Direct Energy uses Enbridge as a collection agency

October 17 2008 by Ellen Roseman

Why does a regulated utility use its muscle to collect bills owing to a separate company?
This, to me, is an abuse of power. Enbridge can cut off people’s gas supply if they don’t pay the charges levied by Direct Energy.

The problem is that Direct Energy makes mistakes. Customers often find billing errors, which they try to correct by phone or email. Some give up in frustration, not realizing the nasty consequences that can result.

If you doubt what I’m saying, just read the two complaints I received lately from customers who had tried to cancel Direct Energy’s home protection plans. (I’ve reprinted them below.) Both were resolved within a few hours once I got involved.

Now you tell me. Is it right for Enbridge, a gas company that likes to boast of having an ombudsman’s office, to treat customers this way?

And why are Enbridge’s outsourced call centres not doing as good a job for customers as when the phones were answered in house?

51 comments

  1. Ernie

    Oct 17 2008

    And people want private companies to run health care? They can’t even run the phones or gas industries.

  2. Mark

    Oct 17 2008

    The privately owned highway 407 uses the Government of Ontario’s licencing system to collect their overdue payments as well. So it’s nothing new to have one company with more leverage than another do the “dirty work” on their behalf.

    With the 407 situation, if you fail to pay your toll fees, you can get denied a plate sticker until you do. Why a privately owned entity can leverage the power of the goverment-operated vehicle licencing system to act as their own collection agency (with such broad ranging power as renewal refusal or worse!) is baffling.

    Concerning yes, questionable yes, surprising, unfortunately in the province of Ontario, no.

  3. Ellen Roseman

    Oct 17 2008

    You’re absolutely right, Mark. I forgot about the 407 ETR (express toll route), even though i wrote many columns about how incompetent it was in billing.

    If you remember, former Ontario Premier Mike Harris had to stop denying drivers the ability to renew licence plates because of unpaid 407 bills. He was embarrassed because so many billing disputes were caused by errors.

    The suspension lasted a few years until the 407 fixed up its billing and hired an ombudsman. Now it can keep drivers from renewing licences once more.

    Hope it uses the power responsibly. I haven’t heard any complaints for a while.

  4. Lior

    Oct 19 2008

    Well, once again great work Ellen. It’s just so brutal that it’s the same companies over and over again: Direct Energy, Enbridge, Bell. Funny how once a popular reporter gets involved everything is solved. In the case of the first customer, she did go up the “corporate ladder” and spoke with managers and supervisors, all of whom apparently laughed at her and didn’t give a damn. Once a Toronto Star reporter gets involved, then there’s immediate action. I really wonder how these companies justify that. If they are serious about cracking down on the problem, perhaps they should start firing employees who behave in such ways to the people who provide them with a pay cheque.

  5. Lior

    Oct 19 2008

    Regarding the 407, it’s the fact we’ve sold the highway for 3 billion to a private consortium and today the highway is worth close to 12 billion. Who’s the genius who thought of that? The idiot Conservatives, thank you very much. Even John Tory when he ran for premier said he would have handled the whole affair differently. Regarding plate denials, the Ontario government is apparently powerless in canceling it. If your name was forwarded to the MTO, all they do is simply record that you can’t renew your plate. If there are any disputes, they will tell you to go through the 407 ombudsman routine.

  6. David

    Nov 2 2008

    I had my air conditioner fail this summer. Since the heating protection plan worked out for me (had two issues that were taken care of), I decided that going for the cooling protection would be logical.

    Wow, terrible. Wife wasted her vacation time dealing with a company that tells her they will show up but then fail to remember that they scheduled a service visit.

    After finally they show up, the air conditioner guy visits twice (because he has to run a test for 24 hours) and tells me he can’t fix it. He tries to sell me a new air conditioner.

    We called another contractor, who fixes it and curses the Direct Energy guy for cutting the air conditioner lines that he shouldn’t have had to do.

    I cancel my cooling protection plan add-on (jeez, now I have to check if my heating protection plan isn’t removed), and I’m happy I have a working AC. Decide to eat the service call costs as a lesson with working with Direct Energy.

    So I’m happy until I receive my bills. I find that Direct Energy is still billing me for the cooling protection plan. I call to get that reversed. Then they add another charge for the second visit that is higher than it should be and I had to follow up with them on that too.

