The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Universal Gas And Electric / Fraud and cheating!

1 30555 Southfield Road, Ste 440Southfield, MI, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 877-863-2444

I have been reading the online negative reports about the gas price protection scam that Universal is running. I signed up 11/08/07 with assurances from the representative to my wife and myself that the cost per Ccf would continue at the same rate offered by Consumer's Energy and that the purpose of the contract was to guarantee that in the future it would not go over the $1.049 per Ccf for five years. The next bill showed that was false because we were paying that rate now, a difference of $63 in the month of December.

I checked with Universal on canceling the contract and can do so for an additional $250.00. What a scam! Who is to say that in the future when the cost goes over $1.049 Ccf the company won't simply disappear to the Cayman Islands.

I have since checked out the business with the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney General's Office. And, I know all about their phony one person office front in Southfield MI, they are actually located in Toronto Canada and incorporated through Delaware - the home of scam corporations.

Well, they messed with the wrong person this time as I am a college professor of business and I am going to expose their scam to the state government and the news media.

I have an online report that proves that it was the Michigan Public Service Commission that in December 20, 2005 granted Universal a license as an alternative gas supplier (AGS) to operate in Michigan on the condition they establish an office in the state. Obviously, they knew they were dealing with an out of state (out of country) business and did a poor job of checking them out which gave the scammers the license to practice their deceptive practices in this state. It would be interesting to learn by what means they got approval from the commission and if any improprieties were involved.

What we need is a lawyer to take on a class action suit and put these crooks out of business.

Va
Sort by: UpDate | Rating

Comments

Ai
  13th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I saw a position on Career Builders and spoke with a Phil to set up an interview. I was told that this company is looking to bring their company into Michigan. Thank heavens my sister in law called at told me about this company. She said that the salesmen that have come to her house were straight out rude and the would not leave. I finally found information on this company and called them to see what they had to say. This Phil told me that their company is definately not a scam. He said that they are licensed to operate in Michigan. He was trying to convince me that just because they were licensed that they were not a scam company. I asked him about some of the consumer reports about their energy bills being higher then when they were with Consumers Energy and he had nothing to say about that. He said that I seemed like a negative person and maybe this job was not right for me. I told him that I definately was not a negative person, that I just wanted to check this out before I drove 2hours to an interview. He definately wasn't pleased with the fact that I checked their company out. So I want to that you for writing this and getting this out to those who may face this company!

~Aimey Nystrom
Grand Rapids, MI

An
  19th of Mar, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Thank you Aimey, for posting this experience you had. I received a call last night from Phil saying he got my resume from careerbuilder.com and was wanting me to drive 1hour for an interview. I just jumped on line to see what I could find out about Universal Gas & Electric in Southfield...I now have no intentions in pursuing this employment opportunity!

Thank you again Aimey~
Angela
Flint, MI

Bi
  15th of May, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cheers people!

The word is out. I heard that these dummies have lost their licence to market im Michigan? Nothing like 'researching' a company that does not want to be 'researched'

If you want a good laugh at their expense please visit my site at

http://www.freewebs.com/uegscam/

Bill,

From Canada, where this junk comes from, unfortunatley.

Ro
  3rd of Jul, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I totally agree with the complaint. I was told that I can cancel any time I wanted, never was I told that I had to pay $250 cancellation fee.

As
  11th of Sep, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Hi. We just moved and I got a phone call, which I didnt answer, but I know they are going to try to get the "early term. fee" from me. I was just wondering if anyone has any other info on this scam and if you have a number to call to fight them from paying the fee. They've already taken enough of my money!

Ly
  19th of Sep, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Do not accept service from Universal Gas and Electric - it is a rip off. I work where there are a lot of people signing up for the service, and are getting stuck, since the cannot afford the $250 to break the contract early.
Also - thier solicitors came to my house at 8:45 pm.. - who does that.?

Ch
  20th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Police: Be on watch for utility scam Universal Gas sales people do not have soliciting license

By Kathleen Conat, Special Writer

PUBLISHED: February 21, 2008

Ypsilanti Police Chief Matt Harshberger is warning Ypsilanti residents to beware of solicitors from Universal Gas & Electric who are going door-to-door in the city. These solicitors do not have the necessary permits and employ deceptive and strong-arm tactics to get people sign up for their alternative gas service.

