Direct Energy

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1.1 out of 5, based on 9 ratings and
25 reviews & complaints.

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Worst decision I ever made signing up with Direct Energy!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
GUN BARREL CITY, TEXAS -- I signed up with Direct Energy when we moved to our new home. When I chose my plan online I by mistake chose the wrong plan that had auto pay. I immediately changed my plan and called to verify that it was changed in their system. They told me it was and all was well. (Never once mentioning any fees or breakage costs) When I received my first bill I noticed a $15 charge for auto pay breakage fee. At first I was like, well ok, I did change my plan so I will go ahead and eat the charge. (Although I thought it was BS) The following month I paid my bill 3 days late and knew I would have to pay an additional $5 which I was perfectly fine with. No biggie. When I got my bill the next month there was not only another $15 auto pay breakage fee but a $25 payment recovery fee as well (this was for an email they sent to notify me I was late, NOT LETTER, an EMAIL which I received after I paid my bill). I was upset to say the least.

I called for an explanation of these ridiculous charges and was told that I would be charged $15 a month for the duration of the year for the auto pay breakage (that's right $180 because I clicked the wrong button at the sign up process that I corrected immediately) and the $25 recovery fee will be charged each time they send me an email to tell me I am late on top of the already $5 late payment fee I already paid. I WAS THREE DAYS LATE! She said there is nothing they can do. I informed them that I thought it was excessive and I was very disappointed and if someone else could help me, like a supervisor, to remove the charges or at least the $15 breakage fee from future bills. She said no, her supervisor couldn't do anything either that they do not have the authority to make those changes.

All she could do was put a ticket in and hope for the best. I told her if it wasn't resolved I would be switching companies and was told that a $250 fee would be charged and switching would probably be a problem. I am not sure what that means. I was too upset to continue with the call so I thanked her for nothing and hung up. They are thieves! We barely make ends meet as it is and these additional charges make a huge difference. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY< FAR FAR AWAY!
     
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Soaring Consumer on 06/03/2014:
File a complaint with your local public utilities commission.
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Direct Energy Rip Off!!
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SAN LEON, TEXAS -- I was using the balanced billing with Direct Energy. I noticed our bills were esculating rapidly toward the end of 2006 then they started dropping off. I thought they had discovered their error and was actually billing for the correct usage. This was after the November 2006 billing. Then in April/May 2007 I got a balanced bill for $0. I knew then something was wrong and called. They checked and said my meter had STOPPED WORKING in November!! I checked on the PUC website today and discovered they, by law are supposed to read my meter at LEAST every 3 months. This meter "stoppage" wasn't discovered by THEM, I discovered it SIX MONTHS LATER!!! They were not reading my meter or they would have discovered it!! Then! THEN!! They SAID they sent a man out to check the meter. They SAID we had TAMPERED with the meter and that was what caused it to stop working, making it legal for them to charge us for more than 3 months bills. They provided no evidence whatsoever of the tampering. We DID NOT TAMPER with the meter either. We've lived in this house for over 20 yrs and it would be STUPID to do something like that as we know we would have been caught doing something like that, plus, being from the old school, we are HONEST. I asked them WHY the meter man didn't SHOW us the evidence if he truly had found something and was told it was against their policy!! That would be like taking your car for an oil change only and then them billing you for major repairs like a transmission replacement and them telling you that you would have to just trust them that the repairs were made, you'd have to pay, even if you didn't authorize them to replace the transmission!! THEN DIRECT ENERGY SAID they got the actual usage from Tx New Mexico elect. and billed us for almost $4,000!!!!!!!! I had been paying on the balanced billing, and the period of time that was unmetered was over the WINTER time. There was NO WAY we could have used that much electricity!!!! My husband is 73 yrs old, has Alzhemiers disease and is on oxygen for Emphysema. He HAS to have A/C and electricity. I had no choice but to try to arrange payments with them as we couldn't and can't change providers until past bills are current. We are on a fixed income and with the cost of EVERYTHING going up...we can't afford to even eat!! Just as soon as I can get that paid off I am going to switch electric providers. Other people in our area who are NOT with Direct Energy have much lower bills. Those WITH Direct Energy, they have bills like mine. EXTREMELY HIGH! Our neighbor, with D.E., had the same thing happen to them...so-called meter tampering and was billed an additional $3,000!!!! They moved as they were renters. They later told me their bills went from $600 plus a month to $180!!!!!!! What's wrong with this picture?????? My on-line billing site past bills information was also changed from what WAS on there to what is on there now, making it harder to figure out what happened and why my bill/meter reading was so screwed up! IF my meter really wasn't working, D.E. SHOULD have caught the problem no more than 3 months after it stopped working IF they had ever been actually reading my meter!! My advice? DON'T use DIRECT ENERGY unless you like being ripped off!!!
     
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Anonymous on 06/23/2008:
Contact the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

If Direct Energy is not a municipal utility or a co-operative then they should be under the PUCT's regulations.

