I haven’t been a user of Reliant Energy for more than one billing cycle, but I’m already facing disconnection, outright lies from customer service, stalling tactics, and impending disconnection.

As many of you are aware, I’ve recently had a child, as well as just recently have had to move. Those of you that listen to the podcast are probably aware that I’ve undertaken several new projects that have yet to start really paying off… so as you might imagine, finances are a bit tight at the moment.

Well, imagine my surprise last night when I received a bill (my first bill) from Reliant claiming that my payment of $418.55 was past due. $418.55 for the first month’s bill? This is after a $350.00 deposit that I paid roughly three months ago now.

Let’s start with what I was told when I signed up:

  • I was told that customer service would be available 24 hours a day.
  • I was told that customer service systems would not be primarily machine based, and that I could talk with humans.
  • I was told that when I had problems, customer service would be responsive to fix them.
  • I was told that I would be charged an up front deposit of $350, and no other fees other than my kW/h charges.
  • I was told that I would incur a nominal fee for transferring my service across town to the new apartment.
  • I was told I’ve have the lowest kW/h rate in the state.
  • I was told I’d have detailed billing.

As it turns out, Reliant has so far not been able to deliver on any of those claims:

  • Customer service lines are available 24/7, but most of the time, the interaction is strictly with machines. It’s about a 25 minute session of punching buttons and listening to recordings before a human will answer the phone. This takes time out of my day as well as runs up phone bills.
  • Once I reach a person, that person inevitably is unable to assist me and patches me through to a different department, one that apparently has no ability to figure out what the five-hundred buttons I pushed in the automated system were.
  • They have decided to add an additional $275 deposit because I moved 10 days after my service started.
  • They have decided not to return my prior deposit – no explanation given.
  • It is by no means the lowest kW/h in teh state.
  • My bill has absolutely no details on it.

Bottom line – avoid Direct Energy and Reliant Energy like the plague. Direct has a long history of crookery with me. Reliant seems intent on claiming the title of worst energy company evar for itself.

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