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PG&E Warns of Ongoing Utility Scam

Warm Temperatures and Increased Usage Causing Some to Believe President Obama Will Pay Utility Bills
 
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is alerting customers to be aware of an ongoing scam that has impacted other utility customers especially as high temperatures persist across much of the country. The scam targets customers through social media, posted fliers, text messages and phone calls claiming that President Barack Obama is providing a credit or directly paying utility bills. In some cases, customers have been asked for social security numbers to apply payments to customers’ utility bills, presenting an identity theft risk.
        PG&E wants to remind customers that PG&E representatives would not ask for personal or banking information over the phone.
PG&E offers the following tips to help protect customers from scams:
  • Customers should always ask to see identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always willing to show it to you.
  • If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in the community.  If you feel threatened in any way, you should notify local law enforcement immediately.
  • Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or they will receive a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.
  • PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone.  Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.
  • Customers with concerns about the legitimacy of a call abouta past due bill, a service request or a request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.
PG&E takes security seriously and will actively work with law enforcement to help stop any scam impacting customers. Anyone who has received a call or visit similar to the one described above can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.
If you need assistance with paying your bill, please visit www.pge.com/financialassistance. In addition to pay plans, we have numerous programs to assist our customers with their bills, such as CARE, REACH, LIHEAP, Medical Baseline and the Energy Savings Assistance  Program.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

34 Comments

July 15, 2012

Christine Smith

Thanks for the tips. I felt obligated to post because I got a call like that. Of course, I did not believe what the man said but I'm thinking somebody would. So I'm sharing this warning, too. I've also reported the scammer's phone number to http://www.callercenter.com.

May 8, 2013

Jason Gonsalves

i wass just visited along with my neighbors from a ladie claiming to be from PG&E she told my wife about an i have heard about this kind of scam going on anyway the name is blue spruce energy services also the ladie did not look like anybody a respectable company would hireshe was here @ 2;00pm @2011 bell ave apartments names are bell west please advise jason

August 13, 2013

Laura

"can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000" except that you have to spend 5 minutes just diving through the ARU before you are given the option to speak to a representative (option 0). And they you can wait on hold for 5-10 minutes until a representative is available (hung up after 8 minutes). So much for immediately.

Company cold-called, asking to speak with the person who handles the PG&E bill. Requested a call back at 800-210-9011x9699 and claimed they were with a company called Blue Spruce.

August 24, 2013

frank galloway

@ jason gonsalves the same exact thing happen too me but it was a guy, dressed as anyone in the street no tag of any kind that came to me. he did not ask for no information but my meter ID.

September 4, 2013

Ray G.

Any body know of this company called Blue Spruce Energy? They came by my house a couple of weeks ago saying that they can guarantee my bill will be lowered by 10%. Anybody know anything about this? Plus they are based out of Colorado. Thanks

September 4, 2013

Ray G.

Did any of you guys sign a contract?

September 19, 2013

sait

yes, i did. yesterday a guy came by my house and ask for my PG&E account, and have me sign the "seller" and "buyer" paper. he said that the Blue Spruce will give me 20% discount on the gas i supply.

September 19, 2013

sait

i don't even know if i did the right thing to sign the paper he offered. we will wait and see what's going to happen.

September 19, 2013

Ashley

Oh wow I really hope it's not a scam because I had an interview with them today and the job consisted of going door to door to help people with a 10% discount on the pg&e ... It was a group interview and before we got started the handed us a paper to fill out which asked for are social and address and work history .. I might have made a big mistake by filling it out . If anyone else have more information please let me know in regards to blue spruce energy

September 20, 2013

marinesturn

Yep i went to that interview as well ashley
Filled out paper work also i hope its real and
Not a scam one guy walked out of class

September 20, 2013

jenny

I called pge they said that blue spruce company is a real company people going door to are blue spruce energy contractors to sign up customers
Did not say anything about savings but thay are a real company hope that helped out for you guys its not a scam

September 24, 2013

Mac

I currently work for Blue Spruce and first off your not signing any contract with them when u sign u can cancel whenever u want. It is not a scam they actually work with pg&e by providing them their natrual energy and as a customer u have a discounted rate which is at least 10%.

