Neighbor warns of possible door-to-door energy scam

Posted on 02 April 2012

Reader 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.”

99 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 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 ( 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:

  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

  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:


    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.

  68. Annoyed Says:

    They are doing the same thing in Abington, Willow Grove, Hatboro and Horsham areas. They ask to see you PECO bill because they want your account number to automatically enroll you in their (whatever their energy company is) program. DO NOT GIVE ANYONE YOUR BILL. UNLESS A WARRANT IS ISSUED, DO NOT GIVE ANYONE ANY BILLS!!!

    This is how they scam you!

  69. Not a Scam Says:

    For the misinformed people on here, the people coming to your door are NOT trying to scam you. All their doing is trying to help you get a lower monthly rate on your bill, which still comes from Peco. It’s a tough job and its not easy dealing with people who don’t understand the program (which is clearly stated on all your bills every month) and think you’re trying to sell them something. So I reccomend you all do your research and go to or and educate yourself about it and not give people who are just trying to make a honest living a hard time next time they knock on your door.

  70. Annoyed Says:

    They are misinforming you, Not a Scam…
    -They fail to show identification
    -They state they work for PECO (which is NOT the case, they are a partner of PECO, they are NOT PECO).
    -They state that they want to lower your monthly bill but do not tell you that they are representing XXYY company, a competitor of many of the energy providers on papowerswicth website.
    -They ask to see your physical PECO bill so that they can copy down your account number and then enroll you into their energy program without properly informing you of who that energy provider is.
    -They may be doing a job but do not have the right to see your PECO bill and misinform the public.
    -They carry a clipboard with a copy of a “PECO” bill and state that they need to physically see your bill in order to give you a lower rate.
    -If you have done your homework like I have, you would have already signed up with an energy company you chose based upon your research.
    -I have a “NO SOLICITING” sign posted on my door to avoid such problems. My house, my right to refuse your soliciting.
    -Get another job that doesn’t involve misinforming the public, especially those who fall victim to these and others like them.

  71. Louis G. Says:

    Better to read the fine print first, and THEN sign.

  72. Lori Says:

    Those of you arguing that this is NOT a scam because energy has been deregulated are missing the point. Yes, we can choose now. And yes, companies are free to advertise door to door. That is not the problem.

    The problem is that some companies are fraudulently getting clients by lying and deceiving and manipulating trusting people into changing services aggressively and under false pretenses, without their knowledge of what’s happening. They mispresent themselves as PECO, then they trick people into giving them private information, then they change their service without their knowledge because people think they are PECO just fixing a problem. That is the scam. Anyone who says this is happening “to help people get a lower rate” is either a troll or an employee of one of these scammy companies.

    When they came to my door, I really thought at first they were PECO, because he said he was there about my PECO bill and very authoritatively told me to go and get it, of course, so that he could improve or fix my rate. I almost did. Luckily, demanding to see a bill struck be as very peculiar – no one has that right, not even PECO. Plus, I had already selected a company and changed providers when the deregulation happened, so I was good with my choice and my rate.

    When I realized he was not from PECO I confronted him and his reaction was as researsed as the scam. I said he had no right to represent himself as a PECO. He replied that he never explicitly said he did; I must have made that leap. I said he had no right to come to my door and demand private information. He said he can do what he wants. I can give it to him or not. I said I already made a choice and knew he was trying to trick me out of it. He didn’t care. And when I asked what company he was from, he refused to say. I ended up demanding to see his personal bills. The conversation went south from there. He laughed in my face and went to the next house.

    Any of you expressing sympathy for these folks might want to think again. It’s not just the reps, this clearly company strategy. What they are doing is the definition of fraud. If I encounter them again, I will simply call the police. Wish I had the first time.

  73. blythe Says:

    I feel they are a scam what u don’t know is if you are behind and on a payment plan with peco then peco will demand all their money , back monies, after the sign over so u have basically messed up your agreements and costed yourself all kind of dough if you don’t fix it . I don’t fool with these ppl Peco needs to do something about the fact that they are using their name to get in you door or in your ear. its deceptive, personally they don’t get to see my bill since its online. just be nice and politely refuse them and close the door.

  74. blythe5050 Says:

    if they are not deceptive then why did the chick that came to my door put her finger over the peephole.

  75. Marc Says:

    They just came to my block in the 15th precinct’s region… Entrust Energy. They had it on their shirts and name tags, but didn’t specifically say they weren’t from PECO. Told them the account holder isn’t here, looked around.. Total scam. They come back I’ll make them an offer to be fertilizer in my backyard. Hate scammers.

  76. Sonja Says:

    I am in south jersey and they just knocked on my door, totally deceptive practices, asking to see my bill. and lying that my bill will go up in December.

