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In Greater Houston and South Texas

This Business is not BBB accredited

Spark Energy, L.P.

Phone: (800) 780-9202 Fax: (877) 374-8007   View Additional Email Addresses http://www.sparkenergy.com

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Description

This company specializes in providing electricity and natural gas.

Spark Energy would like the public to know the following:

Spark Energy has specific requirements for its sales agents, including wearing clothing that clearly identifies the agent as being a Spark Energy representative and that they do not work for any utility. If you believe you have been approached by a sales agent who is misrepresenting their affiliation or have any other issue that needs to be addressed, please contact Spark Energy directly at 877-547-7275 or email at customersuggestions@sparkenergy.com .  

BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of No Rating. The reason is as follows:

  • BBB does not have sufficient information to issue a rating on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

80 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 36 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 19
Billing/Collection Issues 23
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 38
Total Closed Complaints 80

Additional Complaint Information

Consumers allege that this company does door to door sales posing as a competitor whose service the consumer is currently enrolled.  Will get consumer to unwittingly sign agreement by stating it is approval for lower gas rates.

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: June 20, 2007 Business started: 02/20/2002
Licensing

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Texas Public Utility Commission
1701 N. Congress, Austin TX 78701
http://www.puc.state.tx.us/
Phone Number: 888-782-8477
customer@puc.state.tx.us

Type of Entity

Limited Partnership (LP)

Business Management
Martha Lopez Mr. William Maxwell III, Founder and CEO
Contact Information
Principal: Martha Lopez
Principal: Mr. William Maxwell III, Founder and CEO
Related Businesses
Ampegy
Business Category

ELECTRIC COMPANIES

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Professional AffiliationsX
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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
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  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

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Additional Email Addresses

  • - Communication/Mass Email
  • - eQuote

Complaint Detail(s)

7/22/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
7/19/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues
7/11/2014 Problems with Product/Service
7/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service
6/16/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
5/26/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I noticed on my p g and e billing statement where there was a charge from sparkenergy, so I called pge and asked them why, I was told to called sparkenergy because they were now servicing my residence for natural gas. I called sparkenergy and I asked who gave them the authority to service my home and I wanted a copy of the documents, I signed with our permission. When I called I was told it was done at my home. My second call I was told that authorization was done over the telephone. Now I cant be taken off the program without paying a cancelation fee of $100.00.

Desired Settlement: I want to be taken off this energy program that I did not authorize without any fees. Also how did they get our info?

Business Response:

To Whom This May Concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: *********

Thank you for bringing Mr. ***** ****** ***** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Mr. ****** is disputing that he or his wife authorized the switch to Spark Energy services. The ******’s complaint also addressed the early termination fee that was applied to their account upon the termination of their contract.

After reviewing the information provided, Spark Energy has determined there is a valid enrollment on file for ***** ****** *** Our records show that ***** ****** signed the Natural Gas Agreement Form on 01/17/2014. Ms. ****** agreed to a twelve (12) month fixed contract at 72.5 cents/therm with a monthly service fee of $4.95 and an early termination fee of $100. I have attached the signed contract for review.

On 04/10/2014, Ms. ****** called in to cancel Spark Energy services. The request was submitted on 04/10/2014 and the final day of service was set to be 05/19/2014, determined by the customer’s utility company PG&E. The customer called in again on 05/01/2014 to inquire about the cancellation process and to have the charges on the account explained. The agent Ms. ****** spoke with offered her a cost comparison, where we compare the utility company’s rates with ours; if our rate is higher, then we would refund the customer the difference.

In an effort to resolve the ******s’ request, Spark Energy will waive the early termination penalty of $100.00 for the termination of their service while under contract in addition to the cost comparison.

Mr. ****** was not available, but his wife Ms. ***** ****** was contacted and provided with the account termination date and advised that the early termination penalty will be waived.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns pertaining to this matter.

Best regards,

****** ******* ** | Customer Care Specialist             

2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste 100 | Houston, TX 77042

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

4/28/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
4/26/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: At approximately 14:30 on Thursday, March ****, 2014, a representative, claiming to be from "the gas company," presented himself at my door. In spite of the fact that he was wearing an orange shirt that had a logo with the words, "Spark Energy," when I asked him if he was sent by PG&E, my ACTUAL gas company, he answered "yes." I inquired further, asking this person if PG&E had contracted Spark Energy to come out and contact us. Again, he replied affirmatively. He stated that he was here to ensure that we were receiving the latest available discounts on our gas bill, and that he would need to see my latest PG&E statement.I informed him that I would address any discount or service concerns WITH PG&E, and bade him good day.I subsequently contacted PG&E, who informed me that Spark is NOT contracted by them, nor affiliated WITH them in any way, shape or form. It has since come to my attention, that Spark Energy L.P. has at least a three-year track record of engaging in these types of deceptive business practices during their "door-to-door" interactions with prospective customers.I have also contacted my state representative's office, advising him of this problem occurring within his district.

Desired Settlement: Business will cease and desist any and all attempted deception, either expressed or implied, of prospective customers within its service area(s).

Business Response: To whom this may concern: This is Spark Energy s formal response to Case no: *******. Thank you for bringing *** **** ******** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it. Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. *** ****** states that the agent represented himself as working for the gas company. We specifically train and reinforce with our agents NOT to represent themselves as working for or being affiliated with the local utility. We have communicated the customer s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting themselves and Spark Energy s service correctly. We’d like to assure *** ****** that what he has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we tolerate this behavior. After further review, we have identified the door to door sales agent as ******* ******. *** ****** works for third party vendor Empower Sales. As a result of this complaint, *** ****** has been suspended until further notice. Spark Energy would like to confirm that no enrollment was submitted for *** ******’s account. *** ****** can rest assured that his natural gas services are not scheduled to switch to Spark Energy. Finally, we would like to confirm that the service address of *** * ******* ******* ** ***** has been added to our Do Not Solicit list. Spark Energy contacted *** ****** at ************* on 03/***2014 and he was advised that his services are not scheduled to be enrolled with Spark Energy, and he has been added to our Do Not Solicit list. Customer understood and had no further questions or concerns. Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused and would like to ensure that we are continuously reinforcing our training and sales guidelines with all of our sales vendors, on how to properly inform potential customers of our products and services. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions and concerns regarding this matter. Best regards, ****** ********** | *** ********** ** **** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** *************************** * *******************

Consumer Response: [ADDENDUM ******** 23:24] Having re-read the timely response from *** ****** ********** / Spark Energy, I feel I need to add some additional feedback, which may serve to clarify the underlying issues with the sales strategies that this utility has employed within (at least) the past three year period. In defense of *** ******, and quite possibly Empower Sales, I find it highly unlikely that *** ****** arrived at his sales approach, specifically his statements misidentifying himself as being connected to PG&E, individually. In fact, a subsequent conversation with his fellow sales person, a female that was accompanying him on-site, would in retrospect, seem to confirm this conclusion: (I kindly informed the both of them at that time, that they could not identify themselves as being from the local gas company, as that would be fraudulent. Her response to this echoed *** ******'** in that they were merely identifying themselves as being from "the gas company," at which point I informed them that a lie of omission, is still a lie.) In addition to this, similar reports gleaned from sites including Consumer Affairs, dating as far back as September of 2011, and from different states, would lead any reasonable observer to conclude that these deceptive sales methods have been proffered by certain entities "far higher up the chain of command" than one or two "*******-come-latelys." Scapegoating one sub-contracted sales associate is NOT a long-term solution to the underlying problem. In fact, I would personally rather that *** ******* ****** RETAIN his job with Empower Sales, LLC, as jobs in the current economy are increasingly difficult to come by. The problem does NOT NOW, nor did it ever lie with *** ****** himself. Immediately preceding *** ************ identification of *** ****** and her description of his subsequent suspension, she states that she would "like to assure [me] that what he has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we tolerate this behavior." If that were indeed the case, then I would ask *** ********** exactly -why- is there a lengthy track record of Spark Energy's sales force doing exactly the things that she disavows in her statement? This may sound rather brash, but lip-service assurances in the face of solid evidence to their contrary, are hardly assurances at all. In conclusion, the one thing that I -am- assured of at this point in the process, is that *** ******* ****** has been thrown under the proverbial bus on this piece.

Business Response:

From: ****** ***** ******************************* 
Sent: Tuesday, April *** 2014 10:10 AM
To: drteam
Subject: Response to BBB Complaint No.*******

To whom it may concern:

 

Thank you for allowing us to address *** ******** additional concerns.

 

First and foremost, we understand *** ******** concern and want to ensure him that Spark Energy takes these types of complaints very seriously and investigates fully any allegations of misconduct.  The selling tactics that were described are not in line to Spark Energy’s standard business practices. All third party vendors that Spark Energy utilizes are provided with scripting as well as a code of conduct document that has been approved by Spark’s Marketing and Legal teams. We have provided these documents to PG&E for their review.  All agents are required to adhere to the sales scripting that is provided as well as to read, understand and sign Spark Energy’s Code of Conduct for Third Party sales agents. Spark Energy specifically trains and reinforces with our agents NOT to represent themselves as working for or being affiliated with the local utility. The Code of Conduct includes the following specific language:

 

“Never implying, suggesting, or knowingly allowing a Customer to believe the Sales Representative is a representative, employee, agent, or directly affiliated with the local utility or any other retail electric or natural gas provider”

 

Spark Energy will follow up with the vendor for corrective action for any reported code of conduct violations.  In one occasion a vendor was terminated from our program at the expense of sales for repeated code of conduct violations.

