate business model. Sales representatives must pay to join the group, and must sign up 15 other people within the first (I think it's 30, but it might be 90) days, which sounds like classic MLM.

I'm also reading things about their rates being cheap at first and then going WAY up in a short time. And, supposedly they are not regulated like a normal utility company is. Then I'm also reading other articles that debunk all these "scam" claims, but they may be written by people who are affiliated with the company already.

Does anyone here have any experience with this group, or others like it?
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2010, 02:41 PM
iibeach iibeach is offline
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Energy Marketing Scams?

Technically, the way these companies are reaching their customers isn't illegal. They pay "associates" to both sell electricity and to recruit new associates. From the consumer's viewpoint, this shouldn't matter so long as the product is what was promised, and the price is fair. They are however frowned upon by their competitiors in the business who market in the traditional ways using direct mail, door-to-door and annoying dinner-time phone calls. It could be that I don't see the economies in their model, but I have trouble understanding how they can afford to support such a deep and wide network and still charge near-market prices.

Full disclosure...I am an employee of a regulated electric utility in the northeast, but I have no affiliation with any energy marketing company.
  #3  
Old 08-05-2010, 03:51 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Legally, as long as the primary purpose is the sale of some actual product (cosmetics or toys or kitchenware, or whatever), it's not a scam. That still doesn't mean it's necessarily a good use of your money, though.
  #4  
Old 08-07-2010, 07:53 AM
skargo skargo is offline
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Please allow me to input some info. Yes, I am a Viridian Associate, and yes I signed up upon finding this thread, and yes, this is my first post.

I have always been skeptical of MLM, Network and Direct marketing. I went to many meetings over the past 20 years and never did anything, until Viridian.
It's simple, no products to carry, and it sells itself for the most part.

It does cost money to be an associate, from $99 to $399(which I paid) depending on what products and where you will be able to sell them.

You get a fast start bonus of $300 if you switch 15 customers in 90 days. I did it in less than a month, and people under me have done it too. I received my first pay yesterday, I made my initial investment, and then some back. It is ALL profit from here on out.

You do NOT get paid a penny to recruit other associates, like many MLM models, you only get paid on customers. Read that again, it was one of the main reasons I joined up, besides the fact that customers pay NOTHING, nor do they sign contracts or charged fees if they switch back.

People say they have heard they raise the rates substantially after awhile?!?!? What would that do to Viridian? It would cause people to leave, and their business would crumble.

They can afford to pay their associates because they do not advertise, and work on a much smaller profit margin than others, simple as that.

I have nothing to gain by posting here, I just hope to clear up misinformation. I believe in this with all my heart, and the company treats it's associates, customers, and the environment great!
  #5  
Old 08-12-2010, 09:45 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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To be honest with you man i was gonna join Viridian as an associate, but i couldn't come up with the $399 for the All States Package..I thought it was kinda expensive but being that i understood the opportunity i said fuk it....So i had to wait a few more weeks to save up to get the package....The day i was going to sign up something said you know what, why dont i google this s**t to see if its a scam....so i looked it up on google and another company by the name of America Approved Energy came up....It was a consultant's web page where he was talking about Viridian's compensation plan compared to America Approved Energy's compensation plan....i was blown away by how much this company charges to join ($179.00) compared to Viridian ($399.00)....I was thinking this sounds to good to be true, so i checked out there website and saw they had an opportunity meeting the next day in NYC across the street from Penn Station at the Hotel Pennsylvania....I said fuk it what do i have to lose by going besides getting educated...so i went and sure enough it was Legit...There compensation plan kicks Viridian's into the wall...It's crazy to me how people are really paying $399 for the package to only make $2 a month on every person....America Approved pays you $20 for every single person you switch over and u make a commission on the customers bill which all goes to a debit card they send you....and that's only 2/8 ways they pay you every month....and for every customer u sign up, they instantly become enrolled in the customer appreciation program which gives them $500 virtual dollars to spend on everything from Brand name merchandise, to Hotels, car rentals, gift cards,Attraction Tickets...etc..."It's a no brainer"....America Approved Energy's current KWH rate in NJ in the PSE&G market is 11.8 ...where viridian is 12....I found out about Viridian about a month and a 1/2 ago from this guy who came into my job telling us we could lower our electric bills at no cost to us at all....i was immediately interested and actually went that day to the Viridian website to switch it over with the guys name on it....it takes about 1 bill cycle for the transition to occur...so anyway now a month and a 1/2 later (today) i got my PSE&G bill with Viridian as my new supplier....you ready for this...Tell me why they charged me $81.75 for my supply right....and underneath it, it says if i would have been purchasing my supply from PSE&G, my total would have been $81.31......so much for the 20-30% savings they rant and rave about...smh...so i called the dude i work with who ended up spending the $399.00 to become an associate, and asked him wasup wit that....he tells me to call Viridian and find out....as a rep for the company he couldnt even help me out...Im switching from Viridian right now and going to my company where i can make $20 off myself and a commission off my own bill....If you want i can show u my bill where Viridian charged me more than PSE&G....And if your interested in real opportunity, you should check out the website yourself and make an educated decision about it...www.TheTimeisNow.AmaNation.com and they're all over youtube....


