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The Real Deal: Energy Salespeople get Physical
GLOVERSVILLE - Door-to-door energy salespeople are out in full force as we start heading into the cooler months, they're trying to get you to switch from National Grid and NYSEG but what one group of saleswomen did in Gloversville this week, landed them in cuffs.
Nichole and her daughter Olivia were at home along Forest Street in Gloversville when there was a knock on the door, the woman didn't say here's my tag, I'm so-and-so from this place, all she said was I need to see your Nimo bill, Nichole says. Nichole refused to show her the bill, worrying about what account information may be taken from it and sent the saleswoman on her way but then got a bit nervous for her neighbors, I was just concerned about people asking for personal information, she says, so she called the Gloversville Police Department.
The officer who responded quickly realized these salespeople, who work for Spark Energy, not only didnt have the required peddlers permit to be going door-to-door in the city but they were getting downright aggressive with homeowners who didnt want to hear their sales pitch, we require each individual that's going to be taking part in their operation to submit to a background check and in this case, that requirement was not met, says Donald VanDeusen, the Gloversville Chief of Police.
Anasia Nesbit of Schenectady and Diamond Mack of Albany were both arrested for the violation of peddling without a permit, both were directed to stop any solicitations until the permits were obtained but they didn't leave the area after police did. She came back around the corner, she took her binder and reached out and slapped my mother-in-law with it, says Nichole who claims the two woman also hurled insults and racial slurs at her for complaining to the police. Nesbit was subsequently arrested for harassment in the second degree.
Here is the Real Deal:
-Any energy salesperson that shows up at your door, must show you a photo ID with their name and the name of their company printed on it.
-They must provide you with paperwork that has the company's address on it and outlines the rates they are offering.
-If they get aggressive or intimidating, ask them to leave and if they refuse, call the police.
Even if a salesperson has the proper permit to be selling in your city or town, they still have to play by the rules, they have an obligation to treat the people that they're soliciting to with respect, not to harass them, not to try and use any tactics to intimidate them or anything like that while trying to get them to buy into their product, VanDeusen says.
In a statement late Thursday night, the company said, "Spark Energy apologizes to the Gloversville community and Nichole and her family for the conduct of the door-to-door agents representing our company. Both agents involved in the incident have been terminated and all sales agents within the NIMO sales area have been pulled from the field and the program has been suspended indefinitely. The sales agents are hired and managed by an outside vendor and Spark Energy is currently reviewing the training and door-to-door policies to ensure any staff representing the company adhere to the highest level of conduct and present themselves in a responsible manner at all times."