• Report: #790456

Complaint Review: LCEC

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  • Submitted: Wed, October 19, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, October 26, 2011

  • Reported By: JustDoe — cape coral Florida United States of America
LCEC
4980 Bayline Dr North Ft. Myers, FL 33917 Cape Coral, Florida United States of America

LCEC Lee County Electric Cooperative THEY TOOK MY METER & DEMANDED $800.00 IN CASH PLUS "UNKNOWN" FEES TO COME Cape Coral, Florida

*Consumer Comment: Don't go biting us

*Author of original report: My Fridge seems to be IMPORTANT

*Consumer Comment: I based my comments on his statements that I recapped.

*Consumer Comment: I don't know Ken

*Consumer Comment: The answer to your question is in your original posting....

*Author of original report: Where is this proof of tampering

*Consumer Comment: typical

*UPDATE Employee: Tampering with meters is stealing

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I received a call on Monday Oct. 18, 2011 from LCEC. They wanted to set up a time to check my meter because there was a problem. I called them Tuesday Oct. 19 2011 at 9:15 am. They said to leave the fence open because they needed to check the meter. I told them I have 2 Rottweilers and would prefer if they used the doorbell before I leave my gate open. The man said he would call me back after he asked a supervisor for permission to ring my doorbell. Within 5 minutes they called back. In aprox. 25 minutes 2 men came to the door and I let them in the gate. They said they were here to check my meter. They removed my entire meter from the wall and accused me of removing the inner seal. I called LCEC and they told me the meter was tampered with and I had to pay $845.00 in CASH. Then I had to go home call them and see if another meter could be installed that day. Only another $545.00 on my bill. The supervisor called me later and I could hear laughing and foul language in the back. She said more fees will be on my bill. I asked how much more and she said that is not her department. When I leave for 4 or 5 days, I turn the main breaker on my house off. This helps me save money. But LCEC said I tampered with the meter. They charge $15 just to be a customer. I DID NOT remove a seal. I have no idea how to. So, if your bill goes from the "normal" $400.00 a month to $275.00  THEY ACCUSE YOU OF "TAMPERING"

   THIS IS SO CRAZY

ANYONE ELSE HAVE ISSUES WITH LCEC??

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/19/2011 08:15 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/LCEC/Cape-Coral-Florida-33904/LCEC-Lee-County-Electric-Cooperative-THEY-TOOK-MY-METER-DEMANDED-80000-IN-CASH-PLUS-U-790456. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Don't go biting us

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

None of us put you in this mess. This is a public forum and any post invites rebuttals asking this or that for clarification.
Nobody called you a moron either, and frankly, I figured you were being screwed by this utility.

Now for the property history, you admit letting the broker and seller handle all the inspection and whatnot, so you basically bought a flipper on sort of blind trust that nothing was screwy.

That unfortunately puts you in the cross hairs for the utility instead of the ones you bought it from.

You probably need a lawyer if you're gonna fight this, unless you can appeal to reason at the executive corporate office level.
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#2 Author of original report

My Fridge seems to be IMPORTANT

AUTHOR: JustDoe - (United States of America)

When I leave and turn the breaker off, the fridge is empty. The house does not need food. The mold and moisture are not a problem because I am basically in an empty house. I am trying to sell. We can all TIT 4 TAT all day over this. Until YOU are falsely accused of being a "meter molester"   and YOU have to pay for something that you did NOT do..............   YOU will NEVER understand. 

LCEC is notorious for this. And as for my "home inspection"   My Realtor used someone else s.  I am not  a moron. I trusted a company who sold me the previous "squatters" mess.

Anything else??
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#3 Consumer Comment

I based my comments on his statements that I recapped.

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

It is a bit odd to have someone post as he did.

IF the meter that was removed was the one there when he moved in and the tampering was evident, it MAY have been done by the previous customer of LCEC.

IF it was installed new when he started the service, it looks a little bad for him.

I also was skeptical of his comment about turning off the breaker for extended periods of time.

It doesn't make sense, unless he doesn't have a refrigerator. The power company stated their computer flags periods of NO usage and significant drops in usage to be looked at.  I guess, only the OP knows for sure what is happening.  Your point of view is also plausible.


#5 Consumer Comment
I don't know Ken
AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)
SUBMITTED: Monday, October 24, 2011POSTED: Monday, October 24, 2011
I think you've concluded this guy screwed with the meter. I don't see any reason to doubt that upon further investigation he had reason to believe the previous resident may have done it and the utility doesn't give a d**n, because...they don't feel they have to. He's the one there now and they're gonna make him pay for it.