http://i33.tinypic.com/r1k8qe.jpg
  #6  
Old 08-12-2010, 09:53 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Never mind...

Last edited by skargo; 08-12-2010 at 09:54 PM..
  #7  
Old 08-12-2010, 10:12 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Moving this from General Questions to Great Debates. Here's my reasoning.

What should be answerable as a general question will involve many opinions. Thus, GQ is gonna be out. Many/most of these opinions are gonna be held by people who are actively involved in the business. You can still get factual answers in all of our forums.

Plus, tomndebb seems to have it quiet right now. Good luck, tom.

samclem Moderator, GQ
  #8  
Old 08-12-2010, 10:27 PM
XT XT is offline
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Well, since it's in GD now, I'll just say that, based on what the OP is describing anyway, as well as what skargo is saying, it certainly SOUNDS like an MLM. Whether you consider that a 'scam' or not is, I suppose, debatable...probably depending mainly on where you are in the pyramid, I suppose.

-XT
  #9  
Old 08-13-2010, 03:38 AM
qpw3141 qpw3141 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineComedienne View Post
I'm trying to figure out if Viridian Energy is a MLM scam, or a legitimate business model. Sales representatives must pay to join the group, and must sign up 15 other people within the first (I think it's 30, but it might be 90) days, which sounds like classic MLM.
When I read this I thought: "How is this not MLM?"

The answer (which became apparent from skargo's post) is that the 'other people' highlighted are customers, not other sales people - which I at first assumed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtisme View Post
Well, since it's in GD now, I'll just say that, based on what the OP is describing anyway, as well as what skargo is saying, it certainly SOUNDS like an MLM. Whether you consider that a 'scam' or not is, I suppose, debatable...probably depending mainly on where you are in the pyramid, I suppose.
I would disagree. If they are not paid to recruit new sales people (nor required to do so in order to continue selling the product) it in no way qualifies as MLM.

Last edited by qpw3141; 08-13-2010 at 03:40 AM..
  #10  
Old 08-13-2010, 11:34 AM
Gibbs89 Gibbs89 is offline
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I was also extremely skeptical at first but ended up signing up as a Viridian associate in Maryland. It definitely sounded too good to be true, but I just couldn't find the downside to it and figured the worst that could happen was I'd be out the $399 that they charge up front. It's only been a month, but just like skargo I've already made that initial investment back and then some.

Just to clear one thing up though, it's not all profit from here on out, (one thing I was kind of annoyed about not being explained up front, but that's really the fault of the associate signing me up, not the company). Viridian charges a recurring annual fee to remain an "Associate" ($50) and $20/month for your personal website. I suppose if you're not actively recruiting customers anymore you can cancel the website subscription though.

There may be other energy companies that offer better compensation plans out there, but I already knew a handful of people who were Viridian associates so I went that route. And that was definitely a good thing for me, because I always come up with tons of questions and have a good group I can turn to for answers with this stuff. MattyMatt, I see the numbers you're talking about on your bill, but it also says something about an average rate of $0.000000 per kWh, so there is obviously something wrong with the calculations happening to figure those numbers out. I'd be interested to see the itemized part of that bill that actually shows your kWh usage and the rates you're being charged, maybe on the back (I'm not too familiar with the layout of PSE&G bills). One possibility for the discrepancy is if you are on a budget billing plan sponsored by the utility that spreads out your energy costs over the course of the year, switching providers can (especially in NJ) mess with that. The utility company may not factor your electricity use into the budgeted numbers if you switch providers, so the actual amount due would more closely reflect your energy use, which would be much higher in the middle of summer when energy demands are highest. In that case, however, you should still be saving money in the long run, as you wouldn't now be making up the difference by overpaying in the winter to compensate. I don't know if that's what's going on in your case or not, but it's possible.

