Warning - "Just Energy" Scam in Wareham

Sep 1, 2011

Just a short time ago a clean-cut young man rang my doorbell. When I answered, he explained that he was from "Just Energy" and was checking on whether his company logo was printed on my NStar bill. He continued to explain that if he could just take a look at my bill, he wouldn't bother me any further. This raised my suspicions, and I wasn't about to just hand any bill over to a stranger who happens to come to my door. When I questioned him, the explanation was that it had something to do with deregulation. Most of it was given too fast for me to follow. Eventually I told him I would not show him my bill and asked if he had a permit to go door-to-door. He responded that he did, but when I asked to see it, he didn't have it. I closed the door and watched him go to the next house. If he comes to any of your doors I encourage you to do the same. Do not show him your bill.

The first thing I did after he left was to contact the Wareham Police Department. They informed me that this person had "checked in with them this morning" and was permitted to go door-to-door during the daylight hours. The surprising thing is that the police believed that this gentleman (or group) was part of NStar. They are not.

A bit of research on the web has revealed that this is a scam. If you show them your bill, they write down your account number and, without your signature or approval, will switch your service to their own company. And you will not know anything about it until 30 to 60 days afterwards. In addition, their rates are, in fact, higher than NStar (as of April 2010, Just Energy was charging 8.9 cents per kilowatt hour vs. NStar's 7.9 cents). Here are a couple of interesting websites sharing the experiences of other people with this scam . . . http://www.keyframe5.com/why-people-knocking-my-door-asking-to-see-my-enbridge-bills/  and  http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/05/just-energy.html.

Please don't fall for it. In the last hour I have notified NStar of this. They told me to call the Dept. of Public Utilities, who logged my complaint, and told me to call the Attorney General's office, who told me to file a customer complaint online at http://www.mass.gov/agl/ which I will do as soon as I finish this posting. If anyone else has this experience, please add your voice and also file a complaint. No one needs this and there are many residents in this town that would never imagine that such a thing might happen. Of course, it is also unlikely that they are reading this, so please spread the word about this attempted incursion into our lovely little town.


September McCarthy