Direct Energy Services
United States - 77046
Well I am very much concerned about the way both the companies mentioned above have been treating me over the last few months. Let me explain, in July 2008 Direct energy installed a central Air unit at my home & the amount of $99.76 was to be applied to my enbridge monthly bill. On November 25th 2008 I paid Direct energy in the amount of $4528.02 representing the full amount of the Central Air unit, about 2 weeks later I called to verify that this cheque had been received & no one new where the check was but to my surprise the cheque had been cashed. Apparently the cheque had been sent to the wrong department & the department of billing had not been notified. I can understand when errors occur but I can't understand that when all this was found out & I again spoke with another agent at Direct Energy ( Josee [protected] ext 261) she stated that the matter had been rectified & that she assured me that the balance of the payment would be sent to Enbridge as credits towards my home heating bill. I said fine that sounds fair to me this was back on Dec 16, 2008 & this was all suppose to be done within 7 days of that conversation. Well Well this issue was never rectified & enbridge still haven't received the balance from Direct Energy the weird thing is enbridge shows on there database that Direct energy have asked them not to send my account to the CREDIT BUREAU because they would be sending them the outstanding amount. This still hasn't been & as of November 2008 Directenergy have still been charging me for the installment payments that have been paid for since Nov.2008. Everytime I speak with either party they tell me it is not there responsibilty & to call the other company. So as of today Direct energy owe me $462.23 + 99.76 Nov. + 99.76 Dec + all the accrued interest due to their negligence of rectifying this issue in a timely fashion. There is a total of $661.75 outstanding to this day this is without interest incurred so far & many many hours on the telephone with what I would call un qualified personel to take care of this matter. Today I contacted the MINISTRY OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES CONSUMER PROTECTION PLAN at [protected] & they advised me that this matter should have been resolved a long time ago, I have been very tolerant with this situation & am willing to give these companies a final chance to prove to me that customer service is there # 1 goal & that after they are overpaid that we are not just another file on the shelf. I am expecting a reply to this matter ASAP by Email or telephone today at the latest or I will pursue this matter through the MINISTRY OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES CONSUMER PROTECTION PLAN.
Hoping for a prompt reply
My water heater broke on Sunday and I called Direct Energy for a replacement. They told me the earlier...
A very pushy salesman from Direct Energy showed up at my door some months ago. He would not go away until I showed him my hydro bill. I actually thought he was from the hydro company soo i showed him my bill. Upon inspection of my hydro bill, he explained that i was paying way too much and not receiving certain benefits that i was entitled to. He actually had me believing that i was entitled to some form of rebate. He talked me into signing a contract "for my protection".
I later discovered that the contract i had signed was to allow this company to supply my electricity. Upon this discovery I promptly called the 800 number on the bottom of the paper. I requested that Direct Energy cancel the contract immediately. The rep was very polite on the phone and assured me that the contract would be cancelled and Direct Energy would not be my supplier. I cancelled the contract before it was even instated.
Every time I receive my hydro bill, I have the same unresolved conversation with a polite representative from Direct Energy. I am continuously told that the cancellation request has been submitted and the computer should have the issue resolved before my next billing cycle.
Surprise, eight months later and Direct Energy is still on my bill as my supplier.
Why would anyone in their right mind agree to paying more for the exact same service that they already have??????
I was taken by a fast talking, lying salesman who represented Direct Energy. Upon realizing what had happened I tried to reverse my error, dealing directly with the offending company. Every representative from Direct Energy must be given a course in lying. Dont trust them, they are far worse than any used car salesman you have ever met.
I have been advised by the Ontario Energy Board to put Direct Energy on notice, in writing. I was not even previously aware that there was such a board.
If you need help resolving your issues with Direct Energy try giving the OEB a call, perhaps they can help you also.
Down with Direct Energy !!!
So these Natural Gas providing geniuses are up to no good. This is what happened a few years back:
They send a salesman over to my old address in 2005 to secure and lock my gas prices for the next five years for 'my' protection. He's wearing a direct energy uniform. And he had a badge. The salesman talked a good game and wouldn't leave until I showed him my bill. I did tell him that I was interested in what he's talking about.. who wouldn't be? Cheaper utility bills are a no brainer. So he took my name down and told me that I would get the savings anyways. So he could still 'pass on the savings without seeing my bill'. lol Seemed a little odd to me at the time.
So I moved to Brantford in 2008 and I continued my service with Direct Energy. 3 months later I got a bill for 1500$ for canceling my contract. How the hell is this possible I thought? Well according to Energy Direct the difference in the current market price of natural gas vs. the great deal that I was given in 2005 equals out to be 1500$. The reason:
For my protection they locked in my rate when natural gas prices were historically really high. That's when they had their salesman blitz all over Ontario. Great for the company. Horrible for the customers. And they sent these low lives to lie to their beloved customers in their homes. As a favor to the customer? I don't think so.. This has a lawsuit written all over it. Those arrogant lying ###s.
So I got on the phone with some more idiots and got the 1-800 number run around. A few hours later the 1500$ which had gone straight to collections (by the way) was lifted since I was still a current customer. Well wasn't that difficult for something so obvious. I was stressed out and still furious after that call.
They told me that I was charged that fee because my new phone number wasn't accessible to them. Well I am in the 411 directory. An internet rookie could easily find me. My old phone number had my new phone number recorded for 3 months by the telephone company. They didn't look too hard in my opinion. It was easier to charge me the 1500$ then to look for 1 minute on the 411 directory.
So that leaves me with 3 more years of a contract that I can't get out of with sky high gas prices. I would like to give a sarcastic thanks to Direct Energy for lying to me, sending my old bill to Collections with a 1500$ premium added, not looking for my old phone number and last but not least for locking me into an expensive gas contract for my 'own good' by a rent-a salesman. Oh yes but the 1500$ fee was waved..
I am very competitive and I hate getting screwed. This company is a scam. They will lie to your face (or over the phone). They should get sued for picking on the little guy. Thanks for reading.
My husband and I have been embroiled in a battle with Direct Energy for over a week, and I was wondering if anyone on your staff would be interested in doing some investigative journalism.
It started with our hot water tank being replaced on October 15th, which was done very quickly, but six days later the unit started to make horrible noises in our basement. We called Direct Energy right away and a technician was dispatched to fix the problem. We were told that the installers did a poor job and that the piping to our hot water tank had already cracked and that the interior insulation was soaked through because of their mistake. Since last Tuesday (October 21st) we have been without hot water and because our furnace is attached to our hot water tank, we also have been without heat. My husband took Thursday off work because he was told that the new system would be installed during the day, but the technicians did not show up until almost 9pm. When they arrived they did not have the right hot water tank.
Needless to say we have been on the phone with the very polite customer service representatives many times, but feel that since they have a monopoly that they do not care that we have not had neither heat, nor hot water since the 21st.
We were told today that new installers would be at our home by 8am, but it was not until almost 2pm when my husband phoned, that we were told that our new hot water tank was not even at their warehouse.
I think the lack of accountable and honest customer service by large companies such as Direct Energy would be a great story to cover. Not only do they hold their customers hostage since we don't have a choice as to service providers, but their lack of communication between their departments has forced us into a very cold limbo.
Let me sum this experience up real quick, besides the constant annoyances with Direct Energy, Enbridge decided to cut my gas off 2 months ago for not being able to pay my bill completely. My 3 and 6 year old and myself haven't had heat for 2 months, I've been carrying pots of boiling water up the stairs to the bath all day every day, wasting my life away. ANYWAY, just got my new Enbridge bill yesterday, keeping in mind that I've had NO SERVICE FOR 2 MONTHS. It looks like this:
New Gas charges : $33.45
Goods and Services Tax (GST): $19.98
New Direct Energy Essential Home Services Charges: $366.08
So that's what I get for hauling water up the stairs for 2 months straight. Now my bill is $943.15, I still have no service and It's almost November. Thanks alot you [censored] thieves.
