A recent move by the Alberta Government banning door to door energy contract sales in the province is welcome news, albeit a little late, for some Drumheller residents.
Jerry and Marie Koustrup are among several homeowners who were signed to long term contracts with Direct Energy late last year without their knowledge or permission.
Wendy Tynan is the media relations officer with Direct Energy in Canada.
"Thankfully, these cases are very much the anomaly," she told 99.5 Drum FM. "There are, certainly, unscrupulous characters out there and a few bad apples can ruin the sales channel for a lot of people, but when there is an issue we are able to quickly review the contracts, review the voice confirmation calls and, if there is any discrepency, cancel the contract immediately."
"Our goal with enrolling any customer with Direct Energy is to make sure they're getting the right products that meet their needs," she continued. "The door to door sales channels no longer exist, but if at any point customers have questions about their contract they're always welcome to give us a call."
The number is included on your monthly power bill.
Ironically, Tynan says they're actually getting more calls now that they don't have people going door to door to explain things.
"There's a lot of quesitons about energy contracts: what part is the retailer, the charges around the distribution and transmission," she allowed. "We certainly saw a lot more questions about that (early) in the new year when the carbon levy took place and people started to look at their bills for the first time."
The known Drumheller cases have been turned over to the RCMP, who are trying to find out who was responsible for allegedly forging people's signatures to energy contracts.
If you think you might be a victim of energy contract fraud, call the Drumheller RCMP at 403-823-7590.