I moved into my current residence on 9-17-2010. I arranged for DTE to come out that day to connect the gas and electric service into my name; they showed up and I transferred the services into my name and received a copy of the document I signed stating both the gas and electric were now in my name.
At my previous residence, I also had DTE services and was on a payment plan that allows me to pay the same amount ($129 each month) in order to budget my bills. On October 26, 2010 I received my first bill from DTE for the usage at my new residence, which I paid. Approximately 5 weeks passed and I had not received another bill. I immediately contacted DTE because if you do not pay your monthly budget rate, you are automatically removed from the program and not allowed to sign up for it again.
Upon speaking to DTE they stated that they could not locate my account in their system and therefore could not accept my payment because they had no account to connect it to. NOW HERE'S THE KICKER: from December 2010 through December of 2011, I NEVER received a single bill; throughout this time period, I called DTE EVERY Monday, Wednesday and Friday to try and straighten out this mysterious "loss" of my account in their system. Each time I was told they would "look into it and get back with me". I kept a call log of EVERY call I made to them, including the date, the time, who I spoke with, and what they said. Additionally, I wrote 1 letter each week to them for 14 months, and sent a copy of each letter to all of the Supervisors I could obtain names for; a total of 22 Supervisor's in 15 separate departments, as well as 1 letter a week addressed directly to the CEO of DTE. NOT ONE PERSON EVER RESPONDED to me.
On December 11, 2011, I received a bill forentire 14 months of service for a grand total of $1589.19, that was in the form of a Shut-Off Notice. They wanted the entire bill paid in 10 days, I couldn't believe this! But wait... it gets even more ridiculous. In that entire 14 months they never ONCE read my meter, so how do I know that the bill is even accurate? I have no problem paying for what I used, but there's no way to accurately determin that since they ignored all my phone calls and letters to try and address this problem. And how can my account suddenly, magically "reappear" after not being able to locate it for over a year?
And now for the final nail in the coffin: they labled my account (that they suddenly and unexplainably found after 14 months) as THEFT. Are you kidding me? So not only am I labled a thief due to their faulty system; but I cannot receive help from any community agency to pay for the portion of this bill that I can't cover.
I'm a Firefighter/Paramedic who has been on temporary disability due to ovarian cancer for the last 9 months. My total income is $900 a month through Social Security. I need help paying for this bill and DTE refused to work with me on a payment plan, as well as blocking me from receiving any assitance that I qualify for since they didn't own up to their mistake. BOTTOM LINE, WE HAVE NOT HAD HEAT or ELECTRIC in ALMOST a MONTH. I have 2 children, I'm fighting cancer and it seems to me that any person with a heart and common sense could see that this is unacceptable behavior on the part of DTE.
If anyone who reads this has ANY suggestions as to how to help me, PLEASE contact me. I don't know what to do.