Viridian settles deceptive marketing & sales tactics allegations for $5 mill
BehindMLM reviewed Viridian last December. One of the primary concerns raised was a potential lack of retail viability due to high service costs.
Turns out we were onto something.
Earlier today the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office announced a $5 million dollar settlement with Viridian.
In reaching the settlement, Viridian acknowledged it had used “deceptive marketing and sales tactics that lured residents into costly contracts with high electricity rates”.
No matter what was promised or pitched to potential retail customers by Viridian affiliates, the AG’s Office alleged
that consumers who switched to Viridian ultimately paid more for electricity than if they had stayed with their utility.
Viridian contracted with independent sales agents and instructed them to tell potential customers, including friends and family members, that signing up with the company would save them money over time.
In fact, customers paid more than they would have if they had remained with their electric utility company’s basic service.
Of the $5 million to be paid by Viridian as per the settlement, $4.6 million will be used ‘to provide restitution to affected customers‘.
The remaining $400,000
will go toward: offsetting the cost of the office’s investigation of Viridian; creating a new fund for future enforcement cases the office brings against competitive electric suppliers; and the state’s General Fund.
Of the settlement AG Maura Healey stated;
Our settlement requires Viridian to pay back millions of dollars they owe customers for their deceptive tactics and false promises.
Viridian announced last December that it was terminating MLM business operations nationally as of this month.
As part of the settlement the company has also agreed to cease selling electricity door-to-door in Massachusetts for two years.