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Western Virginia

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Appalachian Power Company

Additional Locations

Phone: (800) 956-4237 40 Franklin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24011 http://www.appalachianpower.com

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Description

This company offers electric power services.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Appalachian Power Company 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Appalachian Power Company include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 66 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

66 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 27 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 40
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 25
Total Closed Complaints 66

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review on Appalachian Power Company
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 1

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: January 15, 1939 Business started: 01/01/1926 in VA Business incorporated: 03/04/1926 in VA
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:

State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197, Richmond VA 23218
http://www.state.va.us/scc
Phone Number: (804) 371-9733
Fax Number: (804) 371-9211

Roanoke City Business License

Phone Number: (540) 853-2524

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. David Nance, Customer Services Manager Mr. Joe A. Carrasco Mr. Dwight Linkous, Customer Service Coordinator Mr. Gary Simmons, Regulatory Consultant-Richmond
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Mr. Dwight Linkous, Customer Service Coordinator
Principal: Mr. David Nance, Customer Services Manager
Business Category

ELECTRIC COMPANIES

Alternate Business Names
AEP

Additional Locations

  • 40 Franklin Rd SW

    Roanoke, VA 24011 (800) 956-4237

  • P. O. Box 2021

    Roanoke, VA 24022

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    P. O. Box 1986

    Charleston, WV 25327

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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

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

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

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Complaint Detail(s)

10/3/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been out of work for the past 8 months been running late on power bill and now they forced a $304 deposit on top of my bill and was rude with me by saying "if you would pay your bill". I responded if I had the money I would have paid it and they have done the same thing to my sister forcing a deposit on active service. A payment of $790 was made sept 16th and 17th ($200 on 16th, $590 on the 17th)

Desired Settlement: I request a credit of $304 be applied to the account

Business Response: Deposit has been requested in accordance with all applicable guidelines for the State of Virginia as customer has failed to maintain satisfactory credit. During the past 12 months, customer has failed to pay bill in full by next scheduled read date 11 times and has had service disconnected for nonpayment one time. Company declines to waive deposit. Company has billed deposit in three installments per Virginia requirements. Company asks that deposit be received as billed.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. I spoke to one woman when I called in and explained my hardship and that I was getting back on track and a $304 charge on top of what I already owed was impossible. her response was "well if you would pay your bill" and I replied I would pay my bill if I had the money I have two kids to feed and provide for and been out of work for 8 months and the electric has only been turned off once in the past 5 years I feel I should have another chance before having a $304 deposit forced on me!!! Regards, ***** ********

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

9/18/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I called AEP to ask why I did not received my bill and got told that it was the *** fault. I then informed them that I have already taken care of that problem. Then I was treated rudely and I asked to speak with a manager, she told me there was not any available, that one would have to call me back. They never did. I then called back and got treated rudely again and asked to speak with another manager. He was even more rude and made me cry. At this point I was very upset and I was yelling. He stated that he didn't have to take any of this and I was being ridiculous. I asked to speak with someone higher and he stated there isn't any one higher then him and to have a good day, and hung up.

Desired Settlement: I just want for the proper action to be taken and to hope that no one else ever gets treated like I was treated. I was treated as if I had no other options and I had to deal with being treated like I was not important.

Business Response: On 9/10/14 a company representative spoke with the customer and apologized for the lack of customer service [she] received during previous calls to the company. The representative informed the customer of the next bill reading date and advised the customer to call the company should a bill statement not be received by 9/26/14. The customer informed the representative the Post Office advised the problem should be corrected by now.

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

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

9/17/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: was on oxygen and under doctors care and they still turn my power off,and this was back in july so I could not stay there without power so as of this month I rented my place and the girl I rented it to is having trouble getting her power turned on because of my bill and I don't think this is right to try to make someone else pay my bill I rented it so I could try to pay them and I also tryied to make payment arrangements and they wanted it all at one time.

Desired Settlement: need settlement offer low enough where I can pay my bill off

Business Response: Service in complainant's name was previously disconnected in accordance with all applicable guidelines for the State of Virginia. Company declines to enter into arrangements on outstanding debts and deposits before providing service. At this time, Company does not have an application for new service from this complainant.

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

9/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I had been a customer of Applachian Power. I called in advance and asked how to transfer my account from *************** resided at * ******** ** *** ***  to my new residence *** ****** *** *** ***.  I was instructed that I would only have a $12.00 transfer fee. Nothing mentioned if *** transfers the account you will be charged $260.00 fee. I am a continuing customer my account at my old address was ***************, my now new account which should have been transferred is **************** Appalachian power said "no you are a new customer" This is insane. They robbed me. They instructed me to call when I moved, I did and on 7/22/2014 they informed me that they could not do a thing. I had to pay them $260.00 even though there was mis-comminication. Further more I paid my bill in full even though I disagree about the $260.00 connection fee. Another new bill comes out and it literally states no payment in full of $260.00 they have Final installment of 86.00. I do not need to see another fee. I have never seen a statement stating the installment was paid in full. I asked for a Manager, ***** badge number **** stated she does not know of any Manager, much less an address. I find this hard to believe. Poor customer service. I have asked them to send out a new bill stating I paid $262.95 in full on 7/22/2014. My new bill on *************** should state the credit along with what is currently due. It does not. I am contacting 10 on your side as well as Roanoke times. I am not paying more than is requested, further more I should not pay $260.00 new customer fee.

Desired Settlement: Please advise, I will take further action.

Business Response: This is an Appalachian Power customer.  Please forward to your contact in Virginia. Thanks, ******

Business Response: On 9/5/14 a company representative discussed the concern with the customer and agreed to refund the security deposit to the account and apply the deposit toward the current billing. The customer was also advised if payments are late in the future the deposit will again be added to the account. The customer was provided a contact number for the representative to help resolve any problems in the future.

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

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

9/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My account with AEP has been unfairly targeted with continual disconnection threats for only being 11 day past the due date. AS stated above, my account w/ AEP has been unfairly targeted with continual threats of disconnection. Last month I was only 9 days past the due date and only owed $99.00 and was threatened with disconnection and a deposit was levied against my account when I have NEVER been disconnected in the 14 years I've done business with them. This month, my due date was on Aug. 24th and as of today (9 days after due date) I have once again been threatened with disconnection for a $110 power bill. They also show I'm 30 days in arrears for this bill, when it was only due on 8/24 ..9 days ago. I have tried in vain to get this problem explained to me, and I get the same continual runaround that says they are going by the billing date..not the due date. Which is absurd..why have a due date then? They tell me that I'm not being treated any different than anyone else, but that is not true. I have knowledge of other people that are seriously behind on their bills and are not having this done to them. I AM ONLY 9 DAYS PAST MY DUE DATE FOR 2 MONTHS IN A ROW AND AM BEING THREATENED WITH DISCONNECTION. And this is just ridiculous.

Desired Settlement: I would like the unnecessary and unfair deposit requirement removed from my account. Once again, my service has NEVER been cut off in 14 years of service. I have honored every payment agreement that I've ever made with them. And I would like to be treated fairly and not threatened constantly with disconnection for only being 9 days past my due date. Which is ridiculous...even Banks give you 30 days from the Due Date before there is a late charge.

Business Response: Deposit has been requested in accordance with applicable state guidelines. Disconnect notices have been issued in accordance with applicable state guidelines. Customer has failed to pay bill in full nine out of the past twelve months. It appears, customer is not paying bill in full, but is waiting to receive a disconnect notice and then is paying the minimum amount required to keep service on, rather than full account balance. Company treats late payments in similar manner to bank policy stated in complaint. Per terms and conditions of service, residential bills are due when rendered and are considered past due if not paid in full by next scheduled read date which is approximately 30 days. In addition, Company has billed deposit in three installments per applicable state guidelines. Company declines to waive deposit and asks that bill and deposit be paid in full.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. AS I expected their response, does not address the main issue.  I WAS laid off and then took a job at a much lower salary and have been struggling over the last 2 years, BUT, I contacted them and made PAYMENT AGREEMENTS with them, which I paid as agreed...ALL ACCORDING TO THEIR STANDARD POLICIES AND GUIDELINES (as they like to say)  But my payments to them was and is NOT the issue. They are simply using that as a diversion from their deceptive and misleading practices by focusing on my payments.  The Issue is their deceptive NEW practice of setting a DUE DATE, and then when the customer is 9 days past that threatening them with disconnection......but then saying that the customer is 30 days PAST DUE when in actuality they are only about 9 days past the due date...AND THEN USING THIS DECPETION AND FALSEHOOD TO THREATEN AND PENALIZE THE CUSTOMER....with DISCONNECTION AND A DEPOSIT. AEP IS GIVING A DUE DATE,  THAT'S THE DATE THE MONEY IS DUE...YOU CANNOT THEN SAY A CUSTOMER IS 30 DAYS PAST DUE 9 DAYS LATER.   THIS IS THE PREMISE THEY ARE USING TO CHARGE ME THIS DEPOSIT, TO THREATEN ME WITH DISCONNECTION. AND IT IS MISLEADING, DECEPTIVE AND JUST PLAIN WRONG.  AND THEY HAVE NOT ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE.  And sadly they will get away with this, nothing will be done and the deception and abuse will continue.  But I can guarantee you this I will be contacting the State Regulatory Commission and the newspaper, television, social media, and whomever else I can contact.  I've already started informing the Public of this, so no one else will be tricked into having to pay the DEPOSIT or being told by AEP that they are 30 days past due when they are not. Regards, ****** *****

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

9/9/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I made a payment of $619.00 on Thursday,8/21 by 7:00pm they suposedly came out at 926am Friday morning to have my power reconnected & not knowing that they had left a notice stating that they were unable to reconnect as my main fuse was still on as I was at work, I called them back as soon as I got in & spoke with **** (6:22 pm) who advised that he would notify them to have them reconnect now that I have cutoff the main fuse & was advised that he's known them to reconnect power up to 9pm but that it should be reconnected that night. So I waited & waited all the way up to 8:44pm when I called back to check status & was advised by a lady representative that it will be turned back on tonight. Power was never restored & so I contacted them again on Saturday & was advised that services would not be restored until Monday, 8/25 (next buisness day) so I asked to speak with a supervisor-stated that no supervisor was available at that time & was told that she would have a supervisor call me back...waited a couple of hours & no call back- so I called once again to speak with a supervisor & supervisor was still not available. Finally received a call back at 10:49 am from ****** who advised that no one was able to reconnect until Monday, 8/25. I advised her that I had kids (ages 7 & 14) in my household but she stated that she was not able to have anyone restore services until Monday. So per the notice I asked her how was it that it shows that you could pay $100 to have services restored the next non-business day but you don't have anyone to come out until Monday, 8/25 (next business day). This was very unprofessional and or bad business practices. This is my experience & would like to be able to have a choice as to my energy sources. Please advise of what can be done. Thanks

Desired Settlement: Its ridiculous that my services weren't restored that Friday when payment was made on Thursday at 7pm in the amount of $619.00 when I was told by 2 represntatives that it would be restored that night & then have to go thru a whole entire weekend before my services were restored on Monday. They should have been able to restore my services by Friday and or Saturday, since they do have where you can have your services restored the next non-business day if you pay $100.00, in this case they should have been able to restore my services by Saturday at no charge as I made my payment at 7pm on Thursday.

Business Response: In order for same day reconnect, full arrears and reconnect fee must be paid by 5pm M-F. However, the customer has an option to pay a higher reconnect fee between 5-7pm for same day reconnect. There is also an additional reconnect fee available for weekends and holidays. 8/21/14 1:04pm Company disconnected the meter for non-payment. 5:25pm – Customer was made aware that $628.02 was required for reconnect and to turn off main breaker. 6:50pm – Customer was made aware that $628.02 was required for reconnect and to turn off main breaker. 6:57pm – Company received a $500.00 payment. 7:04pm – Customer was made aware an addition $119.02 was needed to restore the next business day and to turn off main breaker. 7:12pm – Company received a $99.00 payment. 8/22/14 12:16am – Company received a $20.00 payment and company issued a reconnect order to restore service the same day 8/22/14. 9:28am – Company attempted to reconnect the meter. Company was unable to reconnect the meter because the customer’s main breaker was on causing a load on the meter and making it unsafe. 6:22pm – The customer notified the company that the main breaker was in the off position and the order was released for the next business day 8/25/14. 8/25/14 12:28pm – Company reconnected the meter. Upon review of the account, the company understands how the customer could be confused by the information provided between 8/21/14 and 8/22/14. However, customer was made aware of the requirements for reconnection, at least three times, before making a payment. Because the full payment was not received until 12:16am on 8/22 and because the main breaker was on when company tried to reconnect service at 9:28pm on 8/22 the order was rescheduled for the next business day. The customer was offered and elected not pay the amount required for a reconnection on a weekend or holiday.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. The amount AEP requests to reconnect services on a holiday weekend and on weekends are $100.00 & is ridiculous & outrageous and my payment was made on Thursday for the amount requested due in the amount of $599.00. The extra $29.00 was the same day reconnect fee after 7pm. The original reconnect for next business day fee is $20.00 if made before 7.  The payment would have been made prior to 7:00pm if the automated system would accept more than a $500 payment with a bankcard.. so I had to make 2 separate payments. As for this comment: "7:04pm – Customer was made aware an addition $119.02 was needed to restore the next business day and to turn off main breaker." I wasn't made aware by anyone of the additional $119.02 to restore the next business day as I was on the automated phone system trying to make the remaining balance of the payment at that time. The $20.00 received at 12:16am on 8/22 was the reconnection amount for them to restore the same day.  I wasn't paying additional money for a reconnect fee when they aren't going to reconnect the same day.  The statement: "Upon review of the account, the company understands how the customer could be confused by the information provided between 8/21/14 and 8/22/14."    My response:  The customer was not the one confused- I was TOLD by 2 different representatives at the company that my power would be restored that evening on 8/22/14. The statement: "Because the full payment was not received until 12:16am on 8/22 and because the main breaker was on when company tried to reconnect service at 9:28pm on 8/22 the order was rescheduled for the next business day." In response to the above comment- the company did not try to restore my power at 9:29pm it was 9:26AM according to the little red note left on my door;  I was at home at 9:26PM waiting for my power to be restored that evening and I called at 6:22 pm on 8/22 & spoke to **** who confirmed that my power would be reconnected that evening but it did not happen & had to go throughout a whole entire weekend with young kids & absolutely no power . It's sad that AEP has this much authority that they can treat people however they'd like to. Regards, ****** *******

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable offer to resolve the complaint. However the consumer did not accept the offer.

9/4/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have lived at my residence since 1988. I have had Appalachian power since then and before. I have always payed every month some sort of payment, not missing a month. I work two jobs, trying to keep above water. I bring home around 700 dollars a month. No one helps me. I get paid every two weeks. My first check goes on my car insurance and other bills due immediately. Plus I have to eat and gas to get to work and my second check which is at the end of month I pay the electric bill. I know this makes my bill late but I cant help that. Do to the recession my hours have been cut, sometimes I don't bring home 700 dollars. During the winter months Janurary, February, and march my monthly bill can get over 300 to 400 dollars. So to help pay this I am put on monthly budget of around 200 dollars a month and it suppose to be in December I pay them the difference of this budget or they may owe me. This is my anniversary month.I got my recent bill and on it they attached a 366 dollar deposit because I have been late several months. This 366 dollars is not for energy used, its because I have been late but I have payed my 200 dollar budget payment everyo month but its late. I paid on 8/4/2014 $200.37 , making the previous total balance 357.29 and the current electric charges is 91.11. So together I still owe 449.40 but I will pay my budget of 200 dollars for this bill bringing my total owing them is 249.40. My calculations by December I should owe them around 200 dollars.But now they have attached this 366 deposit to my bill and this is not for energy use this is for me being late. Now my total bill is $644.49 with the 366 dollar deposit. This is going to make it ten times harder to come up with the require monthly payment of 322.26 a month 122 dollars for the deposit installment of 366 dollars, so at my December anniversary I will owe alot more than the 200 dollars I calculated to be my anniversary amount. My question how can they do this when I am making my budget payments this was the arrangements.

Desired Settlement: I would like Appalachian Power to take off the 366 dollar deposit. I can not afford to pay this. Again this is not for energy used its because I am late. I have kept my agreement of 200 a month for the budget payment. I will pay the difference for this year come December but only for what I owe them for energy used.

