Reliant Energy, Inc.

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Early Cancellation Fee
Posted by Mr Steve on 12/22/2007
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Reliant customer for over two years. I decide to switch to another provider , so I called them to check on the terms of my current contract. Reliant agent tells me I'm free to switch at any time. I switch, then get final bill with a 100.00 early cancellation fee added to it. Call Reliant, they say they have received no calls from me (and they can look back a thousand days). Next day I find a call to them listed on my cell bill,and dated several weeks before I switched. Emailed them with the day and time of call and what number it was from. Now they say, you called but you didn't ask about terms of contract or status in the call. Bottom line is they lied to me (said I was free to change without penalty), and will not remove the fee. It is the principle of the thing now, and the way they are treating a former customer that makes me so mad.

Trouble is, it's my word against theirs. They are going to get the money, but I will not miss a chance to share this story. I filed a complaint with the PUC, not sure if anything will happen. I for one will not ever recommend Reliant to anyone. This is not the only trouble I have had with them, just the latest. I could tell you another story where they double billed one month (same amount to the penny on the bill twice days apart). I can't even add up all the time I spent trying to get that corrected. This company in my opinion, cares nothing about customers coming back. If they did they would not treat them like they are treating me. Here's a recent example of good customer service. I had both Blockbuster and Netflix sort of a trial to see which fit my needs best.

I decided to cancel Netflix and go with the other company. Last thing I hear from Netflix is "sorry to lose you please come back anytime". You know, because of that I would. I would recommend them highly as well. That my friend is how you treat customers. Reliant should take a page from their book. I hope this post will save someone from going through what I have gone through with Reliant. They flat lied to me.

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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2007-12-22:
*Rubber stamp* "NEVER rely on ANYTHING a customer service representative tells you on the phone!"

If your written contract does not have an early termination fee spelled out in it then take them to small claims court and get your money back.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-22:
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2007-12-22:
You were free to switch to someone else, they weren't holding a gun to your head, but they should have mentioned the fee.
Posted by Mr Steve on 2007-12-23:
The thing is customer service. As a consumer, I did what I thought was right. Call and check to see if I'm in the middle of a contract. Then proceeded with the change. To have a agent of the company tell me that they can go back a thousand days on a call record, and to tell me I didn't call (a lie). Once they were informed that I have a cell bill that shows different, they reverse field and say (you called but it was about something else). It appears that they may try this with every cancellation. If the customer gives up they win. In my opinion, you don't treat customers that way.
Posted by Anthony on 2013-02-02:
Then go to Ambit Energy.

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Credit Score
Posted by Jamesconner84 on 07/19/2010
GALVESTON -- I lived in Galveston, Tx and used Reliant Energy. September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike demolished my house, for 3 weeks I was not allowed on the Island due to the clean up. I paid my remaining balance on the phone and asked to disconnect service. Years later I checked my credit score and noticed that Reliant has turned me in to Mercantile Adjmt bur. I tried to reach these people and could not. So, I then called Reliant direct. Reliant told me that the billing payment for the amount of $111.00 was from September 16, 2008 through October 16, 2008. I asked her if they tried to send me a bill she said yes and it was returned. (Do you think that it was returned because there was no mail box to put the bill in due to the Hurricane Ike?) So long story short they still want me to pay the $111 even know I had no house to use their energy. It is up to you to decide rather you want service from Reliant or not, but if you are looking for advice. Listen to the people who have experienced the wrong doing from Reliant.
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-07-19:
That sounds like what any electric company would do. "Your problems are not ours!" Good luck.
Posted by saj80 on 2010-07-19:
Unfortunately, it is probably much more than $111 now since a collection agency "owns" the debt, which also means that Reliant can not legally collect it. It does suck that you are in this position due to an act of God, especially when you are trying to rectify the matter. I Googled Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, and their number is 800-480-7094 (or www.mercantilesolutions.com).
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-07-19:
Did both of you miss the fact that they are billing for energy used when the house no longer existed?
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-07-19:
How odd----unless they are REALLY behind in updating their billing, there is no reason they should have charged you for those dates.
Posted by saj80 on 2010-07-20:
No, tnchuck, I got that from the OP; however, it is possible there was some usage prior to the storm, and I would settle this as soon as I could to protect my credit history, but it needs to be done via the collection agency. Once settled, I would then start working on reimbursement or a very good explanation from Reliant.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-07-20:
saj, then you must have missed this: "I paid my remaining balance on the phone and asked to disconnect service."
Posted by me on 2012-03-06:
How much power was used between the time customer requested a disconnect and when the power was actually disconnected?
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Change Our Services With False Information
Posted by Rafaelbarrera009 on 03/12/2014
KINGSVILLE, TEXAS -- Sent from my iPad

A sales person came to my residence saying that he was on behalf of CP&L electric company which is our provider as he talked to my spouse saying that our provider CP&L was overcharging us and wanted to give us a rebate of 150.00 dollars. All that my wife had to do is place a call so that the rebate would take effect. He went further as he read the bill which is under my name that we were on a month to month contract. As my spouse place the call the call changed our services to Reliant Energy. The salesperson failed to identify himself as an employee of reliant he said that CP&L had sent him with false pretense . Now we find out that our provider is reliant charging me a 299.00 deposit fee and CP&L charging me early termination fees. We talked to reliant and they told us the transaction was legal because a recording was made yet the salesperson failed to identify himself that he was on behalf of reliant instead he said he was sent by cp&l . I feel we were wrong . I talked to their supervisor that it is unethical. To sent out salespeople using false information. Presently I am stuck and do not know what to do about our situation. I told them I do not want their services I just want to go back to CP&L but they won't switch us.
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2014-03-12:
File a complaint with your state's office of the attorney general and public utilities commission.
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Lower rates on power to choose
Posted by BrianT on 09/04/2010
If you are currently a customer of reliant go online and check to find a lower provider or to see how they offer new customers much lower rates than we old customers!

