TXU Energy / Scam and cheating
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!Â? 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.
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