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Note: US Energy Savings is the same company as Just Energy. See here. Also watch out for Commerce Energy, Universal Energy, National Home Service, and Hudson Energy. They are all subsidiary companies of Just Energy.
As well as “Green Energy Savings”, “Just Green”, Energy Savings Group and “Just Power”, they are another company names by Just Energy and they are another Just Scam.
ENRON Ex-Executive Scott Gahn, now COO at Just Energy
In 1997, Scott joined Enron Capital & Trade Resources where he worked in various positions leading ultimately to Managing Director of Enron Direct.
Scott was appointed Chief Operating Officer in February 2009 after serving as Executive Vice President of since May 2007. Read more at The Michigan Public Service Commission’s Electronic Docket Filings System, Biographies of Executive Officers for
Who show up at your front door uninvited with legal binding contract?
Think about who show up at your front door. Here is my list…
1. Friends, family members and neighbors.
2. Repair or installation person.
3. Students selling candies to raise money for their school.
4. People asking for donations for The Red Cross, Sick Kids or other charities.
5. On October 31, small children dress up in customes for trick or treat.
6. And then you have these energy companies aka gas and electricity suppliers that sells fixed rate gas and electricity prices. Who only hire outsource independent sales agents (*** ******* ***** ***) all dress up as an utility personnel, telling you they were sent by your local gas and electricity suppliers, or tell you they were sent by the government, or ask you if you receive a rebate, are *** ***** ******* to get you to show them your energy bills and to get you to sign their LEGAL BINDING CONTRACT.
Locking you in for 5 years without telling you all the terms and conditions (10 days cooling off period, cancellation fee, savings are not guarantee). With misleading official sounding company names like “US Energy Savings” or “Ontario Energy Savings”, “Alberta Energy Savings” ect., Energy Savings to who? Obviously not homeowners.
Uninvited sales agents, legal binding contract, locking you in for 5 years, deceptive/high pressure sale tactics, operate by several former Enron executives (remember Enron?), a history of frauds/scams, in numberless of local TV news and news papers, with a price tag of thousands of dollars, all at your door steps. Could you think of any other industry or company that does that? People should be outrage about these door-to-door energy sales. If you’re not yet angry, keep reading.
On April 24th, 2006, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) issued a consumer alert warning the public against misleading sales tactics used by U.S. Energy Savings Corp (now operating as ) salespeople soliciting consumers door-to-door to switch gas and electricity provider.
“Overall, 98 percent of Illinois consumers who have signed up with U.S. Energy Savings have lost money, with an average loss of $1275.18 to date, CUB concludes.” Read more at www.citizensutilityboard.org, An Analysis of Just Energy, formerly U.S. Energy Savings Corp.’s Offers
Since the late 1990s, when government-ordered deregulation forced big utilities to offer various services separately in hopes of lowering customers’ bills, consumers have been encouraged to shop for their own energy supplier, even though they’d still use Con Ed’s pipes for delivery.
But for Yang, the bargain promised by U.S. Energy Savings () was no deal: After a few months, his bills had doubled. Read more at www.pulp.tc, Electric Bills Gave Them Shock: Biz Owners Hoped to Cut Costs but New Supplier Was No Deal
A Canmore woman says she wants to pull the plug on her five-year contract with her energy supplier, but can’t afford the $1,000 fee.
Becky Newhook, a mother of two, says even though she is trying energy-conserving measures around the home, she is paying about 30 per cent more for natural gas and electricity prices every month since signing a contract with a company called Alberta Energy Savings ().
Nadine Evans, a spokeswoman with the Ontario-based Alberta Energy Savings Company (), said sales representatives for the company do not mislead people and the sales process educates the customers. Read more at www.cbc.ca, Gas and electricity bills soar for Alberta woman after signing contract
More than half of the consumer complaints made last year to Alberta’s utility watchdog were about one Ontario-based energy marketing company.
David Gray, the head of the province’s utility watchdog, said 657 of the 1,130 complaints to his office were about Alberta Energy Savings LP (now operating as ), a company that markets fix rate natural gas & electricity prices across Alberta.
“The complaints are often about the door-to-door nature of the Alberta Energy sales force,” he said.
“The province actually has taken action against an Alberta Energy Savings salesman that was using a fraudulent practice to sign up contracts,” said David Gray. Read more at www.cbc.ca, Energy-marketing company racks up half of all utility complaints
Several Flushing residents have complained about misleading business practices of an energy supplier, saying their bills are a lot higher than they were led to believe.
Councilman John Liu, who represents the area, is meeting with representatives of U.S. Energy Savings Corp. () this week and hopes the problems can be resolved. “This is a direct outcome of utility deregulation,” he said. “The onus is now on the consumer to decide which one to choose.” Read more at www.pulp.tc, Complaints Raised About Energy Supplier
The BBB site also said U.S. Energy Savings Corp () reached a settlement with the city of Chicago’s Department of Consumer Services “that includes a $15,000 payment as a result of consumer complaints about deceptive door-to-door sales techniques.” Read more at mywebtimes.com, Gas it up? Pass it up, for these folks.
The next time a stranger knocks at your door looking to sign you up to a home gas and electricity program, be very cautious and get all the facts before signing up for anything, said New York State Assemblyman Mark J.F. Schroeder.
“Several of my constituents have contacted me regarding a company that had knocked on their door trying to sign them up to a program offering locked-in energy rates,” said Schroeder.
As Schroeder investigated the company, U.S. Energy Savings Corporation (), he discovered that the company had an “unsatisfactory record” with the Better Business Bureau due to a “pattern of complaints,” including misleading sales practices, unauthorized enrollment in the program, and several others. Read more at assembly.state.ny.us, Schroeder Says Beware of Door-To-Door Energy Salesman
Currently, most complaints originate from Chicago and Northern Illinois and nearly half involved a Canadian company called The Energy Savings Group, doing business in Illinois as U.S. Energy Savings Corp., Kolata said.
“A lot of times these companies start in one area and spread out from there,” he added. “I think you can expect to start seeing these (advertisements) trickling down here.” Read more at www.allbusiness.com, Utility board warns of gas marketing scams
U.S. Energy Savings () is an alternative gas and electricity supplier that makes millions selling natural gas and electricity to homes and business. The 2 Investigators exposed how the company’s salespeople use apparently deceptive tactics to sign customers to five-year fixed rate gas and electricity contracts.
“Through 2006 to 2007, the complaints are up 125%, that is alarming.” Said Steve Bernas from Better Business Bureau.
Read more at www.cbs2chicago.com, Attorney General Takes Action Against Gas and Electricity
BBB gets 258 complaints on natural gas supplier. Customers: U.S. Energy Savings () cost them big.
A Canadian company accused of bilking utility customers in Indiana and Illinois is acknowledging it has a “significant number of complaints” but is denying allegations of deceptive marketing.
In e-mailed responses to Times inquiries, U.S. Energy Savings Corp. (now ) stated it will take corrective action if its sales representatives misled customers.
Keep reading if the company’s corrective action worked or not. U.S. Energy () defends its business practices.
A Canadian company () accused of bilking utility customers in Indiana and Illinois is acknowledging it has a “significant number of complaints” but is denying allegations of deceptive marketing.
Despite those denials, problems continue to mount for the company. It offers consumers natural gas at a fixed price through NIPSCO’s Choice program in Indiana and through Nicor and Peoples Energy in Illinois.
The office of Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter is investigating four complaints against U.S. Energy Savings in Indiana. Read more at nwitimes.com, U.S. Energy Savings () an altrnative gas and electriciity suppilior defends its business practices
Gord Potter, the Executive Vice President of Just Energy made the following statement on the CBS 2 Chicago interview.
