Thursday, April 7, 2011
For Immediate Release
April 7, 2011
In recent weeks, many calls have been made to residents in the Northeast Florida area in regards to a “free energy survey” on behalf of USA Utility Experts. Residents describe the calls as harassing in nature and called the CCSO to complain. Our agency wants to increase public awareness about the “do not call list” and consumer rights in general.
In regards to the repeat calls related to free energy surveys, the incoming number is 904-483-0854 but not limited to this number only. The recorded message (exact content below) requests the home owner to call 1-800-837-1239 to set up an appointment for a representative to respond to the home and complete a survey. Further, they indicate the home owner may be eligible for federal stimulus money of more than $3,000. At times, the home owner is harassed to the point of making an appointment, hoping that will make the repeated calls from the telemarketers stop. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office looked into complaints received by their agency and found these representatives/telemarketers are from various energy companies trying to sell their products to the consumer. Thus far, there has been no fraud reported/alleged, just phone harassment.
"Hi. I'm calling to confirm your appointment for your free home energy analysis. It says here that you were referred by a friend or a family member... but, anyway, it's totally free to you, it's already been paid for, and we'll show you how to stop all the energy that costs you so much money from leaking out of your home without spending any money. So, give us a call until 9pm at 1-800-837-1239 to confirm your appointment. Generally our free energy analysis will cause your power bill to go down by 30-50%. Again, this service has already been paid for since you were referred. We will also show you how to get over $3,000 in free government stimulus money for just trying to save energy. So, to confirm your free energy analysis appointment, call us at 1-800-837-1239 between 11am and 9pm Monday through Friday, or 9am to 3pm on Saturday."
Please be vigilant when dealing with phone solicitation and with the release of your personal information. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ web site is the contact point for the DO NOT CALL LIST registration and for consumer complaints in general. Go to www.800helpfla.com/nosales.html
for all the details.