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Florida Power And Light Residential Electricity / deposit requirement

1 PO Box 025576Miami, FL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 941-917-0512

Re: florida power and light residential deposit requirements and policies

To whom it may concern:

I am writing you regarding florida power and light’s (Fpl) deposit policy for residential service in manatee county florida. Like millions of people in the united states and hundreds of thousands of people in florida, I have been impacted by the slow economy. I consider myself to be middle-class. My profession of 16 years has been commission sales. The economy has tremendous impact on both my customers’ purchasing decisions and my income.

My specific area of complaint is fpl’s current policy to charge a deposit up to 3 times an average monthly bill for “delinquent”, “at-risk”, “problem” customers. Their policy is to penalize florida residents for late payments, returned checks, and non-payment on their electric bill.in my specific case to avoid “interruption” of my service (Turning out the lights until payment is received) resulting from current intermittent financial hardships, I am required to make a “deposit” of $790.00. Ironically, my inability to pay my $250.00 bill several months ago that has long been paid, now requires a deposit of $790.00 that I do not have. As a resident of manatee county florida, I have no alternatives for electricity providers. Essentially, I am a victim of a monopoly that has a profound negative impact on fpl customers and manatee county florida residents.

The deposit policies that are in place by fpl are non-negotiable and strictly enforced by rude and sometimes belligerent fpl employee’s some of which are most likely experiencing the same hardships that my family has encountered. Fpl strives to find alternatives and assistance programs that they direct their customers to, but none of these are fpl entities. These organizations are community based non-profits that offer assistance to people in dire straits. Fpl does subsidize some of these programs and I have actually donated time and money (Under better financial circumstances) to these same organizations. However, based on my income level and the amount of my deposit, it is laughable to them when I phone for assistance. They just don’t have the money to assist fpl customers with funds for a deposit, and can only assist fpl customers with nominal bills.

Manatee county residents have tough decisions to make when it comes to paying their fpl bill or providing necessities that impact and their families which include:
• feeding themselves and their children (Milk, dinner, or fpl?)
• paying their mortgage or rent (Foreclosure, homelessness, or fpl?)
• going to the doctor (Bronchitis, pneumonia, cancer diagnosis, or fpl?)
• buying prescriptions (Blood pressure, asthma, oral chemotherapy or fpl?)
• required medical procedures and follow-up appointments (Bone marrow biopsy, blood work, treatment results or fpl?)
• gas in the car for work, bus money, carpool or fpl?

And on and on.

In contrast to fpl’s practices, manatee county residents do receive assistance and relief (Even if only emotional), from companies that provide most products and/or services and are not immediately directed to community based organizations or be faced with excruciating decisions that have a profound negative impact to their daily lives. Non-profit and community based programs along with residents of manatee county florida would be better served if non-profits applied their limited resources to provide assistance to the above mentioned scenarios. These organizations were formed to assist in the above mentioned points, not to pay money into a “deposit account” to cover an outstanding balance to fpl in the event someone may not pay their bill and move from an fpl service area.

In my particular case, I have received negotiable re-payment terms (That I have kept) that fit my budget but no deposit requirement from the providers of other essential and chosen services for my family. These include mortgage, auto, credit cards, phone, water, gas (Teco) etc…mortgage, auto, phone, and credit cards (Choices), water and gas (Are essentials). But they all have been willing to make arrangements with their customers experiencing financial hardship that will provide long term solutions and avoid an immediate loss of a necessary requirement power. Unlike fpl that demands a payment amount equal to 3 months worth of a service that has not yet been provided, for a bill that I am already having an issue paying the face value amount of. Plus, given 30-45 days to come up with that money at the risk of the lights being turned out.

My complaints are common but above all reasonable:
• if I struggle to come up with 1 month’s worth of payment, how in america the greatest country on earth, can any government or public entity approve of this deposit practice when there are no alternative choices?
• since fpl turns off my power for a 30/60 day past due account or “non-payment” for a provided service and I pay the re-connect fee, why am I required to pay a deposit that fpl states can never be applied to an outstanding invoice unless I move or have 14 months of on-time payments?
• in order to restore service when my power is turned off, I must pay the past due amount. That makes sense. To have my service shut off because of non-payment and the inability to come up with a 3 month deposit is incomprehensible.
• why can’t fpl add 5, 10, 20 dollars per month to their “at risk” customers monthly invoices up to a reasonable 30 day deposit as an alternative if a deposit is absolutely necessary?

