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.
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.
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!
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- 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.
CONNECTICUT -- Direct Energy is the electricity supplier for my residence. I was on hold for 55 minutes waiting to question customer service about a sharp jump in my rates. I finally gave up and emailed the corporate office. The company tripled my rate without notification. If you are thinking of an alternate electricity supplier, don't pick Direct Energy!
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.
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 spring like 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!
I called Direct Energy this morning to discuss my hot water tank rental and spoke to **. Rude and condescending sums it up in 2 words, if you're short on time. First, I asked if my tank was an older unit, as I was having some issues. I was informed in a curt voice that my tank was "only" 7 years old. I asked how old a tank has to be before replacement. ** said 16 years. And "anyone who told you they start to go downhill after 10 years is lying and doesn't know what they're talking about." Um, OK.
Next, I said my hot water tank runs out of hot water after 2 showers, and I have to run the tap for about 3 minutes until the water is warm enough for showering. He suggested a service call. I asked about a service call after work, and ** stated that there were no weekday evening appointments available. He said that my situation was "low priority" to Direct Energy, and as such, he was unable to fill my request. Um, fine. (FYI - I never did get an appointment, as he's booked for the whole month. I said I'd talk to some family and see if I could get someone to come to my house in the daytime. Way to make me feel like a valued customer).
Next I asked ** about the buyout option for my tank. Actually, I asked twice, because the first time he danced around the question and wouldn't tell me the price. He generally discouraged this. No doubt. They'd be losing money big time, if my tank is really expected to hold out for 16 years. Direct Energy, I'm not impressed. **, I bet you're making your quota every month, and are on the honor roll. Way to go. You managed to save your company money and in turn justify your job. In the end, isn't that all you care about?
TEXAS -- Direct Energy is a complete rip-off. I was charged over $70 on my first bill which was for 9 days. They gave me a bill stating I used over 500kw of energy during that time; however, I had no appliances other than a refrigerator (no TV, microwave, etc.), neither did I leave lights on or made extensive use of a/c or heating. I don't even have kids or anyone that lived with me. When I inquired about the charges, they said they would send someone out to check the meter at "my" cost. They checked it, and of course said that there was no error on their part.
For the remaining 5 months on my lease, I averaged half of the initial usage, and my bills were about $30 a month. No more than $40. No way I could have had that amount of energy consumption in 9 days if I wasn't using it in 30 days. Also, upon disconnecting my service, I requested my deposit to be mailed to a separate address since I decided to move. I was told the information was updated, and that my payment would be received within 4-6 weeks. I called multiple times to verify this information was accurate. I was told everything was taken care of.
However, I checked online and the address was incorrect. I called and they corrected the problem, but after I didn't receive the payment for some time, I called again. This time I was told that my payment was mailed to the wrong address (my old address, even though I updated my information), and that I would have to wait an additional 4-6 weeks for them to mail my payment again. I told them that the period of time was unacceptable, and asked that they mail it overnight. I was then allowed to speak with a supervisor, who stated that the payment was made to the correct address (the first employee I spoke with gave me a different story), and that there must have been an error with the mail system.
I asked the supervisor if my payment could be mailed overnight even if at "my" expense, but she continued to tell me to wait 4-6 weeks. I asked to speak to someone else, but she came back to the phone only to tell me to leave a message on someone's machine. By this time, I was through asking for "my" money (I was calm and professional the whole time). I got real firm with them. (I let them know I was serious without speaking loud and outrageous). My payment was then mailed overnight. My advice... be firm, and seek legal action if you have to. IN YOUR FACE DIRECT ENERGY!!! LOL
UNKNOWN, ILLINOIS -- ** called and said he was from Ameren. When I took the call, found out he was with Direct Energy, not Ameren. I informed ** 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, ** came on the line.
As I was explaining to her how ** 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.