So to answer OP's questions, no, I can say pretty confidently that it's not a scam. One big thing that made up my mind on that question is the fact that you are not required in any way to bring new associates on board (as qpw3141 just mentioned). Sure, there are financial benefits to doing so, but you can do just fine by yourself too. We haven't been online long enough here in MD to see any actual rate hikes or anything like that, so I can't say for sure it doesn't happen, but it doesn't make sense for the company to want to drive away the customer base they just spent so much time and money recruiting, so I trust them when they say they will remain competitive. I suspect most of the complaints come from people who don't understand how the budget billing system can be affected, then switch providers in the summer when usage is highest, and then get a huge bill they don't expect without realizing that they will indeed pay less over the course of a year. That's not necessarily that fault of the customer though. Whether the fault lies the associate for not explaining it properly, the company (Viridian or whoever) for not educating the associate well enough, or the local utility company (for printing somewhat misleading info on the bill) is debatable, but it's probably some combination of all those in most cases.
  #11  
Old 08-13-2010, 12:27 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Gibbs, thanks for pointing out the website fee, and the renewal fee. The only people that will pay these fees are successful Viridian Associates such as myself and members of my team. If you don't make enough to pay for the renewal, and the website, this business definitely is not for that person.

Here is a copy of a bill from the same utility as MattyMatt, I fear he left out a portion of his bill, intentional or not, I do not know.

http://www.gogreenpowerco.com/wp-con...ian-1-Page.pdf

BTW Gibbs, that website is for NJ, but they have some excellent materials and articles. I use that in addition to TeamV.

I have a booth at the MD BBQ bash in Bel Air today and tomorrow, if you are around stop by and introduce yourself!
  #12  
Old 08-15-2010, 01:57 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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@SKARGO.....That copy of that PSE&G bill i think is from a cop in Rutherford..!!!.wow....Viridian must give all there associates that bill as proof to show prospects they really can save money...but at that amount for an Electric bill, of course the savings are gonna be higher....And i honestly only feel some kind of way about it, because of how much they brag and boast about being able to save a customer 20-30%...i say that because i actually work with at my job a Viridian Energy Associate...S0 i hear him all day,and his main pitch is always...How would you like to save 20-30% on ur electric bill at no cost to you while going green at the same time....and regardless of why they charged what they charged me..(im calling customer service tomorrow)...Going with them should NOT be costing me more monthly than i WAS paying with PSE&G...
  #13  
Old 08-15-2010, 02:00 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Show your whole bill MattyMat...
  #14  
Old 08-15-2010, 02:42 PM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Gibbs89 View Post
...but it doesn't make sense for the company to want to drive away the customer base they just spent so much time and money recruiting, so I trust them when they say they will remain competitive.
If I'm understanding this properly, the company spends neither time nor money recruiting their customer base. Rather, the customer pays an annual fee for the privilege of being a customer, and the other customers spend their time and money doing the recruiting.

Perhaps I misunderstand, though...
  #15  
Old 08-15-2010, 02:47 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Originally Posted by Digital Stimulus View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbs89 View Post
...but it doesn't make sense for the company to want to drive away the customer base they just spent so much time and money recruiting, so I trust them when they say they will remain competitive.
If I'm understanding this properly, the company spends neither time nor money recruiting their customer base. Rather, the customer pays an annual fee for the privilege of being a customer, and the other customers spend their time and money doing the recruiting.

Perhaps I misunderstand, though...
Yes, you misunderstand.
The customer pays NOTHING. NEVER a fee. And customers do NO recruiting.

Associates pay for the privilege of owning their own business, THEY spend their time and money getting customers. For example, I had a booth the past 2 days at a BBQ festival.

There is a huge difference between an Associate and a Customer.
  #16  
Old 08-15-2010, 02:51 PM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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There is a huge difference between an Associate and a Customer.
Ah. That's what I was missing.
  #17  
Old 08-15-2010, 03:02 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skargo View Post
There is a huge difference between an Associate and a Customer.
Ah. That's what I was missing.
I've seen the same misunderstanding on multiple sites on the net.

They are legit, and save people money. Not sure what is going on with MattyMat's bill though. I have sent this thread to corporate and they are checking it out.

