Centerpoint Energy — horrible customer service
On 09/04/2007, I found a representative from Centerpoint energy in my driveway who informed me that he was here to disconnect my gas service. The bill was being sent to another one of my properties on the other side of the country and I never realized that it was missing when the mail stopped being forwarded. To this date, I have yet to have a single call or a Voice Mail from Centerpoint to the phone number listed on my account to inform me that my service was about to be disconnected. Their answer to this issue was: well, our automated system calls customers but we don't leave a message or bother checking if the calls ever reached you... Seems to me like the system's only designed to deal with intentionally delinquent customers and not to resolve billing issues as is the case here. The reason I am contacting you to place an official complaint is twofold:
1. Monopoly practices (failure to reach a customer to try and resolve issues): Not leaving a phone message (while disconnect notices are being sent to an incorrect address) does not give a delinquent customer a way to know there is an issue with their account and to resolve it. My unchecked payment history should have been a good reason to suspect there was an issue somewhere... but when you are the only company around, you don't have to deal with customers the way others do, I guess!
2. Racketeering (They want to charge me $70 dollars to turn the gas valve back on). This simply ridiculous!!! Mind you that I owe them a measly $98 and that until 04/07, I made regular payments.
PS: At this point in time, I believe the only gas powered appliance in my house is the water heater, which I will be replacing with an electric one so I no longer have to use the ONLY gas providing utility company. I also want to make sure that you are aware f what appears to be monopolistic abuse from Centerpoint energy. This is so ridiculous and could have been avoided had the company bothered to have a live employee call me on the number they had on record, which seems like proper business practice.