Advertisement


If residents are contacted by these solicitors, they should contact the Ypsilanti Police Department immediately.

Universal Gas & Electric is an alternative gas supplier that has been operating in the state since 2005. The Michigan Public Service commission recently gave a conditional license as an alternative electric supplier on Jan. 29.

That license was made conditional due to a spike in complaints about pricing promises and business practices regarding their gas sales. The company has now asked the state to rescind that license, as it does not like the conditions put on it, according to Judy Palnau, spokeswoman for the MPSC.

The MPSC has opened an investigation into the company's practices, as well.

Sales tactics of Universal Gas, described by Ypsilanti residents and available on several complaint web sites on the Internet, include intimidation and deception. Residents have been asked to sign a form, which the salesperson says is only to let the company know you have been contacted. In reality, that form is a five-year contract. Part of that form may be covered by a blank piece of paper so you cannot read it.

The Universal Gas salespeople become angry when the resident says she is not interested and/or refuses to sign the form or provide information from their DTE Energy bill. Some people have signed merely to get the salesperson away from their door, not realizing they are signing a contract. Salespeople have also lied about the terms of the contract.

Door-to-door solicitors need a permit to solicit within Ypsilanti. Universal Gas never applied for a permit, according to the Ypsilanti City's Clerk's office.

When contacted at the company's Southfield office, a man who gave his name as Steve Mac said because the company is licensed in Michigan, it does not need local permits. MPSC spokeswoman Palnau disagreed, however, saying the license does not in any way supersede local ordinances.

Things you need to know, according to the MPSC:

If you choose to purchase your natural gas from an alternative gas supplier, the gas rate you are charged for natural gas will not be regulated by the MPSC. The rate is set by the company and may be above, as well as below, the rate of state-regulated companies.

There is a 30-day cancellation period after you've signed a contract. You may need to cancel this in writing to the company, so be sure you have an address where this can be sent.

After the 30-day cancellation time, there may be a cancellation fee. Universal Gas & Electric's cancellation fee is $250.

Some contracts are automatically renewed and prices are changed without warning.

The MPSC is taking complaints by telephone at 1-800-292-9555 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Residents who have been approached by Universal Gas salespeople are urged to call to complain, whether or not anything was signed.

Residents may also complain to Universal Gas' Southfield office, at 1-248-594-2345, or their customer service line, 1-877-863-2444. If you choose to complain to the company, MPSC asks that you also call the MPSC complaint number.

Kathleen Conat is a longtime Ypsilanti resident and freelance writer for The Courier. She can be reached through editor@ypsilanticourier.com.

De
  8th of Jan, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Universal Gas And Electric - my bill
Universal Gas and Electric
Flint
Michigan
United States
Phone: 18778632444

I have been trying to get off of their program since June 2007, I was told to send in a letter and the copies of my id, medical card and my bridge card to show that I was low income. I have called 4 times since then and they have not yet took me off now they have lost my stuff and says that the time has past and there is nothing that they can do but make me pay $250 (which I cant afford either)to cancel. I cant afford to continue to pay this bill because I only make $800.00-$1000.00 per month. It is killing me I need help.

Sa
  13th of Jan, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

My husband and I fell for this. They lied about everything. We were told nothing about a fee to cancel and they didn't send us a copy of the contract until long after the 30 days was up. They were out of contracts the day they came to our door and they played on our urgency to save money and the fear of loosing our gas for the winter. We have consistently paid more for our gas through them. We also have a collections report for the 250, for breaking our contract that we were never educated enough to understand (we are now though, I took a few law classes). I feel they took advantage of us and something needs to be done about them. So if there is a class action law suit, somebody please contact me. We don't need this on our credit but also cant affort to do this by ourselves. Power happens in numbers.

Di
  7th of Apr, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

how does everyone read this? is universal gas and electric buying the cooperation of MSPC?

"Universal Energy Group Ltd.

