ED Magedson – Founder
On or around Dec 18th, 2009, a TXU door-to-door salesman came to my home trying to sell me on their service. I told them I currently had StarTex Power at a rate of 10.9 cents per kwh. He told me their current rate was higher at 11.9 cents per kwh but I would still save money because I wouldnt get additional charges StarTex was charging me. He circled charges on my bill to show me what I would be saving. The rep then told me I would get a partial bill from TXU in 2 weeks which would give me the opportunity to compare bills; at which time, if I was not satisfied I could call TXU and they would revert my account back to StarTex as if I never had their service.
At this point in time I told the rep I had a year contract with StarTex and the cancellation fee was $150.00. The rep told me not to worry because if I switched back within 30 days, StarTex could not charge the cancellation fee. Moreover, he went on to tell me I would not want to switch back after seeing my savings. Plus, I would get a $75.00 coupon and 3% back at the end of the year from all bills paid. Upon hearing this, I agreed to switch providers.
During the process of switching to TXU, the salesman made some calls and coached me on how to answer questions that were asked. He said I had to answer yes to every question being asked over the phone otherwise there would be a problem with setting up the service. He said the reps on the phone do not know anything regarding deals being offered, partial billings, or coupons; simply, their job is to ask pre-determined questions and/or read a manuscript given to them by their supervisor. In short, he convinced me it would be a waste of time to say anything but yes to the questions being asked or it would hold up the process.
So about 2 weeks after switching providers, I surprisingly received a bill from StarTex Power, which demanded their early cancellation fee of $150.00 be paid within 10 days or they would assess a late fee. I was surprised because I was told by the TXU sales rep that I had 30 days before they could assess the cancellation fee.
So I called TXU on Jan 05th, 2010 to inquire about the partial bill I was supposed to receive and they said I should get it anytime. They also informed me I had to pay StarTex because they were not responsible for late fees or contracts between me and other companies. So on the same day, I called StarTex and paid the $150.00 believing TXU would take responsibility for the termination fee if I decided to stay with StarTex.
At this point, I waited another week for the partial bill before calling TXU to inquire about its whereabouts. On Jan 15th, 2010 I called TXU and was told by a phone rep they had never heard of a partial billing. He said I would not receive a bill from TXU until after 30 days of being with them. Hearing this, I told him I wanted to switch back to StarTex because I was still within the first 30 days (I terminated services with StarTex on Dec. 18th, 2010). He then informed me I would have to call StarTex to do this. This contradicted the statement made to me by the first TXU door-to-door sales rep.
Ironically, about an hour after calling TXU, a new door-to-door TXU salesman came to my door to pitch me the same lie. I invited him in and video taped his sales pitch and all the promises he made: I even spoke to his supervisor on speaker phone and captured him on video making the same false promises I had been promised before. He said I could switch back without penalty from my current provider not only within the first 30 days, but after I received my first bill from TXU. And that if I was unhappy with TXUs billing, I could call TXU and they would switch me back; moreover, I would avoid the cancellation charge made by StarTex because of the time it would take for them to bill me.
On Jan 20th, 2010, I called TXU and asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor called me back and I told him my TXU bill was higher than my StarTex bill, which was not as promised by TXU. He said I was made aware of what TXU would charge and its not TXUs fault I signed a contract to switch. I told him I was suppose to get a partial billinghe said someone gave me the wrong information. I told him the TXU door salesman promised to switch me back at no chargehe said TXU wouldnt charge me anything for cancelling but they are not going to credit my account for any cancellation fees assessed from StarTex. In short, he said it did not matter what the TXU sales rep told me or that I videotaped the TXU door salesman making these promises because TXU has a signed contract from me agreeing to switch under their terms.
At this point I sent an email to TXU's complaint department to complain about the ordeal. A lady by the name of Kathy called me about a week later to discuss the issue. She agreed to give me a $150.00 credit and said she would try to find a plan similar to the one I had with StarTex (10.9c per kwh). At this time I was getting ready to switch providers before being locked into TXUs contract. But after talking to Kathy, I thought she was going to do the right thing and take care of me.
So I got a call from Kathy a week later and she said she they didnt have a long-term plan that could match StarTex Powers but I could switch to one of TXUs month-to-month plans for 10.9c per kwh. I said go ahead and switch me to the monthly plan. As she started to do so, she told me she had forgotten I was on a contract and she would have to talk to someone for approval. I agreed to wait to hear back from her.
About a week later, Kathy sent an email saying I had to keep my current plan because I was under contract. That if I switched to a month-to-month, TXU would charge me a $200.00 early cancellation fee. In response to the email, I said their decision was unfair and TXU should at least agree to waive the fee if I decided to switch plans.
A few days later I received a response from Kathy saying TXU had been fair. She noted that I was going to receive a $75.00 pre-paid Visa Card (from the coupon the salesman gave me) and a $150.00 credit. I responded to the email saying If you impose the $200.00 fee, I will be out of pocket at least $175.00 according to my calculations. ($150.00 fee paid to StarTex power + $25.00 difference from last month bill + around $25.00 difference for this months bill + $200.00 termination fee, minus $150.00 credit and $75.00 pre-paid Visa Card). ****And this does not include all my time having to deal with this issue.
I never heard back from TXU and last night I decided I didnt want to pay them another dime. So I called StarTex Power and switched back under a new 1-year contract at 10.3c per kwh. According to my calculations based on my average annual usage of 25,000 kwhs, I will save around $165.00/year.
In summary, beware of TXU door-to-door salesmen. They are trained to lie to get you to sign their contract. Once youve signed, TXUs customer service has you were they want youand of course you are powerless to fight them. So take my adviceif TXU comes a knockndont answer the door!!!! Youve been warned J J J
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2010 11:05 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/txu-energy/dallas-texas-75201/electrical-servicestxu-energytxu-energy-txu-txu-door-sales-f45a6htm-567975. 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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