ILLINOIS -- Consumers are getting ripped-off by one-and-only residential power company in Illinois, by BIG BULLY - ComEd. ComEd demanding that customers over-pay, collecting hundreds of dollars above-and-beyond their bill (electrical usage). Stop ComEd's Unfair Business Act by filing a complaint with the ICC - Illinois Commerce Commission. Stop ComEd from turning your lights off- by filing a complaint to the ICC. Here I go again, protesting against a messed up problem that affects millions of consumers.
After eight years of being a consumer of ComEd's, our power was turned off (Prior to this hardship my family is going through, I had always paid my bills on time - I was a good payer). I rushed to pay my bill the day they shut my power off. On the next day, my power was turned back on. My bill was in excess of $1000, because I was facing foreclosure on my home, and I was giving most of my money to the mortgage company, to get us in good-standing, so we can have our loan reinstated. And we succeeded- our load was modified and reinstated a couple weeks ago.
After paying the ComEd bill that was over $1000, a couple weeks later, I received a letter from ComEd, demanding that I pay them three down-payment's, because since my power had been shut off (let me remind you, just one time in eight years), I was no longer considered a good customer, but rather a high-risk customer; not even taking into consideration that the same day my power was shut off, I paid in excess of $1000, the entire past due amount.
A month later, they shut off my power again (that was last month), because I was late to pay my bill; but more importantly, I was late sending them their new requirement of the down-payment. I admit that times are difficult for my family. We struggle to pay our bills on-time. Literally, we are living week-to-week. Late last year and early this year, my husband and I lost two businesses. We have built our lives earning a six-figure income. For the first time in my life, I am collecting unemployment benefits. My husband now labors, and makes less than half of what he earned in his professional career.
Between my husband's income and my unemployment checks, we gross about $50,000 annually (that figure doesn't even reflect taxes and medical benefit deductions). We are a family of five, and we don't qualify for welfare - It just doesn't add up. Getting back to the subject of ComEd, when they turned my electricity off last month. The very same day I paid the bill PLUS the first installment of the required $108.33 down-payment, so that they would turn my electricity back on. And the following day, my power was on again. Twice they turned my power off; and twice did hundreds of dollars' worth of food spoil in my fridge and freezer.
My current bill had not been paid on-time either. We are still trying to recover from putting all are money out to the mortgage company and the $1000 to ComEd. My electricity was scheduled to be turned off yesterday. I called ComEd few days prior, and I disputed the down-payment. I explained that I felt it was unfair to expect more money than my bill, and told them I would gladly pay them only my bill amount, and would do so that day (during the phone conversation). But they would not budge. They already had over a $100 of mine just setting in an account that I could not touch or use.
These days, I just don't have an extra $325 (total of three down-payments) to be setting in ComEd's bank account. I had explained to ComEd... "That's my money, which could pay my car note, my auto insurance, or even food for the family for a couple weeks".
This time, I paid only my bill portion (even though they still have an extra $108 of mine), and I also filed a complaint with the ICC - Illinois Commerce Commission. And to my surprise, since I filed the complaint against ComEd to the ICC, regarding the demand of the down payments as a condition I have to meet in order to have electricity come to house; ComEd cannot turn my electricity off while a complaint is open.
I found that out from ComEd after I paid my only bill portion using my on-line banking. She (ComEd Rep.) was very rude when I called to let her know I only paid the bill-portion, and inquired if they were still going to turn my power off the next day. She would not answer any of my questions, only provided comments with a rude tone, that because I filed a complaint with the ICC, that my electricity would remain 'ON', until the dispute was settled. There are no other residential power companies in Illinois to choose from, so ComEd has zero competition. Why should I or anyone else have to give to ComEd $325 extra, to sit in a bank account of theirs?
I think it is an unfair practice. I imagine that if ComEd did have competition, they would design a competitive plan, with competitive rates, and offer economical solutions to those that are facing hardships, in order to keep their clients, as well as keep us satisfied - Don't you think? The phone companies, wireless and LAN lines; the cable and dish companies; and internet companies all compete for our business. And some do a good job - by providing to us options to choose from; some customize their services to fit our budgets; and some offer really good customer service, treating us with respect and valuing us as customers.
