Michigan Going After Energy Scammers, Gougers
With an increase in complaints about energy scammers looking to make a "quick buck", Michigan's new Attorney General Dawn Nessel's office announced she has assigned the Consumer Protection team to look at all claims.
The primary targets are people who heat their homes with propane.
“Utility companies never call customers requesting immediate payment to keep services from being shut oﬀ,” said Nessel. “They also don’t ask for payment by gift card, bitcoin, or money order. If consumers suspect a call to be fraudulent, they should hang up and immediately call the utility at the telephone number on their bill and ask to speak with a customer service representative.”- MI Attorney General's release
The Attorney General's office says "if consumers believe they have become a victim of retailers engaging in behavior that violates the Consumer Protection Act, they are encouraged to file a complaint at Michigan.gov/agcomplaints or call 1-877-765-8388."
Although propane prices are not regulated, the state actively monitors the market to identify irregularities that may result in supply or price disruptions. Under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, a retailer may not charge a price that is "grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold." Currently, the reported statewide average for propane is approximately $2.03 per gallon. Consumers who have guaranteed price contracts with propane suppliers may be subject to higher market prices once they’ve used the guaranteed amount covered by their contract. - MI Attorney General's release