I own a small coffee shop. As a small business owner in Chicago, I already know how screwed up the city is especially when it comes to energy. Just like any small business owner, I'm always looking for ways to save money. My business doesn't generate much money but enough to pay some of the bills to get by.
We all know that ComEd (Exelon Corporation) is the main energy provider here owning all the power lines, grids, etc... you name it they own it! But finally there are options! Champion Energy looked and sounded very promising when saving money for electric. So I'm 100% on board now. They provide energy to my business but ComEd will do the delivery and meter readings. Sounds great right?!
FIRST REDFLAG! - Weren't they suppose to save me money?
Well not so great. What they do is buy up energy from ComEd at a wholesale rates and resell them to customers. Well I didn't notice this till I received two bills, one from ComEd for delivery charges and the other from Champion Energy for energy charges. The billing from the two came out almost identical! Communication error between the two companies, not sure? But I let it slide.
SECOND REDFLAG! - Billing Idiots!
Their billing was all screwed up! I received my first couple of bills and noticed no savings there. Since I'm already locked in on their service contract I went ahead and paid. Then, I didn't get a bill for a good 6 months from them but was paying ComEd fully for the services. So, I'm thinking, oh maybe they combined the billing together. NOPE! that was not the case. They had a back log of my bill then sent them all at once. I received one bill after another for about 10-12 days straight totalling about $1,294.73 !
When I called, the customer service person tried to help me and stated I would have to pay half now and the other half in two weeks. Wait?! You guys screwed up and taking it out on the small guys! I don't believe I should be held responsible so I contacted ComEd and I received a letter from ComEd stating that my services were 100% with them and not Champion Energy. So does this mean I am no longer under contract? Sounds like it right? It doesn't make sense to be paying 2 electric utility companies right?
THIRD REDFLAG! - Collections
After receiving the letter from ComEd stating that I am with them 100%, I don't feel obligated to do any more business with Champion Energy nor am I responsible for their billing error. After all, I was still paying ComEd fully for all their services and energy the entire time. It just makes sense to pay the people who own the power correct?
So today I get a collections letter from GC Services Limited Partnership, a collections agency but not for the original amount that Champion Energy screwed up on. They are asking for amost DOUBLE THE AMOUNT, $2,480.61 !!!!
Lesson Learned- Don't fall for their misleading salesmanship. They are crooked and very unreasonable when dealing with their mistakes. Unfortunately, my business is hanging by a thread and will be closing the doors for good soon. But I wanted to make everyone aware of their business practice. Whether you own a business or home, stick with the power company that ACTUALLY OWNS THE POWER LINES. Champion Energy overall is pretty scummy.