    I can tell they are trying because they attempt to follow up, but there is nothing that billing can do to erase the poor service I received. They wasted my wife’s time, wasted my time, having to make 3 calls to fix billing.

    How can you trust a company that is pushing sales out through its service staff? I can’t trust the service folk will actually try to fix anything when they visit.

  7. i hate monopolies

    Nov 24 2008

    Reconnection fee for Enbridge $600 (hmmn, who has that kind of money).

    I’m living in poverty and yes i do have my internet because it’s the only thing that I can find value in (at least some kind of entertainment and plus $500 for security fee).

    I don’t vote now, because no politician will put a stop to this.

  8. Monica Ciobanu

    Dec 1 2008

    Direct Energy tries to charge me for something it didn’t provide. I was called by phone and ask to sign a contract for electricity for my apartment. I told them I don’t agree with anything untill I receive a paper contract that I can read. After months I ended up in charge with about $1000 for electricity, eventhough every month I have been receiving bills from my always provider Epcor, and for wich I paid and I still pay. I don’t know what will happen, but I know I am not going to pay for something that I didn’t receive.

  9. DJ

    Dec 2 2008

    Direct Energy Home Protection Plan – STAY AWAY!!!

    We waited 4 months for oven repair. Now our washing machine broke. I called last Wednesday. They schedules a repairman for today (Tuesday). They called today and said the technician is sick and out for a week. Total BS.

  10. BCE

    Dec 13 2008

    Yes, I know Enbridge/Direct Energy/Home Depot/Sears furnace protection plans & service are useless. Instead of complaining about it, why not recommend some heating contractor/service providers that are doing a good job?

  11. Lois McDonald

    Dec 21 2008

    Although not related to protection plans, I would like to tell you about my experience with Enbridge / Direct Energy.

    I live on a country road and for the first 11 years Enbridge/ Direct Energy (and previously Consumers Gas) had two different addresses for me and at least one of my neighbours: the address the bills went to, and the address the Final Notices went to.

    The first time my gas was cut off, I had actually paid my bill via web banking a day or two before. Yes, it was late; money was tight and I was juggling bills, but I’d had no Final Notice. They had already scheduled the disconnection the day before getting our money, so I came home to find the house very cold two days later.

    They insisted they had sent out a final notice. I insisted that I never received it. I pointed out that over the years they had sent me a neighbour’s final notices several times; her account number on a card with MY address. Each time I tried to get it sorted out with their company, I was told the correction was made, yet it happened again. (She’s lucky I put her notice card in her mailbox. Someone else was not nearly as considerate in my case.)

    I pointed out that after these incidents, I had very good reason to believe that MY final notice had also gone to the wrong address! Despite that, I was forced to pay the reconnection fee.

    Two years later, it happened again! Last winter, a technician showed up at my door. He said, “You reported a gas odor?” I said, “No…?” He replied, “You are Mrs. Simms?” I just about exploded. “I don’t believe this! This has been going on for years!! No, I’m not Mrs. Simms!”

    He was pretty disgusted, too, when I told him about it and he said that he would get it straightened out. I’m tempted to report a gas leak just to see where the truck would go. Then I’ll know who couldn’t be bothered to put the final notices in my mailbox for me.

    It makes me wonder how many other people out there have two addresses with these companies. Is it done deliberately in order to charge reconnection fees and penalties for people who are having trouble paying their bills on time, even if they have paid or WOULD pay immediately if they got a Final Notice?

    Let’s face it: its more money for their company.

  12. magda nichols

    Feb 10 2009

    I never wanted the Direct Energy Protection Plan!but they put it on my account and a $165 sevice charge!

  13. Kris Wood

    Apr 15 2009

    Direct Energy flat out lied to my wife on the phone, stating they would not charge a security deposit on our account when we signed up.

    Lo and behold, security deposit.

    I’ve already set up to switch providers and will not be paying this deposit come hell or high water. Luckily, I know good lawyers ahead of time.

  14. Ivan

    Apr 24 2009

    Kris,

    That’s what I’m going through with Enbridge right now! Enbridge is the only game in town and wants a $250 deposit despite my good credit. They said that if I agree to automatic withdrawls, the deposit will be waived (how nice of them). But on my first bill, for 14 days of service in April, the account isn’t set up, and I get a bill for over $300! $250 deposit, plus a monthly “customer service charge”, the delivery charge, and gas charge totalling $40. And the final $25 account set up charge… Oh- taxes of course.