We associates make money in a SIMILAR vein to MLM, with the exception that we do not get paid a red cent for recruiting other associates, only for getting customers signed up/ That should have no bearing on a customer if they are saving money.
  #18  
Old 08-15-2010, 04:20 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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Yess....so i just received an email from "someone" telling me if i send them a scan of my whole entire bill, through email, I'll receive $50.00..!!..can you believe that...not the amount...lol...but someone willing to pay for this...hmm....im starting to think this may be a very good marketing tool....Maybe that's why some may feel the need to contact "corporate"..??....either way this is interesting....going to contact my upline to see there opinion....andd i have the hard copy sitting on my desk..!...soo..we'll see what happens...
  #19  
Old 08-15-2010, 04:23 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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The only reason "some"(me) would contact corporate is because every single customer I have seen has saved money, except for you, who ironically is a competitor, and is someone who only put up a portion of their bill.

Who offered to pay you $50 anyway?
  #20  
Old 08-15-2010, 04:51 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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@Skargo.....What other part of my bill would you like to see ...the only place that changes is the supply portion....everything else remains the same...The only place on my PSE&G bill where it shows KWH usage is from the Delivery Segment of the bill...On the bottom where Viridian Energy PA, LLC is listed, the only thing that IS listed is my Grand Total....


http://es.tinypic.com/r/7145fn/4
  #21  
Old 08-15-2010, 06:41 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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So tell everybody you know....through the "warm" market....
  #22  
Old 08-23-2010, 12:06 PM
Can't Trust It Can't Trust It is offline
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Can any of the Viridian Associates answer these questions:
1) Have you ever seen the company's financials? The only way to tell what a company "does" is by following the money. My bet is they make all (if any) profits not from selling energy, but from selling "the right to sell Viridian" for $399, as well as selling Web sites for $20 a month.
Why do I believe this?
a) Energy is a commodity, so you can't really beat anyone on price unless you are somehow subsidizing that price (with things like, say, $399 memberships for Associates.)
b) The utilities are required to sell energy supply (the stuff Viridian is selling) at cost, which is why they don't care if you switch. They actually encourage you to switch, because it's less hassle for them. Utilities make all their money off distribution.
...Is this a sustainable business model? What happens when the growth of Viridian's "Associates" business slows down? Do they jack up their power prices? Do they go under? What happens to the MLM business that you've built?
I saw a presentation that says Viridian has 100,000 customers in NJ and 3,000 Associates! Can you imagine a company with 1 sales rep for every 30 customers!
  #23  
Old 08-23-2010, 12:34 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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All great questions. Many of which have been addressed at meetings.
I am on my phone so short and sweet. I made my money back the first month we went live.
There are millions of meters available to us associates, so while the ratio might be high now, attrition, and growth will adjust said ratio.

Who knows, maybe one day they do raise the rates, if they do it will be business suicide, as their customers are not locked in and will switch to someone more reasonable.

As to what if the "MLM" model dries up? I am a firm believer in multiple streams of income, which protects me in case of this very scenario. My Viridian money here invested.

I will ask if the financials are transparent.
  #24  
Old 08-23-2010, 12:51 PM
Can't Trust It Can't Trust It is offline
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Full disclosure: I switched my home to Viridian, and I was so happy when I saved $12 the first month that I looked into the Associates program. I passed because of the questions above, plus I noticed they have ALREADY raised their rates for PSE&G customers. See here: http://www.viridian.com/assets/marke...te_NJ-PSEG.pdf

Plus, the rates they quote for PSE&G are B.S. (or commercial rates, which is just as dishonest.) I was paying about 11.5 per kwh with PSE&G. That's how I saved money with Viridian's 10.5 cents. At 12 cents, I'm going to lose money. How could I sell that to friends and family?
  #25  
Old 08-24-2010, 03:57 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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You are not understanding. They are variable, just like the public utility. The public utility will fluctuate, and so will Viridian. You will still save over the course of a year. Viridian has cost anyone more.
PSEG uses "fuzzy math" to show their price to compare, or rates. BGE just got into hot water for that and has to now use their summer rate/winter rate etc as their price to compare, instead of what's called a blended rate.

You could sell it to anyone if you educated yourself No offense meant either, I had no clue until I learned about all of this.
  #26  
Old 08-24-2010, 05:26 PM
Can't Trust It Can't Trust It is offline
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I understand it's variable, but an increase to 12 cents from 10.5 is 14 percent ... in one month. Could you imagine the outrage if PSE&G jacked its prices 14 percent in a month? Did they explain to you the justification for a 14 percent increase? Bad energy trading month?
Also, I called their customer service line today and told the rep the historical prices they are posting for PSE&G are wrong. He said, and this is no joke, "I know. I've told 'them' that and they haven't changed them yet. I'll tell them again as soon as I get off the phone with you."
Bottom line: They are lying on their Web site. Doesn't that bother you? I'll give them three or four months as a customer to see if I save money, and then cut bait.
  #27  
Old 08-24-2010, 06:05 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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LOL, PSEG has before and will again raise, and drop by 14%. Who cares if it goes up and down 14% if it still is CHEAPER THAN PSEG?!?!?!?! I don't get it, they are selling green energy CHEAPER than the local utility and people still want to bash them.