  77. Jesse Says:

    They just knocked on my door about 15 mins ago. i asked for his id, business card and the number to call his boss. he refused to show me his id and refused to give me his boss’s number to call him/her. the guy gave me his business card with a houston tx address on it. i threw it back at him and told him to leave.

    these people are trained by scammers to collect your peco info so the company that trained them can actually freeze and even steal your electric. a church i went to used to have them do their training there and i was always there because i was looking after the building they were in. i heard everything they were taught. afterwards i told one of the pastors that they are scamming people they were never allowed to teach at the church again.

  78. corey Says:

    My guy said he was from the supplier. He said that he needed to see the bill to see if PECO had recorded our new company correctly. We don’t have a physical bill. Then he wanted us to go online and see our information. Very persistent. Told him to go away, which he eventually did. Thought of calling the police. Thin that would help?

  79. Talha Says:

    So I had this happen to me today. Two guys, one in his thirties, other barely looked over 20 and I was told he was in training. All of my conversation was with the other guy. They were carrying loads of papers and had Major Energy IDs. The way he started the conversation was very strange. He asked me if somebody had come around to check and change my light bulbs (the management had this work done about two weeks ago) so I said yes and he said he was just confirming that. Then he took out a bill from his folder and started to point out some charges (very insignificant, around $2) and said these charges were added in error and he was here to correct them. Then he asked to see if my bill had these charges too so that he could have them removed. I looked at my bill and I had around 80 cents of those charges. Then he said he will just make a quick call, the person on the phone will ask me some for some information to verify their records and I would be all set. That was what struck me, what information do they want to verify? I asked him why isn’t National Grid (my supplier) contacting me on the phone about this? He said something which I don’t remember but it was definitely not a good reason. Anyway, he took out his phone and dialed the number. Up until this point, I had no idea my supplier was gonna be changed if I signed up. I was looking at a bill which he had showed me where there were none of those charges and that is when I saw it, the supplier on that bill was changed from National Grid to Major Energy. I looked at the Electricity Supply rate and it was almost double than that of mine. It was clear I was being scammed. I asked him to leave his information and that I will get back to him after discussing with my property manager. I have only been in the United States less than 4 months so I am totally unaware of how these things work. So glad I did not sign up. I know it’s hard out there but I really think the people who are doing these door-to-door “error correction” should have a morality check.

  80. Geordi Says:

    A saleswoman came to my door last Wednesday, claiming that she is from third-party company that is representing my electric company. She said that I should not be paying the Basic Generation Service charge. I felt something was wrong, yet I stupidly let her access to my electric bill and phone. She called up someone, gave the information and then said nothing would change in my next bill just the BSC would be remove. I got a letter from JCP&L yesterday that I had authorize to switch my electric supplier to Entrust Energy, based in Houston, TX. I did not authorize this switch at all. I’m lucky to able to call back JCP&L within the window to prevent the switch-over. These salespeople are liars, getting to trick people to switch their electric supply company. Do *NOT* trust anyone of them.

  81. Steve Says:

    They are doing the same thing in Baltimore. They told me that they were from the company I just switched to and that this guy was the manager making sure I got the lowest rate. Once I found my original paperwork and tracked him down he tried to deny the conversation until a neighbor showed up to confront him also. I will be calling the attorney General and the public service commission to report them. This is fraudulent business tactics.

  82. s5k Says:

    I live in Collingswood NJ. Just had one of these bums knock at my door. He said he wanted to make sure I was not getting overcharged on my P.S.E.G. bill. I asked for I.D. he said he did not have any. I said you told me you were from PSEG ? He said no he didn’t. With that I told him I was not interested and bid him good day. For all I know, He could’ve been casing my property. Maybe I should have called the cops on his ass. Will def do that if it happens again.

  83. Julie Says:


  84. Jack Says:

    My son is doing this selling sfe they have brainwashed him so bad that he quit school to do this full time and has been there almost a month and sold like 5 contracts and has yet to be paid because he is in training yet they have taken him in a van all the way as far as Pittsburgh with promises of having him open his own site there! They have ” meetings” at restaurants ( I guess the boss needs a business write off) they have him convinced he will make 100 grand by the end of this year- he is so brainwashed they showed him a huge house that the 27 year old manager owns he picks him up in his Mercedes and takes them in a van 15 of them to reading pa to all these places and he still ” working ” till midnight sometimes he even lets them stay at this house it’s so sad because we all know it’s a scam but he’s got these kids so convinced they will do and say anything to get people to sign the contract- sad thing is once 18 parents have no rights- If anyone knows how I can help my son or where to go to possibly report this company they work out of Wilmington Delaware in a small makeshift office and they take the kids “adults” out of the State to “sell” please let me know i feel in my heart this is wrong and illegal some how but I have no way to help my son- I feel bad for all of you that have been scammed or disrespect but please know that these People are being trained to be aggressive and to do or say anything to get the sale and I’m sure the “maNager is profiting while he has the kids on the street in the cold “selling” for him- again so sorry- a Mom who is tired !

