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TXU Energy / Scam and cheating

1 1601 Bryan StDallas, TX, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 888-399-5501

Concerned Business Owner involved in a dispute with TXU Energy since March 4 2005 to present as of June 2 2008, requesting assistance from the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas.

What is being disputed are the TXU charges for meter Load Demand readings resulting in a $625.54 error that I do not owe and refuse to pay. Despite TXU's resolution: a mere rebill adjustment of $11.16 to make it appear that TXU addressed this problem. In actuality TXU did not address my original complaints regarding the inept actions of the meter reader and the erroneous charges billed to my account. Upon examination of my bills it will be apparent that the original error was never fully adjusted and has not resulted in a correction of the 1st or 2nd erroneous meter Load Demand readings. This meter Load Demand reading charge is not just a simple billing error, as noted by the very questionable TXU behavior listed here within. The last communication with Bridgette McNeil of TXU, via my attorney, was that the electric service would stay on until this dispute was resolved. TXU cannot be trusted. I have now been without TXU power for 11 weeks and counting. Regardless of the hardships, I will not be intimidated by TXUs tactics of NO POWER until I pay these fraudulent disputed charges. Clearly my attorney, who proved to be elsewhere, unproductive and ineffective on this time sensitive TXU matter, has since been released. Consulting with several attorneys, spending thousands of dollars and wasting time trying to educate them on TXUs current inept commercial meter Load Demand reading process was utterly ridiculous and going nowhere.

SITUATION: Request for Change of Commercial Service submitted to TXU. The TXU meter reader arrived on-site 03-04-2005, was observed driving up to the meter, remained in the vehicle talking on the cell phone for at least 15 minutes. He finally recorded the two commercial meter readings: one is kilowatt hours (kWh), the second is the meter Load Demand (kW), while remaining in his vehicle, continuing to be involved in conversation and laughing. Then he drove away from the meter, remaining on the phone the entire time. Failure of the employee to get out of his vehicle, remove and replace the meter Load Demand Tag (which is required to clear and reset the meter Load Demand counter (kW) to zero for a new tenant or new cycle reading) caused a double billing of the Load Demand usage of 272 from previous tenant to current tenant. This also affects the Load Demand billing average over the next 12 months because the meter Load Demand charge (kW) can be as much or more than electricity per kilowatt hours (kWh) used. On 03-14-05, the meter Load Demand was read; again it was not reset to zero. On 04-13-05 the meter was read and for the 1st time the meter Load Demand was reset to zero. TXU was notified by phone numerous times of the employees failure to reset the meter Load Demand. Even after certified letters were sent to TXU, including John Wilder CEO, 80 documented phone calls, countless hours spent on hold, leaving numerous voice mails with no return contact and being shuffled between departments all fell on deaf ears. Including the following TXU Executives: Kelly Rod, Barry Young, Louis Buckner, Bridgette McNeil, Tommy Ramage, David Jameson (1-Call Resolution), and Michelle Stevenson. An attempt to resolve this dispute in person with Bridgette McNeil at the TXU Corporate office in Dallas was unsuccessful, as you cannot get past the Security which TXU employees seem to hide behind. Additional episodes of employee incompetence have been experienced, further undermining the competency and accuracy of the inept (kW) meter readings. On 02-10-2006, in order to avoid having tampering charges levied against me for the next new cycle reading, I had to chase the meter reader down the street, get him to return and apply a new Load Demand tag that he failed to replace when he removed the previous tag, while talking on the cell phone. On 05-10-2007 the meter Load Demand was not reset to zero, when I questioned the meter reader, I was informed by him that TXU had not provided him with new tags to reset the Load Demand meters for that day, nonetheless he recorded the 2 meter readings (kwh) and (kW) but could not properly reset the meter Load Demand (kW) to zero. What about the ones you do not catch, these occurrences show how easy it is for TXU to collect fraudulent profit with this inept meter reading process. TXU truck arriving to read the meters with two employees in a truck, the passenger was slumped over and appeared to be sleeping as the other person read the meters. Several times the TXU meter readers were observed on the property spending most of their time talking on the cell phone and laughing, this seems to be a common practice.

