Direct Energy Elect. co. Complaint - Direct Energy Rip Off!!
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!!!