“He (Gord Potter) said they’re retraining their staff and rewriting their contract to make it clear to customers what they are signing up for and how much it will cost to cancel.” said Pam Zekman from CBS 2 Chicago. Watch it here, Confused Consumers Take Dangerous Fixed-Rate Gas and Electricity Gamble
So, this would mean no more compliants for misleading door-to-door sales? Right? Keep reading…
Citizens Utility Board (CUB), AARP Illinois, and Citizen Action Illinois file complaint against U.S. Energy Savings Corp. (Now operating as )
The complaint, filed with ICC on 3-3-08, alleges that U.S. Energy, a unit of Energy Savings Group (), sent employees door-to-door circulating “bogus petitions” to save on gas bills. In addition, the complaint claims these U.S. Energy employees told gas customers that they worked for regulated utilities or the government. These advocacy groups requested that ICC ban U.S. Energy’s alleged tactics, eliminate illegally high “exit” fees, fine the company up to $10,000 for each violation of the Illinois alternative gas supplier law, and consider revoking the firm’s certification in the State. U.S. Energy denies the allegations. Read more at www.eia.doe.gov, Consumer Advocate Actions Against Gas and Electricity Provider.
“I didn’t think it were possible, but U.S. Energy’s behavior has actually gotten worse,” added Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois. “U.S. Energy has misled consumers – many of them seniors and people who don’t speak English – to sell some of the worst gas deals in Illinois history.” Read more at www.news.corporate.findlaw.com, Consumer Coalition Says Enough is Enough, Files ICC Complaint Charging U.S. Energy With Deceptive Marketing
Five months after The Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan files suit against US. Energy Savings Corp. () for misleading sales tactics to sell gas and electricity contracts.
The Attorney General of New York Andrew Cuomo made a settlement with U.S. Energy Savings (), which sells gas and electricity to residential consumers in place of the local utility, requires the company to waive hundreds of thousands of dollars in residential consumer termination fees and pay $200,000 in costs and penalties to the state. The settlement also implements a series of comprehensive reforms in order to ensure that customers are given accurate, up-front information regarding their service agreements by the company’s sales staff.
The Attorney General’s investigation also uncovered multiple untrue claims made by U.S. Energy’s () outsourced sales personnel, including that the company was affiliated with the local gas and electricity provider, and consumers could continue being billed at a set amount each month based on the estimated annual billing (only later to find out that they were being billed for actual or estimated usage for the billing period). Additionally, when consumers tried to cancel their Agreements, they were often unable to contact the company or were put on hold for interminable periods.
After Attorney General Cuomo’s Office brought these concerns to U.S. Energy Savings (), the company agreed to waive termination fees for over 300 consumers and allowed them to cancel their agreements. In addition to forgiving these fees and paying $100,000 in costs and $100,000 in penalties, under the Attorney General’s agreement, U.S. Energy Savings must:
- Provide every new customer a letter that clearly states the cancellation period and early termination fee and invites consumers to contact U.S. Energy with concerns about sales practices
- Verify all details and qualifiers of its Agreements with consumers either by recorded call or in writing
- Obtain background and/or reference checks for all potential sales contractors
- Review all consumer complaints and provide a response within 30 days of receipt
- Terminate any independent contractor who misleads consumers
- Waive termination fees for any consumer who cancels an agreement within 60 days of this settlement
Read more at www.syracuse.com, State clamping down on gas and electricity providers who promise savings, but don’t deliver
Madigan Secures $1 Million In Consumer Restitution From Alternative Gas and Electricity Supplier For Deceptive Claims.
Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced an agreement with U.S. Energy Savings Corp. () that will allow hundreds of Illinois consumers to terminate their gas contracts and receive $1 million in restitution as a result of a lawsuit filed last year alleging that the alternative gas supplier sold fixed-rate gas contracts using misleading sales tactics that falsely promised significant consumer savings. Read more at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, Madigan Secures $1 Million In Consumer Restitution From Alternative Gas Supplier For Deceptive Claims
Just Energy completed the acquisition of Universal Energy Group Ltd, along with National Home Services, Universal Power and Newton Home Comfort. Read more at www.marketwire.com, Just Energy Income Fund Announces Completion of the Acquisition of Universal Energy Group Ltd.
Here is the history of Universal Energy Corp. prior to the acquisition.
- On January 2009, the Ontario Energy Board announced that it intended to fine Universal Energy Corporation (now operating as ) $200,000CA for making “false, misleading or deceptive statements to consumers”. Read more at www.thestar.com, Electricity sellers face fines over claims
- Universal Energy Corp. is rated F with 247 complaints filed against the company at BBB. Read more at www.bbb.org, Universal Energy Corp.
