First Choice PowerTake Advantage of Hurricane victims

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a verified customer
Verified customer

We moved into our new trailer on 9/1/08 and were connected with FCP no problems. Our electricity was off due to Hurricane Ike from 9/13-20 and when we got our first bill on 10/10 it was for $540 for 3003 kwh. $540 for a month we were never home, have energy efficient lightbulbs everywhere, rarely run appliances, AND power off for 8 days due to hurricane?!?! The landlord said that the highest it had EVER been was $240. When we called to ask about it, a very nice lady said that the bill was due in 30 days and if we made payments it was fine, as long as we were paying. The next day, we got a pink disconnect notice and said that the bill was due on the 23rd of October, so we called back and a disgruntled man said that if its not paid in FULL by 11/3 it will be disconnected, no questions asked. Well, we didnt have the Full amt of money and no way to come up with it, so we switched our service to Spark Energy which is .04 cents cheaper anyways. Our power got switched over just fine and now that we are with Spark, I got a "Final Bill" in the mail from FCP yesterday saying that our acct had been credited the $540 and that we really had only used 810 kwh that month and 723 for Oct... So our 2 months COMBINED Plus the $150 disconnect fee was still $100 less than they were harrassing us to pay for just one month. It also states that "It appears that you overlooked paying last months bill" and that "Due to Hurricane Ike, we are not charging late fees and you may be qualified for deferred billing." Where were these advantages when we were dealing with the aftermath of the Hurricane??? How is it ok and LEGAL for that matter for them to harrass us for a bill that was so OBVIOUSLY WRONG??? I am filing a complaint with the BBB and will never recommend anyone to use FCP. I will also pay the sum of the 2 months bills, but I will never pay the disconnect fee. Seems to me that they were trying to scam us out of $400 initially and now that we disconnected, they are taking $150... either way, they get money that belongs to us that they are not entitled to.


  • Sk
    skj Dec 05, 2008

    First Choice also shut off our power because we did not have the money for the excessive bill they charged after the hurricane. I called and asked for extra time in paying the bill but First Choice said they would not give me any more time and that our bill had to be paid by 5pm the next day or else they would cut off our electricity of which they did because we had no money. One person even told us to go to the bank and borrow the money to pay our electric bill. They also told me that First Choice did not do deferred billing due to the hurricane like most all the other companies. I found that not to be true and they did offer deferred billing to some people but not others. This company is terrible and will lock you in at a ridiculous rate making you think you have a good deal when actually you are getting screwed. They want customers who are locked in for 2 years instead of a month to month rate plan. When I called TXU we went on a month to month at whatever the going rate is. You are taking a huge gamble in doing this but right now the going rate is very low. If the rates go up we do have the option of locking in before it goes up higher. I think of all the money First Choice made off us in the last 2 years and it is an atrocious amount. First Choice Power is the worst electric provider in the State of Texas. Deregulation was supposed to be in our favor but the big corporations found a loophole to use deregulation against us. Blame our lawmakers for leaving a door open. They are supposed to be looking out for our interest. Shame on them and shame on First Choice Power for what they have done to their customers. I hope First Choice Power CEO's and employees sleep at night because I could not.

    0 Votes
  • Al
    alicsutton Feb 15, 2012

    The night before Hurricane Ike hit, I attempted to call in and pay my light bill because I knew it was due. I attempted to pay via the automated system, as I always did, but when i did, the system had changed. Where it would normally tell me to input the amount i wanted to pay, it took out the full amount which consisted of the current and past due charges. This totaled out to about $400 or $500. It took that full amount, and when i tried to be transferred to a rep to cancel the the customer service rep released the call before he/she began to speak so he/she would not have to take that 7:00 call. In my experience, when i call right around 7, they are ready to get off and try every way to avoid your call. When the customer service office opened, i called them and asked for it to be cancelled, and explained that by the automated system taking whatever amount it wanted to; They stated the would refund the amount that was not supposed to be charged and i would have it back within 3-5 business days. Those days came and went, still no money. Here we are in the middle of a blackout (in which i personally did not have lights for 2.5 weeks), and FCP has taken all of my money. I called back and explained the issue, let them know that they needed to be prepared to pay the overdraft fees for my bills that were set to automatically come out of my account, and i need my money immediately. The rep told me "well, that's the past and i really don't care about that." I immediately asked to speak with a supervisor and explained my situation, he "apologized" for the reps behavior, and stated that he would process the refund himself and i should see the money within 3 to 5 business days. 6 business days from that i called back because my money still was not there. The rep i spoke to again "apologized" and explained that he did not see my refund request at all. He got his supervisor involved and i finally got my money 3 to 5 business days after that. i went the entire blackout without any money, food, gas, or anything. All because First Choice Power screwed me out of my money like they always do. The greatest thing is that, the only thing they offered me for my inconvenience, was a thank you for being a member of FCP for the last couple of years and we apologize for the inconvenience. My question is, i wonder how the president of FCP would feel if he received services like those of which his company provides? Better yet, i wonder how many employees at FCP are customer's of FCP. Probably few, if any. I've had countless other nightmares with FCP, and i've had it. FIRST CHOICE POWER is not only MY LAST CHOICE IN POWER, but IS THE WORST CHOICE POWER. In fact, they should change the name to Worst Choice Power...It has a nice ring to it, and will fully disclose what the customers can expect from this crappy service provider. I'll be switching to Ambit energy within the next few days since last month i was out of power for almost a week due to misinformation given by the CSR's. I requested a sup call back, while the services were still off, and here it is almost a month later and i have yet to receive that sup call back. Buyer Beware!

    1 Votes

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