Energy Sales Scams

by Mike Holman

Welcome to Money Smarts! If you're new here, please read the "About" page to find out more about this site. If you would like to receive updates by email then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

Energy market de-regulation

In Ontario the energy market (natural gas, electricity) was de-regulated a few years ago to introduce competition in the energy marketplace. This has created a lot of problems because the energy resellers use door-to-door salespeople to sell the contracts and many of them seem to be crooks.

The problem

The biggest danger from door-to-door salespersons of any kind is that if they knock on enough doors they will find people who are vulnerable to making a hasty decision – old people, mothers with a young child or two, someone who is sick. All these groups are people who might normally be able to see through the lies of an energy market reseller but sometimes fall prey and sign a contract that they either don’t want or don’t understand.

My experience

Two summers ago I was relaxing on our back deck when someone knocked on our door. It was quite a loud knock and I originally thought it was one of the neighbours who was making some noise. I ignored the noise and kept enjoying the fact that my new little baby was asleep. Then I heard the knock again – this time even louder. Still I didn’t move – until the third set of knocks and I heard my wife who had been sleeping in the front room with our two week old baby, talking to someone at the door. It was only then that I realized someone had been knocking on our door – immediately I was quite annoyed that someone would keep knocking even though we weren’t answering the door.

The trap

Since I knew my wife was in even more of a sleep-deprived zombie state than I was, I quickly went into the house and talked to the person at the door. The man seemed normal enough and had his two kids with him – probably around 10 years old. He asked me if I had received my “discount” on my natural gas bill yet? I said no since I had not heard of any sort of discount. He then asked me to go and get an old gas bill and he would make sure I would get the discount. Now at this point, anybody who has any sort of intelligence would probably start to smell a rat – but given the fact that I was extremely tired and overwhelmed by the new baby – didn’t suspect a thing. While the “suspicious” part of my brain was taking a rare nap, the “greed” brain portion was wide awake and prompted me to listen to the guy and go an find an old gas bill. When I couldn’t find one I returned to the door and asked the guy if I could still get the discount without an old bill. I asked him if he could look up the account number at his office since I thought he worked for my natural gas provider. He said it shouldn’t be a problem and asked me to sign a document he had on a clipboard. On top of the clipboard I noticed quite a few gas bills that he had obtained from my neighbours for their “discount”.

The awakening

I took a look at the paper (I wasn’t completely brain dead) and noticed right away that it was a contract where if I signed I would be agreeing to a fixed rate natural gas delivery for three years. At that point I knew exactly who and what he was and and that he was trying to rip me off. I told him that this was not a discount but a contract for gas delivery. He said no – it’s for a discount on your gas bill and then showed me a table that indicated that his company’s gas charges had been lower (supposedly) then my provider. I even asked him what company he worked for and he wouldn’t say.

The punishment

Had he not had his two kids with him, I think I would have been quite tempted to literally throw him off my porch since I was quite annoyed by then. I was angry at him for waking up my sleeping family and trying to rip me off. I was also a bit angry at myself for almost letting him get away with it. I did tell him what I thought of him and his lies and told him to get lost.

The lesson

I learned that even if you are as sharp as a tack (or like to think you are), it’s important to remember that sometimes your guard is down whether you realize it or not and people like door-to-door salespersons can take advantage of that. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that older friends and relatives might have more of those moments where they let down their guard so you should talk to them about not signing anything at the door.  This can also apply to people who are looking for charitable donations at the door.  Many of them are professionals who’s job it is to solicit donations so make sure that you be careful with them too.

See another post on this problem.

Be Sociable, Share!

Want to learn more about RESPs? Buy The Book:

Resp-Book

The RESP Book: The Simple Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans

Everything you need to know about RESPs.

See it on Amazon now

Welcome to Money Smarts! If you're new here, please read the "About" page to find out more about this site. If you would like to receive updates by email then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

51 Minty

Oh, and I didn’t sign any contract. It was all through the phone. Can I argue saying I didn’t sign any contract and therefore not liable?

52 Mr. Cheap

Minty: We’re not lawyers, so we can’t really provide any advice (would you really trust legal advice from some anonymous guys on the Internet anyway?).

Maybe ask them to send you documentation proving you owe the money or talk to Ontario hydro and see if they have any suggestions.

My understanding is you *CAN* make legally binding agreements over the phone (they record the conversations in case of dispute). That’s how people change long-distance providers and whatnot.

I wouldn’t advise fleeing the country and leaving it unresolved unless you don’t mind getting hit with a surprise at some point in the future…

53 BitBill

We all know by now that Univer$al Energy Corporation are all a bunch of scammers. THey hire anyone who walks in the door, that’s right!

