Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Direct Energy -- Hand in my Pocket

And from the annals of disappointing business practices (remember Primus?), we have another company whose practices feel sleazy to me. I signed up for a couple of protection plans for my heating equipment and over the last while have felt that I was wasting my money ... the equipment will be 24 years old this year and is at the point where a major failure requires replacement, not band-aids. It is also rather inefficient by today's standards.

So ... I called Direct Energy and tried to cancel today ...

The nice young lady sweetly told me that the plan was set to renew at the end of June and that she could cancel it today but I would be billed for the remainder.

My reaction is hardly worth describing ... but to her credit, she maintained her composure despite my rather unpleasant reaction (I was not abusive, in case you are wondering.)

So ... she has set it to non-renewal.

Now ... why am I upset? Because in numerous conversations and interactions I have had with these people, I have never had this explained to me. One presumes that it is buried somewhere deeply in paperwork, but I admit to not taking all that crap to a lawyer ... and I certainly have no patience to go through those things. But this is the kind of caveat that should be front and center.

Anyway ... I am used to it by now ... cell phone providers are the worst, cable not too much better ... Primus have horrid customer service policies ... and I can now add yet one more to the pile.

Whatever ...


Crystal said...

Hi Kim,
I'm with the Direct Energy PR team - and came across your post. I think there might be an opportunity to reach a resolution more to your liking on this issue. It does depend on a few factors, which can be discussed offline. I can be reached at the coordinates below if you wish to discuss further.

Sue W said...

Actually Kim, your heating equipment is in precisely that part of the bath-tub curve that makes "protection plans" a good idea...if they pay up when it croaks that is...

Kim Letkeman said...

Sue, the problem is that the cost of the protection is very high ... whereas the wear out failures I can expect soon are catastrophic (e.g. rust on heat exchanger has been detected) ... so we're at the point where the likely failures will require replacement. And yes ... there is always the "if" ... :-)