PROBLEM: The meter Load Demand readings cannot be verified. There is no way to retrieve any previous cycle readings of the meter Load Demand usage or to verify that the meter was even properly reset to zero, unless you protect yourself by personally standing guard at each new meter reading (how ridiculous is this). TXU should never have designed an inept meter reading process that does not and will not recognize human error. Is there no correctable action for human error or negligence? Not according to TXU! This practice should be illegal in my opinion. TXU is aware that there are problems with this inept meter reading process. TXU will not formerly address these problems because it would be costly to replace the substandard meters, devastating to their profit to revise this inept meter reading process for accuracy and accountability. I feel this should be grounds for Class Action Lawsuit and customer compensation.

TXU must abolish the meter Load Demand charge, until TXU redesigns and replaces the current substandard commercial Load Demand meters that do not recognize human error or provide a retrieval capability (backup) of previous cycle readings and verification of a reset. Errors of this nature will continue to plague unsuspecting businesses that do not monitor their meters as we do. This inept meter Load Demand charge is currently approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC); however, TXUs meter Load Demand reading process lacks reliability, accuracy and accountability for verification in the event of a disputed charge. How and why did this substandard meter ever pass the approval of the PUC? This is why TXU's Dirty commercial meter reading process must be publicly revealed and revised to protect the consumer. The amount of revenue incorrectly billed and collected by TXU is inexcusable! Any competent person that is concerned with this matter as I am will see that this current flawed meter Load Demand reading process is wide open for errors against the consumer and MUST BE STOPPED!

I was actually laughed at by Barry Young in the TXU Executive Office, regarding this situation and I was informed that: 'Errors of this nature are common, they are not correctable. Once the meter readings are logged and recorded, it is written in stone, wherever the chips may fall, whether it is right or wrong, whether the meter was reset to zero or not. It is revenue and you pay it!? Barry Young also stated that he could change any information in the system he chooses without leaving any footprints; this seems to be a very questionable statement.

I have been dealing with these unethical practices for 3+ years. What should concern the Attorney General the most about this situation under TXUs current inept meter reading process, are the tens of thousands of business in the DFW area that have and will continue to unknowingly fall victim month after month to these fraudulent practices and over-charges as I have. This leaves you at the mercy of the meter reader to do their job competently and record the numbers correctly before removing and replacing the tag which resets the meter Load Demand counter to zero that is if the meter is even working properly! Should consumers be forced to invest in surveillance equipment, or assign personnel to accompany the Meter Reader for verification of the meter readings before it is reset to zero (cleared) and recorded for billing in order to ensure accuracy and accountability? Is this what public trust has been reduced to?

I am not alone in dealing with unethical issues involving TXU. I have witnessed complaints voiced on various web-sites posted on the Internet. I do not know how effective this is, as complaints continue to be posted by TXU consumers who have also been cheated. What are we the people to do? Are there any reputable resources available to the public who are concerned about TXUs unethical business practices? The only ones that seem to care are the cheated customers, all they can do is pay these fraudulent charges to continue this essential service and voice their complaints on the Internet. I believe anyone would find it very difficult and offensive to be forced to pay for power usage and charges they did not incur. For me personally, the time, resources and aggravation spent on this dispute have caused an irrefutable loss to my company's revenue.

The way TXU conducts business is now the overriding issue. I have to draw the line somewhere. Until a way can be found to resolve this dispute with TXUs inept meter reading process, I am taking the hit on my perfect credit rating and will use a generator so I can protect myself from further intimidation, incompetence and abuse from TXU. If this would have been a one-time isolated incident only, I would have probably paid these fraudulent charges and just went on, instead of subjecting myself to the up-hill battle of trying to fight corporate power, but that is not the case. It should be very obvious by now that between the errors of TXUs meter readers and the substandard design of the meters, it can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars being fraudulently charged to just one customer. With each new month of billing the threat of fraudulent charges will continue with this inept process, as the rates are then averaged over a 12 month period, which can significantly increase the bill. So you pay and pay again. Now, multiply that by the tens of thousands of businesses that are unknowingly being exploited by TXUs current inept meter reading process! Nearly everyone seems to be oblivious to this huge problem.