  85. Surprised Says:

    I’m surprised that some bright member of the state legislature hasn’t proposed a 3 strikes you are out bill yet i.e. 3 strikes of consumer complaints for fraudulently transferring service and you are barred from selling electricity in PA forever. I’m sure it would get tremendous support. Only by going after the electricity resellers pushing these tactics will you get the fraudulent sales and no company can sell electricity in PA without a PUC license. Its really quite simple, go after the energy resellers and force them to clean up their own industry.

  86. Miriam Says:

    The Pennsylvania legislature has zero interest in protecting consumers.

  87. Robert Says:

    It’s truly shame that these scam companies are giving reputable companies a bad name. Also I feel it’s not necessarily the energy supplier’s fault if a rep misinforms the consumer or uses deceptive marketing tactics, its that rep, and they should be fired. I had two different reps come to my door from the same energy company, one rep was extremely pushy and said he was from the utility company and the other rep explained everything thoroughly did not force me to sign anything also explained he was from the supplier, and needless to say I signed up and my last two bills have been significantly lower…average about 30-50 a month in comparison to when I was paying with Peco’s basic supplier my bill was 120-170. I also can cancel without any fees!

  88. Cheryl Says:

    I have had this happen to me twice in my apartment complex. The first time a man knocked on my door and stated he was the office manager from my apartment complex. He stated he wanted to check my bill to see if I was getting the same rates as my neighbors. I closed the door and phoned my ACTUAL office manager.

    Seccond time–A woman shows up at my door and states she if from the “State of Pennsylvania, she was even wearing a State of Pennsylvania lanyard holding her name tag. Like the man, she asked to see my PPL bill and some other BS about my rates. I closed the door.

    I do not care if you come to my door trying to sell something, but do not be deceitful about it. Thankfully, I am smart enough to know when something is not right, but there are those who do not know any better.

  89. Robert Says:

    Saying you are representing another person or entity (PECO) for purposes of a business transaction, is lying and felony fraud.

    Selling customers alternative generator electric supply may save them money and that should be the starting point of the sales pitch, not false claims of PECO representation or billing “errors”.

  90. ronke Says:

    First of all, always take heed and caution of letting anyone into your house or apartment just because they say they are from a particular electric company. None of the bonafide electric companies ever conduct business this way. Secondly, your electric company is a monopoly, so any other company who is trying to hoodwink you to purchase electricity from them, would have to buy it from your electric company. Secondly, what about customer service? If something goes wrong who are you going to call? Thirdly, you may be letting someone in your house or apartment who is casing it, and at a later date will come back and clean you out, or bring harm to you or another family member. Lastly, you are not getting a free ride, it is my understanding that anyone who signed up for this so called lower rate, found it later that their bill was hire, and if they wanted to switch back to their electric company, they had to pay a fee.

  91. nah Says:

    Someone needs to tell these guys that knocking at my door after 8pm at night, calling me “sweetheart” and immediately asking to see my electricity bill is doing everything the wrong way. I don’t care if you do have something legit to offer, I’m immediately not interested.

  92. Joanna Says:

    I had two people show up to my boyfriends condo building just now… They buzzed my door saying they needed to speak with me about my electricity services. The woman had such a thick accent I could barely understand her. I walked down the steps to the first doorway and asked them who they were. They were dressed really nice and said that they were from Direct Energy. They said that our bill was going to go up and they needed to talk to the person paying the bill. Sounded sort of legit at first since I didn’t know who provided my boyfriends gas and electric. I asked who they were looking for and they couldn’t give me a name. They kept asking me who paid the bills, and I said it was none of their business and they would have to contact the building association. I thought it was odd that they didn’t know who they were looking for. The woman gave me more and more of an attitude when I questioned who they were there for. She made the mistake of mentioning that she did not know how all the buildings on my street work… Then I realized that they were going door to door. I asked them for a business card and they had none. I said that the association would contact them if they would provide me a number. They lady gave me her personal cell number! What a joke. They literally wouldn’t leave so I slammed the door in their faces mid conversation. I understand that they do actually work for a “company” but:
    1. They were rude
    2. They had no identification
    3. They didn’t even know who they were looking for
    4. They are making false statements, “Your bill is about to go up!” (They want to inflict fear so they can get you)
    5. They didn’t understand the word no.
    6. They were searching for names and info.
    7. The creepiness factor was through the roooooof!

    Next time they come I’m throwing buckets of water on them out my window…. Those people are scammers to the core!

