Our Firm’s Managing Partner, Rob Peirce, was recently featured in an article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette warning area residents to be wary of telemarketers who might try to dupe them into switching electric suppliers. Rob and our legal team at Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. are currently investigating numerous claims from local consumers and are preparing a lawsuit against multiple electric suppliers in the state over claims that they violated consumer protection laws.
As stated by Rob in the Post-Gazette article – which you can read in full here – telemarketers may use a practice known as slamming to call local residents under the appearance that they are their current electric company (even using their electric company as the caller I.D.). They may then ask customers if they would like to lower their monthly electric rate and, upon answering yes, customers are told arrangements will be made before the call is ended.
Unfortunately, customers are not aware that when they answer “yes,” they are switched to a new electric supplier under a long-term contract, nor are they told that the lower rate is only valid for a short period.
Most customers become aware of the scheme when their bills increase substantially after the non-fixed 6- to 12-month introductory rate expires. Although customers may have bills that look the same as their old ones, the company that supplies the kilowatts of power, which consumers have a right to shop for, is what is being switched.
As Rob tells the Post-Gazette, these practices are deceptive because consumers are not aware they are switching electric suppliers, and because they don’t know that the lower rate isn’t fixed. This unfortunately means many consumers are stuck in a contract paying much more than they should have.
Because suppliers are prohibited from engaging in misleading or deceptive practices, or claiming affiliation with the electric company distributing the power, consumers who have been misled into switching suppliers and paying higher rates have the right to take legal action with the help of experienced attorneys.
At Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C., our Pittsburgh attorneys are actively reviewing cases from area residents who believe they’ve been tricked and victimized by slamming. This deceptive sales practice harms hard-working consumers, and should never be tolerated. By helping local residents assert their rights, we not only seek to ensure these telemarketers and companies are held accountable for violations that warrant civil penalties, but also for the refunds, damages, and losses incurred by the consumers harmed by their misconduct.
If you wish to discuss a potential case, we encourage you to collect and keep any documents and bills regarding your electric supplier, and to reach out to our firm for a FREE and confidential consultation. Contact us to get started.