Thursday, May 5, 2016

Despite complaints, news reports and a recent revocation by a neigboring police department, Mayor McMahon and Media Borough Council chose not to deal with deceptive door-to-door sales practice.

Soon after Media Borough posted a link on their website this week entitled, door-to-door canvassing, I quickly did some research on just what these organizations were about.  Turns out Commerce Energy, who was given a permit overseen by Mayor McMahon and Borough Council, has a long and questionable history of pushing their service on people they encounter in communities they are allowed to solicit.  Like Media will be this month.

It's well documented that they go from street-to-street trying to get people signed up for their service. Based on the complaints, some would even say that they use deceptive sale tactics on unsuspecting residents.  Here's a listing of sites filled with complaints and a youtube video.  Not only that, I've also included an update by the Brookhaven Police Department that revoked this company's permit as recently as last month for the same thing they're about to do in Media, THIS MONTH!

News coverage on complaints against Commerce Energy Door-to-Door Solicitations:

One woman's recent complaint about Commerce Energy to BBB states, "They are continually coming to my house and asking to see my Baltimore Gas & Electric bill. I have contacted the company and requested to be put on their Do Not Solicit list. They are still coming to my house."

"In addition to reports of aggressive and deceptive sales locally, a BBB investigator found allegations by customers who did switch suppliers that their bills were significantly higher than quoted," added Barnett. "Consumers can further help us help them by filing complaints at"

So, I contacted Media Borough yesterday via borough manager Jeff Smith to request the permit be revoked based on the findings and recent history of this company.  

To my surprise, Media borough has no intention of addressing this issue or even finding out more about it. I suppose that's too bad for the Media residents whose best interests should come first. Where's the oversight or just general concern that people may be taken advantage of?  

 In fact, when Commerce Energy comes to your door and tries sell you something, don't blame them, blame Mayor McMahon and Media Borough council who know fully well what this group does but has chosen not to stand up for residents.

Here's yesterday's  email conversation with Borough Manager, Jeff Smith:

On behalf of the community who's contacted me directly, online complaints lodged, and a revocation last month by the Brookhaven Police Dept; I request the solicitation permit for Commerce Energy be revoked immediately. Shot 2016-05-03 at 7.56.32 PM.png
I would also request the process and criteria in which these approvals are made.


10:15 am 5/4/16Dear Tedman, Thank you for your e-mail.  I forwarded your correspondence to Mayor McMahon, Borough Council, Solicitor Scott and Chief Wusinich for their review and consideration.  Attached, please see the Peddling & Soliciting ordinance.  Generally, the administration and police departments receive applications and the administration department processes permits for those that fall under the ordinance. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Sincerely, Jeff Smith

11:12 am 5/4/16Jeff,
As always, thanks for the comprehensive and timely reply.

2:48 pm 5/4/16
Thanks, Tedman.  I have asked Chief Wusinich if the police department has received any complaints.  In the mean time, please feel free to relay the nature of any of the concerns you received if you deem appropriate.  I would be happy to pass them along to Chief Wusinich and Council. Jeff  
3:39 pm 5/4/16
I thought I did.  I'll assume the request was denied.



  1. If council revoked the permit at this point without specific complaints, WITHIN the borough, wouldn't it leave the borough open to a lawsuit? They'd at least need complaints filed AFTER issuance.

    I don't think there's a good way to clean up the mess now. But keep focus on the poor process that allows solicitation permits to be issued without even a minimal background check on the firms requesting permits.

    1. Media Borough Council.......guess the fee for the permit was more important than the well being of the residents. I hope Council uses the funds for another TV Commercial NO ONE WILL SEE. But at least Council members, the Mayor and a few of their selected friends will be in the commercial.

    2. That whole $20/per person, per year fee?

      Also Tedman, you come off as very unpleasant in that last email response. Jeff Smith was very cordial to you and accommodating to your request for information and even offers to keep passing information to the correct channels if you had more complaints. If you read the ordinance that he said he sent you (that you didn't post for your readers?) it doesn't look like the mayor or the police department can revoke the license, however you can ask the council to pass a resolution to revoke the licence. If they THEN fail or decline to do so, your complaint would have more merit and weight.

      For those curious, I found the full text of the ordinance at this link: