I have been a long time Enbridge/Direct Energy customer going back to the Consumer Gas days. I have fended off a number of companies that pretended to represent Enbridge. It looks like my loyalty was misplaced.
It all started with the annual inspection in August of 2014.
The technician tried to indicate that the furnace was leaking CO. Considering he had the flame up high, I would be surprised he did not detect CO.
He used a Gauss meter to indicate the leakage. Normally a Gauss meter is used to detect magnetic fields and as such, indicates that there is electricity flowing in a wire.
He indicated that the exhaust pipes were leaky, but what I saw was condensation and it was only a few drops.
At the end, he indicated that if I did not immediately set up a sales appointment to replaced the furnace he would have to red tag the furnace.
This was a bit surprising considering that Enbridge replaced the gas meter and fully checked that the furnace was working properly just a few weeks earlier. Even though the equipment was old that Enbridge technician indicated that it was still in working order and did not need replacing.
Then the sales guy…
He provided no option for just buying the equipment. He only provided two options that dealt with the length of the support. I rarely buy extended warranties because they are usually to the benefit of the seller. Any appreciation in the price of the house will more than cover the replacement cost. He never suggested I get a second opinion, it was just pure high pressure sales. If the deal was good, then getting a competitive offer should have been recommended. There was a lot of pressure to sign before the end of the week. I also was given no idea what, if any rebates to expect. All options supposedly came with a service plan.
40 gallon tank
When they arrived to install the new equipment, they had a 50 gallon hot water tank rather than a replacement 40 gallons. They said they would check in to it. Later they said that all the 40 gallon heaters had been recalled. So, if I agreed, they would install the 50 gallon water heater and not charge for the water heater for six months. Of course, nothing was put in writing. The next bill reflected the change in status, but there was an increase rather than a free month. There are only two of us, so a 40 gallon would have been more than adequate.
Replacing the furnace was never on my mind, so, this whole situation came out of the blue and I was far from prepared for the sales tactics. Since then I have been bombarded with notices from Direct Energy with offers of rebates or buy backs.
I still do not understand why he had to pick up the paperwork rather than I just stuff it in an envelope and send it myself. Within 24 hours I got the notification that I had a service plan. I was told by the technician that did the service, that the service plan would be cancelled and the sales guy also agreed. I never indicated that I wanted a service plan. The whole indication that the limited options I had included a warranty that included a maintenance plan, why would I want another?
After the installation I was called saying that as a new customer I was to be given a service plan for four months for free. If I did not cancel, it would be automatically renewed. I cancelled immediately, but they ignored that request and billed. They also added a service plan for the air conditioner, which I also did not ask for.
So, from purchasing a furnace and air conditioner for $4,500 in 2001 I find that only thirteen years later that I have to replace it for almost two and a half times the price, $11,500, with no idea of what the equipment really cost.
From Oct 2014 till Christmas, I was laid up with knee problems. I could not do much but I was able to think about how I had been taken by Direct Energy. Not being mobile and tired of the lies, I wrote an email so that I would have something in writing. I did get two phone calls, but not being mobile and thanks to the pain, not able to answer the phone, I could not do anything until later. When I did call back on the number given, I got an answering machine. Rather than the typical, leave a message, it wanted me to set up voice mail. I had slightly more success with the Twitter account, but nothing more than acknowledgment of the complaint. The last was three weeks ago when they asked which email address I used. I told them then heard nothing,
It has been almost two years and I have yet to get a request to schedule a maintenance call on the equipment I bought or the service plan I did not ask for. I did receive a letter from Direct Energy last week, but it was more snake oil as they tried to con me into a service plan for plumbing.
Still waiting. Almost two years since they signed me up for a pair of service plans I did not ask for and they have yet to schedule an inspection or answer any of my emails.