PSC Runs Sting Operation On Retail Supplier's Marketing Practice
September 18, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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During a discussion at today's Maryland PSC administrative meeting, PSC Chairman Jason Stanek said that the PSC recently conducted a "sting" operation on a retail energy supplier's marketing practice
Stanek said that the Commission takes the issue of retail supplier marketing practices, "very seriously."
"Just last week we did -- I'll call it a 'sting' operation, with respect to a retail supplier. Speaking with the individuals that were attempting to obtain customer choice ID numbers, providing promotion in the form of a gift, without fully understanding the product that they were offering. It was clear that these individuals, the only thing they wanted was the customer choice number, without knowing anything more beyond that. These were kids, kids on the street, that were contacted to sell this product which they didn't know what they were selling," Stanek said
"It's a concern, it's a focus," Stanek said.
Stanek did not identify the supplier whose marketing was subject to the described sting
Stanek's broader comments about PSC oversight were made in the context of setting forth the PSC's expectations in context of a new entrant to the market. Specifically, the Commission was discussing several recent filings by Vistra Energy -- a new entrant in Maryland -- to update various licenses to reflect Vistra's purchase of the Crius Energy retail suppliers, and the PSC heard from Vistra concerning its approach to compliance
Stanek said that he hoped that a large company such as Vistra would partner with the PSC to, "help clean up your industry, which I think is suffering from bad public relations at the moment."
"And it only takes one or two bad companies. We have several hundred retail energy suppliers licensed in the state of Maryland, but it just takes a few to spoil the entire barrel, so to speak," Stanek said