Energy Provider Settles Slamming Charges

An energy company agreed to pay $300,000 to settle charges that it illegally switched consumers' electric and natural gas providers without permission in a door-to-door marketing campaign, the New York attorney general's office announced Friday.

Energy customers reported that door-to-door sales representatives for ECONnergy Energy Co. forged consumer signatures onto contracts that switched them to ECONnergy without authorization, a practice known as "slamming," the attorney general's office said.

In addition, the salespeople misrepresented themselves as agents of the local utility company and misrepresented savings that could be obtained by switching to ECONnergy, according to the allegations.

The contracts offered by the sales representatives also failed to give customers who switched to ECONnergy three days to cancel without obligation as required by law, the attorney general's office said.

Consumers sent 300 complaints about ECONnergy's sales practices to the state attorney general over the past three years. ECONnergy, Spring Valley, NY, serves 300,000 customers near New York City, its suburbs and parts of upstate New York.

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