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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 01/23/2007

Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation

Phone: (800) 889-9508Fax: (651) 423-3306

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Customer Complaints Summary

10 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 5 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Billing / Collection Issues8
Problems with Product / Service2
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints10

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (10)BBB Closure Definitions
06/12/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Credit, Billing or Collection Complaint Issue

Complaint: Recieved a bill for natural gas in feb for almost $500.00. Immediately called the customer service to help me understand why. The customer service person was rude and informed me that I had to pay in full or the bill would be sent to collections. (Which is confusing,she admitted that I have excellent credit with them and have never missed paying my bill on time). I called back again and got the name of a local person who could help, ****** with the Rosemount office. It was determined that it was the error of Minnesota Energy, the meter reader was most likely not reading my meter correctly, so it was their error, not mine. She was very helpful and we set up payment of $90.00 to be added to my monthly bill until May. The harrassing phone called started on March 4th at 7:30 pm. My husband informed the caller that we had made arrangements to pay the bill. The caller informed him that they had no record of such of an agreement. The caller from the MN resources was very rude and threatening, so he hung up on her. He called back to talk to someone else and explained the whole situation, for which it was told to him that a "note" was being put on the account.So I paid the March bill with the $90.00 added to the bill. The beginning of April we recieved 3 harrassing calls in one day. The following day we recieved 2 notices that they were shutting off our gas if we did not pay. Calling the customer service was futile, never had so many rude people. Called ****** back to complain about our service and she was surprised at all our problems. She was going to "look into it" and get back to me in a week. It has been over 2 weeks now as to why this company doesn't communicate with their field offices. It was admitted more that once that this was not my fault yet they continued to harrass me for payment. I made an effort to get this straightened out and was harrassed for my efforts. And it was their fault!

Initial Business Response
I apologize for not responding to this complaint but to better address the customer's concerns we are pulling all the recorded conversations from our call center. We have not yet received the recordings. I will inquire why there has been such a delay in obtaining this information. I will reply as soon as I can.

Initial Consumer Rebuttal
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
But according to the statement above the payment of 200 was made before the terms were set, but the payment triggered an error closing the terms? The statement is a contradiction in and of itself. So we try to pay something and it becomes our fault that the payment triggered an error? So now it's our fault that we received nasty phone calls? Payment was made because the representative took some time getting back to me, we played phone tag. It was reasoned that something should be paid before the due date. It is incredibly frustrating to be told what excellent customers we have been and then am called numerous times from your collections department and even get 3 collection/harassment calls in one day. I contacted *** in Rosemount about that, she was going to get back to me....that was about a month ago. So not impressed with anyone in your company so far.

Final Business Response
Our local supervisor, *************, called the customer and apologized. Customer was most concerned about the effect this might have on her credit rating, which **** assured her would be unaffected. She had a question about a credit that had shown up on her current account statement. **** turned her over to ***********,local CSA who *** stated had been great to work with previously. I think customer understands that we were equally frustrated that she had been harassed by our collections department.

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

03/17/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Credit, Billing or Collection Complaint Issue

Complaint: Since moving to southern Minnesota, this past summer my Minnesota Energy billing statements have been getting really screwed up. I have had to cancel two checks. Because MN Energy claims they do not receive my payment, then a few days later both checks show up twice. It's cost me 30 for the two cancelled checks. Plus a money order fee. This winter I have gotten nothing but problems with the billing from Minnesota Energy. I have been sending my payments to "Minnesota Energy Resources, ************, Prescott, AZ zip 86304-7022"

This is getting nerve wracking and frustrating. Because checks and cancelling checks cost me money also and by the time they actually do receive my payment, I'm getting another letter saying my account is past due! And I just get the bill 5 days before sending the payment out! and 5 days later I'm getting this "past due letter." And I'm having to call Minnesota Energy several times and They really don't seem to know what is going on.

Initial Business Response
Our customer service associate spoke directly with Mr. *******. She explained the time frame from bill to payment due and he now will be mailing his check approx. 10 days prior to bill date. The payment due on 3/8/14 will be mailed today, 3/4/14 he said and we will track payment posting. He was happy that we will allow check payments and the fact that the $30 for NSF fess has been credited back to his account.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

09/23/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Contract Complaint Issue

Complaint: Received my monthly bill, it was approximately 120.00 more than normal. They tried telling me it was an estimate cause they haven't had anyone to read anyones meters in our area since around February. My bills have all seemed quite normal till this one. If they didn't have someone to read the meter we should have been notified so we could have read it and called it in. Someone is getting paid not to do their jobs! I don't have central air, so getting a bill this much bigger than normal is very upsetting when you weren't planning for it.
Product_Or_Service: natural gas
Account_Number: *******-5

Business' Initial Response
Our supervisor spoke with *** for 20 minutes and reviewed her billing. She was content at this time due to the re-read showing no gas used since her last billing.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I would like credit for the 136.71 minus the 11.00 that I did owe them for the one month. I was overcharged by approximate 125.00. That was for the month of June that I also never used any natural gas. I believe it is against the law to charge customers for gas they didn't use.

