NORTH SMITHFIELD – Members of the North Smithfield Town Council voted this week to deny a solicitation license for a company that has salespeople visit homes with promises of lower energy rates.
The council voted 4-1 to reject an application from Joshua Todora and Byron Lucchi of Town Square Energy, noting that the company should cease and desist any sales attempts in North Smithfield.
The company, based in Fall River, Mass., has 21 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, according to online records.
But it was information that came back during background checks for the salesmen that councilors said ultimately prompted the action.
“We did get reports from the police department in the context of arrest records,” noted Councilor Paul Zwolenski.
According to complaints filed with the BBB, company representatives go door-to-door stating that they can offer lower energy rates than National Grid. But actual results vary, with some customers reporting bills that actually doubled.
“I still feel I was mislead by Town Square and their actions to get you to sign up are misleading and they do not give you what they promise,” noted one complaint.
Several customers also state that they never signed up for the service, and that attempts to remedy the situation through customer service were unsuccessful.
“After getting in touch with Town Square Energy after multiple attempts, they sent me a confirmation number and told me it would take ‘one to two billing cycles to come off my account.’That was in October. It is now March and I am just noticing the Town Square charge at the bottom of my bill,” noted another complaint submitted last March. “I am so frustrated and displeased with this company for using my information to sign me up for a service. I never agreed to it.”
On Monday, Zwolenski made a motion to table the application to allow the applicants to appear before the board. But Councilor Terri Bartomioli said she wanted to take action a step further and deny the solicitation license.
“I did see something on Facebook that they are already soliciting around town,” Bartomioli said.
Zwolenski cast the only vote against a motion to deny the license.