    I call to find out why the account wasn’t set up properly (incidentally- the second time this month), and they say they don’t know, and they don’t have access to the department that sets up the auto-withdrawl accounts…

    I asked to speak with the billing guys manager and was told someone will call me within 24 hours. He also said that if I don’t pay the deposit, it’ll go onto my next bill and I’ll be charged late payment fees! And if I do pay, they will credit the $250 back to my account when the auto withdrawl is set up.

    I called back, spoke with customer service, and was told my deposit will be waived for 60 days to give my account time to be set up.

    Why am I afraid of this company already? They’re the only game in town and I feel like I’ve got my scrotom held by them, just waiting to be squeezed.

  15. Terry S

    May 19 2009

    Hi Ellen,

    I am having my own issues with Enbridge as well. I am horrified to find blogs and complaints all over the net from others in my situation!

    Why has our government placed us in this monopoly deal with no recourse?

    I have switched gas suppliers, but am still forced to deal with Enbridge for the delivery of my gas as well as billing — a fact they commented on when I called recently about billing/payment issues.

    I feel, as a result, I am being treated with even more disdain and difficulty.

    Customer service is rude and unbending, I have found…and there is no way out!

    Is there a way to bring this issue to the public in a more meaningful way?

  16. Janis

    Aug 11 2009

    Enbridge gas disconnected by gas even though I explained I was having financial difficulities and I have small children, the supervisor was cold and heartless, no discretion was exercised even though we are all experiencing a global recession.

  17. Janis

    Aug 11 2009

    I sent a letter to Mike Mees the ombudsman office requesting if safety deposit fees can be waived.

  18. Daniel

    Oct 19 2009

    I enrolled in the Heating and Cooling Protection Plan with Direct Energy some three years ago, as I have an aged furnace.

    Under the contract, Direct Energy is to do an annual inspection of my furnace. The tech came in and red tagged my furnace the day before Thanksgiving weekend. He told my spouse there were no replacement parts for it and we would have to buy a new one. He left.

    We called Direct Energy and they sent a second tech over at 8 pm. By this time, I had found a replacement part myself (the same part they told me no longer existed) and when the second tech told me I needed a new furnace, I informed him of my findings.

    This seemed to upset him. He went out to his van and sat on the phone for 30 minutes. He then re-entered my home (without knocking) and walked downstairs, collected his tools and left without any communication as to what would happen next. They left me without heat for the entire long weekend.

    I finally went and rented my own electric heaters, so that my house did not freeze. I set about getting quotes from as many furnace suppliers as I could (as long as they had no ties to Direct Energy).

    Over the next week, I attempted to find out what Direct Energy planned to do to correct this situation and was met by several of the worst customer service experiences I have ever endured.

    I was a supervisor for Bell Telephone, so I understand angry customers, but I had never experienced angry supervisors before (comments like “So what do you want me to do about it?”) They blindly repeated that I should get a new furnace when that wasn’t the question I asked.

    Finally after speaking with David in Executive Customer Care, who assured me that he would sort this out and call me back, I gave up on customer care. (David never did contact me back.)

    I contacted the Better Business Board and sent several of my complaints to their head offices in writing.

    I then set about sourcing new furnaces and arranging energy audits and an appointment with an attorney, since an entire week had passed and I had received further contact with Direct Energy.

    I booked a day off work to complete the Eco Energy audit that would cost $350, not including any loss of wages I may have suffered.

    On Friday, Oct. 16th, the tech who had come the second time on the previous Thursday called my home. He asked if he could come by to get a part number off my furnace. I asked him why and he told me they were now working on finding the part. They intended to repair my furnace!

    This time, he left all of his tools in his truck (he asked to borrow a screwdriver), got the model number of the part and left without any kind of explaination as to what had changed or how long I was to wait for their determination.

    He said he had customers who wouldn’t live in a house that Ray Johnston Heating (my best quote on a new furnace) had installed and suggested some other companies that I should call instead. This is only important because I think it demonstrates that they were still indicating that I should buy a new furnace.

