Lock your doors, Queens residents! IDT zombies are on the prowl in your borough, and if they catch you they’ll try to eat your ConEd account and replace it with their more expensive offer. Jeff says there’s one outside his building right now, trying to buzz its way in.
Here’s a video a citizen took of some classy IDT energy resale reps that infested her building and refused to leave. After 25 minutes, she took out the camera. Check out the video to see the kinds of professionally trained individuals IDT Energy uses. Note how at one point of the girls says she’s “from he energy company.” Not so, IDT Energy is not “the energy company.” They’re an ESCO, an energy resale company. According to the notes on the video, the girls only left after the cops showed up and told them to vacate the premises.
Reader Niklas says IDT Energy stole his dog from his house. Niklas says that an IDT Energy rep knocked on his door around 1pm on Friday, March 6, and when he opened it, his 5-year old Yorkshire terrier Milo ran out into the hall. Niklas sent the IDT Energy person on their way, but couldn’t find his dog. Other neighbors later reported…
Sick of their neighborhood getting overrun by ESCO Slammers, salesmen who pretend to be from your energy provider and trick people into signing over to their energy resale service, some Brooklyn citizens put together this flyer. The Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights posted it in their ‘hood and put it online for other people to use too. The flyer talks about IDT Energy and Con Ed, but you could edit it to be for your locality if you wanted to, too. Cool to see people banding together to fight the ESCO-slamming scourge.
I’ve got a new article in Reader’s Digest about 9 scams that exploit national trends and how to avoid them. Flimflammers use the same basic scams over and over again, they just use the strips newspaper headlines to layer on like papermache on their chickenwire schemes. My article points out nine recent iterations and how to avoid them. Thanks to all the readers who sent in their stories to help out with the article. Loyal blog readers will enjoy that we splashed longstanding Consumerist nemesis IDT Energy‘s skanky sales practices in national print. Gotcha, suckers.
Here’s another report of IDT Energy using the old “We need to make sure you got a discount on your last energy bill, just sign here” tactic to trick people into switching to IDT Energy. In this post written by Amanda, a blogger in the Adirondacks, she describes how a guy with a badge and clipboard showed up at her door, saying he was checking to make sure she got a discount off her last bill. He had her go get her latest bill, then,
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…
A reader on Manhattan’s Upper West Side spotted an IDT energy salesman going door-to-door this week. The tipster nabbed a copy of IDT’s enrollment forms so you know what to look for when the scammy salesmen try to wrangle you into signing up for services that can triple the cost of your energy bill.
Nu-Life, the company so mad at us about “adversely” affecting its DS-MAX trademark, saying that old DS-MAX became Innovage and Nu-Life has nothing to do with the actions of old DS-MAX or new Innovage… [More]
While reporting the results of our undercover investigation into IDT-Energy through one of their marketing outfits, a battle waged in the background between us and the current owners of the DS-MAX trademark.
In case you missed any of 7-part undercover report on IDT-Energy, Midtown Promotions, and the fabulous worlds of energy resale and multi-level-marketing, here’s a recap:
After only three days with Midtown Promotions, I could already tell that I’d wait weeks, maybe months or a full year before coming upon hard evidence of fraud, if I found any evidence at all. After leaving James and Doreen in the Bronx, I took the afternoon off and went to work on these diaries.
From the moment I met up with James, and Doreen, who was going our way, things began to fall apart. Eric told me to follow James, not Carl, who was going solo. I was to listen to James’ instructions, follow his example, and go to wherever he decided we should spend the day. Today was Mt. Vernon, NY, almost 90 minutes from the offices of Midtown Promotions.
If you’re just now tuning in, we’ve been doling out daily pieces of our multi-part investigation into IDT-Energy. They’re an energy reseller in the New York area and we’ve received multiple complaints about their salesperson’s dressing as ConEd workers and doing other funny stuff at the door to get people to sign over. So we sent in Brian Fairbanks undercover to get hired at Midtown Promotions, a direct-sales marketing company IDT-Energy contracted to get subscribers.
I work from home and was in the middle of a busy period when a young man came to my door saying that he worked for ConEd or that he was doing some work for ConEd — he definitely identified himself with ConEd. Anyways, he told me he that he was doing work in the building and that he needed to see my bill to check if I had a message on it indicating that I was one of the ones in the building who would be getting a discount next month. Well, chock it up to me being distracted or just plain gullible, but I never even thought for a second that it was a scam. He seemed like he was merely performing a check, not anything more. He then proceed to tell me that I was, in fact, one of the lucky ones, and that I’d be seeing a 7% discount starting next month (all the while making notations on my bill, supposedly indicating where the savings would come from).
Before the morning meeting started, I left my man-purse on a set of boxes right by the blackboard, with the microphone discreetly poking out of the pocket.
A guy may come to your door pitching the fabulous savings you’ll get by switching to an energy reseller. But before you sign on the line which is dotted, ask these questions: