BBB Accredited Business since

Northwest Natural

Phone: (503) 226-4211 220 NW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97209 http://www.nwnatural.com


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Description

This company offers gas energy services.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Northwest Natural meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Northwest Natural include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 24 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

24 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 9 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 18
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 6
Total Closed Complaints 24

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

2 Customer Reviews on Northwest Natural
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 2
Total Customer Reviews 2

Additional Information

BBB file opened: October 26, 1964 Business started: 01/01/1859 Business started locally: 01/01/1859 Business incorporated 01/10/1910 in OR
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

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:

Oregon Secretary of State Corporations Division
255 Capitol St NE Ste 151, Salem OR 97310
http://www.sos.state.or.us
Phone Number: (503) 986-2200
corporation.division@state.or.us

Oregon Construction Contractors Board
700 Summer St NE Ste 300, Salem OR 97301
http://www.oregon.gov/ccb
Phone Number: (503) 378-4621
ccb.info@state.or.us

Washington Secretary of State Corporations Division
801 Capitol Way S, Olympia WA 98504
http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps
Phone Number: (360) 725-0377
corps@sos.wa.gov

Washington Department of Labor & Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater WA 98501
http://www.lni.wa.gov
Phone Number: (800) 647-0982

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. David Andersen, CEO Ms. Lois Douglass, Customer Service Ms. Darcy Noxon, Senior Manager, Customer & Emergency Contact Center Ms. Lori Russell, VP of Utility Operations Ms. Mardilyn Saathoff, Chief Council Mr. Von Summers, Community Affairs Manager Mr. Steven Walti, Manager of Risk and Land
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. David Andersen, CEO
Customer Contact: Ms. Lois Douglass, Customer Service
Business Category

Natural Gas Companies Pipe Line, Oil & Gas Wholesaler & Distributors Gas - Propane - Equipment & Supplies

Alternate Business Names
Northwest Natural Gas Company NW Natural NW Natural Gas Company

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Northwest Natural has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 220 NW 2nd Ave

    Portland, OR 97209 (503) 226-4211

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

6/10/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: NW Natural automatically enrolls every new customer in their WARM scam, I mean program. The say this is a way to save the customers money, however it is simply a way for them to charge their customers extra money whenever they want to. I paid NW Natural $60.38 for the cost of gas from December 2015 through May 2016 with another $105.55 in monthly service charges. At the end of May I was charged an additional $112.75. This charge, they allege, is because the months from December through May were too warm, there for I did not use enough gas for them to make enough money. This $112.75 charge represents a 186.73% increase over the amount I was charged previously for the gas used. This is completely unjustifiable. The WARM program from NW Natural is a complete scam.

Desired Settlement: NW Natural needs to remove this charge from my bill. A business can not simply charge a customer more after the fact if they feel they did not make enough money. Their WARM program charges are not explained anywhere, leaving them the freedom to charge whatever they like, whenever they like.

Business Response: June 7, 2016
******* ***********
*** ******* **** ********* *** ***** ********** ** **** ***** ** *****
Account No: *********
Dear Mr. ***********:
Thank you for your phone call on May 31, 2016 regarding the WARM (Weather Adjusted Rate
Mechanism) Program. Attached to this letter Is a detailed explanation of the WARM Program and its
effect on your bills during the 2015-2016 heating season.
While I certainly appreciate and understand your concerns about the program, I want to make sure
our customers know that NW Natural also has their best interests at heart. Weather patterns are
unpredictable; therefore the program is designed to lessen its impact month-to-month and year-toyear
for ct,tstomers and the company.
WARM Is the default billing method for all NW Natural customers, although participation in the
program is voluntary: Existing customers who wish to not participate in the program have the option
to opt out between May 16 and September 30 each year. Customers are notified of their program
participation via their monthly bill statement; and also receive an annual communication in the form
of a bill insert, which I've included for your review.
The WARM program Is designed with space heating customers in mind. As explained in more detail in
the attachment, WARM adjusts only for fixed costs. As such, the adjustment applies whether or not a
customer has used gas for space heating. Unless the customer opts out of the WARM program, we
must bill the account in accordance with our approved Tariff. As of today, you are opted out of the
WARM program for the 2016-2017 heating season.
Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions. You are greatly apprecrated as our
customer
Sincerely,

Supervisor, Customer Contact Center
{503) 226-4211, extension ****

Consumer Response:
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because: NW Natural's WARM program is a scam. They have concocted numerous explanations to attempt to justify their program but the truth of the matter is it's a way for them to charge extra whenever they feel like it, and they automatically opt everyone into it in an attempt to make their company add much money as possible. 

Sincerely,

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

6/3/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I sold my home on November 24 we call all utilitys. In lateJjanuary we got a past due notice from nw natural gas that we were past due. We called and got no resolution from NW Natural . we have closing statement from Fidelity sowing we sold the home. We tried to get new owner to take over but no luck. Called NW Natural after we got collection letter. They said too bad ( her Name was Sara T****) you should have called said we did but she said no record. Asked for supervisor. Got a Call back but was only given a first name she said doesn't matter that you have a closing statement. We didnt live there and didnt use the gas. I'm going to pay this be because I dont need a collections letter on my credit for this (Professional credit services Account id *********)

Desired Settlement: I didnt use the service so this is a total SCAM by nw Natural. Their supervisor call center is a JOKE

Business Response: In response  to the ****** *. ******'s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the
following:


Mr. ****** established an account in his name with NW Natural at **** ******* ** *** Salem, OR with an effective opening date of October 2015.  The effective adjusted closing date is January 4, 2016 and the outstanding balance is $175.41.

January 29, 2016, Mr. ******'s wife, ***** ******, telephoned and reported that she closed the account the end of November 2015.  She was advised that NW Natural did not have a record that she made a request to close the account.  Mrs. ******
requested  a review of the account and provided telephone numbers that may have been used to place the telephone call to close the account.  Our supervisor searched our  recorded  telephone calls during the period of time Mrs. ****** indicated that
she may have placed the telephone call to NW Natural.  Our supervisor did not find a recorded  telephone call from either of the telephone numbers  provided during the period of time Mrs. ****** said she placed the telephone call to close the account in question.


January 29, 2016 our supervisor spoke to both Mr. and Mrs. ******. They said that they would go through  the realtor  to contact the new party to see if the new party would backdate the account opening date because the property was sold just before Thanksgiving, but couldn't  recall the exact date.  February 8, 2016 the new party telephoned to establish  an account, but gave an effective date of January 4, 2016. March 14, 2016 Mr. ****** telephoned again questioning  the bill statement 
from February 12, 2016.  He was advised that the closing bill was from December 2, 2015 to January 4, 2016.  Mr. ****** requested a copy of this bill be emailed to him so that he could forward  it to the realtor for payment.  March 25, 2016 Mrs. ****** telephoned again about the closing bill. She was advised that the new party did not accept the bill back to November, only to January 4, 2016.  Mrs. ****** said she would talk to the realtor  to have them talk to the new owners to see if they would accept the bill back to November 2015 and let us know the status.  May 17,2016 and May 18, 2016 our 
supervisors spoke to Mr. ****** and provided supervisory review. He was advised again that the closing bill is his responsibility and that the new party only accepted the bill from January 4, 2016 forward.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"Refund"


NW Natural's Response to Desired Resolution
The Public Utility Commission of Oregon (OPUC) regulates  customer  rates and services of the state's investor-owned electric, natural gas and telephone utilities; and certain water companies.

NW Natural believes that we followed the rules and regulations  required by the OPUC as it relates to OAR 860-021-0310 Voluntary Disconnection of Utility Service, which states:  "Every customer  who is about to vacate any premises supplied with service by the energy or large telecommunications utility, or who for any reason wishes to have such service discontinued, shall give five days' notice in advance of specified date of discontinuance of service to the utility. Until the energy 
or large telecommunications utility shall have such notice, the customer  shall be held responsible for all service rendered."   Because NW Natural did not receive advance notice from Mr. or Mrs. ****** to discontinue service prior to January 2016, Mr. ****** is held responsible for the closing bill. The outstanding balance is $175.41.
























































































































Consumer Response:
We colsed on the home located at **** ******* ** non Novemeber 24th 2015. My wife called all utilitys City of Keizer, NW Natural, PGE and had service stopped. All utilitys stopped service except NW Natural. We assumed  NW Natural wold sut off service. It wasnt until late january we figured out they were billing us for the service as.We called and they stated we didnt call to cut off service which we did. We volanteered to get with realitor  to have new owner take over which he did back dating to january. He didnt back date to november. We only thought we were helping. I have proof we sold house which is attached. I called sever times to NW Natural and was given the run around. They Maintain we didnt call as they looked throught their voice calls. We called and colsed all utilitys to the house and Want
this complaint restated.

Re: ID # ********- Northwest Natural


3/10/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have started a new business and closed the old one. It's been tough getting started, I was late on 2 gas bills in the last 10 years, but they both got paid in the correct month..just a few days late. Apparently, when you are late, they send out a shut off notice. On the notice it tells you not to send your payment in the mail but to bring it to them or call and make an ACH from the bank. The problem was I had already put the payment in full in the mail the day before I rec'd this notice. I work nights and they are only open in the day so I couldn't call them and I thought they would get the check the next day anyway. On the day after they rec'd the check, I rec'd another letter from them saying that I had to now put down a deposit of 1105.00 to continue gas service, even though they admitted having my check posted to my account the day before I rec'd this demand of 1105.00. I called and spoke to a man named Clint..he was uncaring, and said, "I already wrote the letter so you have to pay"..I find this kind of treatment unfair and unethical. They had the money. I cannot afford to pay this huge deposit and I don't feel that I owe it since they had the check before I got the letter. I am asking that they cancel the deposit amount of 1105.00.

Desired Settlement: I would like them to cancel the unfair deposit of 1105.00. This was a problem of letters and payments crossing in the mail. But, since they were paid in full and my business cannot afford to pay this huge amount and I feel it is terribly unfair and could put me out of business I want them to cancel this deposit amount. I might add again, I have only had 2 late payments in the last 10 years, I feel this is cruel and unusual to penalize people like this even after they have the money. Furthermore, I was told by two of the first people I spoke with that the Supervisor was the only one who could cancel the deposit, but when I spoke to him, he refused and was extremely uncaring.

Business Response:

***Please see attached documents***

In response to ****** ******* complaint, NW Natural is providing the attached report to the Washington
Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) and the following explanation related to the
$1,105.00 deposit Ms. ***** is required to pay due to past due bills/late payments.
Ms. ***** registered a complaint with the WUTC about the $1,105.00 deposit that NW Natural is
requiring her to pay because of disconnection notices issued due to late payments of her monthly bills.
The WUTC regulates NW Natural and NW Natural is required to provide a written repmi to the WUTC
in response to complaints registered against NW Natural.
February 29, 2016, NW Natural provided the attached written report to the WUTC in response to Ms.
******* complaint about the requirement of the $1,105.00 deposit. The WUTC reported that Ms. *****
requested payment anangements for payment of the deposit. She requested a payment plan to pay the
$1,105.00 deposit in six individual payments. NW Natural reported to the WUTC that NW Natural
would arrange a payment plan where the deposit would be paid in six individual payments with the
initial payment to be paid by the due date of Ms. ******* March bill.
Consumer's Desired Resolution through the BBB
"I would like them to cancel the unfair deposit of $1,105.00."
NW Natural's Response:
NW Natural will not waive the deposit because of the disconnection notices due to late payments of
monthly bills. However, we will arrange for the deposit to be paid in six indvidual installments.

