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First Choice Power - Page 2


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Horrible Billing And Business Practices
Posted by Syzygy on 03/08/2008
TEXAS -- CAUTION-AVOID First Choice Power!!!! IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING THEM- GET AWAY WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

I have been with them now for almost a year and have had consistent issues with additional fees and late charges because of the way they structure their billing system.

They charge additional fees for paying by phone or at a payment center but when I pay by check, Even when I send the check the SAME day I receive the bill, they don't process it in time and I am charged a late fee. When I call I am told that they take 7-10 business days to process your bill. When I told them that I received the bill that day and it won't make it within the 7-10 day window. They said they cannot be responsible for the short comings of the US Postal Service, Then offer to have me pay by phone for a small additional fee.

I have requested to have the billing period extended, and they REFUSE, saying that this is what they do to all their customer and offer the phone option for an additional fee.

I'm in a year contract or I would have left after the second time this happened. When I called last month to complain I was told my contract expired in May. Today when I called to complain and try to cancel early without cancellations fees, I was told that I had to cancel on the first of this month. Since I didn't call on the first to cancel my service with them, I am now reinrolled for another full year. If I want to get out now I have to pay $150 fee, eventhough I honored my original contract. They say they sent out a notice about this in December. I never received this letter and told her that I was told last month I couldn't leave until May. She repeated that they are not responsible for the short comings of the US Postal Service- yet I am?!?!? They can't explain why the person last month told me May. They say I heard it wrong.

I have asked for a supervisor only to be told that she was and if I wanted her supervisor, I needed to call back Monday. But she wouldn't tell me who to ask for. I left my contact info and said I wanted them to call me on Monday.

I will report this to the Utility Commission if I don't have it resolved by this week. This is very poor customer service at best. I feel it may even qualify for cramming, but am still trying to resolve it with the company before I take further action.

Bottom line- WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS COMPANY!!!!

     
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-03-09:
Your best bet will be a formal complaint to the utility commission. Call them and follow up in writing. First Choice Power should provide sufficient time to receive, process, and apply your payment if you send a check within 5 business days of receiving the bill.
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First Choice Is A Bad Choice
Posted by Dontuse firstchoice on 02/11/2008
TEXAS CITY, TEXAS -- I can't believe a company would send a letter out in December saying that they had a problem with their billing throught the year and I owe them another 800 dollars. Tough Sh@# First choice. I paid it and missed my payment day by 2 days and they turned off my power. All I can say, if you have First Choice Power as your power provider your in for a nightmare.

These guys are the worst and should be reported to the Texas Attorney Generals office for shady contracting and billing practices.There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a Class Action lawsuit against this company for their shady dealing and I would be the first on to sign up on it.
     
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Posted by Slimjim on 2008-02-11:
No somethings wrong here. You do need to contact the attorney generals office yourself. Power companies fall under very heavy scrutiny from states for inappropriate actions. You need to get connected with the consumer protection division and tell them what happened. If it is at all out of line, they will handle it with the power company for you.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-02-11:
I thought they had to give a notice before cutting someone's power off. Or maybe that is only in certain States? Is this common for them to do?
Posted by Principissa on 2008-02-11:
They have to give you notice before cutting off your power. At least here in every place I've ever lived. I would call your public service commission and tell them what's going on. If it is an error on their end with the billing, that is not your fault it's theirs, and they shouldn't turn off your power for their mistakes. Do call and see if they can help you.
Posted by DDuckCar on 2008-08-21:
First Choice Power is the bottom feeders of all electric service providers. I could not imagine operating with the ethics, or lack thereof, that quide this company. There is not enough space to post all the erronous billing errors, specifics of the cut-offs, the two cut-offs in one month. In the town where I live they have cut off elderly people who have paid their bills and are on oxygen. The continue to lie, cheat, and then lie, cheat again. I would be interested in entering into any class action lawsuit that might be filed on this company. I have more stories than you can imagine. So many people have left their service in the small town where I live that they are sending a rep next week who I am sure will lie, and cheat, and then turn around and sign people up for a new contract. I plan to contact the Public Utilities Commission of Texas and the Better Business Bureau as well as change my provider. Someone has to stand up and say something. I expect there are a lot of elderly people that have no service at this time and have no idea that they have a choice in the matter. Let's put our heads together and do something about this.
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First Choice Power turned me off for $52!!
Posted by Emster on 12/13/2007
ROUND ROCK, TEXAS -- I'm in my 3rd month with this company and I hate it! Because of a job loss, I had to sell my house and move into a small duplex. I chose First Choice Power because they claimed to be cheaper.
Well, my first bill (estimated) was $226! YIKES! My 2000 sq foot house was NEVER that high!

Then my second bill came in and showed I had a credit of $135, obviously a refund for over estimating my first bill and showed my second bill to be only $89. The next came in and it was $202! I couldn't believe a small duplex could have that high of an electric bill all the time and this wasn't the summer season. Its from fall.

