I had a fair share of pushy door to door salesmen trying their best to scam me into signing up for a contract but Summit Energy has done a great job at actually making their scam look like a legitimate offer. This article discusses how I almost fell for a Summit Energy LED light bulb scam.
Two days ago, a Summit Energy sales rep came to my door (I am in Ontario) asking if I received my free LED light bulbs to get a bill credit from Enbridge. He told me to bring my bill so he can show me where the offer is located. I was a bit baffled as the offer seemed good and if it appears in my bill then it must be legitimate.
Then, I remembered how these door to door salesmen are, deceptive and cunning. For couple of free light bulbs, I did not want to fall into a trap, even if the offer is legitimate. He continued to persist on bringing my bill so that he can show me how I can get a bill credit. I asked if he worked for Enbridge. He said Enbridge is in contract with them.
Luckily, I don’t have any paper bills as I get my bills online. He said to pull up my bill on a tablet/phone as it will help save trees and he refused to go away. Just then, he receives a phone call and says, “My colleague is new and he needs help down the road. I will be right back.” He disappears and doesn’t return.
While he is away, I look up my bill online to see if there is a mention of any free LED light bulbs for a bill credit. There is a mention of a cap and trade program but that’s about it. Then I do a search for Summit Energy and the web is filled with complaints about how they scammed people into a contract.
Summit Energy is a provider of gas and electricity in Ontario. The sales rep needs to see the bill in order to write up a contract to switch the customer from Enbridge to Summit. Vulnerable people like seniors and new home owners are likely to fall for their trap.
Ontario recently banned door to door sales practice for various sectors such as furnaces, water heaters, water treatment, etc. However, it is unclear if Summit Energy’s tactics fall into the category. If found guilty, Summit could face a fine of $250,000 and the individual could face up to $50,000 and 2 years in prison.
I never heard of Summit Energy, though the company exists. But, this type of deceptive sales tactics ruin a company’s reputation and sets a bad impression. The reviews of Summit Energy on BBB is horrible with many people complaining about their sales tactics. Unfortunately, some people fell into contracts with them just to face heavy cancellation fees.
How to Protect Yourself from Summit Energy Scams
First of all, do not sign anything when a door to door salesman comes to you. If you are offered a great product at an amazing rate, it is too good to be true and it is. Summit Energy sales reps are intimidating, do not be afraid to say “No” and shut the door.
Never share any bills with them as it contains your personal information, including your name, address, account number with the company.
Remember, sales persons usually come from a third party provider of energy as local hydro companies don’t send door to door salespeople. They always have an agenda to put you on a higher rate than what you are already paying.
The salesman in my case refused to leave when I told him that I am not interested. They need to leave when you say that they should leave. If they don’t, you have the right to call a police on them.
Have you fallen a victim? File a complaint with the Ministry. There is no charge to file a complaint.