And lying? Come on, if there's a discrepancy, there's no way it could be a mistake, right I just reported a mistake on their site today myself. There is no reason for them to "lie". I mean, the rates are clearly stated on most public utilities websites.

I guess the many thousands of people who have been saving the past 2 years have it wrong?

It certainly does not bother me to be involved with a company that is saving many people money, and greening the grid. I hope they fix the website to your satisfaction ASAP though...
  #28  
Old 08-24-2010, 06:25 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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I asked the COO about this and he sent this reply. So it is incorrect, and they are fixing it. This constitutes lying in your book?!?!? Especially when it can be easily checked?
They treat us, and our customers well, I feel I should stand up for them.

Bob Ulrich
to me

show details 7:13 PM (8 minutes ago)


The Price To Compare chart is incorrect and it is being fixed on our end. The new accurate chart will be updated soon.



Bob



Robert J. Ulrich Chief Operating Officer
  #29  
Old 08-25-2010, 07:50 AM
Can't Trust It Can't Trust It is offline
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I have no interest in bashing them. I hope Viridian does well. I hope you do well. Like I said, I'm a customer, and I hope they continue saving me money. I have no love for big utility monopolies.
I actually came to this board because I was so excited about the savings on my first Viridian bill that I wanted to learn more about the Associates program.
But I quickly soured on the idea after:
A) Seeing them raise their prices. 12 cents is MORE than I have been paying with PSE&G.
B) Seeing them put incorrect information on their site about their competitor's prices. (If your entire business is based on selling energy at a lower price than your competitors, don't you think you'd make every effort to get that right? So, if they're not lying, are they incompetent? It's a fair question.)
C) Failing to find a good answer to the question: How can they sell green energy at a lower price when it costs more to produce? They certainly don't have the buying power of a huge utility. (It has to be due to the money collected from Web sites and Associates.) What happens when that dries up?
  #30  
Old 08-25-2010, 08:22 AM
skargo skargo is offline
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Originally Posted by Can't Trust It View Post
I have no interest in bashing them. I hope Viridian does well. I hope you do well. Like I said, I'm a customer, and I hope they continue saving me money. I have no love for big utility monopolies.
I actually came to this board because I was so excited about the savings on my first Viridian bill that I wanted to learn more about the Associates program.
But I quickly soured on the idea after:
A) Seeing them raise their prices. 12 cents is MORE than I have been paying with PSE&G.
B) Seeing them put incorrect information on their site about their competitor's prices. (If your entire business is based on selling energy at a lower price than your competitors, don't you think you'd make every effort to get that right? So, if they're not lying, are they incompetent? It's a fair question.)
C) Failing to find a good answer to the question: How can they sell green energy at a lower price when it costs more to produce? They certainly don't have the buying power of a huge utility. (It has to be due to the money collected from Web sites and Associates.) What happens when that dries up?
First, thanks for the well wishes!

I agree, they need to be more diligent and make sure the correct info is out there. I think that's a result of being a fairly new company. Lots of us associates want to be involved with a startup company, but we want the stability of an established company. I'm sure there will be growing pains along the way. I wouldn't call the entire company incompetent because of a data mistake on the website, sure, SOMEONE was certainly incompetent putting that there.

The answer to how do they sell green energy cheaper is simple. They have no advertising costs, AND they operate on a much smaller profit margin, simple as that.
It is not due to the money collected because they have bonus programs that pay that money back in the first month if you have any skill at all in this business. I'm no salesman, and I more than made my money back the first month.
It was explained to me that the money they charge is to keep every Tom/Dick?harry from signing up, then doing nothing, creating an administrative nightmare.
By charging the fees, it creates an incentive to get your 15 customers, to get your fast start bonus. Then, maybe the associates have picked up a little bit of experience and will keep getting customers.

To be honest, I don't expect this marketing model to be around forever, I mean Nextel and other companies started out with the same marketing, and later switched to a more conventional model.
Like I said previously, all of my Viridian money goes towards investments. I am not using it for daily living so as not to fall into the trap of counting on it if indeed it would go away.
Everyone should have multiple streams of income in these times anyway IMO.

I do like the fact that Viridian complies fully with the DMA's code of ethics.

