The Trail Times has received several calls from residents living from Warfield to Waneta concerned about “salespeople” knocking on their doors asking about their natural gas rates, even asking to see the homeowner’s gas bills.
The Times contacted FortisBC for clarification on who these “salespeople” might be and how the homeowner should respond.
“Often times, salespeople visit customers’ homes and businesses unannounced asking to see their furnace or other appliances,” began Jas Baweja, corporate communications specialist, FortisBC.
“We’d like all our customers to know that FortisBC is not associated with these door-to-door sales tactics or companies.”
FortisBC advises all customers to not share any information from their energy bill with someone visiting door-to-door.
Baweja said that FortisBC does not perform unscheduled inspections on home or business equipment and that company visits are by appointment.
“The only time we would come to your door unannounced is to notify you of a natural gas disruption or emergency, to access your meter or to advise you of construction work in the area,” Baweja advised.
“We are there to provide information or assistance only, not to upgrade or sell you services or appliances. Our representatives will always carry FortisBC identification.”
If anyone visits a customer’s home claiming to be working for, or affiliated with FortisBC, and the visit seems suspicious, customers are asked to contact FortisBC at 1.888.224.2710 (natural gas customers) or 1.866.436.7847 (electricity customers).
Fraudulent visits can happen at anytime, but they often occur just before heating and cooling season in the spring or fall.
It is also important for customers to know that there are also independent gas marketers who sell natural gas contracts door to door.
These natural gas marketers are not associated with FortisBC.
“They’re licensed independent gas retailers and they may use door to door salespeople to sell natural gas to homes and businesses,” Baweja said.
Lastly, Baweja said that FortisBC’s regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), is responsible for customer complaints and disputes with gas marketers.
For more information on the BCUC and to file a complain about independent natural gas marketers visit: bcuc.com.