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New Hampshire Town Resists Door-to-Door Sales

August 24, 2016 By Cheryl Kaften

When a Clearview Energy representative showed up on his home’s doorstep, one resident of Laconia, New Hampshire – a town with a population of 16,000 situated near Lake Winnipesaukee – promptly filed a complaint with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster (D), the local Laconia Daily Sun reported on August 19.

Clearview Energy, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, provides electricity to some 100,000 commercial and residential customers in a dozen states, including New Hampshire.  The company is one of 22 “competitive energy suppliers” registered with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. It began operating in the Granite State in May of this year.

Asking not to be identified, the news outlet said, the resident who filed the complaint stated that the young man who came to his door engaged him in what he called “double talk” and “patter,” laced with “buzzwords like clean energy and deregulation.

“It’s not hard to know when you’re being hustled,” remarked the potential customer. He said that the salesman encouraged him to switch his electric service from Eversource Energy to Clearview and at one point spoke on his cell phone to someone he suspected was “the closer;” then, asked him to call a number in northeastern Oklahoma, which he discovered was not in service.

Amanda Noonan, director of Consumer Services and External Affairs at the New Hampshire  Public Utilities Commission (PUC), told the Daily Sun that 28 calls have come in about Clearview – but noted that “not all are complaints, which are in the minority.” However, she said that the PUC has begun the process of reviewing its regulations and is “considering banning door-to-door soliciting.”

“Noonan reminded consumers that there is a “comparison shopping webpage for competitive electric supply,” launched last October, at which ratepayers can compare the products and prices offered by competitive retail electric power suppliers. “Consumers should do their homework before making any decisions,” Noonan stressed.

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