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Neighbor warns of possible door-to-door energy scam

Posted on 02 April 2012

Neighbor Chelsea believes she was pressured into switching energy providers by door-to-door salesmen and wants other residents to be aware of this possible scam. Here’s what she wrote us in an email:

“I thought other West Philadelphians should be made aware of door-to-door salesmen who try to scam you into switching energy companies. Some people seem to know about this company already, but for people who are new to the area, like me, it seemed believable.

There were two well-dressed young men going door to door in my neighborhood (Spruce Hill area) from Direct Energy. They represented themselves as belonging to the parent agency of my electric provider and asked to look at my PECO bill to make sure that I was getting the newly-lowered rate customers in this area are supposed to be getting, since there was an “error” and “some customers were accidentally getting overcharged and hadn’t properly fixed it on their bills”. They claimed this “fixing”  would be greatly expedited if they did it for me. They then called their managers to, in their words, make sure the new discount was applied to my bill, and then had me sign something and write down my account number. They quickly left before I could read the fine print of what I signed, but I looked it up afterwards and realized they completely misrepresented their affiliation: they are in no way affiliated with PECO, but are a competitor company.

What they do is take your information from PECO and use it to change over your energy provider to them. I don’t know if their company is any better or any worse, but people should be able to make their own decisions and not get pressured by this misinformation. If anyone else signed the form (as I did) they can call the company within three business days to cancel.”

67 Comments For This Post

  1. Maureen Says:

    I had guys walking around in South Philadelphia, too. If you do change your energy provider PECO still does your billing – they don’t lose any money at all. Last year competition was allowed to take place, and PECO encouraged people to look into other energy companies to compare. I switched to Con Edison, but PECO sends me the bill. (Beware companies that do not have fixed rates, though!)

  2. Neighbor Says:

    This also happened at our house, where two guys showed up at about 9pm, ringing our doorbells repeatedly. They were really aggressive about trying to pressure my neighbor and I into giving them our information. They did not take “No” for an answer and just kept ringing our doorbells.

    We decided to call the police that night, and haven’t seen them since.

    I really think this is a scam. I recommend that if you are interested in a company’s pitch, then do some research on the company! Don’t give out ANY information to people going door-to-door!

  3. Dave Says:

    I thought you had “x” days to cancel this type of change before it is permanent but I can’t find the documentation. Maybe call peco and see if they can reverse this for you?

    I seem to have one of these scammers come to my door once a week. They have tried to give me your story too. The other story is they need to see the bill to “verify my rate”. Once after telling the guy to get off my porch he mooned me from a neighbors porch. Classy!

  4. idizzle Says:

    I want to caution against being too cynical or paranoid. They may come off as aggressive, but they are trained by their employer on a very strict protocol and paid according to how many people they sign up. If you ask them about what they are doing and read the information they give you, they will explain it all.

    The only thing that you are doing, if you sign up, is to specify to PECO, the energy distributor, where your energy will come from (which provider among the many that sell energy to PECO) and in doing so you get a fixed rate price, which for most people is a discount each month. The reason for the crazy interaction is that they are trying to be most efficient in a system which requires many checks and balances to make sure they cover their behinds. That’s why you fill out information, talk to a representative on the phone who records clear yes and no responses to what you say (they also do upspeak for recording clarity, which is fun to listen to), and why you have a chance to cancel the process at any time during sign up, or for a window of a few weeks after, while PECO sends a confirmation to you in the mail.

    My main point is that its not necessarily a scam. It might also be read as a skewed version of a blanket market strategy aimed at efficiently converting massive amounts of potential customers to a cheaper, fixed rate product. I’m saving money and have been clearly communicate with in writing by PECO about the change.

    Or maybe I’m just one of them.

  5. shazoooo! Says:

    If they’re coming across to customers as if they’re “correcting a PECO error” and requesting a bill, I’d consider that deceitful practice.

    First, never show them the bill. Find out what the error is, and contact PECO yourself.

