Energy Deregulation Leading to Consumer Confusion and Fraud
The way Americans receive and pay for their energy needs has been rapidly changing across the country. Energy deregulation can be beneficial in that it allows greater competition which often means lower prices for the end consumer because these energy reseller companies strive to earn new business. The result of energy deregulation have not all been positive.
A surge of complaints from frustrated consumers have alleged that energy reseller companies are taking advantage of consumers amid the confusion of what energy deregulation even means. Often times, an energy company will solicit door-to-door and claim to be affiliated with or acting on behalf of a city's public utility. They will promise lower rates than the customer is currently paying, and then, without notice, raise the prices up to levels much higher than the price charged by the pubic utility. This classic bait and switch scheme is illegal, often violating the consumer fraud laws of many states.
At least one energy reseller company has had to answer to a state Attorney General's office for its conduct, agreeing to pay $4 million to settle claims of false advertising.
In Washington, DC, consumers should be on high alert for door-to-door salesman from Direct Energy who have tried to get consumers to switch to their service.
If you've been a victim of a bait and switch scheme or false advertising by an energy reseller, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact attorneys Ben Branda or Nick Migliaccio to learn more. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org