I sit here typing this letter, stressed out over the prospect of my power being shut off today, tomorrow, or the next day because I cannot pay my $1, 169.98 fpl bill that is including the $790.00 deposit. I will have my current months $379.98 payment this friday or next, but not the $790.00 deposit. So I must make the choice in the coming hours, days and weeks. Can I pay a deposit for electricity that I have not yet used in my $790.00 fpl deposit at the risk of sacrificing my home, car, fuel, employment, food, medication, water, toothpaste, hospitalization from not being able to afford medication, foreclosure, mold in the house from non-air conditioning in florida, asthma attack from mold, brakes for the car, or my front headlight?

Above all of this, I have been an fpl customer in good standing for almost 10 years. Does that not account for anything? Please help!

Sincerely,
Austin kastner

Au
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Comments

  • Ta
      20th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am in Lee County and it is the same here with FPL. They are money hungry creeps. They would let you starve, let your children live in the street and die. They do not care about no one!
    I have suffered from breast cancer, lost my job, had surgeries and been just about to loose my home. But they do not care. I have called them begging and crying. Asking them for a few more days to pay my bills and what do they do... Slap another deposit on me, to make it more hard for me. I have been to the point to where I have wanted to just take a gun and pull the trigger. I have never had any one degrade me the wat they have. I have had workers there tell me that I was trash and maybe I should learn how topay my bills and manage my money!! That maybe I should move to a place I could afford and get a job.
    I asked them if they understood what it was like to have cancer and be a sole provider of two children.
    They teach their employees to be cold hearted and cruel!

  • Jw
      1st of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Absolutely. FPL has done this to MANY. Do I hear a news agency or anything involved in this under-regulated monopoly? Tallahassee is now listening. Sned the complaints there way too.

    I think the news agencies should get involved - there are thousands beyond thousands of us.
    It's not like their bills are not getting paid for the last 22 years... and now all of a sudden a 700 deposit is necessary. UNREAL! Yeah- all the average joe's can come up with that in six weeks... please. Unbelievable.

    Give me an option that allows the kids not to have asthma all night and FPL is gone...

    How much trouble is FPL (Florida Plunder and loot) in that they have to generate millions in extra deposits to invest.??? hmmm...

    Not on my back. I'll have the 22 year history of payments and a news crew sitting here when they try and turn our power off.

  • Lu
      8th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am in Miami and the same happens to me. In my case I never had my electricity shut down, never had a check returned, just payments sent late which I make the payment by phone and it is debt automatically. FPL is requesting $315.00 deposit due "payments have arrived late. " These payments late are due to the economy "hardship" our country is suffering. I requested FPL representative to check the past 18 years history in my account and no checks and no cut offs electricity in my accounts...and late payments just starting happen a couple years ago. The FPL resperesentative was rude and said that's is the policy. We need to request our Government representatives .to stop this MONOPOLY ABUSE...

  • Lu
      8th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Correcting... Payment lates starting happening a couple months ago... May... account balance is ZERO...

  • Ma
      19th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am in Miami the same happens to me, this MONOPOLY has to stop the ABUSE to people. In my case, I have been customer for more than 20 years and now, they only go back to 6 months history, ridiculous. They said that after I just paid in a designated location, because now they cannot accept me any check by phone, I have to pay in 3 to 5 days another $681.00 for deposit, which I do not have. If i do not do so, they will disconnect the services and reconnection fee. This is just not acceptable and the this deposit is not going to be refunded until the next 23 months. Please listen to consumers, this is an utility bill I have kids, and a senior citizen with critical illness. I pay my bill at 12:30 noon on Friday and they reconnect power late afternoon. After calling every hour to beg to reconnect. Their employee are well train to be insensible. They just a computer with lack of brain. The feedback is just what they was set/program to say.

  • Pa
      25th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am in Brevard County. I too am having the same problem. I have called FPL and said if I can not afford to pay my monthly charges then why the heck would you stress me out for another deposit. My husband is very ill and his SSI check is $637.00 a month. I am forced only to work part time verses full time as a waitress becaue I take care of him. I cry every month. I keep looking over at my generator and telling myself just let them shut me off. Now all I have to do is worry about the four dollars a gallon for fuel to run it. Isn't it great to live in a country where our government lets corporations abuse us. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!

  • Jc
      26th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    what can we do? can we sue fpl i am thinking of filling a lawsuit some time next month. everyone should start filling lawsuits.

  • Mw
      26th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    the Public Services Commission is responsisble for keeping these monopolies from gouging the public. I feel that FPL is now using "deposit" as a new income source due to the loss of revenue when the last rate increase was not approved. I think it is time to start a grass roots movement and bombard the Attny Generals Office as well as the PSC with as many horror stories as possible. We need to make someone responsilbe for their outright lies and impossible terms

    What the PSC Regulates,
    contact@psc.state.fl.us, or through the PSC Web site at www.floridapsc.com.