Business Response: Customer is on budget billing and has failed to pay the bill in full twelve out of the past twelve months. Customer has paid only when disconnect notices for the past due balance were issued. Deposit has been requested in accordance with all applicable guidelines for the State of Virginia. Because customer pays something every month, Company will waive deposit this instance and asks that account be made current by due date of this month's billing which is 9-15-14. Failure to pay bill in full each month may result in addition of deposit to the account again at a later date. If this occurs, Company will not remove deposit a second time. Budget billing is not a fixed contract to pay a set amount each month. Bill amounts fluctuate due to increased rates and increased consumption. For this reason, it is imperative that full payment, not partial payment, be received each and every month. Company has removed customer from budget billing for failure to pay bill in full each month. Account balance, after removal from budget and removal of deposit, is $326.40. Company asks that this amount be received on or before 9-15-14.

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

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

8/13/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I had a returned item due to an unauthorized transaction on my checking account. I have corrected this but this business is no longer allowing me to pay online with my checking account or send in paper checks. This instance was Jo faultnof my own but I paid everything and the other company returned money to me. Appalachian needs to allow continued check payments. Electricity is not optional and by forcing people to only make cash payments or through cards, they are costing American citizens additional unnecessary money. I find this practice outrageous, especially when on my last call I was assured I could make the payment online. This is at least the second time a customer service rep has given incorrect information.

Desired Settlement: Restore my ability to make online payments immediately.

Business Response: Company records indicate the check in question was returned for insufficient funds, which does create a "Do Not Accept Checks" condition on the account.  If this was a bank error, or misreported as NSF, the customer may provide documentation from their bank to confirm this, and the DNAC coding will be removed.  Bank documentation may be in the form of letter or fax to ###-###-####. A company representative will contact the customer to advise what records the company requires from the customer’s bank to rectify the coding on the account.

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

8/8/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I noticed an unexplained charge of $360 on my current AEP bill. So when I call, I am told I am being charged this becasue I pay my bill late. Granted that is true I pay my bill usually 2 weeks after it is due. For financial reasons I can not help that. I also pay their late fee. So now they want to charge me an additional $360 which is unfair. When I called about this and explained to them I was unaware of this charge and did not feel I should have to pay it. I was told they would not adjust this charge. I don't see how this is ethical business practices if they are already collecting a late fee.

Desired Settlement: I want this charge removed from my account.

Business Response: The Company requested a security deposit in the amount of $360 to be paid in three installments per rules and regulations approved by the Virginia SCC.  The deposit was requested in accordance with all applicable guidelines. The Company declines to waive the deposit and asks that it be paid as billed. A Company representative previously contacted the customer on 7/24/14 and explained the deposit billing and the reason for deposit.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. I do not feel it is fair to the customer who is already struggling to require additional money to be paid.  I paid my late fees.  Further more I did not receive a paper copy of the bill stating this would happen.  I pay my bills online and did not see the message because it was hidden in all the legal jargon on the left of the bill.  Who reads that anyway.  If you are going to impose fees on some one, do it where it is for sure going to be ready. Like how you put TERMINATION NOTICE, in big bold letters to let someone know they are going to be terminated if payment is not received.

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

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

Complaint: AEP charging a deposit on account when service has never been interupted due to paying late. AEP has charge me a deposit on my account, account has been in place for 10 plus years and has never been interupted for service. However I do pay the bill late every month as I choose top pay my mortgage on time and pay the utilities late and pay the late fee due to how I am paid. My service has never been interupted. I have never been over 30 days late. My bill is due on the 10th of every month and I pay it around the 30th. AEP has stated they are charging me a deposit due to their concerns that because I pay late every month that my service "MAY" be interupted. 10 years now never an interruption and have always paid this way for at least 5 of those 10 years. AEP put a notice on a bill I received that is so small you can't even see it, it also isn't clear that a deposit will be charged if your enter bill isn't paid, if you read it it appears it means if the past due isn't paid by the termination date, however they said it meant everything due on time. I feel this is just a way for AEP to keep peoples money for a year to allow them to upgrade their system due to the restriction of raising rates. This should not be allowed. This complaint will be going to the FTC as well. Deposits should only be allowed to be charged if your opening a new account or if you have had your service interupted. Keeping someones money for a year after 10 years of service with no interuption just because they are late should be illegal if it isn't.

Desired Settlement: I want the deposit removed from my account. If my service is interupted then they can charge me a reconnect deposit as every other utility company practices but I will not pay a deposit just because I pay my bill 20 days late every month and have had no interuptions for 10 years.

Business Response: The deposit was requested due to the customer’s failure to maintain or establish satisfactory credit. The deposit was charged and billed in three installments in accordance with all applicable guidelines of the State of Virginia and the Virginia SCC. The Company declines to waive the deposit.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. I have had service with AEP for over 10 years, I have never missed a monthly payment.  I pay my bill late as I explained to them the way I get paid I have no choice but to pay it late and pay a late fee due to how my checks fall my mortgage gets paid on time before my utilities.  Again every month I pay my bill it's just late.  The bill is due on the 10th of every month, considered late on the 21st and a late fee is charged, I pay at the end of every month and again have never missed paying on a monthly basis including the late fee.  By time I pay my bill a new bill has arrived which is due the next month by the 10th.  The bill I received I could not even find where they said they so called provided me notice until a rep from AEP walked me through the entire bill and it was over to the left of a bill in a bunch of other notices that no-one ever reads.  It was not included as part of the notice to pay by date.  The bill  I received which had a past due amount and a date it was due and the new charges that are due the following month.  The notice they state is not in compliance, it is not in a clear location for anyone to see.  The notice should have been at the top of the bill along with the disconnection notice where they tell you if your service is interrupted the fees associated with turning it back on.  Instead its on the 2nd page of the bill the left in smaller letters in a location where they put other things at like to sign up for electronic payments.  This is nothing more than a trick on AEP's part to try and collect deposits from people who have never had service interruption in an effort to pay for their expenses.   I have established history with them.  Just because I pay my bill late (and I do pay the late charges) they told me they charged the deposit out of fear I would have service interruption, well I have paid this way for as long as I can remember and have never had it interrupted.  Utility companies should not be able to just charge a deposit on an already outragious rated bill out of fear and also not clearly disclose a notice.  It should be a penalty evoked on those who allow their service to be interrupted.  And to keep that deposit for a year or even longer if you ever pay late it not in compliance.  If they would have made the notice more clear on the bill where someone could actually see it aI could have avoided this issue by calling them and explaining to them why my bill is always late.  I don't understand how they can get by with saying the notice they provided is within compliance when it's so obviously put in a location on the bill that they know no-one will see.  Also I can't say it enough.  My history with them is a late payer who pays every month with no interruption of service.  I have never had to pay 2 bills at one time.  The prior bill is always way paid before the next bill is due.  In reality my bill is only considered late by about 10 days, if the late fee is charged on the 21st then that is the late date and end of month is about 10 days after that.   Regards, ***** ***** 

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

8/7/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Hello, my name is ***** ******* and I am a current customer acct ******* Ave NW Roanoke, VA 24017. I would like to speak to someone in regards to my bill and not someone at the customer service center, because they are offering no help with this problem. I previously had a payment arrangement on my acct. for the amount of 128.00 down, and the rest broken down into monthly bills, I made that payment on 7-02-20114 with my checking acct thinking that my Direct deposit would be in before the bill, well it wasn’t. I received the letter saying that the payment was rejected and to please pay the amount of 128.00, before I could correct that payment I received another letter saying that I now owed 780.02 and a disconnect notice, please understand me I accept full responsibility for my account and the defaulted check , I called the service center and was told that the system automatically defaults your payment arrangement when a check bounces, well the letter I received form your company did not state that and it was not in the arrangement agreement that I was mailed, all it stated was to make the payment of 128.00. When I called on 07/25/2014 I was told that nothing could be done to assist me with this matter, I need my service and am not trying to pass off my paying the bill, but it was not made clear on any correspondence that bouncing a check would cause your payment arrangement to default , in addition I have seen numerous commercials from your company’s President stating that you are here to assist your customers in keeping their service, but when I called to make an arrangement that would allow me to pay my bill and keep my service I was offered no assistance. There has to be a way for someone within this company to assist with this, if you are not that person would you please forward this email or respond and direct me to someone I can speak to on this matter. Thank you for your time, ***** *******

Desired Settlement: I would like to receive a call from someone in AEP who is able to assist me with my billing issue and possibly offer me assistance.

Business Response: The Company has mailed required notice in accordance with all applicable guidelines for the State of Virginia. The Company declines to enter into additional arrangements and asks that past due balance be received immediately. The Customer has been in contact with APCo management and various supervisors. Please find attached a portion of the response provided by APCo management:. Mr. Customer, I no longer have responsibility for APCo residential customer service. However, I did make an inquiry on your behalf and was advised of the following: 1. A considerable portion of the balance owed was transferred your former account at XXXX Avenue. Service was discontinued on there on May 25, 2014 and our records indicate that you defaulted on a previous pay agreement on that account in the past 12 months. Based on current policy, you would not be eligible for another agreement due to the multiple defaults incurred. 2. I am told the returned check did not cause the pay agreement to default, since the pay agreement did not default until July 17, 2014, nine days after your check was returned on July 8, 2014. Failure to make a valid payment by the agreed upon date resulted in the pay agreement default. 3. As of today, our credit department advises you have yet to make restitution for the returned check. Under these circumstances, I am afraid there is nothing I can offer of assistance. I will forward this response and your email to a supervisor in our Customer Solutions Center in order to make them aware of your concerns.

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

7/16/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I am writing you for your help in a matter with AEP. On June 11, 2014 I had a power surge on my house. On June 12, 2014 I contacted a local electrician and he found that a drop line from the main power line had become unraveled in part to a tree limb in the line. This caused 220 volts to be going through my house and caused several appliances to not work along with my son’s motor home which was plugged into my house at the time. I contacted AEP immediately as there was a threat of fire to my home. AEP took 4 hours to come to fix the line. At this time one of the linemen told the electrician the line had not been spliced properly to begin with and if it had been they would not have been there fixing it. I contacted my insurance company and was told that since it was a power surge they would not cover any damage. I also contacted AEP and they told me it was my responsibility to conduct maintenance on the drop line to my home. It was at this time that I informed them that per their lineman it was due to their negligence. I was then told that I was going to be receiving a claim form from AEP and was given a claim number. I waited five business days and I called them again after I had not received the form. I was told this time that I would receive a call from someone on this issue the next day. I never received a call. I called them again Monday and was told that it was not their responsibility. I am seeking help as I am a 56 year old widow whose job has been cut back to part time in recent weeks. It is estimated that the power surge caused over $10,000 in damage and currently I have no were else to turn for help. I thank you for any help that you could provide with this issue.

Desired Settlement: To pay for repairs/replacement of items affected by the power surge.

Business Response: The company received the customer’s damage claim on 6-12-14. The claim was investigated on 6-23-14. The customer experienced a partial power outage on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 @ 13:54. The outage was restored on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 @ 17:10. The outage was caused by a tree outside the company’s maintained right of way. The service drop serving the customer’s residence crossed the customer’s yard thru the middle of a tree located in the yard.  The service was installed correctly. Tree limbs rubbed the service drop into which eventually caused an open neural.  The customer is responsible to maintain any trees near a secondary service drop. Company representatives removed the service drop from the tree and relocated to a mid- span “tap” to avoid the tree.On 6/23/14 a company representative advised the customer AEP was not negligent in causing damage to the customer's property.  AEP will not be liable for damages to claimant's property. A denial letter and tariff was also mailed to the customer. During the time period of the outage a severe storm struck the area with heavy lightning strikes and winds in excess of 60 miles per hour.  The company reported on 6/10/14 that restoration work continues from severe thunderstorms and high winds that moved across much of the APCo service territory Tuesday evening and night along with additional storms from Wednesday afternoon.  At the time over 19,895 customers remain without service on over 868 outages cases.   Most of the customers remaining out are in the West Virginia service area.   Restoration associated with this event is estimated to be completed by midnight on Friday, 6/13/14.  

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. This complaint had not been resolved.  AEP did nothing to have any of the electrical items repaired or replaced.  I was not aware it was my responsibility to maintain the line outside my home.  An AEP lineman told me the power surge was due to AEP's negligence, but my insurance will not cover the damages because it was a power surge. I was told that I would be receiving a claim form from AEP but all I got was a letter stating they were not responsible.   Regards, ****** *****

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the information provided by all parties, BBB determined that the business handled the matter appropriately, and no further action was needed.

6/20/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have spoke with this company, AEP, multiple times since January of 2014 about a debt owed to them. I received a ********** notice for an amount due to them after my inability to pay; I am unsure who the ********** agency handling this at that time was. On September 11, 2013, I received another ********** notice, from a different company, regarding the amount, from ***** ********** ******** of Mabelvale, AR; I still was unable to pay the amount. On January 3rd, I received my second notice of ********** from ***** ********** ********; I did shortly thereafter pay the debt in full to them. I was required to pay the amount due of AEP, which was $274.27 and a fee to ***** ********** ******** of $7.00, the total being $281.27. The debt was removed from my bank account on January 22, 2014. I received a confirmation number as well, however they failed to send me mailed verification, at least I never received it. I have spoke with them many times since, and even tried speaking with a manager, ******* ******, about this debt. They claim they have notified the original creditor, AEP, multiple times that the payment has been made. I spoke with ******* ****** once, and told her they still did not have confirmation and she never even called me back. After speaking with this company multiple times and seeing no results, I spoke with AEP. I spoke with someone in the **********s Department by the name of *****. I spoke with her and from there she told me that they had not received confirmation of the debt being paid. I told her that it indeed had, and that it had been paid to ***** ********** ********. She stated that the current ********** agency I owed was a company named ******, from Las Vegas, NV, and so far I had never received anything from this company. I spoke with her, and told her that I had already paid ***** ********** ******** months ago, shortly after I received the bill, and that may be the company who had it now, but when I paid it then, it was ***** ********** ********. I asked if she may contact ***** ********** ******** and verify my payment, she agreed, this was on 3/19/14. She agreed to contact them and verify my payment and to get back with me when she had received the verification. I never received a call, and then I called back on 4/2/14 and spoke with someone, unsure if it was still *****, and they claim that my debt had been verified through ***** ********** ********. I also asked about how this will appear on my credit, and she states it will take 30-90 days to be removed. Today, 5/5/2014, 4.5 months later, this debt has still not been taken care of. I today received a letter from a Law Firm named The ******** Law Group, LLC that represents ****** ********** Agency. Naturally, I called AEP and ***** ********** ******** immediately. ***** ********** ******** still claims they have contacted AEP, and I spoke with someone named ***, again who states she will "check on it again tomorrow." I also inquired about getting verification of my payment, and she states that this request has to be completed via written mail. I immediately wrote a letter and plan on sending that tomorrow. I plan on sending it to both AEP and ****** multiple times until I hear a response. I also spoke with a customer service representative at AEP today, named *******, who was very rude. She asked for my account number, and as it's a very old account I do not have it. She then in a very sassy tone said "Well, then, I need your social," I proceeded to tell her the rest of the information she needed. She then told me that they did not have verification that the debt had been paid. I asked her again, “Are you sure you don't have that it's been paid, because I already spoke with someone in **********s about this.” She very rudely said, "I told you that we don't have it." I then said “Excuse me, you do not have to be rude to me.” She said, "I wasn't being rude” and then asked if I "want the **********s number or not". This conversation could have been handled much better than it was. There are better ways to speak to customers, such as "I apologize if I came off as being rude. May I please give you the number to contact **********s?” She refused to give me her last name, but did tell me her ***** and states her title is Customer Service Associate. I am very frustrated now that I have been dealing with this for months, AEP has failed to verify the debt has been paid on multiple occasions, they also failed to notify the second company, ******, that the debt had been paid to the previous ********** agency, ***** ********** ********. ***** ********** ******** as well has failed to notify AEP of the debt being paid, but I guess that would have to be a separate complaint.

Desired Settlement: I would like for AEP to verify that the debt has been paid by contacting ***** ********** ********, or vice versa. AEP also needs to notify ******, and now apparently the Law Firm representing them to withdrawal the **********, that it was previously paid. This also needs to be corrected on my credit report. This needs to be done in a timely manner. If it is my responsibility to send this letter I get from ***** ********** ******** to both AEP, and ******, and the Law Firm, I should have been notified this. If this was the case, I have been lied to for months.

