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Spring Cleaning: Time to Change Your Retail Electric Provider?

Deregulating the Texas electricity market has driven down costs for consumers on the whole since it was enacted in the early 2000s.

Now that you have the power to choose, how do you make that decision?

What may make it worth your time to change? And what should you look for in your next REP?

Here’s a quick summary of what to check:

And let’s talk in-depth about some of those ins and outs:

1. Poor Customer Service

Great customer service is easy. When you call, you should get a straightforward and satisfactory answer to your concern.

If it gets any more complicated than that on a consistent basis (allow for mistakes and imperfection), then it’s probably time to leave.

Hold times should be a reasonable few minutes at most, unless of course we have a disastrous emergency like the intense cold in February.

2. You Feel Trapped in Their Contract

Used properly, contracts clarify expectations and serve to protect both parties in the event something goes wrong.

However, contracts can be used as a weapon to trap you and take as much of your money as possible.

For example, after you’ve been with your REP for a while, strange fees may start to pop up. You cross a certain monthly usage threshold, and all of a sudden you have to pay $200 – $300 more than you usually would in a month.

Or, they charge you fees for simple things they shouldn’t, like taking your payment over the phone.

3. Your REP Doesn’t Require You To Sign a Contract

Yes. Some REPs do this. If you think about it, it forces them to provide great service and treat you like a valued customer.

If they don’t, then you can take your business elsewhere. And since smart meters can be connected or disconnected nearly immediately, you can follow through on your threat with ease.

If you don’t sign a contract, your REP can still charge you with fees here and there. But even if they do, you can still take action to protect yourself.

4. You Practically Never Have to Call Customer Service

No REP is perfect. No business anywhere is perfect. You have to allow a little room for mistakes.

If you pretty much never have to use your REP’s customer service, you’ve found a keeper.

They know how to do things right the first time. They’re heavily invested in making you happy.

By now, your REP has had plenty of time to figure out how to provide a top-notch customer service experience.

If they can’t do it, find someone else who can because such REPs do exist. That’s one of the benefits of deregulation.

So is it time to change your REP? Only you can make that decision.

For now, you know what to look for to help you make the best decision for yourself.

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