TSX: UEG

Mar 19, 2009 16:22 ET
Universal Energy Enters Into Settlement Agreement With the Michigan Public Service Commission
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 19, 2009) - Universal Energy Group Ltd. (the "Company") (TSX:UEG) announced today that a subsidiary of its gas and electricity marketing business, Universal Gas and Electric Corporation (UGE), has entered into a settlement agreement with the staff and counsel of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) in respect of the MPSC's investigation into UGE's marketing of natural gas to customers in the state of Michigan. The settlement agreement is conditional upon the approval of the MPSC. Under the terms of the agreement, UGE will pay US$300, 000 to the MPSC to cover costs incurred during its investigation.

Mark Silver, CEO of the Company commented "We are pleased to put the MPSC's review behind us and will immediately refocus our efforts on growing our business in the state of Michigan."

""

Br
  28th of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Brenda Wilamowski Keego Harbor Mi. i was also lied to. My gas bill went up so much that I never turn my heat above 64 and I turn it off at night, ( i use a electric blanket) and I turn the heat off while I'm at work. I want to make sure I give UGE as little money as possible during these five years I'm in the contract. I Want revenge so badly on UGE. I have never felt so mush anger. I want to tell everyone I possibly can. People signed up with UGE because of fear of gas prices going up. I want these people stopped. I worry for the ones on a set income, just getting by. The lies told to me 1 my gas bill would not go up. 2 Not told about a cancellation fee of $250.00. 3 I was told the form I signed was to let the company know I had been contacted. After finding out I was no longer with consumers as a supplier I called UGE to cancell. At this point I argued with a young lady for quite a length of time that I never signed a contract. I became very nervous when I had to spell my name for her 5 times. I went very slowly B R E N D A thats right my first name not my last. I ask for her supervisor but it was the same thing, a very young sounding foreign girl. I finally realized I had signed a contract when I asked for the date it was signed. I couldn't believe it. I told UGE I would do everything in my power to expose them for what they truly are. THIEFS and LIERS!!!bwilamowski@comcast.net

Su
  27th of Jul, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I had the same issue as the original post. They told me my rate would match consumers energy and would never go above $1.04ccf over five years. How can you lose then? If only that were true. What I don't understand is, how can I be made to honor a contract, when I was intentionally misled into signing it? I have written the letters, filed with the BBB, and recently filed complaint with MPSC. I hope there is some way to get results. I just want my $250 waived so I can put this behind me. UGE is such a scam!

Sh
  11th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I also was caught in there scam. They came to my door selling this deal for gas and i was very busy. And i did sign up for it but later on I looked at the paper work and decided against it. So I called and told them I wanted no part. And they got me anyway. On my next consumers bill there they were. I called again saying I did not want there service. But now they want $250.00 to cancel my service and i am looked in till 2012. There just a big scam taking our hard earned money.

Tj
  27th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Contact consumer protection agency in Lansing, as well as the attorney generals office. They will drop your contract like a hot potato. Was told by on of their people than ANYONE complaining to ANY regulatory commission would be a dropped contract.

De
  29th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Ok now I hate Canadians ! Universal Gas and Electric is the bad we all dream about ! We did not come to you, you came to us making promises, about fixed pricing, better than what we were getting. Also said I could drop any time. Now I was told they want $250.00 plus the next two billing cycles. Thats some B.S. Phil who I spoke with lied about where the office was until pressed. This company should be forced to pay back all overages since inception. I was told this would save me money, and the next month I was at$ 1.49 automatically.
This is a company in Canada, like our Great Gov. LOL We the people of the united states, will not stand for being ripped off any more!
Dennis Kroll

Su
  30th of Aug, 2010
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

IT'S VERY EASY TO GET OUT OF THEIR CONTACT. I DID IT.

I used to live in Lansing MI and was scammed by them in 2007. I cancelled my account I had with Consumers Energy and got a new account created on my friends name for my house. They send me threat letters, fake collection letters and also called me many times. One day they called me 10-15 times after cancellation of my gas account. I didn't respond. I did pick-up their call after a month and told them they can do whatever they want to. I also knew they were calling from Toronto, ON. I changed my home phone number afterwards. I checked my credit report to see if the collection letter was real. These scammers use nothing but scare tactics. So follow the steps and you're out.

Good Luck,

SN

Je
  13th of Jan, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

The prices charged are way out of line with what was represented.

Post your comment

     

Reply to

close
Send