Business Response: Company records indicate the customer’s payment is shown on the January 2014 invoice received from ***** ********** ********. The invoice displayed Non-Sufficient Funds and the company recognizes the error needs to be corrected. The company requested corrected invoices several times and has not received the new invoices. The company is continuing to work to correct the situation so that the payments are posted to the customer’s account, dated 1/31/14.   

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. Although, your response shows reasoning for the delay as well as the work that is being done to correct it, it is still not completed. I should not have been notified payment verification was completed if it in fact, was not. I would like to keep the complaint open until this is resolved, even if I need to place a complaint on ***** ********** ******** as well, in order for AEP to get the correct paperwork they need. AEP has also failed to notify the other ********** agency, ******, of my payment to a previous collector when they received the ***** notice of my payment. (Which I mentioned in my ***** complaint.) Now I as well, have that collector and Law Firm persuing me to receive funds for AEP. Funds in which they already have knowledge of payment being made elsewhere.  Regards, ******* ****  AKA: ******* *******

Business Response: ***** ********** ******** (***) sent the corrected invoices via “secure” document 5/16/14.  The accompanying checks were mailed.  The invoices/checks should be received and processed by 05/23/14 or the beginning of the following week (05/27/14).

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID 10038413, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. Have the documents been received and processed? Appropriate time has passed. I would like mailed confirmation of payment and documents being received, processed and applied to my account. When will corrective action be taken on my credit report? This needs to be taken care of in a timely manner as well, I have waited 6 months. Has the additional ********** Agency, ****** and the representative law firm, been notified of payment collected elsewhere? This needs to be done as well. Thank you, ******* **** (******* *******)

Business Response: ***** ********** ******** provided the corrected invoice.  $274.27 was posted for ******* A *******, to her account on 05/29/14.  The account has a zero balance.  ****** was also notified 05/29/14 of payment and ****** will update her credit report.

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

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

6/5/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased a new townhouse in the city of Lynchburg, Va and was the first occupant in the dwelling. My power was turned on December , 2008. I live alone and noticed that my electric bills were very high so I began to use cost saving measures without any success. Last week my power was turned off I spent most of the day trying to identify other consumers without power and finally discovered that my townhouse unit was the only one affected by the outage. Appalachian repairman arrived late that evening and discovered that my meter actually belonged to another townhouse unit so I have been paying the electric bill of another family since 2008. The reason for my power outage was due to the failure of the consumer to pay their electric bill. The service was restored after appropriate identification of my account was made. Immediately I contacted the power company to verify that the information had been relayed to their office. I again contacted the power company and nothing has been done , it has been a week. I was told that the power company needs to investigate the problem in the mean time the meters have not been changed and I am still paying the bill of another home. I asked to speak to a department manager or supervisor about the status of my situation and was told that my concerns needed to be handled with the representative. I was told that the work order had only been in the system for a week. I would think that reading the wrong electric meter since 2008 and possibly over charging a customer for those 51/2 years would be a priority.

Desired Settlement: All billing of both consumers be compared and adjustments made as soon as possible also the meters should be exchanged so appropriate billing can occur.

Business Response: The company meters serving the two residences aren't physically changed when they are “switched”. The day the meter was disconnected for the wrong account due to switched meters, an order was issued to correct the billing. The company electronically changed the meters in the company’s computer systems to the correct accounts.On 5/21/14 a company representative contacted the customer via voicemail to explain that according to VA SCC Terms & Conditions of electric service, the account will be credited for 3 years/ 36 months. If the customer can produce all electric bills for the 5 1/2 years resided at the residence, only then the company issue a credit back to the electric account date of 2008.

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

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

5/30/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: AEP cut off my power by mistake around 11am. It's now 3:10 and power still hasn't been restored. I have called numerous times only to be told they will send someone out. MY BIGGEST concern is that I have two children who are asthmatic and need to take nebulizer treatments! Need I mention that it's hot outdoors? I don't have anywhere to take them temporarily! AEP has admitted to making the mistake in shutting off my power but hasn't done anything to restore it!

Desired Settlement: They need to restore my power ASAP! Why should I be billed for services that they disconnected by their own mistake?

Business Response: The company restored the customer’s service in a very short time frame after learning of the mistake. A company representative unsuccessfully attempted to contact the customer several times to discuss the concern. The customer did not return the calls.

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

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

Complaint: My service was disconnected without any bill being provided. I called the company while the guy was still there and told them I was on oxygen and had not received a bill since I moved there. I had provided my p.o. box .that day and received 6 bills. As a result of the stress, was found on Saturday in the dark and taken to the er and diagnosised with a stroke. I spent 4 days in hospital. I could not return to my home because I cannot live alone now. I lost my home.

Desired Settlement: Give people a chance to pay bill when they have health problems before you disconnect service. And don't wait til the bill is $1000 before you notify your cutting power. Especially when people are on fixed income.

Business Response: Company records indicate the customer applied for service by phone on 10/23/13. During the application process the customer provided the mail address of the premise at which the customer lived. The customer also provided an email address and requested it registered online with Appalachian Power in order to obtain access to the account information via the company’s website.  At the time, the customer indicated the library computer would be used for access to the account.  The company received returned mail from this account in November and December 2013; the US Postal Service provided information there was no receptacle at the premise. The company attempted to call the customer to update the mail address; however, no voice mailbox was set up at that time.    The customer contacted the company on 3/19/14, at which time the required reconnect amount was quoted and the mailing address updated.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. This response does not in anyway address the matter at hand. AEP turned off my power without providing a bill or notification of disconnect. After I phoned AEP of the power was being disrupted and I had not received a bill or notice of disconnect, nothing was done to resolve this. This was on a Wednesday @ 3pm, on Saturday my daughter found me in the floor. I was taken to the er and admitted with a stroke. I am also on oxygen, insulin dependent diabetic, heart patient, COPD, which requires electric for my oxygen and to refrigerate my insulin. My food was ruined which was $150.00. I feel that my food cost and the insulin that was ruined, along with some sort of compensation for my  medical bills is in order. A change of policy with people with life threatening medical issues should be given some consideration before power is disconnected.  Regards, ***** ****

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

4/16/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Our power was turned and fare reason, I had and have no problem with that, we owed $458.49, my problem was, I was told by the man from AEP who turned off the services that I would need to pay the past due and the reconnection fee. I even called to make sure, thats what I needed to pay. So I paid what AEP told me I needed to pay (by 2 different people) and my services would be restored by the end of the day (this was around 2:15) I left to go to work, and asked my wife to let me know when the power is back on. Around 5, I texted her, asking if the power is back on, She said it wasn't, So I called AEP because I was getting worried about the food in my frig going bad, then they inform me I need to pay $84 more...I question that extra charge they say I have to pay a deposit now...I've been with AEP for over 8 years now, I don't think thats right, I requested to a to speak to a Manager, the agent said a Manager would have to call me back, I said No I will wait, that agent hung up on me, so I called back of course, explained my problem the agent transfered to a Manager, he didn't even listen to my concerns and told me he wasn't argueing with me and I needed to make the payment and there would be extra charges now because the payment was made after 5. I don't believe that was fare or right for that company to demand more money from me when I was misinformed by to employees of that company...if I was told that I would have to pay the deposit the first time, I wouldn't have a problem it, but I was never informed of that untill after I made the payment, and now my family is sitting in the dark with out water, or anything. They can't even use the bathroom. My biggest concern is there isn't another power company in the Blacksburg Va that we can get electric from, I think thats why they have poor customer service, they really don't care, becuase I can't do anything about it really,expect voice my concern to the BBB, would greatly appreciate your help in changing their idea of customer service

Desired Settlement: n/a

Business Response: Company records indicate the customer contacted the company twice after being disconnected.  In the first call no amounts were discussed. The customer indicated in that conversation that he knew how much to pay and was advised that if he paid the "required amount" his service would be restored that day. When he phoned the second time to find out when his service would be restored, he was advised that a security deposit was also required, in addition to the arrears and $20 reconnection fee.  During this call, he referred to the "paper" that was left at his home, stating it said he had to pay $458.  The representative tried to explain to him that the notice also states that an adequate security deposit will be required, but he refused to let the representative complete the explanation. The representative attempted to transfer the customer to a supervisor at his request, but none were available to assist at that moment.  The customer insisted on remaining on the line indefinitely, until a supervisor became available. The representative apologized and explained more than once that a telephone line could not be “tied up” for an indefinite time, and when he continued to refuse to await a supervisor callback or to call back himself, his call was released.    The customer called back, and in that call he indicated that the company representative  who came to disconnect his power was who had told him he would be reconnected after he paid the $484 delinquency and the $20 reconnection fee. The representative also apologized for having to interrupt his service, told him that once he made the payment service would be reconnected.  After the customer explained the situation, he was connected to a supervisor.  The customer was advised again the deposit payment was also part of the restoration requirement, but the customer was insistent that service be restored for the amounts he'd been quoted.  The supervisor stated he would not argue with the customer.  At that time, it was after 5:00 p.m. and the customer was quoted the after-hours reconnection fee of $29.  The customer ended the call.   The (paper) notice to which the customer referred contains the following notation:                            

Consumer Response: All they did is send a picture of the same thing that the employee gave the day the power was turned off. My problem was how I was treated when I called AEP, they where rude and hung up on me when I want to speak to a manager, then when I called back and spoke to Manager, he didn't even listen to my concerns and told me he wasn't arguing with me. I don't believe that's how you should treat a customer of 8 years. 

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

4/2/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I had services with AEP in 2010, but filed a Chapter 13 due to overwhelming debts. On July 9, 2012, I lost my job with ********** ******* Center which caused my Chapter 13 to default. I thought that since I had included AEP with the chapter, that this bill would have been covered to percentage allowed. I moved in with a friend and did not have a need for electricity since the services were in her name. On February 4, 2014, I moved out and called AEP to establish services in my name. On the original conversation I was told that I needed to pay $50 to get services established. The next day, an agent called from AEP stating that they could not established service because an old account had been transferred to my new account and I owed over $2,000 before services could be established. I immediately informed them that this amount had been included in my Chapter 13. Unfortunately, I called my the Bankruptcy Court and my lawyer and was notified that no payment had been made. Now faced with the reality that I owed this bill, I recalled AEP to make out payment arrangements based upon my low income of now $920.00 per month. They refused to compromised and insisted that $505.00 be paid before 2/19/14. My service was disconnected on 2/19/14 and I went to Dept of Social Services Roanoke to apply for fuel crisis assistance. I paid $150 and the Dept of Social Services talked with AEP and an agreement was made to void the down payment required and work with me as long as my monthy payments were made on time. Before the end of February, I received another bill for $209. I applied for assistance with Social Services and they contacted AEP with voucher to pay $347, which was applied to my account on 3/12/14. Over the weekend, I received another bill from AEP for $1,750 demanding payment by 3/26/14 or disconnection. I emailed the company after several attempts to get through with an agent and received a reply back that there was nothing they could due but urge me to make payment arrangements even after knowing that my monthly net income is $920 and my rent is $575.00. This morning I called to speak with collection agent, *********, who stated that they would work with me to pay $454.53 by 3/27/14 and then for the next 6 months I would have to pay $221.26 in addition to my monthly usage. My monthly usage for the month of February was less than $27 and March usage was $66.00 Simply math was tell you that a person making $920 monthly cannot afford this arrangement. I just wanted your company to be away of this tactics based on a certain "percentage" table and it is unfair to transfer an old account dating back 3 years ago to my current account and threaten to disconnect my services at my new home. I told them that I am willing to make payments of $125 toward balance due, but they refused and used tactics to force me to accept their offer of $454.53 this month just to keep my service on.

Desired Settlement: Look at my monthly income and be reasonable. This bill is dating back over 3 years and was just recently transferred to my new account in March, even though they called me about it on February 5, 2014, stating I could not get service unless $505 was paid. I have paid $505 and I'm stressed out over their lack of concern and disregard to the obvious. AEP is the only service we can use in this area. What a poor sense of caring about customers who strive to take care of a past due account. But the amount they are demanding is more than I or any other citizens with income less than $900 could ever pay. Why agree to work with Department of Social Services to waive deposit, accept payment of $505 and then turn around next month and demand another $454? I cannot pay car note, car insurance, medical prescriptions, verizon phone services and EAT!!!

Business Response: Company records indicate the customer disputed the final bill of $2,011.36 at the same time of a new request for service. The customer was advised at that time the balance stood as the account was no longer included in the bankruptcy. The customer was also offered a payment plan to pay ¼ of the “old” debt plus a deposit for the “new” account with additional arrangements for the remaining balance. The customer paid the amount offered by obtaining agency assistance of $347.00 and making a payment of $158.00 on the account. The final bill was then transferred to the “new” active account and a payment arrangement of 6 months was offed for the remaining balance. The company cannot change or offer any additional arrangements on the account.  

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

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

AEP is asking what is impossible for me to pay on my budget.  I have told them and also informed your agency that my monthly income is $900.  With my rent being $595 per month, that leaves me with only $300 to pay my utility bills, eat, and live.   I offered them $120 each month in addition to my monthly bill until I could get this additional transferred amount paid.   I received a one-time crisis assistance from the Dept. of Social Services, however, I cannot obtain assistance from any other resources because they will not help with a delinquent bill that has an enormous amount transferred from 3 years ago.   My regular monthly usage for February was $27 and $68 for March.  I am not denying that I owe AEP this amount since it was not covered in my original bankruptcy, however, with my current income, I am willing and able to pay $120 in addition to my regular bill.   AEP continues to look at some type of set guidelines instead of being reasonable to work out the situation with a customer who is offering everything possible to pay this debt.   AEP instead DEMANDS that I pay $441 or they will disconnect today.   Where would I get this money?  I'm out here every day looking for an additional part-time job to help me, but at this time I only have a part-time position.

 With AEP being the only source of electricity for the state of Virginia, it is simple to see that I am unable to afford this demanded amount which would leave me homeless and out on the street.  I find it serious when a company doesn't care about its customers and refuses to review this account and accept what is reasonable on my budget.  I don't have $441 per month to pay for the next six months, but I am willing to pay $120 plus regular monthly usage.  I don't believe that AEP is being fair to lower income families.  Again, where in the world would I get the money.   I'm working every day and thank God that I am single instead of a mother with a family. 

I plan for this to be made public and wish to reject this unreasonable offer simply because I don't make that kind of money and I have willing stated what I can afford.  I have signed a one-year lease with this landlord, so if they cut me off, I will loose my apartment and worse be forced to be on the street.

Regards,

Robin Macklin


Business Response: The customer’s situation is regrettable, but unfortunately, the customer owes the debt. The company thoroughly investigated the current matter and resolved the bill is owed the company. APCO can legally and ethically expect debts owed the company be paid before the company agrees to renew service to an applicant. The customer previously agreed to pay $347 on March 27, but failed to honor the agreement. The account has been disconnected for nonpayment. The amount required to restore service is $1,735.90.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. See attached correspondence from Department of Social Services and AEP.    When I established service, AEP did not mention anything about a past due account until 2/4/14.   Their correspondence to Dept. of Social Services indicates that they would waive deposit if I PAID ON TIME.   AEP waited until March to add this old account to my current account. and now they expect $1735.90 to turn back on power.   I never agreed to pay what I could not afford.  They made their decision based on a calculation of 6 months but again, they did not uphold their word to me or Social Services.  I told them what I could afford and this is outrageous Regards, ***** *******

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

3/20/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
3/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have had a difficult time trying to get assistance from the companys customer service, supervisors, and executive relations. When I contacted the company in july to establish electric service I was hung up on for no reason twice before I finally was able to speak to someone and get a account number to pay the deposit to have the electric turned on. Since ive had problems paying high bills and having a difficult time getting a payment arrangement then I have another bill today 675.00 that I requested another payment arrangement and a supervisor refused to try to help me im disabled and on low income I tried to explain to executive relations that unless they set up a payment arrangement that I can afford the electricity would be turned off and turned over to collections. The executive realtions lady was very rude to me and refused to help they have gave me a very hard time stressing me out more im already worried about not being able to pay the bill and my electricity getting disconnected. I have had health problems ive been so sick that I could barely hold my head up. In my area ive tried to tell them theres no assistance here nor energy assistance programs to help low income people that has made this bill more difficult to pay. Customer service has went down hill in the past few years. They are not nice at all very rude and unfriendly very aggravating. Its been very stressful on me.

Desired Settlement: I need them to assist me with my billing needs.

Business Response:

Company records indicate the customer was offered a reasonable pay agreement but declined on 1/28/14. The current account balance is $675.82.  The company will offer another pay agreement since the customer refused the previous agreement.  The company proposes a six month agreement of $375.82 to be paid on or before 2-7-14 and the remaining balance to be paid in six installments of $50 per month plus monthly bill.  The customer must make an initial payment and contact the company by 2-7-14 to confirm acceptance of the proposed pay agreement.  The customer should also contact the Upper East Tennessee Housing Authority for possible low income energy assistance programs that may be available to assist on utility bills.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. [Provide details of why you are not satisfied with this resolution.] There is no energy assistance programs ive checked. Ive also told these people theres not much assistance here. What concerns me is the rudeness of the supervisor raising her voice at me and I told her she didnt have to raise her voice and be rude to me She said thank you for calling and hung up. Ive been treated pretty bad by customer service. What happened was I had a previous agreement to pay down 65.00 on dec 31 2013  and I did I have the reciept but there was a system error and the payment did not show up until jan 2 2014 and they wanted the current bill I was told to pay 375.00 I couldnt. So their error they caused me all these problems I have the reciept dated dec 31 2013. I qualified for another arrangement too but they were rude especially after I filed this complaint.  Regards, **** ****** **

Business Response: The company reviewed a call with the customer on 12/27/13. The customer refused the company’s offer of an extended payment plan and exhibited abusive behavior toward the company’s representative 5 – 6 times during the conversation. The customer also stated [he] was going to “pick on” Customer Service. On 12/30/13/ the company provided the customer with an extended payment plan with terms acceptable to the customer.

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

2/20/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I had power turned on in my name on 29 Jan 2014 @ **** **** Street Roanoke, VA. It has been below freezing for serval weeks, I did not want the pipe to freeze and bust. A few days past and AEP sent me a bill for $649.67, which was from there previous client at this address. They did not tell me they were going to try to make me pay for someone elses previuos bill when I had power turned on. This bill is between AEP and there previous customer, Not ME! It is not my responsiblity to pay or collect AEP's past due bills from there customers. I have been treated very rude from ***** who works in collection with AEP, her number ###-###-#### or ###-###-####. I expect a apology from ***** and for the $649.67 to be removed from my account. And my new statement to only show charges beginning 29 Jan 2014 and later.

Desired Settlement: My AEP account credited for the amount of $649.67 and new statement with charges beginning on 29 Jan 14 and later.

Business Response: Company records indicate the customer (property owner) notified the company on 1/29/14 to re-connect the service at the premise. The company previously denied service during November 2013 and January 2014 to family members of the previous tenant. The previous tenant was living in the residence at the time. As a result, the company backdated the service request when the customer (property owner) applied for service since excessive usage was apparent at the premise after the service had previously been disconnected. The company agreed to adjust the open date to 1/30/14 with a meter reading of 38793. The close date for the previous customer will be adjusted to reflect the excess usage which will be removed from the customer’s (property owner) account.

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

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

1/29/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
1/10/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have tried several times to work with my local aep in Roanoke va to get my money back from my account that I payed on 12/13/13 in the amount of 104.00. ckeck #***. this account has been closed and I received a letter from my local social service office that they were paying my account off for me. So therefore this money is to be refunded back to me. I had to wait on them to cash the check. Then they asked me for documents to prove that I had the funds in my account so that this check would not come back bad funds or stop payment so I did so. I went to my bank on 12/19/13 They made a copy of my check that AEP cashed and we sent over with letter head and attached document that I had funds in my account to cover this and that it was payed also. On the page we sent to them 3 times with the check there is a acct of ****** vid *** lrb new loundon mn ***** ********.We sent on 12/19/13,12/23/19,and 12/27/13.They are telling me that they don't have the in formation and therefore they will not return my money to me until after January 19,2014 there is a 30 day waiting period. Cause they don't have the documents. I Have the documents to back up my claim. And for my trouble of having to deal with this bull I want to be payed extra money for having to go threw this cause there was no need for this harassment from them to start out with.Thank you,***** ****

Desired Settlement: I want my refund money back. I want to be payed extra money for this harassment from this company when me and my bank both sent them all of the documents showing that the check cleared my account and that they cashed it. I had to sent it 3 times on top of this bull also. Their was no need for all of this to go down. I am very unhappy with this whole situation and should not have had to deal with it like this.

Business Response:

When a customer requests a refund for a credit balance on a final account, the company requires documentation from the customer’s bank to verify the payment has been paid by the bank and the payment will not be returned. The company requests a copy of the bank statement showing the payment has cleared the account with a positive balance after the payment and to show the account is not overdrawn or the company will also accept a letter from the customer’s bank on bank letterhead stating the payment will not be returned (NSF) and a stop payment will not be issued on the check. Once this requested information is received and verified, the company will issue the refund either by electronically placing the funds back into the customer’s bank account or by issuing a refund check to be mailed to the customer. If the customer does not provide this documentation then the funds will be held for 30 days before released for a refund.

Company records indicate the customer requested a refund and was advised what documentation was required to process the refund. The customer subsequently provided incorrect documentation so the refund was not processed. The documentation received by the company included, a bank cover sheet with a handwritten statement, "Info requested to verify a double payment on customer's December electric bill. Please refund 1 payment into checking account shown on copy of check included". The statement was not signed and did not include that the payment was paid by the customer’s bank and would not be returned or a stop payment issued. Also faxed was a payment history letter from the company that had been mailed to the customer and a copy of the customer's check. An attempt was made to contact the customer at the phone number provided to advise what was needed, but the company was unable to reach the customer.

If the customer will provide the requested documents, the company can then proceed to process the refund, otherwise after the 30 day time frame the funds will be released and the refund will be issued at that time.

Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

***** ****

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

1/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: In August I contacted AEP about going on a monthly budget plan and signing up for automatic payments. The representative that I spoke with set me up on the monthly budget and told me how to set up for automatic payments. She informed me my due date would change to the date of each meter reading, which was totally fine. I went to the website, filled out all the forms, and received confirmation that I had done so. Following that, nothing was withdrawn. I imagined it may have just crossed in timing. Then it didn't withdraw again. I was extremely frustrated, but let it pass as well. Finally, it happened a third time. I reached out, was told didn't qualify for monthly payment withdrawal (even though the first rep indicated that I could do so and nothing about the paperwork I filled out indicated I didn't qualify, in fact, it all led me to believe everything was fine). I asked for a supervisor, explained my situation, she was unable to help. Her manager called me, she was also unable to help. They advised me to set it up through my bank and that even if I had six months of on time payments I still may not qualify for automatic payments. Everything about this situation has been beyond frustrating. Almost everything comes out of my checking account automatically. I need this one to do so as well so that I stop forgetting about it. Money is not an issue. I even offered to pay for six months in advance to get this going. They refused to cooperate. If that wasn't bad enough, there is literally NO other electric company in my area, meaning they have a monopoly in our area.

Desired Settlement: I would like to have my acccount set up on automatic payments immediately.

Business Response: Company records indicate the customer’s issue was resolved via a phone call to the company on 12/13/13 when online autopay was established thru the web application.  A company representative called the customer after the autopay was established since a current and past due amount was on the account. The customer was advised to pay the full amount and then autopay would take place on the next billing cycle. The customer was informed at that time to make the account current.  Apparently the BBB complaint was filed by the customer before contacting AEP on 12/13.  The issue was resolved the same day.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed aresolution.] While the issue was resolved, please note that it was not resolved the same day as my first contact. I spoke with at least three people before the fourth person found a solution, which still did not correct the original misrepresentation but is satisfactory. In addition, further information provided in the response from AEP is inaccurate. I made the payment the day I originally called, which was prior to the 13th. Their website failed to pull the payment. Had someone not contacted me again today I would not have known it didn't pull from my account. As a large business with an energy monopoly in our area (literally, there is no one else from whom one vam obtain power), your website, customer service, and complaint resolution practices are beyond questionable. I'm extremely disappointed by this company and hope one day another company can come in and provide services.  Regards, ******* ***

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

1/2/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have paid more on my bills the required and have a credit od $300. Yet I m being charged late fees because the company is keeping the extra money in a credit account instead of using it towards my current bills. I was told that thus is normal practice????? Why in the world would a credit not be used towards a balance due? So I am being charged a 60 day and a 30 day late fee for no reason. I have a credit on my account. The service rep was rude and refused to fix this issue. The ony thing he did was take me off he budget plan so the $300 credit will go towards my next bill. And demanded that I pay the full balance by the 30th or they would cut off my power. I have a $300 credit!!! This is unethical and needs to be fixed. I now have to pay fees and charges for something that was not my fault. If I could change electric companies, I would in a heart beat. NOT a happy customer.

Desired Settlement: Refund all late fees that have been charged on my account. Look at it and see I have paid over what is due and should not be charged late fees.

Business Response: BBB Response 12/13/13 On 12/13/2013 a company representative discussed the budget process with the customer. The customer was advised the deferred budget amount, whether a debit or credit, is reviewed semi-annually and annually. As a result, the budget amount could be lowered or increased and any credit would be applied on the remaining balance during the annual budget review. The customer indicated an understanding of the process. The representative provided a name and phone number to contact with any additional questions or concerns pertaining to the issue.

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

12/16/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: After observing what appeared to be large amounts of credit on my account, I contacted AEP's customer service reps on two occasions. Initially I was told the credit amount was correct and not to pay anything. The second conversation with a customer service rep revealed that the credits were in error. Appalachian Power had erroneously applied my ex-husband's utility payment to my new account and there is no indicaiton they would have caught the error if I had not contacted them. I was informed I would owe the arrears amounts, but since it was not due to any failure to pay on my part, and that my bills were incorrect, that I would be billed for a current amount and could make payments on the arrears amount ($253.80). In order to try to mitigate paying the arrears amount for a protracted period of time, I remitted a payment of $200 in early November. The only billing I received in November was a termination notice. I called on Nov 18 and was told despite the fact that this was company error, I would have to pay the remaining balance of the arrears ($53.80) plus the current billing amount for a total of $133.27 by Nov 22nd or my service would be terminated. I was also informed if I did not pay this amount on that date, the credit bureau would be notified of my "failure to pay". Seeing no alternative, I made the payment of $133.27 today. To add insult to injury, I had to pay through a system that charged me an additional $2.95 fee, ostensibly because I had "waited until the last minute". Had I any other options for electric service, I would terminate my business relationship with this company if I could.

Desired Settlement: I want an official written apology from a manager at the least.

Business Response:

A call center supervisor contacted the customer and provided the following response: Explained the late payment would not be reported to the credit bureau. Corrected this month's credit since not the customer's fault for credits being transferred to her account and then moved back to ex husband's account. Explained the credits were auto transferred by the system...Removed the $12 service connection fee to compensate the customer for inconvenience and having to pay through BillMatrix to avoid disconnect.

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

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

11/27/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
9/18/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been on budget for years.  I am a disabled widow living strictly on Social Security.  I have no extra money coming in or savings.  I am unable to work.  I received a letter 6-18-12 stating AEP would reduce my budget amount.  I trusted them to know what they were doing.  I felt they would monitor my account regular.  The August bill 2013 arrived stating I owed $991.53.  I feel they have taken asvantage of me when I trusted them to do their job.  They have let me down.  Now I have to pay $168.00 +$55.54 each month to pay this.  What am i to do?

Desired Settlement: I feel they have really failed to do their job in monitoring my account on a regular basis & should write off this bill.

Business Response: On 09/10/2013 a company representative contacted the customer and explained the budget was lowered on 07/03/2012 because of a large credit deferred budget amount. The budget anniversary date was 08/02/2012. However, based on the six month usage after the subsequent annual review on 08/04/13, the deferred budget amount accumulated to a high debit amount, thus causing the budget to increase to $125.00.  On the 08/04/2013 budget annual review, any balance owed became due. The representative offered to revise the customer’s Equal Payment Plan (budget) from 12 months to 30 months. Therefore, the payment will be $27.64 plus the budget amount of $168.00 starting with the next bill.  The customer was satisfied.

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

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

8/19/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I called to apply for services and they told me that I would need to have my landlord call and verify that I had rented out the property. I gave her number, they called and she gave them permission to have services cut on in my name. I paid $130 down for the deposit and was told I could make the other 2 payments with-in the next month.Now they are trying to say that they have sent me a request asking for a lease and I.D. I never received a letter requesting any of this information! Every time me landlord calls to get this situation taken care of This woman in collections is very hateful and basically refuses to give her any information,(******). Now they cut my lights off and I don't know what to do.

Desired Settlement: I want me lights turned back on and do not want to be punished for someone else's mistakes!

Business Response: The applicant applied for service at the location noted on 5/24/13. At that time the applicant was advised of a deposit, proper lease and ID requirements in order to establish service as a result of a large debt at the premise. Company records indicate the company has not received proper lease documentation to verify a previous tenant is no longer occupying the premise. When the company receives proper documentation from the landlord, the company will review the information and determine if the applicant will be allowed to establish service at the location

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

6/27/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: This complaint is related to a previous BBB Complaint number BBB ******* filed for me regarding AEP's inability to provide adequate reliable electric power to a residence that we both own. After filing the first complaint, the BBB stated that they could not honor the previous complaint because the AEP Account was not in the name of the person that filed the complaint. So I am re-filing this complaint about the same issues again. The AEP account is in my name. We have lived at this residence since 2006. Since then there has been at least one major, if not more, occurrence annually when power has been lost to this residence due to weather or faulty engineering from AEP. Even as recent as the last 24 hours, we have momentarily lost power again for a few minutes while the power spiked or went off and on causing us to reset all appliances in the house. During the recent storm that occurred in the last week, we were out of power from Thursday June 13 until Sunday June 16th. During this time we lost over 350.00 in perishable items, and had to vacate our home for two days due to lack of electrical power. Again, this has been at least an annual occurrence since we have lived in this residence. The service on this street has been so unreliable that we are considering leaving this neighborhood. The desired outcome is to demand that AEP provide a much more reliable power network to service this area. It was stated in the local Press the day after the storm that the majority of the power outages in this area were due to "downed AEP power poles." I believe AEP owns the right-of-way for the placement of these poles. It is their responsibility to keep the right of way clear. And if they can not keep the power poles up during inclement weather, then they need to bury the cable. Regardless of what the solution is, AEP has had at least 7 years to correct this problem, and each time we get a Band-Aid that does not even enable AEP to provide quality power for 48 hours before we start seeing problems again. The status quo is simply not working. These outages result in the loss of significant loss of household perishable items, and major inconveniences to my family. Having power lines down in the neighborhood for 3 days does not make me feel that this is a safe place to be either because of these failures. In the last two years we have seen a significant increase in the number of households buying power generators for their homes. To me this is just one more sign that the power from AEP continues to degrade so badly that homeowners are having to seek power from other sources. What does that say about the customer service level from AEP?

Desired Settlement: Either maintain the right of ways where AEP has chosen to place their poles and network, or bury the cable to prevent future loss of power due to inclement weather. Also, AEP should consider reviewing their engineering to provide a higher quality of power service delivery that does not continue to result in power spikes and loss of power causing minutes of loss of power to our residence.