 

Secondly, All sales in the PG&E market are verified and recorded using a different third party vendor.  These Third Party Verification (TPV) vendors are provided a strict script to follow which includes the following language:

 

“You understand that Spark Energy is not PG&E or an affiliate of PG&E, but an approved Core Transport Agent participating in PG&E’s Core Gas Aggregation Program?”

 

Regarding negative comments online, I do want to share with you that indeed we are not perfect, but it is our goal to remedy any customer concerns or complaints as soon as possible, and work to prevent their recurrence. We even have a team dedicated to ensuring customer problems receive the attention of our executive management, and that team works diligently to not only resolve any issues, but proactively contact customers if something has occurred, to prevent later problems.  Unfortunately, some of the online complaint sites only let us respond to customer postings on their sites if we pay a fee to the site.  We work hard to keep our costs low and are reviewing these sites to determine the best course of action.  However, we do proactively contact any online customer complaints on sites that allow us access to the customer so that we can get the issue resolved to the customer’s satisfaction as soon as possible.

 

In addition, we pride ourselves on our low complaint score with state regulatory agencies. We have been operating in states like Texas for over 10 years, and the ***** ****** ******* ********** is one of the few ***** *********** that publishes its complaint rankings online. We enjoy our current rating with that agency with respect to complaints – you can view that rating online at this URL: *****************************************************

 

Spark Energy apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

Best regards,

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

4/23/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have called to cancel service with this company three separate times and all three times been assured that my account would be cancelled and I would no longer see spark energy on my monthly electric bill. This was not the case, I am still receiving fees from spark energy and obviously can't trust them to cancel my service, I was given cancellation number ******** to cancel service ID number ********** but they still have not done so, my first call where I was assured service would be cancelled without any fee was on 1/**/2014. I later received a letter from PG&E notifying me that spark energy was to become a middle man between PG&E and myself. This was how I first learned that they didn't cancel my service, so I called again that day and asked for it to be cancelled again (I forget the date of this but I could look it up if needed). I was assured that the deal was done there and when i asked for a cancellation number they gave me the same one I listed above again. Now here i am in April and they are still showing up on my bills.

Desired Settlement: I just want them to leave me alone and stop charging me money

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s response to Complaint No: *******.

Thank you for bringing Brendan Ryan’s concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy’s records indicate that *** ******* **** contacted Spark Energy on 01/**/2014 to request a cancellation on his residential gas account. *** ******* had contacted us prior to his enrollment being electronically processed into our system. However his enrollment was inadvertently processed. 

It is Spark Energy's policy to honor any process issue to the benefit of the customer. In this case, a cost comparison is made between the Spark Energy rate and the utility rate. If the utility rate is higher we do not charge the customer more; if our rate is higher we would refund the difference to the customer.

We completed a cost comparison for the service period from 02/**/2014 – 03/**/2014, and will refund the difference of $6.77 in the form of a check which will be mailed to the customer’s mailing address on file of *** **** ******* ******** ** ***** within 10-14 business days. Attached is a copy of the Cost Analysis comparison for your review. 

Spark Energy has attempted to contact *** ******* **** at ***** ******** to communicate the information above but was unsuccessful. A detailed voicemail message was left providing contact information.

We apologize for any confusion and hope this explains the situation regarding *** ****** account. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

****** ********** | CSG Specialist II

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** *****
*************************** * *******************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

4/13/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On November 27,2013 I sign up with Sparkenergy, the young lady I talk to was ********* ****** (****** she assure me that signing with this company would lower my gas bill. I sign the papers and once again she reasure that this was a good and honest company. I was told that this would be one bill and that Pacific Gas and Electric work together with Spark Energy. On April 4, 2014 i receive a early termination fee notice stating that i owe them a payment of $100.00. I call and talk to a young lady name *******, when i ask her why i was being charge she stated that i terminated my contract, i explain that i had notice on the bill that i was paying for gas twice, and that i was told that i would revice one bill. i have the cancel number, she said that if i did not pay that this matter would turn over to collections, i explain to her that it is up to Sparkenergy and PG and E.I do not control the issues between both companies, if they did not receive a payment then, it is up to them to fine out why. i told her that this is i would take it to court to get this matter taken care of. I wonder how many others people have sign up , and this happen to. I check with the BBB and saw that there are 76 complaints, i feel that this company needs to educted their employees about their company, so there are no misunderstandings. I feel that i was mislead about the company as to the utility charge and customer billing and payment information.This matter was not solve today, i will be going to court if this matter cannot be solve.How could i cancel the service with in three business days with out seeing the first bill to see if i made the right decison to go with their company, i would first have to see how much lower my gas bill would be verse PG&E with Sparkenergy.

Desired Settlement: I do not want this matter going to collections, i would like to seattle this matter civil and have Sparkenergy understand. If nothing can be done i will be taken them to court if we can not take care of the matter.

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Case No: ********

Thank you for bringing *** ****** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly. We’d like to assure Mr. **** that what he has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we condone this behavior.

Our records show that Mr. **** contacted Spark Energy on 01/29/2014 and requested to cancel his service.  Mr. **** was informed that he was under contract and that an ETF would be applied if he cancelled his agreement, as disclosed in his Terms of Service provided. At that time, a cancellation request was submitted, and his service resumed with PG&E on 02/21/2014, as determined by PG&E.

In an effort to resolve the customer’s dispute, Spark Energy has agreed to waive the early termination penalty of $100.00 for the termination of his service while under contract.

Spark Energy contacted Mr. *** **** at (559) 443-1061 to communicate the above information. Mr. **** had no further questions or concerns, and was satisfied with the resolution.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any misunderstanding Mr. **** has experienced. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best Regards,

****** ********** * *** ********** ** **** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** *************************** * *******************

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

*** ****


 

Thank you for helping with this matter, i would like a letter from the company stating that this matter has been taking care of and it will not be be on my credit report.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

4/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
4/8/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: ******* ***, my mother, is 88 yrs old and very hard of hearing.She did not understand what she was agreeing to when Sparkenergy called her with their sales pitch. When your representative mentioned "PG&E" thats what she heard. She thought it was a "PG&E" program and she had to comply.Cos. like you prey on our elderly, with your phone calls and junk mail. It is wrong. She doesn't have $4.95 a month and she should not have been contacted. I am asking Sparkenergy to release her from any and all charges and close the account. There isn't even a date on the contract.

Desired Settlement: Remove all charges and fees and close account

Business Response: To whom this may concern: This is Spark Energy s formal response to Case No: ******** Thank you for bringing ******* ***** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it. Spark Energy has verified there is a valid enrollment for ******* ***** account as authorized by ******* *** on 03/07/2014. Spark Energy’s records show that ******* *** enrolled service for a 12 month term at 79.9 cents/therm. Spark Energy utilizes a Third Party Verification (TPV) process to help ensure that sales representatives are representing themselves and Spark Energy properly. Attached is the TPV for your review. A cancellation request has been submitted for Ms. ***** natural gas enrollment. Ms. ******* *** can rest assured that her natural gas services are not scheduled to switch to Spark Energy. Spark Energy would also like to confirm that ******* ***** account will not be assessed an early termination penalty. An attempt was made to contact Ms. *** to discuss her concern at ***** ********. Unfortunately, there was no answer and a voice message was left. Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions and concerns regarding this matter. Best regards, ****** ********** | CSG Specialist II 2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste 100 | Houston, TX 77042 *************************** | www.sparkenergy.com

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/25/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: i want to be refunded for the charges as well as my time OF HAVING TO Deal with all this running around I have to do. A representative from the spark energy program came into my complex and was trying to sign people up for the program. The gentleman came to my door and asked if i wanted to sign up for the program. I told him no I didn't need it and if the sparks energy program can get my gas lower then it already was then i would consider it. I am only paying the max 13.00 a month for gas. That rep even agreed that I was paying lower then what the program offered me. He asked to see my bill and I showed him. After we talked about how I didn't want the program he asked if i could sign a paper stating he informed me about the program and a representative from the main office would call me with more details about the program to see if i will reconsider it. after not hearing form anyone i didn't bother to check up on it. then i noticed that my pg&e bill was higher then usual. I really didn't think to check the bill until last month when I got the bill and it was again higher then what i was paying. Then i see that spark was charging me 25-30 dollars for their service on top of 11 dollars that pg&e was charging me. I checked my last months bill and saw the same thing. I called to cancel the service I never even signed up for in the first place and they gave me the run around. they dont want to turn the service off nor do they want to refund the money I paid. A lot of other tenets in the complex are complaining of the same thing. That sales rep was giving them false information to sign up for a program that they don't even want and now having to deal with a higher energy bill that they shouldn't have to. I asked repeatedly to talk to the supervisor but not one person can connect me. They keep telling me that the supervisor isn't in at the time. This is ridiculous and I am considering going to the media about this.

