Universal Gas & Electric Complaints & Reviews

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Universal Gas & Electric — Fraud, Lies, Higher bills

I was stupid enough to sign up with Universal Gas and Electric because they guaranteed my energy bills would...

Universal Gas & ElectricDoor to door sales scam to pay 26% more for natural gas

I interviewed for a job with the Canada based company, Universal Gas & Electric (UGE) in May of 2008, at their behest. I was assured that this was a one on one interview, but was actually a cattle call presentation (Lie #1). Due to deregulation in Michigan, they are able to charge you for residential & commercial natural gas that you receive either through Detroit Edison or Consumers Energy if you agree and sign a long term contract with them. The UGE charge appears on your normal Detroit Edison or Consumers bill, only replacing the “Gas Cost Recovery Charge” line item on your statement; the “Distribution Charge” will remain on your statement (currently .2047¢ from Consumers Energy).

UGE only "sells" a five year locked in plan that is substantially higher than what is currently billed through the aforementioned utilities. At the time of my interview, my “Gas Cost Recovery Charge” billed through Consumers Energy was .92152¢/ccf – UGE was at $1.14/ccf

During the course of their presentation I asked a question regarding the fact that for 40 minutes the presenter (Rob Watson, Regional Manager) only spoke about billing for natural gas - what about electrical billing? Mr. Watson stated that the MPSC only issues a 2 year license for electrical billing, which was contrary to UGE’s 5 year locked in plan, so UGE “opted out” of electrical service billing in Michigan.

So, how do you “sell” a product, door to door, that is 26% higher than what the customer is currently paying? UGE conveniently leaves that up to their 1099’d (http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0, , id=99921, 00.html) sales staff.

According to UGE, if you use their "Proven Sales Techniques" you can earn "Six figures within the first three weeks". Mr. Watson further explained that the whole sales process should take about 5, but certainly no longer than 10 minutes or “you’re wasting your time.” UGE does not provide protected sales territories, but instead recruits "Sales Managers" to flood the market - an unlimited number of UGE 1099'ers could converge on your home or business in one day. Amongst other things, their “sales techniques” includes throwing in the volatility of OPEC, i.e. $4/gal gasoline, into the sales pitch to the potential customer.

The fact is, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has already rescinded their license to invoice electrical service (see paragraph 4 above), and are in the process of revoking their natural gas license for possible ethics violations related to the sales techniques of their 1099'd door to door sales staff. This is public information at the MPSC website – Case #’s U-15577 & U-15509 (http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc).

The full complaint that the MPSC filed against Universal Gas & Electric can be found at: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/orders/gas/2008/u-15509etal_05-20-2008.pdf.
You can file a complaint with the MPSC at: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/gas/gascomplaint.htm
Or by calling [protected] (from within Michigan) or [protected] (from outside of Michigan).

A simple internet search will turn up thousands of consumer complaints from Canada to the USA. My grandfather used to call company’s such as these “Boiler Room Operations!

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    • Re
      renewableenergy2 Jul 15, 2008

      Energy Billing Fraud Charges vs Multiut owned by Nachshon Draiman! 2
      Multiut Admitted to holding money belonging to customers.
      It is holding over $1.5 million in Collected City of Chicago Tax on Natural gas and refuses to pay the City of Chicago or refund the customers plus interest.
      Chicago Metro Area Consumers are taken for a ride by Multiut – Nachshon Draiman – Energy Billing fraud. Plus Adding charges to a bill without a customer’s approval. This practice is illegal and penalties are enforced.

