Consumers Energy

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Dealing with incompetents and crooks
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ROYAL OAK, MI 48073-1642, MICHIGAN -- Consumer Energy

I called to connect the service a house I bought. Instead of notifying me to meet them at the property as agreed on, they left a note “MISSED YOU“. After a new arraignment, a person with no plumbing experience, called me from the location, saying there’s nobody home. I arrived within ten minutes, and was told that the threads on the pipe going out of the house, is stripped. As I came closer, I see the consumer energy person trying to connect to the pipe by turning it counter clockwise. I told her to try turning clockwise, and a miracle happened. The meter was installed on an angle, and after several attempts, consumer energy truck park in front of the house for at least 30 minutes, and drove away. The second, looked at the meter, and promised to be on the next day with the proper tools. It was mid June 2009, and after too much frustration with Consumer Energy, I decided to forget it for the time being.

March 2010, I received a heating credit check from Michigan Treasury, with instruction that it could deposited “only” with the heating company. I took it to Consumer Energy’s office, to verify how would I get my the balance after paying what is due. I was told that within one week, I’ll be receiving a check. When I didn’t receive two weeks later, I contacted consumer energy, and on the third call (after being disconnected or put on hold forever), I was transferred to the department in charge of passing my concern to the department in charge to send refunds. I was told within five days, I’ll be getting a check. Again two weeks later, I phoned consumer energy, and after several transfer and dial again, I was informed that a request was made, and that the c company will either accept or reject my demand to be refunded with the sum that consumer energy owes me. The Michigan Public Commission, refuse to be involved, and the Michigan Treasury, who at fault (for allowing such corruption or misleading conduct), claimed it’s out of hands, and to take it with the company, because I can only complain to them.