Business Response: A detailed response was provided to the SCC fro the same concern.   The customer expressed concern with frequent outages for the past 25 years and requested the overhead lines buried in the neighborhood. The customer also requested an estimate for underground service to an existing residence. During the previous 3 years the customer experienced 6 outages; 1 was attributed to trees inside the R/W, 1 equipment failure (substation) and 4 were weather-related.  The four weather-related outages occurred during major storm events.  Four of the six outages also occurred during 2013. The company plans to patrol the distribution “tap” line serving the customer's residence and clear any danger trees observed by the end of June 2013. The company cleared the 1st protection zone along the primary distribution line beginning at the substation during 2012.  The entire circuit was cleared during 2008.  The company plans to clear the entire circuit again during 2013.  An estimate of $781.37 was provided to the customer to convert an existing overhead service to underground.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:I have reviewed the response offer made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. MESSAGE FROM BUSINESS: A detailed response was provided to the SCC fro the same concern.   The customer expressed concern with frequent outages for the past 25 years and requested the overhead lines buried in the neighborhood. The customer also requested an estimate for underground service to an existing residence. During the previous 3 years the customer experienced 6 outages; 1 was attributed to trees inside the R/W, 1 equipment failure (substation) and 4 were weather-related.  The four weather-related outages occurred during major storm events.  Four of the six outages also occurred during 2013. The company plans to patrol the distribution “tap” line serving the customer's residence and clear any danger trees observed by the end of June 2013. The company cleared the 1st protection zone along the primary distribution line beginning at the substation during 2012.  The entire circuit was cleared during 2008.  The company plans to clear the entire circuit again during 2013.  An estimate of $781.37 was provided to the customer to convert an existing overhead service to underground. My response: First, I have not yet received an estimate of $781.37 from AEP so I can't confirm its existence.  So currently there is nothing for me to consider. Second, while I am glad that AEP can confirm that there have been six outages in 3 years, AEP's memory is lacking.  In May or June of 2012, there was another major outage for several days again causing significant loss and inconvenience to my household.  A few hundred dollars of perishable foods was lost as did happen this time. My family had to relocate to other more expensive living arrangements because of the extreme heat from the weather while AEP repaired downed power lines.  There is nothing mentioned about the multiple times that power to my home is interrupted causing all electronics to have to be reset or restarted.  Coincidently, while I have been setting here responding to this message, I lost power for about 15 seconds....the reason I can continue is because this PC is attached to a UPS under my desk that was purchased because of the poor qualify of the power stream to this residence. Third, AEP admits that the last time they cleared the main line right-of-way was in 2008.  The rest of the time AEP provides band-aids while I remain exposed to yet another outage. Fourth, AEP says nothing about plans to bury or in some way provide improved protection of its power network distribution so that even if I bury the line to my house it will probably do nothing to improve the level of service I am receiving because AEP only maintains their right-of-way every 5 years by their own admission which is insufficient to keep the network up and running.  The reason we continue to lose power when we have weather conditions is because AEP is "not" maintaining their right of ways, and is not considering other alternative proposals.  I see nothing in this response that addresses how AEP intends to increase the frequency of their review of the right-of-ways if they intend to keep their network above ground.  I can only assume that AEP has no intention of exercising that option. So in summary, I am still looking for the estimate on burying the cable to my home and an improved response from AEP on how they intend to prevent power outages from occurring twice a year confirmed by their own analysis, each time costing me about 400.00 for other living arrangements or to replace perishable items. Regards,****** *******

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

6/20/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Since we moved into the current residence AEP has been the electric company, and when we moved in the landlord told us that on a almost daily basis the power goes out. I didn't this true...but sure enough with in the first month we were here the power went out almost everyday for at least 1 hr or more. I sent in complaints about the poor quality of their power service. In our area it's only AEP and ODP, whom we never had a issue with in over 4 years of service. Crews were sent out to fix trees and vines hanging over the lines, and for a period of time we had great service. Then little by little this same pattern has continued. The workman ship to maintain their powerlines and service is terrible, its very hard to understand how they can provide service to so many and at such a poor service, the people that live in the same community we do have said this is just the way it is. And I'm not one to belive this. IF a company is to provide a service as important as power then it should be up to the standards of all companies who provide the same service.

Desired Settlement: Would like to see the company be made better aware of the problems that their poor service repairs have on the community. and how many people would love to have the power stay on. Its always the same areas that are affected and it never seems to stay repaired. Would just like to see a huge improvement in the services I and may other pay our hard earned money to have and not get

Business Response:   The company reviewed the outage history for the customer and noted 20 outages during the previous three years. Six of the outages occurred during major storm events.  Eleven outages were attributed to trees.  Currently, the company has two reliability improvement projects planned for the ***** / ****** ***** 34.5 kv circuit which serves the customer.  The projects will improve reliability for the customers in the area along Rt. US 23.     A primary distribution line relocation project will relocate one mile of the circuit’s first zone to along Rt. 83 from **** ***** to the Town of *****, VA.  The line will be relocated from an inaccessible location currently over the mountain from **** ***** to the ***** Post Office. The project is projected to be completed by the end of July 2013.      The second improvement is an automated recloser loop scheme between the ***** / ****** ***** and **** **** / ********** 34.5kv circuits.  Four reclosers have been installed and the company is currently programming the automated units for loop operation.  The company plans to have the scheme tested and in service by 08/30/13.      The company determined these projects could have mitigated 12 of the 20 outages the customer experienced during the previous three years.          A company representative unsuccessfully attempted to contact the customer numerous times to discuss the company’s plans to improve reliability in the area.  The representative left a voice message for the customer. 

Consumer Response: Our location is not in the ***** area we are on ***** ******** Road. I do not accept this because there are multiple times that our power has gone out for hours in perfect weather. The most recent outage was on 6-17-13 at 7:27am the power flickered off then back on...at 7:28am it went off and was off for several hours. This is an ongoing problem that I do not feel will be resolved, I have had two phone call that I have not been at home due to being at work when I am contacted by ***** from AEP to discuss this futher, but I am now keeping a log of when the power does go out. During the snow it is understandable to an extent, but when the weather is rainy with no storms or the sun is out I feel is not acceptable service.  On our service road we have never seen anyone working or servicing lines, vines and trees are on the power lines from the beginning of the road all the way back to ******* **** where our small community is located. Regards,********* **** 

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

6/19/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: We are having problems with our light flashing off and comeing on with a power surg. They did this eleven times yesterday in a twenty four hour spand. When they flash off you hear a loud pop and their is no specheal time it happens. Makes no difference the weather conditions either. We have called Aep several times about the problem and have no luck getting it fixed. They told us it was trees hitting the lines and they come about six weeks ago and trimmed the trees, this did not help. This effects every one from where ******* road and ******* ***** meet and points south east. With all the raises AEP has received to fix the lines, it would be nice if they would fix them, it getting expensive buying new appliance from power surges. I have called them again and have a work ordor for them to look at their equipment , but have been down this road before with no luck getting the problem fixed.

Desired Settlement: Just fix the problem. Fix it so the settlement of ******* ***** is not loosing power all time or having power surges.

Business Response: A company representative discussed the frequency of momentary outages with the customer and several community residents. An order was initiated to install a temporary recording meter at the customer's service to assist with an analysis of the problem. A company representative discovered a problem on the adjacent pole to customer's premise during a survey of the distribution line, prior to installing the recording voltmeter. An energized wire was too close to the neutral and contact was made due to wind and temperature changes. This was the apparent problem affecting the customer's service. The problem was repaired and the customer stated everything was working great in the residence after the repair. The customer was asked to contact the representative if problems arise again. The customer was appreciative of the company's quick response.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved. As of this morning we had not had any light flashing off, but will wait and see if they start back. If so I will be contacting  the company back, for  repair. Thank you for getting them to make a effert to fix the problem.Regards,******* ******* 

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

6/17/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I call this company on may 31 it was a friday to make payment arrangements and i asked the lady i spoke with is my account in danger of cut off or anything of thekind she told me NO, at that point i told her on that day i would be sending a payment in the amount of $55 and that aep would have it on tuesday and i would be paying the remaining bal later that week she said ok you should be fine as long as you pay the remaining bal. i got paid on june 6 the day i was to pay the remaing bal due and i got an email from my bank saying i owe them $379.64 when i called AEP to see what had happened they informed me that i had been removed for the budget plan and that untill the bal is pay it will stay that way, I told them i made paid arrangement why did this happen they say they sent me a notice (that i never got) and why i told them they never sent me any such paper work they told me on june 6 2013 well we are about to send it to you now ie the mail, this is unacceptable and i feel as tho this company is trying to get over on me they told me they would break downt the payment i told them that is not acceptable and that they should have sent me the proper notice and they failed to do so and now after the fact they say we gonna sent it now

Desired Settlement: I would like for Aep to take off the extra cost and allow me to pay the agreed amount that was made by me and aep and that was to pay the may and june bill in full and return my account to the budget plan

Business Response: The caller stated AEP would receive a payment of $55 by June 2nd, the following Tuesday after May 31st, the date the customer contacted the company.  The customer also stated the balance would be paid by June 6th.  If the company had received the payment of $55 on June 2nd, prior to the June 3rd read date, the customer would not have been removed from the budget.  The company received only one payment on June 6th of $55. The customer talked with a company representative on June 6th and was offered a payment arrangement which was refused.  Should the customer reconsider and wish a payment arrangement, then the customer can contact the company for a payment arrangement.   In summary, the customer was on budget billing.  The customer went 2+ months without making a payment.  Payments were made on 3-19 and 6-4.  During that time AEP issued three billings.  Payments of monthly billings are expected by the monthly due date.  The budget billing was cancelled for failure to pay monthly billings by the monthly due dates. 

Consumer Response: The staement given by the company is a lie June 2nd is on a sunday i never told them they would get a payment buy that date i called May 31 and told them the same day $55 would be sent there way for payment and they would have it on Tuesday June 4Th 2013 i asked about my account and was told nothing was wrong with it just make sure i send out the rest for the payment i told the lady i get paid on June 6th 2013 that is a thursday and i would send it out that day same day she in turn told me that that would be fine and that i should be ok i told her i pay thorugh my bank and it would take 2 business days for the payment to get to aep she still said ok on June 6th that is when i got the $379 bill from my bank saying i owe aep this amount and i have proof of the day that payment of $55 was sent out so they really should not tell such lies

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

6/12/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
5/28/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: For over 3 years our electric bill has been extremely high. We have had everything checked at our home. We have all new energy efficient updates in our house. We have called Appalachian power company several times to request them to come out to our house to check our meter and they absolutely refuse to come out. We had everything checked so we feel that the only thing left is there is something wrong with the meter. Our bills are running around 300 dollars a month, and our neighbors are around a 100. We had made several attempts to get them to come out and every time they refuse. They tell us that there is nothing wrong on their end. We have done everything on our end we just need them to come out.

Desired Settlement: New meter installed

Business Response: A company representative reviewed the customer's account and found the usage to be following normal patterns. On 5/21/13 the representative apologized to the customer for the company's offering of energy savings tips rather than issuing a meter test order, as requested. The customer was entitled to the meter test which was completed on 5/23/13 with the customer present. The meter was found to be operating properly and accurately. The meter was replaced as requested by the customer since it was scheduled for replacement anyway.

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

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

5/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I received a termination notice with a cut off date of 5/20/13 after midnight. My direct deposit always goes through at 10:00 pm every Tuesday night which means I will be able to pay the bill immediately after 10:01 via phone call on 5/21/13. On 5/18, my wife called AEP & they said we didn't qualify for an arrangement due to 3 broken arrangements & only mentioned 2. They wouldn't hold 24 hrs. My wife has heart problems & power outage will cause severe issues. The second issue concerns an outstanding deposit of well over $500 that they have held for more than 5 years. I haven't lived in the location that part of the deposit represents in five years. With the declining of my wife's health, we really need that money back. We just made two large payments to AEP last month. We are not going to move from this location and though we may be late sometimes, they always get their money. The lady who spoke with my wife said they always work with their customers. ONE DAY? I know my brother in law gets notices left on his doorknob almost every month before the power is to be cut off every morning, and they cannot extend me to wait for my direct deposit? My amount is only $242.34 and I have seen people with cut off notices in the thousands. They're telling me that $242 is hurting them that much that they cannot hold off 24 hours?

Desired Settlement: 1. Allow the termination notice to be extended 24 hours.2. Refund the deposit.

Business Response: The Company received a payment of the past due balance on 5-20-13, therefore, collection activity was suspended. The remaining account balance is the current billing of $115.01, which is due on or before 5-28-13. The Company is holding a deposit in amount of $352.00, not over $500, as stated by the customer. The deposit was requested in accordance with applicable guidelines issued by the State of Virginia. The customer usage was reviewed and as a result, the company will apply $50 of the deposit to the account as the kwh usage has decreased. A lesser security amount (deposit) is now required to meet guidelines. The Company will retain the remaining amount of $302 until such time as account is discontinued or satisfactory credit has been established in accordance with VA SCC approved terms and conditions of service.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved. I understand the reason for the solution. Because it is legal to collect a deposit doesn't mean you have to. I will accept the $50 applied to my account. Can you do something towards your collection procedures? I understand they have a limit of defaulted payment arrangements, but you never realize the reasons behind them. As I said in my complaint, I know people who default on their accounts in the thousands of dollars,  yet they want to disconnect my service for $242 dollars as if that would hurt the company? I could understand asking for a week, but one day? My wife is very ill. Disconnected service could impact her life.  Regards, ****** *****  

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer accepted

5/3/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I called on 4-22-13 to make a payment arrangement but was told i was not permitted to do so because i did not follow through with a previous arrangement that i had made. The previous arrangement in question was one month previous. I had called in and made the arrangement for my "past due" amount of 274.00 and the woman agreed to my request to pay that amount on 3-3-13 which i did but i paid 280.00. On 4-22-13 when i called in to make another arrangement I found out the woman I talked to took it upon herself to make the arrangement on 3-3-13 for the "full" amount owed without stating that fact to me. On 4-22-13 the man I talked to declined my request for that reason and said they do not make arrangements for "past due" amounts..only full amount owed even though the "due date" for my current electric bill is not due until 5-2-13. When I asked for the woman's employee number to list that in my complaint he played "dumb" and could not give me a number to call for customers complaints which leads me to believe that they are trained to "dodge all attempts" to help their customers and protect the company at all cost. This is the first time I have launched a complaint but NOT the first time this has happened to me with this business. If I had another choice of electric service I would use it instead.

Desired Settlement: When I ask for an extension on my electric bill for a few days just give it to me without all the drama and hassle. And an apology would be nice but I don't see that happening especially when it comes to this company. On a side-note..this company needs to have a little more "humanity" with it's customers. They should work with their customers instead of being against them.

Business Response: The customer's current account balance is $473.55. The current bill amount is $219.50 and is due on or before 5-2-13. A disconnect notice was issued in accordance with applicable Virginia Commission guidelines for an outstanding debt of $254.05. The outstanding debt is for service rendered thru 3-12-13 and was due on or before 4-2-13. The customer has failed to pay a bill in full 11 out of previous 12 times. The company received payment of $259 on 4-23-13 and has cancelled pending collection activity. The company asks that remainder of current billing be received on or before the due date of 5-2-13.

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

5/3/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
4/15/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The electric line that is attached to my house was not installed correctly and now their equipment is destroying the side of my house. The wood has broke and the siding is being pulled off the house.

Desired Settlement: I want the company to take responsibility and fix the side of my house and install the line where it is supposed to go, in the eve of the house.

Business Response: Following is the company's response to a SCC concern file by the customer on 3/21/13. Response 3/25/13 The customer claimed a service entrance damaged the side of a residence. A company representative was unable to determine what caused the point of attachment to be pulled from the house, however, did not accept responsibility for the company. The customer advised the representative the service had been pulled loose for a long time. The customer requested the company to disconnect/reconnect service on the weekend or make repairs to the entrance. A management company representative did not agree to the customer's requests. The company also provided a quote for underground service. The investigation is continuing pending the customer’s decision to repair the overhead point of attachment or proceed with an underground service.  

Consumer Response: The reason I am not satisfied is because according to them they did not install the faulty equipment on my house, and to be honest I have no idea if that's the case or not, even if they did not, they STILL installed THEIR line on the faulty equipment. The company needs to take responsibility for faulty installation.  Regards, ******** ********  

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

4/12/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I received a bill from aep on April 6th for 642.36 which included a past due in the amount of 498.43 with a termination notice. I then called Appalachian power to see if they could help me with that bc its scheduled for termination on the 16th of April and i cannot afford to pay almost 500 dollars i am a single mom with 3 kids one with special needs. They informed me bc i defaulted on my payment agreement once back in November and then this last time they could not help me. well the one back in November i was only 2 days late on and they cancelled the whole thing, so i had to call back in a redo they whole agreement well this march 28th it was due and i couldn't pay it bc it was 283.00 and i could not afford it so with that being said they are telling me there is nothing they can do and they are going to shut off my electric on the 16th if i dont pay the 498.43. Almost all associates i spoke to were very rude and unwilling to help. I understand they can do this because they know that they are the only electric company and people have no choice to pay them but i don't feel that its right for them to just screw people over and get away with it. My bills are extremely high to begin with. I just want something done first of all about there crappy customer service and second about the fact that they can just think that its ok to shut off electric when someone cant pay the economy is horrible and they arent helping people? Thats a horrible company

Desired Settlement: All i want is for them to help me and other single moms like me that sometimes cant afford there bills. Yes i did default on my agreement but that does not mean i should have to pay 498.43 all at once not very many people can do that.

