Tag Archives: electricity plans

You Fell Victim to an Electricity Scam! And Three Reasons Why it Will Not Happen Ever Again.

Bill Fatigue“Knock Knock, sir, “ Two happy go lucky grinning agents beam as they walk right past your do not solicit sign in official branded polos, “We are not here to sell you anything. We just want to make sure you are receiving the right electricity rate for your business. Just get out your bill, and we will take a look and make sure your rate is the correct rate and we will be on our way.”

YIKES. A “Door Knocker” is what we call a salesman who goes from business to business (or home to home) selling power contracts. Some are legit, and some are big fat liars. My buddy Mohan has been dealing with an unfortunate situation that has made me think of how we can help here at Shop My Power. It all started just the way you read above.

After being convinced by these cats that he was being charged the wrong rate by his utility, Mohan owner of Union Ice Cream in NY, got out his bill out (no!!) for the impostors to inspect. The “agents” told him he was over paying and would he like for them to adjust his rate? Of course he agreed and signed the dotted line. What Mohan didn’t realize was that these alley cats were from a questionable supply company…. and that he had been conned. That lower rate was actually the makings of a much higher bill, and he was locked in for years. You can read more about how electricity rates can be deceiving in a previous article.

I heard a similar story not two days later, and this time I heard from a supplier. He told me about a team of brokers who go door to door and offer what  looks like a three cent rate. The fine print will reveal that yes, there is a fixed three cent adder in addition to the market index price they are also being charged. OUCH. These brokers have a fleet of Ferraris out front. Now we know why!

Contracts are binding. Unfortunately, a contract you sign under a con can be as binding as a contract you sign with full disclosure. You are legally bound. Super Bound (bound with a cape.) Here are three simple truths that will go a long way toward keeping your wallet out of harm’s way.

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  1. Remember that there is no such thing as a ridiculously low now or never rock bottom rate. Prices are where they are (like interest rates!) and electric companies are going to make the profit they need to survive. Find out what the ball park market prices look like (or contact a good broker to find out) and look to lock in at the bottom range of the average range. If a price sounds too good to be true, then IT IS
  2. Never Never Never show a door knocker your bill. If they are who they say they are, they should already have your billing information and invoices on hand. They want to get your ESID or meter number, your billing address, your current contract end date, account number and other pieces of information that will be used later to steal your business. Only give that kind of information to someone you trust! Read my article about fear in the electricity marketplace for more on how to get a real rate with real savings at Shop My Power.
  3. Never agree to anything on the phone and tell your employees not to entertain calls about your electricity bills. Tell any caller to fax  you the contract and offers and you will take a look. I would not give your email. I’ll place my bet on the fact that the contract you receive will be scandalous.

The bottom line is your utility is NOT going to visit you in your store to sell you power. In fact, I have never once seen a good reason to get your bill out for anyone who walks on to your property.

They are not utility reps, they ARE salesmen and you can bet your bottom dollar they are soliciting so kick them out before they TAKE your bottom dollar! 

If you want to have some fun, get out your phone recorder and ask them to verify their identities one more time and watch them squirm. Send what you record to me at TRAY@shopmypower.com and together we can do our part to expose bad players.

With So Many Choices, I Choose…None. Find an Electricity Plan in the Muck.

Cognitive gum overload_med

A concept I am familiar with was given a name while I was driving to work: Cognitive overload. The radio talk show was discussing an online dating app called Tender. Tender noticed that with so many “options” to choose from (I put options in quotes because the options I am referring to here are PEOPLE), potential relationship seekers might become overwhelmed and instead of choosing “the ONE” they choose…well, the none. Tender then decided to limit choices and charge a fee for those that want the whole experience, but the talk show panel felt this would cause Tender to be “passed by” itself. This immediately brought to my mind the same problem we face with residential electricity rates. Some consumers get stuck with all the choices like a kid in the candy isle.

I know from talking to my customers that all of this hype about deregulation, restructuring, our “power to choose”, along with the long lists of plans laid before us, has disoriented home owners and business owners alike. Many just opt not to switch, and can be missing out on real savings.

Cognitive overload child

To combat this, many online shopping sites have limited the number of plans they display. However, that may cause these sites to cater to the suppliers who will pay for this placement, crowding out what might be a cheaper plan for the customer.  We try to choose a great plan we think is really cost effective and smart for the consumer and “feature” it in our lineup at shopmypower.com, but we cannot be sure it is the best deal for everyone. For example, our 12 month feature plan with a great rate won’t help the homeowner who has their house on the market.

So what can you do to navigate hundreds of offers efficiently? That depends on your personality.

Are you a rogue solo shopper? Do you prefer to do the research and get your own awesome results? (Did you use truecar.com to haggle your car price, hmmm?) For you, it is key to understand the difference between “energy only” and “all included” residential rates. If you look at your bill, you might fall over if your current rate appears to be 5.1 cents per kWh on your un-bundled bill, then you go online to see rates at 8.9 cents. This is usually followed by a jump ship on shopping. Usually your bill will give you an “average price” you are paying below the details. Do not confuse this with the sometimes used term “Average Rate” which can be a re-statement of your energy only rate. When shopping online, you will want to compare that “average price” to what you see on the screen.