See if they can provide the help you need dealing with Direct Energy.
Techdan on 09/30/2008:
Techdan on 09/30/2008:
I am currently going to battle with Direct energy. My bill used to average 200.00 maybe 250.00 in a Texas summer. It now has jumped to 500.00 plus. And if that was not bad enough they conviently did not send a bill for the month of August (coincidently it happens to be the hottest month of the year in Texas) and then send me a bill for August and Sept to the amount of $1551.00! Then tacked on 50.00 dollars in interest charges. I have made an effort to pay this on time to prevent wasting money on late charges or interest as they call it. I could not afford to get behind. But now Direct energy put me there. What am supposed to guess what to send them? I once double paid them and they would not send my money back and would only apply credit but did I get any interest from them? No! They confirmed they had failed to bill me and others, but did not offer in any way to remove any of the charges. Wow what a way to run up the bill. Just don't send a bill and instantly at least half of the people probrably missed it and have to play catch up to the tune of 5% late charge! I will be leaving direct energy as soon as I can get this out of underneath me. I just pray I do not experience what others here have described. They just seem to find another way to shake you down these days.
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The Biggest Mistake I Made By Switching To Direct Energy
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Rating: 1/51
GARFIELD, NEW JERSEY -- A guy came to our house and told us that if we switched to direct energy, we would have saved a lot of money because of they low rates. we believed him and switched. We started getting bills from Direct Energy which charged us twice more that what we always paid. Before we had to pay like $75 and after switching to Direct Energy, it has never been less than $115. They have extra service charges that are a lot higher than any benefit you can get from their rates. Don't be foolish people. If a guy comes to your house and tells you that you c an save money, don't do it, you'll be sorry. No my husband and I have to switch back because we already lost a lot of money. I just wanted to write this, so other people don't make the same mistake. They're liars and be careful!
     
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Misleading Phone Call and Then Recording Call Without Consent
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Rating: 1/51
UNKNOWN, ILLINOIS -- Rico called and said he was from Ameren. When I took the call, found out he was with Direct Energy, not Ameren. I informed Rico that I get these sales calls every couple of weeks, and I've repeatedly asked them to stop calling, make notes in their system to stop calling, and to put me on the do not call list. I then asked to speak with his supervisor. After a lengthy wait, Lyndsy came on the line.

As I was explaining to her how Rico had misled us in believing he was with Ameren, she said she would listen to the tape to see what was said. I then asked her if all of the calls were recorded and she said yes. I informed her that I was not informed this call was being recorded, that I did not give my permission to record this call, and they should contact their general counsel to look up Illinois law about recording phone calls without permission. She then asked if I gave permission to record my call only for the portion of my asking to be removed from their records and to put me on the do not call list. I agreed only for that short amount.

If this company had good service, they wouldn't be using false and misleading methods when they call.
     
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Not Looking Back - Unless I Want to Go Broke!
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ABILENE, TEXAS -- We have been with Direct Energy for 2 years - it was here when we moved in, and we just never thought to switch. We pay all of our bills on time, and they're still sometimes EXTREMELY high (anywhere from $120-$550)- but we have an old house with large windows, and so we just figure we have to do the best we can (bundling up in the winter) and bite the bullet for the rest. But recently, we received a bill for $1100 in November, saying it was for June through September.

When I called them, they stated that their technician had not come out to read our meter in those 3 months, and so we were being billed incorrectly. I fail to understand why 1) we have to pay for THEIR lack of work and 2) they could add THREE TIMES as much payment to our bill for those months, and the next bill a mild $120 (if they adjusted our meter, shouldn't we still be being charged an outrageous amount like we were back-billed for?) It's a load of you-know-what to me. I am so mad. I filed a complaint and it is being investigated now.

I'm just hoping we don't have to pay it, we can't afford to throw away that kind of money. Hoping we can find a new energy company that will treat us better. Any recommendations will be welcome.
     
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fast327 on 11/29/2011:
A suggestion: Start a daily reading of your meter and document it every day. It only takes minutes and gives you substantial evidence of what your actual usage is. It will give you arguing ammunition and also help you to spot trends of high usage.
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Bad billing practices
Posted by on
I am late on my bill a lot so I never thought that I would be charged anything more than a late fee. I finally reviewed my bill and was being charged a 25.00 recovery fee. I had $50 - $75.00 of fees on my bill. I called the direct energy and was informed that when you are late they send out collection letter and they charge you a 25.00 fee per letter that they send you. know note this is not a disconnection notice just a letter to let you know you are late. this letter can be sen to you the next day after your due date. there is no limit on how many letters can be sent out. The year of 2010 my fees came up to be 250.00. I paid Jan 2010 bill on line on there web site and called spoke to representative stated no letter sent out, but then I received a letter in the mail dated one day after I paid. I have reported them to the electric commission some called and told me they would credit me 25.00 I informed her this was horrible business practice and I will continue to report them to the electric commission until these practices are over turned. oh forgot you will also be charged a 5% late fee on top of the 25.00 letters
     
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karleebarlee on 02/07/2011:
No offense, but I don't blame them. Maybe set yourself some kind of reminder to make sure you pay your bills on time. It's the responsible thing to do.
BofAmerica666 on 02/07/2011:
good review, you have every right to be annoyed with them, I mean I think it's a good idea to make payments in timely manner, but hey, like the Billy Joel song says "were only human, we're supposed to make mistakes".

