The Consumerist Goes Undercover At IDT Energy

We decided to go undercover and try to find out what was really going with IDT Energy.
For nearly a year, we’ve told you about door-to-door salesmen trying to get New Yorkers to switch to IDT Energy, pretending to work for ConEd.

August 1, 2006: “the IDT sales rep. told him to sign up or else he will be fined”
October 09, 2006: “Look out for a man and an African-American woman sporting a ConEd binder…”
November 27, 2006 : “On my block they were buzzing people and saying “We are from the electric company there is a problem with your bill.”
December 04, 2006: “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.”
December 21, 2006: “Yesterday, a salesman from IDTenergy knocked on our door. He lied and said he was from ConEdison and he said there was a problem with our electric bill.”
February 08, 2007: “Today a representative of IDT Energy came to my door (we do not allow canvassing in the building), presented herself as a Con Edison employee, (her EXACT words were “I’m with Con Ed”)…”

So, we sent a writer to work for Midtown Promotions, one of the door-to-door companies that gets subscribers for IDT Energy. Unlike last time, this one got successfully hired. Now that he’s done working for them, we’ll unveil his diary entries and the results of his first-person investigation.

Fire up the popcorn and subscribe to the investigations tag. — BEN POPKEN

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.