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Florida Power And Light Residential Electricity / deposit requirement

1 PO Box 025576, Miami, 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

  • Ki
      28th of Oct, 2011
    0 Votes

    I'm not sure if you guys would be interested in airing this or not but I've just had a serious experience with FPL and wondered if anyone had contacted you with the same/similar issue regarding customer service with them.

    On Oct 4 the payment extension that I got through FPL was due in the amount of $363.668. I did not get paid until Oct 6 and when I realized this error I called them and asked if they could extend my time only 2 days until I got paid. I was told that could not be done. They could not physically extend my extension and if I didn't make my payment that day my power would be turned off. I explained to her that I didn't have the funds to do this with until Thursday the 6th. She then proceeded to tell me that it takes 2 days to reach my account and that I should be OK paying it that day. I reluctantly paid this hoping it would wait until Thursday to hit my account. I was wrong! It actually reach my account the very next day. I was unaware of this until I accessed my bank account on Thursday to check my deposit and see if their payment had cleared or was pending or had even reached my bank yet. It had and was already in the process of being returned. I immediately called FPL and explained the problem and was told by this customer service rep that she would note my account and when I asked her if I could go ahead and make that payment then I was told no that I had to wait for an additional final notice that would have the $363.68 which was September's bill along with October's bill of $423.42 that I could then file an extension for. Looking everyday in the mail for this so that we could make that payment and extend the other, we never received that final notice. My husband is out of work the entire month of September and we play catch up the next few months.

    Moving to today Oct 27. My son is at home, a minor, but old enough to be home alone, receives a knock on the door and it is FPL looking for my husband or myself. We were both working. The tech handed my son the disconnect notice and proceeded to turn our power off. He called and told me and I immediately called FPL again and tried to explain the situation at hand and plead my case and explain that I was told by their rep to pay the bill without having the funds in my account and that I was then told by another one of their reps to wait for a bill that never arrived. I also explained that had I not been told to pay the first bill without having the funds and was just extended the 2 day grace that I was asking for that I would not be on the phone with them right now and I would still have power. They didn't care that their reps messed up and gave me inappropriate advice. We were also behind on our rent and I had to call my landlord and ask her not to deposit my rent check that I was just able to pay yesterday, as I had to use this money for FPL and they wanted the entire amount of $787.10. So now we are at risk for losing our place to live and are working on being 2 months behind with our landlord. I'm now also afraid that they are going to charge us an additional deposit due to the lateness and disconnection of our power that we are already struggling to pay now. So now my husband and children are sitting in the dark tonite with no power as FPL also has a 24 hour turn around time to reconnect your power. I also called them multiple times after paying the amount they requested to get my power turned back on to make sure that it would be turned back on tonite and I was advised that their techs work until 9 or 10 pm and then start again at 7am the next day. I contact my family at 930 to see if the power had been reconnected and I was advised it had not. Then my last call to them tonite I was told that they were done for the night and that they have my work order for it to be turned back on but that they had until 5:37 the following day as that was the time I made my payment to them. So as they sit there tonite without power FPL sits there with my money and the capabilities to turn it back on but did not. We are extremely frustrated as they had enough techs out to come turn it off but not enough to make sure that it was back on in a decent amount of time. I feel that they are doing it on purpose as to teach us/me a lesson as parts of my conversation with them were not very nice from my end.

    Have you had anyone contact you reference FPL's customer service and their inadequate customer service? I'm just curious as I googled FPL lawsuits/complaints and there are several and I am uncertain how to handle this now.

    Thank you in advance for any help you might have on this situation and where I can get help for possible future problems that we might encounter.