This is why I will continue to search for official representation to assist in this fight for what is right. At this point, all my efforts to keep TXU honest have been a long costly nightmare from hell with no end in sight. I hope the Attorney General will find that this fight to set things right is a just cause, and be able to offer some resolution or assistance to myself and the many other customers who have valid complaints against TXU. I urge you to consider injunctive relief or whatever means you feel will be effective to stop these injustices. I filed a claim with the PUC; during the 21 day period as outlined in PUC Substantive Rules, the documentation I sent regarding my concerns on this problem seemed to have been conveniently misplaced. I hope this does not happen with your office. I trust with the authority your office possesses you will investigate this situation, institute changes to protect the consumers of this necessary commodity and cease the blatant abuse of corporate power.

Va
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Comments

  • Ja
      18th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am in the same situation with TXU and my demand meter. They failed to reset the demand meter and I was charge the same demand cost two months in a row. I was told by customer service tough, I used exactly the same demand two times in a row. The chances of that are slim to none, my total KWH usage went down for the two time periods by 30%. The chances of a demand reading being the same down to a .22 reading are statistically astronomical.
    This type of error occurred last year during the same time period, the hot summer months. Why should I expect TXU (actually an ONCOR employee) employees to get out of an air-conditioned truck and do his job and reset the meter when it will only save me money? It does not matter to TXU if it is done correctly or not, they win both ways.
    Most TXU office employees can not explain the demand charges and how the are compiled.
    I am doubly cursed because my meter, electricity, and service are done by ONCOR not by TXU but are billed by TXU. I cannot do all my business with ONCOR, the extra layer of protection prevents any true solution.
    I agree about a class action lawsuit, how can it be done. These pirates are stealing from consumers and getting away with it.
    The employees by not doing there job reseting the meter and TXU by forcing you to pay bogus charges even if the know they are probably wrong.

  • Er
      24th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I wish that we could find someone to help us because this is rediculous. I changed from reliant energry who I was with for 6 years and thinking that I could save some money with txu I got burned real bad. My average bill in kws with reliant energy every year was no more than 1500kw at max and since ive switched to using energy saving light bulbs I went down to 900 - 780 kws. and my statements for the past 12 months can prove it. I got my final reading from reliant energy on 08 - 06 - 08 and I only used 798 kws. when txu energy took over they gave me a reading of over 4, ooo kws. in the 1st month that i switched over to them. this is crazy, its wrong, and it is sad. I am a disabled person on a fixed income and there is no way that i can afford to pay a bill this high. I decided to document my evidence by taking a picture of my meter everyday for the next months billing cycle in order to prove my point and my case to show them that they are wrong. Because of hurricane Ike hitting us in texas this month I was out of power for 7 days. I began to document my meter the day before the hurricane hit that saturday morning. 09-13-08. I will continue to do so inorder to show the previous consistency I had with reliant energy before I changed over to txu energy. I will fight this the best way I know how and if I have to pay them then human social services will be recieving the tab because this is a sad case and it is a shame that they can get away with this injustice system. If anyone has any advice for all of us who are victims of txu energy taking advantage of there customers please by all means help us to put a stop to this wrong doing because it is very hurtful to those who are in need and not in greed.

  • Ry
      2nd of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Greetings, All!

    I am very sorry to hear about your trouble relating to your TXU experiences. Unfortunately, TXU doesn't seem to care about their customers and their issues. They were once a giant monopoly here in Texas, as was Reliant. But since deregulation, you have the power to choose your electric provider.

    I work for Stream Energy via Ignite (the marketing arm), a competitor to TXU and Reliant in Texas. Unlike those two companies, Stream Energy does not advertise. They rely on word of mouth referrals from their customers to spread the word about the company. I am a Director with Stream Energy, and I'm here to offer you all a solution to your energy nightmare.

    TXU charges in upwards of 13.8 cents to 16 cents for some month to month plans. The kicker is that sometimes they lock you in for a low rate, but when that rate ends, they don't tell you about it and put you on some plan for a ridiculous rate. Reliant is similar. My mother was on a low rate forever, and when she called Reliant, she found out that her contract had ended and they had rate hiked her to over 15 cents per kWh!

    Let's assume you're on a Competitor's 12 month fixed rate plan. To be generous, I've calculated an annual electrical expenditure based on a 14.0 cent, 15.0 cent and 16.0 cent plan.

