Scammed By IDTEnergy, Please Help

Irina writes:

    A couple of months ago my 15 year old son opened the door to a man claiming to be a conEd representative. The man convinced him that we could get a much better deal if he signs some papers, never mentioning anything about switching to another power supplier. I now got my bill with $100 in service fees. My question to you is, what can I do about this? I know it is not legit to make a minor sign a contract. Please help me do something about this, $100 is not something I can spare for scammers at this point…

Irina, call up IDT and cancel your contract. Inform them you will not be paying for their services. A contract signed by a 15-year-old is not legally binding. That’s your story, stick to it, and it should be end of story with IDT. After that, call up ConEd and get your electricity delivery switched back to them. — BEN POPKEN

Previous stories about IDT Energy.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. jwissick says:

    What’s the scam? I keep hearing on consumerist to look out for IDT, but no one says why…

  2. Xkeeper says:

    They claim to be “energy resellers” and can save you “big bucks” but are actually full of it and charge you an arm and both legs for it.

    Of course, they frequently claim to be actual employees of ConEd or dress up as such, so it’s pretty believable.

    This is just what I’ve amassed from my time as a Consumerist™ commenter, though, so be sure not to rely on me.

  3. loraksus says:

    Well, if they’re getting minors to sign contracts, something is really wrong with their salespeople.

    As Ben said, the contract is void, not only because your son doesn’t have permission to change your utility company, but also (especially) because of his age.

    I’m kind of surprised that serious action hasn’t been taken against them yet…I’m pretty sure any judge would take an extremely dim view of their actions.

  4. Jesse in Japan says:

    I think that in this case, with your son only being 15, this is something that should be referred to the police.

  5. zentec says:

    If they’re taking signatures from fifteen year olds, I wonder if they’re taking signatures from IDT sales people just pretending to be the customer. You know the old slamming trick applied to electricity sales.

    This needs to be brought to the attention of the state attorney general. Pronto.

    Why is it whenever I see IDT, it raises red flags. Back when they sold internet access, they found themselves in trouble for grossly overselling capacity. Then they quit that business and went into overseas calling. Then they seemed to have managed to find themselves in trouble there.

    Now they’ve moved into third-party energy sales. Why does this not surprise me; treading in the waters of Enron.

  6. Falconfire says:

    Call Spitzer and ConEd and let them both know what happened then call IDT and let THEM know you told both of them and that if they dont refund you your money and cancel the contract, your taking them to court.

    Then just sit back and watch Spitzer kill their kids and eat them for lunch.

    http://www.oag.state.ny.us/

  7. acambras says:

    Oooh — and then send IDT to Connecticut and let Blumenthal have a crack at them!

  8. swankenheimer says:

    Well, all of these comments notwithstanding, the one posted by CONSUMERIST is the best one to follow. Call them and remind them that a contract signed by a minor is not legally binding and that they have 5 working days to change it back, otherwise you will call the AG. And tell them that you’re not paying for a GDamn thing. They may try to sack you with charges for transferring the account back to ConEd. Don’t let them do it. Stay on the phone until you get an account manager. And stick to the script – “My son signed this, he is a minor, we are not liable. Remove the charges and the account immediately.”

  9. Ass_Cobra says:

    shitbags like this need to get one 15 year-old’s signature to find themselves in a hurt locker. It goes from caveat emptor to caveat venditor in a hurry. I have a feeling that resale contracts will be deemed inherently unenenforceable and all the money they spend “signing up customers” will result in contested charges that they have no hope of collecting. Of course I’m a fucking dreamer but one must hope.

  10. snowferret says:

    You should call the cops is what you should do. This is outright fraud isnt it?

  11. jakeblack says:

    Why don’t you call IDT Energy and ask them what is going on? Most cases it is a third party doing the hunting and half the time they don’t understand the laws. Did you call anyone? My cousin uses them in the Bronx and is happy with them. He doesn’t complain. Phone call. Best cents spent.

  12. shhhush says:

    I am all over the site to tell people that some IDT rep signed me up without my signature. He told me that he was from ConEd and asked to see my bill because he thought I was being charged incorrectly. I showed it to him, and apparently that’s how he got my Con Ed account number. He started on his sales spiel, and I told him I wasn’t interested and did not sign anything. I even asked for the paper he had to hold on to, but he said he couldn’t give it to me. A few weeks later, ConEd sent me a letter congratulating me for selecting IDT Energy.

    I called Con Ed, got IDT’s phone number, canceled my account and had Con Ed “block” my account. IDT still says I’ll probably receive a bill but seemed vague as to whether I would be responsible for it.

    I am so angry that a salesperson would forge my signature. I just called up IDT today to get more information and found out that I was actually at work on the day I “signed up” (February 19th) and that the ID# of the salesperson was 8306077. The woman I spoke to didn’t seem the least bit ruffled by my story, and she even cut me off to say that the guy would’ve needed my Con Ed account number along with my signature to sign me up. Yes, the “ConEd” worker asked to look at my bill and must have jotted down the account number. And no, I refused to sign anything.

    I’ll call on Monday and talk to a manager and see if I can’t track down the marketing company that employed this salesperson. I guess BBB is my next step, but does anyone have some suggestions?

  13. Anonymous says:

    About a week and a half ago, I came home from work and I was told by my wife that two women/ ladies who claimed to be from Con Ed came to my apt.to ask her some questions about my Con Ed bills to the effect that ‘they’ could help get the bill reduced and made her sign some papers without mentioning anything about switching to another provider.Then on 12/31/08, I received a letter from a company called IDT to the effect that my Con Ed accounts has been switched to IDT. I tried to contact IDT thru 1-877-887-6866 for nearly three hours- from 2pm to 5:20 pm- to nullify any papers supposedly signed by my wife, but the same automated message kept repeating itself. I also attempted to contact IDT thru contactus@idtenergy.com AND info@idtenergy.com to no avail. WHAT DO I DO NOW ?