Beware of Energy Marketing Scams
An unintended byproduct of the tremendous technological advancements in digital communications is the explosion of telemarketing call centers marketing everything from solar systems to income tax collection. It doesn’t matter if you placed your phone number in the, “Do Not Call Registry” , as today’s technology
allows these annoying calls to be made untraceable. Have you ever tried to call the number back to lodge a complaint only to find a, ‘this number is not in service”, message. Tele marketers have now taken this even further by calling from what appears to be a local number. Although the use of these annoying and sometimes dishonest tactics is wide spread across many products and services, it is most common in energy related products and services for a very simple reason, everyone uses energy so the odds of finding a potential client or should I say victim from a blind call list are great.
How can you avoid getting misled into one of these scams?
You can simply not answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number; however you would risk missing a potential important call. A method that works for me is simple: I answer the call but pause for a few seconds before saying Hello. If it’s a robo call center, it will hang up.
What to do when you do answer a call:
- Remember, the caller is most likely working off of a carefully crafted script that has been tested and refined to optimize its effectiveness. The caller is also heavily incentivized to close business and in many cases will bend the rules to make a sale.
- The caller may falsely state that he or she is a representative of your local utility company offering a guaranteed savings of sometimes up to 50%. (Remember, they are following a well-rehearsed script and will sound very convincing). No matter how appealing this may seem, do not commit over the phone. Ask for them to mail you additional information and you will call back if you are interested.
- If you are convinced this is a great deal, ask the caller if you are on a recorded line and to provide you with the call reference number. Or better yet, ask that they email you the documents to view prior to committing to anything over the phone. If they actually comply, confirm the email address is from the company they claim to represent.
- DO NOT EVER, commit to a third party verification system that asks simple YES or NO questions. I assure you that if contested, your yes answers will be the only saved record of the call, and the actual deceptive sales conversation would have been lost.
The best way to avoid getting scammed is to follow the golden rule, “ONLY DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST”! If you are looking to reduce your energy costs, research local consultants, check the BBB, ask friends and colleagues for referrals, or simply call NJGEC. We strive to provide the most honest and transparent services in the industry. Call 973-287-7797 today to schedule your complimentary energy analysis. At the least this no obligation analysis will provide valuable information on your energy usage profile that will help you make more informed energy related decisions.