  • Gt
      8th of Dec, 2011
    0 Votes

    I have a house in Miami, and have always paid my FPL account in full every month. However, when my bank was bought out and accounts transferred last summer there were some problems with the transfer of the bill pay system. My automatic payments to a couple of large and small vendors FPL were dropped, and I was not notified. FPL contacted me in November to tell me that my account was delinquent and that I needed to pay them $1100 immediately to balance my account or they would turn off the power. I paid them the $1100 immediately. I attempted to fix the billpay problem but did not get a bill the next month so I paid an arbitrary amount of $600, which was 50% more than what I expected the bill to be. I came back from a one-week trip out of state, and found out that my power had been cut off for three days. My alarm had been off, the batteries and UPS dead, three refrigerators and freezer filled with spoiled foods, and who knows what else I will find. The loss to me was in the thousands of dollars. When I finally contacted FPL, they said that it was too late at night turn the power back on, and that I could talk to a supervisor in the morning. Today, a supervisor said that they had charged my account with an $800 deposit for being delinquent last November, and this had made my account delinquent despite my payments to keep the balance at zero. They said that I should have paid $1900 in November, not $1100. Even though I told the supervisor that the FPL representative told me the $1100 payment would balanced the account, and that I had never received any notification of a $800 deposit charge on my account, and that I thought the payments I had made were in excess of the power charges at my home, the supervisor told me that FPL was fully justified in cutting my power because my account was delinquent. I was told that since I was on bill pay, they could not send me any bills, and did not have to notify me other than by mail. I was gone a week, and their notification by mail was in my mail box when I came home at night to a dark, damaged home. Remedies? I was told by FLP customer service that they are not liable for the loss in security and damage to my home, because my account was delinquent, and it did not matter if it was their unannounced deposit charge to the account that made it delinquent. Is there anyway to right the wrong? The damages are too small too justify a lawyer, but maybe small claims court is a solution? Anyway, I am fortunate that I have enough resources to pay the bills, but unfair treatment by a monopoly like FPL makes me mad. Until this incident, I though that FPL was a reasonable company to deal with, but not anymore. They set me up for delinquency. FPL is overzealous about penalizing customers with deposits and powers shutdowns, which makes them heartless, guttersnipes when it comes to dealing with customers.

  • La
      22nd of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    I agree wholeheartedly with M. Wilson. As US citizens, we have a constiututional right of access to the courts. Florida has nonprofit legal aid agencies in every county that will provide free advice, and in some cases direct representation of Florida Plunder and Loot customers. There are also websites with sample lawsuit complaint forms available free or at low cost. Check out www.nolo.com, which is a publisher of low-cost law books written for the non-lawyer (that is, US!). Also check out www.rocketlawyer.com/FreeLegalDoc for free legal forms you can download and print.
    The main thing is to stand up and fight by SUING THE ###. We don't have to TAKE their crap. Remember, every dollar you spend on a self-represented lawwsuit will cost FPL $1000 in legal fees. Look into "tort" actions for harrassment by rude employees. Free and low-cost assistance is available to those with the patience and willingness to persist.
    Good luck!

  • Ca
      27th of Sep, 2012
    0 Votes

    FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT IS ABUSIVE AND INSENSITIVE TO THE NEEDS OF IT'S LESS FORTUNATE CLIENTS.

    THEY ASK FOR EXTRA DEPOSITS FROM PEOPLE WHO FIND IT DIFFICULT TO PAY ON A TIMELY FASHION DURING THIS HARD TIMES WHEN SO MANY OF US ARE STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

    I lost my business about two years ago and of course I started facing some financial trouble trying to adjust to my one and only income now which is my retirement, to make matters worst Florida Power and Light forced a deposit on me last year which I found difficult to pay but was forced to do it for fear of being disconnected, because of that particular deposit I am paying my light bill in arrears and dragging one month.

    I just received another letter for and additional deposit placed on my electric bill with a proposal to forget about this deposit if I allow for my payments to be automatically taken out of my bank account every month. As it stands, to bring my account up to date I would have to make two payments, this proposal is in fact some kind of extortion because if I permit FPL to take out the money to pay my bill form my bank account they will surely bring it up to date thus leaving me with no money for anything else and if I pay the additional deposit It will also affect me financially and live me open to yet another deposit in the future.

    In these times of hardship in which we are living any extra amount of money is a sacrifice, many of us find it hard to pay bills on time and FPL just makes it worst for the public. FPL is a monopoly and knows that they are the only ones able to provide this service and are being abusive and insensitive with it's less fortunate clients.

    I do not know where this country is heading but companies like FPL do not care as long as they get paid on time or else, this is why there are so many people protesting and if these abuses continue they will get worse.

    I have been a faithful customer for over forty years and pay between $500.00 and $600.00 monthly regardless of date in which I make the payment but do you think they care about this at FPL.? If something can be done beside complaining to the Public Service Commission please let me know, I will use the last of my savings to pay for a lawyer if that is what it's going to take.

    I will send then the deposit but this is not going to end here, along with it i will take the time to print all the complaints on this forum just in case they have not read them since they obviously care very little about their customers or what they have to say, another copy to the Public Service Commission and will also talk to my lawyer to do something against this blatant abuse and extortion.