When you are late 2-3 days with your payment of a small amount, consumer energy rush to steal a few dollars from you, but when they owe you several hundreds, they hold it as long as possible to collect interest. If they hold refunds due to only one million customers multiply by $500, it’s $500,000000 held by consumer energy. Find out how much interest for $500 million, and you’ll know how much consumer energy are gaining every year from this undeclared profit.
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Anonymous on 04/27/2010:
Where can I buy the ear protectors shown in the picture?
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Appliance Service Plan
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MOUNT MORRIS, MICHIGAN -- I've had an appliance service plan with Consumers Energy for 6 years now and last night my furnace stopped working. It was about 11:00 at night and about 15 degrees outside. I called Consumers because they advertise 24/7 service and priority service for no heat situations, well it is now almost 10:00 am the next morning and after a 2nd call, I was told they cannot tell me when a tech might show up to look at my furnace. It got down to about 5 degrees last night and I have a 6 month old in the house. If this is their idea of priority service, then I'm glad they don't run the fire department. Last call I was told a tech should be out some time today, but they could not tell me when. After this issue is resolved, I will cancel my contract with them and would advise anyone considering this service, to think twice. The money I spent with them over the last 6 years could have paid for a new furnace. Next time I will just call a local heating company and get it fixed much quicker.
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Alain on 01/04/2012:
You're right. Get rid of them and use a local heating company.
Mel on 10/26/2012:
Good luck canceling. After reading the fine print, I wanted to cancel my appliance contract. It did say that if canceled after 10 days there would be a penalty. I've had it for 2 months and figured, fine my penalty will be paying for one more month. NOPE! You have to pay for the whole year even if you cancel early in the year. Why would I cancel if I have to pay for a whole year anyway? That is some penalty! Plus, you're automatically re-enrolled the following year without a notice being mailed to remind you that you have to cancel if you don't want it, or your penalty is another year of premiums. What a rip-off! I can't believe that a consumers utilty company runs their business like this. Bad business model.
Ed on 07/19/2013:
Couldn't agree more, total scam. Wouldn't repair my dishwasher because it was going to be over $250 and they wouldn't let me use that money towards the repair or a new one. Would not let me cancel the program until I was within 30 days of the renewal date. TOTAL SCAM!
Dave on 07/31/2013:
I agree with everything said above! Customer service also does not seem to know what they are talking about. I was told I could cancel at any point and time which is not true. I have also called to get multiple appliances fixed and was told I need a complete need unit which is not covered. DO NOT GET SUCKED INTO THIS PROGRAM! Huge waist of money
Eileen on 08/13/2013:
I had a tech repair my furnace through the Furnace Care plan. When he left he said "don't worry about the gas smell - it takes some time to dissipate". A week later I still smelled gas . A DTE (gas company) rep came to check the new smart meter and I asked him to check about the gas I smelled. His detection equipment went off like an alarm in my cellar. The tech for Furnace Care never tightened the new connections for the part he installed. I called to cancel and 6 months later I received a past due bill for Furnace Care. I have gone round and round with them and they will not back off. Even after the sucky service they offer. This program should be reported to the BBB and Michigan Public Service Commission. They are a racket.
Anastacia on 08/20/2013:
We recently bought a house here in town in south western MI, my husband went to set up our electric for the house and the gentleman asked him if he would like to enroll in the program. He denied the program and about 2 days later we got a letter welcoming us to the service for our furnace and we did not accept the service agreement! He called to cancel and the gentleman on the side of consumers tried to convince us to stay "you know you would save a ton of $$..." Yeah right. I would rather call the company that installed the heater before consumers!
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Starting Account
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Rating: 1/51
MT. PLEASANT, MICHIGAN -- Paid for new apartment for college. Needed the account number from consumer energy to move into the apartment. Called 2 weeks ahead of move in date. Upon giving them my social security number they said that they were not sure that I was who I said I was. They went through a week long process and called back saying that it has been approved. So I asked for an account number and they said that it could take 3-5 business days for them to call back and give me the account number. 5 days later I called back and said I still have not received it and they told me that I needed to fax them a copy of my drivers license and social security card. I told them that I just waited 5 days to be approved and that I already went through this and they could have told me a week ago that I needed to do this. They insisted that they told me this ( of course they did NOT) so it took another day to get it authorized and faxed. Then I was told it was going to take another 5 days to get that approved. Five days later I called in and they said that they received the information and they will call me in 3-5 days with account number. Later that night I got a call and they gave me the account number and said that they had it all day and that the person I spoke with before had it and didn't give it to me. So finally after 3 and a half weeks I got my power turned on. This was not easy and every time I called ( approx 6-8 times) I waited on the phone for a minimum 30 minutes. it should never be this hard to start an account. I talked to multiple people on the same day that both told me completely different information. They must be very unorganized. I am fed up with them and recommend finding another service.
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Ash on 06/24/2014:
This same thing happened to me when I moved into a new apartment for college. When I started the account and arranged for service to be turned on for the day that I planned on moving in, they said everything was all set up and that service would be ready to go for that day. She said that if they needed further information, I would be contacted. I was never contacted. I moved in and had no power, no heat, no hot water, nothing. They needed verification of my identity as well, and when I provided this information within the hour (notarized, faxed, everything), they claimed it would still be weeks before service could be turned on because they needed this information two weeks prior to moving in. They NEVER told me this. It would have been so much easier if they had because I simply would have provided it then. They didn't even keep me updated on any progress. I had even longer wait times, all the representatives said different things, and I couldn't get any straight answers. They are very unorganized. I would also recommend finding another company. Whenever I move now, I make sure that there are other companies available before I move because I refuse to move somewhere where Consumers Energy is the only option.
