The salespersons tell customers that their current electricity supplier is going out of business and imply their power will be shut off if they do not switch. “These are calls that have moved across a very clear line and include threats to terminate customers,” the PUC said.
Under PUC regulations, customers can’t get shut off if their supplier goes under — their local utility will resume supplying their service. Only a utility can initiate a shut-off, and only after proper customer notification and allowing the customer to appeal.
“You’re not going to get your electricity cut off even if your supplier runs into some kind of business trouble,” said Hagen-Frederiksen.
The PUC encourages customers encountering an aggressive sales agent, or potential scams, to contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380, as well as to alert their local utility.
To avoid the possibility of unauthorized change in suppliers, consumers should not share their account numbers unless they intend to initiate a change in service.