In Which My Father Ejects Door-To-Door Gas Salesmen From His Property, Has Lunch

Apparently, Chicagoland is under siege by door-to-door salespeople from “the gas company” who want to “see your gas bill.” My father, Edgar, demonstrates his technique for tossing them out of the house.

Dad emails:

I’m in the basement making a temporary kitchen (don’t ask) when your mother calls down to say there are two men from “the gas company” and they want to see our bill.

“How odd?” I thought.

I go upstairs to find two guys in blue carhartts with photo ID around their necks.

“Say, you guys aren’t from NIGAS.”

The short fat one says “Ho no, we’re from American gas.”

“Right, I’ve heard of you.”

“Oh really, on the TV?”

“No on the Internet, get the $%# out of my house.”

“..but sir I’m just doing my job you don’t have to be rude.”

“Your job is to screw people, go do your job someplace else, get the @#$% off my property!”

Your Mother said, “Gee, that went well. Would you like some lunch?”

Here’s some good news for others living in Illinois who are tired of these jokers, the state has just passed a law aiming to crack down on deceptive gas salespeople. The new law includes language that aims to prevent them from claiming to be from a utility company.

From MSNMoney:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has received more than 2,500 consumer complaints against alternative gas suppliers. Some suppliers had promised significant savings on consumers’ gas bills but didn’t deliver, according to Madigan’s office, which has filed four ongoing lawsuits against suppliers since 2005.

The newly passed amendment to the Alternative Gas Supplier Law will:

* Require sales solicitations to clearly disclose prices, terms and conditions;

* Prohibit suppliers from misrepresenting their affiliation with a gas utility, governmental body or consumer group;

* Provide consumers with a right to cancel 10 days after the gas utility notifies them of the switch and 10 days after the date of the first bill if they find that the service is not as promised;

* Limit early termination fees to $50 and require disclosure of the total cancellation fee.

Dad went on to say that he was almost suckered in by a similar sales technique a few years ago — only to find out that had he signed up there would have been a large cancellation fee and an increase in his gas bill.

Don’t Be Fooled — Natural Gas Not A Cheaper Alternative [WBBM]
Ill. law cracks down on deceptive gas sales [MSNMoney]

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