Direct Energy’s $1,320 cancellation fee

August 22 2008 by Ellen Roseman

I wrote a column about Direct Energy’s latest marketing tactic. I’ve been hearing from other in the same jam. Some are posting comments here.

The game is to go after people who have contracts with other energy suppliers. Direct Energy’s sales agents say it’s OK to switch in midstream. Any problems will be taken care of.

Of course, this is nonsense. Customers soon get calls from their existing suppliers, warning them of the need to pay cancellation fees if they leave. Many say “OK, I’ll stay.”

A few months later, they hear that Direct Energy is zapping them them with a $1,320 penalty. This is much higher than the fees they’d have had to pay if they’d left their existing suppliers. Often, their account is already with a collection agency (called CGC).

The game is over, DE executives now tell me. The company has high ethical standards and won’t stand for misrepresentation. It will refuse to compensate agents who sign deals with those already under contract with another energy marketer.

Direct Energy has been undoing all these contracts signed under duress and releasing people from that onerous $1,320 penalty.

This is a window of opportunity for customers stuck between two energy sellers. Send me an email with your name, address and phone number and I’ll advocate for you, as I’ve done for so many others.

Meanwhile, remember that natural gas prices are coming down, unlike what you hear from salespeople. Check my recent column.

115 comments

  1. Ryan

    Jan 20 2010

    I have been renting in a Minto terrace home since September of 2007 and recently gave notice to Minto that I was moving. I am moving into a family member’s basement to save money for a down payment on a home. I am not responsible for any utilities.

    I recently received a letter from Direct Energy, saying that if I was cancelling my services I would be charged an exit fee of approximately $780.

    I had been talked into signing one of these fixed rate contracts in the summer of 2008 by a Direct Energy rep that came to my door. He said my rates would increase unless I signed a contract.

    Not once did he mention anything about a cancellation or exit fee. I had said that I was renting the unit and was unsure how long I would be staying in that unit.

    About a month ago, there was another issue I encountered. I received a knock on my door from a field worker at Ottawa Hydro, who informed me that my lines had been crossed with another unit on my street.

    So for over 2 years, I had been paying and receiving another unit’s energy bills, and when I signed the Direct Energy contract it was based on the usage that I had been receiving on my bills, which in fact was incorrect as there were issues with the lines.

    I then received a massive invoice from Ottawa Hydro for over $2,200. I have since resolved part of that issue with them, but since I was going through Direct Energy, they needed to recoup some of their money as well.

    All in all, this crossed lines issues has caused me numerous problems for something which I had no knowledge of the entire time I lived there.

    I feel as though that the exit fees for the Direct Energy plan should be voided. I signed it under false pretenses from the sales representative, and it was based on problematic billing / a hydro line issue.

  2. Liban

    Jan 24 2010

    Ellen, please help us, my wife signed a contract with DE about December 2008. My wife did not understand what she was getting into.

    We emigrated to Canada about 10 years ago and we had never paid utilities because we always lived in apartment buildings and it was included in the rent. Now we live in a townhouse.

    I have spoken to DE reps about our bills and why they’re so high, especially my hydro bill. To make my story short, DE have give me $0.2999 on my gas untill my contract finishes.

    I have just cancelled my electricity because our bill was so high, $300 to $400. We didn’t know the extra money we pay every month to the government because third-party was involved, which is DE. We used to pay $100 to $150 before the contract and this is ridiculous. They are now asking as to pay $600 for early exit fees.

  3. Dave

    Jan 24 2010

    Thank you, Canada, once again for sticking it to the working man.

    After discussing utility bills with friends and neighbours, I was disgusted to learn I have been paying almost double. And why? because I enrolled in a scam called Just Energy which, by their sales pitch, was going to save me money.

    These people are scam artists, they should be incarcerated. Where is this country headed when our government allows people to do this?

    We allow foreign companies to buy our resources (Vale Inco), try and break unions and lower our standard of living, We have a disregard for our environment and have not addressed the problem with our economy, Afghanistan etc.

