Citizens Energy Corp.Mismanagement/Misleading

G
This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

Joe Kennedy should be ashamed of his organization! On January 24th, when the program "officially" opened I began a 2 week, everyday, twice a day attempt to reach their application number. EVERY time I called I reached either a busy signal, "all circuits are busy" or "we're experiencing line difficulties". Finally, on Feb. 8th my daughter was successful in getting through, gave the operator my information and was assured an application would be sent. Approximately 5-7 days later my daughter received a phone call from Joe for oil that numerous applications had been "lost by the US Postal Service" and if we did not receive our application by the 17th to call another number and they would send another application. We never received the initial application. My daughter tried the number the operator gave her and couldn't get through so she tried the 877 number. The woman she spoke to was rude, demeaning and told my daughter that no applications had been lost, that Joe 4 Oil was not an emergency fuel service and was quite sarcastic with her.
I finally recieved the application on February 22nd, I filled it out and returned it the same day. From the 22nd of Feb. till today I called everyday. Again I encountered busy signals regularly, but when I would speak to an operator I was told that my (6 question) application was still being processed. I was told numerous times that they were "overwhelmingly busy" trying to process all the "unexpected" applications and to call back in 72 hours. I continued to call everyday until today 3/21 when I reached an operator who informed me they were out of money. He told me that yes, approximately 50, 000 applications had been "lost" or "misplaced" and that they only had a limited amount of people they could help. When I pointed out that there is NO WHERE on their website that states this, he agreed.
I spoke to my oil supplier today and she stated that THEY (the supplier) were having alot of problems with the staff, management and organization and efficiency of Citizens Energy more so this year than in others.
I understand this is a free service offered to low income families. What I disagree with is: rude, discourteous, demeaning, disceptive operators, an application system that is inefficient; wayyy too many hands on the process, and a website that is misleading and deceptive. I manage 3 separate offices and I have never seen such mismanagement. Either someone doesn't care, or isn't paying attention. Mr. Kennedy really needs to get a handle on this organization from the bottom up or give it up because people don't need to be assured that "he's here to help" only to find out he isn't and his staff doesn't give a sh**.

Responses

  • Ma
    maine-ah Oct 18, 2014

    I have tried for Joe 4 oil for several years. Some years I have received it, others I have not. I remind myself how lucky I am on the years I do get it. This is a FREE program to the consumers. It is not going to be perfect. If you are looking for better service, PAY for it. We all need to stop thinking that we are "entitled" to this service. They make it very clear that this is a first come, first served situation. Your application didn't get processed? Or lost? So what? Life isn't fair. Deal with it. I spend plenty of weeks in the winter, or early spring running my dryer and oven to help keep the house warm. Winter in Maine sucks. I'm not going to blame my situation on the Joe 4 Oil program. This is one of many assistance programs that may be available in your community. Check your city hall, church, or community organizations. No one should have to be cold during winter. No should have to choose either food, medical care, or heat. There are SO MANY people that do have to choose, every winter. That is why it is so hard to get through on the phone line for Joe 4 Oil. I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of people just like you and me that need the assistance. There just isn't enough for everyone.

    0 Votes
  • St
    stillwaiting12 Mar 01, 2014

    Life and North East Winters are hard enough without JOKERS like you.

    0 Votes
  • St
    stillwaiting12 Mar 01, 2014

    I never want to see another commercial with your kind caring smile - You are causing misery, deceiving people.

    0 Votes
  • St
    stillwaiting12 Mar 01, 2014

    ? Joe4Oil

    Why so many commercials Joe? You obviously do not and can not even help 1/4 of those who see your incessant commercials, giving them false hope. Even if you only ran one commercial on the day Citizens Energy opened, you could not help all of those people. Talk about wasting money and giving millions false hope. How much does each commercial cost? STOP...STOP...STOP...playing with peoples lives!

    0 Votes
  • St
    stillwaiting12 Mar 01, 2014

    Less false advertising/smiley do good commercials and more help for the people to get through on the phone and more money for the oil, Joe Kennedy has wasted more money on the advertising than on oil for the needy...Thanks Joe

    0 Votes
  • St
    stillwaiting12 Mar 01, 2014

    This is really a very cruel joke especially for the elderly and the sick. For the second year in a row I am still waiting for the application to show up in my mail box every day, shoveling the snow immediately so the mailman will have no excuse not to come up my stairs. I used up all of my phone minutes trying to get through to Citizens Energy - all in vain I see now. I never received the application promised me by Feb 21 and called they said because of the President's Holiday I would have to wait until the 25th, When I called back on Feb. 25 they told me to wait until the 26th, Seriously, the postal service takes over 15 days to deliver a letter? I was under the impression that they don't have enough mail to deliver that is why the are constantly hiking up the price of stamps. Citizens Energy is fooling around with people's lives, this is absolutely despicable. I was told to wait until March 11th for the second application to arrive at my home. I just wait and freeze and ask myself is all of this stress and aggravation worth it...Don't make promises You can't and have no intention on keeping...Joe4Oil...your the only one not left in the cold.

