Company teams up with law enforcement and other utilities to raise awareness
MANCHESTER, N.H. (November 10, 2016) – Eversource business and residential customers continue to pick up their phones and open their doors to find individuals on the other side claiming to be "representatives" or "partners" of Eversource. Whether these scammers are using aggressive marketing tactics to sell "discounted power" or threatening to turn off electricity unless an immediate payment is made, the company is warning customers to be cautious. These individuals are not affiliated with Eversource in any capacity and are most likely either scammers or third-party suppliers choosing to use deceptive marketing tactics.
Eversource customer Paul Day reports seeing individuals targeting utility customers in his Rochester neighborhood. "A couple of solicitors who looked very young came to my door and told me they were working with Eversource to decrease my electric bill," Day said. "They asked to see my bill and seemed upset when I refused because my personal information is on it. When I called Eversource, the customer service representative I spoke with told me they could have used the account information on my bill to change my service to another supplier. I'm glad I didn't show them my bill."
Eversource rarely makes unsolicited phone calls and would never solicit door-to-door on behalf of a competitive supplier. All Eversource employees carry company-issued identification, and any electrical contractors working with the company carry documentation explaining the nature and location of their work. Customers can always call Eversource to verify this information. The company has joined with utilities across the country to spread the word out about scams impacting customers nationwide.
"We're hearing from thousands of our customers who continue to be negatively impacted by these dishonest solicitations," said Penni Conner, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Eversource. "We urge any customer who feels they have been targeted by deceptive marketers or are the victim of a scam to contact us immediately. Every concern is logged and passed along to state regulators."
"The Public Utilities Commission has received a number of calls from customers as a result of the door-to-door marketing efforts of some competitive energy suppliers," said Amanda Noonan, Director of Consumer Services and External Affairs. "We encourage all customers to do their homework before making any decision to change their energy supplier and to contact the Commission to learn more about choosing a competitive energy supplier, as well as to verify that an energy supplier is authorized to conduct business in New Hampshire." A comparison shopping guide is available on the Public Utility Commission's website, where customers may learn more about a supplier and confirm the energy supply price a utility has offered.
Manchester Police Spokesman Lt. Brian N. O'Keefe reported the Queen City experienced a high call volume involving unsolicited door-to-door propositions during the past several months. "We take these reports very seriously and always advise people to use extreme caution when working with unknown individuals, particularly if they show up at your door unannounced," O'Keefe said. "Furthermore, we strongly advise our citizens to refrain from providing personal information to people they are not familiar with-especially if it is an unsolicited party knocking on your door. More likely than not, your personal information will be used against you. Please contact your local police department to report these suspicious activities."
Though electricity customers in New Hampshire do have the option of choosing a competitive energy supplier, and most competitive suppliers do follow the rules, customers should do their due diligence and check the validity of any company or offer being made. Customers considering a switch to a competitive supplier are urged to evaluate factors such as the length and terms of a contract with a supplier, cancellation fees or other related information before providing any financial or account information.
- Never provide a copy of your utility bill or account information to any unsolicited person on the phone, at the door, or online, particularly if you question their legitimacy.
- Customers can verify they are speaking with an Eversource representative by asking for some basic information about their account like the name on the account, the account address, and the exact balance due.
- If you don't feel comfortable, close the door or hang up the phone.
Eversource urges anyone who believes they are a target of improper solicitation to please contact the company directly at 1-800-662-7764. The company tracks these types of customer concerns and reports them to state regulators.
Eversource.com provides more information on how to protect personal information and avoid becoming a victim of utility scams. Concerned customers can also report scams and fraudulent activity by calling the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission at (603) 271-2431.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire's largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH).