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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Retail Supplier Over Pricing

August 21, 2014

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Copyright 2010-14
Reporting by Paul Ring •

Aug. 21:

A lawsuit, which seeks class action status, has been filed against Ambit Energy and various affiliates in the United States District Court for the District Of New Jersey, alleging that its rates charged to customers are not "competitive" nor based on prevailing market conditions.

The crux of the complaint is that Ambit allegedly, "falsely promis[es] to charge competitive rates reflective of prevailing market conditions."

"In fact, however, Ambit Energy’s pitch is in reality a false and misleading scheme, in which the rates actually charged to consumers are not competitive and bear little relation to prevailing market conditions," the suit alleges.

The suit alleges that Ambit makes the following statement on its website:

• "Our residential Customers enjoy substantial savings on their energy bills ..."

• "A lot of people only know Ambit by our low, competitive rates."

• "While we’re proud to give our Customers the consistent savings they deserve, those who really know Ambit understand low rates are only part of the story."

"These statements are materially misleading because consumers receive energy services that are substantially more costly," the suit alleges

The suit alleges that the plaintiff switched from PSE&G to Ambit based on Defendants’ representations of "substantial savings" based on "low, competitive rates."

"In early February of 2014, Plaintiff Urbino received his January 2014 energy bill for the period December 30, 2013 through January 29, 2014. The kilowatt hour ('kWh') price for Ambit Energy is higher than the kWh price that Plaintiff would have been charged by PSE&G. In fact, the amount that Plaintiff was charged by Ambit for the electricity during the month of January was over 60 percent higher than he would have paid PSE&G during the same period," the suit alleges.

"Plaintiff would not have enrolled in Ambit Energy’s service but for Defendants’ deceptive marketing and business practices. Had Plaintiff known that the rates he would be charged by Ambit Energy were substantially higher than the rates he was paying his previous electricity supplier, he would not have enrolled with Ambit Energy," the suit alleges

Specific alleged counts in the suit include breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, and unjust enrichment.

Ambit told ECM that it does not have a comment on the suit at this time

Case 3:14-cv-05184

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