Consumerist Undercover At IDT Energy: Status Report

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.

Here’s his filings to date:

Day One
The Job Interview
The Day Of O
Let’s Get Juiced
The Meeting
NEXT: The Meltdown

We’ve also gone through these posts and added in more explicit info about how some of what Brian saw at Midtown Promotions tracked parallel to complaints about offices once affiliated with DS-MAX (now known as Innovage) — alleged to have been an Amway-like sleazy multi-level -marketing operation.

Add the Undercover at IDT-Energy tag to your RSS reader and watch as the story continues to unfold before your eyes like a splayed deer in the sun. — BEN POPKEN

Note: No definitive ties have been established between Midtown Promotions and DS-MAX/Innovage.


Edit Your Comment

  1. chrisgoh says:

    Now you are just teasing us, post the final installment!

  2. Wormfather says:

    Seriously, the comment bomb will continue until I’m satiated…or, once again until my commenting account is deleted.

    BTW, how does one get intouch with Consumerist Executive Customer Service?

  3. chimmike says:

    seriously, let’s have the meltdown…it’s already complete, post it already! Don’t be a bunch of sensationalist journalists!

  4. mikyrok says:


    Gawker Media
    76 Crosby
    New York, NY 10012
    (212) 655-9524

  5. Kifune says:

    Gah, I’ve been waiting all day at my ho-hum job for the update — it’s worse than being in line at the DMV!

    C’mon, Consumerist, don’t fail me now!

  6. gondaba says:

    @Kifune: I completely empathize, I have been looking forward to ‘the meltdown’ since breakfast! It’s not like i actually do anything at this job of mine.

  7. scoobydoo says:

    Ben; one thing I don’t think I’ve read yet is why Brian did this. Was he paid? Was he bored? Or do you have nudie photos of him and managed to blackmail him into doing it?

  8. Toof_75_75 says:


    Exactly…I’ve been checking back all day waiting for “The Meltdown”…Come on Ben, let’s have it!!

  9. ID-voice-of-reason says:

    let’s go people..I want to read about this ‘HORNSWAGGLE”.

  10. alk509 says:

    Hey, what’s with the delay tactics? Let’s have The Meltdown!

  11. chimmike says:

    come on dammit. post the final chapter already!

  12. acambras says:

    My computer is in the shop, so I’ll have to stay here at the office until “The Meltdown” is posted.

    My Thursday evening is in your hands, Consumerist.

  13. brianfairbanks says:

    Hey all…

    Not sure why today’s post is not up yet. I’m impatient, too, so don’t worry. I’m not abandoning you. Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.

    Also, because Day 4 was split up, today is the second-to-last post. There will be a Day 5 post tomorrow.


    PS Oh yeah… and I did it for the money. Ha!

  14. Wormfather says:

    @brianfairbanks: Oh I see how it is, we’re being hogsnaggled (I made that up :)

    Let’s burn the Consumerist down.

  15. chimmike says:


    they’re gonna lose me if they don’t post it soon! I leave work here in a lil bit and I’m taking tomorrow off!

  16. adrock75 says:

    C’mon, what’s the hold up?

  17. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    He has a meltdown!

  18. Wormfather says:

    And now I have to leave for the day. Pox on both your houses!

    mmmmm PAX.

  19. PicsNao says:

    Damnit, the suspense is killing me.


  20. Darren W. says:

    No Juice to whoever is responsible for this unbearable suspense!

  21. jurgis says:

    weak sauce

    Should have read the fine print, “Updates will post at normal rate after introductory ‘discount’ period wears off.”

    Clever… clever.

  22. Buran says:

    … will someone please disable this idiot’s account? He is posting this crap in EVERY SINGLE STORY even if the story is totally unrelated.

  23. formergr says:

    Wait– why was “the Meltdown” posting taken down? Does this mean the conclusion won’t post either?

  24. jurgis says:

    Yeah, “the Meltdown” was posted yesterday after this… most of us did complain that it was fairly weak investigative journalism (SPOILER: he bails out before really learning anything), maybe they decided to remove it to preserve their image.

    I am sure this will get taken down too, sorry Consumerist, but “the Meltdown” was rather weak.