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No electricity!
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SAGINAW, MICHIGAN -- As of July 1st, at approximately 11:30a. m., our electricity was turned off. We had lived in a house where the electricity resided in my name. We moved to a town house May 24th. I called Consumers and had services transferred to our new residence staying under my name. The next day, our landlord had sent our lease into Consumers. Our lease has my boyfriends name on it; take note, we have a 13mon little one in amongst this story. Consumers then proceeds to place my boyfriends name on our Consumers bill. Consumers had sent us a letter in the mail stating that they had placed the Consumers Energy bill in his name, which means its out of my (Brittanye) name now. My boyfriend (Scott) then called the company requesting that they place the bill back in my name. I was then to call the company to inform them that this bill was to go back in my name, however, representatives could not do so being they would not take Scotts name off the bill. So back and forth Scott and myself had called Consumers 2 have this bill placed back in my name. When Scott would call, they would say that there was nothing they could do because it was in my name, when I would call for verification, they would claim that there was nothing they could do because it was in Scotts name, so you may by now sense my frustration. So then by July 1st, Consumers had shut off our electricity at a bad time, my infant was sick w/congestion, stuffy nose, and a near beginning of another case of bronchial bronchitis w/a small fever here n there. I had called consumers to find out what the problem was and if we were to have our power turned back on soon. They couldn't give me an answer and sometimes directed me to dead lines. I would call the company several times to the point of exhausting my situation over and over to several of Consumers' representatives. Representatives couldn't really help us w/our situation not even enough to give us an answer to why we were not to receive energy. I would then call back and ask to speak to somebody other than another representative, preferably a supervisor. Finally after at least 10-15 different conversations w/Consumers representatives, we are given a direct contact number to a supervisor and a representative in the credit department lease was faxed to Consumers 3 times and was lost each time. The fourth time our landlord had faxed our lease to Consumers, we were to contact one of the supervisors or the credit department representatives. Getting through to these associates was very difficult. I have left a few messages with them. I have called and have spoken w/more representatives that can't help me and their responses have been that their departments would need to review our lease which was said to be under investigation. No one would call us back. Take note this is also the holiday weekend, so my stakes of having electricity were very slim to none to my understanding. As I write this review, I still have no electricity, I'm heading back home from a nice vacation to a home w/no electricity still. I feel that me and my family were of no urgency to this company to receive any service of energy connection. As a paying customer to this company, I and my family feel at the low end of priority, still waiting.
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Consumer Energy Gas User BEWARE!
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Notice to all Consumer Energy Gas users. Please
be advised that since January of 2009 I began receiving bills from Consumers Energy Gas showing excessive usage, resulting in billing of
approx $3400.00. At first I believed that perhaps it was due to several extimated billing. Being a busy business owner, I had neglected to go back and check out previous billings. The following month I di not receive a bill. I tried to go online to view my ccount, it instructed me to contact customer service. When I did, I was told that my account was under investigation. I wasn't overly concerned, I thought they realized that my usage went up to
an abnormal high & they were making corrections.
I waited for a revised bill. February came and went, when the end of March arrieved and I still had not received bill & was going into the Hospital, not wantin to worry about the bill. I again called Consumers Energy, explained I had not received a bill for nearly 2 months, was being hospitalized the first week of April and wanted to know where my bill was, also xplaining that I had an extremely high bill in January. I was told that I would be receiving a bill in the near future & that I did not hae to be concernd about my gas being shut off. Needless to say, I
expected my bill to come shortly and was sure I would ave a credit on my bill. A week after my
Hospial stay, I still hadn't rceived my bill. So again I called Consumers Energy. They assured me that the bill was in the mail. I did ask what the amount of the bill was, they responded that they did not have the information on hand, again assuring me I should receve it in a day or so. The following day I received the bill. I was totaly overwhelmed and shocked to learn the new bill was not in fact the credit I expected, but rather another bill that was in the amount of $4600.00. My experience with Consumers and the same type of billing has been ongoing even today. ( July 2009 ) I contacted the MPSC to file a complaint in May. Consumers came and changed my meter out. I requested to be there when the Meter was read, not only to the person that set up the meter to be changed but also to the person that changed it. Some 7 weeks later they notified that the meter test 100% okay & they stated that my current usage was in line with previous years. To make this short, that is not the case. I reviewe previous bills and the reality is, my current usage is running 350% to 450% over last years. I have had repeated shut off notices as well as had collection agencies contact me on behalf of Consumers. To date, I have elected to hire an Attorney. After 7 months my stress level has reached it's max, it's costing to have employees on staff so that I could deal with situation. I see no end in site and Consumers Energy Staff changes there statement to me every time I talk to them. Many other people in my community are go through simular situations. Please check your bills & report it to the MPSC if Consumer Energy does not address your issues to your satisfaction. So you know, from what I understand to date is they have a new computer system that has created incorrect bilings. Beware
of your usage & compare to last year.
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Cut a Tree on My Property From Private Project
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN -- My neighbor, which just moved in decided to call Consumers Energy to cut her tree ( no wires involved). Two days before assured me it would not go over the property line. He did not supervise the contractors and they proceeded to take the trimming to my side of the property line and told me "oh well". Nothing we can do.