    I had a salesperson try that with me about a year ago, and I told them no. and asked them for something in writing so I can check on it, and he changed his story. He didn’t even have any pamphlets or anything, so I told him no thank you.

    Please be smart when people ask you for personal information, even if it seems harmless!!

  6. Tim Says:

    Direct Energy storm troopers came to my building on Pine Street last week. A woman knocked on my door. I told that there was a sign on the front door of the building making it very clear that no soliciting was allowed on the premises. She responded that they were not soliciting, but rather were responding to complaints. LOL! I told her that I was calling the management. They scurried like cockroaches.

    Don’t tell me they aren’t liars.

  7. idizzle Says:

    I stand by the conceptual stance that these people are more appropriately framed as “pawns” rather than “liars.”

    In other words, don’t shoot the (poorly trained) messengers.

    Unbridled skepticism is just as tragic as unchecked optimism. Though it is a warped manifestation, there is an element to the situation aimed at providing people with a more affordable energy option, which I would argue is a benefit that can only be capitalized on (or at least truly considered) through an engagement with these salespeople, rather than a wholesale denial of their intentions.

  8. Tim Says:

    Here’s how I frame it. They are liars trying to make us into pawns.

    Enjoy your conceptual stance. I prefer reality.

  9. Paul Says:

    I can’t comment on whether or not these guys are legit – but you may want to check out http://www.papowerswitch.com. To clarify, there is a difference between who provides you with your electricity and who generates it – for most of us on this blog, I believe our only provider option is PECO. However, on the website I mentioned you can find a list of many possible companies who will generate the electricity that PECO then provides to you. I recently switched providers and should be saving several dollars per month. The site does a good job of explaining what you’re doing, just read the fine print. In any case, I wouldn’t purchase this kind of stuff in my doorway given the option to compare dozens of different rates online.

  10. Paul Says:

    ***I recently switched the company that generates, not the “provider”

  11. Tim Says:

    Thank you, Paul. The linked site is very informative. Direct Energy is by no means the cheapest option. It falls somewhere in the middle.

  12. Blaine Says:

    You might also want to consider the local Energy Cooperative (www.theenergy.coop) as a competitive supplier option. They provide competitive rates on 20% and 100% renewable wind energy. Like Mariposa, they are a member-owned coop and I know for a fact that they have the best interest of the membership at heart.

  13. Amy Says:

    They are doing this in South Jersey too. So it’s a total scam if they are telling people in Philly that PECO made an error and telling us over here in NJ that PSE&G made an error. They’ve been in my business 3xs over the last month despite the huge No Solicitation sign on my shop door. First time 1 guy, this time 3 huge guys in suits… who apparently cannot read. I kicked them out asap, last time I acted like I just “worked here” and they still asked me to “Go get the electric bill”. Which would be illegal if I wasn’t the owner. Companies don’t send people around to check for errors… they mail you or call you. I checked with PSE&G and they confirmed they weren’t a part of them. I hope me being a complete jerk to them today makes them stop, if not I’ll probably be calling the cops. Look them up on Wiki… its amazing what they’ve done to scam so many people. They were even in court last month over it.

  14. Michael Froehlich Says:

    The Energy Coop (as Blaine notes above) is a great option. And if you tell them that the West Philly Tool Library recommended you, the Energy Coop will give the Tool Library $20 so that we can purchase more tools. More info here:
    http://westphillytools.org/2012/01/23/join-the-energy-co-op-support-your-tool-library/

  15. diana Says:

    They did same to me yesterday. My husband told them we werent being overcharged. This guy wanted our bill! Yea right-as if we’re gonna hand over personal info! The guy got pissed and as he walked away he was heading thisclose to my husbands harley but sorta looked back real quick to see if we were watching him(we were)and then he made the right choice. I called peco-they NEVER sent a representative-most likely its a competitor trying to get ur info.OR-its someone trying for access to ur home as was on local news last nite where they robbed an 89yr old s.philly man of $1,000! Cant these people be brought up on fraud charges?

