Retail Supplier Files Complaint At PUC Alleging Misrepresentation By Competitor
February 5, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
The following story is brought free of charge to readers byEC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Interstate Gas Supply (IGS Energy) filed a complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Ohio against Santanna Natural Gas Corporation (Respondent) alleging that Santanna sales representatives made representations to customers with the alleged intent to mislead IGS’ customers into believing that the Santanna representatives are affiliated with IGS
In the complaint, IGS Energy alleged, "Starting on or about January 9, 2018, Respondent’s sales representatives began
contacting both IGS’customers [sic], and other individuals, via telephone using the numbers 1-800-429-
5708 at ext. 234 and 708-283-0947; and represented to those customers that the caller is an
Account Manager employed by 'IDS Energy.'"
In the complaint, IGS Energy alleged, "Upon information and belief, 'IDS Energy' is not affiliated with Respondent, nor
is it registered with the Ohio Secretary of State or certified by the Commission to conduct business
In the complaint, IGS Energy alleged, "As part of its sales pitch, Respondent’s representatives inform the customer that his
or her 'low fixed rate plan' has expired and will rollover to a variable rate plan 'that can go very
high [in] any given month' regardless of whether either statement is true. The representative then
offers that 'since [the customer] is a valued customer,' Respondent would be willing to 'renew'
the 'low fixed rate' 'immediately' so long as the customer contacts Respondent to discuss his or
her account in more detail."
In the complaint, IGS Energy alleged, "Upon information and belief, Respondent acts with intent to mislead IGS’
customers into believing that Respondent is affiliated with Complainant so that IGS’ customers
will call Respondent to inquire about the status of their account."
In the complaint, IGS Energy alleged, "Upon information and belief, Respondent then solicits the IGS customer with a
different offer to enroll with Respondent’s products and services."
Among other things, IGS Energy alleged in the complaint that, "Respondent’s representation, whether express or implied, that it was soliciting
electric customers on behalf of Complainant constitutes a misleading, deceptive, and
unconscionable sales and marketing practice in violation of Ohio Admin. Code 4901:1-21-05(C)
and R.C. 4928.10."
IGS Energy also alleged in the complaint that, "Respondent’s representation to customers that the customer’s 'low fixed rate plan'
has expired and will rollover to a variable rate plan 'that can go very high [in] any given month'
even when such statement is not true, is a violation of Ohio Admin. Code 4901:1-29-05(D)(8)(a)
and 4901:1-21-05(C)(8)(a), which prohibits claiming that a specific price advantage, savings, or
guarantee exists if it does not."
Through the complaint (Case 19-0362-GE-CSS), IGS Energy sought the following relief from PUCO:
1. An Order finding that Respondent has violated Chapters 4901:1-21-05, 4901:1-29-
05; and 4901:1-29-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code by engaging in the unlawful
acts and practices alleged in the complaint
2. Assessing a civil penalty in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per
violation as provided in R.C. 4905.54
3. Treble damages as provided in R.C. 4905.61
4. Preliminarily and permanently enjoining Respondent from engaging in the
deceptive and unfair practices alleged in the complaint
5. Providing such other and further equitable relief as Complainant is entitled.
Separately, IGS Energy moved to dismiss a complaint IGS had previously filed at PUCO against Titan Gas LLC d/b/a Titan Gas & Power, in which IGS had alleged various misrepresentations by Titan agents similar to those described above (see story here for details). IGS and Titan jointly moved to dismiss the complaint after settling the matter.
According to the motion to dismiss (Case No. 17-2452-GE-CSS), Titan had, prior to the filing of the IGS complaint, voluntarily terminated its third party sales vendors and suspended third party sales channels in Ohio for violating its Code of Conduct. As a part of the settlement, Titan will:
• Continue its voluntary suspension of residential sales channels in Ohio for a total period of twenty-four (24) months and not recommence residential sales until the Commission Staff has reviewed Titan's compliance and quality assurance procedures;
• Compensate Complainant for any customers that may have been enrolled with Titan by the sales agents responsible for violating Titan's Code of Conduct; and
• Waive termination fees for customers that may have been enrolled with Titan by sales agents responsible for violating its Code of Conduct.