    While I was waiting for the energy audit this morning, my phone rang. It was a gentleman who at first didn’t seem to know who he was representing. He identified himself as “George from the parts department at Direct Energy”.

    George said he had my part and wanted permisson to ship it to my home! I was shocked. So I asked George to identify himself with an employee number and he could not provide that.

    I got his direct line in the 416 area code and asked that his manager or supervisor call me directly and immediately. I waited for 30 minutes and received no calls.

    I then called their inept customer care line and spoke with Rich. I asked him to clarify what was going to happen. He told me that they had a service call for me at 6 pm tonight to repair my furnace!

    When I told him that I was under the impression that my furnace could not be fixed, as they had repeated to me for a week now, he mentioned getting to the bottom of it and transferred me to Simone. She was simply an answering service for the supervisors and promised someone would call me back in 24 hours.

    When I pressed her about the fact that I was about to spend $350 on an audit, she sighed and said she would have to get up to talk to a supervisor. I apologized for making her walk.

    It was apparently worth the walk, as I got to speak with Donna ref ID #15528, who admitted that they could not communicate effectively and this situation was confusing. She allowed me to make the decision as to cancel the audit or not.

    She said if I did have the audit and they were able to repair my furnace, they would be liable for the $350 charge. Donna explained that she was only working for a half an hour more and I should expect a call from her on Wednesday to discuss compensation for their failure to provide the service I was paying for.

    I decided to cancel the audit, as I did not trust them to keep their word. The part has arrived at my door as I write this and I am awaiting a call to inform me when a tech will come by to install it and remove the tag from my furnace.

  19. Susan W

    Dec 17 2009

    We bought a new furnace and air conditioner in 2008 for $10,000. We had an option to not pay for one year.

    We sent cheques payable to Direct Energy 4 times during the year to be applied to the balance, since it would be billed with a 27% interest rate when the year was up. I had no concerns about the rate because I knew we would pay it off when it came due.

    In August 2009, I waited for a bill telling me what the remaining balance was, so I could clear it. Nothing came, so I made out a cheque in mid-September for $1,500, which is what I thought was the remaining balance.

    Each time I sent a cheque payable to Direct Energy, it appeared on my Enbridge statement as a credit and I had to call to have them transfer it over to the furnace purchase.

    At the end of September, my Enbridge statement arrived with a monthly billing of $325 for a principal loan of $10,000, plus interest of over $8,000. Not the $1,500 I expected.

    I have been calling monthly for 4 months now, trying to get them to remove the billing for a loan that was fully paid before it appeared on my statement. They held my September $1,500 payment for over a month before applying it to my gas account, although I called twice about it.

    I cannot get any satisfaction. Enbridge can’t see the Direct Energy side and Direct Energy can’t see the Enbridge side. I am stuck in the middle, with no one who will take ownership of the issue and get it cleared up.

    I have stopped payment on the account and fear they are going to shut off the gas if it is not resolved soon. I hope you can advocate on my behalf with Enbridge/Direct Energy to help get the loan removed from my account and the inappropriate interest charges reversed. I am frustrated and don’t know where to turn.

  20. MGZ

    Jan 11 2010

    Dear Ellen, I’m writing mostly to vent my frustration for the way I’ve been treated by Direct Energy, and my lack of success in righting the wrong done to me. These guys are so big that they don’t really seem to care about cases like mine, as it does not affect the dominance that they have in the market.

    Here is the story: In October 2009, my furnace started to play up; it would start and run for a very short while but then it would shut off. So I called Direct Energy and they sent a technician to resolve the problem.

    A technician called the same night and checked some things and went back to his van. When he came back, he told me that fan motor is defective and needs to be replaced, but he doesn’t have the right motor in his van and needs to order one for me.

    I told him that this is highly unlikely as the motor is fairly new. He started checking other gadgets on my furnace and was spending a lot of time in his van and on the phone with somebody, I suppose, at Direct Energy.

    He seemed confused and unsure. I thought to myself this guy doesn’t seem to know what he is doing, so I stayed watching him the rest of the time he was at my place.

    He started checking other things and said the control panel is not working and needs to be replaced. So he replaced the control panel, but the furnace still wouldn’t work properly. Then he said the ignition module is defective and replaced the module; still, the furnace would not work properly. At least in this case, he had the good sense of taking out the new module and putting back my old ignition module.