  16. diana Says:

    By the way-this was in delco-so its very widespread

  17. diana Says:

    P.S. have a “no solicitors” sign on my door-can these people not read?

  18. Sean Dorn Says:

    Just saw these guys using the same misleading hard sell at 50th and Catharine.

  19. Lamar Larke Says:

    Just left my house in strawberry mansion and they claimed to be repesentatives of P.E.C.O. How can they misrepresent the truth like this and no one in the media is alerting the public? They seemed very professional and polite. My wife was just about to sign on the dotted line when I walked in the house. He tried to tell me that Direct Energy was the parent company of peco. Although he had on a peco jacket his I.D did’nt appear to be legit. When I told him that I had to check on his proposal he appeared to be pissed, but as always I’m not one to cave in to high pressure sales, I always feel that somewhere down the line they’re getting me.

  20. Joe Says:

    i hate to be rude, but the state has a website with all the information confirming this is 100% legit and is also in 17 states in the country. Get informed http://www.papowerswitch.com

  21. C. Daniel Says:

    BE AWARE: Direct Energy MAY be a legitimate power company but I believe they are using fraudulent business practices to get customers. I am in TEXAS and I received a letter with the CITI Bank logo (with an address) AND Direct Energy logo (with NO address) It THANKS me for CHOOSING Direct Energy and in appeciation they attached a PRE-PAID VISA Debit Card for $10. I was advised to call an 800 number to ACTIVATE it. I am sure the phone will also activate an account with Direct Energy. On the back of this letter – in small print – are the pre-paid account terms – one of which is that I will be charged $3 per month to keep the Debit card open. You may end up with overdraft charges. And I know that in order to add more money to this card, I would have to send it electronically from my BANK which could invite unauthorized charges from Direct Energy) Direct Energy probably sent me a letter because I don’t answer the door to strangers and do not answer calls from unknown numbers or names. Consider the fact that if they handle their SALES this way, they will probably mishandle the customers accounts. By ignoring their letter to me, it could be viewed as a CONSENT. You can GOOGLE Direct Energy to see other complaints -including a YouTube video. I have CHOSEN to notify CitiBank, my electric company, and Federal Authorities (including the USPS regarding mail fraud.) You have a right to your own opinions and choices.

  22. isabel Says:

    Door to door sales with electric is not in NO WAY A SCAM if they are claiming that they are with the utility company they are not…. Electricity suppliers such as Direct energy, ect are people who supply your utility company electricity and or gas SO YOU CAN GET IT AT A LOWER RATE. Its called deregulation LOOK IT UP.

  23. mds chill Says:

    My apartment building has two locked outer doors, so when someone knocks on my actual apartment door it’s unusual — but this has happened several times with representatives of some energy-based thing or another. When they start a spiel, i just say No, thanks and shut the door on them. It’s aggravating that someone in my building has let them in.

    On a more productive note, let me second/third what Blaine and Michael said above — the Energy CoOp has been great for me. I have 100% wind-generated power, so when i do have to run my AC i can at least be happy that all my electricity is from a renewable source.

  24. hieu Says:

    i did signed the paper that they gave me without looking at it !. Its Direct energy and its say buying product, etc, What should i do ?

  25. Tom Says:

    Yes I don’t think this is a scam. What happen there has been energy deregulation in some states. This is not a bad thing. Basically residents now have a choice who to get there energy from (gas or electric). This is good for us now because gas and power companies will have competitive rates for the consumer. This of it like if there was only one cell phone company what would happen. We would all be at that company mercy they would have a monopoly on the market and charge what ever they want because of supply and demand. Well when people have a choice to choose what company to go to now its a buyers market to get the best product at the best price. Don’t be worried about a door to door energy company salesman coming to your house. Just find out what company they represent and see how much money will it save you to switch energy providers. Keep it simple people no need to panic. They are just trying to do their job.

