• Report: #998190
Complaint Review:

Public Utility Commission of Texas

  • Submitted: Wed, January 16, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, January 17, 2013

  • Reported By: C. D. — Carrollton Texas United States of America
Public Utility Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress Avenue, 7th Floor Austin, Texas United States of America

Public Utility Commission of Texas Has Thrown Poor Texans Under the Bus! Allows The Poor To Be Exploited and Held Hostage! Austin, Texas


*Consumer Comment: You are STILL saying that you should just be able to freely switch to another provider...

*Consumer Comment: I did what you said and...

*Consumer Comment: Wow...

*Author of original report: Stacey you're Dumb as a Doorknob...

*Author of original report: The Answers From Ken and Stacey Are Why We should ALWAYS Vote Democrat!

*Consumer Comment: Oh boo h*o

*Consumer Comment: What you're forgetting here is that these companies are NOT charities...

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In 2010, The Public Utility Commission of Texas, who are suppose to be looking out for ALL Texans, many of whom are poor, colluded with the powerful interests and lobbyists of the Electricity Providers to allow them to hold Texans HOSTAGE who could not pay their bill. Texans who were working out payment arrangements and who have fallen behind on their utility bill from job loss, illness, etc. are now forbidden from going anywhere else to get electricity and are being forced to live without electricity.

Go to various websites and Google "Switch Holds" and "Texas" and you will find that companies are forcing people who even call in "Before" their bills are even due to ask for a few extra days to agree to give up their free market rights to be able to choose different electricity providers. Companies are forcing everyone to agree to have their accounts held hostage or they won't work with you at all no matter how good a customer you've been. [continued below]....

Especially First Choice Power.

There have been people forced to stay in places without electricity with small children in freezing temperatures because First Choice Power and others chose to bully them and would not allow them to even start making payments on a balance holding out to get the entire amount.

It was stated with the PUC came up with this, Commissioner Kenneth Anderson was worried it would one day be abused. It is now being abused.

Shame on Donna Nelson, Kenneth Anderson Jr. and Rolando Pablos for buckling under pressure and agreeing with these powerful groups to, in my opinion, strip the rights away from Texans! They don't care about the average, hardworking Texan because they were appointed by the Governor who doesn't seem to be the brightest bulb in the shop!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/16/2013 08:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/public-utility-commission-of-texas/austin-texas-78701/public-utility-commission-of-texas-has-thrown-poor-texans-under-the-bus-allows-the-poor-998190. 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


AUTHOR: Kelly - (USA)

    I have also filed a separate complaint of my own on different grounds. I notice that the agency is heavily stuffed with Rick Perry appointees who I believe are big business cronies and are not looking out for the best interest of consumers. They are instead trying to help the utility industry increase its profits.

     One concern I have is the use of purposely misleading advertising by greedy electric utilities. I singled out one company that I thought was really bad about using the internet to mislead consumers regarding charges for electricity. If you don't read every single paragragh and every hidden piece of information you can easily be misled or tricked into agreeing to something you really did not agree to. If you have a complaint about a company's failure to make the proper disclosures, unfair billing, etc., this agency will always find an excuse to side with greedy unethical electric utilities.

      The business model that these companies use calls for purposely misleading some of their customers regarding charges and then soaking them for sky-high early termination fees, and/or other inflated charges. My specific complaint is against Bounce Energy but I strongly suspect that there are others who are also bad.


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#2 Consumer Comment

You are STILL saying that you should just be able to freely switch to another provider...


while "stiffing" your current provider.

Being a drama queen, you throw in politics, humane treatment and as Robert points out exaggerate the "problem" as you see it.

Aren't you missed at the local occupy movement?

You know, where the participants want what others have worked for?

Obama is their friend, he and the Dems (Socialists) love giving the working man's earnings to the ones clamoring for "equality."

I don't see that you have any complaint whatsoever.

You just want to skip from one provider to another when the bills are past due.

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#3 Consumer Comment

I did what you said and...

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

you are not telling the entire story.   The very first link that comes up when I put in "switch hold texas" is a link from the Texas PUC.


The major change is that customers who enter into one of these plans cannot switch to a new retail electric provider (REP) until they have a zero balance with their REP.

- So you are right a person who enters into a payment arrangement are barred from switching electricity providers.  But you are inferring in this and your other report is that the hold is permanent.  That is incorrect.  It is only in effect while you have a past due balance.  Once you are current you would then be free to go where ever you want.

Now, if your intention is to switch providers and leave a past due balance with the old provider..then don't get into any payment arrangements.  But eventually using this method you are going to run out of providers and are eventually going to have to pay your back balances to find someone to provide electricity to you. 

One other thing...if as in your other complaint the company makes it permanent..then file a complaint with the PUC because that is not what their regulation states.
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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jack - (United States of America)

So the folks who supposedly believe in "Free Market" principles are now holding customers hostage until they pay their bills?! Lolol!!

