According to a press release from the energy company, there have been reports of third-party salespeople using deceptive or aggressive tactics to convince customers to switch electric generation suppliers. The company is cautioning customers to be careful if contacted, especially if the person identifies as a JCP&L or FirstEnergy employee or affiliate.
Customers are permitted to choose an alternative generation supplier under New Jersey's Energy Choice Program. However, the following tips may help customers avoid sharing information with a third-party who is fraudulently representing him or herself:
- JCP&L employees and contractors do not engage in telemarketing or door-to-door sales for the purpose of encouraging residential customers to switch energy suppliers.
- JCP&L employees do not ask for sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers. In addition, JCP&L employees do not ask customers to provide a copy of their electric bill.
- Virtually all visits to customer homes by company representatives or contractors are prearranged by the customer or through a call to the customer.
- All JCP&L and FirstEnergy employees and contractors must carry company-issued photo identification. If someone claiming to be from JCP&L comes to your door, ask to see the individual’s identification.
- If customers have any doubts about a caller or visitor claiming to represent JCP&L or FirstEnergy, or about the information they are being asked to provide, they can call JCP&L at 1-800-662-3115 for verification. If the caller or visitor is a scammer, customers should contact their local police department to report the fraud..
- While the practice is not used by JCP&L, other electricity suppliers licensed by the state may use agents to conduct door-to-door or telephone marketing or sales activities. Their activities must comply with all federal, state and municipal laws and regulations.
Resources on electric deregulation and the New Jersey Energy Choice program are available on the JCP&L website or on the BPU’s website.
Customers with concerns about third-party suppliers should contact the BPU by calling the complaint hotline at 1-800-624-0241, or by submitting a complaint online at www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/complaints/index.html.