    He started checking the rest of the furnace and finally said there is something wrong with another item that he does not have and needs to order. We should call Direct Energy when we get the part to have it replaced, and in the meantime he will do something to have the furnace running as it is very cold.

    This technician was at my house for a very long time, but told me as a favour he is not going to charge for all his time. Then he showed me a bill and told me he replaced a part (I assume it was the control panel) at a cost of $449 (I have his handwriting) and if I call Direct Energy I may get a break on the cost. I did, but to no avail.

    When I received the part, I called Direct Energy and they sent another technician to install it. This technician checked the old part and said there is nothing wrong with this part and I’m not going to replace it.

    Then he looked inside the chimney and told me that it is blocked and that is why the furnace is shutting down. He put a red tag on my furnace and shut off the gas and told me the furnace should not be restarted before the chimney is fixed, as poisonous fumes may build up in the house.

    Then it hit me that we dodged a bullet and our lives were in danger all this time by keeping the furnace running. The furnace was doing what it was supposed to do all the time as the sensors were detecting something was not right and would not let it run.

    I was furious I was charged for unnecessary repairs due to the lack of experience of the first technician, and we could have all died. So I called Direct Energy and complained.

    I requested a report of what each of the Direct Energy (by now four) technicians and supervisors had done to my furnace and their version of the story. I also requested all the charges due to unnecessary repairs to be reversed.

    I was told that the charges will be reversed within the next two billing cycles, and a request for a report will be made and I will receive it in due course. I told her that I reserve the right to take further action against Direct Energy.

    The other day I received my second bill and there was no charge reversal, so I called Direct Energy. The lady told me she can see the request for the report but could not tell me if it was sent or not, and told me that the charge reversal has been refused.

    She said that the case will be looked into and I will be contacted. I asked her to please at least write my side of the story in the file, as every time I call I have to start from the beginning (that is very frustrating). She said she would do that, and in fact she read her note back to me that was more or less my story.

    Next day I had a message from somebody who seemed to have the microphone covered. The only thing I could figure out was that it is Direct Energy.

    I called and it was the lady I had originally complained to. She told me that the charges will not be reversed as the contractor has reported that all repairs were required and the part replaced was a fan timer (I have no idea what this part is or looks like, but if it is not the control panel, it was not replaced).

    I was also told that Direct Energy contractors are not authorized to check the chimney and that’s why the first technician never checked the vent for blockage. She also told me I will receive the report I originally requested within the next two weeks.

    The funny thing was that she did not seem to be able to see most of the reports or notes made during my telephone conversations with Direct Energy (at least 5, including at least two executive supervisors), and she could not even find the report or the name of the supervisor I was talking to the previous night.

    Here I am now frustrated and waiting to get the report and decide what to do next. Maybe I will fax a complaint to Direct Energy’s Ombudsman?

  21. MGZ

    Jan 11 2010

    I had a call from Direct Energy on Friday. After a nice discussion and talking about my side of the story. I think I was promised reimbursement of the cost to me.

  22. MGZ

    Jan 11 2010

    I received confirmation from Direct Energy today, that I will be reimbursed within the next two billing cycles.

  23. Disgusted

    Mar 18 2010

    I do not have a credit problem with Direct Energy and actually pay in excess of the current “Budget Amount”. Today I received a letter, which I would not have received if not for the postal code as my house number was incorrect, indicating that Direct Energy was increasing my monthly “Budget Amount”, as they incorrectly estimated my monthly payment amount. Oddly, they do this on a yearly basis, over charge me throughout the year, and then ordinarily end up owing me a substatial amount.

    When contacting the “Customer Service Centre” today, I spoke to what I believe to be an boy barely out of high school, who proceeded to be rude, and patronizing. He told me that if I “understood how to read my statement” (which I do), I would understand that my monthly overpayment doesn’t affect my Budget Amount or my balance. When I explained that I did indeed understand my statement and asked who was responsible for sending out the referenced letter, he stated “Direct Energy”. I stated that I was aware of that and was making reference to the individual(s) responsible and asked for a supervisor.