They are sooo desperate to get people because once you findout that there are:

No benefits
No H/R pay
No year-end incentives
No paid training
No promotions
No gas or car allowance

They usually all leave soon anyways

54 Sarah Robbins

I was sure that signing the contract with universal energy will decrease my monthly payment but the reality is different and now I been told about “smart Reader” that will take place in 2 years and only than I may be paying less.

55 Bill Sithers

Jeffie

“I hate all you people”

Why?

56 Peter the Aussie

We have exactly the same door-to-door tactics used in Australia!

..and when a phone salesperson just wont’ take the hint that I’m not interested, I just put the phone down and go back to the washing up, or whatever, only takes them a minute or two to realise that they are wasting their time, not mine anymore…!!

57 Four Pillars

Peter – great suggestion!

58 kristine

sarah robbins you should reasearch alot more before oping you mouth because you oviously didnt even lission long enough to know that your knew hydro metre is called a “SMART METRE” and it charges you different fee’s for different times of the day such as you will have to pay almost double for ur hydro on on peak hours than off peak hour

59 kristine

instead of lissioning to your dumb neighbour down the street and your ignorent couin or who ever there are government site you can go to to find out real information your hyfro provider works with the suppiers an all your do is switching providers not the company that delivers it thats why ur bill dosnt change stop being so suspisious and take the discount.

60 Minty

Thanks for the advice, Mr. Cheap =), although I’d to leave town in a hurry to see my Mom. I decided to leave the matter unresolved, simply because I’d changed my first name a year and a half ago and Universal Power still had my old name on record. On top of that, I don’t need my cell since I’m outta town, and I won’t be coming back till next year. Universal Power will probably (and hopefully) have given up on me by that time. There’s another solution outta this too, as posted by Mrs. Mustard. I’ve put the link on my name. It seems a few of you here were there before as well.
Thanks again for the “legal advice”, lol, I do appreciate your effort in helping.

61 BC Dhawan

I have been duped by fixed price gas scam, as soon we occupied house next day Superior Energy Sales man came to my wife and she accepted this contract.

Now when I want to discontinue they are asking 670 $ as liquidated damages fee.

Can someone suggest any rescue as lawyer fee may be more than this so it won’t be worth. Beware od Superior Energy Scam.

62 connie

my husband signed with superior energy 2 of our blocks in montreal and when my bill came i was crying because it was so high so i called them and they said if i wanted to cancel it would cost me 18,000.00 thousand dollars and the lawyer fees i said they were just scamers like there sales person door to door but my husband did not understand all the contract so when my husband told the saleperson if he could cancel he said no problem but not telling him that there were these big fees to pay so i had called serveral times to them but don`t even want to answer they just said well your husband signed even explaining them i was a mother of 5 kids and i was not working the bills were to high i live with revenue they did not want ot understand so if there is someone out there that reads this give me a hint to do something i know all my friends say go to the lawyer i have no choice to do so because superior energy are scamers they are so evil that they should pay for all the pain they give to people but the best part is that i had told them that i wanted to speak to the sells person they said it was private information so they scamed us good they will for for this i can`t let it go like this .

63 Des

For Connie or anyone else stuck in these contracts,
I think that depends on where you’re from, this might help

http://www.energyshop.com/es/faq/naturalgasfaq.cfm?r#9

(sorry you may have to copy paste that link cause I dunno how to set it to a link)

you want to click on #9 that will give you all your rights to cancel out of these types of contracts. It states ways to get out of those contracts for Canada, Ontario and BC, as well as the USA and UK.

Thankfully I called within the first 10 days when they got my boyfriend last year who was tricked into signing us over to Universal even though it was in my name. I hope you get this in time, and hope you can cancel without them trying to get you for more money!
I don’t care what anyone says to defend these companies, I know its a scam, These companies don’t care if you were scammed into signing a contract or not. If they did, they would have no issues with canceling your contracts. It’s not like these shady salespeople are not a common enough occurrence in their company for them to think that you are not being truthful. And because of all that it’s just given them a bad name.

Now, I’m glad when they come knocking at my door like they do religiously every single month. I must say I do get a good venting out yelling at them, or just smiling and saying no no no no no no no no no no until they get frustrated and walk away, or make them explain everything slowly in great detail and asking a lot of questions that Ive asked at least 3 times before in the conversation. Made one guy swear once under his breath haha:) I like to waste their time like they do mine, at least I know its a scam, its taking time away from them going to some other poor unsuspecting persons house while I get a giggle out of it!

Anyway Good luck to all of you, together we can get em! or…just really annoy them:)

64 Jude

Funny, the same thing happened to me last month, as described in your post. I had encountered the “energy resellers” before, but this guy started out with “I’m checking to see if you’ve received your discount yet,” not anything about signing a contract with an energy reseller. He even had prominently-displayed invoices from Enbridge (my regular provider) giving me the impression that he was from them.

