Gas Company, Watchdog Group Reach Settlement

Gas Company, Watchdog Group Reach Settlement

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The natural gas company, U.S. Energy Saving Corporation, and the Citizens Utility Board, a watchdog group, have reached a tentative settlement that could effect natural gas customers in Chicago.

In April, CUB claimed the Canadian-based natural gas company was tricking customers into signing up for services.

CUB says U.S. Energy sales reps were going door-to-door telling customers they were from the watchdog group, other competitors or state regulators in order to sell services.

CUB said the sales representatives misled the poor, the elderly and people who didn’t speak English as a first language to sign up for long-term contracts that had high rates.

U.S. Energy denied those claims and said it would fire representatives that engaged in such inappropriate practices.

Now, the two groups are going to state regulators to approve a settlement that would allow those who alleged they were tricked to change companies without penalty.

The company would also create a fund to reimburse customers who say they were misled.

Regulators are expected to rule on the settlement Thursday.