They do not care about anyone's private property, but what they make on these private work. By the way, I called them because I had some serious wires caught up in other trees and consumers told me it wasn't worth his time. Nice since I have been a customer for almost 30 years.

Disturbed by Consumers priorities!!!
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John Nicholson on 08/16/2013:
Get a lawyer. Threaten to sue. They will settle. Also, consider suing the neighbor because she started it all.
CU on 08/16/2013:
If there were no wires involved, why would anyone call the power company to trim a tree? And why would they do it? Is this a service they provide and charge for?
cabletech on 08/24/2013:
I am guessing the tree is hanging over the easement? If that is the case they can cut it......they can do anything they want with it unfortunately. Is 'your side ' her tree that is hanging ever into your yard? If that is the case I doubt you have any claim in that case either..... she owns the tree and can chop it as she wants
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Sneaky, underhand, very poor customer service.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ADA, MICHIGAN -- Consumer's Energy are sneaky and underhand. I was making payments to them by an agreed arrangement with them following a very large summer energy bill as prices have skyrocketed this year. I paid them my monthly bill of $305 this month, plus a payment per our agreed arrangement of $147. They sent me the arrangement details and I sent the next three payments of $105.65 each in to them in post-dated checks with a letter so I would not have to worry about the mail getting them there late. The checks were dated for dates in November and the last one in December. Today I discovered they had deposited ALL my remaining payments in October and emptied what was left in my checking causing me to be overdrawn. This means I paid them $750 this month and now I'm pretty broke. I called to complain and was told by a snotty, rude and defensive girl that they don't accept post-dated checks. They could have destroyed the checks and sent me a letter or called me but they just took all my money. Is this what they think of their customers in a struggling economy? Consumer's Energy are creeps and they don't care! This kind of energy monopoly should NOT be allowed.
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olie on 11/03/2012:
You can post-date a check, but nobody--not your electric company, not their bank, not YOUR bank--is obliged to abide by your future date. The only day that matters is the day that someone decides to deposit or cash that check. This has been standard banking practice for at least 30 years.

You wrote checks for money you didn't have in your account. That could be considered fraud.
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Cut Off Power to 86 Year Old Man
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Rating: 2/51
MICHIGAN -- Today, Flint MI police checked a car parked in the driveway of a Flint MI. home.
It was occupied by a DEAD senior citizen whose Power was shut off the previous day by Consumers power for non payment of a 261 dollar power bill.

He was simply trying to stay warm in 15 degree weather.
A 260 dollar amount is not uncommon in Michigan in January or February.

Consumers "says" that they don't cut off winter power to seniors in the winter...

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GenuineNerd on 02/20/2012:
Michael Moore needs to know about this...he could include this story in his next movie.
old fart on 02/20/2012:
Amen Nerd!
Gotta let them know.. on 02/20/2012:
Did the power company know he was a senior citizen? Did he call them? Does the power company ask a persons age when they sign up? With proof of age, I'm fairly sure they would leave it on, ours does.
DebtorBasher on 02/20/2012:
This is the same company that cut a woman's power off because her payment was ONE PENNY short! I'm not sure when this happened, but it happened!

FLINT, Mich. - It was just a penny, but to Consumers Energy it was enough to cut off power in a local home. Jacqueline Williams, 41, of Flint had an electricity bill of $1,662.08 and paid all of it, except for one cent. That wasn't enough for the power company, which blacked her out for seven hours Wednesday.

The CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary told Williams the power would not be turned on until the penny was received.

"I went down there, paid my penny and got a receipt," Williams told The Flint Journal.

Shortly after, the electricity was turned back on.

"All of this for one penny," said Williams, who went to the state Department of Human Services for help in April and was told the agency would pay most of the bill.

But she was still short more than $500.