    btw the first year I never received the application I thought it was just my bad luck...I now know better, it's a scam.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    kathy bollinger Feb 17, 2014

    i have been call joe 4 oil all day everyday since the program stared all i get is a busy signal or a recording i call hundreds o
    f time i mean likei talk to h 580 times one day come on this is sad everyone i talk to here in my area tell me the same thing

    so sad kathy

    0 Votes
  • Th
    The Gibster Dec 29, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This whole thing is not about getting people oil assistance - sure, that's the by product. The real message is 'oil company - bad', 'profit - bad', 'Chavez - good'. Otherwise, why would they pay $3.84/gal for the oil?

    If you were running a supposed, non-profit wouldn't you be buying your supplies at the very cheapest price you could find?

    Pawns in a big agenda they want you to buy into. Are you a pawn?

    Or, can you think for yourself?

    0 Votes
  • Re
    Regina Danielson Apr 19, 2011

    I still have not heard a work from Citizens and Joe 4 Oil. They should be ashamed of the big fancy advertisements they had on TV and now we are all out in the cold!!! They blamed a mail order house for not sending the applications, how hard would it of been for them to write the name on the application as they took down the information from us and mailed the application???? a mail order house, MORE MONEY SPENT!!! I am still out in the cold and mad as HELL. And by the way what did they do with the information they took over the phone with the initial call to them?????

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Maryhar61 Apr 11, 2011

    I have been struggling with cold temps here in the state of Maine & I have been through the same experience as everyone else has, filled out App never got voucher, I keep calling & they keep saying call your provider in 4 hours, which I have done 3 times & my provider said I have been pre approved, but without my voucher they will not deliver, I live on six hundred dollars a month SSI and totally need help, right now it's 52 degrees in here and I have been left in the cold, shame on Citizens Energy.

    0 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Apr 01, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm very glad it worked out for you! I haven't had a response from any of my emails... But I'm gonna keep on it. I agree with your thoughts on how corrupt this program is!

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 31, 2011

    Oh yeah...one more thing. I found this a little odd...the commercials make it seem as though the oil is coming directly from Citco and they are getting some type of bargain rate. Citizens Energy had me use one of their own oil vendors which I was given the receipt and they were charged $3.84 per gallon! huh???????

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 31, 2011

    Pinch me, I'm dreaming. My oil just came! I hope that some others get some assistance too. I'm very glad I finally got this oil, but I still have a feeling this program is full of corruption and that a lot of people are getting oil who have a friend, relative, neighbor, etc who is working for Citizen's. It just seems way too easy for that to be the case and I hope in the future this program can be run better and I would love to see some type of verification of either income or financial hardship or SOMETHING!

    Because, after all, no one should be left out in the cold!!!

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 31, 2011

    Good luck...I hope someone gets back to you. I will post again tomorrow if/when my oil comes...I hope it does...we're getting a snowstorm this weekend and I am on EMPTY!

    0 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Mar 30, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I resent another email as well. Mine was titled "NO ONE SHOULD BE LEFT OUT IN THE COLD"... your programs slogan. Thanks for the info, good luck!

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 30, 2011

    I just got a call from the oil company and they are delivering 100 gallons tomorrow. The email address I used was [email protected] Good luck and I wouldn't totally give up even though I had. I had already called a few local tv stations and the attorney generals office and also the better business bureau. Maybe that's why they got back to me? I still don't totally believe it...not until the oil is in my tank. I'll let you all know tomorrow if it comes. I had to use a different vendor than I usually do because my oil company doesn't participate in this program.

    Oh yeah...I titled my email JOE KENNEDY LEFT ME OUT IN THE COLD!
    Maybe that got their attention!

    0 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Mar 30, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    What email address did you send it to? I've sent one 3 weeks Shia nf have not received a response... I wasn't surprised by this. I'm wondering if persistence is going to pay off.

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 30, 2011

    I can't believe this but after sending a pretty nasty email to Citizens this morning, I got a phone call back from someone 3 hours later and she supposedly is faxing a voucher for oil over to my oil vendor. I'll keep you guys posted and let you know if this actually goes through. I've learned by now not to get my hopes up.

