SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Our Why Guy question this week from Timothy.
"Why are these people knocking on my door claiming they can save me money on utilities (gas). This PG&E problem. They will probably come out in droves."
PG&E has filed for bankruptcy and requested a 6-percent rate hike for next year. Are you now open to considering another provider to possibly save money? And if so, you may get a heavy sales pitch from another company.
We watched a video of a door-to-door salesman approach a homeowner. The salesman asked the homeowner to grab a copy of his PG&E bill so he could "verify that the account is active another year so you won't get the increases."
The salesman was knocking on neighborhood doors in Southern California, asking for the residents name, address and account number and offering a better deal from his natural gas supplier, also known as a core transport agent. What you may get from the new company is ultimately a much higher rate. Bait and switch?
"If anyone claiming to be with PG&E comes to your door, ask to see their company-issued identification," PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said. "Neither PG&E employees nor our contractors market CTA plans."
PG&E does not go door-to-door asking for personal information. They already have it. If someone says they're from PG&E, or working with PG&E, they're not.
The California Public Utilities Commission sent [CPUC] us a list of the almost two dozen approved third party energy suppliers that are certified to enroll customers. However, CPUC does not endorse any of them. Neither does PG&E. And, if any of these companies switch you to their system without your consent, also called slamming, CPUC will fine them $1,000 for each violation.
"Core transport agencies have been defrauding customers for too long, especially the most vulnerable, including the elderly, non-English speakers, and low-income Californians," Martha Aceves, CPUC Commissioner, said.
The bottom line is, if you feel pressured to switch to a different energy supplier or you think it's a scam, call the company they claim to represent first to verify or call customer service at PG&E.
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