Williams, a Social Security recipient, went to the Salvation Army, where she received $430.67, and Consumers agreed to match $430.66 toward the bill.

However, she was still one cent short.

A Consumers Energy spokesman said that the utility had no choice in the matter, though he was not aware of any similar incidents where service was stopped for one cent.

"This was the first one I've heard about," said Terry DeDoes. He said the company has many programs to help people who fall behind in their utility bills.

Williams said she doesn't want to find herself in the same situation again.

"I'm praying to God I stay on top of my bills," she said.
Anonymous on 02/20/2012:
What a Greedy dreadful company. Having a person freeze their arse off over a penny.
Anonymous on 02/20/2012:
A lot of different groups sure came together to pay that woman's huge power bill; it's a shame they couldn't get their act together to pay it all at the same time.

But I guess that now that she's invoking God himself for help with her bills, I'm sure everything will be just fine.
Anonymous on 02/20/2012:
Each state has a program that prevents utility companies from shutting services off during certain periods of the year. However, you must qualify for those programs. It is not just applied to everyone across the board.

Michigan - Winter Protection Plan is in effect from November to March for elderly 65 years or older, recipients of Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Department of Human Services cash assistance, full time active military personnel or persons needing critical medical or health care or having a certified medical emergency. Households must be enrolled in a payment plan. In addition, year-round protection from shut-off is available to all residential customers regardless of their household income with an initial down payment of 10 percent of a customer's total utility or heating bill and a monthly budget plan. Disconnection delay is also called for of 21 days with medical certificate if health of household member would be adversely affected from the disconnection. Certification may be renewed another 42 days. Due date for utility bills extended to 22 days.
old fart on 02/20/2012:
Tonight I will pay particular attention to the news. There may be more details involving the case..
Cwazychicken on 02/20/2012:
My mother has heat assistance with state of South Dakota. If her furnace breaks, weatherization has moved her to the top to make sure shes OK during the winter. This company had no right to do this to an elderly man like this. It is a shame he couldn't get state assitance, he probably could've qualified.
Venice09 on 02/20/2012:
"Williams, a Social Security recipient, went to the Salvation Army, where she received $430.67, and Consumers agreed to match $430.66 toward the bill."

It doesn't make sense that Consumers would match $430.67 and then turn off the power over one cent. Is it possible this is computer generated with no regard for people and their situations? It's hard to believe that a human made the decision to turn off a customer's power because payment was one cent short.
ok4now on 02/21/2012:
This is a disgrace. Obama is sending billions (our tax dollars) in foreign aide to our "friends" in Pakistan and other third world countries who hate us. Yet a senior American citizen freezes to death because of a delinquent $261 utility bill?? Hello? Charity begins at home. This should have never happened. Why was this utility company allowed to do this? Sure the money was owed but is involuntary manslaughter the answer? They should be criminally charged. As a former Philly resident the utility companies are prohibited from cutting off service in the winter, no matter how much is owed. The city of Flint needs to adopt a similar policy.
Anonymous on 02/21/2012:
The family if this man should Sue Consumers Energy.
onlooker on 02/21/2012:
This could be seen as a sad commentary on the entire community that this man was involved with. It becomes tragic when help could have been available. So like what have you done today to ensure it will not happen to someone else?
CowboyFan on 02/21/2012:
The OP should not complain without all the facts. The Flint Journal states:

"John Morgan, 86, was found dead in his truck by his neighbors Monday morning, Flint Police Sgt. Jeff Collins said.

The cause of death is still unknown, but it does not appear to be suspicious, Collins added. An autopsy will be performed.

Consumers Energy representative Debra Dodd confirmed that the electricity to Morgan's home at 730 E. Parkway Ave. on the city's north side was turned off Friday. Dodd said the house still had natural gas service.

Dodd said company representatives went to Morgan's home prior to shutting off the electricity but were unable to make contact with anybody.

Collins could not say if the utility company's decision to turn off Morgan's electricity played any role in the man's death.

Seniors may contact Consumers Energy to have their utility account coded to prevent shutoff during the winter, Dodd said. She added that Morgan was never identified as a senior citizen by the company."