I consider myself to be fairly scam-resistant, but on this occasion I had actually given him my account number before I had clued in. Even after he brazenly handed me a contract to sign, assuring me that it does not say what it looks like it says, it took a moment to fully realize what he was trying to do. I should have told him what I thought of his outright deceit, but I guess I’m just too bloody Canadian. :D

I phoned Enbridge first thing next business day, and confirmed that no changes had been made on my account, and made it clear that I didn’t want any changes made. I’m waiting for my next bill to make sure nothing happened.

65 Mike

Jude – very interesting. Those guys are good! I’m surprised he wasn’t wearing an “Enbridge” cap. :)

66 Myrtle

In January, I had a man come to my door, saying he was from Toronto Hydro, giving refunds for Smartmeter installations. He asked to see my Hydro bill and I naively gave him my bill. But then he asked me then to sign for the refund, and when I asked to read the paper first, he said I couldn’t! He said he would only give me a copy if I signed it first. From my glimpse of the paper, it definitely did not have Toronto Hydro written on it so I told him I refuse to sign it. He argued with me, and then got aggressive and took off with my Hydro bill! I called Toronto Hydro the next day to inform them that someone/company had taken off with my bill, and to confirm that no changes should be made to my account. Toronto Hydro said they cannot change my account number, nor be responsible for supplier changes.
I thought everything was ok, since I didn’t sign the paper and got my next Toronto Hydro bill as normal. Then in my June statement, it said that my new energy supplier was “Universal Energy”! I just received a letter in the mail on July 16 from Universal Energy, thanking me for signing up in JANUARY for a 5 year fixed contract! I immediately called UE, and they informed me that they have my signature on a contract, and a recorded telephone call on Feb 2 confirming my agreement with the contract! I advised them that this was obviously a forgery by their shady salespeople, and checked my cellphone bill for Feb 2 which showed NO phone calls in/out that day! They advised that I must’ve agreed to the contract because they had all my information including my supposed email address and my supposed telephone number. When I asked them to confirm this personal information, it was all incorrect! I asked them for a copy of this supposed telephone conversation they had with me. The representative listened to it first, and said that it actually did not sound like me, so he wouldn’t bother sending me a copy(!). His solution was for me to fax them my government ID so they could verify my signature on the contract. But if they have shady people who would forge the signature in the first place, I do not feel comfortable giving such a company even more of my own personal information!
I have filed a complaint with OEB regarding this forgery. How do I fight such an outright lie? Is this identity theft?

67 jay

isg energy is SCAM
universal is a SCAM
ALL OF THEM ARE A SCAM
to get out of the contract is very easy,just disconnect service,get the service in somebody else’s name for 1 month billing cycle,then get it back in your name
it knocks these scam artists right off your bill

68 janet

My dad got tricked into signing with a company called Just Energy. The sales guy insisted on taking photocopies of the gas and hydro bills to sign my dad up for lower costs. The sales guy wouldn’t let him see the contract right away. Today my dad already started proceedings to get out of it but my siblings and I are really worried about either identity theft or some sort of scam on my dad’s house, given that the guy took copies of the two energy bills.

It’s really frightening how this all went down.

69 Watching the detectives

Andrew Steele

The Ontario Tories’ leadership race continues to get more divisive.

The latest salvo is an anonymous attack on Frank Klees from quarters unknown, under the psuedonom “Tory Detective.”

The allegation is a serious one: that Mr. Klees is on the board of a company fined $200,000 by the Ontario Energy Board for making false and misleading statements.

Mr. Klees was considered the best performer in the leadership debates, a wily blend of Brian Mulroney and Ernie Eves. He’d better keep it up. It will take every ounce of Irish Blarney and double-E slickness he can muster to explain away these claims.

The e-mail read as follows:

From: Tory Detective

To: torydetective@yahoo.ca

Sent: Sat May 30 22:24:05 2009

Subject: Frank Klees: Business Experience & Judgement? Uh oh….

Someone is walking the walk, but not talking the talk.

Frank Klees wants Ontario PC Party members to believe that he should be elected leader due to his “business experience”. But it looks like Frank’s business experience may not be quite the positive attribute he once thought it was. And judgement? Well…

Frankie sits on the Board for Universal Energy Group and is a member of the Audit Committee for the company. He even chairs the Compensation and Governance Committee.

As reported by the Toronto Star earlier this year, that same company – Universal Energy Group – was fined $200,000 by the Ontario Energy Board for making “false, misleading or deceptive statements to consumers.”

A copy of the order (which isn’t the first time) can be found here.

And another one in April (wasn’t there a Leadership going on then?).

And the people are some angry. Victims of the “Universal Energy Scam” can be found talking about their experiences.

But Frank doesn’t just sit on the Board. Universal Energy CEO Mark Silver, through his company, OPTUS Capital Corporation, made the single biggest donation to Frank’s campaign: a whopping $34,000 – about 20% of his entire campaign.

