October 22, 2013 4:47 pm
Updated: October 22, 2013 8:54 pm

Complaints roll in about door-to-door energy marketers

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CALGARY- With colder weather on the way, many homeowners are looking for ways to save energy this winter—but that can cost you if you’re not careful.

There have been a number of complaints about door-to-door energy marketers, who show up at homes offering to cut costs. They sell energy contracts that lock consumers into one price for both gas and electricity, but often don’t properly identify themselves.

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“She said, ‘we’re just doing a pre-authorization to give you a cheaper energy and gas bill,’” says John Christiansen, who thought a woman who showed up at his door worked for Enmax. She asked to see his energy bill to ensure he was getting the right discounts, but when she asked for his name, address and birth date he got suspicious.

It turns out she was actually from Just Energy, and was going door-to-door, which Christensen thought was misleading.

“She had just said, ‘Hi, I’m with your energy service provider, can I see page 3 of your energy bill?’ And I said, ‘Are you with Enmax’ and she said ‘Yeah, I’m with your service provider.’”

Just Energy says they are investigating, and will take appropriate measures if the sales agent didn’t follow the approved script. If energy marketers show up at your home, they’re require to tell you what they are selling and show ID.

“There are rules about misrepresentation in place, and there’s a big onus on the representative themselves,” explains Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhullar. “The representative is the one that has to clearly state this information. If they’re not, if they’re not being clear, if they’re not being transparent in this that’s misrepresentation or potentially fraud.”

Enmax does not sell contracts door-to-door. Anyone who signs an energy contract at their home has 10 days to cancel if they change their mind. You can also cancel 30 days after receiving the first bill, without penalty.

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