Sam Houston Electric Co OP SHECO, Timestone Unfair and Unethical practices Livingston , Texas
*Consumer Comment: Utility companies
*Consumer Comment: I looked at their website and it appears they are definitely a straight Co-op..
I am low income and on Snap. My husband and I are relocating to Cleveland TX to be closer to his work and its alot cheaper than where we are. Contacted Sheco was told they cannot tell me what the deposit would be until after I did the application which I filled and mailed. Noone ever called me with the account information or the deposit information. We are moving Monday Jan 14,th today is Friday Jan 11, I called this morning to get my account # and was told the deposit would be $375. Not based on credit reports or anything I did or didnt do but because their standard deposit is $300 and there is a connect fee of $75. I asked if this can be split some this week rest next week told they dont do payment plans and they dont work have any programs or assistance for those of low income. " you pay the whole amount then we connect you." We have to be out of our place Monday and dont have the full amount so we will have to go there and live w/o electric for about 1 week. I went on their web page and saw they are not a real co op either. Real co ops are run by customers and customers have stock in this business and are to receive monthly dividands. They dont do this and customers cannot sit on the board to help decide rules. It is 100% run as a corporation. I also saw that if a customer is late with a payment but all bills are paid in full when Customer discontinues service they keep the full deposit. This is unlawful since the purpose of the deposit is only to secure payment and if the customer leaves owing $0.00 hey are entitled to return of full deposit. At worse case senario they take from the deposit any amount owed at time service ends and return the balance if applicable. Electric companies are supposed to have programs and contingencies in place for the low income and cannot leave a family in the cold just because they cannot afford their large deposit at 1 time. They charge the highest deposit in the state of TX. I have called around. Entergy is the 2nd largest that I know of with a deposit of $190 or 1/2 now 1/2 on 1st bill.
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