State officials warn residents of door-to-door, telephone solicitors
State officials are cautioning Pennsylvanians to be diligent when weighing offers for electricity from door-to-door and telephone solicitors.
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and Public Utility Commission chairman Robert F. Powelson said there has been a rash of overly aggressive and dishonest pitches in several communities.
Kane said some consumers have been pushed “into choosing high-cost electric generation services.”
Locally, one door-to-door salesman's tactics were pushy enough to prompt complaints at a January meeting of East McKeesport council.
Borough officials said on Wednesday that no further incidents have occurred since that meeting.
State officials said consumers can file a complaint with the Attorney General's office or the PUC.
Furthermore, they said, if consumers feel their safety is threatened, they should immediately call their local police — advice also given by East McKeesport officials.
Kane said consumers can educate themselves through resources such as www.PAPowerSwitch.com.
Her Office of Consumer Advocate said utilities do not normally come to a home unless they've been called. Consumers are advised to ask for identification and to call the utility company to verify if they have a salesman in the area.
Also, supplier representatives must display a photo ID showing their name and the name of the supplier for whom they are working.
Duquesne Light, which serves many area customers, provided similar advice in an August news release.
As for telemarketers, the Office of Consumer Advocate said those receiving calls should ask for the name of the supplier, the price and other terms and conditions.
It said consumers should share account information over the phone only if they are ready to make a switch.
Duquesne Light went a step further, advising that complaints against a telemarketer in violation of Pennsylvania's Do Not Call law should be filed with the attorney general's Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555, or online at www.attorneygeneral.gov.
A spokesman for that utility said complaints against a telemarketer in violation of the national Do Not Call Registry can be made online at www.donotcall.gov.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New traffic lights to be installed near McKeesport’s Jerome Bridge
- Student ‘geek squad’ to help train Steel Valley classmates on iPads
- McKeesport prepares for Relay For Life
- Local residents reminisce about Glassport pool
- Mifflin Road project is on schedule, within budget
- Mon Yough school districts, nonprofits getting by for now with no state budget
- More work to begin on Homestead-Duquesne Road
- Homestead Cemetery board files for bankruptcy
- 4-D Theater debuts at Kennywood
- 3 charged in carjack attempt in Duquesne
- Steel Valley extends superintendent’s contract