SCAM: Smart One Energy

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by BamBam » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:21 pm
Info to help avoid a scam ...

Posted on the SPAM 'please block this number' forum :

2091847562 has called me several times in the past couple of days, so I picked up this afternoon. It turned out to be "Smart One Energy". She made it *sound* as if I was due a lowering of gas prices from PG&E (without actually saying that). She *implied* that she was calling from PG&E (without actually saying those exact words). That quickly failed as whenever she would ask me for info, I would say "you should already have that information - why are you asking ME?" It turns out that what they were really trying to do was to switch me to use THEIR company for natural gas, without actually telling me that is what they were doing. She (almost) never lied, she had their script down pat. When I asked if they were going to switch me to another gas provider, she said "PG&E will still be delivering gas to your home, just as before. PG&E will send you the monthly bill, just as before. Nothing will change." I pointed out that didn't answer my question, and she talked all around the issue without saying yes or no.

After wasting as much of her time as I could, I gave them a FAKE customer ID number, and they transferred me to a 'closure specialist' to verify that "she had the correct information". The guy started by saying that the call was being recorded "for quality assurance". I stopped him there, said "so this call is being recorded?" and when he said yes, started in again with the questions. I finally got him to admit that yes, I would be switched to a new gas provider (it only took me about 10 minutes of knocking down all of the pseudo-lies and half-truths he was spewing).

So, beware of anyone calling to get you "the discount you are entitled to". I never give info to anybody who calls and asks for it on the phone, but I had a lot of fun playing with them (I had 30 minutes of free time when they called). I wanted to let you all know about this latest scam, in case you hadn't heard of it before.
by BamBam » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:22 pm
It turns out that Smart One Energy is no stranger to iffy business practices. From the BBB web-site :

BBB files indicate a pattern of complaints concerning customer service, marketing and billing practices of Smart One Energy, LCC. Consumers are telling BBB that the business is calling them saying they could receive a discount and also calming that they are their current energy provider. Many consumers allege that they do not disclose that they are not affiliated with their current provider on their call and are assured that there would not be any changes to their account. Many consumer also say they had to provide the business their account number of their current provider and are eventually signed into contract with the business without their consent. Consumers also report difficulty in cancelling the service from the company. Several consumer have also reported that they keep receiving phone calls from the business despite asking them not to call.

On April 14, 2016, BBB requested Smart One Energy, LLC's voluntary cooperation in eliminating the identified pattern of customer complaints. BBB is awaiting a response.
by MDresident » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:55 pm
They just called me using this Maryland phone number ‭+1 (301) 082-4154‬ and claimed to de from New York and associates to Washington Gas. They claimed they will lower my energy bill by 10% and started asking for personal information. This is a SCAM!
by JMR » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:54 am
They called me also. I thought they were Washington Gas. They never told me who they were, or that they were not Washington Gas. They promised me a 20% reduction in my gas bill. I thought it was some promotion by Washington Gas. They asked for my account number, and I said "why don't you have my account number ? ". They just needed it to verify my account...

I called Washington Gas a few days later thinking I may have been scammed. They said I had to wait until I got a gas bill to see who had called. Two months later, no gas bills, and no revised contract.

I went to my Washington Gas account online and found my gas bill. It was doubled! Instead of $115 a month it was over $200. Smart One Energy was charging me $94.54 for a $115 gas bill!

No contract. No information on the bill where I can call them. If I didn't look on the bill I would not even know who the company is. They have gotten over $200 from me for two months gas!
by ac » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:12 pm
I just received a call on my Sonic voice line originating from Smart One Energy from a 707 number that may have been originated from India (apparently; the call had high latency and both representatives I spoke with had a thick accent). Smart One Energy used phrases that very much implied they were already my current provider and were offering me a 10% discount over my next two months of gas. He asked me to confirm my name and subsequently my address which I declined to do, but they already had both completely correct. He then asked me for my gas account and I declined saying I did not yet have confidence that they represented PG&E.
I was ultimately transfered to a supervisor, a woman with slightly better English skills, and she again insisted that I was not providing any personal information but that they needed my gas account to provide the discount. I countered with an explanation of identity theft and asked for a website for more information where I could apply for the discount myself. She said I would have to "look up PG&E" and immediately hung up without saying even one more word.

Key points:
- An existing relationship was implied using words such as "continuing to provide" and "the same gas we have been serving"
- When asked repeatedly if they represented PG&E the representative eventually admitted they supply gas to PG&E but immediately reinforced their relationship
- Their level of excitement to offer me a 10% discount over the next two months bordered on manic and their frustration when I continued to decline to share personally identifying information only resulted in them continuing to ratchet up the supposed benefits to me
- Any attempt I made to identify who they were resulted in further repeats and reassurances that they were already providing service to me
- Most importantly and alarmingly, neither the representative who called me or the supervisor who came on the line stated in any way that my gas provider would be changed or that my bill could go up

Just to say this one more time, Smart One Energy never once stated they were offering me an opportunity to change my gas provider and were extremely evasive at all points during the call. This company doesn't need BBB complaints, they need a full-on investigation for predatory business practices.
by Queen » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:10 pm
I get these calls everyday. They are very rude and never answer your questions with a straight answer. I block their numbers but everyday they use a different one. It's almost harassment. What can I do to get this to stop?
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