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Bad billing practices
Posted by Toss toss on 02/07/2011
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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Posted by karleebarlee on 2011-02-07:
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.
Posted by BofAmerica666 on 2011-02-07:
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".

Anyways is there a chance to possibly get some of those fees waived? Good luck.
Posted by Slimjim on 2011-02-07:
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.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-02-07:
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?
Posted by momsey on 2011-02-07:
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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Need to file a major complaint with this company
Posted by Keckec on 05/13/2007
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Direct energy had one their service men with come out and replaced our old mete, the service man had purposely misread the meter due to he did not want to do his job and change the meter out, we were later billed the following month abill for over 2,000 dollars usage in killowatts keep in mind we live in a small 1500 sq foot home. We are never home during the day and there is no possible way we could use this due to we keep daily logs of our kilwatts usage. We use actual from 45-55 kwatts a day at the most duing a 30 day billing period.After 50+phone calls made with complaints they did send a service man out to read the meter he stated they had made a mistake still the following month they tried to bill us an additonal 700.00 bill usage to justify their mistake they are obviousley not even reading out meter and they quoted we know there is no way you could of used this but we are not going to help solve the problem or fix it you have to make installment payments.We have changed to a new provider of course out newprovide is not in effect until a week from now.Please intevestigate this, Direct energy are trying to cheat customers and it is way to obvious other neighbors have had the same problems and friends as well.We would like to file a formal compalint in reference to this please send the proper means to do so.Regarding bill with direct energy account#3212687 kenneth cole houston tx. 77044
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Posted by keckec on 2007-05-16:
Direct Energy also billed us false estimations and they cheated us as well. We are in North ease houston, Tx. Thanks for nice to know we are not alone in their mission to screw people over.
Posted by keckec on 2007-05-16:
We switched from Direct to Ambit much lower cost and wow we are only paying what we actually use monthly they even send some one out to read actual reading of our meter.Strange how we now are paying half the amount we were with Direct.They really owe us big time for all the months we over paid them( they would not even help us out when we called to get infomation.
Posted by keckec on 2007-05-16:
WE still to this date have not recieved assitance or a refund from Direct Energy they are so wrong.
Posted by MadTexan on 2008-06-22:
I've left a review of this company too as they did the same thing to us. I can't leave them yet as I had to make payment arrangements and you can't switch companies under those conditions. We have a fixed income and have had to sacrifice in other area's, food etc. to make up the addtional payments. They don't read your meter as my meter was broke for 6 months and I'M the one who finally caught it as my balanced billing bill suddenly came up as us oweing only $0. I don't know how those in charge of that company can sleep at night. Wonder how many elder folks will die this summer because they won't use their A/C due to D.E. high billing?? Shoot. WE didn't use our much at all and my bill the next cycle was HIGHER than when we DID use the A/C a lot.
Posted by Porkchopsuey on 2008-12-02:
Joined with Direct Energy two months ago for electricity. After being assured my bills would be less, the first month the bill was $60 more than Con Ed would have charged. Changed back to Con Ed immediately but, unfortunately, it was the middle of the billing cycle so one more bill from Direct Energy which is about $70 more than Con Ed would have charged. My letter to Deryk King, Chairman and CEO of Direct Energy, got me a call from a condescending jerk. My second letter to Mr. King asking to be contacted back by someone in authority has not been answered. Going to get a big sign and put it up in front of my house warning my neighbors about Direct Energy. Everyone should write to him at 5400 Frantz, Suite 250, Dublin, OH 43016.
Posted by Finished on 2011-11-28:
We had a very similar problem. We pay all of our bills on time, and they're still pretty high - but we have an old house, and so we just have to do the best we can (bundling up in the winter) and bite the bullet for the rest. But lately, 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 ad THREE TIMES as much payment to our bill for those months, and the next bill was not three times higher (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.
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Do not use Direct Energy
Posted by Chipper5439 on 06/10/2007
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Direct Energy was my service provider for 2 years. Over the course of the 2 years I steadily saw my bills increase from $200 per month to a hefty $600 per month. At first, I thought the increases were due to increasing gas and oil prices.

When I started receiving bills near $400 a month, I called and asked to have my meter checked. It was supposedly checked and they maintained it was functioning properly.

Suddenly, after my meter was checked the bills jumped back down to around $250. Then slowly they began to rise again. The changes in my bills did not correlate with weather changes.

This past February we had very nice springlike weather here in Texas. I did not turn on my heat or AC for 6 weeks. I used my lights and other electrical devices very sparingly, making an effort to use a minimal amount of electricity. It was almost as if I was playing a game to see how little electricity I could use. I even used candles after the sun went down to see how low I could get my usage.

