Do you reside in a state that allows the deregulation of energy supply? Have you made a switch from your regular utility company to another energy supplier? Our firm is investigating “bait and switch” techniques that can possibly be illegal. You may qualify to join a FREE deregulated energy provider class action lawsuit investigation. Fill out the form on this page or contact a deregulated energy provider class action attorney today!
Luring customers in with low rates, only to raise those rates once the customer has been acquired, is a common tactic known as bait-and-switch. It is particularly effective in hooking low-income and elderly customers who have a fixed budget because they are most often the people who are on the lookout for the best deal. Unfortunately, when a deal seems like it might be too good to be true, the sad fact is that it usually is.
When ComEd announced earlier this year that it would be raising its rates by 21 percent, the number of people looking for a deal jumped dramatically. Unfortunately, many companies took advantage of this jump by promising low rates. However, because many of these companies are unregulated, they can raise their rates later by as much as they want, when they want. They don’t even have to provide their customers with an explanation for the raise in rates.
This is not the first time unregulated energy companies have been accused of allegedly violating the law. For example, Starion, Connecticut Gas & Electricity Co. and Direct Energy LLC were the subject of an investigation conducted by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURA). The companies were being investigated for allegedly illegally switching the energy providers of its customers without their knowledge.
Verde Energy has been overcharging Illinois utility customers in what amounts to a bait-and-switch scheme, according to a new class action. According to plaintiff Tracey Mercado, defendant Verde Energy USA used false promises of lower, market-based rates to lure customers, then charged them an artificially inflated rate that had no connection to the market price for electricity.
By using a business model “primarily based on deception,” Mercado says Verde Energy gets away with charging customers more than they should have to pay. Mercado says she switched to Verde Energy in November 2014. Relying on a Verde Energy representative’s assurances that she would pay less for electricity, Mercado says she chose to leave her local utility company Commonwealth Edison.
After four months at a steady introductory rate, Mercado says she switched to a variable rate that would supposedly “change monthly with market conditions.” Once that change kicked in, Mercado claims, her monthly rate increased whenever the market increased, then remained high even when the wholesale price of electricity fell.
Mercado is proposing a statewide plaintiff Class that would cover all Verde customers in Illinois who within the applicable statutory limitations period were charged a variable rate for electricity. She seeks an award of restitution, compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and attorneys’ fees.
If you believe you were a victim of a deregulated energy provider bait-and-switch scheme, contact the class action attorneys at Shamis & Gentile, P.A. today. You may qualify to join a FREE deregulated energy provider class action lawsuit investigation. Fill out the form on this page or contact a deregulated energy provider class action attorney today!