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Posted by Alain on 2010-09-06:
Seems like reasonable advice, thanks.
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Over Charge-Rip Off
Posted by Over charge on 01/18/2010
I was with TXU for over 6 years never had a bill over 200 when I moved I decided to switch to Reliant they appeared to be cheaper till the bills came...I was not even in my house for a full month and my first bill was over 200 then my next full month charge was over 400 in a tiny mobile home with one television. Reliant energy guarantees you with a low wattage charge when you first sign on with them then the bill come they are a bunch of scam artist beware.
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-01-18:
I have seen a lot of complaints about Texas electric utility companies. I have yet to see someone disclose what the exact amount of the bill was, the kilowatt-hour usage, dates involved, and any listed other charges as in late fee, connection fee, deposit, fuel adjustment, taxes, wheeling charge, etc.

Let have some facts to deal with here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-18:
Chuck, a friend of mine lives in Texas. We've compared bills and for comparable usage, on average his bill is twice the amount of mine. They recently cut his service off, accidentally. It took them 33 hours to reconnect and then gave him grief about reimbursing him for food in his refrigerator and freezer. The Texas energy companies really are horrible.
Posted by goduke on 2010-01-19:
The joys of deregulation. The texas voters decided that it would result in lower bills, and (surprise, surprise), it didn't.

So, OP...is reliant saying your usage is higher than it was under your previous carrier (it's on your current bill and a bill with the previous carrier), or is the per kwh charge higher?
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Reliant lies clients
Posted by Dennis123 on 01/14/2010
Reliant did not installed the service in my house the day we agreed, but the next day. when I called to get the credit they promise ($200) to pay in case they do not meet the deadline, they refused it, giving me all kind of senseless excuses to avoid to give me the credit. Be away from this company they take advantage of customers.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-14:
What was the reason? I am sure there was a clause in there somewhere with restrictions.
Posted by goduke on 2010-01-14:
Here's the exclusion:

If your electricity service is not connected at your new address on the date we schedule your move-in, you’ll be eligible for up to $200 in free electricity for single-family homes and up to $50 for apartments. The Reliant Energy Movers Promise is limited to moving residential customers and does not apply if you are switching providers at your existing residence. For a priority move-in, you must complete your enrollment request by 2 p.m. a minimum of 1 business day prior to requested date of service. For a standard move-in, you must complete your enrollment request by 2 p.m. a minimum of 2 business days prior to the requested date of service. You must satisfy all enrollments and permit requirements. Interruptions to service beyond the initial initiation of service are not covered. Bill credit does not apply to weather emergencies that cause your utility company to redirect crews for service restoration or inaccessibility of meter.
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Beware of this electric company
Posted by Pfvilleshawn on 12/05/2009
Beware!! You can't ever leave without paying BIG! $295.00 in my case. They hired an outside company to collect the money. The company doesn't have any access to records, statements, contracts etc. They just keep calling and make threats of ruining your credit. They can't provide you with any proof that you owe this money. The guy actually told me that these agreements are usually verbal...SERIOUSLY? It's been a nightmare!
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Stay away
Posted by FrustCust on 06/23/2009
They keep increasing rates all the time. Have the worst customer service. Stay away from them.

They discriminate new customers and existing customers all the time.

Treat you nice and later play sleazy game. They add a bunch of surcharges.

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Posted by goduke on 2009-06-23:
The Texas voters demanded deregulation. Guess they didn't count on this.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-23:
if i'm not mistaken ... in most areas you can also apply to be switched to a different energy company.

i had someone knocking at my door the other day trying to get me to switch but ... my bill's already pretty low so why fix what ain't broken
Posted by buyt on 2009-09-23:
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Maybe It Gets Better
Posted by Hondaddy on 05/11/2009
I don't know if this provides any comfort to any Reliant customers. But they just sold off the residential division of their company. I am a stock holder. Not sure who picked up the 140,000 customers, but hope it gets better for all of you.

Sounds like they're running things on the cheap. And maybe they knew the residential customers weren't going to be around long.
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Ripoff Power Dis Service
Posted by RandynoReliant on 05/11/2009
KATY, TEXAS -- I have had Reliant for 11 months and 15 days and in this time they have twice disconnected me both their fault took two days once for reconnect and 1 day for the other we tried to show the disconnect guy the bill and canceled check he laughed disconnected us and drove off we were on the phone proving we paid as he drove off; two days later they turn it on.(the billing was their fault they doubled billed us.) We decided to switch and our usual $65.00 was $355.00 had and extra $295.00 for early disconnect we switched 14 days early per contract for that we apy $295.00. They supply no customer service and they will rip you off every chance you get (double Billing is their standard operating procedure.

I am waiting for the class action suite and will be first in line. Do not do business with this company if you can avoid it.
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-11:
You should not have to pay a disconnect fee since they breached the contract by shutting off your service (twice) while you were paid in full.

Contact your local Public Utilities Commission.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-05-11:
Don't bother waiting for a class action lawsuit. You would get next to nothing and it would take years.

Sue them yourself in small claims court. You have damages. You can recover your loss plus court costs. If you can prove the man cut you off even when you showed him the paid bill you might even go for punitive damages as well.

As Soaring said, contact the Public Utilities Commission as well. They must have a sizable file on these bozos by now.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-05-11:
They have screwed up my bill as well. Did anything good come out of deregulating the power companiesin Texas? We pay more per kilowatt than lots of other states, and customer service sucks.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-11:
sue em.
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