    A Competitor
    .140 (14.0 cents) x 1000 kWh = $140 x 12 months = $1, 680.00
    .140 (14.0 cents) x 2000 kWh = $280 x 12 months = $3, 360.00
    .140 (14.0 cents) x 3000 kWh = $420 x 12 months = $5, 040.00
    .140 (14.0 cents) x 4000 kWh = $560 x 12 months = $6, 720.00

    B Competitor
    .150 (15.0 cents) x 1000 kWh = $150 x 12 months = $1, 800.00
    .150 (15.0 cents) x 2000 kWh = $300 x 12 months = $3, 600.00
    .150 (15.0 cents) x 3000 kWh = $450 x 12 months = $5, 400.00
    .150 (15.0 cents) x 4000 kWh = $600 x 12 months = $7, 200.00

    C Competitor
    .160 (16.0 cents) x 1000 kWh = $160 x 12 months = $1, 920
    .160 (16.0 cents) x 2000 kWh = $320 x 12 months = $3, 840
    .160 (16.0 cents) x 3000 kWh = $480 x 12 months = $5, 760
    .160 (16.0 cents) x 4000 kWh = $640 x 12 months = $7, 680

    Instead of paying those rates, how would you like to pay 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour instead? Let's run the math on this and see what it comes out to be.

    Stream Energy Fixed Rate plan @ 12.6 cents (12 months)
    .126 (12.6 cents) x 1000 kWh = $126 x 12 months = $1, 512.00
    .126 (12.6 cents) x 2000 kWh = $252 x 12 months = $3, 024.00
    .126 (12.6 cents) x 3000 kWh = $378 x 12 months = $4, 536.00
    .126 (12.6 cents) x 4000 kWh = $504 x 12 months = $6, 048.00

    As you can see, the saving are huge in comparison. You should not be forced to pay a higher rate for your electricity to fund your electric company's advertising costs.

    If you are interested in saving money with Stream Energy, please visit the following website to Enroll for Service with Stream Energy. Http://hadley.igniteinc.biz/

    My name is Ryan Hadley, and when you sign up for service, I will be personally responsible for monitoring your service plan. If your rate is about to expire, I have tools that let me know when it will expire, and when that time comes, you will be made aware of the new rate after your 12 month fixed rate is completed. It is my honor to service and support you.

    If you have any questions or comments, please, do not hesitate to call me or email me regarding your electric service. I am here to help!

    Kindest Personal Regards,

    Ryan Hadley
    972.979.3531
    http://hadley.igniteinc.biz/
    electric.guy.ignite@gmail.com

  • Ch
      29th of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I am a small buisness owner and for the past four year I have been tring to find out exactly what the demand reading was all about. Its been a long road, because no one wants to give you the actual information. In the begining of 2008, i finally received some information that you could reduce your demand charge by setting, lights, computers, etc and timers in 15 minute intervals to lower your peak demand. We did them in 30 min. just to make sure. For the whole year of 2008 we did this process (mind you small buisness, not alot of electric used) the demand never went down. So I spent hours each day tring to retrive information once again. Finally through googling. NOT through oncore I realized the the demand metor had to be set back at the begining of each month. Well we have a six foot fence around our metor with barbed wire and a personal lock. So we new for a fact that in the five years that the metor was never turned back. I read a law with the puc that a metor cannot leagally be estimated 3 months in a roll. HMMM... Every month the metor tag is supposed to be changed to a different color. So if your a metor readed and you can't turn back the dial after a reading, and the tag is a color from two months prior would this not be esitmating. KNOWING the metor is not correct then the numbers your reading are a estimate. I drove around all the commercial properties and it seems to me they are not resetting any metors. I am dealing directly with oncore to try to get a refund back. They have allready agreeded that my metor was not set back. I was there when the metor reader was there to reset my metor and give me a ocore lock for my fence so they could have access. He said look it allready peaked to 43 kw which would have read 1.82 x 24mulitplier. I had to tell him NO it 0.82 because the 8 would have to go to O before turning the first number to 1 . At 0.82 the kw would be 19. (Big difference) Now I question the ability of the people reading the metor. The oncore lady said well he is a profession reader. I said thats what troubles me. Sent a email of the photo i took of dials and she agreed it read 0.82. WOW. I called the puct with some question. In which by now i know all the laws extra. Asked a question about metors being reset monthly she insited it was averaged out yearly. I said NO this is not correct. She repield let me ask supervisor. She said the supervisor said the same thing. I said let me talk to supervior. He told me same thing. I told him he was wrong. Then he repied Well actually it depends on the energy supplier your with. They are all different. Why would he just pull a answer out of the air. We depend on the puct to protect our rights. How many people call and just hang believing him. Should his first comment not have been. Energy suppliers have different regualtions. What is the name of your co. and I will check that out for you. AHHHHHHHHHHH I am so fusterated. He said demand charges are difficult to understand. I said NO sir they are very EASY to understand. The four years trying to drag the information out of everyone, that was difficult. Now that i have all the information. I explained it to my 12 year old in about 3 paragrahs and she fully understood. KW metors are reset monthly back to O . They can only peak forward. (so if you turn everything on all at once that will make the peak high) If you turn every thing on on a timer of 15 to 30 min difference that will make it lower. If the first day of a new cycle you turn everything on at once and it peaks to say 40 .Thats it itwill be 40 for the month. It can go hight but not lower. Dont forget that not only our do you get the kw charge but some of the taxes you paid are determined on the kw reading. Find out your metor read day. Take a photo the evening before. Tags should change color monthly. Have tones of info . Hope i did not confuss anyone. I dream about electric I am so upset. Not only for myself but for everyone . This is Theft!!! Fraud!!!

  • Ri
      6th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I AM IN THE SAME BOAT I SIGNED A CONTRACT IN 2002 FOR TWO YRS BECAUSE I KNEW THE PRICE OF FUEL WAS GOING UP MY BILLS WERE FARILY LOW SO I WAS ALRIGHT WITH THIS I NOTICE MY BILLS KEPT GOING UP EVERY MONTH I BLAMED THIS ON PRICE OF OIL WELL IN NOV OF 2008 BY BILL DOUBLED DEC AND JAN TRIPPLED I CALL TXU TO SEE WHY MY BILLS WERE GOING UP THEY SAID THAT I WAS USING A LOT OF ELECRICITY I HAD ALSO CALLED THEM TO LET THEM KNOW THAT WHY WAS I PAYING 15 CENRS KILWAT IF THEY WERE OFFERING IT ON INTERNET FOR 9 TO 11 CENTS THEY TOLD ME I WAS STILL UNDER CONTRACT UNTIL 2010 THATS WHEN I LOST IT I TOLD THEM NO WAY THAT CONTRACT EXPIRED IN 2004 THEY SAID WE HAVE A RECORDING OF YOU ATHORIZING US TO DO THIS IN 2008 THAT WAS 8 WEEKS AGO THEY ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THE RECORDING THAT THEY CLAIM TO HAVE OF ME OTHORIZING THEM TO PUT ME ON A TWO YR CONTRACT AGAIN THEY CAN NOT LOCATE IT THE ONE THEY HAVE IS THE ONE FROM 2002 WHICH EXPIRED IN 2004 ANYWAY THATS WHERE I STAND WITH TXU

  • Mi
      9th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Christeen,

    You sound like you know what you are talking about. My husband and I have a small business which we moved from one Wills Point, TX to Terrell TX. We use less energy than most households but we get charged more money than residental cusomers. That is not my main complaint but the demand charge is crazy. We have TXU & Oncore. They keep telling us that they have averaged our demand rate from the first 3 months that we were in the new business and that we can not get that changed until next year. They said that it only gets done over a three month period each year and that you a stuck with that demand charge for the entire year as they read the demand charge yearly. My husband has called several times and they told him that we could pay a licensed electrician to reset and sign a piece of paper to have our meter reread. Who can give me the truth about if the meter is to be reset each month? I do not think our meter has ever been reset at this location or our other location. To top this all off, I got a bill on our old location this past weekend for 3 months of demand charges for our location that we had the power shut off in February. We have not received a bill for usage for the past three months but they said we did not complete the process of closing the account so we owe the demand charge even though we did not use one minute of energy. Well my question to them is if we did not complete the process of closing the account wouldn't we have gotten bills each month? They did not have any records of any of the calls my husband had on made on the account. To top this off the electricity was cut off so we could not have turned a light on if we wanted to, so why would you charge me a demand fee for electricity we can not use? The customer service rep said that we owed the money and if we did not pay it that we could lose electricty at our new location. This is Theft!!! I wish we could do something about them! Please give more info. Thanks in advance.

  • Ku
      26th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have signed a new contract with TXU for my small bus. in Jan. of 09/ BIG MISTAKE / It is a locked in rate an my bills are now higher than ever. I cant believe it. I am so stuck... signed for 36 mos thinking I was getting a deal. Also they say that my demand has increased... dont know why because I have less equipment running than last year... I am so down about it because bus. is lower and food cost is up and now THIS... wHAT DO I DO? When I call them, I get the cold shoulder and some stupid explanation which is no explanation at all... what have I done? How do I get out of this and who can help me? I am sure there are other businesses out there in the same boat... We need to get together and take action... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH/ Suzanne Kucera 817 276 1800

  • Bb
      7th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    It sounds like from all that I have read here tonight that I am not in my boat alone. I too own a small business and have TXU energy service as my provider. When I set up my new contract in March 09, I gave them my address to start service at. They mistakenly started service at the building next to mine which is a lot larger than my building. When I recieved my first bill it was extremely high for my small business. The previous owner of my business was averaging a monthly bill of $70.00 and my bill was $450.00. When I called TXU to inquire about the mess up they realized that they had made a mistake and I thought all was fixed. The following month I recieved another bill for $952.00. I was outraged. So I called TXU back to try adn resolve this matter AGAIN, and they said, yes they had fixed the problem. They realized they were reading the wrong meter, however, someone still has to pay for that bill! I fought them every week from May - July and then they finally threatend to turn off my power to my building and all of my supplies would ruin. So with bitterness I felt there was nothing I could do but pay the bill for the Sears building next to me. Now I want to know what we as consumers can do to make this company stop getting away with fraudulant charges. Surely we can all get together and do something to make a stand! B. Thompson

  • Ag
      9th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have never in my life dealt with a more fraudulent company than TXU. I was ignorant and I guess spoiled coming from the North East where utility companies are regulated and kept in check with the government to make sure they aren't over charging and lying on bills about usage. Here's what I just submitted to the BBB, I doubt it will get me anywhere. But basically my bill went from being $60 to $430 the next month and this was with no one living there half the time!!! We have tried and tried and tried to get TXU to admit they are either lying or made a mistake and they won't budge. Dealing with them for the year and a half I was in Texas was a nightmare, our electricity was going out all the time, they turned it off without warning and would turn it off even when we paid our bills on time and try and charge us a fee to get it turned back on, not to mention that they wouldn't send someone out for another day after they turned it off. And we were being overcharged the whole time we were there. We had bills up to $600 for one month in a one room studio apartment. Oh and we almost never received our bill in the mail. I would have to call them several times before I could get a bill actually sent to me, including my last bill for the apartment I moved out of, I still have not received it even though I've asked them to send it multiple times. I also have never been able to actually view it online because their website conveniently enough doesn't load the current or past bills:

    I believe that TXU Energy has provided false meter readings and estimates for account number {woops editing out my account number and former address}.
    I initially contacted the company in the beginning of January 2010 regarding a $430.27 charge for the month of December, because the charges had almost doubled from the previous month and had gone up more than 5 times from the month prior to that. Considering that I was not living in the state and there was only one person living in the apartment part time the reported usage was obviously false. I was told that the meter reading was estimated based on the usage from one year prior. When I mentioned that the previous year we had had an issue with a heating unit which was malfunctioning and over using electricity and that after it had been fixed our electricity bills had been reduced significantly, if they were estimating based on the December of 2008 then the estimation would not be correct because the heating unit not only was now functioning properly but was also not being used the majority of the month because we had already begun moving out of the apartment and were not there for much of the time in the later months of 2009. I was told that the corrections would be made on the next bill when they were able to get a new meter reading.
    I have since contacted TXU again because my bill is still very high, and believe that they still have the incorrect meter reading. The meter reading for the month of December 2009 which was based on an estiamation on January 3, 2010, not an actual reading had not been adjusted by even a single digit, the bill had not gone up or down at all, TXU claims that they estimated the bill for Decemeber 2009 usage down to the very last penny without looking at the meter. Additionally we were told that there was an estimation because on January 3, 2010 the meter was not accessible. This statement is false. There are no fences on the property, the meters are outside of the building, there are no animals living on the property and there were no weather issues on January 3, 2010 according to weather history data. It was stated by the TXU representative that they are allowed to make estimations 3 times per year. Because there was no reason for there to be an estimation at this date it seems highly likely that the estimation was made to maximize TXU's profit rather than bill me, the customer the actual amount of electricity used for December 2010.
    Our situation is certainly not unique, upon researching the company there are countless complaints of this very same issue with other customers and former customers.