Please contact me if you need additional information at 503-226-4211, Ext. **** or ***@nwnatural.com

Sincerely,

Lois D*******

Consumer Response:
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:  I never accepted NW Natural's plan of spreading out the unfair deposit payments..that is a complete lie.  I was told I could spread out the payments, my response was no, I cannot afford that and I do not think it is fair to assess a penalty when the one letter crossed in the mail with my payment.  This  company is exceptionally brutal to it's customers.  I was only late on payments after trying to start a new company with a massive amount of expense involved.  But, NW Natural got all of their money a few days before I rec'd the letter saying I had to pay a deposit.  The "shut off" letter came and it said "do not mail your payment" but I had already sent it.  There was no way to get the payment back from the post office.  For them to assess such huge penalties for late payments is absurd and especially since in 10 years, we were only late 2 times.  This is unfair and I am asking for reconsideration regarding this extremely unfair practice.  I might add that they rec'd my payment before they wrote the demand for deposit letter..This was confirmed by the supervisor.  It just doesn't seem fair or even right to do this to a customer who has paid them on time for over 10 years.  We are a small business trying desperately to succeed in a time when utilities and government rules and regulations are strangling us.  Again, since there is no need for this penalty as we are in a position to pay the bill on time from here on out..it seems unnecessarily cruel to make us suffer an expense that could destroy us.
Sincerely,

****** *****

3/10/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was sent to collections from North West natural gas company. They failed to return my deposit in the amount of 300.00.which I left two deposits in the amount of 300.00 and then another one in the amount of 300 in the 26 years that I lived in this residence. when I moved I refuse to pay one of the deposit amounts which was the 300 I told him to take it out of the original deposit that I had given them but they refused to do it . they refuse To do anything about it and now I have a bad mark on my credit report due to this situation. I want them to give me the $300 they all me and I want them to take the $300 off my credit report and remove the negative credit rating

Desired Settlement: I think it would be fair for them to relinquish the $300. And take me off the credit report due as a negative

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau
Re: Case#********
Consumer: ****** ** ******
Date: February 29, 2016


In response to the complaint registered by ****** ** ******, NW Natural acknowledges
that for the account in the names of ***** ** ****** and *******. ******, security
deposits were received and refunded as follows:

Deposit Date                               Amount Paid                                        Date and Deposit Amount Refunded

3/15/2004                                    $113.00                                                5/5/2005 -- $113.00

9/8/2005                                     $104.00                                                 8/9/2006 -- $104.00

12/1/2006                                    $146.00                                                4/13/2009 -- $146.00

10/29/2013                                  $113.00                                                 11/4/2014 -- $113.00

 

NW Natural also acknowledges that the unpaid account balance of $348.27 in the names
of ***** ** ****** and ****** ** ****** was placed with Professional Credit Services
July 14, 2015 for collections.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"Billing adjustment. I think it would be fair for them to relinquish the $300. And take
me off the credit report due as a negative."


NW Natural's Response:
NW Natural has not received deposits in $300.00 increments from ****** ** ****** or
***** ******; therefore, we will not refund deposits we have not received. As indicated
above, the deposits NW Natural received from ****** ** ****** or ***** ****** have
already been refunded. Additionally, the unpaid balance of $348.27 is still with
Professional Credit Services and they will continue to pursue collection of this debt.
Please contact me if you need additional infotmation at 503-226-4211, Ext. **** ** ***@nwnatural.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lois D*******

2/24/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Identity Theft. Someone other then myself opened an account with NW Natural and added me as a co-account holder that is also responsible for the account. This was done without my knowledge. NW Natural has no policy on this and will let anybody do this. I am now dealing with them and a collection company due to their low security levels about their clients.

Desired Settlement: Relieve me from any financial obligations regarding this account and retract the bill that was sent to collections.

Business Response:


In response to ***** ** *********** complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following:
July 30, 2014 ***** ** ******** applied for gas service and ***** ** ********* was added
as co-applicant. If a co-applicant is added to an account and is not present at the time the
application is made to establish the account, NW Natural's policy is to send a letter to the
co-applicant. This letter states:
"NW Natural recently received an application for gas service at (the specific
address is identified) from (the individual who made the application for gas
service is identified). The applicant submitted your name as a co-applicant.
Under our company's policy, co-applicants at the same address have equal
responsibility for payment of the monthly gas service bill. For billing purposes,
the monthly statement will be billed in your name as well as that of the applicant.
When either co-applicant wishes to discontinue billing responsibility, NW Natural
must be notified to initiate a change in account responsibility.
If there is a reason why the account should not be billed in both names, please
contact us immediately at 1-800-422-4012."
July 31, 2014 the Co-Applicant letter was mailed to ***** ** *********. This letter was
mailed to PO Box *****, Portland, OR. ***** ** ********* did not contact NW Natural
to provide a reason why the account established by ***** ** ******** should not be billed
in both names. Because Mr. ********* did not contact NW Natural, the account in
question was billed in his name and ***** ** ********' name.
Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"Relieve me from any financial obligations regarding this account and retract the bill that
was sent to collections."
2016/02/1216:09:40 3 /5
NW Natural's Response:
It appears that Mr. ********* did not receive the Co-Applicant letter that was mailed July
31,2014 to PO Box *****, Portland, OR as he states that his name was added to the
account in question without his knowledge. For this reason, NW Natural has requested
that Bonneville Collections remove Mr. *********** name from NW Natural's account
number ****** and that this account be removed from Mr. *********** credit record
effective February 11,2016. A copy of this letter is attached and a copy of this letter
will be mailed to Mr. *********.
Please contact me if you need additional information at 503-226-4211, Ext. **** or
***@nwnatural.com
Sincerely,

Lois D*******
Customer Contact Center Supervisor
NWNatural

 

***Please see attached documents***

11/12/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I moved into this sub-leased space in Feb 2012. Gas oven+water heaters were removed.Was under impression Heat/ac up on rooftop were gas.Found out today it's not.My landlord services the unit so I've had no way to look at it to know that it is not gas operated.Have had no gas usage since Feb '15 until today so have been paying for a product I haven't used. Liz in C.Svs will only give me credit back to Feb '14. I want a refund for all payments I've made since Feb 2012 for service I've never used.

Desired Settlement: Full refund

Business Response:

In response to **** *****’s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following:

As requested, a NW Natural account for **** ***** was established February 2012.  **** **** is required to give NW Natural five days’ notice in advance of specified date of discontinuance of service if she wishes to have natural gas service discontinued.  NW Natural did not receive notification for discontinuance of natural gas service until November 2015. 

NW Natural is regulated by the ****** ****** ******* ********** and adheres to the Oregon Administrative Rules.  OAR ************ Voluntary Disconnection of Utility Service states:  "Every customer who is about to vacate any premises supplied with service by the energy or large telecommunications utility, or who for any reason wishes to have such service discontinued, shall give five days' notice in advance of specified date of discontinuance of service to the utility.  Until the energy or large telecommunications utility shall have such notice, the customer shall be held responsible for all service rendered."  NW Natural believes we are justified in requesting payment for services rendered to **** *****.

Although **** ***** is responsible for all service rendered from February 2012 to November 2015, NW Natural has agreed to refund payments made and write-off unpaid balances, if any, from February 2012 to November 2015.


Consumer Response:
Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.

Sincerely,

**** *****

10/15/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I believe Northwest Natural practices unethical billing practices. After 8 years of being a customer, instead of leaving a notice about a late bill (which was barely a month old), they turned off service. I paid same day. However, they wouldn't turn it back on unless I paid another $100 re-connection fee and another $169 deposit. I paid the bill early in the day. However, they won't even turn it back on until sometime at night. They say an adult has to be there, but they won't even give you an estimation of when they will be there. Yes, I realize I forgot to pay the bill, but it really wasn't that late for them to be shutting it off. I think they do this just to rip customers off. This is horrible customer service. I can't even imagine what they do to customers in the dead of winter that have fallen on hard times. If I have ever been late with any other company, I get a notice and time to pay it before they would even consider turning it off. I have already set up automatic payment, so it won't happen again. I'm just amazed that they are allowed to get away with ripping people off this way.

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau
Re: Case ID #********
Consumer: ****** *******
Date: October 7, 2015
NW Natural•
************ ************
*** ********* ***

In response to the complaint registered by ****** *******, NW Natural acknowledges the
following:

Ms. *******'s natural gas service was disconnected October 5, 2015 at approximately 1:27
p.m. for nonpayment for the following bills: bill dated June 12, 2015 for $19.53- due
June 30, 2015; bill dated July 15, 2015 for $34.72- due July 31, 2015, and bill dated
August 13, 2015 for $33.33- due August 31, 2015. (The last payment prior to the
disconnection of service for nonpayment on October 5, 2015 was June 29,2015 for
$84.81, which paid the account through the bill dated May 14, 2015.) Prior to the
disconnection of gas service, a Reminder Notice was mailed September 8, 2015, and a
Disconnect Notice was mailed September 17, 2015; both notices for $87.58, due
September 24,2015. NW Natural also phoned Ms. ******* September 25, 2015 and
September 30, 2015, but party not available. NW Natural did not receive a response to
these notices and was unable to reach Ms. ******* by telephone; therefore, the gas service
was disconnected.

October 5, 2015 Ms. ******* phoned to arrange for reconnection of service. She was
offered three options for reconnection of service and was advised that an adult needed to
be at the premise for reconnection of service after 5 p.m. Ms. ******* accepted the option
to reconnect service October 5, 2015 after 5 p.m. The terms for this option: pay the full
balance of $123.22, bill the $169.00 security deposit required in three installments, and
pay the $100.00 same day after 5 p.m. reconnection fee. October 5, 2015 Ms. *******
paid $223.22; the service was restored October 5, 2015 at approximately 8:35 p.m.
NW Natural's Response:

NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the
Oregon Administrative Rules. OAR 860-021-0328 Reconnection of Residential Energy
Utility Service defines how NW Natural is permitted to schedule reconnection of service
when a customer has been disconnected for nonpayment. (This Rule is attached for your
review.) Also, Northwest Natural Gas Company Tariff- General Rules and Regulations
Rule 11 Disconnection and Reconnection of Service- By Company defines NW
Natural's process for reconnection of service when a customer has been disconnected for nonpayment, and Schedule C Miscellaneous Charges and Credits defines the Customer Contact with Company, Service Reconnection Options, and the Charge for the reconnection. (This Tariff is attached for your review.)

NW Natural believes we are justified in disconnecting the service for nonpayment and in
requesting the security deposit and reconnection fee.