      In a Class Action proceeding initiated in November 2001 - The case after numerous delays by Multiut, is now proceeding.
      Gore vs Multiut - IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS Case No. 01 CH 19688
      Posted on September 29st, 2007:
      JACK GORE on behalf of himself and all ) NOV 28, 2002
      other persons or entitles similarly situated, |

      vs. No. 01 CH 19688
      MULTIUT CORP, an Illinois corporation, } Judge Stephen A, Schiller
      Defendant ) Courtroom 2402
      Plaintiff JACK GORE (“Gore”). by his attorneys LARRY D DRURY LTD., hereby responds to the Motion to Dismiss 2nd Amended Complaint, pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-615 and 619, brought as a combined 2-619.1 motion by defendant MULTIUT CORP. (“Multiut”).
      Multiut is trying to time-bar this case by transforming express a written agency-service contract drafted by Multiut into a contract for sale of goods, and by disputing Gore's allegations as to concealment and discovery of the wrong – but without submitting any Rule 191 affidavit or documentation. This is a class action arising out
      of a written contract drafted by Multiut, attached here and to the 2nd Amended Complaint as Exhibit A and B collectively referred to herein as the "contract" or "agreement “ unless otherwise indicated by context): (1)
      (A) A service contract to act as Gore's "purchasing representatives" in obtaining natural gas from “off system" suppliers. This contract, entered into on or about December 1990, was titled “Agreement, " Exh. A 1, 3-6, 10. And,
      {B} A series of supplemental agency contracts to act as Gore’s agent, in so doing with respect to various Properties. These were entered into contemporaneously with the service contract and thereafter, and titled "Natural Gas Purchasing and Agency Agreement.” Exh.-B. (2)
      (1) Similarly Multiut refers to them collectively as “the agreement” in its brief (Mem. p. 2, fn. 1). Although the documents are on separately filed pages, they are mutually inclusive and one could not be entered into without the other; e.g. the service contract refers to and incorporates the agency contracts, wherein Multiut refers to itself as Gore's 'exclusive natural gas purchasing agent'. See Exh. A, third introductory paragraph and 16-17; Exh. B 1,
      (2) Exh. 8 one of the series, is dated 1998, Exh. C is Gore’s §2-806 affidavit as to the others. Gore has stated he does not have a copy of each, they are inaccessible to him i.e. no longer in his possession, whether missplaced or otherwise, and cannot be located or returned. 2nd Amd.. Compl. {4; Exh, C, in the 1st Amd. Complaint, Count 4 for breach of oral contract was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice after Gore's deposition of May 8, - 2002, when the service contract and the 1998 agency contract were produced by Multiut and adequately established, Exhs, A-B are the same Exhs. 1-2 attached to the Gore transcript, excerpts of which are attached herein as Exh. D, Similarly the missing agency agreements are likely in Multiut’s possession and will be produced in discovery.
      The contract was drafted by Multiut, it unequivocally defines Multiut's role in the transactions, and shows that this case is not governed by the UCC. What is at issue here is not the "good" that Multiut obtained for Gore, but the service Multiut provided as his purchasing agent. Gore is suing upon the service and agency contract – not the natural gas - and has alleged that Multiut breached its duties in two respects;
      {1} By falsely and intentionally charging and retaining for its own use funds that were to be applied to a City of Chicago 8% gross receipts tax (“Tax”), which it had promised would be placed in escrow and forwarded to the City. Between December 1990 and January 1995 (after the City of Chicago changed the Tax), Multiut collected approximately $14, 000 from Gore and at least $1 million to $1.5 million from the Class, for this Tax that was not actually imposed upon Multiut. 2nd Amd. Compl. 7-9, '3! Multiut not only failed to inform Plaintiff and
      the Class that the money collected was not so applied or escrowed, but also failed to escrow, account for, and refund the funds with interest.
      (2) By overcharging for the service of providing natural gas. Multiut was to charge for natural gas actually supplied to Gore and the Class on a set per therm cost basis, plus an amount equal to 1/2 of their respective per therm cost savings per month, instead, Multiut overcharged and billed Gore at least $100.000 and the class millions of dollars and refuses to provide an accounting and refund with interest. Id. 10-11.
      Gore has further alleged that Multiut prevented him from discovering the wrongs by intentionally concealing them until at least December 2000, when he discovered the truth and could not reasonably have done so earlier. (Gore testified at his deposition on May 8, 2002 that he first discovered the discrepancies in his bills, the overcharges, the taxes, and failure to escrow the taxes, in December 2000. See Exh, D, pp. 25-28, ) Thereafter he was unable to obtain any refund and based thereon, terminated Multiut’s services on or about June 2001, However, the wrongful acts are continuing to date, in that Multiut continues to 'refuse to provide an accounting and refund with interest to Gore and the Class, all to their detriment and damage. They seek imposition of constructive trust (id. 22), an accounting and damages in not less than the foregoing amounts plus interest (id, 9-13, 23).
      Gore filed the original Class Action Complaint on Nov. 20, 2001, and in lieu of responding to a motion to dismiss, filed the 1st Amended Class Action Complaint Feb. 14, 2002, setting forth 4 counts for (1) breach of
      3-: The City did not and will not collect the 8% Tax, presumably because of U.S. constitutional restrictions as to the interstate commerce clause and exceptions for interstate pipelines and out-of-state suppliers. As a result in 1994 the City changed the tax from an 8% gross receipts tax to a flat rate tax of 1.4 to 1.5 cents per therm. 2nd Amd. Comp. P 8. in Multiut’s response to First Request to Admit {attached hereto as Exh. F), it has admitted the following statements about this Tax; (8) that Multiut collected approximately $14, 000 in Tax from Gore between [protected]; and (9) that Multiut spent its customers Tax payments on business expenses.. Yehuda Draiman testified to the same effect in his deposition 1-10-02 See transcript excerpts attached hereto as Exh. E, at pp, 36-37, 40, 68, and Exh, 6 thereto.
      Activity Date: 8/15/2007 Participant: GORE JACK
      Court Date: 8/29/2007
      Court Time: 0930
      Court Room: 2402
      As of March 2008 a third judge has taken over the case. The previous 2 Judges Schiller and Bronstein resigned from the bench under suspicious circumstances.

      August 30th, 2007 at 2:25 pm
      Multiut owner is Nachshon Draiman of Cook County, Illinois
      Multiut has admitted in Court that they are holding the money.
      Gore vs Multiut 01 CH 19688 Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
      A concerned citizen
      For honesty in billing

      Fraud, Insolvency and numerous contempt of court orders
      anti defamation usa - Home - Justice
      Detailing fraud by Nachshon Draiman his alter ego companies such as Multiut, Future associates and more, and justice for all.

      Dynegy Mkg & Trade v. Multiut Corp, Nachshon Draiman et al
      On August 16th, 2007: Numerous Federal contempt of court orders against Nachshon Draiman and Multiut
      Dynegy Mkg & Trade v. Multiut Corp, Nachshon Draiman et al 1:02-cv-07446.
      Multiut Corp and Nachshon Draiman dba Future Associate of Skokie, IL. are withholding evidence of fraudulent activities in the Energy industry and inflated Medicaid billing to the government for Nursing Home patients. Also Bank fraud against their bank by presenting fraudulent and inflated receivable reports in order to get and keep a credit line, Nachshon Draiman was a large stock holder of the bank. Draiman Nachshon • SC 13G • Success Bancshares Inc • On 2/17/98
      Filed On 2/17/98 • SEC File 5-53545 • Accession Number [protected]
      Court: United States District Court Northern District of Illinois -
      Case Title: Dynegy Mkg & Trade v. Multiut Corp, Nachshon Draiman Future Associates et al
      Case Number: 1:02-cv-07446
      Judge: Hon. John A. Nordberg
      Filed On: 10/16/2002
      Case Number: 1:02-cv-07446
      Referred To: Honorable Michael T. Mason
      Jury Demand: Defendant
      Demand: $9999000
      Nature of Suit: Contract: Other (190)
      Jurisdiction: Diversity
      Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Breach of Contract
      Case Updated: 01/20/2005
      Party Name: Multiut Corporation an Illinois Corporation,
      Party Type: Defendant
      Attorney(s): Paul Thaddeus Fox
      Firm Name: Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
      Firm Address: 77 West Wacker Drive
      Suite 2500
      Chicago, IL 60601
      Alan Jay Mandel
      Firm Name: Alan J Mandel Ltd
      Firm Address: 7520 North Skokie Blvd
      Skokie, IL 60077
      03/30/2007 225
      NOTICE of Motion by Ira P. Gould for presentment of motion to withdraw as attorney224 before Honorable John A. Nordberg on 4/19/2007 at 02:30 PM. (Gould, Ira) (Entered: 03/30/2007)
      04/18/2007 226
      MINUTE entry before Judge John A. Nordberg: Motion of Ira Gould to withdraw his appearance on behalf of Multiut Corporation 224 is granted. The motion will not be heard on 4/19/07 as noticed. Mailed (vmj, ) (Entered: 04/19/2007).
      For More Information See: www.antidefamationusa.com or www.antidefamation.us or www.nachshondraiman.net


