Have you been approached about trying Plexus “gut health” products or becoming a distributor or ambassador for the company? Check out our Plexus review to learn everything you need to know about the company, its leaders, its products, and your income potential.
- Tarl Robinson – Founder and CEO
- Alfred Petterson – Founder (left company in 2014)
- $500 million (estimated 2016)
- Diet Supplements
- Weight Loss Formulas
- Multi-Level Marketing
- +200 corporate employees
- +350,000 distributors/ambassadors
- Plexus Slim
- Plexus Accelerator
- Plexus Boost
- Bio Cleanse
- Plexus Chek Kit
Plexus lives in the shady world of “weight loss products” which is notoriously fraught with lies and deception. There is almost no regulation for the types of products that are sold in this category, and because they have not been tested and approved by the FDA, Plexus is not legally responsible for disclosing all of the ingredients in their various products. In our opinion, this leaves Plexus open for plenty of class action lawsuits in the future.
Doing a quick search on Social Media for Plexus ambassadors, you’ll find a host of claims about improving “gut health”. Of course, when pressed, these ambassadors have no scientific proof for how Plexus is supposed to improve gut health, or what gut health even is. This appears to be pseudo-science at best and fraud at worst.
Of course, Plexus mentions at the bottom of their website in small print that none of their products have been testing by the FDA, thus giving them a free pass to basically claim anything they want about their products.
History of Plexus
Plexus was founded in 2006 by a two MLM veterans, Tarl Robinson and Alfred Petterson. They originally started with an DIY breast cancer check kit and a breast skin cream. Following the recession of 2008, the two decided to head in a new direction, as Petterson explained: “When it was a choice between dinner on the table or a cream for breasts, the breast cream quickly went out the window.” Shortly thereafter, the company rebranded itself with weight loss formulas and dietary supplements. The Slim and Accelerator are Plexus’s signature products. They come in a powder form and, when mixed with water, make their irresistible “pink drink.” Plexus has continued in this direction since, exploding in growth over the last five years.
Plexus Income Disclosure Statement
Plexus advertises itself as one of the fairest MLMs in the industry. They refer to their distributors as “ambassadors,” and tout their integrity with their motto: “Be trustworthy, be honest, be reliable, and be responsible.” Unfortunately, their corporate ethos is anything but that.
Their downline is one of the most aggressively unfair systems we’ve come across. To become an “associate,” one must pay an annual fee of $34.95. This allows you to BUY the product but not to sell it. In order to sell and receive commision (making you an “ambassador”), you must meet a minimum monthly order of $100. This is true for your downline members (Plexus calls them “primary legs”) as well in order to earn commission on their sales. Such structure encourages ambassadors to recruit new ambassadors rather than actually make sales. Neither ambassadors nor the company itself care if the new recruits ever sell the product. The minimum $100/month required means at least $1200 yearly purchases from each new ambassador. Paying employees to recruit new members is illegal but Plexus skirts the law since they are technically paying ambassadors for the products purchased by their primary legs, not for their recruitment. Their website makes their true motivation apparent: The front page features a banner for their next “2 big 2 miss” event, rather than their supposed miracle products.
Like most MLMs, the Plexus compensation plan, point system, and payment structure is monumentally convoluted; they don’t want their budding ambassadors to see the writing on the wall so early. At its simplest, however, payment is based on a point system. One receives points for recruiting new ambassadors. A level one recruit would be someone an ambassador directly recruited; level two is one generation down and so on. Ambassadors get fewer points for more distant recruits.
Plexus bases its extensive hierarchy on various precious stones. As an example, in order to qualify for Emerald status, one must have 1,500 points through their downline. This is a minimum of 300 people. If each of those is only purchasing the $100 minimum order per month, Plexus makes $360k/year off of that single ambassador. With an average annual gross income for Emerald status members of just over $100k, Plexus is walking away with an absolute killing.
Long story short, roughly 96% of ambassadors are grossing less than $4,000/year (this is income BEFORE expenses). That means the vast majority of ambassadors will likely be losing money each month given all of the expenses that are involved with hosting parties, buying stock, attending events, etc. View the full Plexus Income Disclosure Statement here.
Plexus Product Reviews
Plexus has done a remarkable job of “reputation management;” ambassadors flood social media, popular review sites and blogs with positive reviews of the product. Yet, the Better Business Bureau has received over 600 formal complaints against Plexus products, and over 60% of reviews are negative.
The customer review shown below is far from unique:
Reviews range from catastrophic side effects to mild discomfort to the product simply being ineffective. At $115/month for a regular dose of Slim and Accelerator, the price is steep as well. In response to claims of Plexus’s impotence, the company pushes more supplementary products that are just as expensive and worthless.
Additionally, the FTC has received over 800 customer complaints about Plexus.
Plexus Employee Reviews
Ambassador reviews are the only positive aspect of this MLM. They genuinely seem to believe in Plexus and its products. Over the last several years, Plexus has ranked high on the list of top MLM companies. Unfortunately, this is typical for any MLM that soars in revenue. Most fall just as fast as they rose.
Plexus’s Glassdoor page has a respectable 3.9, though reviews have a stark contrast between glowing reviews from ambassadors and much more negative, and at times scathing, reviews from corporate employees.
Plexus Legal Issues
- Certain Plexus products have been banned in numerous countries, most notably Australia and Canada. Plexus Slim and Accelerator each contain a dangerous amphetamine, 1,3 di-methyamylamine (DMAA). Risks include high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, bleeding in the brain and stroke. DMAA can also lead to positive drug test results.
- Amazon has banned the sale of Slim and Accelerator.
- In 2014, Plexus was exposed for containing Hoodia, an endangered African plant extract which is used to control hunger. They removed the Hoodia, but have since replaced it with a green coffee extract which has yet to be proven safe.
- The FDA issued a warning letter to Plexus in 2014 for marketing “drugs” without getting proper approval beforehand. Rather than seeking an FDA approval on their products, Plexus opted to offer a tiny asterisk at the bottom of each of their product pages.
- Lastly, Petterson and Robinson had a mysterious falling out at some point in 2014. Petterson announced his departure from the company without ruffling too many feathers but shortly thereafter filed a lawsuit against Robinson and Plexus for tax fraud. The case is still pending but it doesn’t look good for the company. Even the home fans have turned against their team: Business for Home, a MLM friendly operation, recently highlighted a plethora of looming legal issues for Plexus.