- National Home Services is rated A- with 24 complaints filed against the company at BBB. Read more at www.bbb.org, National Home Services
Read more at www.cbc.ca, Power of Persuasion
CBC News (in Alberta, Canada) asked online users, “Has deregulation given you lower utility bills?”
723 (94%) people said No, 48 (6%) people said Yes.
The Alberta’s Conservative government started the push towards a deregulated energy market in the mid-1990s. At the time, consumers were told increased competition would drive their energy bills down.
Instead, Gray says, the opposite situation has resulted, creating a volatile energy market that’s keeping competitors out and creating some of the highest prices in Canada. “At the end of the day, I was so frustrated with the lack of response, lack of concern for the consumer out of the government, that I was driven to speak out.” said David Gray, former executive director of the Utilities Consumer Advocate.
“I have foreseen this for nearly a decade and I’m not surprised this is coming to the fore. To me, it’s been clear that we’re headed for a crisis and it looks like it’s happening.” said Allan Warrack, a University of Alberta economist.
Just Energy misleading sales and deceptive marketing got so bad that on August 27 2009, Just Energy’s business accreditation from BBB Texas was revoke due to violations of BBB Accreditation Standards of the following:
- 2A. Follow federal, state/provincial and local advertising laws.
- 6D. Cooperate with BBB in efforts to eliminate the underlying cause of patterns of customer complaints that are identified by BBB.
- 8A. Avoid involvement, by the business or its principals, in activities that reflect unfavorably on, or otherwise adversely affect the public image of BBB or its accredited businesses.
Read more at www.bbb.org, Why Just Energy Texas Accreditation Revoked
“The first month’s bill went from a normal bill of approximately $750 up to $2,300,” said Michaels.
Michaels’ old bills showed she uses about 3,000 kilowatts of power per month, but the U.S. Energy Savings () bill showed the car repair shop used 21,000 kilowatt hours. So Michaels contacted a company service rep who said the big bill would be adjusted. And then the second bill came and again, the charge was for more than $2,000.
“Somehow, they gave me a cancellation fee of my contract of $30,000,” she said. Read more at www.abclocal.go.com, Cancellation bill of $30,000?
U.S. Energy to change name of company and uniform color scheme to stop misleading homeowners into believing company is affiliated with local regulated utility.
New York Energy Savings Corporation, d/b/a U.S. Energy Savings now operating as Just Energy, has agreed to change both the name of the company and the color scheme of uniforms so that consumers will not think that the company is affiliated with the local regulated ultility provider. The new agreement also implements a $50 cap on cancellation fees for consumers who cancel contracts after 30 days. Previously, the energy service company (ESCO) was found to be charging some consumers more than $600 in such fees.
The Attorney General’s Office recently began receiving additional complaints from consumers who indicated that the name of the company and the dark blue color scheme of the representatives’ uniforms misled homeowners to think they were affiliated with the local regulated utility provider. Cuomo’s office promptly amended its 2008 agreement with the company requiring the company to stop using the name “U.S. Energy” and to change its representatives’ uniforms from dark blue to green to avoid confusion.
“Representatives of this company went door to door, and were often mistaken for employees of the local utility,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Consumers ended up signing contracts under that false belief, and that’s when the complaints started. To make an informed choice for an energy provider, homeowners must have all facts. This agreement will make sure this company changes its methods so homeowners know what they are signing up for.” Read more at www.ag.ny.gov, Attorney General Cuomo Reaches Agreement With Wny Natural Gas Provider After Consumer Complaints
Do you know which industries get the most consumer complaints in Ontario throughout 2009?
The Ontario government released their yearly “top 10” most consumer complaints report at the Ministry of Consumer Services website and Energy Brokers made it on the 9th spot. Energy Brokers also made the top 10 most consumer complaints in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. See the Ministry of Consumer Services top 10 most consumer complaints here.