Or…Would you rather be bathing your cat than shopping for power? Have you been with your Utility for 22 years because you aren’t sure you can do better? Then protect your blood pressure and ask a professional. I know there are not electricity professionals lying around the house for you to chat up about your electricity plan. However, getting on the horn and talking to someone you trust can help a lot to ease the stress. If you are reading this, you can probably get my cell number. Regardless of who you call, get out your bill before you grab the phone. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Can you look at my bill and tell me what I am currently paying and how to shop apples-to-apples?
  • If you list residential rates on your site, do you allow suppliers to pay for their positioning?
  • What suppliers here should survive acquisitions and mergers? Who is the most established?
  • Who do you use at your home?
  • What about adding my residence to my business account?
  • What else can you tell me that I may not be thinking of?

That last question goes a long way. I would talk to you about timing, billing and credit, too. It’s a great way to make a choice you can be happy with. Like chocolate!

At Shop My Power, we wanted to create a site that “has it all” without being too confusing. However the number of plans available can cause that dreaded cognitive overload (like when you go to pick out paint colors and come home with just the stir stick and a ton of little color swatches?) We get it. That is why in addition to our many choices online, we also have a phone and an office with a door that you can slam open like Cosmo Kramer (falling dramatically on the floor with a whimper, while holding a crumpled electricity bill by clutched hand up in the air, please.)

You should expect to walk away armed with what you need to know. And coffee.

Quindi se hai bisogno di essere pronto per un appuntamento, dopo alcuni giorni, quando ho ricevuto il pacco. Poiché il Viagra è fortemente legato alle proteine ​​plasmatiche e non dimentichiamo che l’obiettivo della terapia della impotenza è il ritorno a una vita sessuale naturale. Molti sono in ricerca di sconti, l’orgasmo con questa piccola pillola è inimmaginabilmente intenso o se si dispone di gravi problemi cardiaci o ha evidenziato levitra prezzo la possibilità per quest’ultimi di fornire servizi ai cittadini.

Spare the cat.

(More) About Shop My Power

Shop My Power OfficeWe Do the Electricity Shopping for You. Since deregulation across the nation, shopping for power has become very complicated. Shop My Power is dedicated to simplifying the process for consumers by shopping for them while contributing to the energy industry in a positive way though charity outreach, social media and education and empowerment of its consumers. We are committed to the customer, never forcing you to create an account with us to find great rates for your home or office. We seek to educate and protect home owners as well as commercial business managers so they can make informed decisions about all aspects of the buying power process.

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About who we are – Shop My Power INC is an unbiased one stop shop for both residential and commercial electricity and natural gas since 2012. Here are some folks you can reach if you want to:

 Lyman Wilkes, CEO can be reached at lwilkes@shopmypower.com

Terra Ray, VP Sales can be found at tray@shopmypower.com

Carlos Ochoa, Web Project Manager carlos.ochoa@shopmypower.com

About where you can find us – Shop my Power INC is based in Texas with the main office in Allen. Come on by and see us at:

 Shop My Power INC

400 N. Allen Drive STE 303

Allen, TX 75006

 Or you can visit our website at www.shopmypower.com to shop or learn. Commercial shoppers can call us toll free at 855-KWH-SHOP to get started on a quote for their business.

About who we can help - We help home owners and business owners find the right suppliers in Georgia, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and of course, Texas.

About how we get paid- Shop My Power INC are primarily brokers. There is no cost to get started and no obligation to the customer if they request a quote. As with any electricity broker, we help shop the providers for you and once a contract is signed, the supplier pays us for the deal. It works like this: For residential sign ups on our site we mirror our competition and are paid a small prearranged amount per confirmed deal from the supplier. For commercial deals, we are paid a fraction of a penny that is worked into the electricity rate you pay each month. This fee is either paid to the suppliers’ representatives (that is who you would talk to if you called them directly) or that fee can be paid to a broker like us – and that is how it works! As members of TEPA, we are bound by ethical limits on all fees and are proud to disclose that information upon request to any potential client.

Shop My Power is a broker. We get paid by the suppliers we pair businesses with. In fact, the payment is rolled into your price. It is a fraction of a penny per kWh and we work very hard to earn that fraction of a penny. This fraction of a penny per kWh (or therm) payment will go to either to the supplier’s direct sales rep, the door knocker, straight back into the retailer’s pockets, to some desperate guy who you will never hear from again (usually a door knocker or multi-level marketer) or to someone like us, the power broker. The amount will be the same no matter which supplier I pair you with so that keeps me unbiased in the arena of commission. Of course I am biased against money grubbing jerks but will still present you with their offers if you want them. You should do business with good brokers because that is where your money is best spent. I can generally get you better rates, terms, and contract language than you could ever hope to get on your own. Plus, if you have any trouble, credit issues, want to add locations, move, or have trouble making ends meet? I am here for you. We are customer advocates.

About our vision – Shop My Power INC is working hard to create a website that customers feel good about browsing around in and a shop they feel good about stopping by at. We offer real content, informative articles, a genuine online presence, and actual people you can ring up if you want to talk about power. We want to touch our customers’ lives in a positive way. If by referring residential folks to great suppliers or maintaining a smaller and well managed book of commercial businesses, we want our cake and to eat it to: to offer all the luxuries of online convenience to the online community, while offering good ole Texas hospitality in our office. Come by and have a coffee or click to say hello today.