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Citizens Energy Corp. / Mismanagement/Misleading

Posted:   User 
Complaint Rating:  94 % with 16 votes
94% 16
Contact information:
Citizens Energy Corp.
New York
United States
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**.
Complaint comments Comments (28)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Non-profit Organizations


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N  22nd of Mar, 2011 by  user  Agree Disagree -1 Votes
But if you manage 3 businesses than why do you need fuel assistance? I don't understand that part.
A  22nd of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree +2 Votes
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!
N  22nd of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree +1 Votes
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.
A  22nd of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I believe the program is all about publicity. I'm appalled by the situation... SOMEONE needs to get this out.
N  28th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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


Wicked pissed in Massachusetts
N  28th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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...#($&#(&$#($&#)(*&$&##$*@(#$&*(#&@)(@
N  28th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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?
N  28th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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.
N  29th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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..????
A  29th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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!!!
N  30th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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.
N  30th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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.
N  30th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I just got a call from the oil company and they are delivering 100 gallons tomorrow. The email address I used was inform@citizensenergy.com. 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!
N  30th of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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!
N  31st of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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!
N  31st of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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!!!
N  31st of Mar, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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???????
N  1st of Apr, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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!
N  11th of Apr, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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.
N  19th of Apr, 2011 by  User  Agree Disagree 0 Votes
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?????

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