I just don't think a wiseguy would tamper with the thing and then b***h about it here when he failed to get away with it. It smacks of classic utility power play on an innocent, or mostly innocent party.To the OP, that said, I think whoever inspected the home for you should have caught this, assuming you did such a pre-purchase inspection. In that, the power company could have a valid point for sticking this on you - that you should have had it caught before taking possession of the home.

I also think in a high humidity location like yours, it is not wise to shut your power, and hence, your AC down for days at a time. You ought to have it on to kick in before the temperature rises into territory dangerous for mold growth.
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#4 Consumer Comment

I don't know Ken

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

I think you've concluded this guy screwed with the meter. I don't see any reason to doubt that upon further investigation he had reason to believe the previous resident may have done it and the utility doesn't give a d**n, because...they don't feel they have to. He's the one there now and they're gonna make him pay for it.

I just don't think a wiseguy would tamper with the thing and then b***h about it here when he failed to get away with it. It smacks of classic utility power play on an innocent, or mostly innocent party.To the OP, that said, I think whoever inspected the home for you should have caught this, assuming you did such a pre-purchase inspection. In that, the power company could have a valid point for sticking this on you - that you should have had it caught before taking possession of the home.

I also think in a high humidity location like yours, it is not wise to shut your power, and hence, your AC down for days at a time. You ought to have it on to kick in before the temperature rises into territory dangerous for mold growth.
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#5 Consumer Comment

The answer to your question is in your original posting....

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

#3 Update By Author
Where is this proof of tampering
AUTHOR: JustDoe - cape coral (United States of America)

"They removed my entire meter from the wall and accused me of removing the inner seal.."

I doubt it fell off itself.  Also, what happened to your refrigerator on the many days your breaker was turned off?

The other answer to your question implying they had no right to come out and check your meter is also in your original post. 

"So, if your bill goes from the "normal" $400.00 a month to $275.00 THEY ACCUSE YOU OF "TAMPERING" They didn't accuse you of anything until they checked their tampered meter. Then it was a gotcha...get over it and keep your hands out of the meter.

I do NOT work for LCEC or any other electrical provider.
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#6 Author of original report

Where is this proof of tampering

AUTHOR: JustDoe - (United States of America)

Lcec called and said "we need to check your meter"   I allowed them to "check" my meter. I did NOT tamper with the meter. I have every right to turn my main breaker off when I leave for days. So, If I turn my breaker off and no electricity is being used..............   You will come and take it again?? This is absurd. Lcec wants everyone's bill to be Very High. To accuse me of "tampering" with something that can set me on fire and throw me through the air full of electricity to fall to my death requires PROOF. Not some game of   your bill went down and we don't care if you turn the breaker off when you leave for days.   Where is the actual proof that I would do anything that "deadly" to myself.

To all others who have to put up with this company, FLIP YOUR BREAKERS
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#7 Consumer Comment

typical

AUTHOR: heiter - (United States of America)

Shoot first ask questions later. Guilty until proven innocent. We have done all of what you suggested. We even shut off the main breaker for days and weeks. We go nowhere near those meters as they are extremely dangerous.

  We were accused and charged without a trial. We bought this house recently and have had nothing but problems with power spikes, blown surge arrestors, fried appliances with no help from LCEC. they said call an electrician. we did. The electrician said LCEC's grid must be screwed up as there were no wiring problems in the house. It turns out the previous owner was squatting in the foreclosed house and messed with the meter. Now we get charged for tampering. As long as LCEC gets their monopoly money, they are happy.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Tampering with meters is stealing

AUTHOR: LCEC - (United States of America)

LCEC utilizes automated meters to measure usage of electricity. Customers are billed according to the usage that is reported from the meter. Daily reports indicate situations where usage is not consistent with the normal use of a minimal number of appliances such as a refrigerator or alarm clock. The report indicates locations that may need physical inspection to ensure the meter is operating properly. Upon inspection, there are often clear-cut and obvious indications that a meter has been tampered with. In those cases, the meter is promptly removed to avoid further theft and there are penalties that must be paid to allow for reconnection of service. Tampering with an electric meter to avoid being billed for the electricity you use is stealing. The cost of the power you are stealing is passed along to other customers in the form of higher rates. Most importantly, tampering with an electric meter is very dangerous and can result in injury, fatality or a fire. To avoid risking the lives of your family and neighbors along with substantial fees and penalties, it is better to follow the LCEC smart energy saving tips to reduce your bill. These include setting the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees in the summer and no higher than 68 degrees in the winter, invest in a programable thermostat, turn off ceiling fans when you are not in the room, set the temperature on your water heater no higher than 120 degrees, make sure window and door seals are tight, run your pool or spa pump on a timer. Visit the LCEC website for more energy saving tips and please report energy theft if you know about it. Don't let the cost of unsafe, unfair theft of power be passed along to you!
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