Anyway, I truly hope everything turns out satisfactory for you and you save a lot of money!
  #31  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:40 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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Soo i curiously posted a copy of my bill on Viridian Energy's Facebook page saying thank you for the great savings i have received...with a picture of my bill right next to my post,showing Viridian, charging me $81.75 for my supply...and PSE&G telling me if i would have stayed with them, they would've only charged me $81.31.....I received one comment on the post from a Viridian Associate saying wow it looks like you only saved $2 on your bill..!..I responded back saying actually i didn't save anything and invited him to the straight dope forum to see the whole bill for himself ...When i came home today after work to check my Facebook, i went back to Viridian Energy's Facebook page and saw my post was deleted.!..I can not understand why they would not want to address this type of a situation...Maybe im crazy, but to me this is an instant red flag telling me something's not right....Then i looked further on the page and saw a familiar name from this forum...He was asking why the post was deleted himself because i guess he had posted on it...and from the looks of it he wasn't getting a straight forward answer either...."That's no way to address legitimate issues in my opinion"...was his quote....You kno, I find this very frustrating that i can not get a legitimate answer, as to why my bill was more $$$ than everyone else claiming to be saving money...
  #32  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:48 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Well lookie here, the rates went DOWN there for September.

Matt, I hope they give us an answer to our questions soon.
I do know that some months Viridian's rate could possibly exceed the public utility, HOWEVER< they will save you money over the course of a year. Meeting those 10-30% claims, which are backed up by fact/past performance.

http://es.tinypic.com/r/33c6eix/4
  #33  
Old 08-31-2010, 09:34 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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Excellent points made...
  #34  
Old 08-31-2010, 09:36 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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Originally Posted by Can't Trust It View Post
I have no interest in bashing them. I hope Viridian does well. I hope you do well. Like I said, I'm a customer, and I hope they continue saving me money. I have no love for big utility monopolies.
I actually came to this board because I was so excited about the savings on my first Viridian bill that I wanted to learn more about the Associates program.
But I quickly soured on the idea after:
A) Seeing them raise their prices. 12 cents is MORE than I have been paying with PSE&G.
B) Seeing them put incorrect information on their site about their competitor's prices. (If your entire business is based on selling energy at a lower price than your competitors, don't you think you'd make every effort to get that right? So, if they're not lying, are they incompetent? It's a fair question.)
C) Failing to find a good answer to the question: How can they sell green energy at a lower price when it costs more to produce? They certainly don't have the buying power of a huge utility. (It has to be due to the money collected from Web sites and Associates.) What happens when that dries up?


Very Realistic..!
  #35  
Old 09-03-2010, 11:09 AM
r3volution11 r3volution11 is offline
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Hi guys. I came across this thread when I was doing some searching for photos of people who have set up booths/tables at events. I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts.

I actually run and manage TeamV.net. I directly work for Wilmer's Communications, a company out of Edgewater that has been around since 1941 and is really behind Viridian.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of direct selling. That is just due to the person I am. I'm not a huge talker, I'm not into sales, and I just don't have the time needed to fully dedicate myself to Viridian.

That said, I first hand have seen it work for people that have those qualities and capabilities. I also know, based on historical rate charts that Viridian now provides, that Viridian has never charged more than the main Utilities for more than a month. I'm going off the top of my head here but I truthfully don't think it's ever occurred.

I think some people may think they're getting charged more when Viridian's rates go up but they may have not taken the time to check and see the Utilities rates. For instance here is the historical rate chart for PSEG:

http://www.viridian.com/assets/marke...10_NJ-PSEG.pdf

Connecticut: http://www.viridian.com/assets/marke...Aug2010_CT.pdf

I'd show others but these get the point across.

Viridian doesn't require contracts for the most part (only in NJ Corporate/Large Business customers may require contracts due to the nature of their market). So if their rates go up you can just as easily switch to whomever is cheaper.

I don't care if Viridian ends up only being 5% cheaper. In the end cheaper is cheaper and it's money in my pocket and not elsewhere.

To the question on how they can offer energy at a lower price. That's easy and there are many reasons for it. One being bidding for energy is now easier for companies to accomplish. Governments used to dictate the price on what Utilities could buy their energy at. That's disappearing. It's just taken people a long time to realize the market is there to take advantage of it. 10 years from now people in the North East will have a large amount of energy companies to choose from.

Thanks to competition energy should become even cheaper. Add to that Green technology becoming more efficient and cost effective and again, that much cheaper.

