Think Energy Plus is the latest Ponzi scheme launched by Michael Fallquist. Before you consider investing in this MLM scam, it’s important to understand its various aspects as well as its deceptive marketing claims.
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On its website, Think Energy omits to list ownership or executive details. The domain name for the Think Energy Plus website was privately registered on November 18, 2022. Additional investigation reveals marketing materials for Think Energy that list Michael Fallquist as the organization’s founder and CEO.
It’s not clear why Think Energy Plus’s website doesn’t include this data. Fallquist was the brainchild behind Crius Energy and Viridian when I first stumbled across him.
The MLM Viridian provided utility services. Listed as a “strategic partner” was Crius Energy. Paul Booth served as the CEO of Viridian Energy, while Fallquist served as the CEO of Crius. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority of Connecticut said in 2015 that it will be examining Viridian’s contracts, contract renewals, customer notice policies, and enrollment procedures.
In Maryland, a consumer class-action lawsuit was also brought against Viridian and Crius Energy in that same year.
Customers were allegedly charged “four or five times the underlying market rate” by Viridian and Crius. Viridian declared towards the close of 2017 that it would stop operating its MLM business by March 2018. Viridian paid $5 million to resolve “deceptive marketing & sales techniques” claims made by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in March 2018.
The previously mentioned consumer class action was settled by Viridian for $18.5 million in June 2018. Early in 2019, Crius Energy was sold to Vistra after employment layoffs.
As CEO of Griddy Pro starting in December 2020, Fallquist made a comeback to the utilities MLM sector. Griddy Pro advertised savings using a variable rate to consumers in Texas. The caveat was that customers had to monitor the rate.
With complaints of “unbelievable electricity bills” in February 2021, Griddy Pro started to fail.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas “revoked Griddy’s permission to enter the state’s electricity market” later that same month.
A billion-dollar class-action lawsuit against Griddy Pro was also filed around the same time.
A month later, in March 2021, Griddy Pro and its parent firm Griddy both filed for bankruptcy.
Think Energy Plus appears to have been introduced by Fallquist in or about December 2022.
What are MLM Scams?
MLM scams involve various criminal behaviors. MLM companies pay commissions to individuals who directly sell their products or services to customers. These individuals also receive commissions for recruiting others to sell for the company. This type of business structure can lead to fraudulent activities such as making false claims about financial compensation or health benefits.
Think Energy Plus Products
The US states where Think Energy operates include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC. Think+ is connected to Think Energy.
Rates vary dependent on suppliers and location within these states, just like with any MLM utility business.
The Think Energy website offers quotes after a postcode is entered. I entered a few random postcodes from the regions where Think Energy provides services out of curiosity.
The Compensation Plan for Think Energy Plus
The remuneration structure for Think Energy Plus is based on client referrals for power. Retail customers or recruited affiliates may be among these clients.
Noteworthy is the “Free Energy Club” initiative that Think Energy Plus provides.
- Customers who recommend three friends are given a 10% rate break.
- Customers who recommend ten friends get a 40% pricing reduction.
- Customers get a 100% discount on their prices if they refer twenty friends.
The following are the many elements of Think Energy Plus’s compensation scheme that are impacted by the Free Energy Club:
- The exclusion of Customer Enrollment Bonuses
- 25% less is paid in residual personal customer commissions.
- Initial Generation Bonuses are not paid; instead, monthly Generation Bonuses are paid at a rate of 25%.
- Initial Coded Bonuses are not paid, and monthly Coded Bonuses are paid at a rate of 25%.
- New clients do not contribute to Partner Pool Pay; instead, monthly Partner Pool payments are paid at a rate of 25%.
Rank Achievement Bonus
As the cost of electricity rises, Michael Fallquist established Think Energy Plus to profit from disgruntled customers. Think Energy websites are openly misleading. You may view your rates by entering your postcode. Even with “not available” problems, it is how Think Energy Plus is supposed to operate.
This contributes to the remuneration structure of Think Energy Plus, which streamlines commissions across three consumption categories and community solar. It should be noted that community solar is listed on Think Energy’s website as “coming soon” at the time of writing.
Utility MLM compensation systems have historically been extremely difficult to understand. Utility rates between different suppliers account for the majority of this. Though Think Energy Plus avoids it, its compensation scheme is presented in a godawful way.
Think+ separates each component rather than providing an explanation, up-front costs, and ongoing costs for each. As an example, you first get a description of the bonus for the Partner Pool. You then get the first payment made. The remaining monthly donation comes last. The counterparts of all the other Think+ commissions and bonuses are placed between these. As a result, to understand anything, you must scroll up and down. This won’t make any sense to the typical prospect.
In that regard, Think+ stumbles in its marketing. The good news is that this can be fixed with ease. Simply arrange the commissions and bonuses differently.
Whilst it may appear that I’m complaining in my capacity as a reviewer, the unclear reward plan presentation affects how Think+ is sold to potential affiliates. The possibility for Think+ to function as a pyramid scheme is one regulatory warning sign. Think+ doesn’t make a distinction between affiliate and retail clients. This is often a concern, but since MLM utility firms are tough to advertise as recruitment schemes, it rarely becomes one.
Instead of the $99 annual fee, commissions are based on actual energy usage. Indeed, Think+ is a pyramid scheme if the bulk of its consumers are affiliates. Yet historically, utility-based MLM businesses haven’t had a problem with this. The last point I’ll make is that Fallquist must take responsibility for his history. Whilst I could be incorrect, I believe Fallquist’s past is the main reason Think+ doesn’t offer executive information.
These errors must be acknowledged because it doesn’t seem good for an MLM organization to promote itself as a nameless corporation. Moreover, there might later be disclosure difficulties with the FTC. Fallquist is listed as Energywell’s co-CEO and director. You undoubtedly want to make sure that inputting your postcode and performing a rate comparison is as simple as a potential Think+ affiliate.
There are just three usage categories in addition to community solar. It shouldn’t be difficult to determine whether Think Energy is competitive. This is crucial because it will serve as your main marketing tool for acquiring new clients. Hopefully, there will be savings. Moreover, keep an eye out for anything that seems dishonest; given Fallquist’s record, this would be an immediate red signal.
Think+ is the latest MLM scam by Fallquist. The company follows the same pyramid scheme structure you will find in other notable Ponzi schemes. Avoid investing in Think+ MLM scheme.
- Ponzi scheme
- Unreliable leadership