People in Texas...Update from PUC of TX

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Judymae, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Judymae

    Judymae Songster

    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    I want people living in Texas to know about a complaint center I have found. The story starts: I came home Tuesday to no electricity. I called to report the outtage and the receptionist told me they turned it off because I hadn't paid my bill. WRONG! I had paid my bill. They posted it in the wrong account. I can understand a mistake but the treatment I recieved even after they realized it was their mistake was unbelievable.

    I asked why they didn't notify me that they hadn't recieved my payment. That way we could have cleared up this problem. She said they don't play the game that away. She said if your on the disconnect list then you lose your electricity. I asked why the didn't look back and see that over 9 years I'd never had my utilities cut off before and that maybe something was wrong and they should have called me. Again same response about the list. I asked if they had guidelines on posting payments. Was told that was company info not mine. Asked if there was anything I could do to make sure my acct was posted correctly. Again not a nice response-you pay we post. Mistakes happen. This whole conversation did not go well. Especially since I was making it from my extremely hot living room!

    I was treated like a deadbeat. No respect. Even if I had not paid my bill I should have been treated better. A little respect atleast. But none! She did have someone out in 30 minutes to turn it back on. I approached the man and asked him who I should contact since my electricity shouldn't have been cut off. He said if I paid my bill they wouldn't send him out. I was hot. He didn't know the whole story he just assumed I hadn't paid.

    Now to make my story a little happier: I contacted the Texas Public Utilities Commission. I did it via internet and made a complaint online. They have so many days to respond to my complaint and they should have to remedy the problem. Even though it was a mistake they should have told me how they were gonna fix it or atleast apologized. I guess I didn't mention that. The receptionist was so ugly acting to me that she wouldn't even offer an apology. She just wanted to blame it on me. Told me if I had paid it earlier maybe there wouldn't have been any probs. I don't understand how paying it earlier and posting it on the wrong acct adds up but whatever.

    Remember that you can fight utility companies. You just have to go to the right department.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
  2. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    i would be so mad,!! :thun
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    That reminds me of Lily Tomlin's old Saturday Night Live character, that was a really rude phone operator! What was it she used to say? Something like, "We don't care, we don't have to. We're the phone company!" There's nothing like having a monopoly to bring out a total lack of customer service and really rude behavior.

    My favorite more recent take on customer (non)service is from the Dilbert cartoons. Dogbert runs the "No Help, Help Desk." He says, "My job is to make sure you never call back again." [​IMG]

    Go get 'em, Judymae!
  4. yearofthedog

    yearofthedog Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I had a similar problem, but mine was because they estimated my usage when their extremely hardworking meter readers "couldn't" access my usage meter, esp. in the summer when it's like 120 degrees out and they gave me a $400 some odd dollar "estimated" bill and I wasn't even using my air conditioner yet(I'm cheap, it was before the kids came and I was trying to get the most I could from the swamp cooler)!!!!! When I called the CSR treated me like an illiterate adult and talked down to me the whole conversation. I, too, filed a written complaint, but to no avail since it was with the power company. But, fortunately, our neighbor, who works at the power company, did some of the complaining for us and we had two supervisors come out and they ended up discounting out bill by almost 3/4!

    I'm going totally solar when I move out of here, that I promise! If I never had to deal with a ultility company again, it would be too soon(no offense to anyone that may work for one, though!).
  5. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Thanks for the info, Judymae. Consumer protection in Texas is horrible. At least the Utility Commission was decent to deal with. Who's your power company anyway? We have TXU. With deregulation in Texas you can vote by foot for your power supplier, and switch companies. I don't know what is available in your area, but it might be worth looking into. Some will give you a better rate for switching.
  6. Judymae