      0 Votes

    Universal Gas & Electric — Gathering people for class action!

    Hi. I am having the same problem all of you have with this company. Seems like they lied and took money from...

    Universal Gas & Electricscam

    The reason i'm writing this is this company is misleading people by promising lower monthly bills & saying our bill will not go up.Now my monthly bill has gone up a large amount.They also say we have 30 days to cancell,but i didn't recieve my first bill through them for about three months.After i realized what happened it's to late.Now i'm forced to pay a $250 dollars to get out of this contract. That's Wrong. Plus i called to get out of the contract and was told i have to write a letter and explain way i'm leaving and send the $ 250 check or money order. I don't fell comfortable sending them $250 dollars and then them not cancelling or saying they didn't get the money.

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      • Bi
        Billmaster Mar 16, 2008
        This comment was posted by
        a verified customer
        Verified customer

        Ya, this ### comes from Toronto, Canada. This is where I live they are scaming eveyone here and I am on a crusade to stop them. My site here is http://www.freewebs.com/uegscam/

        0 Votes
      • Ga
        Garry Mar 12, 2008
        This comment was posted by
        a verified customer
        Verified customer

        Jalex -

        I don't buy what you have to say. Specifically this:

        "The people I have ran into at doors who PAY ATTENTION to thier bills every month and LISTEN to what the agent says and READ what the packet they are given says they would know that they NEED to pay attention each month. "

        See, the thing is, no one knows what a CCF is. Universal preys off the fact that no one knows the technical aspects of their Consumers bills, and everyone is trying to save money with the price of everything going up left and right.

        Also, I don't believe what you said about the agents lying being isolated into one region. Search the internet, you'll see people from all over the state that have been scammed.

        Not to mention the shady practices of the main office. I have called the office several times and they are very rude. I called the office on a Friday once, asking for a supervisor and "Nobe" told me that there was no one there, and that she could "put me on hold until Monday".

        Also, you have to fight and argue just to get them to listen to you. They are rude, they interupt you, and lie.

        This is, simply put, a door-to-door scam. Why would anyone pay double the rate for energy? If you look online at Consumers price of energy per CCF over the past, i don't know, 10 years, you'll see that it has rarely risen over $1.00 per CCF. It would probably take nuclear warefare to make it rise over (and stay over) 1.049/CCF.

        Also, why would the salesperson tell the truth when it's in their intrest to "make a sale" and get you to sign the contract. I briefly worked for a door-to-door scam company before I realized that it was a scam and quit. They're all the same, judging by what you said above. They promise big bucks and owning your own business. Then, they send you out on the road where you have to pay for all your expenses and you have to fight for your check.

        I would like to end with this thought: you think the salespeople are the ones being scammed? It has cost me well over $1000 more in energy costs over the last 6 months because of Universal. My bill for February ALONE was $804.83. Does that sound reasonable to you? Not to mention that if I had to pay the early termination fee, it would have been an extra $250 on top of that!!!

        0 Votes
      • Ja
        JAlex Feb 29, 2008
        This comment was posted by
        a verified customer
        Verified customer

        O.K. so I have worked for this company for about a week. The people I have ran into at doors who PAY ATTENTION to thier bills every month and LISTEN to what the agent says and READ what the packet they are given says they would know that they NEED to pay attention each month.