    I was placed on hold and told there were no supervisors (Direct Energy’s standard response) but that someone would return my call before the end of the business day. I waited 3 hours and contacted them again, only to be advised that they were unable to find any supervisors and that they had likely left for the day and that I should call in the morning, or use the website.

    Direct Energy’s customer dis-service line can’t provide basic service, so I wouldn’t recommend those with any serious inquiries to bother calling such centre. I have also been advised by various friends and colleagues that the call centre, which I was told is located in Edmonton, is actually located in Manilla?!

  24. Jenn M

    Jun 2 2010

    I have to admit that since we moved into our new home, Enbridge has been our nightmare. I wish and dream that there was an alternative company out there that we could go to. But there seems to be no one.

    When we moved on Sept. 1, 2009, I called Enbridge on Sept. 4, to have the bills set up in the new home and canceled in the old home. Never had a problem with this before.

    So a month later, I receive a bill for my previous address. Luckily, I was on electronic billing. So I call and find out that they had no record of me calling on the 4th and setting everything up in the new house.

    OK, start the process over. Give them all the new information, make sure they are adding me and my husband to the account so that we can both call to discuss the account should we have any problem. It was also explained that it may take a little longer as they need to backdate and bla bla bla. Fine.

    So come December, I still have not received a bill from Enbridge. Call again. Again, they state that they have no record of us wanting to set up an account at the new address and assume I am calling regarding my old account at my former home.

    Aggravated beyond belief, I start the process again. I end up having to call once more as I still did not receive a bill in January. I call and again I am told that they don’t have record of me calling in. But then magically in early March, I receive a bill for $700.

    Now I will admit that we were going through some financial difficulty, but the one thing I have always found with Enbridge is they were pretty good about allowing you to miss a payment here and there. So sadly, it was May before I started making payments on the bill. I didn’t pay a huge amount, but I did make a payment of $190. Surprise, surprise, without warning, they cut off my gas two weeks later.

    Oh, before this, my husband had called to try and discuss the account as he is home during the day. He was told that he is not listed on the account and therefore can’t discuss the account with them.

    So I call today and find out that they don’t have my information updated – they still had my contact information from my previous address and therefore could not get in touch with me. And because they have no record of my attempts to contact them to discuss the account, they decided to turn off my gas.

    I told them outright that it took them 6 months to start sending me my bill and they should give me 6 months to catch up on the bill. And I did inform them that I would be able to pay a minimum of $300 per month until the bill was caught up. Would this not be good enough to have the gas turned back on?

    I was told straight out no. I would have to pay the entire bill in full.

    So I told them that they are a horrible company, able to bully their customers because they have no competition and they can pretty much get away with doing whatever they like. But I am looking for alternatives.

    Step one, I believe, will be to have an electric tankless water heater installed. Come winter, I will have to look at what other alternatives we can find to heat the house.

  25. JT W.

    Jul 27 2010

    Hello everyone!

    After reading through the entire blog of how Enbridge is treating/scamming (perhaps?) its customers, I am scared!

    Today, I just received a bill stating that I have to pay $400+ Final BBP adjustment for 2009 -2010 season, which is something I have never seen for the past couple years.

    I don’t know what I should do, and just found out that Enbridge automatically sign you up for BBP when you become their customer.

    Could someone kindly explain to me what BBP is and how it is used? Are there any advantages/disadvantages? Please and thank you in advance!

  26. Danny S

    Jul 29 2010

    Years ago Direct Energy fraudulently (as in one of their reps evidently forged my signature and I am unaware of ANY action that was taken against him) became my energy provider.

    It was a hassle to get them to finally admit I never permitted them to become by supplier and they also never refunded the difference I had to pay each month. The rep was still there a few weeks later when I called the company and asked to speak to that person. Any scrupulous company would have terminated him with cause or have charges brought against him. Greedy, shady companies keep employees like that.

  27. Oleg

    Aug 3 2010

    I wonder if as a consumer I have an alternative or any recourse against a monopolist like Enbridge, which is using every opportunity to charge you with disconnection/reconnection fees and get their hand on your money? (They call it a security deposit.)

  28. Mike Z

    Nov 21 2010

    Direct Energy has been charging me for the Home Protection Plan even though I did not sign up for it. The charge appeared on my bill all of a sudden 5 months ago.

    I am a renter and the furnnace is not my responsibility, so why would I need a plan to cover something I am not responsible for?

