Retail Supplier Would Pay $20,000 Under Settlement Related To Enrollments
Has Returned A Handful Of Customers To Default Service After Audit Of Enrollments
February 16, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
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Ambit Northeast, LLC would agree to a forfeiture of $20,000 under a settlement with Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
The stipulation would resolve allegations included in a June 2021 Staff notice letter which alleged probable non-compliance violations
In Staff's June 2021 notice letter, Staff alleged, "Staff reviewed investigation records from consumer complaints along with information provided by Ambit in response to those complaints. Based on this review, Staff has determined that representatives of Ambit have enrolled customers without the customer’s knowledge or consent."
The settlement states that Ambit audited all enrollments within the period of February 1, 2021 to June 20, 2021 to identify any customers that may not have been properly enrolled. Ambit identified 19 of 114 customers that may not have been properly enrolled. Of the 19 customers, Ambit was unable to reach 18 of them in its effort to verify intent to enroll. Therefore, those 18 customers were dropped back to the utility default service, the settlement states
Among other remedial measures, the settlement provides that Ambit will add an audit to its compliance plan requiring that it will review 25% of all enrollments on a monthly basis for the next 18 months after signing of the stipulation to verify customer information and the customer’s intent to enroll (the "Audit"). As part of the Audit, Ambit will check customer name, address, email addresses, and telephone numbers to assist in verifying the customer’s identity and intent to enroll. Further, for the Audit the company will implement a process to start collecting and retaining IP addresses from enrollments six months from the signing of the stipulation and will include IP addresses as a data point for monitoring in the Audit.
For any enrollment that Ambit identifies as questionable under the Audit, Ambit will attempt to contact each customer for the purpose of doing the following:
a. Verify whether the customer intended to enroll with Ambit;
b. Drop any customer who did not want to enroll and waive any fees; and
c. Re-rate those customers for the time they were with Ambit back to their utility’s default rate.
In the June 2021 notice letter, Staff had originally sought a forfeiture for $40,000