PUC Approves Settlement Under Which Retail Supplier Agrees To $150,000 Forfeiture Under Stipulation
February 27, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a stipulation between Town Square Energy East, LLC (Town Square) and Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio under which Town Square agrees to a forfeiture of $150,000 upon approval of the stipulation to resolve allegations of non-compliance, including allegations that representatives of Town Square were using misleading and deceptive sales practices in Town Square's table top marketing campaign.
The stipulation is not an admission or finding of liability
A Town Square company spokesperson provided the following statement to EnergyChoiceMatters.com:
"Town Square Energy takes all matters of compliance very seriously and we have a history of providing a great customer experience. Agents who choose not to take compliance as seriously as we do are removed from working on our campaigns. While we maintain no wrongdoing, we chose to settle this matter in order to further a positive relationship with Ohio’s regulators. Town Square Energy is happy to put this matter behind us, and we look forward to maintaining open lines of communication with all stakeholders in Ohio and beyond, to ensure all products and services are represented properly, consumer’s rights are protected and to better the industry as a whole."
--- A Company Spokesperson
The stipulation resulted from a Notice of Probable Non-Compliance, issued by PUCO Staff
Under the stipulation, Town Square will mail a letter to all current electricity customers who were enrolled via tabletop marketing in Ohio between August and November 2017. Other than stating that Staff and Town Square have agreed upon the text of the letter, the stipulation does not discuss the substance of the letter.
However, in the earlier Notice of Probable Non-Compliance, Staff had sought to require that Town Square contact all customers enrolled through the table top marketing campaign and advise them that they have the option to properly enroll with Town Square or be returned to the distribution utilities' default services.
Upon execution of the stipulation, Staff and Town Square agree to Town Square recommencing on-line marketing and enrollments in Ohio via the internet enrollment process.
Town Square has submitted to Staff and obtained Staff's approval of, a quality assurance/compliance plan that includes Town Square's staff training materials, sales contracts, sales scripts and practices, and enrollment documentation. Additionally, prior to resuming tabletop marketing in Ohio, Town Square will submit to Staff for review, any updates to its quality assurance/compliance plans, training materials, sales contracts, sales scripts and practices, and enrollment documentation.
Under the stipulation, Town Square will provide quarterly reports to Staff for one year following approval of the stipulation by the Commission, including summaries of complaints received (by channel, type and vendor), agent compliance, and the steps taken as a result of any audit(s).