How Do Residential Electric Companies Trick Their Customers?

by admin on June 4, 2010

Residential Electric Service Comparison

Residential Electric Service Comparison

One of the most common ways a residential electric service company will trick new and even existing customers is to advertise a rate that does not include all charges.

What these electric service companies will do is hide the TDSP charges or ancillary and line loss fees from the advertised rate.

This is very deceptive even though they may stipulate this fact in small writing in their terms of service or contract.

My question to these disreputable electric service companies is why do they not include these fees in the glossy advertised rate if they have nothing to hide?

The reason is very simple. They can sign up a lot more customers if their electric rate looks cheaper than everyone else’s rate.

Every electric utility in the different deregulated states have their own set of rules that the PUC usually creates and enforces. Within these rules there is always the ability to wiggle out of the rule a little bit using some unethical tactics.

The legal point to consider as a residential electric service consumer is the fact that an electric company advertising a rate must make that rate obviously clear to the customer in the advertising they publish.

If it can be proven that the electric provider attempted to conceal some of the charges by fashioning some of the fees into the contract but not the ad than the customer can sue or at the very least complain to the PUC and recover any lost money.

Here are a few other tricks residential electric service companies have been known to use to trick their customers:

  • Offer a variable electric rate and then indiscriminately raise the price slowly each month regardless of real energy commodity conditions.
  • Offer an advertised rate but than switch the customer using a different rate and blame it on the time of switch being the rate that will be honored.
  • Advertising a rate that removes line loss charges and other misc fees and than tagging these back in to the electric bill in separate line items to look more official.

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