Anyway is there a chance to possibly get some of those fees waived? Good luck.
Slimjim on 02/07/2011:
I do and see the poster's point completely. Sure a late charge is warranted for the month. To stack fees on top of each other arbitrarily within the same month!? Glad to see a regulatory commission within this jurisdiction was made aware of this.
tnchuck100 on 02/07/2011:
A 5% late fee can be justified. However, I condemn them for the greed-driven practice of a $25.00 letter. That is absolutely ridiculous!

I know Direct Energy operates in several states. Most of these energy company complaints seem to come from Texas. Is this the case here as well?
momsey on 02/07/2011:
You don't blame them for charging $25 for a LETTER? There's something very wrong there. Late fee? Yes, of course. But made up fees that are outrageously inflated? No.
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Avoid Direct Energy Like the Plague
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DALLAS, TEXAS -- My ultimate complaint is that Direct Energy is so completely incompetent that remaining with them became impossible. During the first 6 months I received my electicity from Direct Energy I only received one bill. They were completely incapable of generating a bill. When the bills finally did start coming there were several conflicting statements that came. We paid each one almost immediately - though it was hard to tell what we actually owed.
My father who switched to Direct Energy at the same time I did had ever worse trouble. In fact he only received his first bill after about 11 months when he and I decided we should move our service because Direct Energy is so incompetent.
That is when things really went wrong. They closed my account and sent me a final bill which I paid 2 weeks before it was due. Almost immediately upon cancellng my coverage I started receiving calls from 1-800-955-3103. When I would answer no one was there but it was clear it was an automated call. On July 3, 2009 my father mentioned to me that he had been receiving calls from an 800# that was driving him crazy because no one was ever there when he answered. He decided to call the # and found out that it was a collection agency looking for me. To be clear, I have not lived with my father for 20 years. As it turns out Direct Energy had turned me over to a collection agency at least 3 weeks before the bill was even due. The collection agency made many harassing calls to both my house and my father's house but NEVER left any messages. I was told these were "courtesy" calls, but no one can explain to me how this was courteous. This collection agency now has all my information including my SS#. Do yourself a favor and avoid them. There are too many better options out there than to deal with them.
     
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Soaring Consumer on 07/09/2009:
Write letters of dispute to the collection agency in certified mail and contact your local Public Utilities Commission.
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Never Had an Issue Resolved
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- I'll TRY to make this short and sweet. I'm not exaggerating when I say they've never resolved an issue the first time. They never add notes when to my account when they say they're going to do so. Also, they are treating me as if I've never been a customer (they are asking for a copy of my social and I.D.) even though I've been with them 4 years. I'm done with D.E. every single agent (and again, not exaggerating) has not been able to help me with an issue. I always have to speak w/a supervisor who may or may not be able to resolve my problem.

Never again. Never, ever again will I renew my contract. They're incompetent and frustrating to deal with.
     
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Natural Gas Rates, Ohio
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Rating: 2/51
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Vectren Energy sold their natural gas supplier business to Direct Energy a little over a year ago. I had been getting gas from Vectren Source under standard rate less a penny. At expiration of supply contract, Direct Energy switched me to a variable rate contract. The first couple of months were about 15% above the standard rate. Then in Jul or Aug, rates went to almost double. It appears Direct Energy probably stopped advertising their variable rate, then changed tripled their add-on making the rate double the standard 30-40% above any advertised rate so they could RIPOFF their customers.

Needless to say, I will be changing my natural gas supplier and it won't be Direct Energy.
     
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Direct Energy Gave My Account Information to a Stranger
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Rating: 1/51
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Direct Energy changed the phone number on my account without my permission or notifying me. They called a complete stranger and gave them my account information for months. The person they were calling even told them several times that the number was incorrect and they neither changed it nor called me to verify. My power was turned off because I didn't make payments that I was completely unaware of. Then they said that if I wanted it turned back on I would have to pay a fee. They didn't take any responsibility at all.
Direct Energy is a money hungry corporation that does not care about its customers.
     
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DebtorBasher on 08/09/2013:
How did you find out they were calling a 'complete stranger'? Did they tell you that themselves or did you know this 'complete stranger'? It seems odd that they continued calling that person, knowing it was the wrong person.

You said they didn't call you to verify it...but, how would they have been able to call, if they were calling the wrong number?

I'm not understanding how you were unaware of payments being due each month. It's your electric company, didn't they mail you a statement? Weren't you able to go online to check your account? Something isn't adding up here.
olie on 08/10/2013:
I agree with DebtorBasher. How do you NOT know when your utility bills are due?

Mine will arrive in the mail around the 15th, payment due around the 29/30, and my checking account will be debited on the Friday before the "due date". If I don't receive the paper bill, I have the option of calling(using info on previous paper bills, which I've kept for the past decade or so) or going online to check the info.
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