Business Response: Company records indicate the following in regards to the customer's previous/current bills and payment history. The current account balance is $642.36. Current bill amount is $143.93 and is due on or before 4-24-12. Past due balance as of 4-10-13 is $498.43. The customer's account was opened during June 2012. Since then, the company and customer have agreed to three deferred pay plans as follows: 9-4-12 Five month deferred pay plan to pay $88.02 plus monthly bill 11-21-12 Four month deferred pay plan to pay $58.67 plus monthly bill 1-12-13 Six month deferred pay plan to pay $73.37 plus monthly bill All deferred pay plans have been defaulted on. Due to poor payment history, unsatisfactory credit history, and pay agreement default history, the company declines to enter into additional payment arrangements at this time. The company requests the customer to pay the full past due balance of $498.43 immediately.

Consumer Response:  I am not satisfied because I acknowleged this on my complaint however I cannot pay almost 500 dollars and the fact that they don't care in this economy is rediculous and sad. Once again they are doing this because they can and customers have no choice but to pay. They should be asshamed. And for the record every aingle phone call I made to them yesterday i was told I had only defaulted on 2 ageeements not 3 they can go back and listen to the calls  

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

3/8/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I live in a 1300 square foot home and my power bill with a new he efficient and my electric bill has been 300 + dollars and now it is over 400 and I do not use much power i keep my heat on67 degree s no one home from7am tell5 oclock just me and my wife

Desired Settlement: have my money back

Business Response: The company reviewed the customer's usage history. The review showed that the recently installed heatpump appeared to be saving the customer money in that previous electric bills were greater than $300 for several months before the heatpump was installed. A representative visited the residence on 2/27/13 and observed several improvements that would reduce the bill by a substantial amount. For example, a basement window contained a missing pane of glass which could cause the basement and heating duct to cool to outside temperature everytime the heatpump stops heating. The heat pump has to work harder to heat the home with a greater amount of heat loss through the duct. Several windows with opened storm windows were observed. One window contained a bird nest. A dormer added to the attic area was missing siding. The age of the house indicated insulation was probably absent from the walls. Insulation in the ceiling and floors would save on heating costs if not already present. An extension cord to a well house was observed with no apparent thermostat control. Two pieces of sheet metal were observed in a slanted position over the top of the exterior heat pump which would reduce the efficiency of the heat pump. Caulking holes and cracks would also reduce the bill. The representative attempted to contact the customer and left a telephone message requesting a discussion of the findings.

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

3/8/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
2/26/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: yes i had agreement with AEP i set up an payment agreement and told them i could try to pay 100.00 in jan and then pay another amount in feb so i could only pa y 75.00 on the 24th of jan and then on 2/11 i payed another 80.00 on the acctso on 2/18 i was suppose to pay 78.00 so on 2/12 i came home to my power being cut off and had to pay 200.00 on the acct to have my power cut back on it was cold out side so i had to use my last 200.00 to have power so me & my son wouldnt freeze to death tonight . i thing it is a same that they dont have any respect for people that are trying to pay their bills they dont care i have no money to do me till 2/22/2013 . i think some one should do something to help the people that are trying to pay their bills with out cutting their power off in the middle of the winter .thank you ****** ******

Desired Settlement: would like for them to work with customers that are trying to pay their bills especially people that are low income familys

Business Response:

The company mailed a disconnect notice to the customer on 1-25-13. The company did not receive a payment, therefore, electric service was disconnected in accordance with applicable Virginia State Corporation guidelines on 2-12-13. The Company declined to enter into a payment arrangement on outstanding debts and asked customer that past due balance be received prior to reconnection of service. Payment of past due balance was received on 2-12-13, service reconnected that same day.

Consumer Response: THE THING THAT I DIDNT AGREE WITH IS THAT THEY DIDNT  TELL THAT I HAD AGREE UP ON A PAYMENT AGREEMENT THAT I WOULD TRY TO MAKE A PAYMENT OF 100.00 FOR THE JAN PAYMENT AND THEN PAY 78.00 FOR FEB - APRIL OR MAY I PAID WHAT I HAD AT THE TIME AND WHEN THEY CUT OFF MY POWER  I HAD TO USE MY LAST 200.00 DOLLARS TO HAVE THE POWER CUT BACK ON SO ME AND MY SON COULD STAY WARM  AND THEN I WAS WITH OUT ANY MONEY FOR GAS TO GO TO WORK THEY NEED TO WORK WITH THE IR CUSTOMERS .  

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

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

Complaint: A E P electric company in Virginia, is ripping people off with their so called ESTIMATED Meter Reading. Example; My electric bill for DEC. 2012 was estimated and it was estimated at the EXACT same meter reading from my DEC. 2011 electric bill. The problem is we were WITHOUT POWER, for 3 days!!! The representative I spoke with wanted the reading off of the meter that I had taken that morning (Friday Feb 1, 2013) she tried to tell me that the reading was correct and that the meter was playing catch up, to heat our home. Wait! STOP, #1, while our power was off (3 days) we used our generator (my fuel costs). #2, we heated with our wood stove and the house was just fine. I asked for a phone no. or address so I could file a complaint and she said I could get it off their website, but it wouldn't do me any good, because their not going to do anything about it. The electric rate went up this year and for the same usage (they estimated) this year my bill is approx. $56.00 higher. This company is ripping people off and the government is allowing it. I am going to start a petition to have this company investigated and have action taken against them in a court of law. There was no GOOD reason for them to Estimate my electric bill this year. Their excuse; we were busy! Thank you

Desired Settlement: Refund my costs for using my generator and fuel in order to have power for 3 days and at the SAME RATE they charge us along with the reduction of right of way usage fees/Transfer fees and all the fees / taxes that they charge us when we have power. Go ahead laugh! But this is embezzlement plain and simple. Thank you

Business Response:

A company representative visited the site, read the meter and determined the meter was over-estimated. The company will re-bill the customer based on the reading obtained on 2/5/13. The total kilowatt hours used in 46 days was 3,746, which equates to 81.43 kilowatts per day. Therefore the re-bill will be for 34 days and the corrected kilowatt hours used was 2,443. The representative was not able to contact the customer so a voice message was left advising a corrected bill will be sent based on the actual reading obtained on 2/5/13.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved. I don't have any choice, except to accept it at this point and continue on to start a petition against AEP. Regards,*** *******  

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

2/5/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On October 3, 2012 I placed an order with AEP (# *********). Over the past few months we had lost some flurecent lights, an underground dog fence, had some electrical outlets go out and some other small appliances stop working. I talked with the electrician that built our home and he felt everything was safe and was unsure why this was happening. In September we lost a microwave and while working on my computer September 21, the lights flickered and my computer started smoking and no longer worked. I talked with a different electrician and explained what had been going on and he suggested calling AEP. I placed an order and the repairman came out 3 days later. It was determined that our transformer was bad. We had been receiving direct current to our home and it was a fire hazard. All the appliances I had lost was caused by this defective equipment. I placed a damage claim (#*********) with AEP on October 10. I did not receive a response for a few months because my paper work had been lost. I finally received a call from ******** from the claims department in December. I gave her my information and she started the investigation. I was then unable to get in touch with her until January 13. I left multiple messages, filed complaints with AEP, and called daily only to find a voice mail full each day. I received a call today from ******** only after I spoke with a customer service representative yesterday, *** ****. I explained to him the issues I had with trying to contract ********. Today, I received a call from ******** at 7:50 am stating that AEP is not liable for my damages. She explained that even though my damage was causes by faulty equipment, they are not liable. I have lost thousands of dollars of appliances due to faulty equipment. She said they have some special agreement with the state of Virginia that keeps them from being liable. This is very wrong and something needs to be done about them and their careless business ethic. Please help.

Desired Settlement: I would like reimbursement for my computer, microwave, air-conditioner, repairs to a sound system, and refrigerator. I have multiple other items but I do not have my receipts for them.

Business Response: The company apologizes for any delay in addressing the customer’s inquiry.  Company records indicate the customer contacted the company on 10-10-12 to report damaged appliances as a result of a transformer issue. The customer failed to provide an exact time and date that an outage and subsequent issue with the transformer took place.   On 11-27-12 a company representative left a message informing the customer the claim was being investigated.   On 12-14-12 the customer contacted the representative and stated the company was contacted in August (8-29 or 8-30) or in September (9-30) regarding a service issue at residence. Company records indicate the customer initially contacted the company 10-2-12 to report power surges. A company distribution line representative visited the site on 10/5/12 and observed the transformer had been replaced as a result of a previous outage at the residence caused by equipment failure.   On 1-15-13 a company representative learned from the customer that the appliances and electronics (Computer, Microwave, and Refrigerator) were damaged on September 21 prior to contacting APCO regarding a service issue at the residence. The customer had no items damage between 10/2/12 and 10/5/12 and all items were damaged prior to contacting APCO to report a service issue at residence.    The customer was advised that without any prior records of the customer contacting APCO before 10-2-12 to report a service issue, the company had no prior knowledge of an issue at the residence.  Once APCO was made aware of an issue the company took measures to resolve the service issue.   The customer was also advised the claim was denied, The Company will use reasonable diligences in attempting to furnish a regular and uninterrupted supply of energy, but the Company does not guarantee uninterrupted services.  The Company shall not be liable for damages or injury to person or property in the event of such supply is interrupted or fails by reason of act of God, the public enemy, accidents, labor disputes, order or acts of civil or military authority, breakdowns or injury to the machinery, transmission lines, distribution lines or the facilities of the Company, extraordinary repairs, or any other occurrences beyond the Company’s control, or any act of the Company to interrupt services to any customer whenever such interruption is necessary in the Company’s judgment to prevent or limit any instability or disturbance on the electric system of the Company or any electric system interconnected with the Company.  The customer shall provide and maintain suitable protective devices on his equipment to prevent any loss, injury, or damage that might result from single phasing conditions or any other fluctuations or irregularity in the supply of energy.  The Company shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage resulting from a single phasing condition or any other fluctuation or irregularity in the supply of energy which could have been prevented by the use of such protective devices.

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

2/5/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Every single time there is any sorta weather condition no matter how mild or severe our power goes out. When you call the power company to report it you aren't allowed to speak to an agent-- all you get is an automated recording. Our power went off Thursday evening at around 5pm and was off until like 9Pm because we experience some snow. At 9Pm the power came back on like I said and at midnight it went off yet again and remained off until 6:15 Friday evening. We didn't experience anymore snow or weather conditions at all, in fact it was so warm that most of the snow melted. The power remained on til around 11am on Saturday morning then it went off again and came back on around noon, again no more snow and it was pretty sunny and warm outside. My question is why if no more bad weather was the power coming and going? Also there are trees and branches that's in the way of the power lines which is why the power goes on and off they won't fix anything right. This is the one and only power company in my area I guess this is why they do what they do. We can either take it or not have power. They have no competition and no real reason to treat their customers with respect. The fact that when I call in to speak with someone I'm not allowed to but am instead forced to listen to an automated system tells me that. Also when everyones food spoils what then?

Desired Settlement: I would like to see my bill adjusted to accomadate for the loss of my groc. And the hours I did without power. I pay my bill for service received. And if there is no power why should I have to pay a normal full months bill? This company has to realize that even though they are the only power company in the area they still have to provide good customer treatment and good customer service.

Business Response: The company's service territory in Southwest Virginia experienced a major snow and ice storm on Thursday, January 17th that left approximately 128,000 customers without service. Due to the adverse weather conditions and difficult terrain, service to customers in several areas was not restored until the following Tuesday night. American Electric Power operates six virtually integrated Customer Solutions Centers which are equipped with an adequate number of lines and staffing to handle the normal day-to-day call volume. Sufficient capacity also exists to handle the routine service interruptions that commonly exist in the electric industry. When large service interruptions occur, a dramatic increase in call volume is experienced. The available phone lines into the Customer Solutions Centers are rapidly filled with callers wishing to report a service interruption. Once all lines are filled, callers will receive a busy signal and not have the ability to report their service interruption or hazardous condition until a line becomes available. In an effort to minimize the number of busy signals, American Electric Power utilizes an automated overflow outage reporting system (HVCA) to assist in the service restoration process. The automated system allows a customer to interactively report a power outage, report hazardous conditions and receive updated information when they may have otherwise received a busy signal. The automated process guides customers through a series of scripted questions necessary to gain information needed to report an outage, hazardous conditions and provide outage cause / estimated time of restoration specific to their outage if available. The automated system is designed to transfer callers who have attempted to use the system, and were unsuccessful, to a Customer Service Associate. During major outages there are times when the dedicated lines for transfers are overloaded, not allowing callers to speak with a Customer Service Associate. Information obtained through the HVCA system is transmitted to American Electric Power and becomes an integral part of the service restoration process. Customers can report power outages online using a computer or mobile device. Agents, IVR applications, and the company’s website options all communicate the same outage and restoral data during major storms. Customer's pay for only the electricity that is consumed through the electric meter. During outages the customer is not billed for electricity that is not consumed. The company does not adjust bills for the loss of grocerys that is caused by a storm.

Consumer Response: I am not satisfied with this because I understand that there were alot of people without power and yes it was a bad storm but not always is the power off due to a winter storm.  Sometimes it happens in dead of summer because of a tree limb in the line/when we do have nice weather in the summer you do nothing for the power line right aways thats where the problem lies.  Its not the "storms" or the "ice" alone that causes your power outages, its the trees that's in the power lines. I have pictures to support this!  I have even spoken to one of your power men and he said that the recut in the budget was cut back on the recut crew and that is why the trees aren't getting cut out of the right a ways and they are  in the power lines.  As far as your IVR and not being able to speak to agents at the call centers that's just not true as my wife works for a well known financial instituation and that NEVER happens --  they are always available to their customers as the customer's satisfaction is their FIRST priority.  I work for a gas well company and I am in the field daily I walk alot of our right a ways and I have noticed alot of AEP right a ways with sapplings as well as trees in the power lines.  I have even noticed at one point a tree smoking and I could hear the power line buzzing due to the tree in the line.  So I know for myself that the trees are in the power lines and there is no recut crew that takes care of this at anytime.  Can you explain that?    Also why is it when there is a power outage the next months bill is higher than previous months?  I have the proof.  In my opinion it is because we are paying for the overtime of your workers?  I think something needs to be done about the power line right aways as it would help your customers as well as your company!  I just wish we could get the trees cut out of the power lines this would be a job for someone.  I know it is a hard job keep power on in the winter when we have storms and I understand but we all know that what I am saying is true cutting the power right a ways would solve alot of these issues.  Or if we really want to get out of the stone age upgrade and put the power lines underground.

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

1/24/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Our power is always going out and staying out on a regular basis. It's random and on every holiday. We continue to be told well it may be a bad wire in that area, this is what we have heard for a year now and every time we call to report. If its a bad wire then they need to already have fixed this. I'm also being told every time I report an outage that we will be the last ones restored due to a smaller portion of people in this area. Total we have around 300 hundred in this area now I know of other areas that have less. Not to mention I'm the only young family in this community the other families are elderly most of which are in their 80's or 90's. This is a shame that we are constantly hearing the sounds of generators all the time. Some of us can't afford to purchase a generator especially to pay a bill on time that is usually incorrect to begin with, or the charges are outragous, or they will send us a bill without the whole account number to pay the bill with which is a must. I feel this needs to be addressed immediately. It's all a lot of people can do now days to afford the things we have to have. We just bought this house last year had I known we would have to have a generator and use it 80 percent of the time we would not have purchased in this area. We should not have to worry everyday especially when the weather is so cold if we are going to have power or not. But we do, its an everyday thought. We see this happen all the time and its usually 3-5 days to restore.

Desired Settlement: I would love to see a reduction in our bill but I know this will not happen, cause they know this is a must for people to have. However I want the lines to be fixed, restored, and for once have this issue resolved so we and the other families in this area live a normal life without using or hearing generators all the time. This is not very easy on families with very small children such as myself and especially when they are sick running a fever. Please help me get this resolved.

