• Report: #826296

Complaint Review: independence energy alliance

  • Submitted: Sat, January 21, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, November 10, 2012

  • Reported By: numberonesuspects — neptune New Jersey United States of America
independence energy alliance
3711 market street, philadelhia pa philadelhia, Pennsylvania United States of America

independence energy alliance adagio energy, A Hidden Fee Is Theft By Deception philadelhia, Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: Who is the ripoff?

*UPDATE Employee: Consumer Misunderstanding Between Energy Supply and Energy Deliver

*General Comment: Questions regarding this complaint

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Energy Plus Holdings is large independent energy company that was established in 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company offers electric power supply through natural gas services and Energy Plus Holdings LLC. Energy Plus provides its services in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and much more. Energy Plus provides different options to consumers which search for non-polluting variants which reduce influence of traditional energy sources. The company also offers its customers special discounts on a number of products. Energy Plus is licensed by a number of authorities throughout several states of the country, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the New York Public Service Commission, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. 

Independence Energy Alliance is a subsidiary of Energy Plus. It costs $369 for their website, plus a $21 monthly service charge. An associate, emphasis is on encouraging others to become asssociates while inviting consumers to make the switch to green energy, for "free". They offer consumers an opportunity to save money on their energy bill, a 5% annual rebate (representing a percentage of that calender year's energy bill), surge protection, unemployment insurance and payment of that month's energy bill if service is interrupted.

Associates earn commissions on all active consumer accounts, plus bonuses and residuals. They also promote the "best" compensation package in the MLM business. However, theirs is identical to 5Linx.

I was brought in by Linda Doucette, whos father paid for my website, on the condition that I bring a certain number of customers in a specific period of time. I told Linda I was skeptical for one reason:

The free termination option did not protect me from a higher electric bill. Nothing prevented my energy bill from increasing, then i can terminate, but I still owe for a higher bill. She stated, "No, that would be fraud."  So, I agreed to join in. I even attended their October 25, 2010 seminar in Hoboken. I remember the date because its the same day i passed the driver's test and got my driver's license.

I switched my energy just to be sure. I was not going to sell or promote a fruadulent contract. I approached churches, business, organizations (PBA, PTA, etc), and apartment complex building managers. The goal is toget associates under you who bring accounts. Hence, it made sense to attract people in positions of trust who had acces to more than hundreds of people at once. I served 19 years in orison and its hard to find gainful employment. becoming an IEA associate sounded like an attractive deal. I could run my business via. email and be a stay at home dad and care for my son.

My first energy bill was more than $30 higher. The IEA energy rate was higher than my usual JCP&L rate. I called JCP&L and told them to terminate the green energy supplier. Then I called IEA and told them I no longer wanted to be an associate. The woman explained to me they (IEA) does not promote a lesser energy bill - I went to my website and read to them the information they gave me to promote.

Nothing with the information they provide informs the consumer they must pay the service charge. They only stated that green energy will by provided through "your current energy provider." generally, JCP&L charges a $30 service/delivery fee. She stated "That's why we give 5% cash back, to cover the service charge." The service charge is $360 a year, plus what i owe to IEA for the green energy. No matter how theytry to explain it away, the energy bill increases by the service charge and the higher IEA energy rate. She even had the audacity to tell me "Your bill was only $3 higher this month. 

Now termination is free but it takes a month. My second energy bill was more than $40 higher - after termination. 

MLM business train you to start with the "warm" market - family and friends. I would not have agreed to switch but that Linda Doucette told me it would be a crime for this to occur. I'm an ex-offendrr and do not have a steady, reliable income, i just had a son,. It made sense to lower already surmouting bills.

My mother in law trusted me after i told her what I was told. She knew why I didnt want to do it in the first place. I told all the organizations and people I contacted that I will do my energy bill first and let them see the savings themselves. My first associate would have been a manager of a 75 unit apartment building, a senior's complex, people who love to brag about how frugal they are. 

And its nothing but a scam. I told IEA they are not getting paid. The law cannot be expected to enforce a deceptive contract. You cannot deceive people about whats really entailed and seek to bail yourself out with fine print. Fineprint only means you knew I was going to find out how you robbed me, and nothing else.

I have emailed Linda Doucette - who hasnt contacted me since i told her about my higher electric bill. She lied to me. i didnt lose anything as her dad paid for the site. But if this was not a scam, it would have been a good source of income.

 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2012 12:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/independence-energy-alliance/philadelhia-Pennsylvania-/independence-energy-alliance-adagio-energy-A-Hidden-Fee-Is-Theft-By-Deception-philadelhi-826296. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Who is the ripoff?