Desired Settlement: I want them to take me off the program and a refund of the months I paid for the program that I didn't even need.

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

 

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Case Number: *******

Thank you for bringing Mr. **** ******** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

 

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Spark Energy has reviewed the information provided by *** ****** and has confirmed that an enrollment was not submitted for the customer’s account. The actions described by Mr. ****** are not acceptable. We would like to assure Mr. **** ****** that what she has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we condone this behavior.

Spark Energy’s records show that Mr. ******’s enrollment was rejected and is not scheduled to become active based on the information provided.

An attempt to contact Mr. ****** was made, however; the contact number provided of ***** ******** is not in service. Should Mr. **** ****** have additional information regarding charges received from Spark Energy as indicated in his dispute, we will be happy to review for further investigation.

Spark Energy apologizes for any inconvenience Mr. ****** has experienced. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

Best regards,

****** **********| CSG Specialist II

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **************************** * *******************

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
3/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
3/11/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
3/10/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I had a person come to my door and tell me that Spark Energy is cheaper then ** * * and that he wanted to show me the number comparisons on my bill. Unfortunately I let him look at my bill and he filled out a form and asked me to sign it to get cheaper gas. I told him to come back. I did my research and saw it was not something I wanted to do. He came back I told him I was not interested and he left. Two weeks later I got a letter from **** saying that my gas distributor was changed to Spark Energy. I called them and explained the story. I found out the guy put a fake name on my address to open the account. My assumption is he gets commission for the amount of people he signs up. I asked if the guys name was on the file and who it was because I wanted to file a complaint against him because what he did is illegal. The man on the phone told me it was not listed and the guy that came to my store is some third party. This gives a bad rep for people that are going door to door to actually sell or promote good business and is why people are so harsh to door salesmen. I am not paying for anything that has to do with Spark Energy. I did not sign anything or agree to any services from Spark Energy.

Desired Settlement: I would like the service to be canceled and find out the guys name and file a complaint on his illegal work. Committing fraud is illegal and he should be penalized for it or another person will have to take time out of their day to deal with a unnecessary situation.

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to Case Number *******

Thank you for bringing ********* ********* concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Spark Energy has no record of an enrollment for ********* ******* based on the information provided. Unfortunately we are not able to determine if an enrollment was completed.

Should ********* ******* have additional information, we will be happy to review for further investigation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 Best regards,

****** ********** | CSG Specialist II

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** *****

**************************** * *******************

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Back in November a young man came to my door stating that I can get better gas rates using Sparks gas. That PG&E's rates go up and down and they can provide a fix rate of .04? therm. I sign the contract. When I later saw the contract there was an additional monthly rate on $4.95 monthly it also stated on the contract that I had 5 days to cancel. I called Sparks to advise that I didn't want the service. The young lady who I spoke to advise not to worry the change did not go through PG&E had rejected it. So I didn't worry I got my this month and now appears as though I have a charge from PG&E 10.96 gas delivery charges which I believe it should of been the $4.95 for delivery. The fix rate I'm also confused with that. The pint is when I called why was I advised not to worry that PG&E rejected it.

Desired Settlement: Just cancel contract with no penalty

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: ********

Thank you for bringing ******** ********* concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it. 

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Spark Energy’s records show that ******** ********-******* contacted our Customer Service department on 11***/2013 to request a cancellation of her service with Spark Energy. *** ******* was advised that her enrollment was rejected due to an invalid account number and would not become active. Our records show that the Quality Assurance team contacted *** ******* to correct the account number due to the reject. The correct account number was provided and the re-enrollment was resubmitted, which caused the account to become active.

A cancellation request was submitted for *** *******’s account on 02***/2014 and service is scheduled to be terminated with Spark Energy on 03/**/2014 as determined by PG&E. Spark Energy would like to confirm that there is no early termination fee associated with *** *******’s cancellation request.

In an effort to resolve the customer’s dispute, Spark Energy will review the customer’s account and complete a cost analysis once the account has been final billed to determine if a refund is applicable. A cost analysis compares what the customer would pay under our rate versus the utility.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any misunderstanding *** ******* has experienced. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

****** ********** | CSG Specialist II

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **************************** * *******************  

Business Response:

From: ****** ***** *******************************
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:02 AM
To: drteam
Subject: Response to BBB #*******

 

To Whom This May Concern:

Thank you for allowing us to address Ms. ******** ****************** additional concerns.

Ms. ******** ****************** current concern is that she continues to be billed by Spark Energy after requesting to cancel.

To recap, Spark Energy submitted a cancellation for Ms. ******** **************** on 02/21/2014 and was advised on our original response that her services would terminate with Spark Energy on 03/25/2014. Our records show that a Cost Comparison which compared our rates to the utility was processed and a refund in the amount of $19.23 was sent to Ms. ******* on 04/22/2014.

Please be advised that Ms. ******* currently has a balance of $24.68 with Spark Energy.

 

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any misunderstandings or inconvenience that may have occurred during this time.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 


****** ***** | Office of the President, Supervisor

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **** ************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/3/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: My wife received two sales reps who claimed to checking power bills for errors. They assured her they were not changing anything, but were checking to see if we'd been mischarged. She told them at the time she did not want any of our services changed. They disregarded this and switched us to their services anyway.

Desired Settlement: I at no point agreed to be a customer of SparksEnergy. I will not pay them for any services provided. I believe I have restored my services to my original provider, Integrys Energy Services. I do want to ensure that Sparks is no longer trying to bill me.

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to Case Number ********

Thank you for bringing ***** ******** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Spark Energy has no record of any enrollments being processed in the service area reported by Mr. ********* unfortunately we are not able to determine who the agent was that visited prospect.

Should ***** ****** have additional information, we will be happy to review for further investigation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

****** ** * CSG Specialist II

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **************************** * *******************







BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/25/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Deceptive and fradulent representation!A male came to my door and mumbled something about pacific gas.This person did not state he was from Spark Energy and was trying tohave me sign a contract with snark energy. He did imply he was doingsome sort of survey about customer satisfaction with PGE.I did sign an enrollment form but than thought there is something dubiousabout this so I DID NOT INITIAL SEVEN CONDITIONS OF ENROLLMENT!!I have no desire for any commercial relationship with deceptive Sparks Energy.I will file this complaint with the California public utilities and the Federal Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Desired Settlement: I WISH FOR SPARK ENERGY TO EXIT FROM MY LIFE.I will contact the California Attorney General officeif Spark thinks that what they do is proper!

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

 

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: ********

Thank you for bringing ******** ******** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it. 

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Mr. ******** can rest assure that his natural gas services are not scheduled to switch to Spark Energy.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience Mr. ******** has experienced. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

 

****** ********** | CSG Specialist II

2*** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **** ***** ******** *************************** * **************************

 

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

******** ********


 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

2/17/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Tonight a middle black age man came to the door with a shirt on that said "Sparkenergy" and on his badge it said his name "****** *******". ****** stated "I am working in partner ship with PG & E and was instructed to come out to lower the gas rates of customers that pay PG & E" to $0.725/therm. It was shortly after 5pm and already dark. ****** had a clip board with a copy of PG & E rates on it with their letter head, he put a form in front of me and asked me to sign. I asked for the Notice of Cancellation form and ****** started a huge song and dance about "how no one ever cancels". I took the form. I was totally surprised after researching online they are no way part of PG & E. I signed a "Natural Gas Enrollment Form." today and now I am mailing the cancellation notice tomorrow certify mail. I don't want any charges from this company with false advertisement from PG & E.

Desired Settlement: Not to charge me any fees or services or any other ongoing agreements between myself and Sparkenergy company. This inquiring into my PG & E was a fraud and in no way part of PG & E.

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to Complaint number: ********

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that contact prospective customers are conducting themselves a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Spark Energy has reviewed the information provided by *** ******* and has confirmed that an enrollment was not submitted for the customer’s account. The actions described by *** ******* are not acceptable. We would like to assure Ms. Watkins that what she has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we condone this.

We would like to assure *** ******* that what she has described is not how we train our sales force, the representative who visited *** ******* home will be placed on a short term suspension to let other sales agents know that this type of pitch is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused and would like to ensure that we are continuously reinforcing our training and sales guidelines with all of our sales vendors, on how to properly inform potential customers of our products and services.

 Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions and concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

****** ********** * *** ********** ** **** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **************************** * *******************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: This company came to my apt in the evening stating they were from PG&E. Not once saying they were from Spark Energy. Because I do not see good as I have macular degeneration I was only able to go by what they rep. was saying. The rep never told me about the monthly service fee of $4.95 jor termination fee of $100. I was completely upset when my daughter explained to me what was done as I believed he was from PG&E. This is signed & written by my daughterf who has power of attorney for me.