    Now our own leaders, who were elected to Pariament, have decided to take a break and forget about all the issues that need to be addressed. Wake up Canada.

    I will be paying the fee to exit from the Just Energy scam. Please educate yourself and family before you agree to anything. I am totally embarrassed and disgusted to be a Canadian.

  4. AJ

    Feb 2 2010

    I would highly advise anyone to please beware if you receive any phone calls from Direct Energy, as they use/manipulate with statistics in order to get you to lock in a fixed rate for a number of years.

    What is worse is the fact that they make you feel that the gas prices will definitely be increasing. And to add insult to injury, it is all legal.

    When I was contacted by Direct Energy, they didn’t mention anything about a cancellation fee nor did they say anything about paying the early exit fee when you have sold your house. I now have to pay over $1,000. This is unacceptable.

    I wish people had more awareness about this “legal scam” called Direct Energy.

  5. Bob

    Feb 2 2010

    I got into that contract bulls*** also — $3,500 to cancel, paying about $150 more a month. Imagine that. I need help.

  6. Rick Taylor

    Feb 3 2010

    We had our house for sale with a sign on the lawn when the DE salesperson knocked on the door. We explicitly pointed out the house was for sale and would not be there long. Not a problem were told.

    Now we get Bond Collections trying to recover money for gas used by the people who bought our house. Apparently, we were supposed to take the contract with us. If they can get gas on my street, I’ll be pleased to complete the contract.

    I was told by the collection agency to prove I didn’t use gas. I took pictures of my heat pumps and sent them to Brandon at Bond Collections. It bounced back.

    I’ve called and left messages and nobody returns calls, but they continue to send letters.

    Avoid this scamming company like the plague!

  7. Jan

    Feb 9 2010

    Need help… I have spent over 30 hours on the phone with Direct Energy.

    My 2009 bills have totaled $7,800 and my house is only 2,500 sq ft. I have a brand new HE furnace and my bill is $1,000.

    My contract was over in Dec 2009 but still getting billed from DE…I can’t get any answers and I’m going to seek legal help. Any advice?

  8. Mike

    Feb 10 2010

    Hi. We have the same issue. We actually sold the house that we signed up under and now live in a new house.

    We didn’t know we had to notify them about the sale and somehow they were able to find us and contact us and now they said that the contract is still valid even if we sold the house!

    They are now charging us exit fees and our account is with the collection agency.

    Are we still bound to the contract even if we sold the house?? thanks. Please help us, Ellen.

  9. Jolene

    Feb 15 2010

    DE seems to be doing everything they can to literally steal money from people. My family purchased a new furnace installation through DE. In Dec/09 it was paid off entirely in a lump sum payment of nearly $4000.

    Since then, we have been continually billed, informed that we have not made payments at all in spite of their own billing statement sent to us stating that the money was received it was not apparently applied to the account.
    Now this month we receive notice that payments are past due, the nearly $4000 payment shows no where on the statement and nearly $1000 has been added to the total amount owed.

    There are no answers from anyone at DE. Customer service insists that the $4000 must have been applied to another account we hold with them. We have no other accounts or contracts with this company. The bank shows this money was taken from our accounts, but DE says they do not have it even when their statements say they do.

    This is no small sum of money to anyone, especially these days. We paid off the entire amount of the furnace because on several occasions before they lost hundreds of dollars in payments we made to them. They were simply never applied to the account. We just wanted to be done with them.

    Now I have a mother who is beyond stressed over this, terrified that the continual late charges being applied to her are going to ruin her credit rating. I’ve had to take the entire situation away from her literally out of the fear that she’ll give herself a heart attack trying to deal with these people. But I have no idea what to do now, hire a lawyer at the expense of several more thousand dollars?

    Where do we turn when a corporation is stealing from us?