Even other industries, like lenders and insurance companies, provide us various options, as well as grace periods. But since our choices are limited to either, ComEd or candles, we are powerless - no pun intended. They tell us to jump; we ask "How high?" They tell us to bend-over, and we do. We have to, or they will turn off our electricity. And we have to OVER-PAY them, or they turn off our electricity. No grace period; no alternatives that are reasonable; no power!
What ComEd is doing... it is unfair; it is not fair at all; it is a RIPP-OFF. They should be ashamed of themselves, by taking advantage of the poor, and even more so, because we are in a recessed economy. I've think I've been a pretty good customer of ComEd's for almost a decade. Never in my life-time, have I been through a recessed economy like this. It's not just me, but millions of people (and businesses) are struggling - some already lost the battle; some live day-to-day; others live week-to-week; and most are living paycheck-to-paycheck. I am not the only person that is being demanded by ComEd, to pay more than I owe.
ComEd is ripping us off!!! In times like these, we should be helping one another, not making a bad situation worse. Things will get better, in time. But, I don't think we'll see better days anytime soon. I am very curious, and would like to know how much money ComEd has collected, above and beyond, what their customer's actual bills were. They have the nerve to take advantage of 1) having no other competition and; 2) forcing people to give them more money than what they owe - otherwise they will turn their electricity off.
Each time I called ComEd to dispute the down-payment (as well as pay my bill), they would referred me to an outside source - a utility assistance programs designed to help people through a hardship - L.E.A.P. (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) is the program I was referred to in Will County. Of course I called them, but L.E.A.P. has not been, nor will not be accepting applications for months, because of depleted government funds. And this funding problem that L.E.A.P. Is experiencing, should be expected.
As the economy continues to tank, more and more people are in need of help, and looking for resources to help them through their hardship. Not only is ComEd wrong, but the government should step-up, and provide the additional funds, to the programs that are designed to temporarily assist low-income families. Furthermore, the day (first event) that ComEd turned off my power; they had the nerve to...
1) tell me that it could take several months before L.E.A.P. Could provide assistance. That tells me that they already knew that the government program was lacking funds, and it really wasn't an option for me at the time. And...
2) charge me a convenience fee while paying my $1000+ bill over the phone. There was absolutely no convenience provided to me. They could only process one payment per day. And my debit card would only allow me to spend up to $500 per use. So, I had to pay a convenience charge on the phone, and another at an authorized agent where I physically had to drive to, in order to process my payment.
I disputed the convenience charges, because I disagree that a convenience was not provided to me. I was told that a supervisor would call me to discuss within 72 hours but I never received that call. My husband also talked to ComEd last week, regarding the shut-off notice, and again they said they would call back within 72 hours. Yet again, ComEd failed to call back. Every customer of ComEd's should know where to file a complaint against utility companies. If anyone else is being RIPPED OFF BY COMED, they should know that they can file a complaint with the ICC. (Every state has a government agency that handles complaints regarding utility companies).
Filing the complaint stopped ComEd from being allowed to shut my power off (temporarily), and hopefully, it will stop them from unfair collection of money that is not due to them. Surprisingly, a ComEd representative actually called me back because I had made an official complaint with the ICC- Wow! Illinois consumers can file a complaint online, by phone or mail with the ICC. Contact information and the on-line complaint form for the ICC is located on their website: http://www.icc/. Illinois.gov/consumer/complaint.
I was approximately 2 wks late with my payment, I was on a payment plan. Mind you I had NEVER missed a payment ALWAYS got there on time, but this ONE TIME, there were some issues with my debit card so I had to wait for a new one to arrive. In the meantime, I was sent a disconnect notice, and called basically they said there was nothing they could do because the payment was late, so I would have to pay the full 500.00. Keep in mind now, I WAS NEVER LATE MAKING MY PAYMENTS. So once my new card arrived, I called and spoke to a representative and there they said I couldn't pay the 153. No I was making every month ON TIME lol...