Please contact me if you need additional information at ************* **** **** **
*** @nwnatural.com.
Sincerely

8/29/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I received a bill a few days ago from NW Natural. The bill amount is $48.92. I only have one gas appliance and that appliance has not been working since May 2012. I was charged a Warm Rate Adjustment 2014 of $38.48. Apparently I was enrolled in a program that as it states on the bill "adjusts the rate per therm billed December through mid-May if actual weather is colder or warmer than normal." Looking at my usage for December to mid-May, I find no usage of gas (as I have had it shut off at the appliance since 2012). If I am being billed for "per therm" usage and no therms were used, there is no reason for me to have been charged. When I called about the Warm Rate Adjustment, I was told that no credit will be issued to me since NW Natural says it is a valid charge. I was notified that I could cancel my service since I am not using it. I told them I called to cancel my gas service back in Summer 2012. At the time I was told that since I had a gas meter that I could not cancel service. Of course there is no record of this call to them. I have been paying a Monthly Service Charge, Salem Franchise Fee at 2%, and Public Purpose charge (which currently comes out to $8.42) since May 2012. I feel I have been charged for service that I haven't been using due to erroneous information that was told to me and then conveniently left off my account, then charged for a rate adjustment for therms that were not used.

Desired Settlement: Since I can only look back to June 2012 on NW Natural's website for my charges, I would like to be refunded $333.81 for all charges I paid to them from then until now.

Business Response:

I responded to this complaint June 30, 2015.  I received a fax confirmation that the fax was sent successfully. My response was faxed to:  *************  Please let me know if you need me to fax my response again.

Thank you,

Lois D*******

Consumer Response:  
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

Apparently a fax was sent to some number and accepted. I find no documentation as to what that fax contained.

Sincerely,

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

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau
Re: Case ID #********
Consumer: ******* *****
Date: June 30, 2015

In response to the complaint registered by ******* *****, NW Natural mailed the attached letter to
Mr. ***** June 30, 2015.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"Since I can only look back to June 2012 on NW Natural's website for my charges, I
would like to be refunded $333.81 for all charges I paid to them from then until now."

NW Natural's Response:
As stated in the June 30, 2015 letter to Mr. *****, WARM is NW Natural's default billing method
during the heating season and WARM adjusts only for fixed costs. As such, the
adjustment applies whether or not a customer has used any gas during that month. Unless the
customer opts out of the WARM program, we must bill the account in accordance
with our approved Tariff.

Also, Mr. ***** stated that he called to cancel his gas service back in summer 2012 and was told
that since he had a gas meter he could not cancel service. NW Natural does not have a record of Mr.
***** contacting us between the initial request for service 5/16/2011 and the initial WARM
complaint 6/16/2015. A NW Natural technician visited his home at *** **** *** *** Salem, OR
5/16/2013 to inspect the meter and spoke with Mr. *****. Mr. ***** informed our technician that his
only gas appliance was inoperative, but did
not request that we close his account, and NW Natural does not have a record of a telephone call to
our office to inquire about cancelling the gas service.

NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the
Oregon Administrative Rules. The Monthly Service Charge, the Salem Franchise Fee,
and the Public Purpose Charge are valid charges and will not be refunded. Also, as stated
in the June 30, 2015 letter to Mr. *****, the $38.48 WARM Rate Adjustment will not be removed from
his closing bill.

Please contact me if you need additional information at************* Ext. **** or ***
@nwnatural.com.

 

***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

8/29/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: NW Natural as a default program, signs up their customers for their WARM program, which was sold to me as something that would save me money in the heavy-use winter months, and would distribute the expenses of the gas prices into the summer months. It was stated as something that would save me money. I received a bill in June for $175, which included a $145 fee for the WARM program. I am not using gas in the summer months, and suddenly I have a huge bill from NW Natural. It is not figured into my budget, and I am also such a small business that this additional fee is VERY alarming and very impactful to the well being of my small business. This seems like a hidden fee, and is affecting all of the small businesses I've spoken to. This program was masked as something else, and has ended up to be very harmful to the small businesses that were roped into this program. I can only imagine there are a lot of people being affected by this, and it seems like a big red flag concerning the trustworthiness of NW Natural. The consumer is in a tricky situation, because we have no other options for gas service, so NW Natural is in a position that is very one sided, and apt to take advantage of their customers who have no other option for the service they provide. The fact that everyone is signed into the WARM program, and has to opt out on their own, also shows that this is something they are using to insure that they don't lose money, but completely at the expense of the customer. This is an unfair situation for the customer, and I am writing to the BBB to call attention to the possibility of this being a shady program that is taking advantage of the customers who are forced to do anything NW Natural decides, in that we can't go with another gas provider. Thank you for your time, Concerned Customer

Desired Settlement: I'd like for NW Natural to remove the fee for the WARM program.

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau
Re: Case ID #********
Consumer: ***** *******
Date: July 30, 2015

In response to the complaint registered by ***** *******, NW Natural mailed the attached letter to
Mr. ******* July 28, 2015.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"I'd like for NW Natural to remove the fee for the WARM program."

NW Natural's Response:
As stated in the July 28, 2015 letter to Mr. *******, WARM applies to all residential and small
commercial customers, and is NW Natural's default billing method during the heating season. WARM
adjusts only for fixed costs. As such, the adjustment applies whether or not a customer has used
any gas during that month. Unless the customer opts out of the WARM program, we must bill the
account in accordance with our approved Tariff. Therefore, the WARM adjustment will not be removed
from Mr. *******'s account.

Please contact me if you need additional information at ************, Ext. **** or***
@nwnatural.com.


Sincerely,

 

***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

6/29/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have not used significant amounts of gas throughout the time I have had an account with NW Natural (beginning September 2014). Due to the WARM program, in which I was enrolled by default, I ended up overpaying my gas bill this winter due to the unseasonably warm weather. I took no issue with this as it was only approximately $8 total. However, we are now having an unusually warm spring and summer, and although I have used very little gas over these past few months, my bill suddenly jumped from $15 the previous month to $37 on my last bill, apparently due to this program. NW Natural has refused to refund my money and offered a long, complicated e-mail explanation about the WARM program that did nothing to address my complaint. I understand and take no issue with this program, but this is an exorbitant addition to a bill that is typically very low from month to month. As a graduate student with a low income, unexpected charges like this are difficult to accommodate because I budget for bills in advance, and the lack of concern or understanding of this situation on the part of NW Natural's customer service representatives has been very disappointing.

Desired Settlement: I would like my last bill adjusted to the amount that represents the amount of gas I actually used during the previous billing period.

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau
Re: Case ID #********
Consumer: ********* *******
Date: June 18, 2015


In response to the complaint registered by ********* *******, NW Natural mailed the attached letter
to Ms. ******* June 17, 2015.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"I would like my last bill adjusted to the amount that represents the amount of gas I
actually used during the previous billing period."

NW Natural's Response:
As stated in the June 17, 2015 letter to Ms. *******, WARM is the standard billing method that
allows NW Natural to collect just enough money to cover fixed costs. WARM adjusts only for fixed
costs. As such, the adjustment applies whether or not a customer has used gas for space heating.
Unless the customer opts out of the WARM program, we must bill the account in accordance with our
approved Tariff.



Please contact me if you need additional information at ************* **** **** or
***@nwnatyral.com.

***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

Consumer Response:  
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:
I do not agree with NW Natural's WARM Program policies. This program is simply a means of taking advantage of customers, particularly because one is enrolled in it by default. People who rent their apartments have no other choice but to use NW Natural if living in an apartment that requires gas and so are locked into using these services--it would be nice if NW Natural did not go out of its way to further exploit OR residents. I also find it tiresome that I have received the same essentially automated reply from this company every time I have been in contact them. I do not need another long but otherwise useless explanation of this program. 


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

6/9/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Scheduling a reconnect then not making a effort to see if anyone is home before leaving and charging an astronomical amount of 100 for same day repair nxt day connect is 30 same day is 100 they come on the nxt day connect then leave without calling phone like in the order or knocking on door or ringing door bell cuz i was down stairs on couch right in front of door since 7am I have dogs and my dogs didn't barks once how do u knock on someone's door and the dogs dnt bark u dnt cuz he never knocked the company does this so u have to pay the 100 same day reconnect fee they r scamming people by doing this and people need to know but we have no other gas company to use they are the only one so they do as they please and we the public have to tk it it's not right

Desired Settlement: 100 reconnect fee refunded

Business Response:

In response to the complaint registered by ***** ******* ******, NW Natural acknowledges the
following:

Ms. ******'s natural gas service was disconnected May 12, 2015 for nonpayment of the bill dated
March 24, 2015, which was due April 9, 2015. Prior to the disconnection of
gas service, a Reminder Notice was mailed April 17, 2015 and a Disconnect Notice was mailed
Apri128, 2015; both notices for $84.00, due May 5, 2015. NW Natural also phoned Ms. ****** May 6,
2015 and May 11, 2015, but party not available May 6, 2015 and no answer when phoned May 11, 2015.
NW Natural did not receive a response to these notices and was unable to reach Ms. ****** by
telephone; therefore, the gas
service was disconnected. The gas service was disconnected for nonpayment May 12,
2015, not for repair services.

May 13, 2015 Ms. ****** phoned and arranged for reconnection of service for May 14,
2015. She paid $220.00, which included $30.00 for next day reconnection of service. Our Field
Representative arrived at approximately 8:57a.m. for the reconnection of service. Completion time:
approximately 9:04a.m. Our Field Representative knocked on the door, but no answer (could hear
dogs barking) and also phoned Ms. ******, but no answer - message said voice mail not set up. May
15, 2015 our Field Representative arrived at approximately 9:44 a.m. for the reconnection of
service. Completion time: approximately 9:54a.m. Our Field representative knocked and rang
doorbell and phoned; no answer to the phone call or at the door. The door card our Field
Representative left on the door May 14, 2015 was still on the front door. A new door
hanger was left for Ms. ******. May 15,2015 Ms. ****** phoned for reconnection of
service and for supervisory review. She requested same day reconnection service. Our supervisor
explained that the service would be reconnected May 15, 2015 for the same day after 5 p.m. fee
of$100.00 and agreed to bill this fee on her next bill. Ms. ******
accepted this option and agreed to pay the additional fee for the same day reconnection of service.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
"100 reconnect fee refunded"

NW Natural's Response:
NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the Oregon
Administrative Rules. OAR 860-021-0328 Reconnection of Residential Energy Utility Service defines
how NW Natural is permitted to schedule reconnection of service when a customer has been
disconnected for nonpayment. (This Rule is attached for your review.) Also, Northwest Natural
Gas Company Tariff - General Rules and Regulations Rule 11 Disconnection and Reconnection of
Service -By Company defines NW Natural's process for reconnection of service when a customer has
been disconnected for nonpayment, and Schedule C Miscellaneous Charges and Credits defines the
Customer Contact with Company, Service Reconnection Options, and the Charge for the reconnection.
(This Tariff is attached for your review.)

NW Natural believes we are justified in requesting the reconnection fee. The reconnection fee will
not be waived.

Please contact me if you need additional information at ************* **** **** or
***@nwnatural.com.