  10. DOC

    Feb 23 2010

    I am currently waiting to hear the results of an “investigation” into my situation, from a utility retailer. I have my own similar story to tell. I just can’t get over how many consumer complaints can be found, all over the internet, about these companies! These retailers should be prohibited from soliciting sales door-to-door. They have been around long enough, that people who want a fixed rate contract, know where to find them! It’s very unfortunate that they seemingly make more money from cancelling contracts than actually selling energy! Don’t sign anything at the door, no matter what!

  11. Sanjay Patel

    Feb 24 2010

    My Natural Gas contract got automatically extended with Direct Energy after my previous contract had ended at more than 3 times current flex rate of $0.12/cubic meter for natural gas supply charge, I am paying $0.378/cubic meter now. I had no idea that the contract would get renewed automatically and at a very high rate. The only reason for me noticing the issue was that I had a residential bill over $400, ouch. I enquired with Enbridge about the supply rate not knowing that my contract was still with Direct Energy, it should have ended in October of 2009. I learnt that I am automatically stuck with a contract renewal for another 1 year, previous contract was 5 year. I had not read my bill carefully until a very large bill came and that is why I started to make enquires. This corporation is deceiving and not moral. After I had gotten myself stuck on the original 5 year contract I was not about to get into another energy contract. Please help me fix this and also help other consumers. I found out from a service personal at the Ontario Energy Board that there have been others that complained about being automatically renewed and if a person is not carefully looking at all their bills and mail may miss out on the opportunity to opt out of new contract. The home owner doesn’t need to approve to get signed up for the 1 year contract extension but must opt out, this seems very wrong. I don’t think Direct Energy gave any prior notice to allow opting out of the 1 year contact extension. Even if a letter was sent to Direct Energy to opt out they may ignore it and say that nothing was recieved. Big crooks can get away with murder and just get a minor slap on the rist. The headache, worries, and money lost they cause should be considered criminal. – Thanks

  12. Nata

    Mar 1 2010

    Ellen, thanks for the comments and help regarding gas supplier issues.

    I am with Direct Energy and have 1 year and 6 months left in the 5 year contract at 39.9 cents/cubic metre. The current rate is 12.9 cents.

    When I called to cancel the contract, they told me there will be a cancellation charge of $350. I asked them to send me a copy of the contract and the confirmation, which they said would take a maximum of 30 days.

    I don’t recall the salesman telling me anything about the cancellation charges. On my repeated asking, he told me that there will not be any fee if I sell the house and buy another one in Ontario or if I move out of the province after selling the house.

    This charge is very unreasonable and I request your help to solve this matter. I have been paying 39.9 cents for the last 3 and half years, which I think should have provided enough profit to Direct Energy.

  13. Imran

    Mar 8 2010

    Hello,

    I am currently going through the same situation with Direct Energy. I have two accounts.

    A shady salesperson came by when my father was helping me paint this new property. No one is allowed to sign for anything except myself. The salesperson told my father that he needed to sign the contract to get the gas connected. Well, it was a total scam: I received my first bill and found out I was paying a ridiculous 44 cents per cubic metre.

    I cancelled and went to another gas supplier. Then, I received cancellation charges totalling nearly $3,000. I called them and explained the situation. They said they needed me to fax ID, along with my father’s, in order to waive cancellation fees.

    I did as told and I’m still receiving letters from CGC, a collection agency. I just recently faxed all the information again, and also wrote an email to CGC explaining what the situation is.

    Is there anything else I can do? These idiots have probably ruined my good credit, not to mention the time and aggravation. I think we should all start a class action lawsuit against DE.

  14. Imran

    Mar 8 2010

    Oh forgot to thank Ellen for this great resource and blog. Keep up the good work!

  15. Ed

    Mar 10 2010

    I was with Direct Energy for 7+ years and I called last summer to inform them I would not be renewing with them again. I also asked to be removed from the calling list.

    I still received more than 10 calls to renew the contract. Most of these callers did not care who they were talking to as long as they got a yes. So anyone answering your phone can lock you in to a multi-year contract.