We recently switched to a green provider after several years as a customer of Direct Energy. In that time we...
I am at my wits end. I have not received a bill from Direct Energy in 4 months, I have called, I have...
I placed a service call to service my furnace with Direct Energy about 45 days ago, last week the service technician came and serviced my air conditioner instead! Even though it was serviced in May 2008. This shows that people at Direct Energy do not listen, they hear instead and don't hear properly.
Their service is pathetic, not only that, my dishwasher was serviced after many many calls and reminders sent to them and even then, they did not put back the other parts of the dishwasher, so now my dishwasher is sitting there to be closed properly by the technician who does not come. Never get into a contract with Direct Energy
Claimed that I agreed to a five year contract for gas and hydro charges. I agreed to look at the contract...
With the blessing of the Ontario Energy Board, Direct Energy is offering a 58% hike in my natural gas rate. I f I decline the offer without notice, Direct Energy says they will automatically renew my contract at a increase of 78%!
Some mouthpiece from OEB called to say "they" do not regulate prices and I could decline the contract and return to Enbridge gas, also at a hike in the 50% range, some deal!
The average Joe is getting taken for a huge ride with these outrageous increases. Where are the advocates for comsumer protection? Enbridge, Direct Energy, the OEB, they are all bed buddies.
You may as well add Hydro One to the mix as they are bandits cut from the same cloth.
I am a first time homebuyer. My experience with Direct Energy has tought me a valuable lesson these past weeks. I want to share what I have learned with others, especially new home buyers in the Ottawa region.
This comment contains:
- links to reliable sources
- the actual laws that protect us customers
- Direct Energy's (DE) Early Exit Fees information
- my own personnal experience and the lessons I learned.
You can never be too informed when it comes to natural gas prices and the decisions you need to make. Here is a useful link about natural gas and the services available in the Ottawa region:
Brochure from Ontario Energy Board with basic information we should have as a customer : http://www.oeb.gov.on.ca/OEB/_Documents/Consumer+Brochures/brochure_natgas_200802.pdf
DIRECT ENERGY CAME TO MY DOOR
A sales representative from Direct Energy came to my door to sign us up for our natural gas account. I remembered seeing the Direct Energy sticker on our hot water tank. I also remembered seeing the Embridge sticker on our furnace. This indicated to me that the company was trust worthy and that I needed their service to continue using my hot water tank.
The sales representative explained the protection plans for natural gas and said that I needed to contact Enbridge to make sure that my account was set up. What then is the relation between Enbridge and DE? His answer wasn't clear, but I understood that they somwhow worked together. He then took out a bill sample that had the Enbridge logo on it. I assumed that both companies worked together.
He also told me, after I asked, that they were the only company from which we could buy natural gas. There, I had it : they were my only option, their sticker was on our hot water tank. I assumed it was the right choice. It was not.
DE, NOT MY ONLY OPTION?
I called Enbridge the next day to make sure that my account had been set up. I mentionned the Direct Energy salesperson and wanted to confirm with Enbridge the relationship between them and Direct Energy. That's when I learned that I could have bought my gas from Enbridge. I felt very angry that I was lied to.
A couple of days later, a sales rep. from another energy company (I forget the name) came to my door. They were offering the same service as Direct Energy. I did not hesitate to tell him that I had signed with Direct Energy and was lied to. This guy then took out the Direct Energy booklet I had received, with the Terms and conditions, and showed me the passage about Early Exit Fees.
EARLY EXIT FEES
The Terms and Conditions state that if you terminate a contract with DE before your time is up, you will be charged 200$ a month (plus other expenses) for the duration of that period. It also states that if you move outside Ontario or to an area where Direct Energy cannot service you, that you will be charged Early Exit Fees.
I called Direct Energy this week and the calling agent told me something completely different from what I read in the Terms and Conditions. She said that if you move outside the province, you need to provide DE with proof that you are moving at least 30 days before your moving date. They will cancel your contract without charging you any fees. If you are moving into an area where natural gas is not available (no gas lines), you need to notify them at least 30 days prior to your moving date and your contract will be cancelled without fees.