I had to pay all of it or I would be shut off, and sure enough, I got up one morning and dropped my son off at school, went back home to get ready for work, and YEP... NO SERVICE just that quick. But that's not the killer... Mind you I asked them why would you shut me off as faithful as I have been paying, and one late payment due to no fault of my own, why would you do that? The representative was unconcerned, didn't care, rude, trying to talk over me... and then he goes, "WE HAVE SHUT PEOPLE OFF OVER 100.00 DOLLARS". OK, AND YA BRAGGING ABOUT THAT? Whatever...
Then I said I know of a woman RIGHT NOW, that lives down the street, literally owes you all OVER 3,000 and her service is still on, then I told him about my neighbor that had a bill for 2,000 and still has service, BUT YOU SHUT ME OFF OVER MISSING A 152.00 PAYMENT? He goes well they going to get shut off too. "UMMMM let me just tell you all, these people STILL have service as of 11-25-2009. One of the ladies moved, I asked her "did they make you pay that bill", she goes nope, they just forwarded it to my new address and gave me a new acct. UMMM, am I missing something COMED? Do you pick and choose who to shut off?
Yes ComEd is a hot mess, we do need other utility services available to choose from, and it really isn't the company, it's the people that work there, talk to you like they out on the street. But one does have to keep in mind "what goes around comes around" be careful how you talk and treat people.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Six months ago I began getting robocalls every other Tuesday to my cell phone which I only give out to family and close friends. Yes, I still have a land line. These calls were addressed to a guy of which I will not publish his name. To be sure, he is not be. They were calling for him to pay his bill for some apartment building. Initially I ignored it but was put off one day as I got a call at work in an environment when I am on the phones and they really frown at personal calls. I called from home one day and had a horrific time trying to get in touch with a real live person. I am not even sure how I did. They said they would remove my number.
A month later, the calls came back again. Again I ignored it for a while. Finally I called and had just as horrific a time trying to get to a real person. The only thing their phone tree was interested in is in me paying the bill. Or in this case someone else's bill. I just got off the phone with them and they said they would remove my number from this guy's account. I am still upset and am leery that the calls may start again. ComEd, please pay attention to Customer Service. I know personally, it's just not a function of billing.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Comed CS is Horrible. I called in about transferring service and had to deal with an extremely rude and bitter CS Representative by the name of **. It also sounded like I interrupted her lunch and coworker conversations. She had a "chip on her shoulder" from the beginning, which I originally ignored bc I just wanted to get ready my move in the couple of weeks. I questioned the process of transferring my service and said I would call back after I talk to CUB (utility watchdog) and for now just gave her a date to stop service at one of the addresses.
Her response to that was "we can interrupt your service ya know"... what??? Because you are bitter and I had a question you didn't seem to have the right answer too??? You see **, I pay my bills, so maybe that's why you are so confused. If I don't pay... then yes, you can disconnect but I'm pretty sure you can't disconnect service bc you're a big, giant, bitter. So glad, Comed's getting killed by all of the new alternatives. How does this lazy, witch have a job? How can she go right to cuttings someone's service because she is clearly going through menopause or is just crazy? ALL THE MORE REASON TO SUPPORT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES!!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I received a call from my roommate on Oct. 29 informing me that our electricity had been disconnected. I never received a "Disconnection Notice" or phone call regarding this matter. I then called ComEd and was informed by a representative that I had to check with the landlord of the building, because he "allegedly" had the meter to my apartment illegally connected to the building. I called my landlord (who finally contacted me 2 days later), and he said he didn't know what was going on. I lived at this address for over a year and always paid my electric bill on time and for the "Amount Due" listed on the bill.
I just found out from a neighbor on Oct. 31 where the meters where located. I never had a problem with my electricity since I lived here. Now I have Over $175 worth of groceries I just purchased spoil! I called ComEd customer service again on Nov. 1, and was "Rudely" and "Falsely" accused of stealing electricity from ComEd. That was not her place to make such an accusation and I was greatly offended. Yes, my electric bill has been low. Perhaps it's the fact that my roommate and I have a habit of turning off lights and unplugging electrical appliances that are not in use.
The only items that remain plugged are the refrigerator, microwave, T.V/V.C.R and alarm clock. My roommate and I are usually gone all day and the most electricity is probably use between 9:30 to 12 or 2 A.M. I received my next bill on Oct. 30 and looked the entire bill over. (I usually just look at the amount due and just pay whatever it says.) Then, I compared it to my other bills and notice that the amount of kilowatts never increased nor decreased.
