Reliant Energy / fraudulent marketing practices
A telemarketing representative identifying himself as a Reliant Energy representative contacted me concerning using Reliant service claiming huge savings particularly on demand charges. After much debate and calculating bill comparisons with the rep I agreed to to a 3 month trial with them to see if the rates would really save me money. He told me I had 3 months of bills to cancel and that I would recieve a duplicate bill so that I could compare their rate to TXU's rate which I was currently with at the time.
After agreeing to this I was sent over to a phone varification center and they read me 10 minutes of stuff. Of course they count on you glazing over and agreeing to everything, which I did. One discrepancy that I did not question was a 60 day versus 3 month cancellation time that varied from what the phone guy and the scripted agreement said. The next thing that came up was the cancellation terms which were never covered at all, so they had to back up and sell me on this. It was a situtation of convienent omition and leading me to believe something that was not true with out actually making recorded statements that were false.
So, after two months I called in since I was not happy with the rates and figured out that I was basically paying the same thing to them as TXU. The went over everything again and told me I was in a contract and there was nothing I could do as I was past the cancellation time. I told them I had three months and they reminded me that it was in fact 60 days. 3 months stuck with me because the sales guy went over that period so much. In fact it was 3 bills and not three months if you do the math on the situation. Again, a minor discrepancy and an exercise in leading.
I called repeatedly and worked with a supervisor at Reliant who researched the entire situation. He told me that they showed the contract to have come from a door salesman who came to me. I told him this was not the case and that I was not happy with the timing on the cancellation and how it was presented as well as the rate and went through the deceptive verbage used. He told me he understood and appologized for the situation and said he would work on resolving it. The solution was suppose to be cancellation with no cancellation fee. I told him I would pay the usage, but I did not feel the cancellation fee was fair considering the I never heard back, called him several times leaving messages, and again did not hear back. I proceeded to cancel the service as it was costing me $3-500/month over what I could and should have been paying since they promised to save this amount with the rate change. I went with Stream Energy this time and have been very happy as they saved me exactly what they said they would. Reliant sent be a final bill with a $3400 cancellation fee.
A month or two later I was contacted by Reliants internal collection office and went over with them the situation in an effort to pay the past due and to have the cancellation fee removed. The lady I talked with told me she would work to resolve the issue and get back with me. Again, I heard nothing.
I was later contacted by Robinson Law Group, a collection agency for Reliant, and asked to pay the past due balance. I talked with them about the situation and the lady said she would talk with Reliant about the situation and would get back to me. She called back about two to three weeks later and it was as if we had never spoken. She did not recall any details of the situation or discussed resolution or why I was contesting the cancellation charge. I went over it again and she was suppose to talk to Reliant and see what could be done. Two weeks later I get another call and she wants to set up a payment plan with me. Reliant will not remove the cancellation charges at all so I have turned it over to an attorney.
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