So in short, it's not a scam. If you just want to be a customer, this is a great opportunity. If you have some sales skills in you, this is a great opportunity.

I hope this helps. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have - doug@revomediaonline.com. If you're interested in becoming an associate then please visit TeamV.net, I've worked hard to provide people with a lot of good information.
  #36  
Old 09-03-2010, 11:39 AM
r3volution11 r3volution11 is offline
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Also on a side note: Budget Billing.

A lot of people take advantage of their Utilities Budget Billing. Where the Utility will try to average out what you pay so that you have a more consistent charge each month.

Unfortunately when you change your energy supplier, budget billing pretty much goes out the window. This is because Utility companies can not understandably deduce what is being used outside of their own company. I think logistically and economically it wouldn't be feasible for the companies to keep Budget Billing working either.

Anyways, I personally have never went with Budget Billing because I like to pay for what I used. From my experience with people who have used it, it's never been that consistent anyways. It still changes a lot.

I bring that up because I believe that's another area where people get confused and think they're being charged more. They're actually paying less for their energy still but since budget billing was scrapped they may see an initial boost if they owed their Utility money after Budget Billing was scrapped.
  #37  
Old 09-07-2010, 09:55 PM
EntrepreneurialSpirit EntrepreneurialSpirit is offline
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Last edited by Marley23; 09-08-2010 at 09:34 AM..
  #38  
Old 09-08-2010, 07:27 AM
skargo skargo is offline
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So despite what I and others tried to do here earlier, this is now turned into a recruitment thread?
The almighty dollar always wins out huh?
  #39  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:06 AM
EntrepreneurialSpirit EntrepreneurialSpirit is offline
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Haha not quite, sir. Education is more like it. Look the deregulation of the enegy markets is gong be the greatest redistribution of wealth this country has ever seen. There will be plenty of room for other companies out there each with their own offerings, perks, upsides and downsides. Let's face it man, everyone is lookng for ways to better their financial situation. I think they should be informed that there are other opportunities out there for them to take advantage of. That's all I'm saying.
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  #40  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:22 AM
skargo skargo is offline
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I'm referring to YOU and to my Viridian associate, trying to drum up business, unlike myself and others here. Justify it anyway you want but it clearly shows a lack of professionalism in the spirit of THIS thread.

Good luck to you.
  #41  
Old 09-08-2010, 09:22 AM
EntrepreneurialSpirit EntrepreneurialSpirit is offline
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I sincerely apologize my friend.
  #42  
Old 09-08-2010, 09:34 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntrepreneurialSpirit View Post
Haha not quite, sir. Education is more like it.
No, it's advertising - or spamming in internetspeak. And it's not allowed on this site. If you want to discuss the questions posed in the first post of this thread, go for it. But if you try to use this thread to attract customers or investors, your account will be banned. I've deleted your first post and shortened your signature.
  #43  
Old 09-09-2010, 12:40 PM
Can't Trust It Can't Trust It is offline
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This chart continues to be complete bunk: http://www.viridian.com/assets/marke...10_NJ-PSEG.pdf

PSE&G's rate is about 11.5 cents, and it has been since last October.

http://www.pseg.com/family/pseandg/t...fs_bpunj15.jsp
Click on "effective 8/9/2010." Search for "Original Sheet No. 75." The "With SUT" rate includes sales tax. Viridian's advertised rate DOES NOT include sales tax, so the first number is the one to compare.

BTW, got an offer in the mail from Constellation Energy. 10.1 cents, fixed, for two years, plus a $150 Target gift card.
  #44  
Old 09-10-2010, 07:11 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can't Trust It View Post
This chart continues to be complete bunk: http://www.viridian.com/assets/marke...10_NJ-PSEG.pdf

PSE&G's rate is about 11.5 cents, and it has been since last October.

http://www.pseg.com/family/pseandg/t...fs_bpunj15.jsp
Click on "effective 8/9/2010." Search for "Original Sheet No. 75." The "With SUT" rate includes sales tax. Viridian's advertised rate DOES NOT include sales tax, so the first number is the one to compare.

BTW, got an offer in the mail from Constellation Energy. 10.1 cents, fixed, for two years, plus a $150 Target gift card.
Wrong. Viridian's rate includes the SUT.
  #45  
Old 09-12-2010, 09:14 AM
Independent Independent is offline
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Comp Plan

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Originally Posted by Gibbs89 View Post
I was also extremely skeptical at first but ended up signing up as a Viridian associate in Maryland. It definitely sounded too good to be true, but I just couldn't find the downside to it and figured the worst that could happen was I'd be out the $399 that they charge up front. It's only been a month, but just like skargo I've already made that initial investment back and then some.