  93. Michael Says:

    Just a bit of correction on the last commenter, Joanna. If the people at the door Identified themselves with Direct Energy then that is who they are with, they do not need to know the residents name if they are soliciting door to door. The woman’s attitude change was probably due to the fact you kept asking who she was looking for and she answered honestly they did not know who the resident was. If you were just uncomfortable with them then you should have just said I am not the one who handles the bill and they are currently unavailable if you would leave contact information it would be passed along….that would have shortened their stay and everyone would have experienced a pleasant departure from one another. The claim that they are making false statements because of a rate increase…you must be one of those people who do not understand what affects rates such as the cost of natural gas…or natural occurrences that affect entire regions like winter storms, yes there are times that a provider will actually give a heads up to customers in case they are not in contract and protected from increases…question yourself why prices were hiked up after the polar vortex last winter and some peoples bills were 1200 or more when they were normally 3-400 a month. I am in the industry and actually have my own business as an associate that gathers customers to help save on their energy bills….we are not permitted to go door to door as it is not our method. We are the largest direct energy( not our name but our industry) reseller in the world with the highest revenues, yet we have some of the best rates around all with no funny gimmicks and done through word of mouth. I have customers sending me customers to sign up because after years of being with us they are more than happy. What I am saying is there are too many people commenting on here that do not take enough time to research changes that took place a few years ago that do affect them on their electricity provider choices or other natural resource suppliers such as gas. If your state has been deregulated then that means you are free to choose. Saying they were searching for info…no they can not do anything with your BF info even if they had it except pay his bill…they can not even do a switch without his permission as it is known as slamming. I just wish people would stop jumping on the wagon here, yes some of these associates might come off harsh but just think about how many people each day treat them like crap just for trying to do their job and actually earn a living, or would you rather see them sitting at home living off welfare and essentially your dollars? You can comment back however you wish, I understand how to do the type of network marketing sales I do…Im not pushy, I do inform customers of everything they need to know before they switch….but I guess that’s why I have more coming from current customers.

  94. Barbara Says:

    When a young man came knocking on my door about 5 months ago, I had the worst assumption of him. Not to mention he came off as being a salesman, with his attire. I was extremely skeptical. He started explaining to me how about SFE which is the parent energy provider for a lot of the East Coast energy companies. He asked to see my Peco bill, and he compare some rates and explain to me that I would save more money by allowing him to sign me up for a fixed bill solution. He explained that if I signed up for the program, that I would be locked in a fixed rate, for 3 years. I was again skeptical because where has there ever been a promotion that keeps your electricity locked in at the same price for 3 years, whether you use more or less electricity? So I told him to let me talk to my husband and to come back in about an hour. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him if I decided to sign up for the promotion. After speaking with my husband and after reading some these online reviews, We decided to give it a chance, even though some of the reviews where negative. What stood out to me is that they were all based on opinion and not fact, plus, if a company can help us save money then we want to at least give it a try. We had nothing to lose. I’m an optimist, so we went for it. I called the guy back and he came right away. To make a long story short, we signed up for the progeam and needless to say he was telling the truth. My energy bill has been $85.00 for the last 4 months. I wish that I can take a screenshot of my account. and peco is still my energy provider. I know that we get skeptical of things that we don’t understand but being optimistic can open the door for a sure enough blessing. That’s my story. one thing though is that I despise negative reviews from people who has not sign up for the program. How can you put down something that you know nothing about? If you’re skeptical the best advice I can give you, is to just take a chance, to at least SEE what happens

  95. Corey Says:

    No, not really. I don’t believe the philosophy of “when in doubt, surrender all of your personal information.” I’m glad that it worked out for you. But please don’t give your account numbers to Nigerian princes on the internet.

  96. Barbara Says:

    ^ Lol okay I wont give my info to known scammers. I moreso made my decision, based on the fact that, most of the reviews were from people who who didn’t sign up. They’re just spewing opinions. I’m saving money, and just thought I’d share. That’s all

  97. Cheryl Says:

    My experience with them was not based on opinion. When someone knocks on your door and is deceptive as to who they are it does tend to raise an alert. I had one guy pose as the manager of my apartment complex that stated he was going around and checking to see if I am getting the same rates as my neighbors.The wonam that knocked on my door about six months later told me she was from “The State Of Pennsylvania”. Ridiculous. THIS is what makes people feel they are scammers. I will not do business with a company that is deceptive from the beginning.

  98. Corey Says:

    A turkey just asked me for my PECO bill.

  99. Paul Says:

    I am reposting this because this thread has turned into probably the longest on WPL. In Pennsylvania, everyone has the ability to choose who generates their electricity, even though you probably don’t have a choice of who distributes it to you (PECO in Philly). But instead of waiting for someone to knock on your door and crossing your fingers that you’re getting a good deal, go to the state’s website that lists all of your options so that you can compare rates for yourself:

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