    Then January came and I was still being billed. I called them again to find out why and she told me it takes 2 to 3 months for the cancellation order to take effect. Now I got my new bill for February and it’s way lower than this time last year & the many years before.

    I will never join with an energy company again. Still find it hard to believe the government doesn’t act to protect us from these cancellation fees and demand signatures to renew — not an endless barrage of phone calls till they get the right answer.

    Direct Energy never saved me a cent. Instead, it cost me many thousands of dollars in the last decade.

  16. Ed

    Mar 10 2010

    Sorry, edit last post: I was still billed till March, with my contract ending in December.

    They like to wring out the last little money at the end, since they know you’re not re-signing.

    Warn your families & friends.

  17. John

    Mar 12 2010

    I see where Lisa Frizzell keeps writing things like “We have contacted him and resolved the issue to his satisfaction”, but how can this be true when people have been cheated & scammed?

    My mom was tricked into a 5 year contract by being promised a $100 rebate cheque every year with Direct Energy. Why don’t the people who posted tell the end of their story?

    I can’t see everyone being happy with paying extra high bills for years, while we all know DE never paid extra for hydro to provide their service, which we were going to receive anyways, then punish customers for finding out it’s a scam.

    The government should close these companies down. No BS Direct Energy spin doctor is going to write that me & my mother are satisfied with being cheated for years, only seeing people convicted of fraud will make us feel better. Thanks Ellen for helping these people.

  18. Dan

    Mar 19 2010

    I am in the same situation with Direct Energy. I had been talked into signing one of these fixed rate contracts for hydro and Gas in the summer of 2008 by a Direct Energy rep that came to my door. He said my rates would increase unless I signed a contract. The rep misrepresented about everything that came out of his filthy mouth.

    1 year later I am paying double what was before. I am lining the pockets of the bastards at Direct Energy.

    I recently received a letter from Direct Energy, saying that if I was cancelling my services I would be charged an admin fee, early cancel fee and GST? , $5200 total fees.
    Not once did he mention anything about a cancellation or exit fee. I can’t afford paying for false bullshit fees Direct Energy makes up. I just want out.

    I need HELP.

  19. Eric

    Apr 24 2010

    I too am getting scammed by DE. I used to own a condo and sold it 3 years ago. I since then have moved back to my parents, and have been going to school.

    I just got a call today saying I owe DE $1,800 for terminating my contract early. I don’t ever remember signing anything.

    I just phoned and got the services hooked up. And when I sold it, I phoned and cancelled. No one informed me of any cancellation fees or anything like that.

    I can understand a 50 or 100 dollar fee for cancelling early, but 1800 dollars? Sounds like I’ll be telling everyone I know to avoid Direct Energy and their marketing scams. I can’t believe how misleading they are for such a large company.

    I don’t know how this affected my near perfect credit but I’m not very pleased with how they waited 3 years to tell me. Not once did I get a phone call or email from DE saying I owe them this money.

    I’d rather pay a lawyer the money and sue them than give them $1,800 for gas I never used. Anyone had a similar situation? If so, how was it resolved? I’m really curious, as I do not have this money to lose. Thanks!

  20. Linda

    May 5 2010

    I have a $6,000 bill from Direct Energy. Nice scam…I cancelled the contract and they put it through anyway.

    I have all my paperwork, emails, copies and good lawyers…Let the games begin.

  21. Brian Tilles

    Jun 23 2010

    I also have been hosed. I signed a deal, being assured that I could get out at any time.

    They throw this Unforced Capacity Charge on me (ucap) that makes the price per kwh more than what was being charged when I changed!

    I have been offered a good rate from an alternate supplier that is reputable. I use them at my home, 5.0 per kwh cheaper.

    I want to get rid of this low class company without all of the penalties!

  22. Kate

    Jul 6 2010

    I too am having the exact same problem as posters on this site. Is there really any help out there?? If so, please pass it on.

    My so called contract is ending in 2013 with a fixed rate of 39.99 cents. As an account holder, I wasn’t the one that signed the paper through the door to door salesman.

    I didn’t give authorization to anyone, but since my husband signed for it, they considered it as VALID, since he’s a resident in the house.

    I also was not the one that received the phone call for affirmation on the contract. I would have been smarter.

    Does Lisa Frizzell, Direct Energy spokeswoman, really exist?? I haven’t seen a response for quite some time. Thank you.

  23. Lester

    Jul 22 2010

    Well I am certainly caught in the scam. Big Time.

    – Signed up 2004 for 5 year plan at prior address
    – Sole title ownership of home
    – Moved to new address in 2008
    – Joint ownership of home
    – Utility automatically moved the plan to new address with new account number
    – Called Direct Energy and they said my contract expires in March 2011
    – I told them that I do not have any contract with them since I moved to new address and the original contract had expired
    – They said that the contract continued in 2008 when I moved
    – They said that the contract was automatically renewed because they sent me a renewal notice and did not get a reply
    – I have no recollection of ever receiving any renewal notice
    – They again said that they sent it and with no reply, they are allowed to automatically renew
    – They then tried to over me another 5 year plan (unbelievable!!!)
    – I said I was not interested and that they need to cancel any perceived contract
    – They said there would be a cancellation fee, but they would have to mail it to me as they do not have it.
    – It has been a week and haven’t received the cancellation fee by mail
    – Well I called today and asked
    – $3232.34!!!!!!!!
    – Looks like I have to go to court
    – Anyone with any other ideas on how to get out of that?

    Thank You

  24. Pastor K

    Aug 23 2010

    Ellen, this site has been very informative. We signed our church up for DE on June 1, 2010.

    However, two weeks later, we got a much better rate (4c Per KWh lower), so we switched.

    DE called us the next day to ask why, and when told, said they couldn’t match that rate. We asked if there was anything else we needed to do with the cancellation, since we had been with them less than two weeks, and we were told no.

    Needless to say, a month later we get a call from Greenberg Grant & Richards, Inc (713-789-5893), telling us we owe a $1,511.70 cancellation fee.

    I explained to Mr. Eric Bates that was impossible, we never received the DE policy and when the first and final bill came we paid it.

    He said he would request a copy of our contract to review it and call back. We havn’t heard from him, but got a letter stating we owe this fee.

    Can you help me figure this out?

    Pastor K

  25. John

    Oct 12 2010

    My daughter is fighting the same battle.

    In Jan/Feb 2009, she had a Direct Energy “representative” come to her (rental) house, saying DE was changing how they were administering things, and she *had to* choose either the “floating rate” or the “low fixed rate” gas payment plan and sign.

    No information was provided about termination penalties, deregulated services, a different company or the fact she was agreeing to a five year contract. Unfortunately, she chose the fixed option.

    She then received two bills (DE and DE Deregulated), which prompted her to call DE, which said DE Deregulated was a separate company and there was nothing they could do. She continued to pay monthly bills until she moved back home about 2 months later.

    Now (Oct ’10) she’s getting collection calls stating she owes $1189.68 in penalties.

    I understand the “buyer beware” adage, and she did sign the contract; but really, is the situation such that people are legally being scammed in this way, and there’s nothing anyone can do? Is there no recourse?

  26. DR

    Nov 1 2010

    Hi, I have received a mail today from a collection company CGC for a Direct Energy bill of $853. We don’t know what it is and it is addressed to our old house from where we moved in June 2010.

    When we were moving to our new house, we called Enbridge to have our account moved to our new house. We did not break any contract as far as we know. I am not sure if Direct Energy is claiming any penalty. Please help.

  27. Carla B

    Jan 19 2011

    I am in the same boat as everyone else here.