    I called Direct Energy 5 months ago and they admitted to the error and said it would be corrected within 2 bill statements. Five bills later ($250), multiple calls into Direct Energy and still it is not fixed.

    I am calling them again tomorrow and will probably get the same answer, “it is our error and we will fix it within 2 bill statements”.

    If someone steals $250 from me off the street, they would go to prison. What are my options? I will be raising a complaint with Consumer Affairs and the BBB. What other options do I have? I am prepared to take this everywhere and anywhere.

  29. Mike Z

    Dec 23 2010

    I can not believe this. I called them numerious times and they continue to state that the issue will be resolved. I open my bill for this month and now they have charged me 475.00. Again I am a renter, I do not want their services and still they continue to take money from me. They have no contract with me and yet they still charge me. How is this possible.

  30. Mike Z

    Jan 7 2011

    As an update to my issue with Direct Energy. Ellen was able to get me in contact with a Direct Energy Representative. That person said the credit would be applied to my next bill or the one after that. I will keep you posted as to whether it makes it to my bill. Just wanted to say Thank you to Ellen! I would not have gotten this far without her help.

  31. Vic G.

    May 26 2011

    I was billed twice for a service call about my gas fireplace.

    The tech came out, found no gas leak and left my fireplace in pieces. He said he couldn’t put it back until the chimney was inspected, but to call back and he would return to install it on the same service call. There would be no extra charges.

    The tech returned several days later and the work was completed. I received 2 service charges and was assured I would receive a credit within 2 billing cycles.

    When I didn’t, I called again and after speaking to 2 different managers, I was again assured I would be credited the amount. Again, this didn’t happen.

    I called a 3rd time and went through the whole process again, which in itself is quite the process if you have ever dealt with them.

    I was put through to Evan, a manager(?), and was told they couldn’t honour the credit. This was a charge for labour and not a second service call.

    When I explained that it was just the completion of the first service call I already paid for, he disagreed — even after I explained to him that 2 prior managers had already approved the credit.

    He wouldn’t accept this and flatly refused when I asked to speak to someone else. I have since filed a complaint and cancelled all services with Direct Energy.

    I have a feeling this isn’t over yet!

  32. S Zeidi

    May 30 2011

    Hi, I was tenant at Mississauga and my problem is almost similar to Mike Z.

    Direct Energy billed/charged me for (12 months) annual contract of heating protection plan during last month of my stay at Mississauga. I had not signed any contract or called Direct Energy for this service.

    Now I am unable to get the charges removed from my Enbridge bill and I am struggling to get my Security Deposit refund. Instead they had started with a collection agency.

    I called Enbridge and Direct Energy many times, but all in vain yet. Can anyone provide me Fax numbers of Direct Energy and Enbridge to file my written complaint?
    Thanks

  33. Adam Wayland

    Aug 8 2011

    Hello Ellen and Posters including PGW.

    I want to shed some light on the many many mislead and uneducated consumers who are posting their “issues” on this specific blog. When I spend my hard earned money and sign up for ANYTHING, I read the entire document. I reread it if I am unclear with any part of the document. I urge everyone to do the same. Knowing your recorse, exit options, expected responsibilities as the consumer and what you can expect in return.

    Everyone here is complaining that Enbridge shut their gas off or is collecting debt on behalf of another company. The key problem here is that customers are not aware of their rights. They do not read the fine print, they do not know that they do not HAVE to have any of these services on their enbridge bill.

    They also tell a one sided story (like PGW above). At the time this article/blog posting appeared, Enbridge had a 120 MINIMUM cut off for non-payment. By the time we generated the cut off list, sent it to our meter lock technician or field collectors it would sit another 7 BUSINESS days. PGW did not communicate with Enbridge prior to having the gas disconnected or recieving a disconnect letter. On your bill, on the direct energy plan details PGW recieved and on the Enbridge website it explains that the customer must advise ENBRIDGE of any billing disputes. PGW and MANY MANY MANY other customers didn’t care to read their agreements with all these other companies, instead they offload their frustration and ignorance to customer service centres by yelling and screaming, cursing and swearing, demanding immediate action when they, the consumer who “is always right” took no action, did not care enough to educate themselves about THEIR options except until they recieved something they dont want to see or hear.