Desired Settlement: Unspecified

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint ********

Thank you for bringing *** ***** *** ******* concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly. The actions described by *** ***** are not acceptable and the agents involved will be addressed in accordance with company policies.

*** ***** can rest assure that her gas services are not scheduled to switch to Spark Energy. We’d like to also confirm that the service address of *** ********* *** *** ***** ** ***** has been added to our Do Not Solicit list.

Spark Energy apologizes for any inconvenience *** ***** has experienced. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

 

****** ***** | Office of the President, Supervisor

 

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** *****

 

 

**** ************

 

 

 

********************** * **************************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/10/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Hello, My name is ***** I live in Yuba City CA. A representative from spark energy recently came to my door. The man had little to say about the company or why he was at my door. I was under the impression that he was affiliated with **** which is my original energy provider and that **** sent him. Come to find out when I received a contract agreement letter in the mail I had unknowingly signed into a contract with a completely different company that has a 12 month term and a cancellation fee of 100 dollars. I also noticed the company is not even local, they are based in Texas, this led me to start doing a little research on this company and I was sickened that I was tricked into signing anything they presented to me. Spark energy is a complete fraud, other people have very similar story's at this link *********************************************************** Spark energy has very shady business practices and have no business trying to trick people in a completely different state. They promise that the rate will be cheaper but in doing research in most cases it is actually more expensive. They are also not accredited by the better business bureau and I can see why. The people coming and knocking on doors misrepresent Spark Energy and keep everything very vague in an attempt to get you to sign a contract. I was not even informed I was signing a contract, I am beyond mad at Spark Energy. I will be calling tomorrow to cancel.

Desired Settlement: If Spark Energy is to try and take advantage of people in another state I at least want the representatives to explain everything to the person they are talking to and let them know that the service is completely voluntary and that you can choose to stay with your current provider. I did not have the luxury of receiving any of this information.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

This letter is to inform you that Spark Energy, L.P. has carried out to my satisfaction the resolution it proposed for my complaint, filed on 2/*/2014 3:30:20 AM and assigned ID *******.

I called them and successfully closed my account with spark energy with no termination fee, hopefully the cancellation actually goes through.

Regards,

**** ******

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

2/9/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: This company utilizes telemarketing activities, but does maintain compliance with laws restricting these activities. Do not call lists are ignored, calls are made 7 days a week both inside and outside calling time restrictions, frequently calls are made to residences with no advisor even on the other end of the phone. They have set up their phone listing to fraudulently appear as "CCS LLC", instead of their own company name. If you inform the company you are not interested in their services, they continue to call, clearly not tracking their previous calls, therefore resulting in nothing short of harassment.

Desired Settlement: I would like to see a government investigation by the FCC into the advertising practices which this company engages, as they don't seem to realize the reason why these laws were created. Additionally I would like an update from this company as to the steps they have taken internally to resolve these calling issues.

Business Response:

To whom it may concern:

 

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No.********

 

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

 

Some solicitation calls are made for Spark Energy at locations separate from our corporate headquarters, resulting in call ID that is not specific to Spark Energy. However the agents should represent themselves as representing Spark Energy in any interaction. Spark Energy has confirmed that *** *********** phone number of ***** ******** has been added to our Do Not Call list and she will not receive any more solicitation calls moving forward.

 

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused *** ********** 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

Best regards,

****** ***** * Office of the President, Supervisor

**** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **** ************ ********************** * **************************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/7/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
2/4/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: A representative of Spark Energy rang my bell this afternoon and claimed that "I need to speak to everyone in the building" about their *** ** bills. I went downstairs and the agent explained that he was just going around to check to make sure everyone in the building had been switched to the new ***** ****** program. I went back up and grabbed my bill, and the agent started the process of switching me to Spark for a portion of the bill that as he pointed out, was currently being serviced by ********. He specifically and repeatedly claimed that he was there "on behalf of *** ***" He had a long script that he was going through point-by-point and the longer this went on the more suspicious I got. He said I'd be charged $7.49 per Kwh. I asked what I was paying now, and he says, "$7.49". Ok so that's two lies in the first ten minutes. My complaint is that 1) the agent deliberately misrepresented their relationship to *** **. They are not there on behalf of *** **, they are a competitor to *** **. 2) The agent never mentioned the $4.99 a month fee that would go on top of the rate they were offering. 3) The agent never mentioned that there is a $100 termination fee.

Desired Settlement: Spark Energy is engaged in systematic deceitful business practices. This is clear from my interaction and everything I have read subsequently. I would like assurance that 1) my information was not used to sign me up for an account and that 2) the company will place me on their do not solicit list. I also further request that the BBB seriously consider lowering the current A+ rating for this business. These agents are not making this stuff up on the spot. They've been trained to lie.

Business Response:

 To whom it may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No.********

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that contact prospective customers are conducting themselves a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

Spark Energy has reviewed the information provided by *** ***** and has confirmed that an enrollment was not submitted for the customer’s account. The actions described by ******** are not acceptable and the agents involved will be addressed in accordance with company policies.

We would like to assure *** ***** that what he has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we condone this. To prevent future solicitation attempts, *** ***** has been added to our Do Not Solicit list.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused and would like to ensure that we are continuously reinforcing our training and sales guidelines with all of our sales vendors, on how to properly inform potential customers of our products and services.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions and concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

****** ********** * *** ********** ** **** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **************************** * *******************

 

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

***** *****


 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

1/23/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: A representative came to my door and offered me cheaper electricity service (I was offered .64 compared to the .69 kwh that I was currently paying). I told the rep that sounded good but I didn't want to pay the late fee that I believed was associated with my current account (I was with **** ****** at the time). The rep made a phone call and talked to his boss and told me that his boss said there was no late fee associated with **** ******. He told me the information about the service and that if I didn't cancel in the first 30 days I would be charged a 50 dollar late fee. I signed up with the service.A couple of days later I received a call from **** ****** asking me why I left and I told them I was offered a cheaper rate. They told me that was fine but I would be charged a late fee if I left. I was frustrated by this because the Spark Energy rep at my door had told me differently so I told **** that I would stay with them. They restarted my service and cancelled the Spark Energy service. This took place during the summer months near August or September I believe.Yesterday (January ****) I received a letter from Spark Energy (the first correspondence I have seen) telling me I owe a 100 dollar early termination fee and that if I don't pay within 30 days my account will be sent to collections and my credit score will be effected. I tried calling on different occasions during their business hours yesterday and was unable to get through on the phones (I received a busy signal each time).

Desired Settlement: I would like the late fee waived because I cancelled in the appropriate amount of time. The sales rep also quoted me a 50 dollar late fee so if a late fee is required I should only be paying the 50 dollars I was quoted to settle my account.

Business Response:

To whom this may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Case Number ********

Thank you for bringing *** ******* ******* concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it. 

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We’d like to assure *** ***** that what he has described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we condone this.

Our records show that *** ******* account terminated with Spark Energy on 09/**/2013.  Spark Energy would like to also confirm that an Early Termination Fee will not be applied to *** ******* account. *** ***** may disregard the Early Termination Fee letter that he received. 

We are sorry to hear that *** ***** was unable to reach anyone at Spark Energy. Spark Energy may be contacted by phone at ***** ******** Monday through Friday from 7am – 7pm (CST) and Saturday from 9am – 4pm (CST).

 

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience *** ***** has experienced.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

*

***** ***** * ****** ** *** ********** ********** **** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **** ************  ********************** * **************************

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

******* *****


 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

12/17/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
12/7/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Two days ago, a young man knocked at my door. It was shortly after 5pm and already dark. When I required who he was he said he was "*** *." He said that "they" had lowered the gas rates, put a form in front of me and asked me to sign. Being taken by surprise, I signed a "Natural Gas Enrollment Form."

Desired Settlement: I want this agreement canceled.

Business Response:

To whom it may concern:

This is Spark Energy's response to BBB Complaint #: *******.

Thank you for bringing ***** *****’s concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

 

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

A cancellation request has been submitted for ***** *****’s natural gas account. We will continue to monitor the cancellation to ensure it processes in the utility’s system. Spark Energy would like to confirm that ***** *****’s account will not be assessed an early termination fee.

Spark Energy would like to confirm that there is no early termination fee associated with ***** *****’s cancellation request.

Spark Energy apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

Consumer Response:

 

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait until for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

***** *****

 

Thank you for your help.


 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

BBB Comments: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to the BBB.

12/6/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: UNSCRUPULOUS SALES TACTICS - This company keeps sending sales reps to our home to try to get us to switch our electric supply to them. They've come so many times I've lost count, as often as three times in two weeks! As annoying as their repeated visits are, I'm writing this complaint for a more serious reason. I find their sales tactics to be dishonest and immoral and want something done about it. It's always the same. The reps come to the door, sometimes dressed in a reflective vest that makes them look like they're meter readers, and say something that makes it sound like they're from our electric utility. Something like, "Hi, we're from the electric company, there was a problem recently and we're checking everyone's bills to make sure you're getting the right rate. Can we see your bill?" When you bring them the bill, they say, "Oh, it looks like you're getting the wrong rate! We can take care of that..." At which point they get you to authorize switching to them. They are so slick about it that I'm sure most people don't realize that they just switched suppliers. My man and I both have master's degrees, and it took us a couple of rounds to actually figure out this was a salesperson making a pitch. I can't begin to imagine how many harried mothers-of-three have fallen for this, not to mention old ladies! Shame on you, Spark Energy. Someone should sue these people for fraud.

