Dishonest at the Core -- They Ignore Their Own Contract!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I contracted for a fixed electric rate for 1 period of 12 "billing cycles." During the period of the 12th bill, I reviewed my utility billing statement to discover that my rate had changed for that month (and the month prior) from a fixed rate, to a (higher) variable rate. Their contract conditions are clearly stated in the written email acknowledgment I received from them when I signed up a year earlier, but they refused to agree to honor their own contract, and several of their phone representatives argued with me that I was wrong, even though I have a written contract! They insisted the contract for one year began on the date I signed up for their service, rather than the 12 billing cycles stated in their written communication to me. Because the utility company took two billing cycles before implementing the change to Direct Energy as the electricity supplier, the date I signed up for the supplier contract did not coincide with 12 billing cycles of charges from Direct Energy.
One can only guess how many other customers were improperly billed using this methodology?
After a very long wait on hold, and being passed through many service people on the phone, the supervisor said the matter would be sent to "problem resolution." Call me skeptical, but I suggest this difficult process is intended to deter customers from pursuing legitimate refunds. I received a call from the "office of the president" of Direct Energy about 10 days later, apologizing and stating a refund would be sent to me.
When I received the refund, it was only for the last month's overcharge, not for the month prior. I called again today, and again the issue is sent to their "problem resolution" department. A representative of that department called me back today, tempering my displeasure, but really at this point I believe there is a systemic problem at this company which results in overcharges to at least certain groups of customers (if not all).
My difficulty in dealing with Direct Energy, and their core dishonesty are appalling, and I will never deal with this company again. One could only hope that some lawyer or group of customers catch up with this company to determine whether a class-action lawsuit is in order.