  26. Dave Says:

    I just had someone do the same thing at my apartment in Spruce Hill area. She flashed her really faded badge. She was an African American girl in her late teens early twenty’s wearing blue sweater, gray sweat pants and backpack. She asked for my PECO bill and I really don’t have one since I do everything electronically. She told me to print it out and that’s when I call my building management. I was told no one is authorized to solicited in the building.

  27. Christina Says:

    I bet I saw this young woman Dave mentions too, last week. I didn’t get far enough with her to open the door, but she gave me her name and had a clipboard and left when I told her I wasn’t seeing anyone that day. Our building has 2 security doors and doesn’t generally let people in, so I found it very odd that we had anyone going door to door. She gave me her name (which I don’t recall) but didn’t say: And I’m here for XXX or And I’m collecting money for charity, or anything. Weird.

  28. Ron Says:

    This actually just happened to me for about the 5th time in West Chester. The other times it has been later in the evening, but this time it was two women, both who could seem to barely speak English telling me about PECO rate hikes. Our energy bill is low to begin with and it hasnt changed at all since Ive lived here. Whats also odd and kind of funny about these people is the forms they show you. This one was laminated and wrinkled and I swear had stains all over it. And she pulls out this invoice sheet with no headers or anything at all on it. I actually got nasty with them and they persisted, telling me exactly what the others have told me the last four times. Show me your PECO bill so I can verify your rate and take you off a list??? Just seems strange.

  29. nb Says:

    They’re back! Two guys walking down Larchwood Av, claiming they’re from PECO but not showing ID, pulling a similar scam. This time they’re telling people it’s related to a rebate from Hurricane Sandy.

    Does Phila PD or PECO take this at all seriously? I called both and they confirmed it was not legitimate, but didn’t seem inclined to actually do anything about it.

    What do I do now to make sure my energy provider isn’t switched against my will??

  30. Arwin Says:

    The other guys are still out there, too! We had someone come by our house (on Hazel Ave.) at 6pm last Saturday (not suspicious at all…), claiming he was from Liberty Energy or something like that. He asked for our PECO bill. He did have an ID that he flashed really quickly. When we asked to see a business card, he claimed that he “gave all of them out to other neighbors”.

    Just to see what would happen, we asked him about switching our energy provider online, and he snapped back at us, “Well if it were easy to do online, I wouldn’t be here, would I?”

    A neighbor suggested that I call the police even though it might seem trivial. These people are committing crimes. Having an official record of it can’t hurt.

  31. emdoyle Says:

    TO nb:

    Call PECO to make sure your electricity is still with them. If you gave them your account or signed something, you definitely need to call PECO.

  32. nb Says:

    Thanks, I already called PECO’s customer service and corporate security folks, both said it was a scam, and both said there’s not much they can do about it. Apparently they have no ability to lock in a customer’s account, so it’s entirely up to the customer to carefully review each energy bill they get for the next 2-6 months.

    With an attitude like that, I’m surprised there aren’t more people trying to take advantage of people. (Not unlike the bad old days of phone slamming in the 90′s)

  33. kass Says:

    youre not switching peco, youre just switching where the energy is coming from. a new law of deregulation has passed allowing many companies to compete for providing energy in philly or wherever, so after they leave you will notice on your next bill one small change, the name of the energy company and maybe like $5 in savings.

  34. kass Says:

    which i think they also show you when you are explained the charges.. i mean some of them may be incredibly agressive as you all have said but thats your decision to go get the bill and i personally wouldn’t give my bill to anybody, but i also dont give money to charity.

  35. Amanda Leach Says:

    Direct Energy is not a scam. Maybe those sales people need to have a different approach but i live in Cincinnati and I had a representative come to my door he introduced himself and explained why he was here. He did ask to see my bill but only asked to see the usage part and to see what my rate was at the time. He informed me that I could cut my bill in half by using them and that my bill would continue to come from duke but I would notice where the change was which he showed me on my bill where to look for it. Recently another man came to the door to renew the service i wasnt home but he spoke to my husband and said he had to.come back and speak to me since the bill was in my name but my husband said he was a very nice guy and informative just as the guy i spoke with first. I have truly saved money with this company considering in the winter my electric bill is 30 dollars at the most (our heat is paid with our rent) and in the summertime it runs about 80 with our air conditioner running. Before I signed up our electric ran between 70-150 depending on the season. So not a scam, maybe the people in our area are just not trained or are pushy because it is commission based just like salesman at a car lot they will do and say anything to get you to buy a car from them because they make commission off of you .