Desired Settlement: I want Spark Energy to reform their sales practices and to send a letter of apology to every home that was contacted using the old tactics. In addition, I want them to send $20 in damages to every home they misrepresented themselves to, for the wasted time and nuisance.

Business Response:

Thank you for allowing us to address Ms. ****’s additional concerns.

Spark Energy would like to confirm that we have not had any sales within a .6 mile radius of this customers address. We would like to remove the agents from the campaign but cannot identify who these agents may be based on the time line and fact we have had no sales within the customers street in over 60 days.

Since this customer has had multiple interactions with Spark Energy agents it would be tremendously helpful if she would contact us directly and provide an agent name as we cannot identify a specific agent or team that may have knocked on her door.

Ms. **** is concerned about the sales script that is provided to our Door to Door agents. Spark Energy’s script that we provide to the agents within the training documentation states the below.

“My name is [Agent Name], stopping by on behalf of Spark Energy. Spark Energy is certified by the Illinois Commerce Commission as an independent seller of electricity participating in ComEd’s Electric Choice program. Spark is not employed by, representing, endorsed by, or acting on behalf of the utility, governmental body, or consumer group.”

This is the sales scripting we provide and require the agents to adhere to; we appreciate Ms. **** contacting us and any additional information she can provide can help is in identifying who is not following this protocol. Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused to Ms. ****. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

BBB Comments: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.

11/29/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: An employee of this company has come to my apartment complex and is going from door to door and he is claiming to be from **** asking to see a billing statement to update my information. They had no ID and when I called **** I was told that they do NOT send people out door to door to collect this information since they already have it. He lied to my apartment Manager and then tried lying to my face when confronted about this and was extremely condescending! Cops were called and he was told to leave! This is completely unacceptable business practices! There should be NO need to lie about who you are and what you want for legitimate reasons!

Desired Settlement: I would like an apology for the the disrespectful behavior from this person and from the company with a promise that they will not condone this sort of behavior in the future!

Business Response:

To whom it may concern:

This is Spark Energy’s response to ****Case# *******.

Thank you for bringing ** ********’ concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer's complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy's service correctly.

All sales agents that represent Spark Energy are required to wear a bright orange Spark Energy shirt, a jacket and their Spark Energy badge which should be placed on their outer layer of clothing.

Spark Energy takes these types of complaints very serious and we are in the process of investigating this with our Third Party vendor. We would like to assure ** ******** that what they have described is not how we train our sales force, nor do we condone this.

We’d like to confirm that ** ********’ service address of **** ******* ******* *********** ** ***** has been added to our Do Not Solicit list.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience ** ******** has experienced. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

**st regards,



BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

BBB Comments: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.

11/15/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: This company has sent out people to the Uptown area of Chicago, they have rang my doorbell 5 time today after telling them i wanted nothing to do with them. The tried getting me to change over to their power company using lies. The claimed to be part of ***** when i contacted ***** about this they said that they are not affiliated with them and thanked me for letting them know that a rival power company was using these tactics to steal customers. I don't Appreciate a company lieing to me and continually ringing my door after business hours. This company deserves the lowest rating ever.

Desired Settlement: They need to be Hit with a fine if possible for misleading people

Business Response:

To Whom It May Concern:

This is Spark Energy’s response to Complaint # *******.

Thank you for bringing Mr. ***** concern to our attention and for allowing us to address it.

Spark Energy makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales representatives that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner. We have communicated the customer’s complaint to our sales group to ensure that all representatives are presenting Spark Energy’s service correctly.

We’d like to confirm that the service address of **** * ******** *** ******** ** ***** has been added to our Do Not Solicit list.

 

Spark Energy apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards, 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

BBB Comments: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.

11/3/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was having trouble getting my bill paid for the month of ******. I went to my church for help. The only way you can get help from a church is to have the disconnect notice and be close to being shut off. I was told by an agent to wait till my disconnect notice comes in the mail to call for an extension. I was going to pay it myself at the time of the extension. I had two days till pay day. They could not wait. They told me that they could not do an extension due to the fact I had the disconnect notice sent. So, I got on the phone with my church for help. They were going to pay for it with check but there was issues with me being able to pay the bill directly at a store. So, the lady from church had to get on the phone and pay Spark Energy directly on the phone. During this time, I was told that it had not been sent for disconnect as of yet. Just minutes of talking with the lady at Spark then speaking to the lady at my church, they supposedly sent the order. So, now they charged me $50.00 for a disconnect fee even though my electric was never turned off. This company claims they help indigent people (which I was at the time) but could not help me. Instead gouge me for more money.

Desired Settlement: I would like them to take the $50.00 off my dues because right now I rather not deal with them ever again.

Business Response:

To whom it may concern:

 This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No.*******.

Our records show that a disconnection notice was mailed to ******* **** on ********** that was scheduled to expire on **********. Ms. ******* **** contacted Spark Energy on ********** to request a payment extension on her account. Ms. **** was informed that we were not able to grant an extension due to the expiration of her disconnection notice.

A request for the disconnection of Ms. **** service was submitted on ********** at approximately 2:37 PM. Ms. **** contacted our Customer service department at 3:33 PM to process her payment for the amount of $86.24, at that point a reconnection order was submitted. Spark Energy provided Ms. **** with the Terms of Service (TOS) at the time of enrollment. Attached is a copy of the TOS which include the following details. 

Other Charges and Fees. All applicable taxes and non-recurring fees will be reflected separately as itemized charges on Customer’s invoice. Non-recurring charges billed by a transmission and distribution service provider (TDSP) for establishing, switching, disconnecting, reconnecting, or maintaining service will be passed through to Customer. Non-recurring charges billed by a TDSP include, but are not limited to, service connection fees, out –of -cycle meter readings, meter test fees, and disconnection and reconnection fees. Spark Energy does not pay or arrange for the payment of any outstanding debts owed by Customer to the TDSP or previous retail electric service provider. In addition to charges or fees specified elsewhere in this Agreement or otherwise authorized by law, Customer will also pay the following additional fees and charges, if applicable:

·         $30.00 for payments returned for insufficient funds by any method of payment including, but not limited   to, bank or personal check, automatic payment plan account deduction or credit/debit card.

·         $50.00 for each disconnection request Spark Energy sends to TDSP for Customer’s account.

·         Late payment penalty of 5% of a delinquent balance.

Spark Energy apologizes for any confusion in regards to the disconnection fee. As a one- time courtesy Spark Energy will waive the $50.00 disconnection fee. Ms. **** will see the adjustment on her Spark Energy bill within 1-2 billing cycles.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

******* ****


 

 I disputed this with them. When I discussed an extension in the first place, the lady I had talked to told me to wait until the disconnect notice show up in the mail. Then call back for the extension. I had two days from the disconnect notice due date until payday. That is how I perceived her explanation. I even repeated it back. When I called back to get the extension after I had received my disconnect notice, they told me that is not what she meant. So, then I had to contact my friends from church to get help. It took some time, but I did let my church know before this disconnect date. On the day of disconnection, I received word from one of the ladies from church that they were going to help me. I was at work during breaks I talked to people from Spark and the lady from church. I had called Spark, right before the lady was going to call to pay my bill, to ask them if the service has been sent. They explained to me several times if it has already been sent I would have to pay the $50 reconnect fee. The lady I had spoken with at that time had told me it was not sent. It was only minutes after that, that I had called the lady from church to let her know it was ok to call and make the payment and gave her my information.

 

Spark insisted that the disconnect order was sent and my electric was not disconnected. My electric was not disconnected ever and there was not enough time for the order to be sent unless they were doing it as I was talking to them.

 

Not only have they tried to charge me the $50, I now find out they had charged my sister's credit card after I had told them to remove it on or about *** or ****, as I was paying my first bill. They tell me they have the right to do so. They were supposedly doing an investigation in the matter by looking through past recordings. I have not yet heard back from them.

 

Another note, on their bill states they assist those that are not able to pay a bill on time. I even helped in this a little. I asked for help and they failed to help me.

Business Response:

Thank you for allowing Spark Energy the opportunity to address Ms. ******* ****’s additional concerns.

 

Spark Energy would like to confirm that the $50 disconnection fee has been waived as requested by the customer to resolve her dispute.

 

After further review of the account our records show that Ms. **** contacted our Customer Service department on ********** regarding her sister’s credit card information being charged for payment. Ms. **** explained that her sister’s credit card was used at the time of enrollment to pay the deposit required for service.  It was explained to Ms. **** that the auto pay option may have been selected during the enrollment process and is why the Credit Card was drafted. Our records show that the auto-payment option has been removed from the account and the payment was reversed back to Ms. **** sister’s credit card. Ms. **** was informed that the credit will be applied back to credit card within 3-7 business days, as determined by her financial institution.

