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The Real Deal: Energy Salespeople get Physical

Updated: Thursday, September 12 2013, 12:18 AM EDT
GLOVERSVILLE - Door-to-door energy salespeople are out in full force as
we start heading into the cooler months, they're trying to get you to
switch from National Grid and NYSEG but what one group of saleswomen did
in Gloversville this week, landed them in cuffs.
Nichole and her
daughter Olivia were at home along Forest Street in Gloversville when
there was a knock on the door, the woman didn't say here's my tag, I'm
so-and-so from this place, all she said was I need to see your Nimo
bill, Nichole says.  Nichole refused to show her the bill, worrying
about what account information may be taken from it and sent the
saleswoman on her way but then got a bit nervous for her neighbors, I
was just concerned about people asking for personal information, she
says, so she called the Gloversville Police Department.
The officer
who responded quickly realized these salespeople, who work for Spark
Energy, not only didnt have the required peddlers permit to be going
door-to-door in the city but they were getting downright aggressive with
homeowners who didnt want to hear their sales pitch, we require each
individual that's going to be taking part in their operation to submit
to a background check and in this case, that requirement was not met,
says Donald VanDeusen, the Gloversville Chief of Police.
Anasia
Nesbit of Schenectady and Diamond Mack of Albany were both arrested for
the violation of peddling without a permit, both were directed to stop
any solicitations until the permits were obtained but they didn't leave
the area after police did.  She came back around the corner, she took
her binder and reached out and slapped my mother-in-law with it, says
Nichole who claims the two woman also hurled insults and racial slurs at
her for complaining to the police.  Nesbit was subsequently arrested
for harassment in the second degree.
Here is the Real Deal:
-Any
energy salesperson that shows up at your door, must show you a photo ID
with their name and the name of their company printed on it.
-They must provide you with paperwork that has the company's address on it and outlines the rates they are offering.
-If they get aggressive or intimidating, ask them to leave and if they refuse, call the police.
Even
if a salesperson has the proper permit to be selling in your city or
town, they still have to play by the rules, they have an obligation to
treat the people that they're soliciting to with respect, not to harass
them, not to try and use any tactics to intimidate them or anything like
that while trying to get them to buy into their product, VanDeusen
says.
In a statement late Thursday night, the company said, "Spark
Energy apologizes to the Gloversville community and Nichole and her
family for the conduct of the door-to-door agents representing our
company. Both agents involved in the incident have been terminated and
all sales agents within the NIMO sales area have been pulled from the
field and the program has been suspended indefinitely. The sales agents
are hired and managed by an outside vendor and Spark Energy is currently
reviewing the training and door-to-door policies to ensure any staff
representing the company adhere to the highest level of conduct and
present themselves in a responsible manner at all times."The Real Deal: Energy Salespeople get Physical


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Hello and thank you for stopping by The Real Deal web-page! I'm hoping you'll find some useful information here. I (Jennifer Lewke) will be updating this page daily to bring you the latest news on anything and everything that may impact your wallet. Whether it's a bad business trying to rip you off, a contractor who took your money and ran, the government wasting your tax dollars, or a telemarketer who just won't stop calling, my goal is to uncover it and hopefully prevent it from happening again!

On the right-hand side of this page, you'll see a section labled "Links" --these will all take you to websites for organizations that help protect consumers. Most of the groups have the authority to fine or shut down bad businesses so it's important to file the proper complaints to get some action.

I'm happy to look into any issue you have to get you the Real Deal. You can reach me anytime at (518) 381-4992 or by email at jlewke@wrgb.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

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