    Judymae Songster

    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    Momsfolly-we have Cap Rock Electric out here. No one else will touch us. So we can't change power companies and they know it.
    We had probs with Verizon when we had a land line. The phones went out all them time. If the wind blew the phones would be down. They told us it was beyond their control. That's when we first learned about the Public Utility Commission. We made a complaint with them and with in 3 days Verizon had people all over our area trying to find the prob. It really was funny. We came home one evening and it looked like the FBI had taken over our little area. There were black suburbans with dark tinted windows parked every so often up and down the main road to our area and there were men and women in full black suits running up and down in the ditches going from phone box to phone box. They were from Verizon and not to happy with us when my dh introduced himself to the one in our ditch right in front of our house. Come to find out the PUC told them they had to find and fix the prob in 30 days and had to give them a report on what they found and did to remedy the problem. I think the PUC got on them quicker because I informed them that we had a young child with epilepsy and a heart defect. I needed a phone. It ended up being a defective part in the phone boxes and Verizon offered us a free cell until new parts could be ordered and installed. Nice of them to finally step up after 6 months of our phone not working properly.
    I'm hoping that the PUC can do the same thing for us this time. I told them in my complaint that I travel on overnite and day trips and my chihuahuas and my pug are left in the house with a/c. If they were to get overheated they could die. If my electricity was turned off because of their mistake and killed one of my dogs I would hold them and the PUC responsible. (the PUC because they have been told of the prob) I'll post again in a month or two and let everyone know what comes of it. These things take time.
  7. Judymae

    Judymae Songster

    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    Okay--got my response from the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Not good. The electric company lied and said I didn't pay my bill til the morning it was cut off. Wrong---I paid a week before the cut off date! Then they said I hadn't included my remittance stub. Wrong--I did include the stub and I put my account number on my check! I was soooo mad. It isn't fair that they are a big company and can just lie to cover up their mistakes. I contacted the PUC of Tx and the person who handled my complaint. She said all I can do is make another formal complaint. But it looks like it will be my word against theirs. I'm gonna go ahead and do the formal complaint just because I don't want them to think I'm rolling over and taking it. She also suggested I not use the drop box to make my payments. I said if they can't post my payment correctly because I use the drop box then they shouldn't have a drop box. It is a convenience for us and them. If they can't handle it they should cement it in. I'm just mad. They are a large company and they flat out lied!!!!!!! It makes me so mad. I know they think I'll go away quietly but I'm not.
  8. Patchofheaven

    Patchofheaven Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Conroe, TX
    Good for you Judy Mae - I don't go away quitely either. When I get mad I write a letter, yes a I'm a letter
    My hubby laughs at me, but I have worked in the Customer Service field for over 15 years and you don't treat Customers without respect.
    We live in Conroe, Texas - we are in an area of Texas that is unable to choose our Utilities. We are stuck with "Entergy" which use to be called Gulf States Utilities. I have tried to change, but keep getting told that I can't yet. We are also stuck with Embarq (Sprint) phone services and can not change either.
    We had major issues with Entergy whenever Hurricane Rita came to town. We didn't have power for over 2 weeks. Our driveway is at the end of a Dead End road and then our driveway is about 1/2 mile long going up to the house. The homes that were located on the street received service almost a week before us, they forgot to drive down our driveway to flip our breaker on the transformer in our yard.
    I have yet to receive an answer from Entergy on the 6 page letter I sent to them regarding the Hurricane Rita fiasco. I did not know about the TPUC before your post - Thank you I now know who to complain to in the future.
  9. Bubba

    Bubba Songster

    Jun 18, 2007
    If you want respect there is only one way to start out a conversation with ANY company. You ask what is your name. Then MAKE THEM SPELL IT OUT. They know at that point you know WHO they are and that you have written it down. Very rarely after I do this do I have a problem otherwise its like talking to a disrepectful computer. People think im invisible cuz Im on the other end of a telephone. When they aren't invisible anymore they straighten up pretty quick. Also if you ever make a complaint take down the managers or handlers info to. Then in a few days call back the manager and ask to speak to his boss. If he didn't happen to report it.... Yea I get alot of people fired. It comes down to respect and the lack of it.

    I live by the motto, You disrespect me I will run you through.

  10. Judymae

    Judymae Songster

    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    Love your motto Bubba!!!
    I did take names. Got a whole record of everything. I've worked customer service and I've posted payments before. They haven't done anything correctly in either. We can't get any other service either. We are stuck.

    Patchofheaven-go ahead and go online and place a complaint. I would. I want them to feel the heat from all sides. Don't do me wrong and think oh well!

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