 

***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

5/8/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Account# ******* , call several time to the office to correct issue , on 5th of February we set up bill pay for the amount due $139.71 , and my service was turn off on February 6 , we never received any notice for the turn off. my mother that is 85year old lives with us and she was waking up by the heat not working, when my wife call NW gas , they advice her with not feeling that it was our fault , due to not received any payment and notice was issue at our door ..(not true), she was bully and told that the only way it would be turn back on it would be a fee of $177. My wife advice them of the payment been made on on Feb 5, and the customer service rep. agreed that it was their post but it was to late and she need to pay the fee of new account . Deposit of $100 plus a fee to start the service. we have been with NW natural Gas since 2006 in the address below and prior to on **** **** for 4 years with no issue or disconnection for non payment . I call to talk to a manager server time oOn feb 6 , but was not taking any seriously and only after I complain several time they advice some one of the management would call me by 5pm. I did received the call by was advice the same information with not customer service or help she only said that the account is in bad history and that it was turn off and I needed to start new account with $100 dollar deposit for 1 year and service fee, due to non payment . this is not correct and my mother is still cold in the house with no heat. they took the payment but cant not due anything till the next day .. with no promised. unless I pay more money as a fee for them to turn the service back on today. I don't make a lot of money to just pay fees to NW Gas so they can harass me about service, if I don't pay extra money I don't get the service turn on . I don't think is correct mostly when my wife paid the correct amount of the bill. I will contact senior service about this issue and any media that can help me with NW Gas policies.

Desired Settlement: I want NW Natural to waive the deposit $100 plus the fee , since this was the first time that we had service disconnected, and it was all a mis-understanding.I also want them to explain why in order for them to restore service on the same day, it has to be scheduled next day after 5pm. Is it their practice to turn people on at midnight when they could have done it in the afternoon? In lieu of this, I want them to reimburse me $100 and the restore fee, because I'm certain that they could have done it earlier and several call let them know payment was in the system and we never were notify properly - See more at: http://www.bbb.org/oregon/business-reviews/gas-propane-equipment-and-supplies/northwest-natural-in-portland-or-*****************************

Business Response:

In response to ****** **** ******* complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following:
****** **** ******* natural gas service was disconnected Thursday, 2/5/15, at
approximately 1:51 p.m. for nonpayment of the bill dated 12/18/14, which was due
1/5/15. Prior to disconnection of gas service, a Reminder Notice was mailed 11/13/15 and
a Disconnection Notice was mailed 11/22/15; both notices for $141.03, due 1/29/15. NW
Natural did not receive a response to these notices; therefore, the gas service was
disconnected.

2/6/15 ******* **** phoned for reconnection of service. She stated that she made a
payment using her bank account. She was advised that a payment of $139.00 was
received 2/6/15 and was being processed. She was quoted options for reconnection of
service. Ms. **** accepted the quote of $314.27 ($141.27 - 1/2 of the account balance +
$143.00- the full deposit+ $30.00 next business day reconnection fee). NW Natural's
Customer Service Representative explained the reconnection for same day, 2/6/15, would
be after 5:00p.m. and up to midnight and the cost is $100.00. Ms. **** did not accept
these terms. Natural Customer Service Representative deducted the $139.00 payment
received 2/6/15 from the $314.27, amount required for reconnection of service, leaving a
balance of$175.27 to be paid for reconnection of gas service. Ms. **** paid $177.77
with a check over the telephone ($175.27 + $2.50 check processing fee); the gas service
was reconnected 2/7/15 at approximately 12:39 p.m.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
1. "I want NW Natural to waive the deposit $100 plus the fee, since this was the frrst time
that we had service disconnected, and it was all a mis-understanding."
NW Natural's Response:
Although ****** **** ***** had not been disconnected for nonpayment prior to 2/5/15,
in the past 12 months (February 2014 through January 2015) ****** **** ***** has
received 6 Reminder Notices and 3 Disconnect Notices for nonpayment. Additionally,
****** **** ***** has been placed on a special payment arrangement to pay the past due
balance. The gas service was disconnected due to nonpayment on the special payment
plan. The attached statement of account displays ****** **** ******* payment history
(slow pay to nonpayment). Because of the payment history and the disconnection for
nonpayment 2/5/15, NW Natural believes our Customer Service Representative was
justified in requiring the $143.00 deposit and the $30.00 fee for the reconnection of gas
service.
2. "I also want them to explain why in order for them to restore service on the same day,
it has to be scheduled next day after 5pm. Is it their practice to turn people on at
midnight when they could have done it in the afternoon? In lieu of this, I want them to reimburse me $100 and the restore fee, because I'm  certain that they could have done it earlier and several call let them know payment was in the system and we never were
notified properly."

NW Natural's Response:
NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the
Oregon Administrative Rules. OAR 860-021-0328 Reconnection of Residential Energy
Utility Service defines how NW Natural is permitted to schedule reconnection of service
when a customer has been disconnected for nonpayment. (This Rule is attached for your
review.) Also, Northwest Natural Gas Company Tariff- General Rules and Regulations
Rule 11 Disconnection and Reconnection of Service- By Company defines NW
Natural's process for reconnection of service when a customer has been disconnected for
nonpayment, and Schedule C Miscellaneous Charges and Credits defines the Customer
Contact with Company, Service Reconnection Options, and the Charge for the
reconnection. (This Tariff is attached for your review.)
NW Natural believes we are justified in requesting the security deposit and reconnection
fee. The deposit and reconnection fee will not be waived.

Please contact me if you need additional information at ************, Ext **** or
ldd @nwnatural.com.

Sincerely,
*****
Customer Contact Center Supervisor
NWNatural

Consumer Response:

 I don't feel all the payment list   are correct  and we did get our service turn off . My mother had no heat for 24hr night and day and we also fax a copies to the main office and manager  about the payment made the same day of the when it was been disconnected.  I understand like the lady said in the phone I am only a 1% of a person complaining  and she would not credit the amount and did not care.

We have made all the payments but they don't seem to posted them on time.

Bad customer services over all. don't care about the customer as the advertised.


Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

Sincerely,

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

4/6/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I got home from work in the middle of winter to find a note on my door stating that my gas had been turned off. When calling the business the customer service lady that I spoke with said "No we didn't shut your gas off", when explaining to her that in fact it was NOT on and that there was a note on my door saying it had been shut off from NW Natural gas company. She then put me on hold for over 20 minutes while advising her supervisor then returned and said there must be a problem with my furnace because my gas had not been shut off. They then sent out a technician 3 days after gas was off to check it out and when he got there he confirmed that THEY had shut the gas off by "mistake". We (me and my 5 yr old child) went without heat and hot water in one of the coldest months of the year for 3 days. When talking to manager ***** she denied that it was them that shut it off even after the tech saw the note and confirmed that it was shut off by NW Natural gas. She did not show any concern for incident and a few weeks later when I got behind on my bill they never attempted to leave me a message but came out immediately and shut my gas off again. When calling the company to say that I've never had my utilities shut off (aside from when they mistakenly shut them off) they did not care but instead charged me this ridiculous amount to turn back on. I don't think that these kind of mistakes (espeically when it comes to not having heat and hot water) should be ignored or denied when there was clear proof that it was their fault!!!

Desired Settlement: I would like the deposit I paid to be refunded and part of my remaining bill to be paid.

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau

Re: Case #********

Consumer: ***** *****

Date: March 20,2015

In response to the complaint registered by ***** *****, NW Natural acknowledges the following:

***** *****'s natural gas service was disconnected January 2015. Prior to the disconnection of gas service, a Reminder Notice was mailed 1/5/2015 and a Disconnect Notice was mailed 1/14/2015; both notices for $99.46, due 1/21/2015. NW Natural did not receive a response to these notices; therefore, a service order was scheduled to disconnect the gas service for nonpayment. After the gas service was disconnected, Ms. ***** contacted NW Natural. She was advised that NW Natural did not disconnect her gas service, and an equipment inspection order was scheduled. While completing the inspection order, our service technician realized that NW Natural did disconnect the gas service; however, the disconnection was not in error. NW Natural did error in advising Ms. ***** that NW Natural did not disconnect the gas service and in delaying reconnection of service. NW Natural's representative should have advised Ms. ***** that a reconnection could have been completed the same day she contacted NW Natural or by 5 p.m. the following day.

NW Natural also acknowledges that Ms. *****'s natural gas service was disconnected for nonpayment 3/3/2015. Prior to this disconnection, a Reminder Notice was mailed 2/6/2015, and a Disconnection Notice was mailed 2/17/2015; both notices for $95.86, due 2/24/2015. NW Natural also phoned Ms. ***** 2/25/2015 and 3/2/2015, but no one answered.  NW Natural did not receive a response to these notices and was unable to reach Ms. ***** by telephone; therefore, the gas service was disconnected. Ms. ***** phoned 3/4/2015 for reconnection of gas service. She paid $200.00, which included $83.00 deposit plus $30.00 next day reconnection fee. The remaining balance of the $200.00 was applied to her bill. The gas service was reconnected 3/5/2015.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:

"I would like the deposit I paid to be refunded and part of my remaining bill to be paid."

NW Natural's Response:

NW Natural did error in our statement and assumption that we did not disconnect the gas service in January 2015, for which we apologize. However, the gas service was not off in error January 2015. Our error was due to our field representative not completing the transfer of information to our Customer Information System so that our office staff would know that the disconnection for nonpayment had been completed. Due to this error, the reconnection of service was delayed and Ms. ***** was not offered the option of a same day reconnection or next day by 5 p.m. reconnection. And because of this error, NW Natural is willing to waive the deposit and reconnection fee Ms. ***** paid for the

3/5/2015 reconnection of gas service. We will credit Ms. *****'s account a total of $113.00. ($83.00 deposit + $30.00 reconnection fee = $113.00.)

Please contact me if you need additional information at ************, Ext. **** or ***@nwnatural.com.

Sincerely,

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

Customer Contact Center Supervisor

NW Natural

 

3/24/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I missed my payment, i do not have issues with that.I was mocked and hung up on by the initial service person, *****, because i asked her to note for her supervisors that in my opinion a person who is need, I made it clear i was not referring to myself, the added 100.00 was an added hardship, that is all I meant it is on the recording. I was upset at the policy and said so, but was not mistreating the service person, she hung up on me while i was attempting to pay and i had to recall. I paid the 100.00 fee for restoring service, and the service man arrived after 11pm. This and the treatment i recieved is why i am complaining and I am asking for a refund of my fee.

Desired Settlement: 100.00 refund applied to my gas bill in the future for treatment, harrassment and not being informed that service man would be so late.

Business Response:

To: Better Business Bureau Re: Case #******** Consumer: ********* ******* Date: March 18,2015

In response to ********* ********* complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following:

********* ********* natural gas service was disconnected Wednesday, 3/4/15, at approximately 11:21 a.m. for nonpayment of the bill dated 1/13/15, which was due 1/29/15. Prior to disconnection of gas service, a Reminder Notice was mailed 2/6/15 and a Disconnect Notice was mailed 2/17/15; both notices for $115.40, due 2/24/15. Mr. ******* phoned 2/25/15 and promised to pay $115.40 via nwnatural.com on 3/2/15.  NW Natural did not receive the $115.40 payment; therefore, the gas service was disconnected.