    My husband had a saleswoman come to the door and ask to see our gas and electric bills. He stupidly showed them to her. She asked him to sign a form saying she would return the bills to us after they checked to see that we were getting all the discounts we were entitled to and so he did.

    She then informed him that he had signed a contract, but had 10 days to cancel it. He came back in the house and I asked him what happened. He told me he gave her 2 of our bills. I actually made him go out and find her and he was unsuccessful.

    We do not live in a big town or on a large street, yet she was nowhere to be found. He did, however, find a co-worker of hers, who advised him to call the number on the back of the form and cancel. He returned home and went straight to the phone to cancel.

    Ten days later, we received a phone call from DE and they talked in circles to my husband. He thought he was confirming the cancellation and they were trying to tell him all the “benefits” from switching over to them, when actually in their own sneaky way they were getting him to agree to the contract he was wishing to cancel.

    Now it is quite a few months later and I just happened to notice the DRASTIC increase in my bills. I knew they were a little high before but I assumed we were using too much because we were still getting bills from Enbridge. I assumed we were still with them and the cancellation went through, until I looked at the gas supply charge and looked back at previous bills and they were not even close to this charge.

    I went to the OEB website and looked up Enbridge gas supply charge and it was 0.14/m3 and my bill said .35/m3, so I called Enbridge only to be told I was not supplied by them I was supplied by DE.

    I called DE and was told they had a recording of him confirming the supply of gas from them, but have no record of him calling to cancel (of course). If I were to cancel, I would have to pay $528 for my gas.

    I asked to speak to a supervisor. That night, a “supervisor” from DE called me to let me know that they were not letting me out of my contract. It would be $528 to cancel gas and $600 something to cancel hydro and that had to be paid by certified cheque by the following 10th of the month.

    I asked if there was any other way to do this. They said just continue the contract for 4 more years and let it run its course, since they were not letting me out of it.

    I informed them I was going to contact whoever I could, even a lawyer, to see what could be done and I actually heard a snicker. I am very unhappy that people can be this sneaky.

    My bill was $283 for one month. The exact same time last year with Enbridge, my bill was $160 and I used more gas then.

    I am soooo mad and don’t know what I can do to get out of this contract without having to pay the “cancellation fee.”

  28. Carla B

    Jan 20 2011

    Sorry, everyone, my problem is actually with Active Energy, but I’m having same problems with them that everyone is having with Direct Energy.

  29. Carla B

    Feb 1 2011

    Thank you so much Ellen for all your help with Active energy and the cancelling of my “contract”. You truly are an angel and my family will never forget what you have done. I don’t even know how I cold ever thank you enough…if you were here I would kiss your feet that is how much this means to me lol.

  30. Bill Lang

    Feb 15 2011

    I thought the installation crew were “professional” and “licenced” – I think I got the apprentices on training day

  31. Nick

    Feb 20 2011

    I too, without any research, signed a gas and hydro contract with DE and want to get out of it due to higher bills.

    Can you please guide me on how to do this and if there’s a way without paying $1k+ in penalties?

    Your help would greatly be appreciated by my struggling family.

  32. Rob

    Feb 28 2011

    It appears that I am stuck, and my Mom is too, in a hefty fine to cancel from RiteRate Energy. They are giving us a “too bad so sad” attitude about even attempting to renegotiate, let alone cancel.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Rob

  33. AJ

    Mar 10 2011

    I am also stuck with DE with a 5-year fixed rate for 41.5 cents since 2008. Is there any one can help me with this situation?

  34. Lorraine

    Mar 14 2011

    Unfortunately I have been signed up with Canadian Riterate Energy Corporations Gas delivery service for five years and thank god it is over this year. My experience over the last 5 years is that my Gas bill has been considerably higher than had I stayed with Union Gas. Canadian Riterate Energy Corporations website currently says ‘an average homeowner can save up to $125.00 a year or $625 for 5 years by choosing RiteRate’

    An example of my experience by signing up with this company is the following example:

    My January Gas Bill was $296.71. Whereas my parents Union Gas bill was $126.60….they live down the street from me.