 

Our records show that Ms. **** has switched her electric services away from Spark Energy prior to her contract expiration date, as a courtesy Spark Energy will waive the early termination penalty.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

BBB Comments: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.

11/1/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Been subject to a rate miscalculation for around 5 months at which spark billed me at a variable rate much higher than the rate I renewed at. We found out the issue was due to something in their system that did not renew my account. I have since been issued a credit for the main portion of the overage, however my contract was not backdated and am still dealing with a leftover amount of $32.59. The billing department keeps trying to auto deduct from my account causing me to place numerous calls to spark to fix the issue and get a credit which take 5-10 business days.

Desired Settlement: A credit to my account for all the time I have spent Loaning money out to Spark and for the numerous times called and countless hours spent on the phone with them. I also want my contract to be backdated to the correct date instead of the new date in ****** **** which is incorrect.

Business Response:

To Whom It May Concern:

This is Spark Energy’s response to BBB Complaint No: *******.

Our records indicate that Mr. ***** ******* contacted Spark Energy on ********** and requested to renew his account. At that time Mr. ******* was offered the Spark Online Advantage Plan which provided a fixed rate of 0.091 cents per kWh. The plan also included an Early Termination Fee of $175 as well as a Monthly Fee of $8.99 (when usage falls below 1000 kWh).  Unfortunately, the account was not renewed as requested by Mr. *******. Because the account was not renewed the account defaulted to the month to month variable rate plan.

Mr. ******* contacted Spark Energy on ********** to inquire on his renewal. After review of his account, Spark Energy was able to confirm that the renewal was not processed and the account was billed incorrectly. Please be advised that on that same day an adjustment request was submitted to correct the error. On ********** an adjustment for the amount of $190.31 was applied to the account. This adjustment covered the service period from ********** to **********.

 

On ********** Spark Energy applied an adjustment of $32.59 to the account. This adjustment covered the service period from ********** to **********. I’d like to confirm that all appropriate adjustments have been applied to Mr. *******’s account. Due to the inconvenience, Spark Energy has offered Mr. ******* $75.00 in credit.

 

Spark Energy contacted Mr. ******* on ********** and confirmed that he was satisfied with the resolution.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Spark Energy claimed to have given me a $75.00 for my credit, and I have confirmed and was satisfied with the resolution. These are both false claims. Over time with spark I may have received credit and they may have added up to $75.00, however they are not for the issues at hand. I also can attest that I have not been contacted by Spark until the 10th at which time I was informed that they would apply $50 dollars to my account, not $75.00. I told them I also have not received and updated contract reflecting my true renewal contract date of ********** – **********. At this point I am running out of option and patience with spark over their various billing and contract mistakes and am looking for outside counsel to help resolve my outstanding issues should spark fail to correct their actions. Asking for Spark to fix their mistakes and make good with a customer is apparently something out of reach. There have been numerous mistakes and inaction from various members at spark. My next contact with spark is for the **** in which time ****** ***** will call me and I am to make a payment around $60.00 to bring my account up to date and in full. If this is the best Spark has to offer I will just have to keep that in mind during my next renewal process.

Regards,

***** *******


 

 

Business Response:

To whom this may concern,

Thank you for allowing Spark Energy the opportunity to address Mr. ***** *******’s additional concerns.

Mr. ***** *******’s rebuttal states that he only heard from Spark Energy on **********. Our records show that a Supervisor contacted Mr. ******* on ********** and **********. On ********** Mr. ******* was offered $50.00 for the inconvenience due to Spark Energy incorrectly Auto Drafting a payment. At that time Mr. ******* accepted that amount and stated that he would retract his BBB complaint.

Spark Energy’s Technical Support Team has been informed that the contract term needs to be updated to reflect Mr. *******’s original renewal date. Once this has been completed Spark Energy will be happy to send a confirmation letter to Mr. *******.

We apologize for the confusion, and for any inconvenience caused to Mr. *******. An attempt was made on ********** to contact Mr. *******. Mr. ******* indicted that he would contact me back.  In an effort to resolve the complaint, Spark Energy has agreed to apply an additional $25.00 to Mr. *******’s account, which changes his current balance from $61.61 to $36.61. We believe this brings the matter to a mutually-agreeable resolution.

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

BBB Comments:  Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.

8/30/2013 Problems with Product/Service
8/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was approached by several individuals at my door about changing electric company services. After explanation and details, I signed a contract form and was told that it would only be ********** after the company called me to confirm my decision on the phone. A ************** from the company called me immediately and started to record our conversation, and I agreed until he stated that the rate would be *****kwh. On the contract I signed it was written at******/kwh. I told the company I did not want this contract and they asked me if I wanted to end the conversation and I said yes. So I spoke to the individual at my door and explained that the rate he quoted me was very wrong and much,much higher than what I signed for. So, Ms ********* said she would call again and make sure that the rate was what they told me on the contract. So a different individual from the company called me back and the same thing ws sais again. The rate I was quoted on the contract I signed was *****/kwh but the rate the company quoted me on the phone for confirmation of the contract was*****kwh. So, again I told them that I did not want this contract and and to cancel it. They then asked me if I wanted to end the call and I said yes. I asked the woman who was on my porch for the contract back and she would only give me the yellow copy and she kept the white copy. So, to avoid any confrontation, I told her to call me back if they got this straightened out and another woman and a young man who were also representing ***** ****** who were also on my porch assured me that there was some mistake. The one woman handed me her card,******* ******, with two numbers on it and told me to call either one if I had any questions. They all walked away in a hurry. So I came in the house and called te first number on the card and there was no answer. Then I called the business number and it said they were closed. I called *** and left a message about this event and informed them that I did not want to change my service provider.

Desired Settlement: I do not want a contract with the company ***** ******. I believe this might be a**** and it needs to be reported. Their written contract says one thing and the confirmation call tells you a different rate that is much higher than what you signed on the paperwork. I do not want this contract with this company and I want BBB to be aware of their practices. Pease let me know what you discover and the results of your actions on this matter. Thank you for your time, ******* ** *****

Business Response:

To whom it may concern:

This is ***** ******** formal response to BBB consumer complaint*********

***** ****** makes every effort possible to ensure that all sales*************** that visit prospective customers are conducting themselves in a professional and truthful manner.

After review of the information provided by the customer,***** ****** was able to identify the problem. The miscommunication began when Ms. ***** was offered a rate of $******/kWh however, when the verification script was read the verifier read it as **** ***** per kWh. The rate was converted from dollars into cents which caused the confusion.

***** ****** contacted Ms. ******* ***** on **********, apologized for the misunderstanding, and explained the misunderstanding. I’d like to confirm that Ms* ******* electric services are not scheduled to be switched over to ***** ****** and her signed documents have been discarded.

***** ****** sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,


****** ***** | ****** ** *** ********** **********

**** ******** ***** *** *** |*******,** *****

Tel: ************ |

********************** | http://***.***************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

7/21/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
3/17/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On February 6, 2013, I contacted ****** ******* and *** Company to determine the high cost of my monthly bill. I was informed by ***** that my monthly bill included a third party cost of $200 per month. I immediately contacted Spark Energy Gas, LP in Houston, Texas. I requested that they discontinue my service because I could not afford the additional cost attached to my bill for utilizing their company. I am on a fixed income and this additional cost has placed an undue financial burden whereas I can no longer afford to pay my gas bill. Spark Energy indicated that they would not be able to close my account until April 5, 2013; which means I will pay an additional $400 for a service I can no longer afford. How can this company be allowed to take advantage of consumers? This is a deliberate attempt to defraud unsuspecting people. I am requesting an immediate investigation into their unfair practices and assistance with getting them to close my account and return my money.Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Desired Settlement: I woukld like to get a refund of $400 for February and March, 2013. I do not feel I should be liable for these months if I requested to discontinue the service.