Mr. ******* also registered a complaint with the ****. Our account notes provided to the **** are below:

Account Notes: 3/4/15 ********* phoned for reconnection of service. He was provided options for reconnection. He accepted the minimum quote for reconnection with reconnection same day after hours: $278.62 ($98.62 - 1/2 of the bill + $80.00 full deposit + $100 after hours reconnection fee.) ********* was insistent he didn't want to talk about anything else. He was advised that normally we would have him call back to schedule the reconnection, but our CSR said she would watch for his credit card payment, then would issue the reconnection order. Our CSR transferred ********* to our vender to make his payment by credit card. Ten minutes later, no payment

received.... tried to reach ********* at the phone number he called in on for the reconnection,

but it rang - no answer. Twenty minutes later the payment had arrived; our CSR then scheduled the reconnection order and contacted *********. She verified that the reconnection was scheduled for after 5 p.m. through the end of the evening- she had advised him earlier it may be late as our technicians have various orders to complete. Also reminded him that the unpaid balance will show on his next bill and to contact us if he needed payment arrangements. Our CSR noted that she did not discuss details of deposits as he had been curt and abrupt and wanted the call over when she initially talked to him. 3/4/15 ********* said he wanted it on record that he thinks a reconnection fee for the same evening of $100 is ridiculous.. ..he had just forgotten to pay his bill this time and because nights are still very cold wants reconnection that evening for $100 instead of $30 for next day. He really feels it is unfortunate especially if there is someone who has a hard time paying their bill in the first place. Our CSR advised that she would let authorities in our company know of his complaint. 3/4/15 ********* was having trouble with making payment with his credit card. He was given his account number and the phone number to make the payment. He had been disconnected from the previous CSR. Advised him that we had tried to call him back; advised once payment is made to call back to schedule die reconnection. 3/5/15 ********* called, upset that our service technician arrived at midnight. Our technician arrived at 11:07 p.m. Advised him that he had an option of next day at $30.00. He then requested supervisory review. 3/5/15 Supervisory Review: Mr. ******* requested the name of our supervisor's supervisor. Advised him that she was unable to refund $100. He said he needs to see written information that we are able to come to a property as late as 11 p.m. He was directed to nwnatural.com for tariff. He said he had phoned the PUC and will continue to request a refund. Reason: attitude of NW Natural. Advised him that CSRs' phone calls are recorded and reviewed; CSRs are coached if necessary; he politely ended the call. 3/5/15 Supervisory Review - (different supervisor): Returned Mr. ********* call per his request He started the call letting


our supervisor know that he was not going to continue to pursue this and will just pay his bill in full and at that time will switch to electric. Our supervisor tried to speak and he stated: "Thank you for returning my call, but I am done." He said goodbye and disconnected the call.

 

Summary of the recorded phone call between Mr. ******* and NW Natural's CSR: The telephone call was not disconnected abruptly. The customer appeared to become frustrated and was ready and wanted to end the call. Our CSR transferred Mr. ******* to our vender so that he could make payment with a credit card. If this telephone call disconnected during the call-transfer, this could not be heard on the recorded telephone call.

Consumer's Desired Settlement:

"100.00 refund applied to my gas bill in the future for treatment, harassment and not being informed that service man would be so late."

NW Natural's Response:

NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the Oregon Administrative Rules. OAR 860-021-0328 Reconnection of Residential Energy Utility Service defines how NW Natural is permitted to schedule reconnection of service when a customer has been disconnected for nonpayment. (This Rule is attached for your review.) Also, Northwest Natural Gas Company Tariff - General Rules and Regulations Rule 11 Disconnection and Reconnection of Service - By Company defines NW Natural's process for reconnection of service when a customer has been disconnected for nonpayment, and Schedule C Miscellaneous Charges and Credits defines the Customer Contact with Company, Service Reconnection Options, and the Charge for the reconnection. (This Tariff is attached for your review.)

Mr. ******* states in his complaint that he was not informed that the serviceman would be so late and this is one reason he is asking for a refund. NW Natural will consider crediting his account for $70.00 (the additional fee for the after hours call) because Mr. ******* feels he was not informed that our service technician would arrive after 11 p.m. Our CSR did state that it would be through the evening and may be late. Mr. ********* definition of evening and "may be late" evidently is not the same as NW Natural's interpretation. NW Natural does not intend to credit Mr. ********* account for $100.00; he will be charged $30.00, which is the fee for next day reconnection.

NW Natural is making this consideration because of Mr. ********* interpretation of what we meant by "through the evening and may be late" and him not understanding that we may arrive after 11 p.m. NW Natural is not making this consideration because our CSR hung up on him (as she did not) or because of any claim of harassment by our staff as indicated by Mr. *******.

Please have Mr. ******* email or phone me if he would like the $70.00 credited to his account. If you need additional information, please contact me at ************, Ext, **** or ***@nwnatural.com.

Sincerely,

**** ********Customer Contact Center Supervisor

NW Natural

Consumer Response:  
Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.

Sincerely,

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

3/11/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: mailed my bill on 1-23-15 it takes 1 or 2 days at the most.service was cut off 1-28-15 without notice...have 3 children 9,6 and 1 no heat no way to cook..no warning no phone call just no heat and note on door by timeI new it was past 6 so office was closed can't call just have to freeze no warm food I

Desired Settlement: turn on the heat and SHAME ON YOU!!!! I have always paid my bills this is rude and insulting and very very wrong and harmfull they don't care if they make the children sick and hungry Turn the het on and keep a line open to calls 24 7 VERY Very upset!!!!!!no where to call no one cares!!!! very disappointing should be against the law!!!!

2/5/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint: I had asked for an extension on my bill for $78.27, to be paid on December 26. However, the amount due would be $254.29, and the total balance would be $356.54. My request was that my entire bill could be pushed out until the day after Christmas. We were expecting a student loan to be posted to our account on that day and the amount would be enough to get us totally caught up on this bill. I had asked for extensions in the past and always paid my bill, so this was not unusual for me to do. However, I was told by the representative that my bill could not be extended until then. The amount of $78.27 needed to be paid by December 22. I told him that our regular pay day was on December 19, so it would not be a problem. I would make arrangements to have the amount taken from my bank account on the 19th and we would pay the entire balance on the 26th. The reason why we were making this sort of arrangement was because our family was going to be on vacation over Christmas and I did not want to worry about bills at home while we were gone. So, I was under the impression that our payment would automatically be deducted from our bank account on the 19th. Here is a time line of events that happened while we were gone. On December 16th I received a phone call from NW Natural. However, I did not know about it at the time. We were not in the country from December 15-19, so I did not have access to cell phone service. Then, unfortunately my phone was damaged on the trip, so when I returned to the U.S. on the 19th, I was not able to make or receive phone calls, or listen to voice mails. Apparently on this day, I received another call from NW Natural. I did not hear this message until just now, because Ihad my phone replaced today. So, since I had arranged for the $78.27 to be deducted from our bank account on the 19th, I wasn't concerned about our service. Also, since I did not have access to my phone, I did not know that NW Natural was trying to reach me. If I had known that, there would not have been a problem. My daughter had been watching our house for us as well as taking care of our pet, and on December 26th (the day that we were coming home), she called my wife to tell us that the gas had been shut off. But she didn't say when it had been done. But she said that she did not want to ruin our vacation, otherwise she would have mentioned it sooner. So, I looked at our bank account online and realized that the small payment was never deducted from our account on the 19th. So, I decided at that moment to pay the entire bill of $356.54 as I had promised. I expected that by the time that we returned home later in the morning that the service would be restored. Unfortunately, my family was returning from our vacation very sick. I developed Pneumonia on our trip, and my wife and kids had a bad cold also. We needed to get home and could not afford to get any sicker, so we desperately needed our home to be warm. We got back at about noon. The temperature in the house was 48 degrees. So I called NW Natural to see when they could turn the gas back on. The agent that I spoke with told me that he could see that I made a payment of $356.54. But I needed to give them a deposit of $168.00 as well as a $30 restore fee, and he would schedule it to be turned on the following business day (Monday). I explained to him that I had made arrangements for NW Natural to deduct the funds from my account automatically on the 19th, but for some reason it never happened. But I had the money to pay the bill, as I had just sent them $356.54 earlier that day. So, it was not my fault for this issue. He said that their company didn't have any record of the arrangement. So, in order to have my services restored, I would need to pay another $168 plus $30 and it would be turned on Monday. This was not acceptable. As I mentioned, my family was very sick and we could not live in a cold house for three days. So we had no choice but to pay. However, in order to have the service turned on today, it would be a $100 fee instead of $30. The agent said that he could break up the payment that we just made to cover the current bill and the deposit, but I would still need to pay $19.73 for the balance of the restore, and we could have the service on by Monday. I told him again that we needed the heat on now, that we could not wait until Monday. So, he said that it would be an additional $70 if I wanted it turned on today because they would schedule it for between 5pm and midnight. He said that it would be added to the $19.73 that I owed. I was at his mercy. I had no choice. In order to have heat today, I needed to pay $89.73 in addition to the $356.54 that I had already paid. So I did. I want to point out that this was the first time that our gas was turned off for non-payment. Considering that it was a mis-understanding and it was obvious that I had the money to pay my bill, since I had sent in over $356.00 that day and the amount that needed to be paid by the prior week was less than $80. I think that the $168. Deposit could have been ignored. I can understand the restoration fee because the service man would need to make a special visit to the house. So, the $30 would have been appropriate. But in order for it to be done on that day, we would be charged $100. So, this was an extra $238.00 that we would have to pay in order to be warm over the weekend. I would think that at Christmas especially, these extra charges could be waived. As I said, $30 for a restoration fee I could see, but it is my belief that $268.00 is extortion. When I told the agent that I needed the gas back on today because my family was sick, he never told me that they could not do it before 5:00. He just said that they could schedule me for sometime between 5pm and midnight. I had called him at noon. Why couldn't they send someone out before 5pm? It is my belief that they didn't want to. If having heat was important enough for me, I would cough up the money. Were they that busy that a service man could not come out before 5pm? The agent said that they would schedule someone to come out between 5pm and midnight. So, here are a couple of questions that I have about that. 1. How many people have their service restored at midnight? 2. When someone pays the $100, on an average what time do they have service restored? The reason why I question the motives of NW Natural in this instance is because the service man arrived at 5:05 pm to turn our gas back on, and he was at our house for two minutes. This cost me $100.00. Why couldn't he be here at 4:55? It is my belief that the reason is because he wasn't scheduled until after 5:00. How late do the service men work? Until midnight? Well, since we were scheduled for a time up to that point, it would seem so. But I'm going to guess that a normal work day goes until 5pm, and that a new crew probably works in the evenings for emergencies. So, instead of having our service restored on the day shift, NW Natural chose to schedule us on swing, and I'm going to guess that we were probably at the beginning of this man's list, when we could have been at the end of the normal working day. Schedule us between 5pm and midnight and the guy arrives at 5:05pm, it looks a little suspicious. I just received my new bill. Even though I paid a total of $446.27 two weeks ago, I owe $315.83 as of today. All that money that I paid went down the drain, because it appears that I owe almost as much as I paid before. In the new bill, there is a $100.00 fee for restoration, and I thought that I already paid that. The agent told me that after all that I paid, I still owed $19.73 of the $30.00 to have the service restored by Monday, but if I paid the additional $70.00 bringing that total to $89.73, I could have it done on that day. But according to this bill, I still owe the full $100.00 restoration fee. So, if I pay the $315.83 by the due date of January 21, that would mean that since December 26, I will have paid a total of $762.10. That is a lot of money for one month. It doesn't seem to matter as long as NW Natural gets their money.

Desired Settlement: I want NW Natural to waive the $168 deposit since this was the first time that we had service disconnected, and it was all a mis-understanding. I also want them to explain why in order for them to restore service on the same day, it has to be scheduled after 5pm. Is it their practice to turn people on at midnight when they could have done it in the afternoon? In lieu of this, I want them to re-imburse me $70 for the restore fee, because I'm certain that they could have done it earlier.

