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'[OT] Re[2]: DEBT MANAGEMENT CLUB MESSAGE EXPLAINED'
1998\06\03@122955 by Martin Green

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    Yep, my wife got hit the same way in 1992. I came home and she told me
    we were going to get a rebate on our gas from Consumers Gas and handed
    me the Direct Energy literature. I had just heard reports of this scam
    on the news, so I knew what had just happened.  I immediately called
    Direct Energy (the same day) and blasted them, telling them I was wise
    to their deception, I was ready to call the police and my lawyer I was
    so angry, and I wouldn't use them as my gas supplier if they were the
    only way on earth to get natural gas. The woman on the phone assured
    me they wouldn't process my 'agreement' and Consumers Gas would remain
    my supplier.

    Imagine my surprise about 6 months ago when Consumers sent me that
    infamous letter saying 'Our records show that your gas supplier is..."
    guess who?  That's right - DIRECT ENERGY, ever since 1992. Consumers
    told me the only way to get them to supply my gas again was to notify
    Direct Energy I was canceling.  Despite HOURS waiting on automated
    voice mail, I was totally unable to contact anyone about canceling my
    account, even after leaving a message telling them if they didn't
    contact me in 7 days I would contact my lawyer.

    Imagine my further amusement when I talked to my father who lives in
    St. Catharines (I live in Toronto) a month ago, and he asked me if I
    had ever heard of Direct Energy.  Seems he handed over his gas bill to
    a 'Consumers Gas' employee in 1994, and just found out his gas has
    been coming from Direct Energy ever since. Surprise, surprise...
    although he had managed to talk to a real person at Direct Energy and
    they had promised to send him a copy of his contract, after 2 months
    it had still not arrived. Now he wondered if I could do anything about
    it since Direct Energy are headquartered in Toronto, where I live.

    Anyway, I finally managed to reach someone from Direct Energy a few
    weeks ago and got them to fax and snail mail me copies of both my
    father's and my supply contract. With that in hand, my father called
    to cancel his contract, and was told he must notify them in writing,
    after which HE MUST WAIT 4 MONTHS before the contract will be
    terminated. Having to give 4 months notice of cancellation of a
    contract that was obtained fraudulently really gets my goat.

    BTW - do you think either my father or I ever saw one penny of the
    promised rebates we were supposed to receive at the end of every year?
    You are right, not one red cent!

    As an interesting twist, I recently went back to work at Consumers Gas
    on contract (I am an independent software developer), and I am working
    on developing their GasCon system which tracks... wait for it... Gas
    Marketer contracts, including Direct Energy. Unfortunately, it doesn't
    make it any easier for me to nail Direct Energy.

    Get ready to dance this number one more time. They are now
    deregulating the supply of electricity in Ontario, and the news is
    reporting that electricity marketers are presenting themselves as
    agents of Toronto Hydro and telling people that if they turn over a
    recent electricity bill, they will get a rebate on their electricity
    bills. Sound familiar?

    The moral of this story is, if ANYONE asks you for a copy of a utility
    bill, a credit card bill, or a bank statement... RUN! There is almost
    NO legitimate reason someone would need this. Think about it, why
    would your gas company need you to supply them with a copy of your gas
    bill?


    CIAO - Martin.


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: DEBT MANAGEMENT CLUB MESSAGE EXPLAINED
Author:  pic microcontroller discussion list <spam_OUTPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> at
Internet
Date:    6/3/98 11:21 AM


Martin Green wrote:
>     Very funny!! You know, I deleted the original message so fast I didn't
>     even see the hilarious 'red flag' about sending an 'address
>     verification' such as a phone bill...

It's really hilarious.  We got dinged by this one by a guy who showed up
with a Consumer's Gas uniform and look alike badge who *had* a photocopy of
our bill and asked to sign to "keep getting the same great service that
we're used to from Consumer's Gas".

We found out about it because of a letter Consumer's Gas sent.  Now we're
stuck with Fred's Gas and Litter Box Cleaning Service and there's nothing we
can do about it for five years.

Hopefully, we won't have a problem...


Hey folks, here's a good suggestion to eliminating the SPAM problem on the
PICList - IGNORE IT!

I count 24 replies to the original note asking to "remove", how to sabotage
the spammer and how to protect ourselves.

I would argue that the spam is only 4% of the problem, we're 96% (I'm
including myself in this because I've actually sent two notes on this one
now telling people to just ignore the original note).

myke

"In this life we all get an equal share of ice.  The rich get it in the
summer, the poor get it in the winter." - Bat Masterson's last words

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