    I no longer work for the third party company who provides customer care services to Enbridge, however I can tell you, this company strives VERY hard, and makes every effort to provide the best customer service. The realtionship between Enbridge and this third party has grown and developed over time to create an amazingly well oiled machine. I’d like to think I had something to do with this process and I want to warn consumers (just like you do Ellen) that educating themselves and reading EVERYTHING is the most important part of spending your money with a contract or agreement.

    I dont want this to seem retalitory, because its not. I have not worked here for many years now. But after googling myself and seeing this old article I wanted to show the other side of the story.

    One last thing. Customer service has changed over time. Previously the customer was always right, now a days a company is interested in the bottom line. The bottom line is what you pay into, asking for a supervisor (politely) and remaining professional and courteous go a long way. Swearing, and personal attacks on Enbridge customer service agents will usually result in a dial tone in your ear, we are people to and deserve your respect, because I can tell you we respect you.

    Adam W

  34. Cathy Duong

    Sep 28 2011

    Hi
    Please help me in finding a situation. Yesterday Enbridge lock my gas without my knowledge. I found out by the water tank has no hot water, and the technician came out and told me. I had informed them in August that I’m kind of poor right now, with all my problems. I have severe health problems and hospital visits are mandatory.
    Enbridge doesn’t even give a damn. They said that in order for me to have gas now, I have to pay around 900 dollars in bill and installations. The last bill was around 300. I just wants them to understand my situation and please give me a little break. They lock my gas without letting me know, they switch my way of getting my bill. I just found out about epost.
    I have 3 children with me, and I really need the gas on, and I’ll pay, just give me a little bit of time to come up with the wholde amount.

  35. Vinh

    Oct 2 2011

    Children comes first, especially we live in a country that a person can died by just standing outside. If they lock your gas, cut the lock off. If they claim that you cut their lock, charge them for trespass. All you have to show that you pay the bill, even if you are not paying the full balance. Is not about who is right; is about the safety of our children.

  36. Pat Piper

    Oct 14 2011

    If you people would pay your bills, you wouldn’t be in this bind. You can’t afford your gas and electricity, yet you can afford cell phones, internet, and probably beer.

  37. Sonny S.

    Oct 22 2011

    I have a different type of complaint I just want to air against Enbridge. They are the worst company that I have ever dealt with, period.

    I get my gas turned on every winter for my fireplace to operate. I don’t require gas during the other months because I don’t have any other appliances that require gas.

    Enbridge provides 4 hour windows for technicians to provide service. Every year it takes up to five 4-6 hour blocks to eventually get a technician to actually complete the service.

    Most recently, I had to wait through out the entire night because I was told that the tech will come. I fell asleep at 4 in the morning.

    Enbridge call center reps are well trained to give you the “I understand your frustration” but their service doesn’t seem to improved.

    Enbridge is such a poorly run company. Their techs are unionized, so their efforts have nothing to do with what actually helps the customer.

    In my last conversation wih Enbridge, I was told that tech will be at my home between 12-4am, and then 4-8am! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!

  38. Funny

    Nov 8 2011

    Funny, the person that blames the clients for being upset and not reading.

    Well, maybe if you and the rest of the customer service/technicians (cough, cough) don’t lie, make false promises, and yes, be rude to clients, the people that do understand would be happier.

    This is why one person having all the power leads to corruption.

  39. Cathy Duong

    Nov 11 2011

    thank you Vinh!

  40. Serge Paquette

    Dec 18 2012

    Oh my God, finally found something. I have the same problem!!

    Direct Energy renewed my protection plan without my authorization and did not notify me. They did not even bill me for over a year.

    If I would have seen it on my bill, I would have called to cancel it.

    Now they sent me a bill for over $900, back dated for the year they NEVER charged me for, and want me to pay.

    I called both Direct Energy and Enbridge and no one wants to help. They keep saying it’s the other guy’s problem. HELP.

  41. Scott Weaire

    May 22 2013

    I have the same problem with Direct Energy’s Protection Plan. For 9 months now, I have been trying to cancel it through many calls, emails, but nothing.

    When I call Enbridge, they keep telling me that they will put a dispute in, but I keep getting billed.

    This is insanely frustrating, so much so that I’m thinking of suing these guys….