Business Response: To whom it may concern:This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: *******.Spark Energy’s records show that a valid enrollment for service was obtained for Ms. ********’s account as authorized by Ms. ******* ********. During the third party verification that took place on 07/21/2011, the customer is asked if she is agreeing to the switch and it is specified that Spark Energy is not ***** or an affiliate of *****, but an approved supplier.Ms. ******** was offered a Month to Month Variable Rate Natural Gas Plan. Our records indicate that a Welcome Letter along with Terms of Service was mailed to the customer on 7/25/2011. A copy of these documents is attached.The customer’s service became effective with Spark Energy on 9/3/2011 and was billed based on the month to month variable rate that was offered at the time of enrollment. Our records indicate that Ms. ******** contacted Spark Energy on 02/06/2013 in regards to her account. At that time, a cancellation request was submitted to ***** on the customer’s behalf. Spark Energy received a response from ***** on 02/07/2013 confirming the drop on the account would complete on 04/05/2013. Please note that the effective date as well as the termination date may take one to two billing cycles, depending on the confirmation date provided by the local utility company.Spark Energy apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred, but believes the customer was billed correctly. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns.Best regards, ***** D. | Customer Support Group2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste. 100 | Houston, TX 77042Toll free: (888) 477-2146customerconcerns@sparkenergy.com | http://www.sparkenergy.com/

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/10/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: When were approached by a Sparks representative to change from what was our current Gas/Electric Supplier (*****) to their company, the Sparks representative said Sparks would guarantee the lowest competitive rate. We of course made the switch. After a year we noticed our bills went up significantly! They were $50 more than previously and we were notified on our bill that we could have saved $50 a month if we were still using *****. When we contacted Sparks to ask why their prices went up so much, the representative stated we were notified that after 1 year of service "your service with Spark Energy would simply remain active under a variable rate plan. This means that you would be billed at a rate that is determined by the market conditions for energy prices, and that the rate could fluctuate (as opposed to a fixed rate)." We never received this letter that Sparks supposedly sent to us because if we did we would have switched back to ***** if we knew SPARKS was not going to be the cheaper (or at least the same as it's competitors). We as customers would never change from a company we have used for years and years just to switch to another for 1 year if it wasn't going to benefit us for years. We were under the impression Sparks would keep it's rates competitive and we do not want to bounce around from company to company year to year when we had 1 that was in our best interest. We feel their claim of competitive pricing was false and only a trap to get us to switch to their company so they could up their charges at a later date.

Desired Settlement: We feel Sparks should refund us the difference from Sparks' pricing and at LEAST MATCH ******* pricing from November 2012 through our cancellation date with Sparks Energy. Or use the rate at which we were paying prior to the increase.

Business Response: To whom it may concern:This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: *******
Spark Energy’s records show that a valid enrollment for service was obtained for Mr. ****** electric and gas accounts as authorized by Mr. ****** *****. During the agreement the customer is asked if he is agreeing to the switch and specifies that Spark Energy is not an affiliate of *****, but an approved supplier.Mr. ***** was offered a 12 month fixed rate of $0.1069/kWh for his electric service and was offered a Month to Month Variable Rate Gas Plan. Our records indicate that the Terms of Service and Disclosure Statement for Mr. *****’ accounts were mailed on 09/30/2011. A copy of these documents is attached. The customer’s service became effective with Spark Energy and on 11/18/2011 and was billed based on the agreed upon rates. As stated in the Terms of Service provided to the customer, a notice advising the customer of the upcoming expiration date – 11/17/2012 - for his fixed rate product was mailed on 9/17/2012. In addition, a courtesy call was made to the customer on 11/9/2012 in an attempt to discuss renewal options for his accounts; however the call was unsuccessful and a voicemail message was left providing contact information. At the customer’s request, a cancellation request was submitted for Mr.*****’ electric and gas accounts with Spark Energy on 2/12/2013. The customer’s electric account is now scheduled to resume with ***** on 03/25/2013, as determined by *****; gas service is scheduled to resume with ***** on 04/24/2013, as determined by *****Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred, but believes the customer was billed correctly. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any questions or concerns. Best regards,***** D. | Customer Support Group **** ******** Blvd, Ste. 100 | Houston, TX 77042Tel: (**** ******** customercare@sparkenergy.com | http://www.sparkenergy.com/

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/17/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I applied for services with Spark Energy, after there was an issue with the meter I decided not to use the company for services and requested the refund of my $****** deposit. I was given a refund number and assured that the refund would be put back to my account since this all occured the same day.The refund was deposited back into my account by my bank on ********** and the same day Spark Energy went back and debited my account again for $****** causing my bank account to be negative $****** and auto draft payments to be returned with insufficient funds and all my families cells phones to be disconneted.I have made serveral attempts with Spark Energy to correct to situation and to refund my $****** back to my account, I have spoken to several ********, I have faxed copies of my bank statements and I continue to get the run around.My family and I are currently having to stay with family due to no power in our home, we have no phones to make contact with anyone, my bank account is negative and we are currently in a destitute state.I feel as if I have exhausted all my resources to have this taken care of.

Desired Settlement: I would like to receive the $****** refund that is owed to me and for my *** fees to be paid that were incurred due to the mistake and error of Spark Energy.

Business Response: To whom it may concern: This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: *******. Spark Energy’s records indicate that Ms. ******** enrolled with Spark Energy via our website on *********. During the enrollment, the customer was required to pay a deposit of $*** in order for service to be established. Our records indicate that the deposit was paid on *********.  Ms. ******** contacted Spark Energy on ********* to inquire about connection of service and was advised that the connection was placed on hold due to a ****** Hold from the local utility company. Ms. ******** was advised that a*** ********* Statement would need to be filled out and returned to Spark Energy in an attempt to have the ****** Hold removed and have service connected. The customer requested to have her deposit refunded to her. A request to have the funds returned to the customer was submitted at that time and was the customer was advised that it could take anywhere from *** business days for the funds to appear on her account.  Based on the information provided by the customer, the payment of $*** that was pending on ********* as shown on her bank statement was reversed by the customer’s banking institution. The documents provided by the customer indicate that a second draft of $*** was attempted on ********* and Spark Energy processed the refund on *********. Spark Energy contacted Ms. ******** to discuss her account on *********. During that phone call the customer indicated that the funds were made available to her bank account on *********. The customer also indicated that she incurred *** fees from her ********* carrier as well as her *** service carrier due to the second draft of $*** on ********* and requested a refund for those charges in the amount of $******. At that time, Spark Energy requested that Ms. ******** provide documentation confirming the *** fees she incurred for review.  Spark Energy has since attempted to contact the customer in order to obtain a copy of the documents but has been unsuccessful. Spark Energy will be happy to review the information once it is provided by the customer and refund any charges that could have been prevented had the second draft of $*** not been submitted. The documentation can be sent via fax to (**** ******** or can be emailed to ********************************. Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience that the customer has experienced and is working diligently with our ********* ******* ***** to prevent any further cases such as this from occurring.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.  Best regards, ***** *. | ******** ******* ********* ******** ***** **** *** | ******** ** ***** Tel: *******.**** or toll free (**************************************** | ***************************

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/12/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Several months ago I terminated my account with Spark Energy. I had made a payment online but it did not go through and their we're billing issues. I contacted Spark Energy and the ***** representative said he would remedy the issue as it was a problem with their ******* department. Since then I never received anymore notices. The matter was deemed resolved. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I'm getting a collection notice from ****** ****** ***** Reference #********* for a bill in the amount of $** on behalf of Spark Energy. I absolutely dispute this charge. I paid my services in full and was told by the ************** it would be taken care of.

Desired Settlement: I have paid all proper disconnect fees and balances. The $** charged removed from my account as it was advised to me on the phone.

Business Response: To whom it may concern: 

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: *******. 

Our records indicate that Mr. ***** **** enrolled with Spark Energy on ********** under our Spark Online ********e ** **** with a fixed rate of $0.0960/kWh, along with a monthly fee of $**** when usage is below 1000kWh and an early termination fee of $*** should the customer terminate service with Spark Energy before the contracted term expires.  According to our records, Mr. **** contacted Spark Energy on ********* to confirm his contracted rate. At that time, the customer was advised that his rate was a fixed rate of $0.096/kWh. The customer stated he was under the impression that he enrolled under a fixed rate of $0.0860/kWh. The ******** ******* Representative explained that the account was enrolled under the rate of $0.096/kWh and that information was confirmed in the enrollment confirmation email sent to the email address of ******************* on **********. Mr. **** then indicated that he would be terminating his service with Spark Energy and was advised by the agent that his account would be subject to an early termination fee of $*** if the account is terminated before the contract end date.   Mr. ****’s account terminated with Spark Energy on ********* due to a switch to another provider. An invoice in the amount of $***** generated on ********** for service from ************** and was delivered via email to Mr. ****. A payment for the amount of $***** was applied to the customer’s account on ********. Subsequently a Corrected Final Invoice showing the Early *********** *** was generated and emailed to Mr. **** on *********. A payment in the amount of $****** was made to Spark Energy on ********* leaving a balance of $***** on the customer’s account. A Final Notice for the amount of $***** was sent to the customer on ********** with an expiration date of **********.  Spark Energy received a call from Mr. **** on ********** in response to the Final Notice dated *********** The customer was advised that there was an outstanding balance of $***** that was due on his account. Spark Energy’s records do not show that a payment for the balance was received; for this reason Mr. ****** account was placed with the ********** ****** in an attempt to collect payment.  At this time, the customer’s account reflects a balance of ******. Payment can be made directly to Spark Energy by contacting our ******** ******* ********** ** **************. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.  Best regards, ***** **** | ******** ******* ********* ******** ***** **** *** * ******** ** ********* ***** **************************************** ********************************** **** ***** ******

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/7/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On 01/10/2013 I contacted Spark Energy to renew my electric contract. I spoke to a gentleman through their online chat named ***** **** about rates. I asked if he could match another companies average rate of 9.0 per kWh for 12 months and he stated that they could, but I would have to call in to get the rate. I then called in and they would not honor the average rate of 9.0 per kWh for 12 months. They keep saying that they could give me a flat rate of 9.0 which was actually 9.1?? but the average was actually 9.5??? So when I was back at work I spoke to an ****** on their online chat about rates again. I explained what had happed and between going back and forth. She said that they would honor the average rate of 9.0 per kWh for 12 months if I called in. Well when I called in for the second time they still would not honor the average rate that that they had promised. I even spoke with a manager that was working and she was not helpful at all in the situation. Basically everyone was trying to make me think that they were offering me a average rate of 9.0 per kWh when they were actually offering an average of 9.5 per kWh.