Frank’s campaign even reported the donation in the real-time donor disclosures to Elections Ontario.

Wow. Frank’s “business experience” seems to entail managing an energy company ripping off old ladies door-to-door. Judgement, indeed.

Hope you find this enlightening.

70 Mike Lacelle

We just got a “rebate”cheque from Just Energy for 28$.
What’s the catch? I have absolutley no intention of cashing it in
whatsoever. Is this a scam to lock us in for another 5 years if we do?

Anybody know?

Thanks

71 jay leno

you are being so screwed if you have a supplier.

let your contract run out

if you have a contract,put your service in somebody else’s name,and it falls off

72 Sherry

my husband and I are trying to get out of our Just Energy contract. He was “scared” into thinking that this was the way to go instead of staying with Ontario Hydro and now we are having a hard time paying our skyrocketing hydro bill? Just Energy has said they will charge us $900.00 to cancel.

73 James

We also just got a rebate cheque for 29 dollars from Just Energy on March 5th. We have never dealt, let alone heard of this company until I just looked it up and was hit with link after link talking about scams. My wife contacted our hydro company who informed us that we are no longer with them. She then contacted Just Energy in Mississauga and was told that we had indeed signed a contract. My wife asked the know who signed it and was told that was signed by a gentleman who lives across the street from us and that he indeed signed a contract for his own residence 2 years ago and there must have been a mixup. I don’t buy this excuse. She told us not to cash the cheque and that they will have to do some further investigating. What I don’t get is that we have been dealing with our hydro company even up until the last few months. How could this mixup just happen after 2 years of the neighbor being with this company. My wife has threatened to contact the Ontario Energy Board and the Police Fraud dept. and has given them 5 business days to resolve this matter in Writing. So Mike, I think you also have some investigating to do…DO NOT CASH THAT CHEQUE!!!

74 nasurj

I have discovered a way to deal with these scumbags and get you out of the contract.
I was also duped in to signing this stupid contract, by the time I saw the new invoice it was $80.00 higher then Ive ever paid and too late to cancel. Which is extremely frustrating? I took it to the BBB nothing. I talked to lawyersnothing.
It turns out this is perfectly legal to doBut I found away and I am selling it on EBay
I will sell each complete document for $10.00 for the first 10 documents. Once these people finish the procedure hopefully they will put the review on my EBay site to let people know it really works. After the first 10 go I am raising the price to $100, so be quick!
Considering what the scumbags will charge you, that is still cheap.
I am charging to recoup lost money and piece of mind.
Go to EBay.ca and search for How to get out of your utilities contract

75 jay

sherry,all you have to do is change the name on the bill,and Just Energy falls off of your bill,and they cant do a thing about it.
if the bill is in your husband’s name,change it to yours,or vice versa

as for nasurj,i guess he didn’t read my comment on how to cancel out

76 nasurj

Actually it’s not as ez as that, Have a look at the contract you have signed. This is a snip-it from the contract.
“I also agree to notify Summitt in writing of any other change of information (including
a change of account number, contact information or Mailing Address) at least 60 days prior to such change
taking effect or immediately if the change is to take effect in less than 60 days.”

77 jay

nasurj,that 60 days notice means nothing.

once your name is not on the service,the supplier gets knocked off,period.
you are not obligated to notify the supplier of disconnection of service in your name.

this isn’t rocket science.

78 Ziggy

Hey all,
we got suckered in with Universal Energy but didn’t realize it for a full two years. We where shocked to find out how much more we had been paying. The trick with our situation is that I am disabled and receiving ODSP payments and guess what… it’s not legal for them to take money from recipients of government assistance. So Uniersal cancelled our contract the day i threatened legal action and guaranteed us a full refund of the tow years we had been paying them. That was in Novemeber 09… it’s now days away from May and we are still fighting them. They are trying every trick in their book… like my signature on theri papers (which is invalid do to my financial situation), my pre-recorded phone call of me accepting a change in address (the call is so choppy and hard to understand). We have in our possession now copies of both… which took months to obtain. The phone call CLEARLY states that I will receive a 100$ refund cheque (it’s the clearest part of the call) which by the way i never got… andthat i would receive a coy of the contract… again, it never came.

So… i will keep fighting. They have admitted they where wrong, so at least i got that much and they cancelled without penalty fees (cause it’s the law but they make it sound like they did it to be nice)… I will let you guys know how it goes… wish me luck!

btw… our refund should be just over 3000$

79 Jeff

There were lots of energy scams coming out just before the price of natural gas fell. They must had known the market and took advantage of it… as well as the deregulation of the industry here in BC canada. I almost went for the scam… being told that gas prices will continue to rise!!!!! which they knew it would be dropping.

