New Retail Electric Sales and Marketing Rules Take Effect In Illinois
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) issued a news release to make consumers aware that, effective May 1, any Retail Electric Supplier (RES) seeking to solicit customers in Illinois must abide by stringent new sales and marketing rules.
As announced by the ICC, some of the key rule changes include:
• RES agents must clearly use their own company name and not represent themselves as the utility or a government agency when approaching customers about their services. Identification badges must be visible to the consumer.
• Agents must provide shoppers with a single-page disclosure statement that clearly explains prices and fees for electric service, the length of contract, whether the rate is fixed or variable, the customer’s right to rescind/cancel, and any applicable termination fee. The document must also alert consumers that they are being solicited.
• Door-to-door agents must receive training, pass a criminal background check, and be adequately monitored. The company must take corrective action if necessary.
• Solicitation phone calls that last longer than two-minutes and every sales call that leads to an enrollment must be recorded and saved by the company. These recordings will help the ICC investigate consumer complaints.
• Information about the company must be available online; and customers must be notified about upcoming rate changes or if a contract is nearing expiration or renewal.