Business Response: Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 8, 2015/02/05) */ I received a phone call from NW Natural. I was told that my deposit of $168 would be credited to my account. Also, I was told that the individual who scheduled the service call should have given me another option of when he could come restore our service. I was told that it could not been done until Monday, but he could have come out on Saturday. So, NW Natural will credit us $70 of the $100 service call fee. The only part that would not be credited was the $30 for the actual service call because the technician had to make a trip out. That fee is acceptable to me because of the mis-understanding. NW Natural spent alot of time communicating with me to resolve this issue. I am satisfied with the resolution of this issue and want to withdraw my complaint. Thank you.

10/6/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was notified finally by the credit bureaus that there was an old debt showing in my name. Though I disputed this debt of $129.51 the company never contacted me to correct the error. I believe someone else used my name in order to secure services when I had already moved out of an address in Oregon. Now however, to expedite the dispute, I paid it off in full though I filed an affidavit with the FTC. I paid the debt in full through *******, the only ******* who works at NW Natural Gas she stated, on August 3, 2014. I was informed that it would take no more than 7 possibly 10 days to notify the credit reporting agency, ************ ****** ********* that the debt had been paid in full and there was a zero balance owing as of August 3, 2014. To date, when I contact NW Natural I am given the runaround and when I contact **** I am informed in writing that NW Natural has never notified them that the debt has been paid in full. I phoned recently and spoke to *** in the Credit dept. at NW Natural, and she informed me that she was contacting the collections dept. that notifies *** immediately to contact me at once. She said they would contact me over a day ago but they have never contacted me by phone or by any means. I paid the account in full but NW Natural refuses to notify ************ ****** ******** that the account reflects a zero balance. I am getting the runaround by NW Natural. They need to step up and honor their policy and what I was informed they would do. I need confirmation that they have notified the credit company to advise that they debt was paid in full even though it is not my authorization of the debt in the first place. It is not mine.

Desired Settlement: They can refund my money I paid (total of $132.01 including a $2.50 service fee in order to pay the bill over the phone) or they can contact **************************** to and confirm to me that they have been contacted instead of giving me the runaround, or we can go to a court of law to have the matter heard before a judge. I need confirmation from *** that the debt they have on file in my name through NW Natural has been paid in full immediately; today.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1010, 7, 2014/08/28) */ In response to ******** ******'s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: ******** ******'s natural gas service account at *** * ***** **** Otis, OR was closed effective November 2009. This account had not been closed by ******** ****** and remained in her name until past due and termed out. In conversation August 18,2014 with *** ******, she verified having lived at that address and having moved out of the apartment in that time frame. The final closing bill for $129.51 was not paid. December 2009 a final bill delinquent notice was mailed and January 2010 a pre-collection notice was mailed to *** ******. NW Natural did not receive a response to these notices; consequently, February 2010 the past due balance of $129.51 was placed with a collection agency ************* ****** ******** for collection. July 12,2014 *** ****** contacted NW Natural, twice via email. She stated that she recently saw on her credit report a false bill by NW Natural. July 14,2014 she also wanted to know the ADA specialist within NW Natural. NW Natural's representative responded to *** ******'s emails with the dates of service, service address and the amount placed with the collection agency for collection. Our representative also provided the telephone number of the collection agency and advised *** ****** to contact the collection agency. July 15,2014 *** ******, via email, requested the name of the Director of Operations' name and contact information. Via email, NW Natural's representative replied to *** ******'s email: "For the fastest response, please contact Customer Service," and provided the telephone number and hours of operations for NW Natural's Customer Service. August 5,2014 *** ****** phoned about the balance of the past due bill. She paid $132.01 ($129.51 plus $2.50 check over the phone fee). August 5,2014 via email, *** ****** requested confirmation of the $132.01 payment, that the debt had been paid in full and resolved, and that ************ ****** ******* had been notified of the payment. NW Natural's representative replied via email: "It will take a few days for the collection agency to adjust their records. On our records, the debt is paid and you will receive a statement of account by email soon showing a zero balance. You may also view confirmation of a zero balance on our website at www.natural .com." NW Natural acknowledge that *** ****** emailed NW Natural August 5,7, 8 for a confirmation letter of the payment, and August 11,2014 we received a copy of an email to ************ ****** ******* requesting a confirmation that the debt had been paid in full. August 12, 2014 *** ****** emailed that she was concerned that ************ ****** ******* had not been notified of her payment; she requested that NW Natural's Director of Credit contact herAugustl3,2014. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 9, 2014/08/28) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I never verified that I had lived at the residence at the time the false bill occurred. There are at least 10 emails that I sent to NW Natural and at no time did I ever state that I incurred the debt. I however filed a fraud complaint about this matter elsewhere and I also contacted NW Natural by phone on Aug 3 and paid the debt off just to clear my credit record as it was a negative **** on my credit. After I paid it off, I was told by ******* that it would be immediately sent to ************ ****** ******** as paid in full. It was not. Until late last week was the matter cleared and referred to *** as paid in full, then *** contacted me multiple times last week stating that NW Natural, ***** ******** advised ***** at *** that I owed over $50 of interest to pay the bill in full. This was a bait and switch because I again contacted NW NAtural and advised them that they quoted me in writing and verbally that the account was paid in full Aug. 3, so what was *** now claiming that Mr. ******** informed them that I owed additional monies. Not until I contacted both companies **** & NW Natural) with the possibility of court proceedings for frau and dishonest business practices did they finally send me a letter that contained more lies but that finally said the matter was paid in full. Meanwhile I have to deal with this loss not of my authority or ownership and it is quite obvious to me that both companies are running a scam, an unlawful shame, even stating lies that I stated I was responsible and lived at the residence at the tine the bill was incurred! Shame on them and I believe they are typical Oregonian garbage willing to hurt even me as a disabled woman on limited, fixed income who went ahead reluctantly, and paid them in full for something that I am not responsible for! *** and NW Natural are running a scam and they tell egregious lies to cover themselves. The matter has caused me great emotional strain and financial hardship not to mention, my health is not good at this time having recently been hospitalized! Shame on you NW NATURAL! Learn to tell the truth because I have saved all the emails and phone calls; all recorded of record! You cause me much anger with your lies. It would behoove you to go back and re-read every email I sent to you. At no time did I take responsibility for a debt that was never mine. I just reluctantly paid it to get it off of my good credit record because your fraudulent debt was the only negative mark on my record! Get it right or be held accountable in a court of law! Disgusted, ******** ****** Final Business Response /* (4000, 11, 2014/09/16) */ NW Natural has responded accurately and we consider the matter closed. **** ********

5/6/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: NW Natural Gas company is exploiting their customer's dependence on their service by charging excessive fees, being unclear in their shut-off policies and procedures,and negligent in their attempts to contact their service users. On April 3rd our gas was shut off, leaving my husband, myself, and my 1 year old nephew without hot water or heat. According to our online bill we were only 3 days late. According to a paper letter we later found, the date was set for March 27. We had made a partial payment in February after getting behind in January with Christmas vacations. We have had regular service with NW Natural for over 5 years and have never missed a payment. We also have an online service with this company to ensure that we get our bills. Nowhere on the website or in any written materials is it said that if you make a partial payment it does NOT apply to your FIRST late payment. No attempt other than a mailed letter was made to notify us of the impending shut-off, even though we have an online account and have elected to receive electronic communications. When asked why we were simply given the response that it is not "company policy." It would seem prudent that something as important as heating your home would be treated with a little more consideration and thoroughness before resorting to cutting off the supply. We had not stopped paying. We easily could have made the payment had we been informed. We were waiting to be contacted via email to pay our past due and current balance altogether. Furthermore, when we called to inquire about the shut-off, fee upon fee upon fee was heaped upon our bill for no apparent reason, plus a security deposit. The fees were not all included in the flyer we got about the shut-off. The security deposit is not mentioned. And, of course, the fees are higher on the weekends and our gas was turned off thursday. We did not discover it until we came home which was after the companies "business hours." According to their 'policies' even though we went online and paid it thursday night, we could not have had our service turned back on until Monday without paying extras fees for service on the weekends. Who can afford to be without hot water, at the very least, for the weekend? The situation was clearly set-up to favor NW Natural at the expense of their customer. To recap: 1. NW Natural shut off our gas without attempting to contact us through our preferred electronic communication information, and between billing cycles. 2. We had been making payments consistently, only ONE of which was a partial payment. NW Natural did NOT inform us that the partial payment was only being applied to our most recent charges and that, according to policies that we did not know about, we were still late from our original missed payment. 3. We could not turn back on our service without a exorbitant amount of fees as well as a security deposit. The reasons for these fees were not made clear, not listed on the flier they left, and were unreasonable. NW Natural shut off our service on a Thursday, putting us in a position to be forced to pay even higher fees if we wanted service back on for the weekend. To sum up, we are well aware that missing a payment was our mistake. However, we feel that the consequences taken by NW Natural were extreme and unnecessary, especially given that they provide a life service and are its only carrier.