80 John Johnson

Just Energy currently has a wholesale price flexible plan plus 1 penny which comes with the option as a non-green plan. Green plans are always more expensive. This is a great plan and is not a scam as you state. Unfortunately not all independent agents explain the program properly to their customers. All agents must wear id badges when out in the field as fully identifying themselves as Just Energy Agents. All contracts signed in the field are verified from the customers phone and getting their agreement to the contract over the phone with the agent present. There is also a 10 day cooling off period, which gives the customer time to review the contract before reaffirming registration. The customer also has 30 days to cancel their contract with Just Energy after they receive their first bill if they are not satisfied. And on the non-green plans, there is only an exit fee of $100, not what has been stated in previous blogs. There is a higher exit fee for green plans, which is fully explained in the contract. It’s apparent from this blog comments that people don’t read their contracts and don’t read them within the time frame of cancellation.

81 sherry

I don’t know where you received your information but the representative from Just Energy informed that if I tried to cancel our contract we would be charged approximately 900.00 cancellation fees. Has anyone tried changing their names on the contracts as was blogged previously. If so how did that work for you. We have already received notice of disconnection and have now had to pay a security deposit to hydro as our bills have more than doubled for the same service. As well I was also informed that there are no peak times according to Just Energy when it comes to useage?

82 John Johnson

Sherry you obviously are on a 100% green plan, not a non green plan. When you signed up with Just Energy it gave you the option to go 30%,60%, 100% or non-green. To go non green market price, is market price which is currently 3.17 cents pus 1 cent. I get my information from the contract that you would have signed. It also sounds like you are on a a fixed rate green plan. Instead crying victim, you could have always called our 1-866-587-8674, and they would have been glad to have switched you to the market price non-green plan and you also will not be paying a penalty for switching, like you would with other companies like Direct Energy who are notorious for canceling peoples plans before their terms are up, billing them for they remainder of the terms of their contract,and then re-setting them up on another term contract.

The $100 exit fee does not apply to Green plans, something that the rep who signed you up failed to tell you or you failed to read in your contract. I reference sections 10 and 11 of the SVC DF MPP Just Energy Contract.
You can easily avoid paying the $900 that you were quoted by simply down grading your plan with Just Energy. Just Energy is not a scam, only those agents who do not present all of the facts when signing customers up are scamming customers just to get a higher commission. If all agents would work honestly and present all of the facts, when signing people up, then there would not be these type of negative experiences. Whenever I run into a Just Energy customer, I ask them if they are satisfied with their rates, and so far I have only ran into one case where he wasn’t satisfied, and that was very easily corrected by making a call to our customer service number and changing his plan to the non-green Electricity Rate Flex Program. Now he is very happy and is happy that I brought that option to his attention.

Sherry I might suggest you stop crying the victim because it will not get you anywhere in trying to bring down a legitimate company.

There are only peak times with your hydro company because of the smart meter charges, which currently are 9.9 cents from 11a-5pm, 7am-11am, 8.0 cents , 5pm-9pm 8.0 cents, 9pm-7am 5.3 cents. And now you are going to try to debate that ? Those are rates established by the Ontario Energy Board. These rates will also be increasing again on November 1, 2010. So good luck with your increasing hydro rates, because they will increase not decrease as you suggest. When the HST kicks in July that will be additional percentage increase that everyone will be paying and of the 13% increase in November that the HST will also be part of the increase for the year.
The smart meters were supposed to have been installed 3 years ago and the government delayed them until this year. By the end of 2010 everyone will be paying smart meter charges, that remains with their local hydro company. Then you will not be able to say that your rates will be lower than Just Energy’s, because the Market price is the wholesale rate plus 1 cent per kw, and according to my ability to add 3.17 + 1= 4.17, 24 hrs a day 7 days a week is much lower as opposed to paying 9.9, 8.0 or 5.3 cents.

83 sherry

Dear John, although I appreciate your intuitive insight into Just Energy-which I might add by reading your comments, A-you have either reseached this company very throughly or B-you are a commissioned employee of such. A little insight into my situation-my husband signed us up thinking that it sounded like an excellent idea-and maybe did not think into the future, which may very well change with smart meters and HST, but our bill that was typically 150-roughly every month went up anywhere from 250.00 in November-we heat with wood to 475.00 in January so tell me why I am not JUSTIFIED in complaining-crying is for babies and I never said I was the victim of anything. By defeinition a victim would be someone who has been affected in some way, shape or form and not by their choice-a tornado VICTIM does not choose to have their home destroyed by such. I was simply looking for some information that may help out my family as my job supported paying my usual bill not the one the eats up half my paycheck. So I would like to say thanks for the degrading email and I hope that you have made yourself feel really big and your feathers are preened-your type of help is not wanted, but if there is anyone who can answer my previous comment I would appreciate a reply. Sherry-wife and mother of three