Business Response: Since the customer states in their letter that they purchased their home last year, the company reviewed the outage history for their premise for the period 1/1/12 to 12/31/12. According to company records, during this twelve month period the customer experienced 6 sustained outages. Three of the six interruptions occurred during outages which statistically qualified as major events under both FERC and PSC reporting requirements, including the February 2012 snowstorm, the summer Derecho in late June, and most recently, Hurricane Sandy in late October. A list of these outages is shown below: 2/19/12: Winter storm, tree on line. Outage duration: 49 hours. Major Event 5/7/12: Equipment failure, failed insulator. Outage duration 7 hours. 6/29/12: Derecho, winds exceeding 60 MPH. Outage duration 100 hours. Major Event. 7/14/12: Summer storm, tree on line. Outage duration 18 hours. 10/29/12: Hurricane Sandy, heavy ice and snow. Outage duration 70 hours. Major Event. 12/26/12: Winds exceeding 60 MPH. Outage duration 4 hours. Excluding the Major Event outages, the customer experienced only 3 outages totalling 29 hours in duration in the last 12 months. While this customer (and many others) did experience very lengthy interruptions during the three major storms, these events were all very destructive to the electrical infrastructure, causing incredible damage to company facilities. When this occurs, it simply takes additonal time to prioritize work, manage resources, and make repairs.

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

12/28/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The Appalachian Power website states that, in order to withdraw from automatic payments, you have to do so at least 4 business days ahead of time. See https://www.appalachianpower.com/account/bills/pay/PayAutomatically.aspxCurrently, I do not have to ability to deposit funds into the bank account out of which Appalachian will be taking the money; thus, I called within that relevant period of time to stop the billing. When I called, the customer service rep told me that I had to do it within 5 days and that it was too late. I directed her to look at her own website that clearly lays out the 4 day time period. She because very rude and told me that it was 5 days, the process had already begun, and that was it. I asked her if Appalachian was going to reimburse me for the overdraft charges for having detrimentally relied upon the false statement on their website. She said no. I asked her to at least look at the website's language and she again said that it didn't matter what the website said, I would have to pay the overdraft fees because I didn't comply with their 5 day rule. I asked to speak with a supervisor and she took my phone number. No one has since called to help me resolve the situation regarding their false and misleading statements on their website.

Desired Settlement: Appalachian needs to update the language of their website to reflect their actual policies. I also seek renumeration for the time I have had to waste in settling this matter and the fees associated with this issue that I will have to pay out of my own pocket for Appalachian's false statement on their website.

Business Response:

Company records indicate the customer contacted the company on 12/13/12 and spoke with an agent and two supervisors. The notes indicate that she was informed that she must call within 5 days prior to withdrawal date to stop the transaction. However, the website information is correct in that the window to alter a withdrawal is 4 days. All auto draft payments begin the withdrawal process 2 days prior to the due date, 3 days total. In this case 12/17 the withdrawal began and blocked any alterations to the payment withdrawal of $62.70 scheduled on 12/19/12. Therefore, the latest she could cancel a withdrawal would be 12/16/12. Although we do not reinburse for time spent, we will review any associated overdraft fees for appropriate reinbursement. Customer Banking statements should reflect any overdraft charges and the customer should provide the company with what is being sought for reinbursement and fax to ###-###-####.

 

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

12/20/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have had a dispute with AEP Direct Collections ###-###-#### Ext.885 (******) On November 28th 2012 I recieved a phone call from her and she was very rude and disrespectful, yelling at me and cuting me off. As I tried to explain to this lady that I didn't understand what she was talking about and I was geting different stories from every person I spoke with she would not let me explain to her anything. Also, when I would talk to her she would tell me to be quiet and listen and also get loud with me. This is not how you speak to customers and something needs to be done with this lady and especially AEP. This company CAN NOT go and treat people like this. I would appreciate some help with this matter. Thank you!

Desired Settlement: This lady needs to be disiplined and a probation period needs to be set for this woman. Also I would appreciate a phone call and also in writting a forgiveness letter from this disrespectful woman who needs some customer service experience. Thank you!

Business Response: The company reviewed the customer's concern and has addressed the concern appropriately.

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

11/14/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On 8/16 I received a letter from AEP stating my account had been moved to an monthly budget plan of $107 a month and would be reflected on my next billing cycle. Next month I received 2 different bills, none of which reflected the $107 they had promised. Additionally they have "removed me" from this plan and additionally removed me from a payment arrangement plan (because my bill went up to $300+) in which I agreed to pay a specific amount each month. I paid on the date I said I would, and it didn't post until 9/4 or 9/5. Since they claim the payment didn't post, they automatically kicked me out of the arrangement plan, without notifying me, causing me to have a $343 bill this month. This company has a monopoly on the market and feels they can do whatever they want, and are hurting citizens trying to provide for their family in this unfortunate time. Additionally, I did make the payment on 8/31, how do I know they didn't hold the process until after that date to take me off the arrangement plan to collect more money which is what they seem to be doing ever since hiring crews from outside of VA to help restore power. Their customer service is rude and unresponsive, and I am growing tired of dealing with this business and their unethical practices. Now they are threatening to shut off my service even though I paid them $245 yesterday. I feel they are taking advantage of consumers, and having worked for a local media company, I'm highly considering escalating it to that level. Please provide me with some help and clarification.Thank you,**** *****

Desired Settlement: I would 1) like to be placed on the monthly payment plan that I was told I would be placed on, on 8/16(I have the letter) in the amount of $107. 2) I would like the agreed upon arranged fee to be reinstated, and 3) have my account reassesed to see if any refunds need to be returned to me because I feel I have done what I told them I was going to do and all they have done is ***** ** over in every way possible, thus making it harder to feed my 3 kids, as I am now having a panic attack due to thiS

Business Response: The company is continuing the investigation into the customer's concern.

Consumer Response: The company provided no specific information as to why I was removed from the average monthly payment plan (nor why it ever even got started on the first billing cycle) nor did they even acknowledge why they remove my extended arrangement plan.  They have failed to acknowledge anything. Regards, **** *****  

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

11/8/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On my electric bills I receive each month for the past due amounts I owe . I call up AEP and I let them know Hey ! i can't pay all the past due amount right now because right now I'am not able to get all of my past due amount caught up due to less hours at my job and I'am financially struggling to get other bills paid right now and I keep calling AEP about my situation that I'am not able to pay the whole amount right now and the late fees just keep adding up I do understand that but when my next bill generates for the current amount they keep adding fees on my current bill in which they shouldn't even be adding adding fees on my current bill and I keep telling a customer servive rep that because the past due amounts should not have anything to do with my current charges and I haven't gotten the past due amount paid off yet and when I talk to a customer service rep. they have been really rude on the phone with me especially when I try to explain my situation to them and then they put me on hold and sometimes I can sense they are nervous when I tell them about why they are adding fees to my current bills when the past due amounts should not have anything to do with the current bill itself and they explain to about a payment plan but first they tell me that I have to pay the installment and plus my past due amounts which does not make sense to me at all it seems like I'am paying them fees plus on top of that my past due amounts as well. and I'am pretty sure that alot of other customers have experience the same thing what I'am going through with the job economy and and not having a job at all or having less hours to work or being laid off from a job and I know that have been numerous complaints from others customers when I did some research on AEP and I feel like they need to be under investiagtion. And I wouldn't be filing this complaint against them if they would do their job and stop adding these fees that are unnecessary it's costing me as a customer.Thank You

Desired Settlement: I would like for AEP to refund or even cut my bill in half without having to be charges all the fees on my current bills as well as my past due amounts

Business Response: Customer is on active pay agreement. If customer pays outstanding debt as agreed, no late fees will be billed. No credit issues on the account at this time. Late fees are a product of billing tariffs approved by the Virginia SCC and are administered accordingly. All fees are charged in accordance with these approved tariffs. Company declines to remove fees or change billing rates.

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

11/2/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My roommates and I had the name changed on our account from a previous tenant's name to one of our names and Appalachian Power wants us to pay a $260 fee. They are calling it a "security deposit." I don't understand why we need to pay a security deposit when some of the people living in the apartment are the same. I also think $260 is entirely too high for this sort of fee.

Desired Settlement: I want this fee waved or reduced. I feel that this fee is entirely too high.

Business Response: APCo has no active or inactive accounts listed in complainants name. If complainant wishes to make application for new service, they should contact APCo and make formal request for service.

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

10/22/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: They turned my power off and had no reasoning behind why they did and now I'm going day five with out power for reasons unknown I just recently moved into my house and switch my power over they sent me two letters stating I send in a 127 dollar deposit which was fine by the 27th. Also I received one call from a women asking for a lease agreement neither requested a notarized lease agreement. We payed a faxed the lease agreement and the 127 dollars on the 27th we had power on the 28th I left for work and still had power came home no power. I've called multiple times and finally spoke to the lady who handles our account and she said nothing but the would send it to the field. Got very rude with me when I wanted to know when my power would be back on. Now it is 5 days since my cut off and still no power. I'm demanding something is done about this seeing as we lost so much food and money due to this lack of customer service and someone obviously didn't do there job correctly.

Desired Settlement: I don't care what it is I just want something done to get my power back on now and for someone to get some kind of punishment for not doing there jobs correctly. Also I would like a discounted bill bc of all the money I lost in groceries babysitting and paying for service I have yet to receive.

Business Response: On 9/27/12, the customer contacted the company and was reminded of the $127.00 deposit requirement. This payment was received on 9/27/12. Her faxed lease, which was not notarized, arrived on 9/27. Such information is reviewed in the order in which it is received. However, we find the customer's lease was not properly forwarded for processing. (Note that it would have been rejected, as it was not notarized.) On 9/28, service was disconnected to the premise where the customer had made service application for the unmet notarized lease requirement. Upon her call to us to question this, the customer was advised that her lease had been received but not processed yet. When the customer called on 9/29, she was asked to fax her lease directly to the center to which she spoke and advised it would be reviewed upon receipt to see if service could be connected. The faxed lease was received but had not been notarized. She was called to advise that service would not be connected until the lease had been notarized. It was necessary to leave a voice message for her. The oversight regarding the unforwarded fax was noticed on 10/1/12 and it was intended that the lease requirement be released, although the notarized lease had not actually been received, so the order would not be delayed any longer. However, due to a second error, it was noted that the order was released for connection, but it was not released in actuality. The customer called on 10/1 and was incorrectly informed, based upon account notes, that lack of notarization of the lease was delaying service. The customer called on 10/2, the oversight was corrected and her order expedited to the field for connection. Service was connected on 10/2/12 at 4:24 p.m. Our intent is to avoid service interruptions by providing not just verbal information, but written notification of service requirements. However, subsequent communication with the customer was no doubt confusing to her. Errors made after she attempted to provide required documentation caused further miscommunications with her. These miscommunications are our responsibility, and we offer sincere apologies to the customer for these. We also offer assurance that her allegations of rude treatment will be fully investigated and any unprofessional communications addressed appropriately. The issues of errors made have already been addressed. If the customer will provide an itemization of groceries lost, listing each item individually and with the cost of the item, and expenses associated with her loss of service from 9/28/12 until 10/2/12, we will review to determine which of her expenses may qualify for reimbursement. And of course, she will not be billed for service she did not use.

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

10/19/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The road to my home needed alot of work when I bought it so I had the road fixed. Now comming up the hill isnt a problem at all. After I moved in my outside pole light had went out, so I called AEP and asked if they could come and fix it. They said the road was to bad even after I told them all the work I had done, they still told me they could't fix it. So about a month later a big storm hit. My wife and I were in Florida we had friends at our house " Dog Sitting". So when the storm hit a tree knocked our wheatherhead and meter box down. The people that was at our home had called and told us what had happened and I immeditatly called AEP. They said our road had not been worked on they couldn't fix the wheatherhead,and meterbox.We had a electrician we knew and had him come fix it. A few months later a technician finally came to our home and said the meter was stolen from a place called Chattaroy, So we told him how we had to fix everything and how there was more then 1 meter here from the previous owners, we gave him the other 2 meters and ask him to put the right meter in, he did. He took the other 2 with him. A week later they disconnected the power from the pole, so I called to see why, they said we had no meter at our home and it would be 1 to 10 working days before they could put a meter in. They wouldnt listen to me when I told them that the other technician had put the right one in. It has been almost 3 weeks now, in all this time we had a inspector come and approve our box,wheatherhead,and ground rod. I do not owe a bill, I pay on time every month. I am a loyal costumer. I'm sick, I have a pacemaker, diabetes, and very high blood pressure. My pacemaker has to be checked by phone every other week,this isn't new news to AEP it has been on file for yrs. I have Called and begged them to reconnect my power, and they never come Im not supposed to be so stressed, my blood pressure is dangerous I'm on a fixed income I'm living day to day, all I want is power back. Can you please help me.

Desired Settlement: I would just like to have my power back,I lost all my food, and I have been staying the nights in my car because I get so cold I have to have heat. I dont have alot of money I only recieve SSI, if I could recieve helpwith food, I dont recive foodstamps.If I can recieve help ,ok , if not ,ok, PLEASE JUST HELP ME GET MY PWER BACK, I AM SO SICK AND I DONT WANT TO GO TO THE hospital over myblood pressure if i could get my power back I would be ok. I can find some other way to eat. Thank You!!!!

Business Response:

The company reconnected Mr. ****** service on 9/25/12. The residence is located in a remote location and the company's representative walked approximately 1/2 mile to the top of a hill in order to connect the service. The company was unable to contact Mr. ****** after a company representative reported the meter stolen and the service entrance tampered with on 9/6/12.

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

10/16/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have a hobby wood working shop behind my house that is on a seperate meter than my house. I could not feed my shop off of my house because of a wall and deck behind my house. A.E.P.'s billing is on a 30 day cycle. I am retired and my check does not come in time to pay the shop bill when it is due and get a late charge on my shop every month because there is no grace period on the bill because they list my shop as a commercial account because it is on the same address as my house with a 1/2 added to it. I don't have to pay a late charge on my house because of the grace peroid. I have called them about this and tried to work something out about this and they told me that was their policy and nothing could be done about it I would just have to pay the late charge every month and they was sorry about it but that was it. I know its less than a $1.00 a month but this adds up to a lot of cost to me over time and a lot of profits unearned my A.E.P.. I think this is an unfair practice and I know I am the only person that is affected by this. I feel that this a very unfair practice that they do. Any help with will very appreciated. I am sure this effects others also. Thank you.

Desired Settlement: I would like this practice of listing a hobby shop on the same personal property listed as a commercial business and given a grace period the same as a home. I would also like a refund of all the late charges I have paid.I would also like them to do this for all the other people they have done this to.

Business Response:

On 10/11/12 a company representative spoke with the customer and explained the residential tariff and the small general service tariff and the requirements for those tariffs. The customer stated that he understood the requirements but did not agree with the late fee he was being charged. The representative explained that the tariff was approved by the SCC and the company could not alter the terms and conditions of that tariff. The customer stated he was not satisfied and would be contacting his state representative.

Consumer Response: I understand that tarrifs are set by the SCC. I pay a late charge every month because they classify my hobby shop as commerical business that is on my personal property and this is not a for profit business and should not be listed as commerical business.  It should be listed the same as my house and have a grace period as my home does. How much profit do they make by doing this to everyone who has a hobby shop or building that is not powered off their house. This is a total ripoff of the people they serve. I live in town in  a subdivion that does not allow to have a business opperated in it.  I thank they can change this if they want to but this is unearned profit at no cost to them so they dont want to stop it. They have lowered rates in the past so they can change this if they notifiy the SCC that they want to stop this practice and be fair to their customers. Thank you. Regards, ***** ********  

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

10/15/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I disconnected my service on 8/14/2012. After 2 times I called AEP Customer Service they told me that it would take 30 days for my account to clear. However, my payment was made electronically and my bank account showed they received the money a few days after. On my previous call to AEP Customer Service the representative stated my deposit would be mailed to my address after 30 days of my payment of my account in full. Thirty days from my final bill payment date would be 9/13/12. I still had not received a return of my deposit by 9/27/12 when I called the AEP Customer Service again. When I asked if the return of my deposit had been mailed the representative stated it had been cleared on 9/19/2012, which is over the 30 days I was told according to their policy. When I asked for the date it was mailed and the address it was being mailed to the representative told me he could not tell me that. I requested an escalation to a manager and the representative stated there was no manager on duty and would not be in until 10am EST. I asked why a manager is not available for escalations at least by 8am EST, the representative told me there were no managers in until 10AM EST and I would have to wait for a call back. It will be almost 2 months from when I disconnected my service and have not received my deposit back. I am extremely disatisfied with AEP's customer service and policies as well there was no one available to take an escalation to specifically tell me that my deposit had been mailed. This is 3rd time where I have had to deal with very non-courteous service and not trained well enough to help resolve my issues. I still have not receive my deposit back and feel in addition to my deposit I should be compensated with interest by AEP holding my deposit for this long. If this is not resolved soon, I shall have to seek legal counsel.

