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.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I enjoyed good rates from Direct Energy. At the end of the term, they contacted me re: a renewal plan. They did not help me understand that my rate would almost triple if I did not take immediate action. No phone calls, just mailings. CommEd rates are 7.43 cents per Kw/h...my <6.0 cents per Kw/h jumped to 12.5 cents. Why would it more than double?
Direct Energy only called me when I moved to another carrier. I know now how they make their money...they rip people off by putting them on a variable rate plan after their plan expires...a rate much higher than the CommEd limit. There needs to be regulation to protect the consumer from this insane and unfair practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Now 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 online on their website 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.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Avoid Direct Energy at all costs. The electricity market in Texas, since deregulation, is bad, but there is no need to compound it by choosing Direct Energy. They have many small fees and charges that you are unaware of till they are assessed, but they also charge interest on any overdue amounts. And receiving a disconnection notice for a $70 bill that was only 10 days late is a little overkill. There are a lot of electricity providers in Texas and you should always choose carefully. Eliminating Direct Energy from your list of electricity providers will help you narrow down your choices.
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?