PUC Staff Now Seeks Denial Of Another Retail Supplier's Requested TPV Waiver Due To New Enrollment Concerns From Customer Complaints
June 13, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Inspire provided the following statement concerning the matter:
"With respect to the complaints mentioned in Staff's amendment, the individual cases have been resolved to the customers’ satisfaction and corrective action with the sales agents involved has been taken. In response to the PUCO Staff’s comments, we look forward to addressing any outstanding concerns that they have related to our waiver application. We will formally submit our response to them by Monday, June 20th."
--- Statement from Inspire
Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio have filed an amended recommendation stating that PUCO should deny certain requested third party verification rule waivers sought by Inspire Energy Holdings, LLC due to new concerns about Inspire enrollments stemming from customer complaints
Inspire had sought a waiver of certain rules governing the TPV process to allow the customer to complete the verification process through a digital confirmation, similar to waivers granted and/or sought by other suppliers. In brief, the digital TPV would occur on the customer's personal device, after completion of the sales process and after the agent leaves the property. The rule includes language requiring an "audio" and "verbal" TPV conducted "telephonically".
Staff had originally recommended approval of the waiver, subject to Staff's customary conditions that the waiver be limited to the process described in the petition and that the waiver expire when the Commission issues its final rules in Case No. 17-1843-EL-ORD and 17-1847-GA-ORD.
However, Staff is amending its recommendation and now recommends denial of the waiver
"[S]ome issues have been brought to Staff’s attention. The PUCO consumer call center has received several complaints from consumers who have been enrolled with Inspire through a third-party vendor in-store and door-to-door sales. These complaints include issues with the marketing and, most notably, the current TPV process being used to enroll the customers who did not wish to receive supply service from the Applicant," Staff said
"Although the current TPV process did not prevent these issues from occurring, the current TPV process did help Staff effectively identify misleading and deceptive enrollment. Further, the provided customer voice verification confirmed improper enrollment. Due to these issues, Staff recommends that the waiver should be denied until a more thorough review of the Applicant’s policies and procedures is possible. Staff recommends that these issues are resolved for the consumers of Ohio," Staff said
"Staff recommends that the Commission deny the waiver requested in this Application until all open consumer cases are resolved and the Applicant’s company operations are reviewed. Inspire can reapply for waiver consideration after (1) remedy of marketing and enrollment process issues and (2) Staff’s review," Staff said