        The agent (if legitimate) will explain that if you find that you are paying more with the program than you would be with the regular billing you CALL the NUMBER provided and they will adjust it.

        Long story short the people who look at what they pay and listened are very happy withthier service. The ones who dont arent.


        What this company does is allow emplloyees to climb the ladder fast in hopes that they can send them to other branches or NEW branches to run them. In the case of the GRAND RAPIDS, DETROIT, And everything in between HESPERIA and LUDINGTON areas. They promoted some guy to run this western office. HE HOWEVER LIED and also TRAINED his AGENTS TO LIE! If you live in any of these areas and were told that you would be paying .33 cents or were over the age of seventy and were allowed to sign up at your door, or even if you werent explained everything I just told you ODDS ARE YOU MET THIS GROUP.... They claim the employees were terminated by the main office, and that the man in charge is no longer allowed to work in this state any longer.

        IN ADDITION.

        As I said if you are responsible and saved the packet and pay attention to your bills youll be happy and fine! HOWEVER...They treat thier employees like dog crap!

        I respondedto an ad in the local paper. There are no jobs in this area and the add stated I could make up to twenty five dollars an hour OR MORE! The office I went to was all the way in Saginaw. I live right around an hour and a half from there. To apply I had to drive there. I did and after the "speed dating" interview process of a room full of eleven people they ask if you are willing to work six days a wekk..Coming from an area with no jobs and now having a possible fall in your lap you more than likely will say yes. I did. Then they say "Well thanks for your time you will recieve a call by this evening if you get the job." Then they take you out in to the hall copy your I.D. and SSN and ask you to look at the photos on the wall. Photos of random people holding 900 dollar puls checks.

        You leave after also being told this would be the last time you should have to drive all the way back for anything. I got the call that I was hired. However I was to AGAIN drive all the way back to Saginaw for training. Training took maybey two hours they explain that in your training process you make 1 hundred dollars your first week plus any aplications you get you will be paid 35 dollars for. They claim that you should get an ap an hour. Then week two two hundred and ap pay as the weeks tick to week five the hundres go up till week five where you make five hundred a week plus ap pay. As you can imagine your eyes get big with possibilities.

        Then as My co- worker and I left our training his was two days before mine, they say we are looking at you for manager. Apparently according to my co- worker the two managers in this area spilled lots of beans to him then quit that day because a six hundred dollar check wasnt enough for him. Then they sent up two different people on two different days. The first day was day one of training. Litterally entered a town, the two the other trainee and myself head into town with the manager guy. He takes each of us to 1 door and goes up with us. We both stumbled through the pitch and sucked. He then asked "alright ready for the next door?" I said I wasnt sure he said "youll be ok." That was the extent of our training.

        According to thier policy we are to meet at nine am and practice for an hour. We only did that our first day. As the days rolled by my co-worker and I picked up on double talk. "Dont go to a town if it had just been visited within the past two weeks." Then once two managers had worked in the area and realized the towns are small and had been hit alot it was "Hit the town anyway".

        At that point my co worker devulged that he managers that quit had told him that if we missed a day in our "training period" we get docked twenty dollars of our pay so in your 1st week thats 80 bucks plus whatever deals or aps you wrote. We both had pre existing appointments that week and each missed a day.

        Long story short I have spent around 250 dollars on gas alone driving all over the state. Ran into the territories where the branch that was lying to folks hit and made hardly any money. Today I drove over 200 miles with my only car (the family car) and come to find out no manager (the person who would bring me my check) will be up tomorrow which means I spent the last week ragging on my car and blowing gas money like it was water and will get no check till who knows when!!!!!!

        On top of all that the story the managers that my co worker spoke to may have possibly lied. I was told just tonight that "Because I missed a day it reset mytraining week" this could mean 1 of things.
        1. I just blew almost three hundred dollars to make THEM five deals and not only lost the one hundred dollars for the first week but possibly all the money from the deals because I am not "trained".

