Pennsylvania PUC Urges Consumers To Be Alert For "Energy Marketing Scams"
PUC Reiterates Recent Warning To Suppliers On Marketing
July 18, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today urged Pennsylvania consumers, "to be alert for potential energy marketing scams, especially unsolicited telemarketing calls requesting immediate action and promising far-reaching savings on energy bills."
"One type of misleading solicitation involves robocalls from unidentified sources making vague and potentially misleading statements about customer discounts, refunds, rebates and bonuses if the customer acts now," the PUC said
"The calls often appear as a local telephone number on recipients’ caller ID, which is often fake or 'spoofed,' or the calls fail to display any number at all. These questionable calls appear to follow the same basic script: 'This is an apology call from your electric (or natural gas) utility. You got overcharged by your third-party supplier. You will be receiving a rebate check along with a 30% discount on your electric and gas bill. Please press 1 to get your rebate check,'" the PUC said
When discussing energy supply service with telemarketers, the PUC stresses that telemarketing agents must do the following:
• Identification – Callers must tell you who they are at the beginning of the call;
• Information – Sales agents must clearly explain why they are calling; and,
• Affiliation – Telemarketers and sales agent may NOT claim to represent the PUC, another utility or other organization.
The PUC noted that, "In a recent notice to energy suppliers, marketers and other related entities, the PUC emphasized that energy telemarketers must clearly identify themselves and the reason for their calls and underscored the Commission’s zero tolerance policy for the unauthorized switching of customers."
"If the agent fails to immediately identify themselves and the reason for the call, the consumer should end the call. Again, vague and potentially misleading statements – for example, 'I am calling about an urgent matter concerning your generation service,' or 'about your utility bill,' or 'about your discount /refund /rebate /bonus/overcharges' – should also alert consumers to end calls," the PUC said
"Additionally, sales agents may not suggest that they are working for or in partnership with a utility – such as your local electric or natural gas distribution company; a government agency – such as the PUC; or other supplier – including false claims that other suppliers are 'going out of business' or experiencing other problems," the PUC said