Energy scam targets students

Students say company representatives implied contract was for a mandatory service

Residents in the University District were targeted late Tuesday night by solicitors from Summit Energy, a company reportedly marketing gas and energy.

Sam Danko, Sci ’18, was at her home on Frontenac and Princess St. when a representative of Summit Energy approached her asking to see a copy of her hydro bill. 

He was wearing what Danko described as an “ill fitting blue polo and black shorts”.

“He explained that our hydro price was going to be frozen at 8.7 cents per kWh instead of the standard tiered pricing for … on and off mid peak hours”, Danko said via Facebook. 

Danko isn’t the only person to be targeted in recent months. Summit Energy — based out of KY, Louisville — has visited homes across Ontario in the hopes of finding new homeowners and residents. 

The company claims to be offering a “price protection agreement” to customers, according to students who were contacted by its representatives.

An independent representative claiming an affiliation with the government typically gives residents a contract to sign and a number to call with a business card. The representative doesn’t explain that it’s an optional service, and instead implies that it’s mandatory.

After doing a little research on the company, Danko took heed of the warnings online about the company and decided to cancel the service.

“When we cancelled it, they were extremely pushy on the phone, but we did get it cancelled,” Danko said.

The Consumer Protection Act of Ontario states that people who’ve been targeted as a part of this scheme have 10 days to cancel their agreement. 

Danko wasn’t the only one in Kingston to encounter Summit Energy.

Jennifer Whitaker and Melanie Nelson, both ArtSci ’17, also encountered a representative while enjoying evening drinks outside their home on University and William St.

The pair described the representative as suspiciously “overly friendly”, as he asked to sit down with them on their front lawn. They agreed. They had seen representatives canvasing the area, and the representative had just left their neighbour’s house.

The representative — who introduced himself as the manager — handed them a contract to sign and a business card with the number of their head office in Mississauga.

“He kept making inappropriate jokes and getting drunk with us, and he only left because we signed the contract,” Nelson said.

“He made it seem like everyone needs an energy supplier, and he was surprised that we didn’t already have one,” Whitaker added.

Like Danko, when the two researched the company in the morning they were shocked to realize what they’d signed up for. Whitaker attempted to call the company to cancel, but couldn’t to get a hold of anyone.

Whitaker said she’s not too worried now that she’s done some research on the company, and says as long as she doesn’t answer their call in 10 days, her account won’t be activated. 

However, she still feels the company took advantage of their leisurely state of mind.

“I just wish that they didn’t make us feel like it was something we had to do when we knew so little about it.”


Summit Energy Scam, University District

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