One customer says new, misleading electricity sales pitch is happening statewide

Written on June 25, 2018

The door-to-door sales operation of a company selling electricity to homes and businesses in Maine faces new allegations of trying to defraud customers into contracts.

The allegations in a potential class-action lawsuit claim salespeople for the company posed as employees of the utility Central Maine Power Co., telling customers they were “auditors” sent to correct inappropriately high bills.

The allegations target Electricity Maine, the state’s largest competitive retail supplier, who told regulators it uses a Texas-based company, D2D Masters LLC, to handle its door-to-door sales force in Maine.

Two customers who spoke with me for the story in the Bangor Daily News said the salespeople asked to review their utility bills, something a spokeswoman for CMP said utility employees would never do, for one simple reason: They already have the bill, because they sent it.

But with a well-dressed man at the door presenting themselves as an auditor, that might be hard for customers to realize in the moment.

Since publication, a customer in East Millinocket reported a similar visit from a salesperson in late May, at the home of his 90-year-old mother.

Frank Crosby told me he asked the salesman outright if they were a representative from Emera, which he said the salesman evaded.

“He misrepresented himself by not telling me who he was. And that tells you a lot about the business that they’re in if they don’t want to tell you who they are,” Crosby said.

Crosby said he contacted me to say that the sales tactic is not just happening in Central Maine Power Co. territory, but he couldn’t confirm the company for which the salesman was working.

Crosby said he found the pitch confusing at first. And that’s saying something. Crosby, he said, is an electrical engineer.