  • El
      1st of Nov, 2012
    0 Votes

    I live in lee county and two months ago i was charged a 100.00 depoist because I used more electricity, here I am two months later and being charged another 150.00 for the same reason, I have never had my electric turned off or not paid my bill in the allotted time, they just said it was because of my useage I am a senior and on a fixed income and can get no relief because of no other options to electric and that's why this is happening I believe we need to fight this problem . LCEC are the theives and they should be made accountable, When I asked to speak to a supervisior they told me they would call back to busy to talk, You would think with what they charge there would be a supervisor available on every call.

  • St
      17th of Jun, 2014
    0 Votes

    FPL IS A MONOPOLY AND ACTING UNETHICALLY TOWARDS ITS LONGSTANDING CUSTOMERS
    FPL is requiring and additional $294 deposit from us because we were late twice over the last year. I have been a paying customer of FPL for OVER !2 YEARS and they are treating us like we are criminals. They are acting as an illegal monopoly in direct violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act. No other business, be it a bank, insurance company, financial institution or retail outlet acts in this manner. FPL does not give a rats ### about their customers and is exploiting people at their weakest moments in the middle of a financial depression in this country. I spoke with FPL and told them of my eight months of unemployment and the drastic reduction in pay I have experienced and they simply said, "pay us or we turn off the power". FPL is comprised of some of the coldest, most ruthless ### on the face of the earth. They truly do not care whether their customers live or die. FPL needs to be brought into a court of law and sued for abusive monetary practices and holding their customers hostage to intractable collection tactics. As long as I am forced to use FPL as my only power provider, I will seek ways to bring them to a court of law to answer for their financial terrorism against victims of the ongoing financial depression in this country. I will find an attorney to bring them to court. They will have to answer to a judge. I will make sure of that.

  • Pb
      24th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    Hi there, This is exactly what I'm dealing with. They are ruthless! Did you find an attorney to review the FPL case? I see a lot of people on here with the same exact thing and could be a class action law suit. We all have to pull together somehow and go against FPL. I will act on this and am serious about consulting with an attorney. I don't see replys on here to each comment. Click my profile and send me a message if you have an update any attorney info, etc. Thanks, Rob

  • Pb
      24th of Sep, 2014
    +1 Votes

    HAS ANYONE HERE TALKED TO ATTORNEY OR KNOW WHO IS MOST APPROPRATE FOR THIS?

    PLEASE LIST NAMES OF SOME ATTORNIES A.S.A.P.

    THIS B.S.!!

  • Jj
      15th of Jan, 2016
    0 Votes

    My 70 yr old veteran husband & I, 64, blind w/spine injury, rented a Miami Beach apt. 570 sq. ft. 8 months ago; lamps have one 40 watt bulb, NOT used daylight hours, we are in bed at 9:00 pm, have no devices (game-box or stereo), sparingly use AC, cannot tolerate cold due to severe arthritis. FPL says meter was broken 5 months, we should have reported it (isn't it THEIR equipment to monitor & maintain?) Mentally diminished husband said: "bill wrong? I paid what FPL asked me to pay, never late, never skipped a month!" All cust. serv. reps parrot identical phrase "nothing I can do" to correct 19, 355 kilowatt hours they "guess-timated" for us those 5 months - IMPOSSIBLE! Because this month, Jan-Feb we used 488 kWh, last month 635 kWh, 718 kWh the previous month. Ms. Perez said she deals with so many dishonest people, we are probably dishonest, too; ambition & anger prevent fairness, blind her that hardworking families, not criminals, are made desperate by such billing tactics. She was angry our Jan-Feb usage is low, said we probably changed our usage "Now that you know you have to pay for it" - no regard that the weather is cooler. Instead of rudeness, sarcasm & bullying, FPL should admit the trusting Elderly are heavily abused, victimized & exploited. Several hours every day, 2 solid weeks, I am unable to find ANYONE at FPL who will correct this ridiculous bill; we are suffering appetite & sleep loss, depression & higher blood pressure. THIS COMPANY WANTS US TO PAY ELECTRICITY WE DID NOT USE, in payments the next 2 years!! At the US Poverty Line & elderly, we are ANOTHER FPL horror story.

  • La
      21st of Sep, 2017
    0 Votes

    sad this is still going on and they have not changed their tactics what is wrong with Florida that they refuse to open up the game for more electricity companies to get established this has to change

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