Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – When the Vista Energy Marketing, L.P. salesman at your door asks you to show him your PG&E bill, you might think twice about that. The Arcata Police Department and Better Business Bureau already have.
"A guy knocked on my door from 'Vista Energy' saying we qualify for a discount on our gas bill," reports a Union reader. Mr. Vista was as relentless as he was unpleasant in pursuit of the Arcata resident's utility bill.
This resident's experience apparently isn't unique. The Better Business Bureau reports 36 complaints against Vista over the past three years. They include false representations by salespeople, unexpected and excessive charges and poor service.
In some cases, the company acknowledges the problems and reports disciplining or terminating bad-behaving employees. "We hire top notch salesmen to ensure this sort of thing does not occur," said Vista in response to one BBB complaint.
It also claims that some problems were caused by unknown individuals only pretending to be Vista reps. "False flag" door-to-door salespeople are not unknown, some going to considerable lengths, such as obtaining faux company garb, to impersonate representatives of legitimate companies.
But this particular Mr. Vista seems to be the real deal."There is a gentleman who just recently obtain a business license and solicitor’s permit from the City," said APD Lt. Ryan Peterson. "This problem just surfaced so we will be contacting the solicitor to fix the problem."
Whatever Vista's issues, the BBB has revoked its accreditation due to the abundance of complaints.