  • Jo
      14th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Hi- I was running a 3000 sq. ft. photo studio in Dallas for 30 years until I shut it down recently. One of the reasons I quit and shut down was that I cannot fight Oncor and the Texas Public Utility Commission. In 2008 (I think) the PUC of Texas rubber-stamped a law which allows Oncor to charge you whatever amount they want for "line maintenance" or whatever they happen to be calling it now. For a while they called it "Oncor Pass-through charges." They were adding hundreds of dollars to my monthly electric bills in seemingly random amounts. I have paid thousands of dollars worth of these charges. I made many phone calls to Reliant, Oncor, and the PUC and nobody was able to give any explanation for the charges other than that they were allowed to add these charges by the PUC of Texas. No one had any suggestions as to how they arrived at the amounts of the charges.

    Your so-called cost per KwH is totally irrelevant when they can just arbitrarily add any amount they want to your monthly bill. I was effectively paying upwards of $2.00 per Kwh when you included these charges. The Public Utility Commission of Texas, which is supposed to be protecting us from the likes of Oncor, has actually thrown us to the wolves.

    I totally agree with you that the "Demand Charges" or "Load Charges" are also just another way of robbing us.

    I did have the concept of "Demand" explained to me by a friendly Reliant employee. The demand part of your meter registers the highest KwH demand during any one 30 minute period. So if there's any time when you suddenly turned on a lot of equipment at once, like AC, etc. you will increase your demand significantly. They are supposed to reset your demand to zero every time they read your meter. But of course the actuality is that you are going to unknowingly create pretty much the same "demand" every month. Also, the only way to know that your demand has been reset is to be standing there when the meter guy does it. (seems ridiculous when there's a lot of money at stake) The reason for the demand charge is supposedly so that Reliant or TXU can be ready with sufficient power in case everyone jacks up their demand all at once. So, effectively, they are charging us for a "what if" scenario; you're being charged money "just in case." I think this is insane and I believe it's a fundamental violation of law to charge people money for what they "might" consume rather than what they did consume.

    So, there are 2 different kinds of robbery being perpetrated by our power companies: demand charges, and so-called "line maintenance fees."
    The meter reading difficulties are also ridiculous. You might think that in 2010 they could think of a way to read a number off of a meter reliably. Well, give them a few more decades to figure that one out.

    John Saxon

  • Sm
      30th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    I own a small business in Arlington TX. In fact we've been in the same building since 1994! We've been with several companies over these years. My demand for electricity is LESS than my house. The last few months we've been below 1000 kw. It is very low because we have gas heat so in the winter our electric bill should be very low. Unfortunately, they jack up our demand and penalize us because we ARE NOT using them for our heat. I consider this a hold-up and should be illegal. TXU is billing us MORE for our delivery than the actual usage. The contract rate is 8.5 but the fine print on the back of the bill says we are actually paying over 18 cents.

    As one person said above we should not be penalized because our A/C comes on. In fact in years past we've had occassions where the electricity went off and came back on so that makes every light, computer, copier, fax, and utility come back on at the same time. I've been told that the demand is calculated based on the highest usage spike in a specific time frame which is usually just a few minutes. This puts the small business in a disadvantage because we do not use that much electricity in the winter however, we still have to pay our gas bill for heat! The demand charge should be adjusted to account for low volume users.

    I'm tired of getting shafted by the electricity mafia. Any other business that did this would be investigated by the attorney general's office and shut down for fraud.

    Disgruntled in Arlington TX

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