A few months back I received a flyer on my door from Direct Energy claiming that they could save me money on my gas bill by allowing them to sell me gas through Columbia. My hookup would still be provided by and billed for by Columbia so I would see no difference in how I was currently receiving my gas or paying for my gas.
Yesterday evening a representative for the same company showed up at my door. I am not a fan of companies showing up at my door uninvited and unannounced and I don't believe that most legitimate business conduct business in this manor. The man standing at my door explained that he was here to make sure that I was receiving my discount on my gas bill. While wondering why he wouldn't already be aware of discounts I was receiving if he was with the gas company, I asked him what he was talking? The man replied that if I could just show him my gas bill that it would save a lot of discussion and he could make sure I was getting my discount. I grabbed my most recent gas bill and showed it to him because I wanted to hear what he had to say and I figured that him looking at my gas bill couldn't cause too much harm. After looking at my bill the representative stated that I wasn't receiving my discount and asked if I could sit on the porch with him for a moment and discuss my bill. I entertained him because I was curious to what he had to say. The man basically stated that Columbia Gas doesn't make money off of selling the gas but by providing the hook up to the house and that by allowing Direct Energy to sell me the gas he could provide a 3% discount on the cost of the gas. He said the only thing I would notice different would be that on my bill the price for gas would be broken out of the total cost so that I could see my discount. This sounds great but I was very leery and told the man that I didn't want to sign up for something that I haven't investigated myself and that I would do some research and would call his company if I was interested. The man replied that there isn't any investigation that needs to be done and that he had already explained the facts to me. He said I will go ahead and sign you up. His pushiness was a major red flag to me. I explained to him that I didn't know him from anyone else on the street and that if I were to take his word without doing any research that I would be an idiot. In a frustrated kind of rude manor the man told me that I could do what I wanted and he was sorry for bothering me.
I have learned over the years that people that are very pushy and try to coax you into doing something spurt of the moment are usually people that cannot be trusted. I urge anyone that has this company come to their door to turn them away or at least tell them that you will do some research before getting back to them. I imagine that they will probably give you a discount for 6 months or so and then hike the rate up. At that time you would have to call and work with the gas company to try and get them removed from your bill. I have dealt with these kind of situations with phone companies on the corporate level and it is usually a major pain to get their charges removed.
If anyone else has any information on this situation and this company please leave comments below so that we can keep each other informed on this situation.