While most REPs are honest and treat you fairly, you have to be realistic and recognize that doesn’t always happen.
Of course, no REP ever admits to dishonesty. They all dress it up as a “mistake.”
You never know the truth. When something doesn’t go right, it may be the way that REP tries to take advantage of you. Or, they might have made a mistake.
Whenever you have to interact with your REP, always act as if you’ve experienced an honest mistake.
Don’t get cutthroat with them. You’ll always get farther, even with dishonest REPs, by treating them with respect (even if they don’t deserve it).
If you’re livid with anger, take a kickboxing class or get a punching bag to unleash your wrath on.
Then muster up all your composure and deal with your REP. Be assertive. Don’t back down. But to be respectful.
Here’s a couple things they can do to take advantage of you. And here’s you defend yourself:
1. Make Sure They Bill You Correctly
This isn’t as much work as you might first fear.
Understand that in Texas, REPs do technically have the legal right to estimate your bill (without actually reading your meter) for 3 months.
In some cases, they can bill you way more than you actually use. One Haltom City woman actually got billed $317…but her bill was actually $24.49!
She had to call her company three times to get the meter read accurately.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself up front without being at the REP’s mercy.
Simply take a photo of your meter at the end of each month. Compare that to your electric bill.
And then dispute the charge if you see a large discrepancy.
For added protection, pay with your credit card. If you can’t get anywhere with your electric company, dispute the charge with your credit card company.
Credit card companies side with customers 99.9% of the time.
When your electric company notices the missing money, they’ll act.
2. Don’t Get “Slammed!”
“Slamming” is when someone changes your REP without your permission.
Sounds like a joke at first, doesn’t it? How can something like this happen?
You usually don’t find out about it until you suddenly get a bill from a different REP.
Fortunately, this is 100% illegal in Texas.
To fight it, notify the new REP of the unauthorized change ASAP.
They must return you to your original REP, fix all billing issues, and refund all money you paid within 5 days’ notice.
If you have trouble with the REP, contact the Texas Public Utility Commission at 1-888-782-8477.
Hopefully you never find yourself in either of these situations.
But if you do, you know exactly how to defend yourself.
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