So: 1) Man was never identified or signed up as a senior citizen to prevent power being cut off;
2) Man still had natural gas service, which one would assume is how he heated the house;
3) Electric company went there, no one home; and
3) He was found in truck, may have had heart attack etc., when coming back from store.

Churro on 02/21/2012:
"Man still had natural gas service, which one would assume is how he heated the house; "

I have NG and I know my heater WILL NOT work without electricity. My oven won't work either but interestingly enough my water heater will which I don't think will heat the house.

Eh, I don't care about the CYA efforts and the damage control. What's not in dispute is an 86 year old man's electricity was shut off on a 15 degree day over a $261 bill. Spin it however you want and devil advocate it to death but in the end doesn't change the only relevant fact.

What have we become?
Slimjim on 02/21/2012:
It's all about whether a unit has electronic ignition or a pilot light. Many heaters, hot water tanks and gas appliances usually come either way. A pilot light model will run without electricity, but burn more fuel. A pilotless model saves by having no standing pilot, but needs an electronic glow bar to fire up.
Anonymous on 02/21/2012:
My natural gas heat system won't work without electricity either.

As sad as it is for anyone to have their power shut off in the middle of winter, if a person doesn't sign up for their state's assistance program, I can't blame the power company for his death. What makes someone 86 yrs old any more eligible to have their power left on, then say a struggling college student working a min wage job and they are unable to afford a $260/bill?
CowboyFan on 02/21/2012:
When we sign up for electricity, we agree to pay the bill. There are programs to protect people, who may be in life threatening situations without their electricity, such as not cutting off seniors during winter. If the 86 year old man did not sign up for such a program, it is hardly the electric company's fault the electricity was cut off FOR HIS FAILURE TO PAY HIS BILL.

That does not mean it is not a sad situation. It is not right, however, to blame the electric company for cutting off power WHEN HE DID NOT PAY HIS BILL and HE DID NOT NOTIFY THEM AND SIGN UP FOR ASSISTANCE. Is the electric company supposed to not cut off anyone's electricity during the winter? For them to have avoided this situation, that would have had to be their policy, since they were not informed the man was 86 nor did he sign up for their program.

JISCal2 on 02/21/2012:
When it is that cold outside there should be checks in place to make sure that the health of the person in the home is not compromised. How they would go about doing that I do not know. Let them figure it out.
Churro on 02/21/2012:
That seems like the reasonable thing to do, John.
Anonymous on 02/21/2012:
I only wish that they "took care" of my blood pressure medicine, too.

Hell, pay for my car, too.

Down to the friggen penny.
Venice09 on 02/21/2012:
We have natural gas but need electricity to run the furnace and stove. Not sure about the water heater.

"What makes someone 86 yrs old any more eligible to have their power left on, then say a struggling college student working a min wage job and they are unable to afford a $260/bill?"

I'm not defending the power company, but that's a good point. What about struggling parents with babies in the house? Or people with disabilities? The list goes on and on.
Churro on 02/21/2012:
Wow, seriously y'all can't see the difference between an 86 year old and a college student? Once again on my3cents I find myself speechless.
Venice09 on 02/21/2012:
It's not just about college students. There are many people whose lives are compromised by freezing. For certain people it can be a matter of life and death, not just comfort.
Anonymous on 02/21/2012:
Churro, my point was..ahh nevermind, I think you know what my point was.

At any rate..I'm sure most states are like WA, where those of us that are not struggling can donate so those that are struggling can get some help. Here it's called the Warm Home Fund. Again, a person must be signed up and approved for assistance before they receive.
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Consumers Energy Sucks
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MICHIGAN -- My roommate had an unpaid balance from another home and when he moved in with me they attached his bill to my account and shut off my gas when it was under freezing. I called and worked it out but it has been 18 hours and still no heat. They are pieces of **** and I am going to cut off their lock in about an hour and turn it back on myself.
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SuzeB on 11/17/2011:
Seems to me that perhaps your anger should be directed at your roommate?
Anonymous on 11/17/2011:
I wouldn't cut off their lock. They will hit you with a lot of fines. And, depending on where you live, that could be considered a crime punishable by law
CowboyFan on 11/17/2011:
How would the gas company know your roommate was even there unless you put him on the account?
Kris10 on 11/17/2011:
You may also want to check to see if Michigan has a Utility shut off law. Many states have them and yours might too.
trmn8r on 11/17/2011:
This goes to show that some companies get serious about having bills for services rendered paid, and also it pays to know who your roommate is and what his credit history looks like.

