• Report: #766463

Complaint Review: Southern California Edison

  • Submitted: Wed, August 17, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, August 20, 2011

  • Reported By: I Hate SCE Crooks — Los Angeles California USA
Southern California Edison
Los Angeles, California United States of America

Southern California Edison SCE -- Fraudulent Returned Check Charges Los Angeles, California

*Consumer Comment: I gave the OP the benefit of the doubt......

*Author of original report: Poor, Dear Robert

*Consumer Comment: It does?

*Author of original report: REAL SCE CUSTOMERS, PLEASE BE ADVISED

*Consumer Comment: I'm shocked

*Consumer Comment: You really misunderstand how payment systems work.

*Consumer Comment: Another mental genius accusing rebuttal

*Author of original report: ANOTHER SCE WORKER OR SHAREHOLDER

*Author of original report: SOUNDS LIKE YOU WORK FOR SCE

*Consumer Comment: YOU admit, YOU screwed up.

*Consumer Comment: YOU admit, YOU screwed up.

*Consumer Comment: Barking up the wrong tree.

*Consumer Comment: Your Wrong

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I paid my electricity bill online, receiving no error messages during the process and a payment confirmation number at the end. Nearly 2 weeks later, I received an e-mail threatening disconnection. When I called SCE, I was told the payment had not gone through after all because of a typo - one incorrect digit - on my checking account number.  Immediately I went back online and paid the bill in full.  My next bill from SCE showed a $9.00 "Returned check charge" for a minor typo!  This is unreasonable, and unjustified because no check was returned or even involved.  Further, typically, a mistyped checking account number will return some kind of error message by the online payment program, but none was received here, and the payment was fully confirmed.  Thus, I thought everything was fine and had no way of even knowing about the typo -- if there even was such a typo at all.

BEWARE!!! I think SCE has devised another consumer rip-off scam here. By giving the false impression that my account was paid in full, then waiting 2 weeks to send me an E-MAIL notice (which had a completely vague subject line that didn't even hint that this was a disconnect notice), I think what they wanted was to disconnect my electricity to generate even higher reconnection fees. But, because I know SCE is full of dirty tricks, I went on and read that e-mail instead of ignoring it, and paid the bill before they got a chance to shut the power off. So all they could do was drum up a bogus "returned check charge, " which they refused to reverse, forcing me to waste time filing a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission. BE WARNED!!! SCE is unethical and guilty of a number of fraudulent consumer practices! This is just their latest scheme! DON'T PAY YOUR BILL ONLINE ANYMORE!! SEND THEM A PHYSICAL CHECK!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/17/2011 03:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Southern-California-Edison/Los-Angeles-California-/Southern-California-Edison-SCE-Fraudulent-Returned-Check-Charges-Los-Angeles-Californi-766463. 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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4Author 9Consumer 0Employee/Owner
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#1 Consumer Comment

I gave the OP the benefit of the doubt......

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

but now there is no doubt.   You will go through life ranting about "little" wrongs you've done to yourself. 

It's SO easy to blame others and NEVER take responsibility.


Your most recent juvenile responses do, indeed, show your true character.  I want to wish you the life you deserve.

Sincere sympathy to the SCE employees having to deal with this "customer."
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#2 Author of original report

Poor, Dear Robert

AUTHOR: I Hate SCE Crooks - (USA)

Good one!  LMAO!  ;-D
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#3 Consumer Comment

It does?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

And you, Robert, not only devoting precious time researching, but actually citing pages of fine print from SCE's website on its behalf (which you apparently either didn't bother to read carefully, or can't understand, because it actually proves my point)!!!
- It proves you're point?  I would like to know how you think you're point was proven.  After all if your going to say something like that I hope you come back and post why you think your correct in what you think it says.

It says you are responsible for making sure your account number is correct.  It says that if the payment is not honored by the bank you may be charged a fee.  Granted it doesn't say what that fee is and it does say may(which means they can), but as I stated earlier $9 is actually very reasonable compared to other companies.  I also didn't really take any time researching what was posted.  If I had I am sure I could have found additional regulations that allow them to charge the specific amount of $9.