Desired Settlement: A reversal of all fees attributed to this event.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1010, 7, 2014/04/24) */ To: Better Business Bureau Re: Case #XXXXXXXX Consumer: ******** ******* Date: April 17,2014 In response to ******** *******'s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: ******** *******'s natural gas service was disconnected Thursday, 4/3/14, at approximately 2:03 p.m, for nonpayment of the bill dated 2/13/14, which was due 3/3/14. This bill totaled $325.74, of which included apast due amount of $173.67 and current charges of $152.07. An electronic payment of $173,67 posted to ******** *******'s account on 2/20/14, leaving a balance of $152.07. Prior to disconnection of service on Thursday, 4/3/14, for nonpayment of the $152.07 balance on the account, NW Natural mailed a Reminder Notice 3/11/14 for $152,07, due 3/27/14, mailed an Urgent Five-Day Notice 3/20/14 for $152.07, due 3/27/14. NW Natural didn't receive a response to the Reminder Notice and did not receive a response to the Urgent Five-Day Notice. 3/28/14 and 4/2/14, NW Natural telephoned this number which we have on record for ******** *******, XXX-XXX-XXXX, but no one answered the telephone. Our Field Technician also tried to make contact by knocking three times before disconnecting the gas service, but no response, ****** ******* called Friday, 4/4/14, to restore service. Options offered to restore service: $336.53 ($133.53 1/2 of the account balance plus $173.00 full deposit, plus $30,00 fee for next day reconnection), OR $406.53 ($133.53 1/2 of the account balance plus $173.00 full deposit, plus $100.00 fee for same day after 5:00 p.m. reconnection) OR $355.07 ($267.07 full balance, plus $58,00,1/3 of the total deposit, plus $30.00 next day reconnection fee) OR $470.07 ($267.07 full balance, plus $173,00 full deposit, plus $30.00 next day reconnection fee). ****** ******* agreed to pay $100.00 for same day after 5:00 p.m. reconnection and to pay the additional amount for the reconnection quote that included 1/2 of the account balance plus the full deposit ****** ******* was also offered the option of a surety agreement in lieu of paying the deposit, which he declined, and he was also informed that he could set up a payment plan for the remaining balance on the account. ******** *******'s bill delivery method is "paperless billing." See NW Natural's Paperless Billing Terms and Conditions (attachment): "NW Natural will send your paperless bill notification to the email that you have provided. NW Natural is not responsible for undelivered bill notifications. You will be responsible for paying your NW Natural gas bill each month by the bill due date. Past due notices will continue to be sent by regular mail Consumer's Desired Resolution: "A reversal of all fees attributed to this event." NW Natural's Response: NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the Oregon Adrninistrative Rules. OAR XXX-XXX-XXXX Grounds tot Disconnecting Utility Service states: "Utility service may be disconnected by an energy utility or large telecommunications utility (3) When the customer fails to pay Oregon tariff or price-listed charges due for services rendered." ******** *******'s natural gas service was disconnected for nonpayment of services rendered. By mailing the required notices prior to the disconnection of service (the Reminder Notice and the Five-Day Urgent Notice), NW Natural adhered to OAR XXX-XXX-XXXX Notice of Pending Disconnection of Residential Electric or Gas Utility Service: "(3) The energy utility must provide written notice to the customer at least 15 days before disconnecting residential service except when the disconnection is made: " and "(6) The energy utility must provide written notice to the customer at least five business days before disconnecting residential service except when the disconnection is made:,,.." ******** ******* was required to pay a security deposit, OAR XXX-XXX -XXXX Establishing Credit for Residential Utility Service states: "(2) An applicant or customer may be required to pay a deposit at the time of application for new or continue service when: (b) The applicant or customer received the same type of utility service from it or any Oregon energy or telecommunications utility, as defined in ORS 757.005 or 759.005, within the preceding 24 months and owed an account balance that was not paid in full when service was terminated " ******** ******* was assessed $100.00 for a same day after 5:00 p.m. reconnection. OAR XXX-XXX-XXXX Reconnection Fee for Utility Service states: "When a utility service is disconnected pursuant to OAR XXX-XXX-XXXX, the energy or large telecommunication utility may charge the reconnection fee in its tariff." (See attachment: NW Natural's Tariff- Schedule C Miscellaneous Charges and Credits for service reconnection charges) The deposit and reconnection fees are listed on the Five-Day Urgent Notice. (See the attachment) NW Natural will not reverse the $173.00 deposit and the $100.00 service reconnection fee for reasons stated above. Please contact me if you need additional information at XXX-XXX-XXXX, Ext. **** or ***@jiwnatural.com. Sincerely, **** ******* Customer Contact Center Supervisor NWNatural ***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB*** Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 9, 2014/05/02) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) It has been acknowledged that we misunderstood the "rules" however, I don't know many people who peruse that kind of reading in whatever sort of spare time they might have. Clearly the response shows that the payment was made for the past due amount, as it is EXACTLY the same amount. Further, the rules state that the company "may" charge these fees, and our complaint was that NW Natural's response to our misunderstanding was in excess, not that they did not have a right to it. The complaint stands. NW Natural has not shown that they are a good company to do business with. NW Natural has not shown that they serve the consumer in this case. NW Natural has not shown any effort to make right with us, to compromise, or even to understand.

2/11/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My gas/heat was turned off without any warning/ reaching out such calling. I have two small kids, it is 48 degrees F in my house. Yes, I forgot to pay a bill (small) but there is no outreach, customer service is closed and I need to pay 100 to reconnect.

Desired Settlement: Refund 100$ reconnection fee. Inform Oregon Attorney General and ask to investigate NW practices of disconnection services without warning such telephone call or text message. It is n-only due to bed will and in order to generate high disconnection fees. Investigate the frequency of disconnection occurring just before weekend in order to force customer to pay higher reconnection fees. Provide data of disconnection services during Mn-Friday in %. Communicate with organizations wiling to brake NW factual gas monopoly.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1010, 5, 2014/01/22) */ To: Better Business Bureau RE: Case#******** Consumer: ****** ******* Date: January 22, 2014 In response to ****** ******* complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: ****** ******** natural gas service was disconnected Thursday, 1/9/14, at approximately 12:09 p.m. for nonpayment of the bill dated 11/15/13, which was due 12/3/13. Prior to disconnection of service on Thursday, 1/9/14, NW Natural mailed a reminder notice 12/13/13 for $124.14, due 1/2/14, mailed an Urgent Five-Day Notice 12/24/13 for $123.99, due 1/2/14. NW Natural didn't receive a response to the Reminder Notice and did not receive a response to the Urgent Five-Day Notice. 1/8/14, NW Natural telephoned this number which we have on record for ****** *******, ************, but no one answered the telephone. ****** ****** called Friday, 1/10/14, to restore service. Options offered to restore service: $163.94 ($133.94 1/2 of the account balance plus $30 fee for the next day reconnection), OR $367.88 ($267.88 full balance plus $100 fee for the same day after 5:00 p.m. reconnection.) ****** ******* agreed to pay $367.88 for same day after 5:00 p.p. service. Consumer's Desired Resolution: "Refund $100 reconnection fee." NW Natural's Response: NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the Oregon Administrative Rules. OAR 860-021-0305 Grounds for Disconnecting Utility Service states: "Utility service may be disconnected by an energy utility or large telecommunications utility (3) When the customer fails to pay Oregon tariff or price-listed charges due for services rendered." ****** ******** natural gas service was disconnected for nonpayment of services rendered. By mailing the required notices prior to the disconnection of service (the Reminder Notice and the Five-Day Urgent Notice), NW Natural adhered to OAR 860-021-0405 Notice of Pending Disconnection of Residential Electric or Gas Utility Service: "(3) The energy utility must provide written notice to the customer at least 15 days before disconnecting residential service except when the disconnection is made:..." and "(6) The energy utility must provide written notice to the customer at least five business days before disconnecting residential service except when the disconnection is made:..." ****** ******* was assessed $100.00 for a same day after 5:00 p.m. reconnection. OAR 860-021-0330 Reconnection Fee for Utility Service states: "When a utility service is disconnected pursuant to OAR 860-021-0305, the energy or large telecommunication utility may charge the reconnection fee in its tariff." (See attachment: NW Natural's Tariff- Schedule C Miscellaneous Charges and Credit for service reconnection charges) NW Natural will not refund the $100 service reconnection fee for reasons stated above. Please contact me if you need additional information at ***********, Ext. **** or ***@nwnatural.com. Sincerely, **** ******** Customer Contact Center Supervisor NW Natural ***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB*** Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/01/29) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) NW acts like arrogant monopoly (which it is!). In 21 century there should be a way of warning traveling customer about such inconveniences as disconnection of services. Email, text message as it is being done by more consumer friendly companies (not monopolies- it explains a lot!) NW unfriendly customer practices are designed to maximize profit only by generating excessive amount of fees. Dear BBB, please forward my complain to **** **** ****** office for further investigation of such practices.

2/11/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: When we moved to a new residence recently in Portland, we called to start service there. The customer service personnel asked if we wanted to maintain two accounts or terminate the Hillsboro one (address attached with this complaint). Since the old house had not yet sold we had to maintain service to the ******** home. As such the Customer Service Rep told us that they could set up a new account number for the new residence and MERGE the old account to that one. She told us that payments could be sent to the new account number only for both residences since they were merged accounts. We started making ALL payments (for both homes) to the new account # of XXXXXXXX and did not direct any payments towards the old account # of XXXXXXX. These changes took place in Sept 2013. This month (Dec 2013) we get a bill for the*********** address, account number of XXXXXXX with all previous charges not credited with our payments and a late fee on top of that. When I called the office, they told me they were sorry for the miscommunication and merged accounts were not possible and I had to foot the late fee as well. I do not have any issues sending payment back to the old account number all over again, but find it unacceptable that I have to fend for NW Natural's mis-direction.

Desired Settlement: I would like NW Natural to credit back the $3.00 late fee. I do not believe I should be held liable for misinformation given to me by a company rep. Thank you. Sincerely, -****** ****

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 13, 2014/01/29) */ To: Better Business Bureau Re: Case #XXXXXXXX Customer: ****** **** Date: January 10,2014 In response to ****** ****'s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: September 9,2013, *** **** contacted NW Natural to open an account at XXXXX ** *********** *** Portland, OR and to continue service at *** ** ***** *** Hiilsboro, OR. NW Natural processed the service changes as requested. NW Natural mailed individual bills for each service address, the ************** address and the Lenox Street address to *** ** ***** *** Hiilsboro, OR. (Copies of these bills are attached.) The payments *** **** made October 2013 through December 3,2013 were applied to the *********** ** account, and the payment *** **** made December 11,2013 was applied to the ***** ****** account. (See statement of accounts attached.) December 9,2013 *** **** contacted NW Natural. She stated that when she opened the account at the *********** ** address and requested to continue service at the ***** ** address, she was advised that she would have one account for both addresses. Our Customer Service Representative explained that this was not an option if she wanted to maintain both active accounts. *** **** also asked to have the $3.00 late fee waived. Our Customer Service Representative explained that the late fee would not be waived as multiple bills were mailed for both accounts, which displayed separate account numbers. CONSUMER'S DESIRED RESOLUTION: "NW Natural to credit back the $3.00 late fee." NW NATURAL'S RESPONSE: January 8,2014 NW Natural's Customer Service Representative contacted *** ****. *** **** explained that she was either given misinformation or misunderstood our account set-up process. She now understands that each address has its own account number. After *** ****'s explanation of her understanding of the account set-up process and a closer review of her accounts, our Customer Service Representative agreed to make a credit adjustment to *** ****'s account to reverse the $3.00 late fee. Our Customer Service Representative also arranged to have the bills for both service addresses mailed to XXXXX ** *********** *** Portland, OR. Please contact me if you need additional information at XXX-XXX-XXXX Ext. **** or lddOnwnatural.com. Sincerely, **** ******** Customer Contact Center Supervisor ***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

2/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint: I had my gas shut off due to non paymentI am currently working with county to get some help with my bill. I ama terminally ill and have a 9yr old daughter and am on disability. I arranged to have my gas turned back on by paying 183.99 dollars and my ticket time was from 8am to open ended. Normally i would get a call right before or when the person arrived but since i didnt request a call this time which i had never been told in past or currently nor was i asked if i wanted one. So I missed the guy even though i was home i didnt hear door no call so now in order to get heat in December nw natural is telling me if i want it on today it will be another 70 dollars and it wont be till after 5pm till open ended. I already struggeling to pay. Or i can wait till Monday. This is obsered to put people in my situation under this kind of scrutiny and i feel discriminated against because i dont have money. So it is 260 dollars if i want heat and hot water after 5pm till whenever they get here. This is uncalled for crazy rediculous standards and to not even work with us is obscene that i think i am going to he news. ***** ****

Desired Settlement: Change your procedures!!!! Refund my 70 bucks especially if i had to pay it twice for a 5pm to whenever they get there ticket.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1010, 7, 2014/01/22) */ To: Better Business Bureau Re: Case #XXXXXXXX Consumer: ***** **** Date: January 21,2014 In response to ***** ****'s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: *** ****'s natural gas service was disconnected for non-payment 12/26/13. *** **** contacted NW Natural for reconnection of service 12/26/13. She agreed to pay $183.99, which included $153.99, lA of the account balance plus $30 reconnection fee to have the service restored. The service was scheduled to be restored on 12/27/13 with the following access arrangements; adult home day and evening - no request to be called prior to NW Natural's arrival. Our technician arrived 12/27/13 at approximately 9:38 a,m.j rang the doorbell four times, but no response. The gas service was not restored. *** **** contacted NW Natural again to restore service for 12/27/13. She was told that the service could be restored after 5 p.m. 12/27/13 for an additional after-hours reconnection fee of $70.00. *** **** requested supervisory review. 12/27/13 NW Natural's supervisor approved a reconnection of service for 12/27/13 with no additional fee, with special instruction to call *** **** when on site for access. Hie service was restored 12/27/13 at approximately 3:47 p.m. Consumer's Desired Resolution: "Change your procedures! Refund my 70 bucks especially if I had to pay it twice for a 5 p,m. to whenever they get their ticket." Response: *** **** didn't pay the additional $70.00 after-hours reconnection fee; therefore, the refund requested isn't a valid request *** **** paid $30.00, which is the fee for reconnection of service during normal business hours. Please contact me if you need additional information at XXX-XXXXXXX, Ext **** or ldd(Sinwnatural.com. Sincerely, '**** ******** Customer Contact Center Supervisor NW Natural

11/18/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint: Service was disconnected without notice after less than 60 days nonpayment. The bill was paid that same day. They then issued a refund of the deposit and demanded a vastly larger deposit in its place in order to reconnect service. Customer service said they made 4 phone calls prior to disconnecting service, yet an examination of phone records indicates that this is false. Customer service was unwilling to make any adjustment to the bill, as a result of their systematic abuse of monopoly power, and maintains that they have obeyed the law's requirement to provide two written notices.