  36. John doe Says:

    [edited] If you get a rate lower than peco and its fixed how would the company scam you? What are they going to to with a peco account number and address…. Last time i checked you cant steal an identity with that information. Instead of slating one of the states fastest and biggest employment sectors why not research?

  37. Happy Curmudgeon Says:

    The scam is that they ask to see your bill and switch you without permission. The phone companies used to do it and energy companies do it too.

  38. kyle Says:

    Door to door sales with electric/gas is in NO WAY A SCAM if they are claiming that they are with the utility company, they are not…. Electricity suppliers such as Direct energy, etc. are people who supply your utility company electricity and or gas SO YOU CAN GET IT AT A LOWER RATE AND SAVE MONEY. It’s called deregulation, LOOK IT UP.

  39. Claudia Bernard Says:

    Protection Plus Solutions background screening solutions allows customers to verify the Sales Reps at their door 24/7 by simply logging into the Protection Plus Solutions website or by verifying the ID badge of the Sales Rep on your company’s website with its BadgeLINK product.
    call them today 1 877-725-5412

  40. Kim Says:

    This is still happening in Northern Jersey. I signed their contract then changed my mind and tore it up. Unfortunately a piece of that paper was left outside and they may have taken it. Could they switch me (or if illegal, scam me) with just my account number?

  41. noway Says:

    They are prowling in the suburbs, too, and the next time a total stranger knocks at my door after dark pitching this SCAM, I will open the door and let the dogs take care of it.

  42. billhughes13 Says:

    Just happened to me in South Jersey. Didnt fall for it. As if the electric company is going to send someone door to door to “check bills for errors” – like computers dont exist or anything and the electric company suddenly got a conscience.

  43. Mrs.C Says:

    Tried to tell these guys I was not interested and they were extremely rude and aggressive. Guy was really loud when asking to see the bill… “can’t u just show it to me?!” Felt like a very unsafe situation. Some of these competitor companies have no idea what kind of trashy/rude ppl they are sending door to door. Just a reminder; DONT OPEN YOUR DOOR TO STRANGERS

  44. Experienced Sales Rep Says:

    There are legitimate parts to this scenario and there are parts to this story that you would consider a scam.
    Deregulation lets competing energy companies into the PECO market and prevents the utilities from profiting off of your supply usage. This in turns drives down the energy prices (due to competition), create more jobs (although 90% of people will not be willing to go door to door), and prevent the energy monopoly.
    The fishy part or scam as you would call it is the misrepresentation. DIRECT ENERGY is a legitimate company, but all people are not legitimate honest people. Suppliers supplies energy through the utility, People who comes to your door, sells energy for a living and is not from PECO. THEY ONLY SUPPLY ENERGY TO PECO. If you know how to use a computer then read the paperwork if the person seems untrustworthy.

  45. Ricardo Says:

    They are a MAJOR scam. Yes they are a legitimate company and will give you a contract at a reasonable price but if you let the contract run out – BAM, they DOUBLE your rate – not back to what it was before, but DOUBLE what it was before. And even if you catch it right away it will take two to three months to get them stopped and all the savings you gained on the last year will be gone and more. SCAM. There are lots of good energy companies out there but DIRECT ENERGY IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

  46. Boomph Jarmphulson Says:

    It IS a scam if they claim they are from an existing company to get you to open your door.

  47. boomph Says:

    If they have to go about getting you to sign up the aggressive and shady way they go about it, if IS a scam. I’d rather pay the extra money than be bullied and/or coerced in to signing up with a new company.