Business' Final Response
We re-read the customer's meter on 8-16 and found that she had no usage since the last read on July 11th. Her bill has been adjusted accordingly.
Our Meter Reader is back to full time as of August 12th so we should have extremely limited estimating moving forward.
We do not have the support staff to call all customers when we do estimates.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

11/19/2012Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Improper collection practices

Complaint: I have been charged for someone elses bill. MN energy refuses to remove charges.
My account was charged $38.05 plus $13.68. These charges were applied from my ex-wifes account. We are divorced,(over two years) and her name has never appeared on my billing statement. She has her own home and account, yet I am being charged for her bill. This is a highly suspect business practice. I am not under obligation to pay anyones bill other than my own. There has never been authorization to have my account charged on the behalf of my ex-wife or anyone else.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:
Account Number: *********
Order Number:

Business' Initial Response
When the account went inactive on 9/6/12 there was a balance owing. We did a cross reference to see if the customer had other accounts with MERC. At that time the system found the account where his x-wife was listed as co-responsible on Saul's account and that is why the charges were transferred to Saul. We requested a transfer of $85.05 but a payment was received for $47.00 so only $38.05 was transferred. We will transfer those charges back to his x-wife's account. We left a message for Saul that we have done the transfer of charges.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

11/05/2012Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to correct billing errors

Complaint: I stopped using the furnace, which is the only gas operated system. The gas company is charging me, and I have not used their services.
I called the company to complain about the fees being charged, and requested the services be cancelled until the discrepancy was fixed. The customer service representative told me that a reading was done in May, and their fees still stand. Made me feel, like they're calling me a liar. The services have not being used since March, and I have no reason to use it, and may would have been a scorching 90 degrees. The local gas company, Michigan Gas Utilities, told me, that they were charging me in a percentage way, not in a usage way. That I was being charged for what it was charged last year, and the year before that. But I did not live in this apartment then. This practices are unfair and unjust, and upset me to know that they are getting away with this type of doing business.I have paid for the services I used, but I won't pay for the services I did not use, nor were provided to me. The landlord is aware of the practices being used, and does not appreciate the way this company takes advantage of the tenants.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:
Account Number: *******-2
Order Number:

Business' Initial Response
This will take some time to investigate because this is not a Minnesota Energy Resources customer; this is a Michigan Gas Utilities customer. I am working with MGU to get a resolution for you. We are currently waiting for the audio conversations in order to work with the customer's concern.

Business' Final Response
Based on the information we found in reviewing calls from the customer there was no call received to stop service. The stop service request was received by email on 7/2/12. The customer called our call center in May but he did not request us to stop service. Our findings will be passed along to the customer.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

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01/28/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services

Complaint: I Just bought a house and the Gas was shut off. I Called to request it turned on and was given a time frame that was never met.
I bought the house and the bank turned off the gas on a specified date but did not notify me. I never recieved a notice at the house informing me of this or I would have called and set it up in my name. After owning the house 5 days I showed up to work and it was 35 degrees. I called urgently asking for someone to turn on the Gas because the house was not winterized. They only had emergency shut off people available. I told them to have them do it and they said they could not. IT IS NOT HARD TO TURN A GAS LINE ON SO THEY COULD HAVE DONE IT. I offered to pay extra. Then I set it up and have at least 2 people tell me they will turn it on in the morning the next day. I rush out and get everything needed to winterize a house in a couple hours since it is going to be below Zero that night. I got it done and expected a call to have Gas on the next morning. One person said it was scheduled any time but morning which I don't understand and another said it was scheduled anytime. They had already told me morning. I have work to do there since it was a forclosure and there is a timetable involved so now since it is literally freezing in there today nothing can get done. They say it was the banks job to tell me and it probably was but they could have easily left something on the door with notification letting me know since I was there at least every other day and I would have gotten it turned on. Lastly, since that is bad practice but really not there total fault because the bank may not have given my information to them, I would like them to show up in the morning like they promise and not 330 pm. That wasted a days worth of possible work that could have been completed. Also, teach someone how to turn on the gas if they know how to shut it off. I had no clue about this shut off and was very lucky I went to the house when I did because much longer and all of the Pipes could have burst due to the below zero temperature. It seems it would have been easier to contact me or leave something at the house so it could continue in my name and not be turned off and the on again risking bursting pipes since it is the middle of winter.

Initial Business Response
Customer called for a turn on and was willing to pay after hour charges but was given incorrect information from the call center. Customer was told we only run emergency orders after hours. If customer is willing to pay after hour charges for a turn on we do go out and turn on the gas. This was a call center error. This situation is being addressed.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The response is fine but it cost me time and money and that needs to be credited to my bill. Also I called at least 3 times and spoke to a manager as well as a regular call center employee so they should have known that. I spent 3 hours of my time and over a hour of another persons time on the phone figuring out how to winterize a home. I got very lucky we were working on the house so I had some of the equipment needed but I still bought merchandise from menards to do this. I do not expect to see a charge on my bill to turn the gas back on and I expect a fairly substantial credit on my account to make up for my time winterizing as well as the other persons. I also lost a day and a half when the house was below freezing that no work could be done. I would have expected you to offer a credit in your previous reply but customer service is not your best asset from what I have experienced.

Final Business Response
After further investigation, the call center did act appropriately. MERC does not send techs out in the evening from 5pm to 8am, which is after normal working hours, for new service turn-ons. When a new customer requests service after 5pm, Monday thru Thursday, a turn on is scheduled for the following day. The customer requested a turn on 1/21/14 and gas was turned on 1/22/14.

In prior communication to the BBB we referenced after hours and stated new customers would be activated if they were willing to pay the $100 fee. The after hours and the $100 fee refers to 8am-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays which are not normal working days. We should have been clearer in our explanation.

The active customer on the account is the only one entitled to make requests on the account. In this case, the bank was the account representative. The bank requested a turn off. Records indicate the bank was told that if gas is turned off the building could freeze. If the customer says to turn off the gas we follow the request. Without having another name to attach to the account, MERC turns off the gas, the door is tagged with a notification stating the gas is turned off and to call customer service to activate service. Notes on the account indicate the door was tagged. It is the new customer's responsible to set up service in his or her name in order to resume gas service.

Customer will not be receiving any compensation in the form of credit on his account.

Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.

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