It looks like IDT Energy sales reps are back to their old tricks of getting customers to switch from ConEd by posing as ConEd workers and using misleading sales tactics. S.J. in Brooklyn has the report…
I reside in Brooklyn-This morning I happened to have had a visit from IDT energy salespeople-I have seen a few scams in my life and this is up there with many of the best.
Their M.O.was to ask whether I have received a 7% discount on my Con ed bill and if not whether they could check this on my con ed bill-Their was no mention of whether they are from IDT etc.
They carry a few Con Ed bills in their binder and they flash them around so that you think they are from Con Ed. One of them also carried an authentic looking meter reader-When I produced the bill, one of them starts writing the name, address and account number for me to sign. This is on IDT stationery but the top of the stationery is conveniently covered with a note pad.
I happened to notice ‘transfer request’(or something to that effect)somewhere on their stationery and took my Con Ed bills back-I then also realized that the top of the stationery, earlier hidden by the pad, is now visible which leads me to ask them what do they have to do with Con Ed-the answer cleverly camouflaged is that IDT is the energy provider to Con Ed.
I called IDT’s offices and asked them to refrain from using such misleading marketing methods as there are quite a few older people living in the neighborhood who may not realize what they are signing. After telling the operator that I will go ahead and warn my neighbors of this scam-the answer essentially was that I don’t know what my neighbors have been told and that they have to decide for themselves whether they want to switch or not. This is the first time the word ‘switch’ has been used.
I don’t know and don’t care what their rates are but I can deduce that if any company has to use such devious methods to enlist customers the rates must be astronomical.
The bad news is that these ESCOs like to target elderly and non-native English speakers who may not realize what’s going on, and could get hit with a hefty bill once their energy costs go from a fixed rate to a variable one subject to the volatility of the spot-energy market.
The good news is that if you find yourself tricked into switching from your regular service provider to IDT Energy, or any other kind of ESCO, it’s pretty easy to undo. Just call your old service provider and tell them you want to switch back.
The bad news is that some consumers may not realize what happened and get stuck paying those hefty bills.
What makes this story even better is that ConEd just renamed itself National Grid, so it looks like these shady salesmen will have to get themselves new outfits.
In a related story, we once sent a reporter undercover to work at an IDT Energy sales office.