        2. I just lost the hundred.

        3. Because I missed ONE day and despite the fact that I was the only one of three people two of which were managers who made ANY deal at all except for ONE that the FIrst manager got the ONe day he was up here I will only make 100 dollars in week two plus any deals I write. Either way I just got screwed.

        So they really rape thier employees worse than customers. They just leave it up to you to keep track of your bill and probably cross thier fingers you dont!

        0 Votes
      • Ga
        Garry Feb 28, 2008
        This comment was posted by
        a verified customer
        Verified customer

        Hello Bryan,

        My name is Garry. I live in Flint, MI and was scammed by this company as well. I want you to know that I was released from the contract without paying the $250. If you would like more information about what I said to them (which was only slight legal terminology) please feel free to e-mail me at:

        [email protected]

        I would be happy to e-mail or speak with you over the phone. I know how hard it's been paying astronomical electric bills over the winter and just want to help hard-working consumers like myself. I am also in the process of filing a class-action lawsuit: My lawyer's name is Paul Vance, he works out of Flint, MI.

        Thank-you and Good Luck!

        0 Votes

      Universal Gas & Electric — Scam on consumer protection!

      I signed a contract with Universal Gas & Electric with the understanding that I would be protected from...

      We are here to help

      • 16 years' experience in successful complaint resolution
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      Universal Gas & ElectricEmployment opportunity is a dead-end job!

      I worked for Universal for 2 months. In the beginning, I was very motivated! The opportunity sounded great, the way they presented it. I wanted to run my own office in a few months, which is what they said would happen. I jumped out of the gate running! The first day-- they call "training"-- I went with a man that was very good at his job. I knew that I could be great, so I was excited to begin my new career. I soon found out that it was door-to-door sales & not much more. The only paycheck was $25 per signature, and there was bonus every week. At first, bonus was having your name drawn out of a coffee can,if your "production" per day met the right number to give you chances to get your name in the can.

      They also told me that going on "road trips" was optional, but good experience. The word optional means "if you want to keep your job." The company takes $20 per night out of your next check, to help pay for gas and the lodging for the trip (even though we're out there making money for them.) We had to share a bed with another person to save them money, and many expenses had to be paid by the Team Leader up front, and they had to wait for a reimbursement check. The word paycheck was a dirty word, too. We had to get our checks (we were self-employed-- no workmen's comp or unemployment) from the office Manager. Not only was this a weekly barrage of excuses when the paycheck was different than the production for the week represented, but it was pointed out that I was not doing enough production to ensure that I'd get a check ( I had 3 weekly $0 paychecks in Dec 2007 alone ) When customers cancel, because they do have that option, we did not get paid for them, or they would be deducted from my almost nothing check (any commission job does this, to be fair )
      They did get me a $500 advance (because I did not get paid for my deals) Thjey always blamed Consumers and Michcon, saying they did not process very many "because of the holidays."

      I'm sure that someone moved through the program, but "The Man" in the Southfield office is still a Team-Leader after something like 18 months (and he's the example for success that everyone uses in training meetings.) I don't have 18 months and counting!!!

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        • Bi
          Billmaster Sep 29, 2008
          This comment was posted by
          a verified customer
          Verified customer

          $0.00 in three weeks !wow! now my in my job [a construction manager] I was caught up in all my tasks so I sat around answered a few calls drank coffee and made approximatley $4500 plus dollars.

          I REALLY WANT a job as Univer$al Energy Corporation


          0 Votes
        • Da
          Dan Feb 20, 2008
          This comment was posted by
          a verified customer
          Verified customer

          So do you still work for this company? I assume no, mainly because a $0 paycheck does not keep someone working at their location for long. So you might not be a big lier like Don Author, Anthony, whatever, nice handwriting, Agent # [protected].

          My problem is that I was lied to, consumers did not go up 35% like I was told. I called to cancel in Dec, but it looks like NOTHING was cancelled! My bill now reflects a 30% uplift.

          0 Votes

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