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 my 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???
HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK -- I called up the oil company about the equipment not functioning properly because heating wasn't working properly. The dispatcher said they are only addressing problems of "no heating" and somebody would be there on Saturday. I had called on Tuesday. After checking the heating and realizing that the heating actually is not working on the first floor, we called the services again in 15 minutes. I was told that somebody will be there by afternoon. Nobody showed up till Wednesday, when I called up again on Thursday and I was told that there is no record of my calling to the service department.
I said to send somebody on Saturday morning because we will not be around on Friday as at least 2nd floor heating was working. On Saturday nobody showed until late morning. I called the service department again and they said they will send somebody. Somebody did appear in the afternoon. Gentleman commented that there are issues with the equipment and there are leaks in the pipe and something else not working and can only be corrected on Monday. He said he is shutting something off but heating will work for 2-3 days. After he was gone in about 3-4 hours the heating completely stopped, this time even the 2nd floor was not working.
So, we called the service department yet again on Saturday night and talked to a gentleman **. He said "you need plumbing work and we can't make any such decision to provide urgent service of that nature until Monday." I said our heating is not working. I left a voice mail for the manager **, who apparently checks his voice mail occasionally and calls back. I left message around 12:00AM. Nobody called till 2:00AM when I called again and left a message at the emergency service voice mail. Nobody contacted me till 6:30 when I called again and left message.
It is 7:22AM Sunday morning, we still haven't heard from anybody yet. We have been living without heat in this cold weather for so many days in the first floor and now, the whole house since Saturday (10th Feb evening).
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!!!
ADA, MICHIGAN -- Consumers 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? Consumers Energy are creeps and they don't care! This kind of energy monopoly should NOT be allowed.
PRESCOTT, MICHIGAN -- WOW!! Just terrible service!! I have tried to contact them through their website 3 times and no one has responded other than a form email that says someone will contact me shortly. I figure 2 weeks is more than shortly! So I tried to call them at least half a dozen times only to get a recording that said their service lines were extremely busy, try again later or use their online contact service. Which I did already and didn't get help then either!! No wonder these huge companies can get away with treating customers so rudely. They're the only ones we can use for these products and so they know we have no choice but to put up with this type of outrageous behavior!!
LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK -- They took our money every month on a budget plan. And then did not deliver oil, we had over $1300 in our account and we come home and had no heat. We call four times and no one called us back. Our house was 50 degrees, they were all nice and toasty and we froze. They did not even call to apology. Instead they refused to give us back our money. We hope everyone reads this and is aware of their practices. They also charge $3.89 per gallon when everyone else is charging $2.29 per gallon. They are supposed to be a group to help the consumer not be overcharged and we think they are the worst one long island. All we can say is beware!!!!!
ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN -- I am deeply disturbed by Consumers Energy's thought process. They want $530.00 to be able to hook up heat in my home this winter, with an unpaid balance of $200.00, which I know to pay off. But almost $600.00? Not everyone has a credit card, and even my roommate cannot put CE in his name, with no prior balance, until they receive this amount. Why should he suffer on my $200.00 back pay? It makes me sick and if they really needed to borrow the extra $400.00, why don't they just ask politely for it? Forget that, so we used space heaters. Cheers to you DTE for receiving $1000.00 from us this winter!
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... BULLCRAP!!
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.
48867, MICHIGAN -- Consumers Energy decides to estimate meters whenever they don't feel like coming out to your house and giving you an actual reading. My bill went from $81.67 to $274.00 because they estimated instead of doing an actual reading. Not to mention their customer service is really of poor quality when they hang up on you.