But, really, sweeties, because someone makes an innocent typo does not mean they're stupid or bad,
- I never used the words stupid or bad..just wrong.  People make mistakes all the time as you have pointed out.  But when you are wrong you need to take responsibility for your mistakes.  If you go through life thinking it is okay to type in 1 number wrong when dealing with account numbers you are eventually going to get burned again...and again..and again.
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#4 Author of original report

REAL SCE CUSTOMERS, PLEASE BE ADVISED

AUTHOR: I Hate SCE Crooks - (USA)

Dear Robert, Flynrider, and Ken:

This is so sad.  If you're not SCE employees, then you're pretty pathetic.  What kind of real people have time or the interest to sit around waiting for complaints against multi-million dollar -- probably multi-billion dollar -- utility monopolies to pounce on them like beasts with not one, but multiple, instantaneous rebuttals!!!!!  And you, Robert, not only devoting precious time researching, but actually citing pages of fine print from SCE's website on its behalf (which you apparently either didn't bother to read carefully, or can't understand, because it actually proves my point)!!!  But, wow!!!  What amazing dedication  -- or what hopeless stupidity and boredom.  Talk about needing to get a life!  Poor you!  With apparently NOTHING to do -- and not even the good sense to spend your online time doing something more interesting than Googling and defending complaints against SCE over bogus $9 bill charges!  Especially when you're not even getting paid.  Sad.

But, giving you the benefit of the doubt --  that you're not idiots but have some kind of vested interest in SCE -- which would make you look a whole lot better, trust me -- then what an unsophisticated, unprofessional, abusive way to handle customers!!!

Robert:  "Did SCE put your account number in wrong?  No they did not..YOU did."  "Oh wait, I live in reality.  I am sorry to burst what ever bubble you are living in..."  

Flynrider:  "Looks more like you're wasting the PUC's time with your ridiculous complaint. " 

Ken:  "What did you report to the PUC?  That you stupidly made a typo and had to pay a fee for it?"  (Emphasis added.)

All of you sound like you're about 11, with no business sense whatsoever.  (And, Robert, you really should learn the difference between "your" and "you're" when trying to put someone on blast:  "YOUR WRONG"???)  And all of you, not even on the clock, valiantly defending SCE's practice of charging $9 for typos with zeal and wrath!  Absolutely hopeless.

But, really, sweeties, because someone makes an innocent typo does not mean they're stupid or bad, or that they should be charged for it.  Where's the humanity in that?  But, oh, wait.  I forgot.  SCE doesn't care about humanity.  It only cares about profits.   And it's apparently saving a whole bunch of money on employees like you.
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#5 Consumer Comment

I'm shocked

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I am totally shocked that I have been called an employee.  This has never happened before I don't even know what to say.  I guess the OP must be right and everyone else is wrong.

Oh wait, I live in reality.  I am sorry to burst what ever bubble you are living in but I am not now, nor have I ever worked for SCE or any utility company.  Oh and you are still wrong many ways.  As has been explained you have a vision of ACH transactions that don't exist, so I won't rehash that. 

But there are a couple of other statements.

I had no need to go looking to see if it had actually been withdrawn from my bank account.  Do you do that kind of double-checking on each of your bills?  Of course not!  So stfu!
- I find it very hard to believe that you do all of this On-Line bill pay with your accounts yet you don't do it with your bank account, instead waiting for the monthly statement..so I call BS on that.  As for double-checking to make sure my payments went though..Yep I sure do takes me just a couple of minutes to review my on-line account with what I know should be posted because I keep a written register.

There is no such disclosure, and there is no law allowing for such charge (as there is in the case of actual bounced checks), therefore, SCE has no right to charge it.
- Incorrect.  This IS in the terms you agreed to when you signed up to pay your bills on-line.  I may be the only one that posted(other than the OP) that is actually an SCE customer so I don't know if the terms are accessible to everyone else, so here is the important text below.
--------
ONLINE BILLING, ONLINE PAYMENT, DIRECT PAYMENT
Terms & Conditions
You may use Southern California Edison Companys (SCE) online
services Online Billing, Online Payment and Direct Payment
(collectively referred to as SCEs Online Services) offered through
SCEs online My Account service system, only if you are a customer of
SCE, properly register a user name and password, and agree to these
Terms and Conditions.