Energy Brokers are also known as energy retailers, 3rd party gas and electricity providers that sells fixed rate gas and electricity. Some of these energy brokers include Just Energy, Direct Energy, Supperior Energy, Summit Energy and others…
Ontario’s energy minister, Brad Duguid, has said the government received more than 100 complaints each week about unscrupulous energy providers. Read more about Top 10 most consumer complaints in Ontario for 2009.
Ontario Government Proposes New Protections For Gas & Electricity Consumers “Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 (ECPA)”
“The proposed legislation underscores the McGuinty government’s commitment to protecting consumers. If passed, it will ensure fairness and transparency in the way gas and electricity consumers are treated throughout Ontario. It also provides the protections necessary to ensure Ontarians, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, are not subject to exploitive business practices.”
The new act will come into force as soon as Jan, 2011.
The legislation is intended to:
- Provide greater protection for low-volume consumers in relation to contracting for natural gas and electricity.
- Implement a new legal and regulatory framework for individual suite metering.
- Introduce new provisions relating to disconnection and security deposits by gas and electricity distributors.
Remember this statement in Feb. 2008, by Gord Potter the Executive Vice President of Just Energy.
“He (Gord Potter) said they’re retraining their staff and rewriting their contract to make it clear to customers what they are signing up for and how much it will cost to cancel.” said Pam Zekman from CBS 2 Chicago.
Watch this video, two years ago (2008), a CBS 2 undercover investigation documented how those salesmen from U.S. Energy Savings Corp. () mislead customers. Now, as CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports, the company has changed its name but is playing some of the same deceptive games.
A news article on CBS news about Just Energy salespeople charged with faking contracts, “The charges include criminal offences, such as fraudulent impersonation of a consumer, and violations of Alberta’s Fair Trading Act, including misleading a consumer. This isn’t the first time the company’s representatives have faced charges. A salesman was charged in October with two counts of making false statements to consumers, which is a violation of the Fair Trading Act.” Read more at www.cbc.ca, Gas and electricity salespeople charged with faking contracts
Here is another news article on the Ottawa Sun. A man facing sexual assault charges in Brockville appeared in an Ottawa court Wednesday to answer to another crime police allege he committed while working as a door-to-door salesman for Just Energy. Ottawa resident Ahmed Ali Ahmed, 18, is charged with four counts of uttering a forged document in relation to a Nov. 16 incident in Ottawa while working for Just Energy, a gas and electric suppliers reseller with 39 offices in North America. Read more at www.cbc.ca, Gas and electricity salesman accused of fraud
Renee Green’s gas bill tripled after signing up with Just Energy. “I was snowed,” she said.
CUB filed an ICC complaint against Just Energy in 2008, sparked by thousands of consumer complaints accusing the company of misleading marketing.
The consumer group argued that the company should be kicked out of Illinois if it can’t improve its marketing program. An ICC judge recently recommended the state fine the company $185,000 for 16 violations of state law and make it pay for an audit of its sales operations. The ICC is expected to rule this spring (2010). Read more at www.citizensutilityboard.org, “Fraud!” Consumers speak out against misleading marketing at ICC
On April 23, Ontario passed the Energy Consumer Protection Act 2010. This long-awaited law will curtail unethical sales of energy contracts to households.
The Ontario Energy Board logs 100 to 150 consumer complaints a week about the practices of energy retailers, says the energy ministry. Energy retailers include Just Energy, Simmit Energy, Direct Energy, Supperior Energy and others.. Read more at www.thestar.com, Roseman: Don’t fall victim to energy fraud at the door
Also read, New proposed energy act to protect Ontarians.
“The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) April, 2010 fined alternative gas supplier Just Energy $90,000 for violations of the Alternative Gas Supplier Law (AGSL) and ordered an independent audit of its sales practices.”. Read more at www.icc.illinois.gov, Natural gas and electricity provider fined $90,000 by state regulators
Gov. Patrick Quinn on Friday signed a law that regulates alternative natural gas suppliers’ marketing to protect consumers from misleading advertising and excessive termination fees.
