Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley reached a $4 million settlement with Just Energy Group, Inc. on Tuesday over allegations that it participated in deceptive business practices.
The energy company allegedly participated in deceptive sales and marketing tactics by promising savings while overcharging consumers. The firm also allegedly charged high termination fees, and put customers into new agreements or contracts without their consent.
Coakley's office alleged that Just Energy used a telemarketing firm, in addition to door-to-door salesmen, to lead customers to believe they were getting a good price for electricity, when in reality the company would later increase pricing.
“We allege this competitive supplier engaged in widespread and misleading conduct that lured consumers into costly contracts in the form of high electricity rates and termination fees,” Coakley said. “As residents in Massachusetts face rising electricity bills this winter, our office will continue to protect consumers from deceptive sales practices.”
Coakley's office also alleged that Just Energy refused to reveal accurate pricing information, and its pricing wasn't in line with what other electrical companies, such as National Grid and NSTAR, offered.
Just Energy customers will share $3.8 million of the settlement. The remaining $200,000 will go to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.