    Attroney General Office

    ag.mccollum@myfloridalegal.com

  • Gy
      29th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    The FPL corp are a bunch of heartless crooks. Its time we all banded together and filed a Class Action lawsuit agianst this pathetic company. I just moved here and had to come up with an initial $200 deposit. Being on SS I have a hard enough time paying my monthly bill so I paid a couple of them a week or so late. What do thet do? They tack another $188 deposit onto my current bill. In the 4 months I have lived here that brings my total to $1200 in utility and deposit charges. What a bunch of crooks. Its time to fight back!!!

  • Ka
      30th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am also in that boat. I make an above average income and have been struggling to pay bills for the last 6 months. Several late payments later I was stuck with a $250 deposit. When asking for a payment plan on deposit, I was told it has to go through FPL automated payment extension system. No manager available, and of course no payment extension - I am S-O-L and as it seems I have no recourse.

    It IS time for us to band together to stop the egregious and unconstitutional monolopy by FPL.

    I urge you all to send an email to: ag.mccollum@myfloridalegal.com with your specific complaints to ask for immediate consumer relief and refunds of these ridiculous deposits!

    FPL needs to be regulated more closely for consumer fraud and price gauging - they have been getting away with it for too long.

  • An
      11th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I can truly relate to everyone that has a comment posted on this site. I had just given birth a couple of months ago and because I was out of work I had to budget my finances, I asked FPL for a payment extension and of course I was denied. When it came around time for me to pay my bill I did so leaving a 100.00 dollar balance, a few days later my service was disconnected leaving my children, including my newborn in the dark! They refuse to even give their "valued customer" the opportunity to pay. Can one image how difficult it is to care for a new baby in the dark? At this point I had no choice but to come up with the balance and then had to wait 24 hours to get reconnected. I think we shall set a date to rally against the inhumane treatment that FPL poses on it's customers, and if that doesn't work file lawsuits against those greedy devils leaving their ### in the dark!!! By the way if an FPL representative reads this you guys are rude as hell. It has got to be hard working for a company who doesn't give a damn about you either.

  • An
      12th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have been late on my payments for a few months now. The money is tight and everything is twice as expensive. I sent an online payment that did not go through. My power was shut off and I got stock with a $500.00 dollar deposit. I have already paid my past due bill however, the money I sent was applied towards the deposit. This means that my bill is past due for two months and can get charge an additional deposit and risk having a the power shut off again if I don't come up with the money by the due date. I can not believe they can do this. Please email the governor and our legislators. FPL must not be allowed to continue with these abusive practices. PLEASE DO SOMETHING, CALL, COMPLAIN, EMAIL YOUR CONGRESSMAN, SENATORS, GOVERNOR, AND IF THERE IS A LAW SUIT COUNT ME IN.

  • An
      11th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    What else can I say that has not been said already. After reading this letter and all of your coments, I feel even more helpless than when I logged on to the computer. I wanted to see if there was any law that would defend the consumer in a situation such as this. Unfortunately, this letter was the best thing I can find. I know we still live in a great country, but even so; how can this be allowed. In the long run, the government will defend monopolies. I know it sounds crazy, but what other options can we afford for an alternative to electricity. Solar energy will be the cleaner more efficient option, but again how many of us can afford to put a solar panel on top of our roofs. In my case, I would not be allowed; because I live in an apartment building. Gasoline is the other monopoly. There are alternatives to gasoline, but again; how many of us can actually afford to switch our vehicles to run on hydrogen gas (which is cheaper than gasoline by the way and better for the environment). In conclusion, [censored] you FPL. I hope our children find the alternative to you [censored].

  • Ca
      15th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree with everyone i never knew fpl was like this, i have been without light for a month now. they said i tampered with my light and i have to pay $8000 to turn it on! i have two young neices to care for who are 5 years old and 10 months old, i tried to call the company but no one wants to talk to me all they say is pay up! The public service commission isnt any help either they told me if i could come up with $6500! If i dont have $800 how the hell will i come up with $6500! Im so shocked at fpl. i have always paid my bills on time and to have them do this to me is cruel! i dont knwo what im going to do...

  • Ch
      15th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I too live in Manatee County and have the same situation, along with friends of mine. My electric bills have gone from $180.00 a month to now over $325.00 a month, they just charged me a third deposit for $153.00 dollars because I am struggling to pay my bills on time.