Desired Settlement: My desired outcome is that they will honor the average rate of 9.0 per kwh for 12 months as prevously offered. If the rate is not honored I will switch electric companies and leave the complaint.

Business Response:

To whom it may concern: 

 

This is Spark Energy’s formal response to BBB Complaint No: *******. 

 

Spark Energy’s records indicate that Mr. **** contacted Spark Energy via online chat on 1/10/2013 to inquire about renewal rates. During that conversation, Mr. **** inquired price matching a rate of $0.09/kWh. The customer then indicated that while on our website, the rate he was able to view was a rate of $0.095/kWh. He was advised by the agent that the rate he was seeing was an average price based on a 2000kWh usage including fees; he was also advised that by viewing the details of that average price, he would see that the energy charge being offered was $0.091/kWh. In order to obtain the energy charge of $0.09/kWh, the customer would need to contact and speak to our Customer Service Department.  

 

Our records show that a subsequent online chat was received and Mr. **** advised that he contacted our Customer Service Department to obtain the rate of $0.09/kWh. The online chat agent proceeded to advise the customer that the average price per kilowatt hour of $0.095 is based on usage of 2000kWh and that the average price includes an AMS Fee, Energy Efficiency fee, as well as an Ike Recovery fee. He was then advised that the renewal rate he is able to see by logging into his online account is an energy charge of $0.091/kWh. In order to process his renewal for an energy charge of $0.09/kWh and an average price of $0.095/kWh based on a 2000kWh usage, the customer was asked to call our Customer Service Department.  

 

Mr. **** then contacted Spark Energy via telephone and spoke to a Customer Service Agent who reconfirmed that the renewal rate available for his account is an energy charge of $0.09/kWh with an average price of $0.095/kWh. The customer then requested to speak to a supervisor who again confirmed the rate available for renewal.  

 

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred. Mr. ****’s current fixed rate contract with Spark Energy is scheduled to expire on 02/08/2013. At this time the cheapest renewal rate available for Mr. **** is the Spark Online Advantage 12 which includes an average price of $0.095/kWh based on a usage of 2000kWh the energy charge for this plan is $0.09/kWh. A monthly fee of $8.99 does apply when usage is below 1000kWh.  

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.  

 

Best regards, 

 

 

***** *. | Customer Support Group 

2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste. 100 | Houston, TX 77042 

Tel: 713.600.2699 or toll free (888)772-7566 

customercare@sparkenergy.com | http://www.sparkenergy.com/ 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

As clearly stated in the online chat that I had they offered the lower price to me if I were to call in and renew. Two times I did this and was not offered the stated rate. I feel that this could be a standard practice of using different terminology to try to confuse consumers into purchasing contracts at higher rates.

Regards,

****** **** 


 

 

Business Response:

To whom it may concern: 

 

Spark Energy would like to apologize for any misunderstanding that may have occurred.  

 

At this time, the lowest rate available for renewal for Mr. ****’s account is the Spark Online Advantage 12 which includes an average price of $0.095/kWh based on a usage of 2000kWh; the energy charge for this plan is $0.09/kWh. A monthly fee of $8.99 applied when usage is below 1000kWh. 

 

Best regards, 

 

 

***** *. | Customer Support Group 

2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste. 100 | Houston, TX 77042 

Tel: 713.600.2699 or toll free (888)772-7566 

customercare@sparkenergy.com | http://www.sparkenergy.com/ 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Not happy with outcome. I expect lower rate to be honored or I will keep my claim. 

Regards,

****** ****


 

 

Business Response:

To whom it may concern 

 

At this time, the lowest rate available for renewal for Mr. ****’s account is the Spark Online Advantage 12 which includes an average price of $0.095/kWh based on a usage of 2000kWh; the energy charge for this plan is $0.09/kWh. A monthly fee of $8.99 applied when usage is below 1000kWh. 

 

Unfortunately, Spark Energy is not able to offer a lower rate than the offer previously mentioned. Please note that the customer’s current fixed rate contract is scheduled to expire on 2/8/2013. The customer’s account will transition to a variable rate as stated in the terms of service if the account is not renewed before the expiration date.  

 

Best regards, 

 

***** *. | Customer Support Group 

2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste. 100 | Houston, TX 77042 

Tel: 713.600.2699 or toll free (888)772-7566 

customercare@sparkenergy.com | http://www.sparkenergy.com/ 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

not satisfied

Regards,

****** **** 


 

 

Business Response:

To whom it may concern: 

Spark Energy does not have any new offers available for Mr. ****’s account. At this time, the rate available for renewal for Mr. ****’s account is the Spark Online Advantage 12 which includes an average price of $0.095/kWh based on a usage of 2000kWh; the energy charge for this plan is $0.09/kWh. A monthly fee of $8.99 applied when usage is below 1000kWh. 

 

Please keep in mind that the customer’s current fixed rate contract is scheduled to expire on 2/8/2013. The customer’s account will transition to a variable rate as stated in the terms of service if the account is not renewed before the expiration date.  

 

Best regards, 

 

***** *. | Customer Support Group 

2105 CityWest Blvd, Ste. 100 | Houston, TX 77042 

Tel: 713.600.2699 or toll free (888)772-7566 

customercare@sparkenergy.com | http://www.sparkenergy.com/ 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Not happy with response.

Regards,

****** ****


 

 

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.

12/16/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
12/15/2012 Billing/Collection Issues
12/11/2012 Problems with Product/Service
11/30/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have tried repeatedly to cancel my account with Spark Energy (contract # ***********) and they refuse to follow my wishes and terminate the contract. I keep being billed for services that I did not request. When I try to call them (most recently on November *** 2012) they put me on hold and then drop the call. These people are frauds who refuse to confront their customers. Then they are threatening to ruin my credit.

Desired Settlement: I want a full termination of the contract, with a written statement asserting that I owe Spark Energy NOTHING and that our account is over.

Business Response:

From: ***** **** ******************************
Sent: Tuesday, December *** 2012 1:25 PM
To: drteam
Subject: BBB Case#*******

To whom it may concern:

Spark Energy is aware that BBB Case#******* shows to be closed as unanswered and sincerely apologizes for the delay in response.

Spark Energy’s records indicate that *** *** ******* became a Spark Energy customer on 11/**/2011. Our records indicate that *** ******* contacted Spark Energy on 05/**/2012 to cancel her account with Spark Energy. At that time, a cancellation request was submitted and service resumed with PSEG on 07/**/2012, as determined by PSEG.

Our records show that a final notice was mailed to the customer indicating that a balance of $127.29 was outstanding. This balance includes $30.31 for service from 11/*/11-12/*/11 and $96.98 for service from 12/**/11-1/**/12. Spark Energy’s records do not indicate that a payment was received, for this reason the final notice was mailed to the customer.

*** ******* contacted Spark Energy on 11/**/2012 to inquire about the notice, and advised the customer service agent that payment was made to PSEG.

Spark Energy then received a payment in the amount of $127.29 from the customer which posted to her Spark Energy account on 11/**/2012. At this time, Spark Energy is working with the local utility company PSEG, to determine if they did in fact receive payment from the customer. If so, Spark Energy will be happy to reimburse the payment made directly by the customer to Spark Energy.

Spark Energy sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused. Once an updated has been provided by the local utility company, Spark Energy will be happy to communicate the information received to the customer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Best regards,

***** ** | Customer Support Group

**** ******** ***** **** *** * ******** ** ***** **** **** ***** ******** ******************************** * ***************************







Consumer Response: I have called PSE&G, the company through which Spark Energy charged me during our time of business. PSEG has confirmed that they received all payments in full from me and they will be sending me a history of our accounting, proving that I did not owe Spark Energy the amount they charged me, that Spark Energy constructs fraudulent charges, and that I deserved to be refunded in FULL. *** *******

Business Response:

Subject: Response to BBB Case#*******

To whom this may concern:

 

Spark Energy is aware that BBB Case#******* shows to be closed as unanswered and sincerely apologizes for the delay in response.

 

After further review, we have confirmed that Spark Energy incorrectly charged *** ******* twice for two separate billing periods. *** ******* will receive a refund of $127.29 in the form of a check which will be mailed to the customer’s mailing address on file of **** * **** ** ********* ** ******

 

An attempt was made to contact *** ******* at ***** ********. Unfortunately, the phone number has been disconnected and we were unable to reach *** *******.

 

Spark Energy apologizes for any misunderstanding that may have occurred. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter.

 

Best regards,

Description: Spark

****** ***** * ****** ** *** ********** ********** **** ******** ***** *** *** * ******** ** ***** **** ************ ********************** * **************************


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BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

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