Imagine the extreme horror I felt when I received the bill for February. It was $587!!!

I have switched providers now. Direct Energy persisted in stating that I must have a problem in my home that is causing the high bills.

I am delighted to report that I have now received two bills from my new provider. The first bill was $180. The second was $197. Please note... the $197 was me returning to the comforts I should be able to enjoy in my own home, such as lighting, having my TV on in the background and , yes, temperature control. Now my bills are comparable with my neighbors and family living in similar sized homes.

Direct Energy almost put me into financial ruin. It makes me sick to think of all of the money they scammed me out of in two short years!

Bottom line... DO NOT USE DIRECT ENERGY, unless you want to throw your money away!

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Posted by Jop on 2007-06-10:
Who is your provider now?
Posted by forcomplaintsonly on 2008-03-21:
I know with our electric provider(First Energy), they put the amount towards tht bottom on how much each kilowatt cost. The funny thing, they say they re-evuate you every 3 months, I know why they do this, it is so that they can keep the same money coming in, if they only evuated you once a year and you conserve electric so your bill would go down, then they would not be getting as much money, so they re-evuate you, every 3 months, that way, if you are conserving and they see that you are using less kilowatts, then they raise the cost, that way they still have the same money coming in. This is trickery and probably no way to really prove it, but come people, common sense plays a big role and I know how they operate.
Posted by MadTexan on 2008-06-22:
Really. Who IS your provider now?

Direct Energy did the same thing to us. I can PROVE they didn't read my meter for at least 6 months as it was broken from November to April/May. They would have caught it if they HAD been reading my meter. Then when they said they installed a new meter, they said we owed almost $4,000 for the months the meter was broken even though I had been paying on the balanced billing...almost $400 a month!! There is NO WAY we used that amount of electricity, especially as we had been paying all along!! I've written a review posting the details. Unfortunately I can't change providers yet as you must not owe anything in order to be able to change to another company. We are on a fixed income and we've had to cut down on food etc. to try and come up with the additional money to pay Direct Energy. Wonder how many elderly people will die this summer because of Direct Energy's over charging?? People on fixed incomes with Direct Enegy cannot afford to use their A/C's.
Posted by dcammy on 2012-03-22:
what engery company are you using now? that your bill has decreased dramatically?
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Avoid Direct Energy Like the Plague
Posted by Gdwa on 07/09/2009
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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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-07-09:
Write letters of dispute to the collection agency in certified mail and contact your local Public Utilities Commission.
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Direct Energy Rip Off!!
Posted by MadTexan on 06/22/2008
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 and 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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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-23:
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.
Posted by Techdan on 2008-09-30:
Posted by Techdan on 2008-09-30:
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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Not Looking Back - Unless I Want to Go Broke!
Posted by Reganv92644 on 11/28/2011
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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Posted by fast327 on 2011-11-29:
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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Direct Energy Customer 'service' is crap
Posted by Phoenixsurge on 02/23/2010
I had been up working all night and on two consecutive calls came in from Direct Energy regarding an outstanding balance. The first call, the person was vague and refused to give the reason for his call, and the second caller became belligerent when I informed her that the account balance had been paid and threatened to send my account to collections. When I asked to speak with a manager, he subsequently became belligerent telling me that I was lying about a payment that was made because it wasn't in their system and that now it was time to make payment on an outstanding balance. I went to my computer and pulled up the payment confirmation and after providing this information, I was not satisfied with the manager, Sam Dhaliwal's non-committal response. While I may have been half asleep when the initial part of this conversation happened, I am thoroughly incensed at the treatment I received from your customer 'service' agents, and more so by the manager's extraordinary rudeness and attitude. I was contacted shortly after I switched from Direct Energy asking why I was leaving, and frankly, there you have it. If the price wasn't bad enough, the customer service has taken a serious hit since I first signed up.
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They Send Sales Rep. to Your House to Offer Cheaper Rate. It's a Lie. They Get Your Information to Put Light and Gas in Your Nam
Posted by Kathypr.rivera on 02/09/2014
READ the contract they ask you to sign. To cancel service with Direct Energy is a NIGHT MARE......They want you to cancel in writing in three business day. The address that they give is incorrect. Do not give information to anyone that comes knocking on your door. Call your company first. The people they have to call is not from Direct Energy it's a Data Company.....

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The Biggest Mistake I Made By Switching To Direct Energy
Posted by Knasrashvili on 11/29/2013
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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Never Had an Issue Resolved
Posted by Deathrose_07 on 11/06/2013
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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