Desired Settlement: Waiving the deposit.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 8, 2013/11/01) */ In response to ***** *******'s complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: NW Natural mailed *** ******* his natural gas bill June 3, 2013 with a due date of June 19, 2013 and mailed another natural gas bill July 1, 2013 with a due date of July 17,2013; both bills were not paid by the due dates. NW Natural mailed a Reminder Notice for these bills July 25, 2013 and a Five-Day Urgent Notice for these bills August 5, 2013; both notices for $111.13 and due August 12, 2013. NW Natural didn't receive a response from *** ******* to these notifications. *** *******'s natural gas service was disconnected for nonpayment August 19, 2013. He paid his bill in full August 19, 2013 after his natural gas service was disconnected. (The gas service was disconnected 8/19/2013 at 1:58:00 p.m. and the payment was made 6:26:39 pm on 8/19/2013.) A closing bill statement was mailed to *** ******* August 28,2013 reflecting the refund of security deposit on file with NW Natural. This bill statement also included a statement that his refund would be mailed separately within the next five business days. October 2, 2013 *** ******* telephoned to have his natural gas service reconnected. He was advised of the security deposit ($174) and the reconnection fee ($30.00) for reconnection of natural gas service. NW Natural explained that the $174.00 security deposit required to reconnect his gas service could be paid in three installments or he could provide a Surety Agreement in lieu of the $174.99 security deposit. NW Natural also explained that the $174.00 security deposit is based on the natural gas usage at this premise; $174.00 is 1/6 of the annual natural gas usage at this premise. CONSUMER'S DESIRED RESOLUTION: "Waiving the deposit." NW NATURAL'S RESPONSE: NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the Oregon Administrative Rules. *** ******** natural gas service was disconnected for nonpayment. By mailing the required notices prior to the disconnection of *** ****** gas service (the 15-day Reminder Notice was mailed July 25, 2013 and the Five Day Urgent Notice was mailed August 5, 2013), NW Natural Adhered to OAR 860-021-0405 Notice of Pending Disconnection of Residential Electric or Gas Utility Service: (3) the energy utility must provide written notice to the customer at least 15 days before disconnecting residential service except when the disconnection is made:... and (6) The energy utility must provide written notice to the customer at least five business days before disconnecting residential service except when the disconnection is made..." ** ******* was required to pay $174.00 security deposit (1/6 of the natural gas usage at this premise) to establish credit for continued natural gas service with NW Natural. He was also offered the opportunity to provide a Surety Agreement in Lieu of paying the $174.00 security deposit, and he was offered the opportunity to make the $174.00 payment in three installments. NW Natural adhered to OAR 860-021-0200 Establishing Credit for Residential Utility Service: "(2) An applicant or customer may be required to pay a deposit at the time of application for new or continued service when: (b) The applicant or customer received the same type of utility service from it or any Oregon energy or telecommunications utility, as defined in ORS 757.005 or 759.005, within the preceding 24 months and owed an account balance that was not paid in full when service was terminated. Subsection (2)(b) of this rule does not apply to a customer who registered a dispute with the Commission within 60 days after a service was terminated and who paid all undisputed or adjudicated amounts;..." and "(4) For energy utilities, a deposit required under this rule shall not exceed one-sixth the amount or reasonable estimated billing for 12 months at rates then in effect. This estimate shall be based upon actual use at the premises during the prior 12 months, if known, or will be estimated based upon the type and size of the equipment at the premises. Each deposit shall be rounded to the nearest whole dollar." NW Natural also adhered to OAR 860-021-0205 Deposit Payment Arrangements for Residential Energy Utility Service" (1) When an energy utility requires a deposit, the customer of applicant may pay the deposit in full or in three installments. The first installment is due immediately; the remaining installments are due 30 days and 60 days after the first installment payment. Except for the last payment, installments shall be the greater of $30 or one-third of the deposit." NW Natural will not waive the security deposit assessed for *** ****** to establish credit for residential utility service. Please contact me if you need additional information at **********, Ext.**** or ***@nwnatural.com. Sincerely, **** ******** Customer Contact Center Supervisor NW Natural

10/28/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint: A few months ago I received a letter stating that the equipment in my home was faulty and therefore was responsible for billing on over a year's worth of service. It was not my fault that their equipment was faulty and I should not be responsible for the bill. I paid for the usage I was billed for during that time.

Desired Settlement: I should not be liable for payment due to faulty equipment that was not reading the proper usage.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1010, 7, 2013/10/11) */ In response to ******** ******* complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: As part of NW Natural's commitment to provide accurate billing, we continually analyze customer use for abnormal trends and test our meters to ensure they are operating correctly. During an evaluation in 2012, we identified a problem with the natural gas meter servicing the premises at ***** ****** ***, Oregon City, OR for *** *****. The meter at this location had internal damage and was not properly registering gas flow. Based on our analysis, considering the customer's usage history, the natural gas equipment in the home, and the natural gas flow that registered, the natural gas meter was not properly registering gas flow form more than three years. In response, we promptly removed this meter and replaced it with a new one on October 18, 2012. November 8, 2012, a letter was mailed to *** ***** advising her that she had the right to be present at the meter test, and to contact NW Natural within seven calendars days from the date of the letter to schedule a date and time for the test. *** ***** was also advised that if NW Natural did not hear from her the meter test would be performed and a copy of the results would be mailed to her. The removed meter was tested November 29, 2012 and the meter test result was mailed to *** ******* November 30, 2013. Meter Test Results: the meter stopped registering usage, causing an underbilling. *** ****** account was rebilled to included the amount of the underbilling; this bill was mailed to *** ***** April 29, 2013. NW Natural is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and adheres to the Oregon Administrative Rules. According to OAR 860-021-0130 Meter Test: "(2) A customer and/or a designated representative shall have the right to be present at any meter test. The test shall be conducted at a mutually acceptable time during regular business hours. (3) A written report showing the customer's name, the request date, the address where the meter has been installed, the meter's number, the date tested, and the result shall be supplied to the customer within a reasonable time after completing the test." November 8, 2012 a notice of the right to be present at the meter test was sent to *** *****. *** **** did not witness the meter test. Additionally, November 30, 2012 the meter test written results report was mailed to *** *****. According to OAR 860-021-0135 Adjustment of Utility Bills: "(1) When an underbilling or overbilling occurs, the energy or large telecommunication utility shall provide written notice to the customer detailing the circumstances, period of time, and amount of adjustment. If it can be shown that the error was due to some cause and the date can be fixed, the overcharge or undercharge shall be computed back to such date. If no date can be fixed, the energy or large telecommunications utility shall refund the overcharge or rebill the undercharge for more than six months' usage. In no event shall an overbilling or underbilling be for more than three years' usage. (4) When a customer is required to repay an underbilling, the customer shall be entitled to enter into a time-payment agreement without regard to whether the customer already participates in such an agreement. If the customer and utility cannot agree upon payment terms, the Commission shall establish terms and conditions to govern the repayment obligation. The energy or large telecommunications utility shall provide written notice advising the customer of the opportunity to enter into a time-payment agreement and the Commission's complaint process." April 29, 2013, NW Natural mailed *** ***** a billing statement which included the amount of the underbilling for six months of natural gas usage covering the period from April 25tj, 2012 through October 18, 2012 in the amount of $63.13. April 30, 2013, our Customer Service Representative offered *** ***** a Time Payment Plan but she did not want to make arrangements at that time. She said that she would call back if she needed a new payment arrangement. Consumer's Desired Resolution: "I should not be liable for payment due to faulty equipment that was not reading the property usage." NW Natural's Response: *** ***** is responsible for payment of the underbilling for six months of natural gas usage covering the period from April 25, 2012 through October 18, 2012 in the amount of $63.13. *** ***** is entitled to enter into a time-payment agreement without regard to whether she already participates in such an agreement. She can contact NW Natural's business office Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to make arrangements for payment. Please contact me if you need additional information at ***********, Ext **** or ***@nwnatural.com Sincerely, **** ******** Customer Contact Center Supervisor NW Natural

9/18/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I moved out over a year ago from this property. My Ex has called NW Natural twice to get me removed and they continue to have me listed on the invoice. Since the PO has my new forwarding address in the system, all his invoices are automatically sent to my new address. I also called NW Natural but they were unwilling to help me. They insisted my ex had to call them.

Desired Settlement: To remove my name of the invoice and only bill to my ex.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1010, 7, 2013/09/04) */ To: Better Business Bureau Re: Case #XXXXXXXX Consumer: ***** *** August 23, 2013 In response to ***** **** complaint, NW Natural acknowledges the following: July 22, 2013, ***** *** telephoned to stop billing in her name. She Wanted to remove her name so that we could stop forwarding the bill. Our representative explained that the bill is going to the service address ***** NE ***** Ct., Vancouver, WA.) and forwarding is being done by the post office. Our representative also offered to close the account in both names and explained that **** must contact NW Natural to open an account in his name only. Our representative noted that ***** *** became irate and disconnected the telephone call. July 22, 2013, **** ****** contacted NW Natural regarding payment arrangements on the account at **** NE ****** Ct. Vancouver, Washington. During this telephone call, Mr. ****** stated that he decided to wait for now to remove ***** ***'s name from this account. NW Natural telephoned both ***** *** and **** ****** 3/21/13 and 8/22/ 13 to arrange the closing of the joint account and opening an account in Mr. ****** name only. To date, 8/23/ 13, we have not received a return telephone call from Mr. ****** or Ms. ***. A disconnect order has been issued to close the joint account in both MI. ****** and Ms. **** name, and we mailed a post card requesting that Mr. ****** contact NW Natural to ensure that service continues. NW Natural also advised in the message on the post card mailed to Mr. ****** that service may be discontinued at anytime if an application is not received promptly. No further notices will be mailed to Mr. ******* Please Contact me if you need additional information at XXX-XXX-XXXX Ext. **** or ***@nwnatural.com. Sincerely, **** ******** Customer Contact Center Supervisor NW Natural


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