As part of our ongoing You Ask, We Answer campaign, we’re answering questions we frequently receive from customers. Here’s one we hear quite a bit:
Someone came to my door saying they could save me money on my electric bill. They wanted to talk to me about my energy use. Were they legitimate? What should I do in that situation?
Many competitive energy suppliers are licensed to operate in our service territory. We’re aware that some of them try to solicit business by going door to door.
Here’s the advice we give our customers on how to deal with door-to-door energy solicitors:
– Be aware that PPL Electric Utilities does not send employees to solicit door to door. If the solicitor claims to represent PPL or come from PPL, it’s a scam.
(We may occasionally send an employee or contractor to your door to talk with you about work taking place on or near your property. They won’t try to sell you anything.)
– If you choose to discuss your energy use with the solicitor, cover the part of the bill with your PPL Electric Utilities account number. For security, account numbers should not be posted in public places or shared with others.
– We recommend that our customers visit the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website at PAPowerSwitch.com before signing any energy contract with a competitive supplier. You may be able to get a better offer than the one being made by the door-to-door solicitor.
Before signing any contract with a competitive energy supplier, be sure you’re familiar with all terms. Is the rate fixed or variable? Is there a cancellation fee? How long does the contract last? All of these factors can affect whether the deal is right for you.
To see prior You Ask, We Answer posts, click here.
I have people coming to my door every summer saying they are sent by PPL to “verify” my energy rate so I can be “locked in” and guarantee my rates won’t rise. We politely tell them no thank you. I figure that if PPL wants to see how much they are charging me they can just look at my account info from their offices. Correct?
Kate: PPL doesn’t send solicitors door to door. In fact, the state requires door-to-door energy solicitors to specifically say they are not affiliated with PPL. (If we are doing work on or near your property, we may send an employee or contractor to knock on your door before the work starts. They won’t try to sell you anything, check your bill or any similar offer, though.)
So what do we do about it? They come here every year, usually several times. I’ve had to become nasty and slam the door as they are so pushy.
This happens at every turn of the season.They show up knocking at our doors in our neighborhood asking to see our bills and carrying around binders which seem to have a PPL paper on it that looks like an official PPL bill. They don’t directly say it but they really try to make it seem like they are from PPL but clearly represent another company. They trigger many red flags. They seem to show up at very strange times. I had one knocking on my door at six o’clock on a Sunday evening. One also came on a holiday weekend which nobody was working. They would come from unmarked white vans they park away from our parking lots. If you open the door to these people it is tough to get rid of them. They fast talk and even if they sense that you are onto their pitch they get pushy. The best bet is to NOT answer the door. They don’t hang around long if you don’t answer but will be tough to get rid of if you do.
In 2018, I think it’s fair to say that ANY company whose business model depends on selling things door to door is extremely likely to be a scam.
I tell them all time that the electric is included with my rent… ?
I just had 2 men come to my door claiming to be from Inspire. They claim to have sent out a notice a couple of weeks ago but I don’t remember seeing anything in the mail. They wanted to see a copy of our electric bill, i.e. a statement. And they said they would stand outside and wait right there for it. He said something to the effect of about caring for the environment and actually tried to guilt me for not caring about the environment because I wouldn’t cooperate with him. He made a mention about helping to lower my payments as well, which is similar to an experience I had a few years ago. That sounds like a scam as well too. Any thoughts?
I am appalled by your customer service. I called to let them know about someone coming to the door who I don’t believe was legitimate. Your customer representative person would not even consider that it wasn’t a provider. I called to do you a favor and she was completely disregarding anything I had to say. The guy had no identification and did not identify himself as being affiliated with anyone other than PPL. I’ am not an idiot and know what he said. She wouldn’t even consider it. Thanks a lot. Get some better representative.
I had Inspire come. to my door and ask to see my bill because I might polluting and he helped my neighbors. He said they sent me something in the mail, I never got. He said he would have to see my bill because I wouldn’t be able to find it. I said no. It was 6:00 P.M.
I had the same thing happen to me today! He said that I was effected (never specified what exactly about my electric was effected). He said that I should have gotten something in the mail and he would need to see the bill. I said that I pay online and he said that I could open my account and I just needed to show him the corner of my bill…. I did not show him.
Ppl needs to do something about these third party providers! Had to rush to my mothers house because these inspire guys were banging on her door and wouldn’t leave.
As you know PPL does not solicit and we cannot control generation suppliers that market customers. We encourage customers to reach out to the PUC (Public Utility Commission) at 1-800-692-7380 and the Office of Attorney General at 717-787-3391 to report deceptive or scam activity. In your Mother’s specific situation, please remember to contact the authorities any time you feel threatened. And always remember to protect your personal information. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!