The salesperson that came to my door did not go into these details, he only mentionned that if I moved in Ontario, my account would be switched to my new address, and that if I moved outside the province, my contract would be terminated. He didn't mention any early exit fees. And I did not think to ask about them either.
I still do not know if I would be charged Early Exit Fees if I decided to move to another province or to a place where there is no service. It's the call center's representative's words againt the Terms and Conditions. I think the Terms and Conditions hold up better in court... so beware.
FALSE INFORMATION : A DE PLAN THAT DOES NOT EXIST
I wanted more information. I felt lied to. I had signed a contract too fast, thinking it was my only option. I then conducted a research, comparing what Direct Energy had to offer me and what Enbridge could offer.
I was deceived once again. The sales rep. from DE had told me that they would call me back within the month to confirm which plan we wanted fo our natural gas : a fixed plan with a fixed rate or a variable plan with variable rates. When I called Direct Energy to inquire about their varable plan, I was told that no such plan existed. They had stopped offering variable plans in 2005. This took me by surprised, seeing as they had a page on variable plans on their website: http://www.directenergy.com/EN/Ontario/RES/Pages/GAS/VariableRateFAQs.aspx
First I was actually told by a call rep. at DE that the variable plan was only available through an online offer, and that it was new. I decided to call back to talk to another representative who was very helpful. She even talked to her supervisor to make sure she was giving me the right information. The variable plans only exist for electricity, not for natural gas.
To top that off, she could see the rate I was given on my contract, 43.5 cents per cubic meter. She dais that I should have been offered a rate of 36.9 cents per cubic meter, because I am a new customer.
She offered to cancel the existing contract because I had been given false information and because my rate was too high. She said that she could sign me up for the new rate, in a new contract. I said I would think about it and call them back if I was interested.
CANCELLING A CONTRACT : OUR RIGHTS AS CUSTOMERS
#1. A contract (some exceptions, see below) is not active unless you reaffirm it. A representative from the company will call you back to reaffirm. If you do not reaffirm, your contract will not be activated.
Here is the law (Ontario Energy Board Act 1998, Section 88.9):
Once you sign a contract for the purchase of natural gas or electricity, as a general rule it will not remain in effect unless you confirm that you wish to accept the contract. This process is called "contract reaffirmation", and it applies in all but a few circumstances (see "When Reaffirmation Is Not Required", below).
The rules that apply to contract reaffirmation are as follows:
1. Starting on the 10th day after you have received a written copy of the contract, the marketer or retailer is permitted to contact you to ask you to reaffirm your acceptance of the contract.
2. At that point you may choose to reaffirm your acceptance of the contract, or you may choose not to do so. If you notify the marketer or retailer that you do not wish to reaffirm the contract, you cannot be required to pay any cancellation fees or penalties.
3. If you do not reaffirm the contract by the 61st day after you received a written copy, the contract will no longer be in effect as of that date. Again, you will then have no obligations under the contract as of that date, and you cannot be required to pay any cancellation fees or penalties.
4. If you reaffirm the contract and then decide at a later date to cancel it, you may have to pay a cancellation fee. The cancellation fee or the method by which it will be calculated must be stated in your contract.
Typically, the marketer or retailer will phone you to ask you to reaffirm your acceptance of the contract. If you reaffirm by phone, the marketer or retailer must record the phone call, and the recording must be given to you if you request it. You also have the option of reaffirming or refusing to reaffirm by giving written notice to the marketer or retailer.
Always ask for a reference number when you cancel a contract on the phone.
Summary of law : http://www.oeb.gov.on.ca/OEB/For+Consumers/Your+Energy+Options/Contracts+-+Consumer+Protection+Rules
Actual law : http://www.search.e-laws.gov.on.ca/en/isysquery/db272a39-ed3a-4f60-89ec-b96d800fbcb3/3/frame/?search=browseStatutes&context=
#2. Send a registered letter or a fax to the company, stating that you want to cancel all existing contracts with them. This tip was given to me by a customer rep. at the Ontario Energy Board and by a customer rep. at Enbridge.
