Energy Marketers again and again at Junction doors

This personal report sent in by reader SP about energy marketers visting homes in the Junction is very insightful.

Hi,

I thought this might interest the blog.  These high pressure sales guys
are currently working in the Junction:

Tonight I had 2 visits to my door from a company called Summitt Energy.
The first one came around 5:30pm.  Luckily for me my friend answered the
door and dismissed the sales agent who was trying to get me to sign up for
a “Green Energy Program”.

2 hours later another knock and another agent.  He tells me that he
“works” with Toronto Hydro and is going door to door to make sure that our
new smart meter (the digital hydro meter) is giving us the best rate.  He
starts to flash Toronto Hydro bills, some graphs and even an ID badge.  He
tells me that Toronto Hydro sent out notices that companies like his were
going to visit and that we should trust them, “What, you don’t trust me?”.
He repeatedly tells me to go get my Hydro bill so that he can make sure
I’m getting the best locked in rate.

His so-called deal works like this.  Toronto Hydro sells power at
different rates throughout the day. For example (and this is not
accurate)from 12AM-8AM it’s 4.1, from 8AM-3PM is 7.2 and from 3PM-12AM is
9.1.  Summitt Energy sells you a flat rate of 7.4 all day.  They also
promise not to raise their rate if you lock in today for FIVE YEARS (if
you don’t they threaten to raise their offer next time they visit your
area). So that sounds good if you use most of your energy during peak
hours.  What happens when Toronto Hydro lowers their rate (which they do)?
Does Summitt lower theirs?  They say “Should Summitt Energy’s five year
fixed price fall, Summitt will at your request, blend in the new price
with your existing price and term, creating a new price for the revised
term of your agreement.” In essence, you the customer must notice that
Toronto Hydro lowered their rate and then you have to contact Summitt.
Summitt will then average your new rate based on the old one and the new
Toronto Hydro one and you’ll have to sign up for more years.  Not only
that but they charge hidden administration fees that they can legally
change at any time.

It’s not a scam but it’s pretty darn close.  They sell hard and say things
like “its easier to just get this done now” and “next time the offer will
be much more.  Toronto Hydro will raise rates in the following weeks”.  If
you are weak in the least they will have you signing documents before you
even know what’s going on.  Doing a google search on “Summitt Energy” will
show you pages and pages of people stuck with $500-$800 monthly hydro
bills and people warning others to stay away.  As for the first Summitt
visit I’m guessing that their Green Energy Program is also designed to
trap you into endless bills.  Tell your friends and family because they
will take advantage of you very easily.

Check this CBC video story out about companies like these and how they
operate using pressure tactics:
http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2009/power_of_persuasion/main.html

4 Comments

Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. PJ says:

    They hit Mulock Avenue around 5:30pm last night as well.

    I was aware of the “scam” already, but let him get half-way through his spiel before cutting him off with, “So what are you trying to sell me?”. He then said that he needed to see my hydro bill. I said, “Excuse me? I have no idea who you are, and I’m certainly not showing you my hydro bill.” He said, “It’s OK, look at this…” and showed me some kind of certificate. I responded with, “Puh-lease! I could print one of those off myself!” before closing the door on him.

    Sadly, my new doormat, which says “GO AWAY” in big letters, failed to be effective against these crooks.

    P

  2. Toronto Hydro is introducing time of use rates now and we are setting up password protected web access so that customers can see how these rates will affect them. Simple conservation measures should do the trick, but we suggest that you see how the rates affect your bill before you make any decisions to lock into a contract with a retailer. You will be notified by letter when your account is being switched and your personal web access will be available to you. To see a real one now, visit http://www.torontohydro.com/tou and login as THTOUWEB and use password tohydro and note that we’ve provided a calculator whereby if you enter the retailer’s rate, you can see the impact of that, too.
    Blair Peberdy, Vice President, Toronto Hydro Corporation

  3. chris says:

    this is no different then the Enbridge fixed rate plan… everyone freaked out last spring when the natural gas rates shot upto 38cents, locked in, and within 6 months the rates came back down to 25 – 28cents – and those who locked in are at the fixed rate for the 5year term. until the utilities truly deregulate the fees, it doesn’t make sense to lock in.

  4. Daniela says:

    Grrrrrr…
    I can’t stand those guys! One of them was at my door the other night, my dog was barking, my daughter screaming, and it was obvious I didn’t have time for BS. So I told him and he tried to make me feel guilty because I didn’t care about the environment. Ha!
    I slummed the door in his face.

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