Retail Energy Supplier Agrees To Door-to-Door Marketing, Outbound Telemarketing Stay-Outs Under Settlement Approved By PUC
September 22, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Maine PUC approved a settlement between Town Square Energy, LLC ('Town Square' or the 'Company') and the Office of Public Advocate which resolves a show cause order issued to the supplier
As previously reported, in the show cause order to Town Square Energy, the PUC had stated, "The concerns noted by Commission Staff in the March 17, 2020 letter related to allegations of: (1) enrollments without authorization; (2) making false statements about cheaper rates, savings, and possible refunds; (3) claiming association with or over charging by the T&D; and (4) claiming to offer green power."
Under the adopted settlement, Town Square voluntarily agrees to refrain from door-to-door marketing of residential customers for twenty-four (24) months, commencing as of July 1, 2021.
Town Square previously ceased its door-to-door marketing efforts on March 17, 2020, and has not engaged in such activity since.
The settlement was adopted by the PUC without modification. However, the PUC's ordering paragraph appears to include a scrivener's error as it provides that the PUC, "Directs Town Square to forego door-to-door marketing of residential customers for 24 months, commencing as of July 1, 2021, that is, until July 1, 2024 [sic][.]"
Furthermore, for a six (6) month period beginning one business day following the Commission’s approval of the stipulation, Town Square voluntarily agrees to cease any outbound telemarketing efforts to obtain new residential customers in Maine.
The settlement provides that, at least thirty (30) days prior to recommencing outbound telemarketing activities to obtain new residential customers, Town Square will notify the PUC's Director of the Consumer Assistance and Safety Division ('CASD').
Town Square agrees that for a period of six (6) months following the recommencement of its outbound telemarketing to new residential customers in Maine, it shall record all such calls that are more than one minute in duration.
Town Square shall retain recordings of calls of more than one minute in duration for a one year period from the date of the last recording made in such six (6) month period.
The settlement notes that the voluntary door-to-door and outbound telemarketing marketing stay-outs described above, "do not affect or limit in any way other methods or modes of marketing, solicitation, or sale that may be conducted by Town Square in accordance with Maine law."
Furthermore, the settlement provides that, "nothing in these conditions or the Stipulation should be construed as a waiver or admission by the Parties with respect to any alleged conduct that was the subject of this proceeding. Rather, these conditions are offered as a full and fair compromise and resolution of all the issues raised in the Show Cause Order."
The settlement provides that, "No sanctions or penalties will be imposed upon Town Square for any marketing activities relating to, or which gave rise to, the Show Cause Order, because the parties agree that that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that any of the alleged violations were willful, because Town Square took prompt and corrective action to address conduct that may have violated Chapter 305 of the Commission’s rules and because the remedies provided herein are sufficient."