Sounds more like Communist China if you ask me. This could only happen in Texas.
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#5 Author of original report

Stacey you're Dumb as a Doorknob...

AUTHOR: P.P. - (United States of America)

Stacey, who cares if you are unemployed? First of all. This complaint wasn't about you. It was about people being legally allowed to be HELD HOSTAGE by businesses and cut off from a vital and sometimes life enabling resource such as electricity! What if they depend on medical machines which rely on Electrical power?

How is it that a business, ANY BUSINESS, can get special approval to forever FORBADE and RESTRICT people from going to their competition unless they extract all monies and payments FIRST? Why doesn't the telephone companies, car companies, hospitals, private schools, and ANY OTHER CREDITOR be allowed to do the SAME THING? Don't you think they would jump at the chance?!!!

Yes! Of course they would! But it goes against FREE MARKET PRINCIPLES. A business is just that A BUSINESS! They have to assume certain RISK. They ask for things such as deposits and are able to pull credit scores for this reason! Why do they also need the power to hold folks HOSTAGE!?

ONLY IN RICK PERRY'S TEXAS. You Texans are nothing more than a bunch of backwoods, high water, ignorant, racist, hateful rednecks and this PROVES that you all are just a bunch of idiots! Who the heck votes for someone that will allow people to be held HOSTAGE!

This is just as stupid as the folks in Tennessee voting for a system where they will allow your house to burn down over $75 dollars. Those folks were Republican too. You folks are some scary people. That's for sure. But that will be changing as I mentioned in a just a FEW YEARS.

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#6 Author of original report

The Answers From Ken and Stacey Are Why We should ALWAYS Vote Democrat!

AUTHOR: P.P. - (United States of America)

I knew I would get the sarcastic, callous "Let them eat dirt, while we eat cake" responses from Texas Republicans. The Two answers above from Ken and Stacey show why the Republicans will continue to lose elections on a nationwide level and hey guys you shouldn't get to cocky because in a couple of years Texas will be trending BLUE! due to the demographics changes taking place not just in Texas but all over this country. You guys are not that bright. I never said ONCE that electricity companies were charities but either you believe in FREE MARKET PRINCIPLES or you DON'T.  Why give these businesses an UNFAIR BUSINESS ADVANTAGE where they can hold people hostage if they don't pay? Why give the businesses an incentive to NOT work with these people because they KNOW they CAN LEGALLY HOLD THEM HOSTAGE?

Why not give this same unfair business advantage to other companies. Here's a suggestion. Why not make it where if a person gets sick and doesn't have insurance and falls on hard times and can't pay their hospital bills if they stiff one hospital they can NEVER, EVER to to another hospital? Until they pay the last hospital? Or what about Food. If they stiff the food man because they have a job loss, why not make it so that they STARVE?

President Obama said just today that the Republicans hate "Big Government" and "Government contracts" EXCEPT when it comes to the MILITARTY CONTRACTORS IN THEIR DISTRICTS and then they fight tooth and nail for GOVERNMENT MONEY..LOL!

You can't have it both ways. There has to be a more HUMANE WAY... (I know you guys probably don't know what HUMANE means so why not GOOGLE IT).. But there has to be a more humane way to allow people to have utilities and not be forced to sit with their children in freezing temperatures while they beg and plead to have the utility company work out something. I mean really, why WOULD a utility company even agree to a payment plan then WHEN THEY KNOW THEY HAVE YOU!? When they know THEY DON'T HAVE TO BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO BE HELD HOSTAGE?!

And why is it that utility companies in OTHER STATES can do without switch holds but the utility companies in Texas are so spoiled by these Republicans nuttcases that they simply cannot FUNCTION "UNLESS" they are able to HOLD PEOPLE WHO FALL ON HARD TIMES HOSTAGE?

The answers above show why we MUST vote these republicans OUT OF OFFICE. THe same folks who came out to vote in the Presidential Elections NOW need to vote in all the midterm elections. These moneygrubbing Republicans MUST GO. If you can't hack it being allowed to charge deposits and pull credit scores and take RISK like every other business owner YOU SHOULDN'T BE IN BUSINESS!
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#7 Consumer Comment

Oh boo h*o

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

I pay my bills and I am unemployed!! Just a matter of checks and balances.  I prefer to get heat and light versus luxuries like every other person who is in the same situation. Don't like it call your state rep or congressperson.
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#8 Consumer Comment

What you're forgetting here is that these companies are NOT charities...


If some don't pay their bills, others have to make up for it in higher rates.

Of course this is form of socialism favored by Democrats and entitlement biased individuals.

By "colluding" with the powerful interests to protect the companies and their PAYING customers.

Not a Ripoff at all.

No, I DON'T work for them or any other power company.
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