NEW YORK -- I am getting charged and billed for gas and electric rates 3 times higher than our local company. I have also compared rates with 4 other companies, and KNOW unequivocally I'm being ripped off. This raises concern for our elderly and others! This has been going on for a few months, and I thought the problem was with my local company. So, after several phone calls, and looking at 12 months of reviews, I discovered Direct Energy was billing me exorbitant amounts each month.
After several attempts to file a complaint and resolve the unethical charges with this company, and directly with "Sulma @ Office of the President," I am filing consumer complaints with online sources. I will also file a complaint with Attorney General. WARNING: Do NOT chose this company for your energy needs!
NEWARK, DELAWARE -- I foolishly enrolled on a Sunday via a door to door representative. I called to cancel my enrollment the next day as it states on the enrollment form that you only have 3 days to cancel or else you incur a $99 cancellation fee. I was told that a "precancellation" notice was placed on my account and to call back the next day to confirm that once my information was entered into their system, it would automatically cancel my account. The next day, none of my information had been entered into their system, but the precancellation was still active.
The following day (last day of the 3 day grace period) I was told that there was no precancellation notice on my account, as "precancellation isn't a thing they do." I hung up, called back, and a different CSR told me that my account was actually cancelled. I don't know what to believe, but I recorded all of my phone conversations with their CSR's just in case, as they do not issue any concrete evidence (such as an email or a letter) confirming that your account is indeed cancelled. Don't be an idiot like me and get involved with them. It's a nightmare.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Whatever you do never let the Direct Energy door to door salesmen see your energy bill. They will lie and cheat just to see that bill to get your account number and switch you over to Direct Energy behind your back. Before it's too late, you'll be stuck in with the worst terms and huge cancellation fees to get out of it. Just look up "Direct Energy Scam" on Google and there are thousands of stories like my own of Direct Energy scamming its customers if you don't believe me. A huge mistake to ever sign up with Direct Energy! No matter what they tell you, don't believe them. They are a rip off and not worth your money.
Very, very unhappy with the rate hike after the 2 year contract was over... The hike was way above the normal price DTE charges their customers. Like double price! I didn't realize until I changed to a different carrier, and I had to call Direct Energy to cancel. I asked them why my gas fee was so high. They said it was up to me to call them and request a lower price. They said they did send a post card saying my 2 yr contract was over. I did not see that post card at all. So I find it is better to just stay with DTE. Their price is fair. And doesn't jump high for only the reason that your contract is over.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Worst customer service ever!!! I have been with them over 2 years and never had a problem until it was time to renew. I never got any form of contact so I was lucky when I called to start up a new contract. They were really nice when I said I wanted to sign up again but when bill time came I realized that the lady had told me I was going with one plan and signed me up for another. I didn't think it would be a big deal and thought it would be easy to fix since it was just a mistake regarding a minimum usage fee versus a base charge, but the first few times I called they just credited me the difference saying that it was a mistake.
When the issue continued they changed their story to "oh you didn't sign up for the plan you said you did" and basically arguing with me that I didn't know what I was talking about. After 2-3 months of going back and forth they decide to just sign me up with a new plan this one with a gift card incentive of $200 the first 3 months you pay on time and another $200 after the 1st year you pay on time (never mind that I had already paid 2-3 months on time but they chose to ignore that and act like they don't know what I am talking about).
So I enrolled in auto pay because I figure as long as I don't have to deal with customer service I should be fine but then of course they mess up my rate! I just got off the phone with them and they still don't know what happened and what rate I should really be at! But the whole reason I was calling was because I was told I would get my gift card last month and have yet to receive it due to several excuses. I have spoken to several representatives a few who were rude. One manager even said "I am not obligated to tell you" when I was inquiring when another manager would be working who maybe able to help me better. WTF!
Now they are saying I have to wait another month for my gift card even though the associate told me he wasn't even sure I was in the right plan and doesn't know what is going on and told me to wait so he could grab his supervisor who never even talked to me! He just told his associate to tell me to wait another month even though I was suppose to get it last month!
Direct Energy has some pretty good rates and deals but once you're in they don't care if they give you what they promised. I have been a great customer. I have never paid a bill late and yet I am treated like **. I cannot wait to be done with this contract but I am stuck for 2 years due to their lies!!! Save yourselves some grief and go with someone else!
SAN LEON, TEXAS -- I was using the balanced billing with Direct Energy. I noticed our bills were escalating 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!
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.
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!
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 electricity 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 canceling 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.
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- What Direct Energy's website, fake online reputation management 'blogs', and high pressure sales people DON'T tell you is that the contracts are written to 'auto-renew' at a variable rate that, in the case of my elderly mother, instantly changed to 2.5 times the current market rate of gas in the middle of winter. Attempts to call the Guatemalan call center will result in hours of runaround, confusion, and attempts to lure you back into contract after the $100-200 of predatory mid-winter rate-jacking has been collected.
Phone calls are recorded, so if you say anything like 'OK', they will check the box putting you back in contract. Eventually, if you wait long enough, you may get transferred to a 'supervisor' (in Massachusetts, in my case) who will be trained to defend DE's predatory practices and just keep reminding you that everything they are doing is perfectly legal. Even if you successfully cancel, it will take two more billing cycles at the jacked up rate before you can get back to a less predatory provider. $400, 6 hours of my time, and a stressed out elderly mother is what Direct Energy cost me.