Here is the law (Consumer Protection Act 2002), taken from the DE Terms and conditions:
If this Agreement was entered in person at a place other than our place of business, a trade show or an exhibition, the following excerpt from the Consumer Protection Act 2002 applies: "You may cancel this agreement at any time during the period that ends 10 days after the day you received a written copy of the agreement. You do not need to give the supplier a reason for cancelling during this 10-day period."
HOW I CANCELLED MY CONTRACT (10 DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD)
I cancelled over the phone with DE, wrote down the reference number. I also filed a complaint against the sales rep. that came to my door for giving me the wrong rate and the wrong information.
I also wrote a letter, in order to make sure that my cacelation would be treated. I added the reference number to the letter as well. Isent it by fax to 2 different numbrs given to me by 2 different rep. at DE. One of the numbers was incorrect, as I received a call the next day from an individual who had received my fax at his private residence. Luckily, I could rely on the other number to be correct. I also took no chance and sent an email to cancel.[protected]@DirectEnergy.com. I got an automatic response saying that it had been received.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR ENBRIDGE BILL
THE BOTTOM LINE
We as customers need to be more informed. Please keep in mind:
Enbridge is the utility. The bring the gas to your house. You will be billed by Enbridge (or your local utility) no matter who you decide to buy gas from.
Direct Energy is a marketer. They sell you gas. Enbridge will bill you on behalf of Direct Energy for the natural gas.
Know your rights as customers. If you have signed a contract and want to get out of it, send a letter of cancellation request within your 10-day coolling off period. Do not reaffirm your contract when the marketer (DE) calls you, if you do not want to contiue with them.
I hope my experience and my little investigation helps at least one person out there. We have to be vigilant and aware of these things. We have to be responsible consumers. I think I'm one step closer to it now.
From my experience, I would not recommend that anybody signs up with the Direct Energy "Plumbing Protection"...
Hello, Firstly, I would like to compliment the associate at Direct Energy for keeping her cool. Although I...
I received my monthly bill at the end of April with charges that were not mine. i called Enbridge right away and was advised that it was not their charges, but charges from Direct Energy. I then called direct energy and they told me that the charges were from Enbridge. I called Enbridge a second time and again they tell me that the charges are from Direct Engery. They then put a note in their system that direct energy would be able to read and know that the charges were theirs. I again call Direct Energy and was told that they could not find my account in their system to look up what i was telling them. After quite some time on hold, the lady proceeds to re enter my information in her system. She then advises me that service explanation request has been put in and that someone would call me back within 2 days to let me know what the extra charges to my account are for. After a few hours, a lady calls me back apologizing about the extra charges and explains that a service call done to a house three houses beside me was billed to my address instead of their address. On top of the service repair call charge of $201.00, they decided to add on the heating protection plan of $20.99 of which i already have on my bill in my "total home protection plan". To make a longer story short, the charges have still not been reversed three months later, I've been speaking to supervisors every month when i get my bills and to this day, nothing has been resolved. I did get a new piece of information today from Dana, a supervisor who I've managed to speak with on more than one occasion and she's advised me that after investigating my situation, she's found that I've been entered in their system THREE TIMES!! She advised that each time i was told that the credits were being made, they were being made to the accounts that i apparently was not getting billed for. she assured me that everything would be fixed on my next bill (I've received three bills with the same errors) and if not, to give her a call and she's make sure to fix it.
This ongoing battle since Dec/07 has to do with a "account" we have with Direct Energy. Not ever in my...
Our gas contract should have ended in June 2007, but we found out it’s not that easy to end. Although we did return their "form" clearly marked "Declined" before their deadline, for some reason "they did not receive it". I had no idea they were so dishonest that I should have sent it by registered mail.
I should have known this would happen. We had been hounded for several months by calls to renew our contract, both before and after I had mailed their “declined” form back. They don’t take NO for an answer. We asked several times that they not call again, that we are not changing our decision, but they kept calling and we had to ignore the phone. When we realized the calling had stopped, we thought they had accepted our decision and were done with them.