Desired Settlement: My deposit plus interest and payment of time in dealing with this matter.

Business Response: Credit balances are held on customer accounts for a minimum of 30 days prior to refunding; this policy is designed to ensure payments will not be returned, reversed, or charged-back. Our refund policy is necessary to mitigate risks associated with fraudulent electronic payments; this policy applies to all AEP customers. We apologize for any incorrect information that was provided concerning our refund policy; we will address with the representative(s) involved. We have reviewed several calls and found no rude treatment. On 9/24/2012 a refund check for $256.62 (deposit and accrued interest) was mailed to the forwarding address provided to us when the electric service account was closed. Customers earn interest on deposits held by Appalachian Power; interest rates change annually and are based on the average of one-year Treasury bill rates for the months of September, October, and November. We apply accrued interest each January and when the account is closed. Appalachian Power is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week; however, supervisor availability may be limited during times of heavy call volume. If a supervisor is not available when requested by a customer, representatives will offer request that management return the call to the customer as soon as possible. Keeping our customers information secure and protecting our customers privacy is of the utmost importance to us; therefore, we cannot provide information from an account. However, our representatives are able to verify or confirm the information being given to them by the customer.

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

6/28/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The negative on my behalf was thinking I made my AEP payment on line and then I was late on the second bill. AEP cut out electricity off and the same day this was done I called them with the payments to get the electricity cut back on. The operator told me that I would be charged a $20.00 reconnection fee. I agreed to this and understood. I then recieved my next bill and they charged me a fee of $118.00 TWICE. They labeled this fee a deposit fee. I was not informed of this fee and then they had the nerve to charge me this twice. The description to the first $118.00 charge was "Deposit amount due" the second $118.00 fee was described as a" Initial installment of a required $354.00 Deposit". I am very insulted by this and this is an obvious sign of gouging the customers for a mistake. I have been at this address for over 12 years now and I have only once had to sign up for a repayment plan. I have been late a few time, but I have never had the electricity cut off. There should be someone looking over this company and I as a customer am entitled by law to be informed of these charges! When I spoke to the operator she only informed me of the reconnection fee. This is not a new service where a deposit needs to be made!!! Please someone help me on this matter. I called AEP on June 13, 2012 to discuss this charge. The operator told me she would have to geet a manager, to please hold. She then told me all the managers were busy and she would have to get them to call me back as soon as they had time to speak with me. I have yet to be called back. This is an obvious price gouge with two charges of $118.00. I was only told I would be charged the $20.00 reconnection fee.

Desired Settlement: I do not want to pay this deposit amount due to being told I would only be charged a reconnection fee the day it was turned off. The operator that day told me that if I could make the payments by 5 PM the day it was cut off then I would not be charged any other amounts. I did this and the company needs to stand by what they say. I will pay the $20.00 reconnection fee due to it being cut off and then re-connected.

Business Response: The company reviewed Mr. / Mrs. ***’s request to waive a deposit after service was disconnected due to nonpayment. Company records indicate the deposit was charged in accordance with applicable State of Virginia guidelines as approved by the State Corporation Commission. The request to waive the deposit is denied and Mr. / Mrs. *** is asked to pay the deposit as billed.

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

6/5/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The information provided to me by this company and its employees conflicts with itself.In June 2011 I transferred my electric service from Glade Spring, VA to ****scus, VA. It remained under AEP. When I made the transfer a balance of $432.49 was transferred to the new account as well (account number ***************). I made a payment arrangement in June 2011 and recieved the following information in a letter date June 27, 2011from AEP:Aggreement Amount Due Due Date155.61 June 27, 201146.15 August 15,201146.15 Sept. 13, 201146.15 Oct. 13,201146.15 Nov. 14, 201146.15 Dec. 12, 201146.13 Jan. 16, 2011On April 27, 2012 I recieved a disconnect notice from AEP. The notice said I was to pay $306.00 by May 7, 2012 to avoid interruption. I placed a call on May 4, 2012 to get an extension until May 18, 2012. When I placed the call the automated system said I had a disconnect notice in the maount of $236.65 due on May 3, 2012. I was placed in queue to speak to a customer service representative. The representative said she could not give me an extension because my acoount did not qualify, I requested to speak to her supervisor. **** Operator number 0243 was the supervisor in question. She advised me that I had until May 8, 2012 to pay the past due amount or my service would be disconnected. I asked why they could not give me an extension and was told that I had broken my previous arrangement with them twice and did not qualify for the extension. I then asked **** to allow me to speak with her supervisor. She advised me that she would have her supervisor call me back and that it could take 24 business hours. At 2PM on May 4,2012 I recieved a call from ******** operator number 9428. I then asked *** for the extension. *** also advised me that I did not qualify for the payment arrangement because my previous arrangement had been broken twice. She also stated that I had to pay by bill by May 7, 2012 or my service would be interrupted on May 8, 2012. I requested an explanation of the broken arrangement. ******** then stated that my first arrangement had been broken in July 2011. I told ******** that I had the statement from AEP providing me with the date and amounts of said payment arangement and that no payment for that arangement was due in July. She could not give explanation for the information I had recieved. I then asked why I had been given incorrect dates by mail, automated customer service, and ****. She said IF there was a miscommunication that it would be looked into. I reiterated that there had been a miscommunication and once again told her the three different dates I had been given. She, once again, could give no explanation. She did not even try to. She only repeated that if payment was not recived by 7:59AM on May 8, 2012 I faced interruption of service. I then requested contact information for her supervisor. ******** stated she did not have that information. I asked her to place me on hold and retreive it. ******** then stated she did have the information but was not authorized to give it to me. I then asked the question "So, you have the information but you refuse to give it to me, is that correct?" ********'s response was to repeat herself once again that she had the information and was unauthorized to give it to me. I asked my question again. ******** then said "Do you want to hear that you are correct?" I replied that I wanted a yes or no answer to my question. Her response was "Fine, yes to any question you ask, you are correct." I am now facing service interruption because AEP failed to provide me with the correct information regarding my initial payment arrangement made in June, 2011 and because they failed to provide me with the correct payment information regarding my most recent disconnect notice.

Desired Settlement: I am not seeking a monetary settlement. I only ask that their billing and customer service practices be investigated.

Business Response: Mr. ******* is out of the office until next week.  I reviewed our records and it appears we responded to this complaint on 5/14/12.  Here is a copy of that response:***** ********* requested an investigation of the company’s billing and customer services practices in regard to on-going payment arrangements and disconnect notices. The company investigated the payment agreements / activity beginning 6/24/11, as the result of a transfer balance. Per commission guidelines the company is required to offer only two payment arrangements within a 12 month period. The company may offer additional arrangements if the customer honors previous arrangements, however, the company is not allowed to enter into additional agreements if a previous agreement is not honored. Company records indicate that ***** ********* failed to honor multiple payment arrangements. The company mailed confirmation letters which clearly stated the agreement amount and current bill must be paid by the due date each month or the account would be subject to disconnection for non-payment. The current termination notice reflected unpaid bills for the months of February and March 2012. The company provided a 10 day extension to allow ***** ********* ample time to return a requested medical certification which the company mailed on 5/4/12. The company reviewed available calls with ***** ********* and determined company records indicate that accurate bills and notifications were provided. Please let me know if additional information is needed.

Consumer Response: The resolution did not address why MULTIPLE dates were provided to me from customer service and the automated system regarding the disconnect notice. Also, the extension given to me for the medical condition form was a 10 day extension. It took six of those days to receive the form. It was not a 10 business day extension which I feel it should have been because the doctors office is not open on weekends, and the mail does not run on Sunday. I was fortunate enough, however, to speak to someone on May 15 who DID give me a payment arrangement NO QUESTIONS asked. So all that proved to me is that there ARE people with compassion who will help you and that the so called computerized system CAN be overridden. Regards,***** *********

Business Response: The following information was provided by the Customer Solutions Center:   Various letters were sent to the customer concerning their payment agreements.  This is the notification the customer is making reference to within the complaint.  Multiple arrangements were made with this customer which have not been kept. All confirmation letters state that the agreement amount and the current bill must be paid by the due date each month or it will be subject to disconnection for non-payment. 5/4/12 Med Cert 7/28/11 Payment agreement confirmation 7/5/11 Payment agreement confirmation 6/24/11 Payment agreement confirmation   6/24/11 arrangement mailed 6/27/12 and again on 7/6/12.  **The arrangement was set up for the transfer balance.  The meter was being read on the same day the arrangement was set for the customer.  The customer paid the initial amount $155.61 on 6/27/12.  However, the new bill for $119.68 was produced and mailed and was due the middle of July.  This was not paid and the customer was removed from the Payment plan due to default when the new bill was produced on July 25.  $230.73 became due from the defaulted arrangement.  He received the termination notice which included the defaulted arrangement and his current bill amount.   Second agreement 7/28/12 and letter confirmation mailed 7/29/12.  **Due Dates after the initial payment reflect the next monthly due date of the bill.  Therefore no August due date is reflected.  The arrangement includes the current bill amount that would have been due in August and is for the total amount due on the account. *** The payment arrangement initial amount $119.68 due July 30th eliminates the August payment.  Payment posted to his account 8/1/11.  The arrangement defaulted 2/23/12 when he failed to pay his current bill which included his last installment payment of $56.96, the total due by was $312.44.  With the February 23rd billing the total amount due including the newly generated bill was $446.99.  Payment for $312.44 was received 3/7/12.  

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

5/25/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Bill was not corrected in a timely manner and as a result got way behind to the point that I can't pay it according to their terms.Appalachian Power failed to send me my first bill in a timely manner. We moved into our home and started service on 8/1/2011. We did not get the first bill until 9/29/2011 in the amount of $624 which was due by 10/20/2011. I called many times from 8/1 to 9/29 find out what the bill was since I had not gotten a bill. They told me to not make a payment yet because the deposit had not been taken off the account and it made it stall somehow and that applying more money would just delay the process. I had to do a payment arrangement to get the bill down to a point that I might be able to afford it. We are still having to do the payment arrangements because they FAILED to send the bill when asked for one. I am now having to try to pay 2 times the billed amount in a month just to satisfy their error. We have tried on many occasions to try and get it paid so we can go onto a level bill but we can't. This statement is that I am about to make is opinion, but they failed to get to me in a timely manner to make my bill more affordable, and now they give me deadlines with an unreasonable amount to pay on a fixed income or they turn my power off. Seems biased to me.

Desired Settlement: I want a longer period of time to satisfy the bill so I don't have to not pay my rent to pay the electric. I have 6 months to pay it with an additional $158 a month added to my current bill. This makes my bill over $300 a month. I can't afford this and it is about to make my family of 5 kids and a disabled husband displaced.}

Business Response: The company reviewed the customer’s account and determined the payment arrangement is reasonable since the customer previously defaulted on two payment arrangements at another location. The customer currently agreed to a six month payment arrangement.  The company also has a pending investigation order to determine if the customer is being billed on the correct tariff. The tariff currently assigned to the customer’s account actually does not qualify for a payment arrangement.

Consumer Response:   The previous address was where the issue started, and where I tried to get resolution to the problem and did not. I agreed to the payment arrangement because I could not pay the bill that was presented after 2 months for them not being able to give me an amount to pay and telling me not to pay anything till I got the bill. I was in danger of disconnect. All of my food would have been ruined for my family. I called many times before I got the first bill to get this resolved. I followed their instructions and in turn got a $923 disconnect the first week of October that was not possible to pay. I am not denying the fact I owe the money, but I should have been given longer to get it paid in the first place for the error on the company's part, which has put in a decline trying to stick to the arrangement. Regards, ***** ****  

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

4/18/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was enrolled in automatic payment withdrawal from my checking account by Appalachian Power when I started service, not because I wanted to, but because my other payment options either charged "service fees" or I had to go to a pawn shop to pay, which seemed unsavory. After a while, my roommate and I agreed that she should take over the payments. We first sent in a paper application for her account to be added, and were told it would take 4-6 weeks (two billing cycles? Really?). I'm not even sure what happened to that application. She then added her bank accounts via their online system. The next month, she paid the bill, but the charge was also deducted from my account. I called, and Appalachian Power sent me a refund check. The next month, Appalachian Power deducted our bill amount from BOTH of our accounts, despite my roommate asking to cancel the deduction from my account the previous month. This time, Appalachian Power will not issue a refund to me for the extra amount unless I have my BANK fax them my account information, since they can not send me a check. If they can take money out of my account, why on earth can't they put it back in??? Why was a check sent last time, but not this time? Finally, why would you deduct the bill from more than one account!? I have spent more time on the phone with Appalachian Power than I care to think about in trying to resolve issues over the years. Their payment systems are confusing and difficult to track, their website is impossible to navigate and helps to obfuscate the billing process, and frankly, I can't wait to move and cancel my service.

Desired Settlement: I would like either a check sent to my mailing address, or a refund to my checking account for the amount of overpayment this month without me having to jump through hoops to provide information that they already have on file. I would like payment to be withdrawn from only ONE account each month for the remaining term of my service. It would be helpful if the website could SHOW the types of payment plan that our account is enrolled in so that we could be aware that we had two payment methods

Business Response: Ms. **** previously contacted the company in regard to changing a CPP deduction to another bank account. At that time Ms. **** was advised the change would take up to two months to process. Ms. **** then applied for the change via the company’s website which is a third party vendor. This action caused a dual enrollment / payment from each banking account.   Ms. **** was advised by a company representative it could take up to 60 days to refund the overpayment, unless a letter was provided by her bank stating the funds would not be returned. This standard procedure is required to ensure payments are not stopped or reversed. As a result of Ms. ****’s concern, the company has decided to refund the overpayment of $15.47.  The Company deactivated the Check-less Payment Plan (CPP) and suggests Ms. **** verify the on-line Direct Pay plan remains active and is providing funds to the correct account.  

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID*******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me AS LONG AS I AM INDEED PROVIDED A REFUND VIA CHECK OR ELECTRONIC DEPOSIT WITH NO FURTHER ACTION TAKEN ON MY PART.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved. Regards, ******* ****

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

2/29/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: In December, school let out and my wife and I went on Christmas break for a month. We turned everything off, turned the temperature down from 68 to about 66 degress, unplugged everything, closed the windows and doors tight, and left to visit our family back home for a month. Afterwards, our bill was the highest yet ($70.49). While that may seem extremely low for most, in comparison to our other bills it was super high. I called the company and complained and they shrugged me off. I told the young lady that answered, that the average temperature that month was only six degrees lower than the previous month and shouldn't account for the big gain, because we weren't even home. I explained how we turned everything off/down and that with the hot water heater, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, hair dryer, and other items that typically take a big electric draw being off, it should have dramatically lowered the bill. Instead, she insisted that the 43 degree average temperature listed on our billing statement had to be inaccurate and that it was a "very cold month". She went on to say all of the other appliances I stated above don't use much electricity at all and that because the heat still ran (even at a lower temperature), it accounted for the huge spike. I told her she made no sense at all and asked to speak with her supervisor. She put me on hold, returned, and said the supervisor said speaking with me would be pointless because he would say the same thing as her.I knew better and so I decided to pay the bill and wait a month to see my next bill. The average temperature for the following month (January) was the same (43 degrees) and my wife and I were home for the entire month using all the appliances and utilities and bumping the heat back up to 68 degrees. As I suspected, that bill was only $66.69, proving that our other bill should have been MUCH lower. The math, the common sense, and any court full of jurors would agree with me.

Desired Settlement: Admit your company messed up somewhere down the line, admit you handled the customer service extremely poorly, and reimburse my wife and I the amount due. That bill should have been the lowest or close to the lowest so far. Prorate it, base it off past bills, redo the math...whatever. Just reimburse us and make the problem right.

Business Response: A company representative met with the customer on 2/14/12 to discuss the customer’s concerns. The representative determined the older model heatpump was not operating correctly causing longer run times and as a result the auxiliary heat was operating more frequently than necessary. The representative also discussed how the meter operated and discussed usage / billing history. The meter was tested on 2/16/12 and determined to be operating correctly. On 2/16/12 the representative advised the customer of the meter test results and suggested the landlord be contacted to obtain service on the heatpump. No other problems were observed that would affect the customer’s power usage.  

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

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