FEC failed to notify me of the Deposit required on the account until AFTER we had moved in. They refused to let me remove my spouse from my account.
The sign up process for FEC service was very poorly handled to begin with. But I was told my deposit required would be one of only two options. EITHER 30 bucks OR 1020 bucks based on a soft credit check. I was told I would be notified prior to moving into the house which amount it would be. I was never notified. I called FEC just before move-in day to find out and was told that my account was open and on file but that they could see nothing about the deposit amount so "it must be all okay" quoted the woman who helped me. I rec'd a cryptic letter regarding our Experian number, but again no explanation of what the deposit would be. Finally, three days AFTER we moved into the house, I rec'd a call at 4pm that we failed their credit check and required the 1k+ deposit...and that they needed it within 24 hours in order to maintain our electricity being turned on. I was very upset and began to inquire as to what was going on. I was told, quote, that the score we failed was by a mere 5 points and that it was because of a bankruptcy on my husbands account. That bankruptcy was over 8 years ago and should NOT NOT NOT have been used against him. Further more, the next day, I spoke with a supervisor and was informed that really my credit was perfect but it was just HIS that was the problem and that's why they required so much money. I asked if we could just remove my husband from the account since I was the primary anyway and I was flat told, "No...we don't do that...we don't let people alter their original application and pick and choose who gets to be on their accounts."
I was given so much mixed information during the application process, and they took no responsiblity for that. FURTHERMORE their poor lack of communication put me and my family into a HUGE financial burden and by not allowing me to just remove the problem, I feel as if they essentially held us hostage to pay their huge fee NOW or have no power.
They did agree to lower my deposit amount, and allow me to pay it out over three months, but the damage has been done. I feel VIOLATED that they would use a bankruptcy that was on my husband's credit report from over 8 years ago before we were married as the basis for their decision for a fricking utility deposity. I am outraged that I was flat told that I didn't have the ability to choose who was or wasn't a joint on my own account, and I an utterly offended that after all their blunders, they have the audacity to threaten my family to pay up within 24 hours or have the power turned off. If I had ANY choice in the matter, I would choose another electric provider but as such this complaint is my only recourse.
SHAME on FEC for being so brazen as to take a family of five with three small children and subject them to such highway robbery. What kind of utility requires such a steep deposit but doesn't take more care to communicate it better. And what kind of person can call at one hour from closing time and ask, "oops we screwed up and you shouldn't have power, can you give us 1k now so we can keep you on". I. Am. Outraged. and plan to vocalize this predicament to anyone who will listen.
I want that bankruptcy of 8 years ago disregarded and or I want my husband off my account so that the exhorbinant deposit is rendered unnecessary. I want to pay the standard 30 dollar deposit fee and the additional monies given so far refunded as a credit on my account. I WOULD not have had to pay that under any other circumstance and I want an apology - IN WRITING - from FEC for the stress of forcing my husband to try and come up with so much extra money just DAYS after a massive move wtih our family that included the medical bills for our 3 year old diabetic child. They were mismanaged, irresponsible, cold, and unprofessional with the manner in which this was handled. THEIR ERRORS in the application process are what started this and I simply will not stand for it.
Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: Sheryl Paden
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ******@farmerselectric.coop
******* ****** contacted us on April 12th regarding fees to secure electric service at **** ********** ***** ***** ****** We quoted our standard fees of $10 application fee, $20 membership fee and if required the deposit would be $1020 based on 4020 square foot home for a total of $1050.
On April 17th after we had received and entered ******* and ***** ******'s application information it was determined that a deposit did need to be collected and we called the contact phone number on the application and had to leave a voice mail that we needed additional information on Kevin and that a deposit of $985 would be required, to please call back so arrangements could be made.
On April 22nd when ******* called in we advised her deposit was required based on our policy guidelines. When she stated no one had advised her of deposit requirement we told her that we had left a voice mail on April 17th.
On April 22nd, we advised ******* we could reduce the deposit to $500 as a courtesy with a partial payment of $230 required. We advised her that we would have to have her application process completed by 4/26 since the previous member had requested us to disconnect the service Monday 4/29. She chose to pay the $500 in installments. We informed her that her deposit would be refunded with interest earned after 12 payments on time.
Please contact me if you have additional questions regarding this case.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The fact that "They advised me that they would have to have my application process completed by 4/26 since the previous member had requested them to disconnect the service Monday 4/29" is irrelevant since the previous "owner" was the home builder. My complaint was about them using an 8+ year old piece of information on the SECONDARY member on my account as their reasoning for this exhorbinant deposit fee. I was very clear in my request. I am the primary on the account, I alwys have been, if removing my husband is necessary then fine, but I want that 8 year old piece of information REMOVED from consideration and I don't want to have to pay ANYMORE than the 30 dollar fee that I was TOLD would be owed if ONLY my information was considered. I was clearly told that MY credit was perfect and I scored fine. And as such i want to remain the primary on the account - AS I APPLIED - and just remove my husband and all extra fees refunded to my account immediately.
It is absolutely unethical to dig back into the public records for over 8 years ago on the co-signer on the account to try and find a reason for this dollar about. Especiually when that reason has ROLLED OFF the credit reports and is no longer under consideration by the IRS OR the Mortgage industry. If you have to dig THAT FAR BACK to get some money, then you are digging too hard.
I was told by YOUR OFFICE that my credit was perfect and I am the primary on the account. I wish to remain the primary and just remove my husband and refund the ridiculous fees.