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Protect your business from energy scams: Part 2

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At Direct Energy Business, customers are at our core, and we want to ensure their protection from misconduct that can take place in our competitive marketplace. This is the second of a two-part series designed to educate our customers and partners about the unfortunate few bad actors in the deregulated energy marketplace who seek to take advantage of uninformed consumers. Click here for Part I.

When a customer signs up for energy supply service without his or her knowledge or consent, this is known as slamming. Slamming is illegal and dishonest, but it is preventable. By following these steps, you can avoid being a victim of slamming:

  • Review your utility bill each month — If on the supply or commodity portion of your bill a new supplier appears that you do not recognize, contact your supplier or utility to get an explanation of the change.
  • Determine authorized users for your account — Make sure that everyone who handles the energy bills at your business knows who is authorized to make changes to your service, and that they communicate with one another when those changes are made.
  • Know your current supplier’s contract If you receive an early termination fee from your supplier without your knowledge of switching service, this may be an indication that you have been slammed and you should contact your supplier immediately to discuss the switch.
  • Review all supplier and utility mailers — When you are enrolled with a new supplier, you should receive a welcome letter or a change verification notice. If you receive any of this information but did not switch, contact your supplier or utility.
  • Never sign anything without reading it in its entirety.

Although you can avoid slamming, you have options if it happens to you. Should you ever find yourself in this situation, contact your original supplier and notify them of what has happened right away. Depending on the utility you are with, the supplier may be able to re-enroll your service on your business’ behalf, or you may have to reach out to the utility directly to rectify the situation.

Remember, the best way to protect yourself is to be attentive when dealing with energy marketers, know your rights as a consumer, and act quickly to address any concerns you may have.

Posted: May 29, 2014