  48. Kathy Rivera Says:

    Direct Engery did the same in Columbus, Ohio. They go knocking on doors say they belong to my parent company. They are not affiliated with PECO, but are a competitor company. To cancel with Direct Engery is not easy. Customer Service is bad. I called the company and mail a certif. letter to the address on the contract. They will not give you time to read the small prints. They did not want to speak to the person who pays the bill. They pressured me with misinformation and ask for account numbers to the gas and light. My spouse was angry. He said he did not authorize the change. He did not sign the contract. Becareful……They are a MAJOR SCAM……..

  49. mike Says:

    I would like to address just a few common flaws to some comments. First is that yes these people are not reps of PECO but do in fact represent Direct Energy….it is not a scam they are running unless you allow them to switch your provider without your consent….consent which can only be given by the person who’s name appears on the electric bill. You as concerned homeowners have every right to verify the amounts you are and will be charged monthly for your bills….yes what they are doing is considered deceptive practices in caseswhere they state they are correcting an error and they are with peco ppl pseg and such. A scam on the other hand is when they purposely try to sell you something that isnt real…try to gain access to your personal info in order to steal from you or they are not truthful about all their practices and policies. I would also like to address the fixed rate issue and doubling your rate when it ends….you have every right to keep an eye on your bill and contract length…when your contract is about to expire….within 2 billing cycles…you can shop for another provider or ask for another contract with your current provider….the people who choose not to pay attention to their bills and terms and rates probably didnt understand how their mortgage went up after their 5yr fixed rate transfered to the ARM …just as an example. Rates fluctuate with energy costs…just as they went up this past month in most northest deregulated areas due to the extreme weather unless you were under contract.Yes I also work in the industry but the company im with uses different approach and not door to door to help its customers switch and understand their rights….we all have our own websites for people to verify who we are and the company we represent and it also gives you our rates for every state we are currently providing services in….I just want to make it clear the power to switch website talks about deregulation and how it affects you…but just like cell phones…airlines…and anything else deregulated people can get paranoid or worried because they are uninformed or misinformed by other skeptics.

  50. Kim Robinson Says:

    My company makes sales training video for the cable industry and our flagship course is how-to sell video, Internet and phone door-to-door.

    We created a course for energy re-sellers to, 1) teach energy sales reps how to sell competitive energy and, 2) to teach them how to follow PUC regulations and not be crooks.

    Unfortunately, energy resellers appear to believe it is cheaper to manage a “few” complaints than to actually train their reps how to act like professionals.

    Too bad because selling door-to-door is an honorable job when done right, and these low lifes who lie and cheat to make sales give all salespeople a bad name.

  51. Woody Says:

    Well, legit or not, they are fishing for information. The person that aproached me siad something about saving me money then asked to see my bill. Just that quick. Mybe Im old fashioned but if your selling me something, you need to give me information, not demand it of me. It is an agressive sales pitch and, no offense but the people looked like gang bangers or dropouts dressed in some jacket with the company name on it. It was fishy and just an overall turnoff.

  52. Dew Says:

    Major Energy/Respond Power is a major CON and SCAM. They say they will save you money, you will get the same rate or possibly lower than what you are currently paying. Well in 10 months my out of pocket electric expenses are +46% to Last year on flat KWH usage. This company does not hold accountability for what their door to door sales people say. DO NOT SIGN UP!!! BEWARE!!!!

  53. TA Says:

    Me and my husband are in Delaware County and we’ve had this twice already in the last 2 weeks. The man has said they work for PECO and there’s a new policy and they would like to see our bill to “check on it” and explain it to us. I didn’t fall for it either way because it just didn’t make sense that a company as PECO would literally send people door-to-door informing them about a new anything. It isn’t that hard for the actual company to simply send a letter informing their customers. Watch out folks!