    I don't understand how they can charge additonal deposits if your power hasn't been disconnected, and not to mention the fact that they will still disconnect your power even if your bill is less than your deposit because they consider it to be seperate and it only gets used if your account is closed and there is a balance owed. Well I ask you, what else if the deposit for? If my electric is disconnected then doesn't that mean that my account has been cancelled?

    How can we possibly afford to pay more money in deposits if we can't even pay our bill????? The news channels need to address this situation and do something about the utility companies, it's not like we can just use another provider.

  • Ch
      16th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    So, yesterday after posting my comment regarding my issues with the deposit and my bills I started emailing everyone I could think of and one senators office forwarded my complaint to an agency that regulates FPL, below is their contact information.

    Senator King's office forwarded a copy of your e-mail regarding Florida Power & Light Company to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC).
    The PSC regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas, and telecommunications utilities throughout Florida, and investor-owned water and wastewater utilities in those counties which have opted to transfer jurisdiction to the PSC.

    To assist you, please provide us with the following:

    * Your service address
    * Your service telephone number
    * Your daytime contact telephone number
    * The name in which your electric bill is addressed

    You may respond by return e-mail or by calling me at 1-850-413-6123. I will look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,


    Ellen Plendl
    Regulatory Specialist
    Public Service Commission
    Division of Service, Safety & Consumer Assistance
    850-413-6123 (phone)
    850-413-6124 (fax)

  • Ca
      16th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Ok. I agree with you 1000%
    This is so overwhelming, there are no words to describe the frustration I feel.
    got to talk to Mrs. Ellen Plendl as advice by Christle.Mrs. Plendl was GREAT, she connected me to some executive at FPL and right now I'm going thru the issue with a Real person and not to a computerized son of a be...he that doesn't care for my issues.

    I would recommend you though to call this other number and keep pressing 2 whenever you hear a recording; then ask to be transfer to Ellen Plendl. This would be the best way to contact her directly!
    The number is: 1800 342 3552 (remember to keep pressing option 2 while a recording plays)

    We need to stop FPL from abusing people.

  • Ch
      17th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Yesterday I had posted contact information for Public Service Commsion and did not realize that I used the long distance phone number, if anyone needs to contact PSC you can use the follwoing Toll Free contact information;

    1-800-342-3552
    1-800-511-0809 Fax
    contacct@psc.state.fl.us
    www.floridapsc.com

    This informationis also listed with the Emergency numbers in the front of phone books.

  • Ca
      20th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree with everyone's comments on here, I live in a apartment in miami, less then 650 sq ft, and when I get up in the morning at 6:30 to go to work, the first the I do is turn off my AC. I am out of the door by 7 am on my way to work, and do not arrive back home unit 6:30 in the evening, and while I am gone, there are no lights on throughout the day. My bill arrived yesterday for a total of $190.55, of which $68.56 is for fuel costs, $47.49 is for non-fuel cost, and on top of it, I was slapped with an extra deposit of $54.00. I have been trying to call these people since yesterday and can't get thru to anyone. I am extremely upset, and would love to slap a lawsuit on FPL for price gauging and for monopolizing the industry. The worst part of it all is that our governors allows this to happen, and only listen when its time for elections. This country is so backwards and all they care about is the tax we have to pay that they abuse on and don't provide any answers or change. Every city should be ran by its citizen that are good at heart and people who truly intend to help out people in need. I dont have any children, but i feel for the families with multiple kids that live from paycheck to paycheck and monthly are being forced to live days without any power until they can scramble up money from family or friends to have to pay there light bill. This is ridiculous, and I want to join anyone that i can in order to slap a lawsuit on FPL, not for my financial gain, but for a reinbursement for the people of Floirda who have paid way too much money in electricity and to be able to provide everyone that pays FPL with a substantial reinbursement that will hurt FPL so bad that they will think two and three times before raising there prices again and screwing the people.

  • Ff
      4th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am a former firefighter/emt that was hit by a drunk driver. I am also a single mother of 3 that is going to school full time and working in retail until I finish my nursing degree. I am struggling to pay bills due to the terrible economy and with the 45% increase in FPL's rate, my bills are tremendously outrageous. I've been averaging approximately $300.00- $320.00 a month and now on top of that...a $409.00 deposit is due by the 19th. I have no idea how to come up with that! I have lived at the same residence for over 6 yrs and have definitely proved that I'm not a flight risk. Yes, I've been late...but, I haven't been disconnected. I'm going to try those phone numbers on Monday and hope and pray for the best! Thank you.

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