I don't know if this means there is a problem with the meter (rather or not it is broken), or if the landlord had it connected illegally. But, I have been faithfully paying the bills they sent me, and I am willing to send copies of the bills to ComEd. I have not "Stolen" nor "Cheated" ComEd. I can understand if I didn't pay my bills or didn't pay the correct amount, but I only paid what I was billed. I also deserve an apology from the representative for her remarks, and my service should be reinstated and lots of groceries replaced. If anyone should be penalized, then it should be the landlord of the building, not the innocent tenants who get the "short end of the stick!!"
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- For few months I was receiving relatively high electric bills for not spending too much time in my apt. One month I was out of town for three weeks and received the highest bill yet. At that point I called to see what was going on and was told it was life and there is nothing to do about the high bill I asked if perhaps there was a mistake and was told absolutely not. I checked my apt breakers and realized I was being charged for another apt in my building. I called back a few times until a representative took me seriously and asked me to check my breakers again and said they would send out a person to conduct a meter reading.
The meter reading was completed two months later. I called after the reading was done about a month later to check if the billing switch was made. I was told there was no reason to be concerned, the switch was made and the accounting dept. was correcting the billing. Two months after being billed appropriately, I looked at my bill and noticed a high bill again. My apt was billed for the wrong apt a second time. I called again and was told I would hear from a supervisor in a couple days after waiting on hold for a half hour.
ANTIOCH, ILLINOIS -- August 29, 2012. I called to start a new service location with COMED today and was told there was an outstanding debt in the amount of $200 from 1999! Note we have four accounts today - all payments having been automatically debited from our bank account so never late in YEARS. This is the first I am hearing about a $200 1999 debt. They will not start new service unless this is paid. And they can provide no detail. What a scam. You can bet I will be looking at other service providers. The CSR was not nice either.
KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS -- I was paying my bill on a monthly. I am on a fixed income, have been for the last ten years. I live in a mobile home and I have electric heat one child. And my bill is over $5500 with the payments of $250 to $400 hundred a month I pay. Tried to get on payment plan they refused me tried to get on an energy saving plan they offered, they claim the app was lost. Deal expired. Now they shut power off, refused to work with me, refused to turn power back on accused me before for tampering with equipment, got charge over $3000 dollars for it.
I am not an electrician don't know a thing about it but was charged for the crime. Tried calling to talk to supervisor & a representative, still no deal. So now it's getting cold. I live in rural area with no heat no lights no way to cook with my child. Please can someone help me I am a 35 yr old female. Been disable for the past seventeen years.
ILLINOIS -- This company is a rip-off. My cousin owed the company $900 from when she was married and living at a different residence. So they told here they were going to disconnect her service, with it being November in Chicago (dead winter). So I called to start new service in my name. About a month later they told me I was responsible for paying her bill because I was added to her account when she opened it. LOL, so I put the account in dispute. It's funny how you can never speak with the department handling the dispute. So after months of this they decide they will take me to collections and force me to pay her balance.
I sent numerous faxes with my lease showing I have lived out of state for years prior to her opening her account. ComEd could not show a statement showing that I was listed on her account. Long story short, my cousin was in the process of bankruptcy so she had an attorney. They allowed the attorney to speak with the dispute department about this matter (that's crazy she can but I can't). So the attorney told them they were committing fraud by adding me to her account and forcing me to pay that $900 bill.
They finally took it off my account but informed me that they would not be updating the records with the credit bureaus and it was my responsibility. I will definitely be contacting the BBB to report this company. You would think they would try to provide a service to their customers but they just rip them off.
CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS -- I have had an estimated bill since May, this is now September, or billing for August. I have paid approximately $300 per month, which in comparison to my neighbors is in line. I received a bill today for $1,639.71! When I called Comed, the customer service representative stated that the bill is correct.
I explained to her that it cannot be correct, because if I was paying $300 per month, the total bill per month of actual bills would have been over $600 per month. I do not run my air conditioner very often and am very energy efficient. I waited for a supervisor for 67 minutes and then received a message that they are now gone for the evening and to call back tomorrow. I am ready to scream. I will update the site with what the determination is.