Mr. Kolata said one of the alternative natural gas and electricity suppliers that had been at the root of consumer complaints is U.S. Energy Savings Corp. (), a unit of Canada-based Energy Savings Income Fund. U.S. Energy has also been named in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and in an ICC complaint initiated by CUB, Mr. Kolata said. Read more at www.citizensutilityboard.org, New law protects gas and electricity consumers
Rebecca MacDonald the executive chair of Energy Savings Income Fund and Just Energy.
On June 2010, Rebecca MacDonald was asked by a magazine, “Do you think there is benefit in teaching ethics in a degree program?”
Rebecca MacDonald response,
“…I am actually not a big supporter of all these courses on corporate governance I’ve seen emerge over the last 10 years since Enron’s demise. If you have to teach a CEO how to be honest then it is time to remove that CEO and replace him with an honest individual. What happened was that people just got too greedy, too creative, and too dishonest; and they got away with it a little bit at a time.” Read the interview here, A Journal For Entrepreneurs and Managers
My question to Rebecca MacDonald is: How about removing that dishonest CEO or yourself, who still let these greedy, creative, and dishonest “independent” energy sale agents from operating by signng up home/business owners with a legal binding contract at thier home or business?
Utica resident Victoria Weber wrote to Public Eye recently with a complaint about the service she received after switching to Ontario-based gas and electricity provider Just Energy because of a door-to-door sales pitch.
The switch, she said, increased her utility bills to more than $500 per month. Read more at www.uticaod.com, Customer: Savings lacking from energy company
CBC News in Ottawa published an article, “Water-heater sales tactics anger homeowners” about National Home Services a subsidiary company own by Just Energy.
The CBC News article stated:
The executive vice-president of National Home Services said “…his company is the victim of a campaign by Direct Energy…”.
National Home Services is a victim? So, why is there a Proposed Energy Consumer Protection Act( ECPA), 2009 waiting for approval? It aims to protect Ontario consumers from aggressive gas and electricity supplier.
Read the full article by CBC here, “Water-heater sales tactics anger homeowners”.
Some Utica residents fear “deceitful” Just Energy sales people
Marcel Kitissou says two “Just Energy” salespeople knocked on his Ballantyne Brae home and talked with him and his wife for about 20 minutes. Kitissou says the sales people told him they were from National Grid and they wanted to see his monthly electric bill.
Kitissou says the sales people wanted him to sign up to join “Just Energy” right on the spot. Most of his neighbors said the same thing.
“They were pushing to have information about our bill,” Kitissou said. “They are trying to prove something was wrong with the bill, and we would have a better deal if we sign an agreement with them.” Read the full news article here by News Channel 2 WKTV Utica, Some Utica residents fear “deceitful” Just Energy sales people.
Hedi Greenwood doesn’t even bother to answer the door anymore.
The Toronto homeowner said she’s become so fed up with door-to-door salespeople she just ignores the bell.
“I just look out the window and if it’s someone I don’t know, I don’t answer,” Greenwood said.
The “Ignore the Door” campaign, launched Aug. 27 by the Consumers’ Waterheater Income Fund, is designed to educate consumers about how to handle the tactics employed in door-to-door sales.
Just Energy also sells water heater tanks under the name National Home Services using the same deceptive/high pressure door-to-door sale tactics. Read more at Yahoo News, New campaign tells people to ignore the door
Does that cheque from seem too good to be true?
You find an unexpected cheque in the mail one day. It’s not a novelty one from Publishers Clearing House, but the real thing. It appears to be $25 from the local hydro company. You cash it, right?
That’s what Shelley Pidhirney did, and it has proved to be a terrible financial mistake.
A month after she banked that $25, she noticed that her hydro bill had doubled, to $160 from $80. That’s because her rate – the amount she paid for each kilowatt-hour – was twice what it had been. Read more at The Globe and Mail, Does that cheque from the energy company seem too good to be true?
Just Energy fine by Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Just Energy will pay a $111,000 fine and change its sales practices as part of a settlement with state officials that will allow the natural-gas supplier to continue to operate here.
The penalty, part of an agreement reached yesterday (November 4, 2010), is one of the largest fines ever levied against an energy company since Ohio deregulated its residential gas market in the late 1990s. But it is small compared with Just Energy’s $2.3 billion in sales and $232 million in profit in its most-recent fiscal year.