11.
Contact and Banking Information. As a user of SCEs
Online Services, it is your responsibility to ensure that your contact
and other required information such as your name and email address, and
to the extent applicable, your Bank Account information, is current,
accurate, and updated promptly
. If you enroll in Direct Payment,
automatic payments will continue to be processed against the Bank
Account information on file until your notice of change has been
received and processed by SCE. Changes to your contact and other
information can be made online by selecting Update Your Profile from
any screen within My Account.
12.
Fees. SCE does not charge you any fees for using the
Online Services. However, if you are using Online Payment or Direct
Payment, your Financial Institution may charge you fees related to your
Bank Account, including transaction fees or fees for attempting
transfers without sufficient funds. If a transaction is not honored by
your Financial Institution, fees may be charged to your SCE account
. SCE
reserves the right to begin charging fees for SCEs Online Services
after reasonable notice is provided to customers using Online Services.
-----------------------------------------------

I put the sections that the OP will probably find very interesting in bold.  The transaction was NOT honored because it was the wrong account so they got charged a fee.  The OP can complain to the PUC (actually the CPUC) all they want but since every fee and term is regulated by them.  I can just about guarantee that they not only know about this fee...they APPROVED it.
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#6 Consumer Comment

You really misunderstand how payment systems work.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

There is no such disclosure, and there is no law allowing for such charge (as there is in the case of actual bounced checks), "

   I tried to explain this previously.   An electronically bounced check is the same as a paper bounced check.   A check is a check.  Since you seem to understand that there can be a charge for a bad paper check, why don't you think this would apply to an electronic check?  

   Also, your assumption of what happens when your payment is confirmed is flawed.   I think you are assuming that you know what is supposed to happen, but I'm willing to bet that you have no practical knowledge about how these systems are designed to work.   The amount of account verification that can happen in the process is not even close to what you assume it to be.   There is more verification done if you pay with a credit card and very little verification possible with electronic checks.

   The confirm number you receive is merely an acknowledgement that you made a payment on a certain date and time.  Not that they payment was good.   Think of a confirm as a receipt.  If you walk into the main office and pay your bill with a paper check, you might receive a receipt acknowledging that you made a payment on a certain date and time.   Does the fact that you have a receipt in your hand guarantee that the check you gave them was good?   Of course not!  They won't find out until your check makes it to the bank.  Your receipt ( or confirm ) is not going to mean anything if the check turned out bad when it got to the bank.   That is exactly what happened to you, except that the instruments were electronic rather than paper.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Another mental genius accusing rebuttal

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

authors of working for the company.

A typical, over-used tactic of those with no cogent argument.



You would make a great lawyer...requiring businesses to post all details of their business, such as "penalty for typos."

That's just plain STUPID.  If your payment isn't made on time, and it's YOUR OWN fault, blame everyone but yourself...how juvenile...get a life.



This is no Ripoff unless you count the poor SCE employees who had to deal with your arrogant self.

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#8 Author of original report

ANOTHER SCE WORKER OR SHAREHOLDER

AUTHOR: I Hate SCE Crooks - (USA)

If SCE is entitled to charge $9 for typos, then it is obligated to so advise consumers, clearly and in writing, on its bill payment website.  There is no such disclosure, and there is no law allowing for such charge (as there is in the case of actual bounced checks), therefore, SCE has no right to charge it.  Vendors who process electronic payments as electronic checks require a check number and instruct the customer to void the corresponding physical check.  So, no, this was not an electronic check. 

And, as a taxpayer, I have a right to file any complaint I want with the PUC, but I don't appreciate fraudulent business practices that require me to waste my time doing so.

Bottom line is, if SCE wants to play cheap games like this, then consumers will just stop paying their bills online, in which case SCE will have to re-hire all the employees it has gotten rid of over the years to process all the checks coming in and all the walk-in payments.  Fine with me.
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#9 Author of original report

SOUNDS LIKE YOU WORK FOR SCE

AUTHOR: I Hate SCE Crooks - (USA)

No, actually you're wrong.  I pay nearly all my bills online, and have certainly made similar typos in the past, but never before have I been financially penalized for it.  The whole purpose of the payment confirmation process is for the program to verify the checking account or credit card number, and avoid mistakes like this.  Otherwise, payment confirmation is a waste of time that makes no sense.  I have certainly received error messages indicating an incorrect account number on other online bill paying sites, providing for the opportunity to correct it before the payment was processed and thereby avoiding the hassle and inconvenience of having a vendor come back weeks later claiming the payment didn't go through.  And "weeks" later for an electronic transaction that travels through the system close to the speed of light is ridiculous on its face!  No, it's a scam.

