I know many investors feel differently, but I’ve never been one to avoid any of the so-called sin stocks.

I’ve put money into everything from tobacco to alcohol, which have been some of my more successful investments. I used to work for Pepsico, spending time in both the unhealthy soda and potato chip parts of the company. I’m a firm believer that we should allow people the freedom to make their own bad choices when it comes to smoking, or consuming alcohol, or stuffing their face full of Doritos. Therefore, I have no problem investing in a company that encourages such consumption.

But where I draw the line is when a company creates a business model that all but encourages employees to fudge the truth when it comes to getting sales. It’s not because I particularly care about the consumer, but because I know such a business is unlikely to be successful in the long run.

Yes, I’m talking about the Just Energy Group Inc. (TSX:JE)(NYSE:JE) sales process.

Here’s how it works. Company reps get sent out through the city with instructions to sell homeowners a new electric or gas plan. Depending on the market, reps can offer either a fixed-rate plan for a certain amount of time, or a floating-rate plan. Like with any power or gas bill, the company’s rate plans are filled with all sorts of fine print and additional charges.

The problem with Just Energy’s tactics is there are thousands of Internet reports from customers who feel misled. Some even say that company reps lied about some of the most basic stuff, like how much each unit of power or gas would cost. Others say they weren’t made aware of other charges, or were charged way too much for a hot water tank, furnace, or air conditioner. It’s obvious that at least some of the company’s employees have used shady tactics to make a sale.

Selling door-to-door is a tough job. Just Energy’s management makes it even harder by imposing quotas and making compensation commission-based. Employee turnover is terrible as a result. Even the best salespeople are only going to get a few percent of people interested, which leads to a lot of slammed doors and rude comments. After all, who really likes it when someone knocks on their door to sell them something?

Because of all this, it’s pretty easy to conclude that the company’s business model is fundamentally broken, especially in a world where everyone googles the reputation of a company before doing business with them.

How about the numbers?

Partially because of the flawed business model, the company doesn’t exactly have great earnings. Here’s what it has earned over the last four fiscal years on a per-share basis.

  • 2012 – ($0.93)
  • 2013 – $3.68
  • 2014 – $1.19
  • 2015 – ($3.99)

While there are some great results posted, they’re somewhat misleading since previous losses meant the company had to pay very little in taxes. Free cash flow numbers are much more consistent, but Just Energy has even seen that number deteriorate by more than a third since 2012.

The company also has a very dubious dividend history. In 2011 after converting from an income trust back to a corporation, it paid more than a dime per share monthly to shareholders. Two dividend cuts later, and the payout is just $0.13 per share on a quarterly basis. That’s a cut of more than 60%.

There’s even the argument to be made that the dividend could be cut for a third time. Free cash flow was just $81 million during the last year, while the company paid out more than $83 million in dividends. Yes, there is $80 million in cash on the balance sheet to act as a buffer, but that compares to $675 million in debt.

I’m a value investor, so I’m constantly sniffing around companies the market hates. But with shares of Just Energy flirting with a new 52-week high, this value guy can’t even get remotely excited. I have no desire to add this company to my portfolio, period.

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Fool contributor Nelson Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo.