Shady Energy Resellers Stalk Hallways Of Brooklyn

A reader writes: “Another day, another energy scammer in Brooklyn. This was the most misleading one yet—a man was walking around and banging on every door up and down the hallways of my building—identifying himself as having been “sent by building management about our ConEd bill.” So I ran and got my video camera, which also serves as a digital voice recorder. Here is the conversation…The gentleman vacillated between telling the truth, misleading me and completely lying.”

“ME: Who is it?

GUY AT DOOR: Ambit Energy.

ME: Did you say you were with building management?

GUY: Building management sent me.

ME: Building management sent you about what?

GUY: I’m talking to every tenant in the building, ma’am, on how to save money on their electrical bills, ma’am.

ME: And where are you from?

GUY: Ambit Energy, associated with ConEd.

ME: You’re Ambit Energy?

GUY: Yes.

ME: You’re from ConEd?

GUY: Yes.

ME: Can I see your ConEd ID please?

GUY: No problem, you can see a pamphlet and everything else too, sir. Here ya go. [holds pamphlet up to peephole]

ME: I need to see your ConEd ID before I open the door.

GUY: I just started actually this job just this week, so I didn’t get my ID yet. But I can show you everything else about the company.

ME: And you’re from ConEd?

GUY: Yes, sir.

ME: I don’t think you are.

GUY: Uh, if you want I can slide it under the door and you can take a look yourself. [slides Ambit pamphlet under door]

ME: OK.

GUY: [indecipherable] you will not be paying for delivery [indecipherable]

ME: OK, thank you for your time.

GUY: No problem, you have a good day and Gd bless.

ME: You too.

When is Andrew Cuomo (the New York Attorney General) going to do something about these shady resellers? Enough is enough!”

Cuomo will start doing something after enough people file complaints with his office. Here the form you need to do that.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. mabus says:

    at least us poor schlepps in indiana don’t have to deal with this crap… instead they allow monopoly otherwise known as AEP (under guise of Indiana & Michigan Electric or I&ME) to rape the wallets of the masses here.

    Natural gas is no better here – NIPSCO is the local monopoly and their prices are utterly ludicrous!

  2. I LOVE the picture. And the fact that he called you “ma’am” and then “sir”.

  3. thesabre says:

    I must say, you handled that very well. That’s EXACTLY what everyone should do when encountered with this situation. Hats off to you.

  4. Meltingemail says:

    OP’s actual gender, pls? :)

  5. anonvmoos says:

    you should call coned and tell them ambit is masquerading as them

    might get something done!

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    From Con Ed’s website: [www.coned.com]

    your security
    All of our employees carry a photo I.D. card. Don’t open your door until you see it! If you have any doubt, please call the number on your Con Edison bill to get verification or call the police at 911.

  7. DeNoc!!!

  8. UESC says:

    @mabus: Same here in Saint Louis. we have 1 power company, AmerenUE. The sliver lining is that there is a small co-op that’s gaining power. The current home I’m living in is in an area where i can use the co-op (cuiver river) instead of AmerenUE. This also marks the first time i got a check back from my power company for overpaying at the end of the year.

  9. vladthepaler says:

    I’m most impressed with the OP’s ability to carry on a conversation with a salesman while undergoing a sex-change operation.

    Oh, wait…

  10. Nighthawke says:

    I’m impressed. She, then he, then she again, talk about a quick-change artist!

  11. mwwilk says:

    I’m here in Chicago, and just a couple days ago, my wife saw several people with identical corporate logo polo shirts walking around our townhome complex with clipboards and brochures. She was in the car, right in front of our home, so she rolled down the window and asked them if she could help them with something. They said something about “saving money on your gas bill”. I immediately thought this was similar to the IDT Energy scammers in NYC. She couldn’t recall what organization they said they were from, but it wasn’t Peoples Energy, our current gas company. She told them don’t bother to knock our door since we’re moving out of state soon. I’m asking neighbors if they got any solicitations from these jokers.

  12. MrEvil says:

    @mabus: The electric monopoly here in Amarillo TX is great. cheapest rates in the state of Texas. My sister lives in Copperas Cove and pays four times/KWhr that I do and has a choice between three or four different electricity resellers. My sister lives in a tiny duplex and I live in a 2000 square foot house with no insulation. On my most consumptive day I can’t get the electric bill to break $90 in one month.

    However, I would trade her heating bills in a hearbeat. My furnace stays no warmer than 65 degrees during the winter and I still pay about $80/mo in natural gas. Though I guess it evens out because during the summer I only pay $12 or so to run my water heater.

  13. Ben Popken says:

    @mwwilk: Let me know what you find out, I like collecting names of scammy energy resale companies like commemorative bottlecaps.

  14. Ciao_Bambina says:

    Ain’t deregulation wonderful? A number of years ago, my little ute successfully fought tooth and nail, along with the other invester-owned utes in our state, to keep dereg out. Result: no nasty little resellers running around.

    And our customers continue to pay some of the very lowest electric rates in the country – between 5 and 8 cents a kWh, depending on usage. Still, they find it worth their breath to complain. Go figure…

  15. brs928 says:

    Is that Taylor Hicks?

  16. AD8BC says:

    @mabus: South Bend? I grew up there…

  17. mwwilk says:

    @Ben Popken:
    My wife couldn’t understand why I was so excited when she told me about these guys (I kept saying “IDT IDT” over and over). Sadly, she didn’t tell me about it until later in the day, and they were already gone. Had I known about it, I would have run outside camcorder in hand.

    I’m asking some neighbors, but we are like white blood cells when it comes to scammy door-knockers in our development, we kind of band together to force out the impurity.

  18. jeffjohnvol says:

    So, other than saying they are from another company, what is the Scam? We don’t have resellers where I live yet.

  19. Mr.Purple says:

    Awesome picture.

  20. thesabre says:

    @jeffjohnvol: The scam is that the person knowingly misrepresented who he was in an effort to make someone believe they are doing business with a known company. That’s practically the definition of scam.

  21. And the fact that he misrepresented himself doesn’t exactly bode well for what would happen if you actually signed up with such a person…

  22. purplegrog says:

    At the risk of hijacking the thread, I don’t think there’s any utilties out there right now that would convince me to move away from the local municipal, Austin Electric. I pay (for residential service) $6 + $0.0355 per KWH up to 500 KWH ($0.0602 per KWH over 500) plus a fuel charge of $0.03653 per KWH. Since I rarely go over 500 KWH, it effectively means I pay $0.07203 per KWH for electricity, and I’m not locked into any contracts. For those of you complaining about your rates, how much are you being charged?

  23. purplegrog says:

    @purplegrog: edit: Austin Energy, not Austin Electric

  24. purplegrog says:

    @purplegrog: Edit: Austin Energy, not Austin Electric

  25. Maurs says:

    Some german company bought the energy utility in my area recently and now they control the monopoly. It would be heinous and terrible, but, you know, here in kentucky we have the country’s cheapest electricity so whatever. Thanks, cheap coal! And, thanks rest of country who gets to suck down the CO2 we’re pumping out! Haha, suckers!

  26. jeffjohnvol says:

    @Maurs: Yeah, here in Louisville its 6.5 cents a KWH which is pretty cheap.

    Although I think CO2 related global warming is BS (if some of you think otherwise and think me an idiot, thats fine – thats your right, but I think you one too) I think we should be using more nuclear. Did you know that if you live within 2 miles of a coal plant you are exposed to 100 times more radiation than if you lived near a nuclear plant? Coal has trace amounts of Uranium and other heavy metals in it that they don’t filter out.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I think something needs to be said here. Those consultants aren’t technically resellers. They are initiators of a closer to wholesale energy price for the residential energy market. In actuality the amount of your monthly bill that a consultant receives ranges from $.05-$15 ((-) the company’s monthly bonus) depending on your energy usage and market.

    The main goal of Ambit is to become the finest and most respected retail energy provider. And the only way that they can become that is by empowering the people, not only the consultants who decide to become partners, but also their customers. The ancient energy companies that you, your parents, and grandparents have financed over the years, and have failed to implement significant improvements, are now responsible for the delivery and maintenance of the energy infrastructure. The consultant that misrepresented himself is like that crazy kid that doesn’t know how to act in the back of the classroom. So, please don’t make generalizations because when we start to do that change becomes an impossibility just as impossible as electing an African American to the seat of President of the USA. Don’t let your fears take advantage of you. You have a choice to change from being taken advantage of or reduce it. Can you imagine what the internet would be like if nobody ever gave it a chance? It would still be called the ARPANET.