84 sherry

Here is my last comment, and I can be adult about this I was under the understanding that this was a website for people who felt that they were being scammed as the blog stated which is the only reason I visited this website. If at any time readers felt like I was “crying” I term it complaining. I did take a bit of your advice-no where on this so called contract does it say what type of plan I am on. My husabnd signed us up in July of 2009 and we did not receive our contract until February 2010-so as far as staying within those so called guidelines-it was difficult to do that as we had no contract to look at until 9 months later. Burning with wood has a significant bearing to our household-we no longer need to rely on propane-by the way our house is abrand new home so there are no drafts to fix. So not using propane reduces the amount of electricity that we use to heat our house thus we should of seen a slight increase in our bill but not that much. As I do all my big electricity loads-laundry, dishwasher, on non-peak time. So again it’s unfortunate for John Johnson that you have nothing better to do then to come to a website where readers are looking for help with answers/suggestions and you feel the need to bash. I will no longer be using this website which would be a good thing for me but now you may have to find some other baby to bash who may be looking for the same answers I am.

85 Robert

I can’t assist in all cases where consumers are encountering problems with Direct Energy, but if you entered into a natural gas supply contract with Direct Energy / Enbridge Home Services in Ontario around 2002, and your contract was renewed without your consent, I’ve set up a free website (directenergyrefunds.blogspot.com) showing how you can potentially receive a very large refund from Direct Energy.

86 frank

People have been talking about in rates with UNIVERSAL POWER. Im more concerned about delivery charges im getting. $300.00 just for my home. This bothers me more than the 5 year term. Is there anything i could due to avoid these delivery charges .

87 Steve

Wow. Interesting site and comments here. I just entered into an agreement with Just Energy the other day. I really don’t know what all the ruckus is about though. The gentleman who came to my door introduced himself, showed me his ID badge and even gave me his card and a brochure for the company. He said he wasn’t affiliated with Manitoba Hydro or Centra and we started talking. He did ask to briefly see a recent bill, which I admit I was a little hesitant in showing but did so anyway, just to see if I was eligible for the program he was promoting. He looked at the bill for maybe one second and handed it back. I asked how he could tell and he said that he needed to see the company name next to my gas supplier. If it had Just Energy or another fixed rate energy retailer then I wouldn’t be eligible because I was already enrolled. He told me about the program, showed me agreement and walked through it with me. It’s plain, simple english and covered everything he already said to me. Price stability which may or may not provide financial savings. Explains that I’ll be getting a letter from Centra confirming the agreement and that I can cancel 10 days from the date of that letter. Something that caught my eye more though was that the company extended the canceling period to 30 days after my first bill! There is no cost to cancel if done within that timeframe but there is a cost if I want to cancel afterwards (nothing new, Rogers does the same for my cell and Shaw for my internet). The cost isn’t even that bad either, MUCH cheaper than Rogers or Shaw. The agreement also gives me an option to lower my rate at some point during my 5 year term if just energy’s rate goes down lower than what I sign in at. I’m reading over my copy of the agreement right now and those are probably the main things. I was also given something called “Customer’s Bill of Rights” which has the companies contact info (which is in several places on the info I was given), it goes over, as the name suggests, my rights and that Just Energy is licensed and approved by the public utility board. Touching on that briefly, if this company was a scam then WHY would they be licensed by the vary board that is designed to protect customer’s like me? I would type out everything on the paper here but it would take too long and this is already long enough. Some quick points though it discuses the door to door guy and how he is supposed to conduct himself, go over the agreement, my right to cancel, more contact information for the company as well as for the public utility board. After going through everything and answering my questions, he asked to use my phone to call the companies main office to verify everything. They asked to speak with me (okay, the rep sounded like she was going to fall asleep) and went over everything AGAIN. After the call the guy summed up everything, asked if I had any other questions and that was it.

I’m laughing as I type all this because I read these other comments about people thinking they’re being scammed and I have no idea how that could be possible. I’ve read my agreement top to bottom, even the legal print on the back. I almost feel like I didn’t need to because both the guy and the rep went over everything multiple times. I’ve looked at the public utility boards website and have gotten information on just energy as well. The guy also showed me copies of releases from the Public Utitlity Board which admittedly I thought were fake but found that they were actually legitimate releases on the Utility Boards website open to anyone. Everything makes perfect sense.

Okay, forgive me for being blunt, but if you follow someone who knocks on your door, doesn’t identify themselves, or the company they work for, asks to copy your bill, among other ridiculous things that I’ve read in the above comments, then you almost deserve to be scammed. Use your head. Read every inch of your contract, ask questions.

The husband who wrote the first article used his head and put things together, whoever was at his door was likely a scammer. The guy at my door? I can’t in any way see him being a scammer based on everything we went through and the research I’ve since done over the last few days.