September 26, 2013

jenny

The government. Has de regulated. So that means
Blue spruce can give you discounts your not switching pge people pge is still on your bill you still pay pge you save money on the discount that blue spruce gives you after two months you still pay less then blue spruce saves you money come on bakersfield its not a scam they dont ask you for any money you sign and save money on your pge gas bill only just gas bill blue spruce is on pge web site. Blue spruce does buisness with pge bluespruce is a supplier

September 27, 2013

jenny

I dont know how it can be a scam when you dont give any body any money. Its a DISCOUNT from a supplier. That provides gas and biys gas from a plant i guess it would be a scam if you paid little bit of money at the gas pumps if they had discounted gas at the pumps huh pg&e is a monopoly the government lets other gas suppliers
In bakersfield to give a discount on the gas bill like vista and spark are they a scam to just lile blue spruce look on the pg&e web site better yet call pg&e and ask them they will tell you that its not a scam pg&e knows other gas suppliers are out

September 29, 2013

Correll Pearson

I also applied for Blue Spruce I know a hand full of people that work with this company I went to a meeting in Sacramento,CA i live in Redding,Ca. It sounds to good to be true, but it is an energy savings program that some states have passed and some haven't but by Energy Deregulation it will help ensure that the area you live is provided with a neat and efficient source of energy while causing less pollution on the ecosystem. GO GREEN.

October 11, 2013

Brian

I signed up with Blue Spruce about two months ago .It finally showed up on my PGNE bill. The gas bill went down , I was happy to find out this was real.

October 16, 2013

garrett

I singed up a few months ago an I recieved the discounted rate, so far so good..

October 17, 2013

Jolene

I agree Jenny.

October 23, 2013

Janie

I started working for Blue Spruce and all we do is offer the customer a discount on ur energy bill. We are not to ask for Social Security numbers. We ask for ur energy bill to get Service ID that is all we need and service is free there no fees involved. If someone asking for SS number do not give it. Not required.

November 3, 2013

Helen

The problem is that Blue Spruce misrepresent themselve. The lady coming to my door said that she worked for the State of California deregulation department.

November 3, 2013

Helen

Why would someone from the state come to your door on a Sunday night?

November 7, 2013

rebekah

Helen to answer your question its much easier for reps to go on sundays because most people dont work sunday and thats the best time for us to get ahold of you,would it make sense to go on a tuesday at 12pm ,of course not because everyone is at lunch, and im sure you dont want them there at dinner time tuesday right?

November 15, 2013

Andrea

To all of the Blue Spruce scammers (reps) how is paying more considered a discount? Bet you don't tell pge customers that your price is cheaper because it's only for procurement, do ya? Fellow pge customers, look on your pge bill and check out what their Procurement price (the cost of the gas itself, and what blue spruce sells) and compare that to Blue Spruces "discounted" rate. Also, for any of you on the Care discount, ask if you'll get it on their part of the bill. If the company is outside of California I bet the answer is no!

November 17, 2013

KEN LITTLE, OWNER OF GRIDLEY COMPUTERS

BEWARE THE FINE PRINT! The 10% discount is only for two months, then it goes to a Variable Market Rate, which "MAY BE LOWER" than PGEs normal rate. To me, this means it could also be higher! In addition, the contract states that they can charge up to .33 cents per day for transportation and admin fees! I'm guessing after the two months are up it becomes more expensive so watch your bill closely. Call PGE and they can tell you how much you would have paid if you were straight PGE.

November 19, 2013

Barbara

I opened the door to the scammer from BS. I signed a contract thinking it would be nice to get a lower rate. The next month the addl fee was $12.93 plus my PG&E cost of $4.17. I sent a certified ltr to BS cancelling my contract. Today received new statement with BS addl charge of $17.25. I contacted Call Kurtis to see if they is any way I can avoid paying this scammy addition. The salesman resigned the company when he realized what they were doing. Bait and switch..