AUTHOR: Dave - (United States of America)

It sounds like the real ripoff was the base company for your area JCP&L. With deregulation and open competition it sound like their strategy is to apply this rediculus "service fee" to discourage cutomers from leaving. That is not going to last long before the government steps in and tells them to stop that practice, if they don't get sued first. Independence alliance or any other competitive company cannot control what the current electric company a consumer is with, charges for servicing outside electric providers. This type of action shuts down the whole intent of deregulation. Rather than be the pawn of JCP&L and put something like this out there you would have been better served filing a complaint with some kind of consumer protection agency to stop this practice by JCP&L.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Consumer Misunderstanding Between Energy Supply and Energy Deliver

AUTHOR: IEACommunications - (United States of America)

This post is the result of a misunderstanding by the consumer on the difference between energy supply and energy delivery.  Independence Energy tried to work with this consumer to educate him on his areas of concern.

When a customer decides to switch from the utility to a retail energy supplier, the supplier of the energy will change, however, the delivery method will remain the same.  In this instance, although the customers source of energy switched to Independence Energy, the delivery was still through the local utility (JCP&L).

As this relates to billing, retail energy suppliers like Independence Energy  only charge for the supply of the energy- not the delivery.  Interestingly, at the time of the above post, Independence Energys rate per kilowatt hour was $.10925 versus JCP&Ls price to compare of $.11913.  Independence Energy does NOT, however, propose to always offer the lowest rate at all times.  The Independence Energy rate is variable and therefore subject to change.  We do aspire to price lower than the utility, but this is not a guarantee.This fact is explained to the customer at the time of their energy provider switch and is also included in the contractual agreement.

The only way to compare the cost of energy is to look at the rate per kilowatt hour.  To only look at the bill from one month to the next is quite deceiving as the electricity usage will vary. One cannot simply have a lower/higher bill from one month to the next and assume that they are paying less/more for their energy.  This is especially true for the author of this post.  In looking at this customers electric usage both before and during his time with Independence Energy, it is apparent that his varied greatly.    

The $30 delivery charge that the author of this post is concerned with was not a charge from Independence Energy.  Furthermore, his switch to an independent energy source in no way brought about this $30 delivery charge.  This charge came from his local utility (JCP&L) and would have been charged regardless of the customer exercising their choice to go with a retail energy supplier . 

We do, as addressed in this post, offer 5% and 10% cash back on electric usage every year to our customers.  This is NOT to cover any kind of charge on the consumers end and the author of this post was never told that by marketing materials or employees of Independence Energy.  This is simply an added benefit that we like to give our customers for choosing Independence Energy as their energy source.  Our customers receive 5% cash back when they choose our Green Plus product with 20% renewable energy (exceeding state minimum renewable requirements) and 10% cash back when they go completely green with our True Green 100% renewable product.  Additional benefits that we offer our customers are Unemployment Protection and Free Surge Protection. 

A power surge is a sudden increase in power and can occur at any moment, for a number of reasons. A power surge can severely damage home appliances and electronics. We guarantee up to $1000 in surge protection for all products that might be damaged in a power surge. Independence Energy customers are protected in the event of involuntary job loss. Independence Energys Unemployment Protection provides payment of all Independence Energy charges on the energy bill up to $300 per month for up to three months.

At Independence Energy we find that our customers are very happy and generally do not experience these kinds of situations.  We apologize for any misunderstanding that this customer experienced.  We pride ourselves on being an honest, open, and ethical company.  There are no hidden fees. Independence Energy is proud to offer consumers in NJ, PA, NY, IL, CT, and TX the power to choose affordable, renewable energy options to fit their financial and environmental needs. We encourage anyone reading this post to seek out the facts and learn more at www.chooseindependence.com

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#3 General Comment

Questions regarding this complaint

AUTHOR: jdomp23 - (United States of America)

My name is Joe P and I am very interested in joining Independence Energy Alliance.  I read your article and have some questions of my own before I venture down this road:
1- Who charged the $30 fee you mentioned?  And if charged by your local utility wouldn't that be illegal on their part?
2- Was the rate IE was charging less than the rate your local provider was charging?
3- Were you maybe on a budget plan with your local provider so your monthly bill was steady all year and through IE you were on a normal usage plan (so other months could have been much cheaper)
4- Would you be willing to email me a copy of your 2 bills and 2 previous so I could make a compairson?

I have been to 4 meetings + numerous conference calls and read the entire rules/regulations booklet.  I even took it to a lawyer to double check the legality.  The company seems legit.  The payplan is great and obviously the Product sells itself.  However if customers aren't saving money (or at least paying the same price with the added benefits) I would agree with your article.  Thats why I'd like to do a little research if this is just an isolated event or if something else went into the bill discrepancy.  Thank you in advance for any additional information you could provide. 
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