TXU Complaint - New "Smart Meters" And Poor Customer Service
TEXAS -- I currently have one of the new "smart meters" installed in my home. Over the last two billing cycles my electricity usage, according to the meter, more than doubled. During this time period I made no additions or changes in the way of appliances or heating / AC units that would explain the enormous load reported by my meter. I called TXU to request an inspection, and the representative did everything except admit that there might be a problem with my meter. I was quizzed about every appliance in my home, my current water heater and thermostat settings, etc - as if I am oblivious to factors that may effect my electricity usage. The rep suggested that I did not know how to read the meter correctly, although after a vague and confusing explanation, we agreed that I was reading the meter correctly. (By the way: I was going to post a link to the TXU website explaination of how to read your new "smart meter" but it turns out that no such instructions exist on the web - more outstanding customer service) The representative on the phone treated me as if she knew more about my home and electricity usage than I do. I was also informed that I would have to pay Oncor myself to have an inspection on the meter.
Finding this answer unacceptable I consulted my own electrician who gave me all the steps to shut off power entirely to my home, which I did. Turns out that even after shutting down each circuit breaker and the main breaker to the home the meter still gives a current load of 28.59 Kw (I was informed that this is enough of a load to adequately power four homes equal to the size of mine at the same time). So much for the "smart meter." Now, after informing TXU of this new information, I have to wait up to 5 days for an Oncor representative to inspect my meter. They made no effort to apologize for the way I was treated in the initial phone call, and I was told that I may have to pay an additional fee to have the technician inspect the meter. This situation was frustrating enough without the addition of poor customer service.
I honestly don't know if I will remain a TXU customer after this - I will update with the end result so that other consumers can see how TXU handled the situation.
Update: TXU sent out a service technician (from Oncor) to inspect the meter. I put in a specific request to be present when the tech was at my home (I gave the TXU phone rep two contact numbers), and what happened? Of course, I got no call. When I called TXU on the 5th day to see why I had not heard from the technician, I was informed that there had already been an inspection and that there was nothing wrong with the meter. I immediately asked to speak to a supervisor to request another inspection - one where I could supervise the technician and shut the power off in front of him to prove that the meter still shows a usage. Instead, after placing me on hold for an extended amount of time, the TXU phone rep offered to take $400 off of my current bill. Now, why would any company offer to cut the bill by more 60% if nothing was wrong with their equipment??? I immediately went outside to the meter only to find that now it is working properly. I now have no proof to show that my last months bill was due to equipment malfunction. This is the single most deceitful situation I have ever experienced from any company. I'm changing providers as soon as possible. Hope this post keeps some other person from signing up with TXU and experiencing a nightmare like mine.