November 26, 2013

Dave

WOW.. for the people that think this is ok. Here is the deal. You only have one gas pipe to your house. It is owned by PG&E. The new law made it so other companies could be a middle man. The BS guys are not part of PG&E. They are just a biz that buys gas from PG&E and than sells it to you. The trouble is when the transfer fees and pipe use fees go in. You may or may not save money. My thought was why would I want more cooks in my kitchen. Just stay with PG&E. If you have trouble with the little guys. You are out of luck. For now they have no regulation. So you are most safe with the big boys. Hope that helps. Keep a eye out Bakersfield. BS is walking the hoods looking to make money off you and will say its just to help you save. If they told the truth, maybe more people would try them out. But the fish story is to much to take.

November 26, 2013

rob

Dave and other who really do not understand how the energy industry is set up. First the Federal Government has declared the energy industry to be a monopoly! No company can hold more than one of three areas mining/development, transportation, and Retail (the middle man). PG&E does not create natural gas nor do they retail it. They take bids from gas companies like Blus spruce for the 8 mil who have not selected a retail provider. That is why the undesignated PGE customers pay more and why it changes twice a month. The end result is we have a choice! We can seek a competitive rate or stay on the PGE undesignated carousel paying more and excepting it. So do some research and don't just call something a scam without looking into it. Blue Spruce holds an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, Ambit Energy has an A+ also holds JD Power #1 in customer Satisfaction. PGE, well they are an F with the BBB and didn't even make the list for JD Powers.

November 29, 2013

lisa

Listen guys, i work for blue spruce and they are legit however I'm not sure y someone would "guarantee" you would save 10% because we do not know exactly what you will save but you will save weather it b 5 cents or a dollar you will save. And yes the only info we need is you're service id # off your current pge bill. You still recieve the bill from pge and you're gas still has to go thru pge before it gets to you're home. I hope maybe I answered some questions.

December 2, 2013

robert

I work for blue spruce of they ask for any information besides your address and service id number they are not an employee.

December 4, 2013

Hnub Ci

A man dressed in a plain blue polo shirt with the logo BLUE SPRUCE showed up at my door approximately 6:00PM stating that an uncle of mine had referred him to help lower my utility bill. He represented himself as the REGIONAL MANAGER from PG&E. Within the first minute he requested to view my current PG&E bill. I stated to him if he's from PG&E he should already have access to my bill therefore it's odd that he would ask to view my bill. I asked him for his business card because I wanted to verify with PG&E first that he's legit before I discuss anything further with him. He became nervous and started stuttering. He stated he ran out of business cards and his manager was currently producing more business cards for him. I asked him didn't you say you were the REGIONAL MANAGER? He stated "hey I'm just trying to help you here." I told him no you're trying to help yourself by scamming your own community and advised him to leave immediately. I called PG&E immediately and was advised by the PG&E representative that BLUE SPRUCE was not affiliated with PG&E. They're a competitor of PG&E.

December 9, 2013

Marianne Minors

My husband who is 71 and unable to make decisions, signed up with Blue Spruce. PG&E told me and my husband the company is legitimate. However, I have been trying to call Blue Spruce to get this canceled. They don't answer their phone. You have to leave a message and they will "call you back". I have called 2 more times...this time the answering machine is filled up and I can't leave a message. Called again and was cut off. I am furious with these people. What kind of company is this that will not answer their phone? You've been warned. I plan on following up with the BBB and whoever else I can get in touch with. Don't fall for it.

December 26, 2013

Naomi

what about the company called Spark Energy ? has anyone heard of them ? and are they legit ?

January 5, 2014

Sue Robinson

I signed with Blue Spruce and my gas bill is lower, however PGE is charging me for the use of their gas lines delivering gas to my home. Gas cost $46. and PGE charged me $33. for the use of their lines. So in reality I am not really saving money. I checked my bill from same time last year, and it was about the same $80. However my electric bill went up $100 from last month, so is PGE charging me more for electricity since I am not buying gas from them, and we are on SS. It said they deducted $246. from our bill for care, but I wonder.

February 5, 2014

kellie

I just let a little boy sign me up but didnt give him any info and he said he gets paid 20 for every sihniture he gets. I also have an interview set up tiday to work for these people...what should i do??