Something I forgot to mention earlier was that the guy also told me that Centra was offering fixed rate terms as well and that actually their term rates were lower than what his company was offering (why would a scammer tell me about my utility offering lower rates?). I asked why their rates were lower and he said that his understanding was that they were lower because Centra was to be able to adjust rates to soften the blow of fluctuating gas prices, something his company doesn’t do (more on this in a moment). The downside to Centra’s terms though was that there was only limited space, first come first served and they were actually sold out. How convenient, I thought. But I looked at Hydro’s site later and found that not only did they exist, offered a lower rate, but were also sold out. Regarding the price adjustments, the public utility boards site has a release saying that Centra can’t adjust prices anymore. My interpretation of this is that Centra can’t do anything to mitigate the gas rates if they spike. That kind of scares me, but I don’t think it applies to me anymore because of the agreement I’m in.

Now then, there was someone who posted earlier defending just energy and was therefore believed to be an employee of the company. So based on that, the same will likely be said about me. :P In my defense, I wouldn’t want to have the job of going door to door and dealing with people constantly paranoid that everything that knocks on their door (literally) is a scam.

Think what you want, doesn’t matter to me. You’re just words on my computer screen and in my experience with people and upset customers (present company included) is that they’re usually ticked off and feel cheated because they didn’t understand the program, promotion, contract, whatever, that they got themselves into, and, quite frankly, that’s their own darn fault. I learned this lesson the hard way with a different company years back. Anyway, I’m done my long rant.

88 Nikki Turenne

how do i get out of this contract????? my bills have always been higher than what they would have been with terasan gas and i am so pissed! help me please!!!

89 Sandy

Wondering if anyone has any legitimate information on JustEnergy Canada?????

90 Jodie

I live in Keswick Ontario and had these Bozo’s at my door the other day. No ID, No nothing but practically demanding to see my gas bill. Then they started rambling on about pollution and going green. Yeah right. I quickly caught on, already having been warned by others and told him if he ever came to my door again my wolfdog would be the one greeting him with a bite in the arse. He left without further comment. These pukes actually con a number of people everyday and it’s all perfectly legal. Sickening that disregulation has led to 20 something snot nosed crooks landing on my doorstep trying to rip me off. If one of these con artists knocks on your door slam it as soon as they start asking for gas bills.

PS: JOHN JOHNSON you must be the head of the Pukes Inc. company trying to rip me off! Wow your mama must be SO proud of you! Loser.

91 I hate these scammers

This is horrible, I have just come to realize this scam on my bill .. Has anyone taken them to court???? What can I do about this , I want this contract ended asap, it has costed me thousands of dollars, very high hydro bills I cant afford, please help

92 will

my fiancee worked for them and the hours are horrible they only make commission and they work 7 days a week. from 8 am -8 pm. They make $60 off of every person they sign up. For every 20 people they get a raise of $500 for every 30 they get $1000 and I don’t know where they get that kind of money but I told my man to quit after I researched the company, and when he quit they got angry and docked his pay and made up excuses. I am so glad that hes not working for that scamming company they even treat there workers bad and take advantage of them. My husband got scammed just like everyone else

93 Duane

Here’s to Jodie from the Wick… you go girl! I just got home from work at around 8:00p.m. tonite when I heard pounding on my front door. Thinking someone must be in distress, for why else would there be pounding on my front door like there’s a fire? I opened the door and here’s this 50 somethin’ shabby lookin’ guy with like an I-Pad lookin’ thingy with my name and address in bright BOLD letters across it. “Are you Duane he asks”? “Yes and what can I do for you, I replied”? It was then when he scrolled the screen down I saw JUST ENERGY. I looked this Lowlife right in the eye and sternly but politely said, “No thanks… I’m not interested”. I then went to close my screen door and this Scumbag starts pulling it open while telling me to just listen to him and that I am already with Just Energy and just listen to what he has to say. I told that piece of s*#! that if he didn’t let go of my door and get the hell of my property like now, it would be the last thing he says. It sure wooda of been nice at that moment to have a wolfdog like Jodie from Keswick. “King… attack”!! comes to mind. I guess the thing that enrages me the most about a magot of a company like Just Energy and the scum of the earth that work for them. Is the fact that this sort BS is even legal Canada & I’m assuming around the world as well. I mean aren’t there fraud squads who bust doucebags all time for coning the elderly out of their hard earned money? Why is this thievery tolerated on the masses? I’ll tell ya why. Because your government doesn’t care. Bottom line. These Lowlifes’ that come to our homes and try to con each and everyone of us. They for sure never go knockin’ on someone like Dalton Mc Guinty’s door. Or anywhere near his neighborhood for that matter. This not my first encounter with Just Energy. I got suckered by the same company about 6 yrs. back. Then, last year a woman came to our door for a 2nd time and well we’ll just say I was screamin’ NOOOOOO!!! as I narrowly snatched our Enbridge bill from my wife’s hands just as she was giving it to the Just Energy witch. Which of course was the same woman which had come the previous night when I was having a BBQ with friends and I told her that I was no longer interested in Just Energy or their so called savings on my bill and then she seriously said to me that she just needed to see my Enbridge bill. “No, no everything is fine.” “I would just like to come into your home and make a phone call to verify your account number that’s all… is that ok”? “and when the person on the other end says”, “Are you so & so”? “and then you just answer, YES ok and that’s it. But… guess what sucker? “You just authorized another 3 yr. contract with Just Energy… good for you i’s the best deal really you are so smart for doing this, and don’t worry”. No luckly for me and my wife I had already learned the hard and much more expensive way previously dealing with these con artists. So to anyone who has taken the time to read my rant about Just Energy do I need to say more? Please everyone try to educate everyone else that you can about this government accepted rip-off and offensive intrusions at our homes. The reason I ended up at this site was because Just Energy isn’t available at 8:10 pm on a Friday night for a wee chat about how when their next employee comes to my home and doesn’t leave when I ask them to. That they should bring a couple of friends with them. Anybody who is reading this. Just remember one thing. Word of mouth… only way to put this kind of BS in our society to bed for good.