Shutting the gas off in freezing weather is pretty radical.

I wouldn't cut that lock off just yet - you say you are working this out. If you cut the lock, you may be opening yourself up to more grief than an outstanding bill.
Anonymous on 11/17/2011:
I rented a room a few years back and the landlord ran a background and credit check on me. Pretty smart
trmn8r on 11/17/2011:
Yep, pretty smart, but those background checks in the future may reveal the shenanigans that your son is getting into!
Anonymous on 11/17/2011:
Oh no let's hope not!
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Budget plan and atrocious customer service
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MIDLAND, MICHIGAN -- I recently got into my own fight with CE and it has not yet been resolved...

Just this last Thursday (2/14/2008) I received by combined gas and electric bill totaling approximately $284.00 which is more than I can pay at once. To make matters worse CE took me off the budget plan, on which I was paying $100/month on the combined bill. CE claims I am past due on $76.00, the reason I was removed from the budget plan. I both emailed and called CE's customer service and I was told I missed two payments, however I have both copies of the bills and all canceled checks that prove I paid my bills on time every month for at least the amount charged.

I think the trouble began last fall when they combined my two bills into one. When I received two bills, they had calculated my budget plan amount to be $50.00 each for gas and electricity. When they combined my bill into one, they were charging me only $50.00 for both. It was obvious to me that was not enough so I was sending in $100.00 as I had been doing before.

Last year I had been on the budget plan and as a result built up such a large credit balance with them, that I requested to go off the plan in August until the credit was used up. CE agreed and returned me to the plan about two months later with a new budget amount - $50.00 for gas and $50.00 for electricity, and had been on this new plan until they just removed me from it, claiming past due amount. It seems to me if there is any past due amount, it is due to CE lousing up its budget plan calculation and NOT due to any error on my part. Now they are punishing me for their error, especially since they are threatening credit action.

When I called and emailed this weekend I told them I cannot afford the approximately $284.00 right off the bat and will send in instead $150 which is more than enough to cover whatever past due amount they are claiming as well as what would have been the budget plan amount. However, all this will do is cause the remaining $134 to be past due and I still won't be placed back on the budget plan and next month another bill that I won't be able to pay all at once, all because of their accounting error. Since my energy expenditures in the summer are very small, my summer credit for next summer will have been more than enough to pay for this winter.

So much for CE's customer no-service.

This fight has only just begun and they haven't yet threatened to shut off my energy, so I don't think I need a lawyer, yet. Any advice on dealing with these people without coming off like a raving lunatic???

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User Replies:
Anonymous on 02/16/2008:
Have you attempted to talk to a manager? I think that would be the first step. If you have already done that, ask to speak with THEIR manager. Try to stay calm while speaking with them and let them know you have records of the payments you have sent. (For that small amount going to a lawyer probably isn't worth it). If everything you have stated is accurate and you have made every attempt to correct what you do owe and still you receive no customer service after multiple attemps on your part, contact the BBB. This site has a direct link.
lilydarling on 02/16/2008:
Can you make payment arrangements with Consumers Energy? My bill was kind of high, and they agreed to let me make payments every week for 8 weeks.
Anonymous on 02/17/2008:
Try contacting the Michigan Public Service Commission. They are your state's regulating agency for public utility suppliers. Search for their web site to get contact information. They are able to take complaints and have people on staff that may be able to help resolve your issue.
dt52 on 02/27/2009:
You realize when you pay any utility bills you at some point are going to be paying what you owe. It is nearly impossible for a utility to bill you for something you didn't use if they read your meter at least once in a year.
BokiBean on 02/27/2009:
I would go into the CE office personally. Take your proof of payment and sit down with them and find out what went wrong. If you're polite and have all your ducks in a row as far as paperwork goes, it might go easier than over the phone.
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