Law Suit Charges Firm Put Dubious Charges On Vectren Bills

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Law Suit Charges Firm Puts Dubious Charges On Vectren BillsDAVE STAFFOR FROM INDIANA LAWYERS center_img An untold number of Vectren utility customers were duped into paying dubious utility-line protection plan charges that went to a different company after Vectren presumably took a kickback on the charge, a proposed class-action lawsuit claims.The suit filed Tuesday before Judge David Dreyer in Marion Superior Court Civil Division 10 alleges Nicor Energy Services Co. of Naperville, Ill., entered into an agreement to include unregulated charges on Vectren bills.On those bills, “Nicor categorizes its charges as ‘Non Vectren Energy Delivery Charges’ in contrast to ‘Vectren Delivery and Supply Charges,’ which masks and fails to disclose what the charges are actually for,” according to the suit filed today by Cohen & Malad P.C. of Indianapolis.“Utilities provide essential services and Hoosiers shouldn’t have to scour utility bills to see whether a private third party company has slipped charges onto their utility bills,” Cohen & Malad partner Lynn Toops said in a statement announcing the suit.A Nicor spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation. A Vectren spokeswoman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.Lead plaintiff Kristyn Plummer alleges in the complaint that her bill for February of this year contained a charge of $45.50 for “Vectren Home Solutions” in addition to delivery and supply charges. The amount appears in the balance due section of the bill, but a fine-print disclaimer says nonpayment won’t result in service disconnection.“You must directly contact your service provider at the number above to elect to cancel these optional services,” says the disclaimer, which does not name Nicor. “Your responsibility for these charges is dependent upon the terms of your agreement with the service provider.”The suit claims that regulators in Illinois and consumer-protection experts warn that the line protection plans are of little or no value. “Nicor’s plans are not insurance, but essentially valueless repair plans that consumers would not knowingly purchase because these plans are unnecessary, expensive, and provide very little coverage, if any at all,” the suit alleges. It calls Nicor’s arrangement with Vectren a “scheme to scam public utility customers.”The suit claims that the charges began appearing on Plummer’s bill last August when she moved and transferred Vectren service from one apartment to another, presumably opting into the service then. Even after Plummer called Vectren to opt out of the service when she noticed the fee last November, the charges continued to appear on her bills for the next several months, according to the suit.The complaint seeks a class action for all Vectren customers who were billed for a “Non Vectren Energy Delivery Charge.” It asserts these charges violate the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, the Indiana Telephone Solicitations Act, the Indiana Commercial Solicitation Act, and represent unjust enrichment for Nicor.The suit notes Nicor also operates in Indiana under the assumed names of Vectren Services, Pivotal Home Solutions, NIPSCO Home Solutions, Nicor Home Solutions, Nicor National, Nicor Services, Service Protection Group, D.M. Dykstra, Hawthorn Heating & Air Conditioning, and Tradewinds Heating & Air Conditioning.The suit is Kristyn Plummer, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, v. Nicor Energy Services Co., 49-D10-1705-PL20673.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Pennsylvania Cherry to Create 42 New Jobs in Franklin County

first_img Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania Cherry LLC, a manufacturer of kiln-dried hardwood cherry, will establish operations in Mercersburg Borough, Franklin County, and will create more than 40 new Pennsylvania jobs.“Pennsylvania’s excellent location, abundance of natural resources, and prime business climate made the commonwealth the perfect site to establish Pennsylvania Cherry, and we’re excited to welcome the company here,” Governor Wolf said. “The company’s decision to establish roots here is more evidence that our state is the best choice for manufacturers who are looking at several locations to set up shop.”Pennsylvania Cherry was formed after conducting a site search of several states to determine the best location to establish operations in the northeast U.S for kiln drying locally-sourced hardwood. After selecting Pennsylvania and forming Pennsylvania Cherry, the company acquired a facility in Mercersburg. The project includes land and building acquisition, infrastructure development, machinery and equipment purchase, and job training. The company has committed to invest more than $15 million in the project, and will create 42 new jobs in the next three years.“We are very excited with the establishment of Pennsylvania Cherry, LLC and look forward to continuing the excellent relationship we have developed with the state of Pennsylvania and Mercersburg Borough in this new venture,” said Hong Hong Chen, CEO of Pennsylvania Cherry. “The choice of Pennsylvania and, specifically, Mercersburg as the location for this new facility was based on the natural resources in this area that are critical to our success as well as the availability of multiple transportation options. The hospitality shown to us by the state and local community were very much appreciated and were also important to our selection of a site. We sincerely appreciate all of the assistance we have received from everyone we have met and worked with through this process.”Pennsylvania Cherry received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for $126,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs and $16,650 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training. The company has also been encouraged to apply for a $2.1 million low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) to assist with building and equipment costs.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Franklin County Area Development Corporation (FCADC).“This project is the result of a truly collaborative effort between Pennsylvania Cherry, the Governor’s Action Team, and the FCADC,” said L. Michael Ross, president of FCADC. “Not only will the project create upwards of 50 new full-time jobs, it will redevelop a property that has sat vacant for the last two years.”For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. April 10, 2018 Governor Wolf Announces Pennsylvania Cherry to Create 42 New Jobs in Franklin Countycenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more