    0 Votes
  • Re
    Regina Danielson Mar 29, 2011

    I have been waiting since I finally reached them on February 9 for my application, i also got through a second time and they rea ssured me that I would get my application and to just be patient. Well here it is March 29, 2011. Guess what I still have never received my application, I am cold and so sad that Joe 4 oil would hurt the people who need this the most, the disabled and poor. Shame on you Joe, Also, I contacted Citizens by email and was told by patty Meanny that she woulsd see to it that another application was sent out to me" there must be a proble" yes there is a problem I only make 6, 000 dollars a year and can't afford oil, thats the problem .
    Oh, and about the Media, I contacted channel 4 in Pittsburgh they did not have a clue what I was talking about, so whats the use!!!

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 29, 2011

    Technically...the way this program works...by signing your name you agree you are poor enough to get this so called oil so if Bill Gates got his application in on time he could get free oil! I would love to find out HOW MUCH oil actually DOES go to people and not just people but people who actually are in need of some assistance..????

    0 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Mar 28, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Also, I emailed this company a few weeks ago to share my feelings on this. Surprise, surprise... No response. It's one thing to have a program be mismanaged or run poorly, it's another to ignore or mislead people.

    0 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Mar 28, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I would love to get this info out to a local news station or something... I am in disbelief over this situation and the way we were strung along. It takes HOURS out of the day just to TRY to get through. And if all us were told we qualified for 100 free gallons, how is it they don't account for that with these missing applications?

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 28, 2011

    I would like to add one more thing...they don't even VERIFY that you are low income or even are in NEED of assistance. You put your name and the members of your family and how much your income is and sign it. It's all on the "honor" method. I wonder if perhaps you need to have a "friend" connected to actually get the oil. I also wonder if people do get oil, who really don't need this program. Just a thought...and WHY on earth do you even need to fill out the form when it's such basic information, they could take it over the phone or do it online? You don't need any documentation or anything. I bet the a LARGE # of people who actually do get this "free oil", if it even exists have a friend or relative working for this program...and then a friend of a friend and so on and so on. Typical politics...It's who you know.

    Ok, I'm done for now...#($&#(&$#($&#)(*&$&##$*@(#$&*(#[email protected])(@

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    wickedcold Mar 28, 2011

    I also called the day the program FINALLY started after numerous phone calls, numerous busy signals, numerous endless calls placed on hold for eternity. I tried calling about 2 weeks after I did request the application to find out what was going on and they told me that it WAS mailed and that some people were just receiving their applications and to wait another week or so. I waited, and still nothing. It took another week of attempted phone calls to finally get through and they sent me another application. I got it about 10 days later and the DAY I received it, I mailed it back. I FINALLY got my rejection letter on Friday March 25th. I just got off the phone with them and they said "sorry, your application was received too late and the program is closed". I was really counting on that oil especially considering the temps in Mass this march are averaging in the 30's. This is such a joke. I wonder if anyone really does get oil? Great publicity Joe and Citco ...what a joke.!!!

    Oh yeah, the first time I called and they said to be patient that it's taking 3 weeks for some applications to arrive through the post office...I asked the woman if it was being mailed from Venezuela! Haha...I guess the joke is on me. I hope Joe Kennedy reads this. Me and my 3 kids will continue without oil for the rest of the season...brrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Sincerely,

    Wicked pissed in Massachusetts

    0 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Mar 22, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I believe the program is all about publicity. I'm appalled by the situation... SOMEONE needs to get this out.

    1 Votes
  • Mi
    Mickey'smom Mar 22, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The empty promises of help for the poor with free fuel were finally revealed as lies today. As the other complaints have stated, weeks of waiting for applications that were "in the mail" turned into "sorry, there are no more funds available". I never did get the application which I was told repeatedly would be "coming any day".
    How many millions of dollars were spent on slick ads of a smiling Joe Kennedy vowing "No one should be left out in the cold"? The non-profit corporation he heads should be ashamed of this operation. Hire more people and stop blaming the postal service for your errors!
    Making deserate people wait for applications that never arrive, while we believed the lies - checking the mail, lowering the thermostats and shivering in our homes - this is despicable coming from an organization that pretends to be all about compassion.

    1 Votes
  • Rh
    rhapariseau Mar 22, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have had so many issues trying to apply for this. I was told that my application was mailed on Feb 8th, and STILL haven't received it. I have called several times and have been told to wait a week and try again. It's impossible to get through and now they aren't taking any new applications. I agree with you 100%... This is unacceptable!

    2 Votes
  • IrishChick Mar 22, 2011

    But if you manage 3 businesses than why do you need fuel assistance? I don't understand that part.

    -1 Votes

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