94 Scammed Just Energy Costomer

Anyone who defends of signs up with Just Energy is a moron. Steve you must be completely retarded if you think that this company will save you any money. Sure htey provide stability… at 2 or 3 times the rate you would pay with your local utility company. Start typing Just Ener… into a google search… the second thing that comes up is Just Energy SCAM!!! Look at the BBB there are hundreds of complaints against Just Energy, Ontario Energy Savings LP and Just Energy Ontario… same company… it’s a scam and people need to know this!

95 John

I just signed an electricity contract a few months ago with Canada Energy Wholesalers, at a rate of 7.5 cents/Kwh. Obviously, I didn’t read the contract closely enough, because there is a seperate provincial charge on my hydro bill, called the ‘Global Adjustment’, which I can’t get out of paying. Since this rate has been running at about 2-4 cents per Kwh over the last several months, this brings my effective electricity cost to 9.5-11.5 cents/Kwh (I’m better off on TOU rates).

Is getting out of this contract really as simple as disconnecting and conneceting in another person’s name? If so, I could just use my room mate’s name instead?

96 Paul Baker

Our contract with Universal Energy/Just Energy is just about us. They sent us a package. One part of the package uses the “Just Energy” name, the part with the fine print uses the name “Universal Energy…” Buyer Beware!!!

97 Blair Fisher

I also am being scammed. Have been paying double the price of gas for years now and didn’t realize it. I am angry!!!!!! I just told the gas company in bc that I am moving and going to get a friend to put the bill in his name. Had no luck with Just Energy they told me that the person I needed to talk to to cancel the contract would contact me in 7 to 10 business days. I am not going to wait for the call. Just going to do a pretend move. What they are doing is a crime. The next guy who comes to the door I am going to invite in, give him coffee, ho and hum over the contract for hours until he realizes I am just wasting his time, then I will laugh in his face as he leaves and tell him shame on you for scamming people. Just my two cents. If I do the math on how much extra I have paid over the last 3 years it is over 3000 dollars.

98 jay

if you have a contract with a gas supplier,change the name on the bill.

this knocks the supplier off of your service.

and yes,steve is a complete moron,or a just energy employee

99 Ally

I just had Just Energy come to my door and guarantee they could get us a “fixed rate” at 0.249 per cubic metre of energy. Lower than our current rate at 0.399. It is VERY tricky because on our actual Enbridge bill it says “For questions about your gas commodity contract, call Just Energy @ 1800 etc”. We are calling Enbridge directly to confirm these details and see exactly what is going on. The salesman was very pushy in obtaining a signature from my mother in which I stepped in and said “listen she understands what you’re saying but she isn’t singing anything unless she’s comfortable.” In a manner of speaking, beat it.

100 Brian

I just had a Just Energy guy come to my door. At first I wasn’t sure what he wanted since he talked really quickly and mumbled at the same time. He kept asking if I got my Ontario clean energy rebate certificate. He showed me an example of it and I said I had never seen anything like that. That’s when he asked to see my energy bill and I realized what was going on.

When we first moved into our current house we had someone like this come to our door and we almost got scammed had it not been for us leaving to go grocery shopping as the young lady came to our door. When this guy asked for my bill I looked at him and told him no. He asked why and I said “because it’s my bill!” That’s when he went into his pitch about how he’s authorized by so and so…. I cut him off and asked what he wanted and he said to save us money. I said I wasn’t interested and started to close the door. This kid has the never to put his foot in my house to prevent me from closing the door. He’s lucky my daughter was standing right there because otherwise, he would have been leaving my porch with a black eye. DO NOT LET THESE GUYS INTIMIDATE YOU!

Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *

Previous post:

Next post: