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Became a Summitt Energy scam victim :(

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Newbie
Feb 2, 2010
1 posts
I was a victim to this company I moved from my house to an apartment and they wanted a 537 dollar cancellation fee. so I called up the collections company told them my story called summitt and then they said if I proved I didnt pay gas at my new place they would waive the charge. So I faxed them my lease stating I didnt pay gas and a year later I get a call from the collections company again for summitt. I then call summitt and they dont reply. 6 months later another collections call on behalf of summitt. at this point I was sick of the run around. I contacted the bbb (better business bureau) and within 2 weeks summitt replied saying they will cancel the collections and the contract. If you have problems or they have signed you up by coming to your door and signing a sheet saying they just came there and you wont be signed up but they sign you up anyway conact the BBB IMMEDIATELY open a complaint. THEY ARE A HUGE SCAM OF A COMPANY.



CONTACT THE BBB (BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU) www.bbb.org
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 3, 2005
28532 posts
1247 upvotes
PunkeyDoodles Corner…
fastlayne wrote: I wonder what is Summit Energy's current contract price? 39 cents?

My most recent Enbridge bill notes gas prices for the next 6 months, until March 31, 2010 will be

12.9540 cents/m3!!! :D

That is a rate that takes us back to 1999 pricing.
Assuming you're in Ontario.

Can you tell me please what where the rates of gas for the past five years.

You wrote somewhere 12.9 for ten years, but I know that's incorrect because I called Enbridge and the rep gave me the 'highs and lo's' for Enbridge and they were definately in the 34/44'ish (if memory serves me correctly) range for the highest of each of the five years. Are you saying the rate has never changed in ten years??? That can't be correct.

I'm trying to get the complete historic rates for the past five years at least.

If you would be so kind, please review your bills and help your fellow RFDers?
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Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3465 posts
520 upvotes
Valleywood
PM to you.

Regarding your reference to 10 years, I guess you took that from my last statement about 1999. What I was saying that gas prices have not been this low since 1999 and not that I had a contract for a 12.9 price for the period from '99 to '09.

My point was that the typical sales pitch claims that gas prices are rising and that is clearly not the case.
Newbie
Feb 8, 2010
23 posts
Durham Region
mrwally wrote: geesh...I wish people would quit calling it a "scam". It is not illegal and if you are going to sign contracts at the door (under pressure or not) then you deserve the headaches that come with it.
They deserve what they get huh. Wow, that`s harsh.

Not a scam? Just because they are licenced in Ontario, doesn`t make their sales practices right. Retailers such as this one NEVER tell the customer that they will also have to pay the provincial Benefit on their bills once they are signed with them (which currently is about 3.8 cents per kwh over and above their contract price). They also NEVER tell the customer the truth regarding Smartmetering and TOU (I doubt they even know the correct info). They just try to instill fear of the unknown into them. They ALWAYS tell the person at the door that they are there on "behalf" of their utility which is 100% FALSE...I can go on and on and on.

I can say all this as I know 1st hand. I work for Hydro One in Customer Care, and I hear the horror stories, the tears, the crying, the frustration, etc from these poor people who got swindled into thinking signing with a retailer (for Electric anyway) would help them save $$$$$!
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2005
2144 posts
42 upvotes
Mississauga
Heynow999 wrote: What they do is they lock in thier prices by buying the commodity in the futures market. They know exactly what thier cost will be 1,2,3,4 or 5 years down the road. That is the only way they could do it. Not doing this is just gambling.
Of course they're hedging and buying futures contracts. But I don't know if you can buy oil futures 5 years out? Can you?
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2005
2144 posts
42 upvotes
Mississauga
Here's a Feb 6/10 Toronto Star article regarding Summit Energy: http://www.thestar.com/business/article ... old-tricks

***** ****** came to Canada from France a few months ago. He rents an apartment in downtown Toronto while working at a temporary job.

Last October, a Summitt Energy representative came to his door and said he was working with Toronto Hydro.

"He told me the whole building was signing contracts today, something we had to do to make sure we would have the right price for electricity. He made it sound like it was a standard procedure," ***** says.

During that visit, he agreed to sign two contracts. One was a five-year plan for electricity and one was a five-year "evergreen program" to reduce greenhouse gases, which would cost him $12.99 a month.

Though he tried to cancel last month, he waited too long. Now he has to pay $997.10 in penalties to get out of his electricity contract and $791.09 for his evergreen contract – even before he has received any bills from Summitt Energy.

He doesn't speak English well, nor does he know that energy deals are sold door to door by people who will say anything to get a signature.

This case bothered me for a number of reasons:

I get more complaints about Summitt than about other energy sellers. This year alone, I've received 22 new complaints, or one almost every weekday.

Many Summitt prospects think they're dealing with their local utility. They don't realize they're being asked to get their gas and electricity supply at a higher rate.

When dealing with complaints about misrepresentation, Summitt says customers have to read their contracts and cancel right away. If they wait too long, they're out of luck.

In other Summitt cases I've handled, I've had some success.

Jasper Chou: New to Ontario, he was visited by a Summitt agent within a week of moving into his new home. He didn't get a contract, just a brochure, and didn't know he was locked in until the first bills arrived. Summitt agreed to write off penalties of $2,123 to cancel his gas and electricity contracts.

Sam Agu: He found out Summitt was his supplier after complaining to his utility about high gas bills. When he checked the contract, he insisted that the signature wasn't his. Summitt failed to respond to his lawyer and sent a collection agency after him for $1,250. It later cancelled without penalty.

Nariman Askari: He rented an apartment with friends, but paid for all the utility bills. His roommate signed for electricity and the evergreen program, but didn't tell him until the high bills tipped him off. Summitt agreed to cancel both contracts without a penalty.

January Lumagbas: The first-time homeowner had a visit from Summitt after moving in. She agreed to a water heater rental, but cancelled without penalty since she already owned one. Only with the Star's help did she avoid paying a $1,106 fee to cancel the gas.

Gaetana Girardi, compliance director, usually agrees to help when there's evidence of wrongdoing. But she dug in her heels with ******, pointing out that he said yes when the company called to reaffirm both deals.

I listened to the reaffirmation calls and felt they skimped on information. Nothing was said about the fact that, if he said yes, he would be stuck paying almost $2,000 to get out.

Twice I tried to get him released without charge and twice I failed. But Friday, Girardi agreed to release him if he can provide proof of being new to Canada. This is better than her earlier demand for proof of income, which he refused to provide.

Ontario Energy Board fined Summitt last year, but its conduct hasn't changed. Ontario needs to protect newcomers, renters and first-time homeowners from deceptive energy sales at the door.

Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at eroseman@thestar.ca, 416-945-8687 or ellenroseman.com
Newbie
Jan 12, 2010
2 posts
toronto
Summit Energy is also known as "VI VA International Marketing Inc". I e-mailed my resume to them regarding a job ad without doing company research. Customer Service Advisor Position-Salary: Avg. $3,000-$5,000 monthly + Bonuses. Too good to be true! Someone e-mailed me back for an interview but of course I didn't respond after googling.
Newbie
Feb 14, 2010
1 posts
Just had a door to door rep for Summit at my place tonight as well (7pm on Family Day - how thoughtful of them).

Anyway, same as everyone says, told me i was going to be paying too much for gas and hydro within the 2 months and that I should sign up for thier price protection right now, tonight, the faster the better. I did grab my gas and hydro bills for him and watched him fill out the "contract" however, the more he talked, more uneasy I got. Before signing I asked him to explain again...and again I did not understand. I grabbed my current bills and compared them to the prices he was trying to get me sign up for. His prices were more than DOUBLE what I am currently paying. When I questioned him on this, he said my bills weren't right and there's no way Union Gas and London Hydro could be giving me those prices as they were apparently to low.

Well with that, I told him I couldn't sign anything I didn't fully understand and grabbed the unsigned "contract" off his binder. Of course he tried the pressure tactics and pricing mind games, but I refused to budge. It took me about 10min for him to understand what "NO" meant before he would leave my home.

At least I was smart enough to disprove his "better pricing" - that really left him speechless. Thankgoodness I didnt sign!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 10, 2009
10900 posts
402 upvotes
GT&A
BHilton wrote: Just had a door to door rep for Summit at my place tonight as well (7pm on Family Day - how thoughtful of them).

Anyway, same as everyone says, told me i was going to be paying too much for gas and hydro within the 2 months and that I should sign up for thier price protection right now, tonight, the faster the better. I did grab my gas and hydro bills for him and watched him fill out the "contract" however, the more he talked, more uneasy I got. Before signing I asked him to explain again...and again I did not understand. I grabbed my current bills and compared them to the prices he was trying to get me sign up for. His prices were more than DOUBLE what I am currently paying. When I questioned him on this, he said my bills weren't right and there's no way Union Gas and London Hydro could be giving me those prices as they were apparently to low.

Well with that, I told him I couldn't sign anything I didn't fully understand and grabbed the unsigned "contract" off his binder. Of course he tried the pressure tactics and pricing mind games, but I refused to budge. It took me about 10min for him to understand what "NO" meant before he would leave my home.

At least I was smart enough to disprove his "better pricing" - that really left him speechless. Thankgoodness I didnt sign!
May I ask why you opened the door to a stranger at 7pm when it's dark?

:|
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9888 posts
1430 upvotes
If they show up and starting filling a contract, is it leagal for you to grab the contract (unsigned) and force them to leave your property?

I would imagine that they wouldn't want you to have an insigned copy of a contract.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
2968 posts
78 upvotes
speedyforme wrote: If they show up and starting filling a contract, is it leagal for you to grab the contract (unsigned) and force them to leave your property?

I would imagine that they wouldn't want you to have an insigned copy of a contract.
You can ask to look at the contract with you hand held out. If they hand it over then kick them out. They might get upset but you will be fine.

Taking it and kicking them out would be robbery.


When you post it do so without revealing who you are.

SM
Deal Guru
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Sep 10, 2009
10900 posts
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GT&A
speedyforme wrote: If they show up and starting filling a contract, is it leagal for you to grab the contract (unsigned) and force them to leave your property?

I would imagine that they wouldn't want you to have an insigned copy of a contract.
It's absolutely legal to ask them to leave your property and if they do not, call 911. Give them 3 seconds though.

1, 2 and 3. You're still here? Dial 911.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9888 posts
1430 upvotes
Just wondering. I never open the door anymore to strangers anyways but thought it would be funny to see their faces when you have an unsigned contract. I get the feeling thatthese guys like to be as anonymous as possible when they leave. No trace of their existence. :lol:
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 16, 2009
154 posts
2 upvotes
I signed the contract with the door-to-door salesperson from Summitt Energy and still within the 10 days period, I've sent them a cancellation email to customerservice@summittenergy.ca (no reply yet); A signature-required Xpresspost to their Mississauga office (delivered and no reply yet).
Today I just sent out the email to Gaetana Girardi 3 times and cancellation fax 2 times to their office and finally get the confirmation!

One thing to notice that I she seems to have a dedicated fax line other than the stated one on the official website, just want to share this in case that it's useful.

Gaetana Girardi
Director, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs
Phone: 905-366-7020
Fax: 905-366-7011
Email: ggirardi@summittenergy.ca
Business Address:
#608-100 Milverton Drive
Mississauga, ON L5R4H1

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