We did not notice in July 2007, that a new rate of .439 cents (double the original rate) had come in effect. Our bills are low in the summer and, furthermore, Direct Energy had told us our contract was ending in November of 2007. And those statements are not clear. When we finally realized in March 2008 that they were still acting as our supplier and charging us double for it, we first contacted Enbridge and had their name removed. It's still too soon to be sure, but I hope we are done with them.
We are now trying to collect the overpaid difference which is a minimum of $400 in excessive gas charges to date. They gave us a claim number but nothing else was happening. Two days ago, we filed a complaint online with the Ontario Energy Board. Then Direct Energy called this morning to say they had not received the Form we had “declined” and would not refund us. I am not surprised about this.
I hope the OEB can do something about this malpractice. It's not just about the money; it's the deceptive, callous, dishonest way they operate. When a contract expires and you’ve already told them a dozen times you don’t want to renew it, it should end. Expired means it no longer exist! Period. We will never sign up with a marketer again.
It was one of those 'bad luck' situations when the weather was -20 and my furnace was out for lunch...
I signed up for energy from Direct Energy when we first moved into our new house and because it was our first home we were told they needed a $200 deposit, that would be refunded after one year. It's now 14 months later and they won't refund our deposit because we haven't paid our bills on time for 12 consecutive months. Why haven't we paid our bills on time for 12 months straight? Because for two of those months they sent our bill to the wrong postal code! When the bills finally made their way to us, about 3 weeks late, we paid them right away. This has happened with a few of our bills and I think it's because all the larger companies just ask for your address and their computers automatically give them the postal code. Because we are in such a new neighborhood there have been some mistakes with postal codes, and quite a few of our bills end up at the wrong postal code.
The girl I spoke with on the phone was completely rude just saying 'Well, it's not our fault if the postal code was wrong, you must have called in and changed it, then changed it back'. Ridiculous.
At the time we purchased the house in June 2006, it had a rental water heater and a rental furnace both rented from Direct Energy. Recently I had a home energy audit which resulted in us purchasing a new high efficiency furnace, new thankless water heater and A/C from a company called Enwise Power Solutions.
Prior to the purchase and installation of the new equipment I called Direct Energy to ask about the return of the rental equipment. I was told that I could return both the furnace and the water heater at any time and the charges would be removed from my bill. I called Direct Energy again, closer to the date of the installation to ask about where to return the water tank and the furnace and they gave me an address in Etobicoke, Ontario. On the day of the installation I called again to confirm where to return the equipment and was given the same address. They told me to hang on to the receipts and fax them to Enbridge to get the charges removed from my bill.
The installers returned the equipment and got a receipt for the heater but not the furnace because they were told by the Direct Energy people there that they (Direct Energy) stopped renting furnaces a while ago so they don’t have a process for returning them however, they did take the furnace anyway (but we didn’t get a receipt).
So today I called Direct Energy to follow up and find out how to get the two rental charges off my bill and to my surprise they are telling me that I have to pay the full cost of the rental furnace because the old owners had a contract that I inherited through the purchase of the home which says that I have to rent it for 15 years!!!!!!
They are telling me that the contract for the rental would have been included in the documents for the purchase of the home and that my lawyer would have told me all about it and would have ensured that I was aware of the contract. I am 100% sure that I did not have any such conversation with my laywer about an obligation to pay for this furnace for 15 years (I don’t even know when this 15 years would have started) and I know that he would have told me if he was aware. I don’t have a copy of the contract and I have NO INTENTION of paying for a furnace that I no longer have in my home when I was told from the beginning that I could return it.
I am extremely frustrated and worried that it's going to take an enormous effort to rectify this situation. The buy out price is over $2000 and I don't even have the furnace anymore. I told the Direct Energy Rep (who says he's a manager but sounded like a goofy teenager) that I never signed a contract and have never seen a contract and he just kept saying there is nothing he can do and that I will have to pay. They lied to me several times, don't EVER deal with these scammers!!!!!