Further, to charge someone a penny for a typo is an extremely poor way to maintain good customer relations.  Firms that do strive to build good customer relations certainly do recognize that we're human and may make a typo or two when inputting information online, and they don't charge for these kinds of inadvertent errors.  But, of course, if you're a monopoly and don't have to worry about customer relations because your "customers" don't have any choices in selecting who to buy their electricity from -- which is the real source of the problem --  then, yes, you might try low class cheap tricks like this to generate extra revenue.  Charging $9 for a typo is an abuse of the spirit of the law that allows the imposition of sanctions to discourage the deliberate tender of a bad checks, and to compensate merchants for costs incurred for the physical processing of checks actually returned by a bank.   SCE's abuse of such laws amounts to customer abuse as well.

SCE has already been fined $30 million for customer fraud by the PUC -- which is an extremely utility-friendly agency, by the way, indicating that the fraud was so egregious that even the PUC couldn't figure out a way to overlook it (see online article in L.A. Times).   And, by the way, SCE is apparently looking for extra revenue right now because it has a rate increase application pending with the PUC as we speak.  So, yes, this is probably another scheme to defraud its "customers" (more like victims) and generate more profits for wealthy CEO and shareholders.

Oh, and my bank sends monthly -- not weekly -- statements, so your assertion that I should have noticed this payment was missing from my bank statement is stupid.  The statement hadn't yet been issued, and because I was given the false impression that the payment had gone through, I had no need to go looking to see if it had actually been withdrawn from my bank account.  Do you do that kind of double-checking on each of your bills?  Of course not!  So stfu!
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#10 Consumer Comment

YOU admit, YOU screwed up.

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

Get over it.  A $9 fee is nothing in today's banking business.



They "forced" you to file a complaint with the PUC?  This must be an all powerful company....wow!



What did you report to the PUC?  That you stupidly made a typo and had to pay a fee for it?



I think you should send paper checks, only, as you have stated, you're obviously an error prone typer and can't deal with the result of YOUR error.....grow up.



Since you made the statement, what other unethical and fraudient business practices is SCE guilty of?

Careful, they may sue you if you're untruthful.



You are really reaching to file a Ripoff Report on this non-event.



A minor typo on a bank account is a lot like "just a little pregnant", it has a big effect on the outcome.

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#11 Consumer Comment

YOU admit, YOU screwed up.

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

Get over it.  A $9 fee is nothing in today's banking business.



They "forced" you to file a complaint with the PUC?  This must be an all powerful company....wow!



What did you report to the PUC?  That you stupidly made a typo and had to pay a fee for it?



I think you should send paper checks, only, as you have stated, you're obviously an error prone typer and can't deal with the result of YOUR error.....grow up.



Since you made the statement, what other unethical and fraudient business practices is SCE guilty of?

Careful, they may sue you if you're untruthful.



You are really reaching to file a Ripoff Report on this non-event.



A minor typo on a bank account is a lot like "just a little pregnant", it has a big effect on the outcome.

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#12 Consumer Comment

Barking up the wrong tree.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

".  My next bill from SCE showed a $9.00 "Returned check charge" for a minor typo! "

   That's because your payment was processed as an electronic check.  A bad electronic check is the same as a bad paper check.  Actually, most businesses charge more for a bad paper check.

 " Further, typically, a mistyped checking account number will return some kind of error message by the online payment program"

   That depends on which digit you typed incorrectly.  If it's in something like the bank routing number, there's a chance that the program will detect it.   If it's in your individual account number, it won't be detected until it's presented to the bank (and rejected).

"So all they could do was drum up a bogus "returned check charge, " which they refused to reverse, forcing me to waste time filing a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission."

  It was your mistake.   They forced you to waste your time complaing to the PUC?  Looks more like you're wasting the PUC's time with your ridiculous complaint.   Maybe they'll post about you.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Your Wrong

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Did SCE put your account number in wrong?  No they did not..YOU did.

When you submit a payment on-line it is processed through an ACH transaction(basically an Electronic Check).  They don't do any verification at the point you submit your payment.  And before you go off on some tangent this is not some vast conspiracy to get more fees, that is just the way ACH transactions work.

So you could have 1 digit or every digit wrong.  They won't know until they batch process all of the ACH transactions.  The bank is not going to guess that you actually meant something else if the number is wrong they are just going to reject it.  Because the account number YOU entered was wrong it was RETURNED and why you got the fee.

Actually if they only charged you $9 for this that is a bargin.  Most companies will charge you between $20 and $40 for a return fee.  So take this as a very cheap lesson learned to double and triple check your account numbers.

By the way according to you the first time you heard about this was about 2 weeks later.  If you thought it was paid how come you didn't notice that the payment you made never came out of your account?  How come it took them to tell you that the payment wasn't made?
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