Major Energy to pay $1.5M after robbing customers in Brooklyn
You’re sitting at home, there’s an unexpected knock on the door, and it’s an energy salesperson promising you big savings. Except for many Brooklynites, what happened was the opposite — they got ripped off.
An energy service company known as Major Energy, which has also operated as Respond Power — that provides energy to the people of Brooklyn and seven other states — is being forced to pay $1.5 million for stealing from its customers.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Monday that Major Energy will pay the fine following a lawsuit that accused the energy provider of purposefully overcharging customers, which cost them millions of dollars more than they should have for their gas and electric bills.
“Deceiving New Yorkers into spending more money to keep the lights on and the heat running is unacceptable and illegal,” James said. “Major Energy overcharged New Yorkers for essential services through false promises and aggressive sales tactics. My office will not tolerate greedy companies that try to line their pockets by lying to New York consumers.”
According to James, the company has agreed to hand over $1.5 million and it is being required to stop certain deceptive practices while providing restitution to deceived consumers.
Major Energy’s tactic, according to the Attorney General’s Office, was to go door-to-door to lure customers with false promises of savings, and instead hit them with significant and often illegal early termination fees when they tried to opt-out of their contracts. Prosecutors said that Major Energy employees would often not answer their office phone so they could avoid letting consumers out of their contracts.
Many customers rejected the sales people, but were switched over to Major Energy without their consent. According to the AG’s Office, sales people from Major Energy would dress up like utility workers in an effort to trick customers into accidentally switching service providers.
The New York Attorney General’s Office has made it a habit of going after shady energy service companies. Since 2019, James’ office has recovered $5.6 million from various energy providers who operate in the state.
The Attorney General’s Office has asked anyone ripped off by Major Energy to contact its office at 800-771-7755 to see if they are eligible for a refund.
The Attorney General’s Office suggested that people get their energy directly from their supplier, and if they do sign a contract with an ESCO to make sure that they aren’t agreeing to a large termination fee. If people find out that they have had their ESCO switched without their consent, they can contact the New York Public Service Commission at 888-697-7728.
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