Just to clear one thing up though, it's not all profit from here on out, (one thing I was kind of annoyed about not being explained up front, but that's really the fault of the associate signing me up, not the company). Viridian charges a recurring annual fee to remain an "Associate" ($50) and $20/month for your personal website. I suppose if you're not actively recruiting customers anymore you can cancel the website subscription though.

There may be other energy companies that offer better compensation plans out there, but I already knew a handful of people who were Viridian associates so I went that route. And that was definitely a good thing for me, because I always come up with tons of questions and have a good group I can turn to for answers with this stuff. MattyMatt, I see the numbers you're talking about on your bill, but it also says something about an average rate of $0.000000 per kWh, so there is obviously something wrong with the calculations happening to figure those numbers out. I'd be interested to see the itemized part of that bill that actually shows your kWh usage and the rates you're being charged, maybe on the back (I'm not too familiar with the layout of PSE&G bills). One possibility for the discrepancy is if you are on a budget billing plan sponsored by the utility that spreads out your energy costs over the course of the year, switching providers can (especially in NJ) mess with that. The utility company may not factor your electricity use into the budgeted numbers if you switch providers, so the actual amount due would more closely reflect your energy use, which would be much higher in the middle of summer when energy demands are highest. In that case, however, you should still be saving money in the long run, as you wouldn't now be making up the difference by overpaying in the winter to compensate. I don't know if that's what's going on in your case or not, but it's possible.

So to answer OP's questions, no, I can say pretty confidently that it's not a scam. One big thing that made up my mind on that question is the fact that you are not required in any way to bring new associates on board (as qpw3141 just mentioned). Sure, there are financial benefits to doing so, but you can do just fine by yourself too. We haven't been online long enough here in MD to see any actual rate hikes or anything like that, so I can't say for sure it doesn't happen, but it doesn't make sense for the company to want to drive away the customer base they just spent so much time and money recruiting, so I trust them when they say they will remain competitive. I suspect most of the complaints come from people who don't understand how the budget billing system can be affected, then switch providers in the summer when usage is highest, and then get a huge bill they don't expect without realizing that they will indeed pay less over the course of a year. That's not necessarily that fault of the customer though. Whether the fault lies the associate for not explaining it properly, the company (Viridian or whoever) for not educating the associate well enough, or the local utility company (for printing somewhat misleading info on the bill) is debatable, but it's probably some combination of all those in most cases.
We can I find the comp plan for Viridian?
  #46  
Old 09-12-2010, 09:28 AM
skargo skargo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post

We can I find the comp plan for Viridian?
http://www.teamv.net/files/viridian-comp-plan.pdf


They are making some changes soon, but here it is currently.
  #47  
Old 09-12-2010, 01:51 PM
Independent Independent is offline
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by skargo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post

We can I find the comp plan for Viridian?
http://www.teamv.net/files/viridian-comp-plan.pdf


They are making some changes soon, but here it is currently.
Thanks for your prompt response to my request! If I have any questions I'll get back to you.
  #48  
Old 09-12-2010, 02:24 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by skargo View Post

http://www.teamv.net/files/viridian-comp-plan.pdf


They are making some changes soon, but here it is currently.
Thanks for your prompt response to my request! If I have any questions I'll get back to you.
No problem, smart phones are great for keeping up to date!
  #49  
Old 09-12-2010, 02:39 PM
MattyMatt MattyMatt is offline
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Bill # 2 with Viridian Energy as my supplier...ABSOLUTELY no savings at all....They charged me $9.00 more than my Default Utility Supplier...I would really like to see someones personal bill where they are really saving monthly with this company..because all it really seems to be is just talk...smh...

http://es.tinypic.com/r/ifu3gz/7
  #50  
Old 09-12-2010, 03:37 PM
skargo skargo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyMatt View Post
Bill # 2 with Viridian Energy as my supplier...ABSOLUTELY no savings at all....They charged me $9.00 more than my Default Utility Supplier...I would really like to see someones personal bill where they are really saving monthly with this company..because all it really seems to be is just talk...smh...

http://es.tinypic.com/r/ifu3gz/7
Matt,
why are you still a customer? Why are you not signed up with the amazing, magical company you spoke of earlier? Why stay with a company, and post incomplete bills when there is no problem with switching back?

What are your ulterior motives?

My 3 meters are DEFINITELY saving money, and every one of my customers are, including PSEG customers.

Your game is dead and stinking, switch back or just go away.
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