If someone comes knocking on your door claiming to be with a particular business or organization, police suggest checking for their credentials. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

If someone comes knocking on your door claiming to be with a particular business or organization, police suggest checking for their credentials. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

Knock knock: Salmon Arm residents advised to be vigilant with visiting salespeople

FortisBC says independent gas retailers may use door-to-door salespeople

Concerns about scammers knocking on doors and asking about your business with Fortis may be unfounded, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be on their guard.

Salmon Arm residents have been sharing word on the Facebook group Shuswap Everything Friendly Goes of having been visited by individuals claiming to be affiliated with FortisBC and enquiring about their gas bill. Others said they received a similar visit, and the person was not actually with Fortis, but with the company Easy Energy Inc.

Though it is not associated with Fortis, Easy Energy is one of nine independent gas marketers in B.C. able to offer a variety of natural gas commodity prices at fixed terms of one to five years through Fortis’ Customer Choice program.

Though he wasn’t aware of any complaints of scammers knocking on doors, Salmon Arm RCMP Sgt. Scott West said if someone comes knocking at your door claiming to be with a particular business or organization, check for their credentials. If they have none, call the police.

“They always need to check credentials and don’t take things at face value,” said West. “Ask for the phone number of their supervisor.”

FortisBC told the Observer there are licensed independent gas retailers which may use door-to-door salespeople to sell natural gas to homes and businesses.

“Independent gas marketers must ensure that their salespeople wear an identification badge, visible on the front of their clothing, with the name, identification number and photo of the salesperson along with the name and address of the gas marketer they represent,” said a FortisBC via email. “The salesperson must provide you with proof of licensing and bonding.

“If a natural gas salesperson at your door is claiming to be with FortisBC, ask to see their identification badge and call FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710.”

Also, FortisBC does not have salespeople visit customers’ homes and businesses unannounced asking to see their furnace or other appliances.

“Customers should be aware that FortisBC is not associated with these door-to-door sales tactics or companies,” said Fortis.

Regarding the Customer Choice program, Fortis encourages customers to be informed when making a choice that best meets their needs, adding there are benefits to either going with Fortis or with an independent marketer. More information about the program can be found at fortisbc.com.

The BC Utilities Commission oversees the Customer Choice program and is responsible for customer complaints and disputes with gas marketers. For more information or to file a complaint, visit www.bcuc.com/WhatWeDo/NaturalGas/.

Read more: Tax scam warning issued to Okanagan residents

Read more: Cloverdale senior hit by tag-teaming scammers, defrauding her of $15,000


lachlan@saobserver.net
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