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Like turkeys, annoying energy salespeople are everywhere

Number of complaints about energy companies are on the rise

MuckRock gets the list of complaints to the state Department of Public Utilities about those people who knock on your door and demand to see your electricity bill and who often keep talking, sometimes through one of your windows, even after you close the door on them.

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Comments

If the Gaffin posts, 'Look! Something happened in Brookline!" Then the turkeys will be there before you are. If he posts something happened in Boston, then the turkeys will be there before you are. Rather, the Greater Brookline is within you and it surrounds you. The turkeys Most High do not dwell in temples of wood and stone made with human hands, but atop living monuments to God. Split a bagel and we are there and post a comment and you shall find us.

Behold, we will come quickly, and our reward is with us, to give to each person according to what they have posted. We are the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who read Universal Hub, so that they may have the right to the endless commentary and may enter Greater Brookline by its gates.

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Turkeys most high, indeed.

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Are we going to find him in the middle of the road while the turkeys circle him? stay safe Adam!!

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"We can lower YOUR electric bill!" I assume those are scams. (and yes, my phone (1) is a cell phone and (2) is on the do not call list, so telemarketing to it is doubleplus illegal.)

I live in a town that has a municipally owned electric utility. I couldn't switch even if I wanted to. I wish these guys would go away.

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There's an app for that. I was getting almost daily calls trying to sell me solar. When I got them to stop talking long enough to tell them I already own a PV system, they just hung up. It was annoying. I installed Blacklist Plus on my cell, and after a couple more calls, they stopped.

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but the slimeballs change their spoofed caller ID too fast for the crowd-sourced apps to keep up. :(

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Recently they spoofed my wife's cell phone number to call others with the same prefix. How do we know? She received multiple calls in a very short period from numbers with the same prefix (she didn't answer) and one left an angry voicemail. Apparently, her perky outgoing message in which she gives her name was not enough to tip the guy off that he wasn't leaving a message for the actual scammers (presumably the other calls did figure it out when hearing the message).

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I had that happen to me, someone knocks on your door and they claim to be from the power company and they talk a mile a minute, I politely told them to get the fuck out.

One of my co-workers fell for this scam and had to pay $450 at the end.

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You'd be surprised at how easily any person can fall for a scam.

You might even think you would never fall for a scam, but even the smartest of people have been deceived (Enron, Madoff, etc)

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I got a letter saying everyone in Cambridge was being switched to an alternate energy provider the city chose, unless I opt out.

It sure sounded like a scam. But the city website mentions this program, so I guess it's not. It would have been nice if the city publicized this in the annual newsletter, or the big signs they put in front of city buildings.

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Arlington also.

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They say they're from an actual vendor that is available - gives them the air of legitimacy. Basically, since deregulation, you have the option to purchase your electricity from the approved (by the State utility regulators) vendors list. You still pay NGrid or NStar the transportation and delivery part of the charges but you pay the supplier for the energy you use. You can choose who the supplier is, which is what they're preying on. They don't work for Eversource (formerly Nstar) or the providers. Tell them you're calling the cops and they're trespassing and keep saying it until they leave (while actually calling). No reputable business model needs their salesforce to harass people at this level. You can switch yourself at any time, either by phone or online. Don't do it from calls you receive, emails you receive, or assholes banging on your door and it should be legit.

The Eversource (nee Boston Edison) site has links to the current approved providers (select Choose a Supplier - pretty helpful page) and there's a link to take you there. Also a calculator so you can compare offers. For what it's worth, I do this for a living and have never switched - on basic service rate with with Eversource. My average usage would save me less than $2 a month with the lowest provider - their price is only guaranteed for 3 months and could go higher. Many have cancellation fees. Businesses might benefit more (with savvy market analysis) but the average residential customer won't save much, if anything. You are not required to switch at all if you don't choose to. You're better off budget pricing, where you pay the same amount per month so your summer higher usage is paid out over the year and you aren't hit with super high bills for those months.

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In MA, residential customers have had the ability to switch energy providers for about 20 years now (doesn't apply to muni light and power customers). But the market didn't do much for the most part.

Only recently has it picked up in MA. It is possible to get lower rates, but the problem is the fine print -- the 3rd party energy companies often escalate the rates, or have expensive buy-outs to leave their service, etc.

One approach I like: Community Choice Aggregation. Your city or town selects a provider and fan filter out the dirtbags. It also requires approval from both the DPU and the AG, so the plans get vetted pretty carefully.

Best way to save money: use less electricity. LED bulbs, programmable thermostats for AC, make sure your electric dryer has a clean vent (also to prevent fires!), etc. etc. Using less electricity is the best way to save money!

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Tell the people that the landlord pays the bill and doesn't live in the building or state. They won't come back as there's zero chance that they'll run into the person who pays the bill. Other companies might, but each one will flag your address as a lost cause and won't stop by again.

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People are advised to call the police when these guys come around. My husband was working in the garage and they came up and wouldn't go away. Then, finished with him, they went up to the front door "to see if there was somebody else to talk to". He called the cops but our neighbor saw all this and had already called on them.

Our city has a lot of older people who don't understand that they aren't official and can be told to eff off, and there were also breakins related to earlier crews working the hard sell,

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They came to my place in Allston two summers ago, and in our particular building the landlord does indeed cover all electricity. We told them this, and that the entire complex from (x) to (y) had their electricity paid directly by the landlord. They ignored us, and rang my next-door neighbor's bell anyway.

I started shouting at them, and when my neighbor realized who they were and what they wanted she was significanly less polite than I was in telling them to go away. They just continued on over to the next doorbell in line, despite two of us telling them to go away.

I then said if they did not get off the property...NOW...I would call the police, and started tapping out 911 on my cell phone. That's when they finally left, but they kept looking back to see if/when I or my neighbor went back inside. I have every reason to believe they would come back as soon as our backs were turned.

I wish now I had called the police, and made a report at least.

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Yeah, they came knocking on doors in JP. They buzzed all the buzzers in our building until somebody let them in without asking who it was first. Once they were in, they then were pounding on everyone's door like the DEA with a battering ram. I hope someone greets them at the door with their Little Friend one of these days.

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