Know Before You Get Switched
“Some electric companies, pretending to be from ComEd or your utility company, are preying on residents by claiming they will offer cheaper rates.
Their sales agents go door-to-door, mail advertisements, and make cold calls promising lower costs without changing your service provider. They may pretend to be sent by your electric company and request to see your current bill.
Some of these agents operate by recording your billing account number and switching you to their electric supplier without your permission.
Keep in mind, under Illinois state law, no sales agent can switch your service to another supplier without your express permission. This is true even if they bill and deliver electricity through your current company.
There are several precautions consumers can take. If solicitors promise a cheaper electric bill, don’t take them at their word or switch on the spot. Ask if their rate is variable or fixed. A variable rate will change to a higher rate after an introductory period. Your bill may be lower for a few months before suddenly spiking.
Compare their price per kilowatt hour after their low-rate period ends to your current billing statement before making any decisions.
If they claim to charge a fixed monthly rate, the law requires them to provide an estimated price using sample monthly usage levels of 500, 1000 and 1,500 kWh.
If you have been deceived by one of these sales agents, it is your right to cancel any time within 10 business days of enrollment. By law, they are forbidden from charging an early termination fee during these 10 days.
Call 1-800-524-0795 to file a complaint with the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Deceptive business practices such as these are illegal under both Illinois state law and Chicago ordinance. Cautious consumers can save hundreds of dollars on their utilities by staying vigilant and reporting misconduct by these companies to the authorities.”
Shared from the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.