  54. Rsss Says:

    hello

    guys it happens for me, i sign up, i didn’t sure what the company but i think IGSenergy

    what should i do ?

    how can i canceled

  55. Ioane Says:

    RESPOND POWER IS MAJOR SCAM. Well I will not say much. Just look at the numbers:
    January electricity use: around 4,200 kWh and bill of 700 $
    February electricity use: around 3,978 kWh and bill of 920 $
    March electricity use: around 3,354 kWh and bill of 1,452 $

    Those liars set me up with a rate of 0.08 about 1 year ago and last month my rate was 0.3999 WHICH IS 5 TIMES MORE!

  56. mike Says:

    unless you were under contract the rate would be susceptible to an increase…you obviously havent paid attention to the news reports posted about energy rate increases and the only person to blame would be yourself…over a year ago they had you locked in….probably either non contract or 12 month….but you didnt renew and they are trying to recoup for the high demands from several winter storms that taxed the nation and more of the northeast than elsewhere.

  57. Ave Says:

    Well sdeems these scammers have traveled upstate and sliughtly changed their names or there is another group doing the same type thing. the one who came to my home had ID for being part of”Major Energy Services” and said he was there to check on outside wiring but also had a survey to complete which led into a ‘lower rate for elderly, disabled & low income’ customers. I am dissbled & elderly so he said he could qualify me by answering a few questions and seeing my Social Security Award Letter and my gas & elec bills. He also called some 3rd party verification but said it had to do with me verifying his presence at my home and that he explained ‘everything’. I agreed. He said I would see their name show up in 1-2 months on my bill as supplier which meant I was getting the govt discount.
    Anyway time passes and I see their name on my gas bill but not my elec bill. Winter passes and gas budget has stayed good but my gas budget bills is higher.Turns out they never got access to my elec company, either they didnt try or were blocked BUT they got onto my gas co bill and on the back page of the bill my ccf rate went from .53 to .99 so I called the Gas co today and they told me that Major Energy had upped my bill by 90% rather than lowering it 40-60% and to get them off my bill I had to call them and cancel and my bill would go back to normal in 1-2 cycles. I called Major Energy and told them my bill was supposed to be 40-60% less but instead was 90% more and CS apologized but said they couldnt be held responsible for what their field reps tell people.
    Well the PUC disagrees and said they are responsible so they opened a case and now I have to wait a month or so to hear the outcome which should be to lower the rate on this current bill to the rate it should have been before and not what they gauged it up to.
    At least they cant keep charging me 90% anymore but now I see almost $1,000 end of season gas bill – the highest I ever saw in my lifetime. It should be about $300 at the most.
    For just the last month Major Fuel charged me 200ccf x .999=$198.90 compared to Natl Fuel company’s [current rate which is the same as last year and for this month last year]They charged less for more usage~!
    241ccf x ,532960 = $128.44

    So these door to door workers,while maybe just doing a job, that can be said of any scam, job or illegal activity!They are in it for a payday and no matter how nice or pushy they are, end of day you are stuck with a bigger bill than you should have and they go home with their paycheck.

    They may change their company name and the utility they are scamming about but the scenario is the same ~!

  58. Gus Manaime Says:

    The truth is that Con Edison doesn’t care that they misrepresent themselves as long as they don’t explicitly say they’re from your power company. I spoke with representatives of Con Edison and they made it clear. In fact, they were annoyed that I found it worrisome or sleazy as if they didn’t like me prying or something. I can only guess what their arrangement entails (the automated phone system speaks quite enthusiastically of ESCOs and encourages customers to look around, after all).

    Josco was the company who used their sleazy tactics on me.

  59. Edison Says:

    I had the exact same experience, I live in Edison NJ and the representative told me that I am eligible for a 10% based on my current usage.
    Then she pressured me to sign a document without letting me read through it and then made me answer “YES” to 3 questions that some guy on phone.

    Then when I read through the fine print I realized that my supplier is being changed to Respond Power and Direct Energy.

    I immediately called up the customer support and cancelled my enrollment.

    I could not believe someone would lie so badly.