Because I was a little tight this week, I paid $155. 3 days later, they turned me off while I was home! FOR $52!

So I called them to pay the past due and then find out my new bill is $313!!!
After paying my $52, they told me that they can't guarantee that it would be turned on tonight and that it can take 24-72 hours to reconnect!!!

Tonight is going down to 30 degrees. I am at my parents house because of all this. This company had nazi policies. And then to top it off, they are going to charge me a $280 reconnect fee!! So my new bill, which will probably be over $200, will also have a $280 fee on there. Lovely.

Fortunately, I have one of those things where I have a choice of companies and instead of paying this last $300 bill coming up, I am having a new companys service.

Screw First Choice Power.
     
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Posted by Suusan B. on 2007-12-13:
First Choice Power appears to be a reseller and believe me, you will end up paying what you owe them one way or the other. Deregulation of power took place in Texas on January 1, 2002 but that doesn't mean that you can skip out on a provider and just move on to the next without paying what you owe.
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-13:
If I were you I would pay the 52.00 before they send it to collections. Ruining your credit over 52.00 or at all is not worth it. It sucks that they did this, but trust me when I say you would rather deal with this company than the collection agencies.
Posted by CCarlton on 2007-12-19:
Thank you, Emster, for sharing of your experience. We will reply to you directly regarding your letter.

We appreciate customer feedback.

We hope you reconsider and return to First Choice Power.

We are committed to providing Simply Better service than our competition.

Thank you,
Catherine Carlton
First Choice Power Media
Posted by SabDey on 2007-12-20:
We have First Choice Power and plan on switching immediately. Apparently they only rely on regular mail to communicate with customers. We gave them an email address when we signed up, it's beyond me how they don't use it to contact their customers and let them know about valuable information like "you have a past due bill"! The competitive advantages REPs have at this point are customer service and price. Clearly, they sacrificed their customer service quality to get a low price - and it's not worth the trade off.
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Bogus Contract That You Never Know About
Posted by Glen on 08/15/2007
I was very surprised to find that I was under a contract with First Choice Power. It seems that this energy provider can send out a notice that gives you some rate plans for power used. This document that is sent you is not a bill but rather a notice to inform you that you have some choices for your power plan. If you discard this notice and do not respond, you are put under contract for a plan that commits you for 2 yrs to First Choice Power. Please do not think it is impossible to be put under a contract that you never signed or acknowledged in any way. What First Choice is saying is that if you do not respond you are under their contract for two years and you will be charged $200.00 if you choose to change power companies during your contract time. Wow is this America or what. I had many conversations with First Choice about my contract that I never signed up for and they are now committed to ruining my credit if this fee is not paid. I asked the rep from First Choice to pick up her used car she had purchased from me and she did not know what I was talking about.

So I informed her that I had sent her notice that if she didn't respond to the notice she had gotten in the mail to purchase or not purchase my car that she was under contract to purchase my car. Of course she did not know what I was talking about and of course I told her that this is just how ridiculous it was for First Choice to hold me under such a contract. Imagine if all you had to do to commit someone to contract was to send it in the mail and if you didn't respond you were bound to a contract of any kind.

Anyway this is my story and I hope anyone reading this will check with their power company to see if they are under a term contract that will cost you in the end if you try to switch power companies

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-15:
Geeeezzzzz, what a scam.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-15:
If First Choice was not your original electric supplier then I'd say you were slammed. A number of businesses are using what's called an opt-out option. If you don't tell them you don't want the service they assume you want it. Comcast where I live pulled that number last month by trying to force customers to use arbitration instead of a judge to settle disputes. The county council sent out a notice to let citizens be aware of this and advised all to use the opt-out option. The council also said the option violated the contract with the county.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-08-15:
When some states de-regulated utilities, they wrote this type of provision into the law. In my state if you didn't choose your natural gas supplier on your own and you simply allowed the state to assign you one, you were by default agreeing to a one year committment with that supplier. So it might be your state public service commission you have a beef with.
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Bills are sky-high
Posted by Eric76528 on 07/19/2004
We switched to First Choice when we moved, hoping it would be better than our old company, but it was worse!
Our bill jumped $350 in one month, and when I called to ask why, first, they said "oh, that was part of your last month`s bill", so I paid the bill only to be cut off, without notice, one week later!
They claimed I owed them another $222.97, and that was for a deposit that I paid previously!
I had no choice but to pay it if I wanted power restored.
I`m moving next month, out of their service area...I`ve had enough!
     
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Posted by death on 2004-07-29:
what's wrong with you people? cant you ever say anything nice to antbosy, or is your head too far up your butt?! i think this power company is a phony and a fraud.
Posted by death on 2004-08-29:
yeah well you know what i mean smarta$$. grow up.
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