Ok, so maybe they're not illegal pyramid schemes, but they sure are pyramid schemes in that the incentive is more about recruiting sub-associates than they are about providing any kind of value-add, as in the traditional distributor/middle-man business model.
10-12 years ago, my wife (to be) and I were invited by her then boss to attend a session about Excel Communications (anyone know where they went off to?) which promised cheaper phone service and income potential at the same time. For an initial fee, of course, as well as the discomfort of bugging friends and neighbors for business.
7-8 years ago I went to a "job interview" which turned out to be a pyramid scheme initiation session to sell detergents. When I discovered what the meeting actually was about I immediately left - the people in charge actually openly laughed AT me for passing up such a wonderful opportunity...
Then the other day I come across Ignite/Stream Energy (whose website I will not dignify with a link). Same scheme:
Directors are Independent Associates who choose to enroll in the Ignite Services Program. Directors will receive a marketing kit (Power Pack), training, home ofﬁce support, and downline organization and commission reports. The initial cost of the
Program is $329*, with an annual renewal fee of $99. Any Independent Associate who purchases the Ignite Service Program may cancel in writing within three (3) days of the date the IA Application and Agreement is received at Ignite (i.e., Start Date) and receive a full refund.
* Residents of Connecticut, Maryland and North Carolina pay $199, residents of Maine, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota pay $249, and residents of Louisiana, Utah and Washington pay $299.
And here's what you are supposed to earn:
How many fools will be parted from their money this time