  60. balanakirk Says:

    I had the same thing last night. A gentleman in shorts and t-shirt, flashed a badge from another company, stating he was there because there was going to be an increase in electric rates for PPL and he stated that if I used enough energy each month, I would be eligible to freeze my rate and not get the increase. He then asked for a copy of my PPL bill. I asked him if he was from PPL. He said no mam, I should know that PPL does not send people door to door. I then told him, then I didn’t want to talk to him and closed the door. He said, I don’t understand, rang the doorbell again and when I didn’t answer, he went next door. If this were not a scam, why not say, I am from so and so electric company and can give you a better rate than PPL. Here’s how I can save you money and this is what you need to do.

  61. Tom Says:

    This isn’t actually a scam. All that Josco does is that it makes your bill cheaper and you get a 1 month of free service (you actually get to choose the highest bill and you get a rebate check). It is a pretty good deal. No one is trying to make you switch off from your locale utility. We only just provide you with gas and electric and you still go to your local utility.

  62. nick Says:

    Even if its a scam or not, it is still unprofessional to come to someone’s house unannounce. One of these people came knocking at my door a 9pm. We already get ads everywhere in our lives and now their knocking on our doors?

  63. ugotabettaidea Says:

    I wouldn’t trust any of them. The thing is that sure a low rate might sound good in theory. But will it still be a good deal when that promotion ends and your rate goes up by 100%? Unless you have a written contract with them stating the amount your going to be paying its all just empty promises. Once they get you to enroll, they can charge you anything they want.

    A lot of these companies have variable or changing rates. So from month to month your bill could be higher or lower. Heck the devil I know is better than the one I don’t. At least I know what my bill is going to be each month with Peco.

    That being said, nevermind whose at the door you better keep an eye on your mailbox because they don’t even have to come to your door for you to be switched over to a new provider. Peco is now helping them out by automatically enrolling you with another provider. (Yes you read that right)

    I received a notice of enrollment with my new energy provider.
    A Company I didn’t even know existed. I spent half the day on the phone between Peco and this new Company trying to find out who in the heck authorized this change and how to get my services transferred back. It was a nightmarish ordeal I wouldn’t wish on my worse enemy.

  64. sitaram Says:

    I stay in plainsboro nj and was misled too… a representative from harborside got me signed for switching from pseg to thier company. I was not comfortable with these kind of sales practices. When they called be back later, I simple said I am not interested in the reduction. They hung up the phone. I notified pseg. But I dont think there is anything they could do. Better be more sceptical than leting some one to mislead you.

  65. sharon Says:

    While it may not technically be a “scam”, these SALESMEN are misrepresenting themselves when they come to your door. First he indicated he was with PECO, then clarified when I asked about the company on his badge (SFE Energy). They talk and move fast to “put in a work order” before you even really know what it happening. I asked for more information in writing and he didn’t have any. So I refused to sign anything.

    Considering this was after work and I was very very tired, I was not in the state of mind to be agreeing to or signing off on anything without reading something first. I work in sales and marketing, so I know the tricks, and always ask questions. After Googling, I found this article and am glad I trusted my gut instinct.

    They should be distributing information and INFORMING residents about their energy choice. Not fast-talking people into signing things. This is misleading marketing and deceitful business practice.

  66. vincent Says:

    SFE energy came to my door they had me sign their document, it felt like i was pressured into it they were so fast with everything i was careless although it was my parents bill i wonder if my signature worked
    after he left i knew i was scam called them imediately to cancel but they would always say things like oh your info is not uploaded yet maybe try to call back 3 hrs later oh wait call back tommorrow

  67. Angie Says:

    SFE Energy is definitely not a scam, I know because I am signed up with them. Trust me I would not sign up for a scam company. This is one of the most reputable energy companies. I did plenty of research. They offer long term fixed rates for 3 years, and you can opt out ANYTIME with no cancellation fees. All of the other energy companies have cancellation fees and rates that fluctuate all the time. My bill has stayed the same and on my contract it states that I can receive cash back if my bill does go up in the slights.

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