    Needless to say, the math says it all and when I add up the difference over the last 5 years, it has cost me thousands of dollars more than had I stayed with Union Gas

    The results of how much more I have paid over the last 5 years tells me that it would have been better to not be locked into a contract with a company like this…I would have saved ALOT of money had I stayed with Union Gas. The learning experience from this: Regardless of what you are told and the excuses you are given by companies like this…..I suggest to all who read this, stay with Union Gas and go with the fluctations….in the long run you will save more money staying with Union Gas….that’s my experience.

  35. MB

    Apr 26 2011

    AJ – my only comment is get out and get out fast – to others – DO NOT TOUCH DIRECT ENERGY with a ten foot pole!

    I just got out of the contract and the only way was to pay a fee of $140.00. I did this cause DE was charging me $0.339 cents/m3 and right now Enbridge is at $0.11 cents/m3. They are so disconnected it’s unreal.

  36. Craig

    May 2 2011

    Interesting comments posted.

    I’m actually very happy with DE and found myself in a similar situation to many of you, but it was DE that came to the rescue.

    We had originally signed up with DE and got a good deal out of it. Suddenly, somehow we got switched to Ontario Energy Savings.

    My wife recalls someone coming to the door, but it was a requirement to call an 800 number to activate the change. When I got home that night, we discussed the matter, checked the paperwork and found we were already with DE, so didn’t call.

    Even though we didn’t call, the contract got activated. We found this out when DE sent us to collection for the outstanding balance of the contract.

    In discussions with DE, it was apparent that OES had cancelled our contract with DE.

    So, off I went to OES. Waste of time. Call after call. Unable to get it resolved until many calls and discussions later.

    So finally the OES contract is cancelled and we are back to DE. Everything is wonderful, right?

    Oh, no. Two weeks later I get taken to collection again. Not by DE, but by OES. WHAT? This went on for 10 months. I was on so many collection notices it was getting insane. The collection amounts, when added up, were almost $10K.

    Eventually, a supervisor at DE listened to the most recently recorded telephone conversation between myself and a DE staff member. He noticed that I was ready to report the entire incident to the Ontario Energy Board. He called the next day and took on the responsibility to contact OES and fix the collection issues.

    This all happened throughout 2008, concluding just before Christmas. All fixed.

    Or so I thought.

    April 20th. Who the bleep is Just Energy Ontario??

    Here we go again. No one came to the door, but somehow this has happened all over again.

    First call, promised proof of sign-up within 24-48 hours. Today (May 2nd), second call.

    “Oh no sir, it takes 10 business days to do that.” Okay, I’d like to speak with a supervisor. “Oh, no sir, it takes 7-10 business days to do that.”

    3 conversations, 3 different answers. Already feeling like I should simply skip talking with these idiots and write the damn letter to the OEB.

    Spinning customers out of existing contracts and signing up people who never signed up — there has to be something done about this.

  37. Patrick

    Jul 8 2011

    I was scammed by Direct Energy in February this year. We bought our home less than 2 yrs ago and we were paying our bills with Enbridge on a regular basis.

    All of a sudden in February 2011, a salesperson from Direct Energy came to my door to offer a heating plan for $15 a month with a free furnace inspection.

    I told him I’d take the free furnace inspection, but I am not signing any contracts for a plan, unless something is wrong with my furnace.

    He agreed and set up an appointment the following week to have a inspector come in and give us a free assessment. The technician told us that our furnace was good and left within 15 minutes.

    One month goes by, and we receive a bill from Enbridge with a Direct Energy charge of $29.99 and a water heater bill of $35.95. Kind of funny, since I bought my water heater and never signed any contract or plan.

    Now it’s 5 months later and I haven’t been able to resolve this problem, to the point that they have threatened to take me to collections if I don’t pay the bill.

