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Tampa Electric / deposits for elecric bill

1 FL, United States Review updated:
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I have been averaging about 10 days late on my electric bill for the past few months and recently received a bill for a deposit in the amount of $660 . I spoke with 4 supervisors and am waiting for a return call from a member of management outside of customer service. I have had this account since 1998. This was a secured account with a $190 deposit (avg 1 month electric use back then). Because our credit was good and the account was paid on time for 12 months, we got the deposit back in 2003. Now, we are going through issues like many and have been late. This time they want 2 months worth and do not have the $. I do not understand how they can offer us a deposit back when we have money and are doing well but will not help when we have no money. I was also told the deposit is so high because my bills are high. I explained that my usage is down, but the bill is higher because they are charging more. They also get interest on my late payments. I have seen many of the same postings but no follow up. What will happen if we keep the account paid but do not pay the deposit?

Kb
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Comments

  • Na
      23rd of May, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I haven't even been late that I know of! I have $175 in deposit currently and just received a "Deposit Final Notice" for $365. I never received any ither notice or any explaination of why I am being forced to pu an additional deposit down. My bill only runs $150-$200 per month. If I am more than 15 days late they will shut me off so why do they need to have nearly 3 months worth of deposit on hand. In this economy they are holding people hostage because if I don't give it to them they will turn off my electric! THAT'S JUST WRONG!

  • Je
      25th of May, 2009
    Best Best Advice +4 Votes

    The electric company has no way of knowing that you will pay on time each month. Because of this, they charge you with a deposit fee to cover their costs to bring electricity to you for the following month. If you go ahead and pay the deposit and pay your electric bill by the due date then this issue will be closed.

    JD in Tampa

  • Kb
      26th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    JD
    I disagree.
    When the account was first established, a deposit was required and I paid it. The deposit was based upon a 1 month average billing for the house I lived in. 5 years later, the deposit was returned to me for keeping my account in good standing. We moved into a bigger house and the electric bill is close to double what we were paying before. They did not ask for more deposit, but instead returned our previous deposit. If your statement was correct, they should have kept the original deposit and asked for more when we moved into the new home. Now, they want 2 months deposit. Of course the issue will be closed on their terms, but I do not find this fair business practice. Everyone goes through rough times. When I was doing well, they gave me money they should have kept if their position was as you state. When I am not doing so well, they want more than they did before and expect it in a short period of time. This is taking advantage of a bad economy. Sure, it was nice to get the money back when I did, but if I could foretell the future and the position I am in today, I would have gladly told them to hold on to it. Now, where am I supposed to find over $660? Sometimes it is not as easy as, "pay the deposit and pay your electric bill by the due date then this issue will be closed." I guess maybe you have never been in my position.

  • Ho
      8th of Jul, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Absolutely true
    And they will come and turn the power off if you do not do as they say, even if your monthly bill is paid on time.
    So much for democracy.
    Economic Stimulus Plan- almost a trillion dollars to those who already have it all.
    Nothing for people...

  • Di
      20th of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Tampa electric, does not have a very friendly customer service personal, they don't have any input, can't help, they have very strict guide lines, which depend on their computer system, once the computer have generated the new bill and reviewed you account if you owe them, oops all their customer service can say is that they are sorry.
    And if you ask to talk to a supervisor, hold your horses, because you are in for a long waiting period. Oh before their customer service “transfer you to their supervisor hot line"
    they make sure to tell you again, DUE TO STRICT GUIDE LINE, NOT EVEN THE SUPERVISOR, NOT THE MANAGER, I don't think even GOD can help you if you are trying
    to resolve any issues with Tampa Electric. This is how satisfied I am with them. It is so unfortunate the we depend on them and their guide lines

  • Do
      12th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Then this will make you all very angry - I have a neighbor who never pays their bill on time - and never pays the full amout - I wonder why TECO isn't asking them for a deposit...? I needed two days more to pay my bill, my paycheck would be deposited and the money available two days after the final notice date - they would not give me the two days and I had paid all but $80 of the bill - only a balance of $80 but NO - I had to pay it. My neighbors bill is around $250 - 275 and they always pay part of it, always leaving a balance. Last moneth the electric was shut off - they paid it the same day it was shutr off, again only paying a portion - the guy came back out and turned it back on.

    So with someone like this out there - how can TECO justify asking for deposits from people who don't go past the final bill date or have not been late on a regular basis...?

  • Kl
      27th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Yes I agree they are taking advantage since they are the only electric providers in this area. I had a 2 bedroom and my bill was coming for over$300 a month and i was complaining to them, but they had a answer for everything. Then they was charging me an extra deposit. I told them their meter was broken for about 2 months and they finally came to change it, but in a matter of two months I had paid over $1200 in electricity bills. I was without electricity for 5 days with 3 children and pregnant and they did not offer any help or payment options or anything. They are greedy and just want to keep sucking us dry. EVERYONE SHOULD GET TOGETHER AND FIND A WAY TO PUT A STOP TO THIS ABUSE.

  • Cj
      4th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    i am past due on my electric bill. the shut off date is 11/6/09 if not paid by 7 am. we have two kids under two in the house & a $415 electric bill. my husband is paid on friday. he called teco this morning to find out if we could pay $200 today & post date the rest of it for friday ... they said no, there is nothing they can do. if it is not paid in full by 7 am friday morning it will be shut off

    the topping on the cake, he was then informed we have to pay a $300 deposit by next wednesday ... if not paid by 7am thursday morning, it will be shut off! this is after i paid i a deposit of $455 when we moved in april. so that's $715 im supposed to come up with in a week to pay teco, thats more than my rent!!! not to mention that teco will have over $700 worth of deposit from us!!!

    it's absolutely ridiculous & i am so fed up, i wish there was another option to get electricity ... it looks like we are all just screwed!

  • Bo
      17th of Jun, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I've been a TECO customer for 35 years. In 1976 my monthly bills were in the teens. Now it cost over 30 dollars just to keep the electricity on with no usage. Customer service has been drastically cut and most of it is collections orientated.

  • Re
      24th of Jul, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I find it rathur disturbing that an electric company in Florida can send out a notice of termination on an account if payment is not recieved by 1 day past the due date. What do they do with the deposits that they hold on to if not to cover a late payment? They got their payment, but to recieve a notice in the mail they day I send in the payment makes me want to turn around and put a stop payment on the check. But I guess since TECO is the only electic company that can service my home, I have no choice but to bow down to them and their policies. What kind of country has a high unemployment rate and allows electric companies in the middle of the summer in such a hot state turn off someone's electric for being 10 days past due?

  • Da
      31st of Aug, 2011
    +2 Votes

    Maybe its time we grab our crowbars and crack some ###ing skulls of the TECO CEO and upper management while they are at home.

  • Jo
      26th of Sep, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Teco is money hungry. I've been through the same scenerio a year or two ago and am going through tough times once again. There is no wiggle room for them to work with you. I've gone as far as calling my Congressman who couldn't do anything. For anyone else out there that needs help, this is what I could find - though I don't qualify... http://www.helppayingutilitybills.com/html/help_with_utilities_from_tampa.html

  • Me
      27th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    I have been behind on my electric bill, payed late but always paid. My husband finally found employment. I caught up on all of the bills including TECO and only had a balance of $278. this was a few days late and now I get a bill for a $505 to pay by Dec 29 or my electric will be turned off. This is crazy, I have had this account for well over 20 years never recall getting my original deposit back and now they want more money? Lets kick people while they are down... There has to be something that can be done.

  • Vi
      3rd of Apr, 2012
    +2 Votes

    is everyone sending their complaints to the better business bureau? just complaining on here wont get any action done but you all need to get together and everybody on here at once send their complaints to the better business bureau site. another good site to go to and complain is the attorney general of florida. everyone, everyone, on here or not on here that has a complaint who really want action needs to start with doing those first two things. also, everyone could go before the city council, all hire one lawyer chip in the fees and go in front of a judge and sue teco. your right on everything ive read on here and experienced and im just a new customer. but please start with bbb and attorney general online. thanks. victoria

  • Vi
      3rd of Apr, 2012
    0 Votes

    i would like to say too that my uncle is a judge so if you all band together we can stop this. thanks victoria reigle

  • Se
      25th of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    AS of today my daughter has been given the runaround for electric service in her new condo, she has been transferred, left messages told of lost paperwork, she has resubmitted twice all the needed work and still does not have service. I would love to have someplace else to get out electric but we dont. I am unsure if it is stupidity, reverse discrimination or just plain laziness on the part of teco and their departments to put a young lady in danger for this long period of time. You bet my next move is to my attorney.

  • Jv
      12th of Aug, 2012
    0 Votes

    TECO customer service is very bad and sub-standard. I have had the same experance I just did file a complaint with the BBB and aperntly 70 other people have as well I sujest thatevery one on here does the same. Also I have had better results with Customer service that had been outsourced in India and other places than with TECO prehaps it is time that they outsource there substandard customer service i am sure that this will improve our experance with them and lower ther cost and our price.

  • He
      30th of Oct, 2012
    0 Votes

    OK. I have NOT had an apartment/house with electric bill in my name for over 7 years.
    When I did have the electric in my name, my bill was about $44-52 a month. Yes, I did put down
    a deposit. I Think it was about $250 back then. If I decide next month to go with a rental where
    I pay my own elec. Will I have to pay a deposit again...being that I haven't had it in my name
    for some time?

  • Ke
      29th of Jan, 2013
    0 Votes

    I am a single mother going through a nasty divorce, just moved to the area and they are charging me a $470 deposit... This is crazy, spoke to a supervisor and there's nothing they can do.. This company is the worst.

  • Ta
      22nd of Feb, 2013
    0 Votes

    I have always sent my payments in by check, in plenty of time to meet the due date. Within the past 9-12 months, I notice that my check is not clearing in a timely manner, and now I am being charged a $5.00 late fee. The response I get when I call is that there are other payment options for me to use. My response is, if they can't cash my check on a timely basis, then don't offer the ability to pay by check. Then the customer service person basically told me that, sure, she'd refer my call to a supervisor, but they might look at my account and make me pay a deposit because I had been "late" 4 times in the past year. And "late", is TECO not getting my check posted in a timely manner. How frustrating that there are no other options to get power except TECO, so there's not much their "customers" can do. Plus, their customer service lines are a nightmare, just like Verizon. Endless voicemails, hold times of 10 minutes or more, and ultimately no resolution to the problem at hand. Really frustrated, but nothing I can do, and they know it.

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