Canvassers for US Energy Savings took a stroll down Marshfield Avenue a few weeks ago--probably in mid-January, but in case they are still lurking around our neighborhood or either nearby communities, here's the word: Just say no!
When they rang my doorbell, a lady with a clipboard gave me a sales pitch about how this new company could save me a lot of money on my gas bill. She asked to see my gas bill to determine whether I was eligible. I thought this was fishy but I also thought there might be something to it with all the deregulation going on these days, and she already knew my address, so I let her see the bill.
Of course, she decided I was eligible and asked me to sign up on the spot. "No, I never sign anything without checking it out first," I said, so she gave me a blue flyer with her name and "independent contractor ID number", plus a phone number and email for the company.
Today I got an email from friends in Little Village warning that in fact, consumers are likely to be charged hundreds of dollars more for gas than if they stayed with Peoples. For more on this, check out the Citizens Utility Board
The CUB web site has English and Spanish language flyers you can download and pass around to friends and neighbors. It also lists Do Not Market numbers to keep your account out of the hands of scammers like this. The number for Peoples Gas is
Also, my friends in La Villita warn that some of these canvassers practice "slamming," where they sign you up for the service whether you wanted it or not, by getting your account number from your gas bill. Ouch! Don't let that happen to you!
Apparently, even nuns aren't safe from these unscrupulous salespeople, according to last Tuesday's Tribune.
Now they are in the 12th Ward. Last year, Ald. Cardenas passed out warning flyers across the ward. My Little Village contact has asked him to do it again. I hope more aldermen will follow the example.
In the mean time, if you have any questions or comments for US Energy Savings, or just want to give them a piece of your mind, you can call them at 1.888.674.7847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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