Help Me Cancel My ESCO

Kathyrn writes:

A friend of sent me your article on ESCOS [Energy Service Companies]. My father is a senior citizen and he signed up, and his energy bill has sky rocketed, we have called his energy resell co. three different times asking them to cancel his contract every time they say we will it will take about 30 days, but nothing is happening, can you advise me how to get him out of this contract?

ESCOS are supposed to save people money on their gas and energy bills buy buying energy on the open market. While your old energy company still runs the pipes to the house, the share of the energy is coming from the ESCO. ESCOS sign up people by going door to door. Some ESCOs have generated fraud complaints when the bills people get are wildly more than what they were promised.

If you’re trying to cancel your contract and they’re not listening, it’s usually pretty easy. Just call up the legacy energy company that used to service you and tell them you’re canceling the ESCO and want to re-sign up with them again. I would also send the ESCO’s headquarters a formal letter by certified mail to their corporate office indicating that you are canceling service. Inform them if they do not comply 1) they will not receive another dime from you and 2) you will send a complaint to the Public Utilities Commission and the Attorney General’s office. If you’re feeling extra spunky you could also ask them in the letter if they were aware that sending baseless requests for money is considered mail fraud, a Federal offense. If they don’t comply, lookup your PUC and AG and give them a shoutout about your issue.

RELATED:
Door To Door Energy Resellers Fail To Deliver Promised Savings
Picking Your Own Energy Supplier May Not Save You Anything

(Photo: Scarequotes)

Comments

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  1. jwissick says:

    Call your local attorney general’s fraud consumer protection department.

  2. Black Bellamy says:

    time to get power of attorney from dear old senile dad as well

  3. I hate to blame victims, but after the California brownouts and the news stories of how the state bail out was going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, you would think people would know better than to buy the “spot market energy is cheaper than power company energy” argument. Aside from the easy gaming of the spot market, markets fluctuate, have rhythms, and therefore are sometimes more expensive and sometimes less, but on average the same or higher, in general.

    Dear Old Dad doesn’t deserve this crap, but if I were 65+, I think I would take a long time before buying anything from a door to door or even telephone vendor.

  4. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    You can’t blame the Dad….those door-to-door salesmen can be mighty persuasive, some even refuse to leave until you sign an agreement, and/or tell you that you’re not really signing to change your utilities, but just agreeing to sign up for their newsletter or whatnot…until you get the bill and complain and find out they had you sign an agreement – which is what they did to a friend’s 95 year old mother. Some people are inherently trusting and can’t fathom that others would intentionally mislead them.

  5. azntg says:

    Nothing like a good ol’American-style threat to get those jerks off your back.

    I keep my parents and grandparents posted on these issues. Thankfully, all four of them tend to turn people away if they’re not invited guests or on call.

  6. hermes77 says:

    erm, since you’re going to need someone to supply the energy, find a new provider, and call them up. They’ll rip that contract right outa their competions hands. Also, file a complaint the your public utilities commision.