    I spoke to Enbridge supervisors and Direct Energy supervisors and they told me they would resolve the problem and they never have.

    Each time I call, the extension number they give me doesn’t work or doesn’t exist. They will not send me any proof of contract.

    Now I have a bill outstanding of $526.54, after I’ve been paying only the Enbridge gas portion. The bills are so confusing, as an accountant, I can’t even make sense of any of it.

    Does anyone know who I should call? Or would I need a lawyer in this case?

  38. Sherry296

    Aug 25 2011

    My husband and I, along with many others in Canada, were the victims of those door-to-door cons.

    Ours called themselves “Universal Power” but later they changed the name to “Just Energy”. After we realized that our electricity bills doubled, we cancelled our so called “protection plan”.

    Soon we received a letter from collection agency called ” Bond Street Collections Inc.” for the unpaid cancellation fee.

    We never had any business with a collection agency and didn’t want to delay payment, so I called and paid using my credit card as soon as I could, even though they warned me that using a credit card will cost me 5% more then original amount.

    One and a half months later, I received my monthly statement from credit card and noticed that Bond Street Collection Inc. double charged my credit card for two different amounts of money. Very deceptively – they charged me on two different days – 5 DAYS apart !!!!

    OK, it could be a mistake, I thought, and called Bond Street Collection right away. After I explained what I noticed, I received a very short answer from their representative : “Your refund cheque is already in mail” .

    Note there was not any word of apology or anything like that.

    After my “refund cheque” didn’t arrive in a week, I called BSC again. I explained what happened, but two different representatives again didn’t find a single word of apology. Instead I was treated as a criminal whose card was declined (!) and that was the reason for the double charge.

    Can you imagine – they had such a hardship with MY credit card company! I was told that a refund was already sent to my credit card company.

    I called my credit card company to check if they have evidence of any refund. They didn’t ! Simple as that – they didn’t receive any refund from Bond Street Collections to my account.

    Now we have a situation where we don’t know what to do and whose help to seek. We owe them money – they are treating us as criminals and threatening to ruin our credit record.

    They owe us money – they are again treating us as a criminals and nobody can reverse this. The best we can get, after somebody like the BBB sends them an email, is “Let’s talk”. And that is how our legal system works.

    I wonder how many people didn’t even notice a double charge on their credit card and how many more didn’t bother to call and dispute their credit card companies, too embarrassed to admit they needed to deal with a collection agency.

  39. Gina Kindree

    Jan 29 2012

    Hi, my mother recently passed away. I notified DE that she died and asked to cancel the contract. Enbridge has closed the account and reopened it under my name.

    Then DE sends a letter addressed to my dead mother, saying she owes a $339 termination fee.

    Are not contracts null & void upon death?? What shall I do? This is appalling… Thxs, Gina

  40. Tina Parsons

    Jun 7 2013

    My parents were recently contacted by door to door representatives of Just Energy. They offered a rate a couple dollars less than Direct Energy.

    My parents agreed to switch over to them after they were told there would be no problems switching between providers.

    Everything sounded good, but then we got a letter from Direct Energy saying we owed them over $800 for switching providers for an administration fee.

    There is no way my parents can afford to pay this. My mother is on a disability pension and my father only works part time due to his health concerns.

    Looking at the Utilities Consumer Advocate site, it says Just Energy will charge a $75 cancellation fee per month left on your contract is you cancel with them as well.

    What would be the best way to handle this and what options would we have?
    Thanks, Tina

  41. MICKIE N

    Sep 22 2015

    On Sept. 22, I received a bill from Direct Energy for going with another supplier that was cheaper. We are seniors and live on a limited income. We try to cut corners where we can.

    I did not know there was a contract as I was contacted by phone. I do not remember anything about a contract. Also, the Consumer Protection Act requires a supplier to provide a copy of the contract. We never got one.

    I know the people on the phone work on commission, but they should not be deceitful to make money off of people.

    The bill was for $200. This would buy my COPD medicine for a month.