“It is absolutely a substantial penalty,” said John Williams, director of service monitoring for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
His agency investigated what it called a pattern of misleading door-to-door sales practices. Customers complained that they were tricked into buying gas contracts that often cost more than their previous service. Read more at The Columbus Dispatch, Natural-gas firm fined for its sales practices.
A year after arriving in Ohio, Just Energy and its door-to-door solicitors have assembled a record that state investigators describe as “unconscionable.”
This Canadian natural gas and electricity supplier’s actions have led to 214 complaints to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio so far this year. That number might not reflect the true scope of the dissatisfaction, because its solicitors often don’t identify the company to customers or falsely claim to be with another company or the local government.
“They were trying to deceive me by saying they were the gas company, as if there was only one gas company,” said Don Drennan, 46, of the Hilltop.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio operates a hot line (1-800-686-PUCO) that logs thousands of customer comments, including complaints. The following is the number of complaints regarding natural-gas marketers and the number of complaints in each category for Just Energy, based on a Dispatch review of 3,300 pages of comments from Jan. 1 to Oct. 7. (2010)
Read more at The Columbus Dispatch, Door-to-door sales – Gas supplier telling lies, clients say
“The high-pressure sales tactics and misleading statements customers complained about cannot be tolerated,” Consumers’ Counsel Janine Migden – Ostrander said.
Customers must not be deceived by independent natural gas suppliers into signing bad contracts. The OCC will be closely watching to ensure Ohioans are only receiving truthful information, not false promises.
In November 2010, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and Just Energy reached an agreement recommending a twoyear certification for the marketer provided the following conditions are met:
- Just Energy forfeit $111,000 to the Ohio general revenue fund;
- Each customer who signed a contract with Just Energy between April 1 and Sept. 20, 2010 will have a chance to terminate their contract with no early cancellation penalty;
- Just Energy will implement a program by Jan. 1, 2011 to provide additional training and monitoring of the sales and marketing practices of its door-to-door sales representatives;
- During 2011, if 10 verified complaints are received in a month about door-to-door marketing activities in any two months during a three-month period, Just Energy will be subject to forfeit an additional $100,000; a second violation in 2011 would result in another $100,000 payment and could result in a suspension of the marketer’s certification. The OCC could act in conjunction with the PUCO staff to file a complaint or could act on its own to ask for additional disciplinary measures; and
- All of Just Energy’s door-to-door sales will be independently verified for the duration of the agreement. Customers will be given 30 days to terminate the contract after they receive their first bill.
Read more by Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Just Energy penalized $111,000, agrees to change sales practices after numerous complaints received
The Ontario Government passed the new Energy Consumer Protection Act, which comes into force on January 1, 2011.
The changes stem from legislation introduced in 2009 to crack down on what the province called abusive and unfair practices by energy retailers. The principal aim of the legislation is to enhance consumer protection and energy conservation through new rules for gas marketers, electricity retailers, landlords, and condominium developers.
Read more at www.oeb.gov.on.ca
The Ontario Energy Board has launched a new consumer awareness campaign advising the public of new consumer protection rules in Ontario. The four-week campaign, launched January 24th, is airing on radio (English, French and 11 other languages) and online. The campaign’s message is a simple one: Take the time to learn more about your rights and compare prices before you sign an energy contract.
[media id=20 width=240 height=24]Ontario Energy Board – Radio Ad 1 – Take the Time You
[media id=22 width=240 height=24]Ontario Energy Board – Radio Ad 2 – Take the Heat Off
Read more at www.oeb.gov.on.ca, Energy board targets door-to-door energy sales.
If you signed a natural gas contract a couple of years ago there is a good chance you’re paying a lot more for gas than those who didn’t but changing your plan is just a phone call away.
If your natural gas rate is high and you have some time left on your contract. It’s worth your wild to do the math and if it make more economically sense to cancel and buy on the market. Then call your company and tell them you may do that and then see what they have to say. Read more at CTV Calgary, Angie Abens called Just Energy and they reduced her rate instantly.