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April 26, 2017

Unfair Business Practice of APS ELECTRIC CO. due to SMART METERS


Electric Companies have changed the termenology to their customers when referring to a SMART METER, now referencing them as Analog Meters

Electric Companies have changed the terminology to their customers when referring to a SMART METER, now referencing them as ‘automated Meters’.

3-24-2014

APS Electric Company openly admits to UNFAIR Business practice when it comes to customers who opted out of Smart Meters. PLEASE READ and Pass on to others in the state of Arizona. I have listed a couple of solutions in this article.

SEE UPDATE and quick response to my complaint from  BBB and APS  below!

3-24-2014 Begins with a lengthy discussion with APS representative @ 10:45 AM

It has come to my attention today that as a paying customer of APS ELECTRIC COMPANY that  I do not have the same  rights  as  other paying customers  if I opted out of a Smart Meter, which I did 2 years ago. It began with the way in which they have been billing me. A little a time, APS is silently and covertly making it harder for me to actually PAY my bill on time.

Think about this, and about your own bills. We all have billing cycles. An example is (i.e.) A company bills you on the 15th of the month, and your due date is the 29th of the month. Per this example, you, as the customer are expected to pay your bill up to and including the 29th of the month.  Pretty standard right?

In the case of APS, they are changing when they bill you and your due date. They are now randomly billing their customers!

Note: Read More about Smart Meters here: SMART METER DANGERS

Consulting with a customer service representative at APS

According to the first APS representative that I spoke with, my next bill should arrive in early April and my due date will be May 22nd. The problem with this is I have not been billed in March 2014 for February usage. So when I asked her “What happened to my March 15th bill?” she said I have already paid it, which I assure you I have not.  The last time I was billed was in February 2014, and paid it in full on its due date in February. So her analogy was way off. Finally I was given to a “higher up/supervisor” and began with “Where is my March bill?”

This is where I found out what is all behind this insanity and confusion related to random billing cycles. Here was the conversation:

Roxy: “Where is my March bill, I have not received it yet? I usually get an email on the 10th -15th of the month, but I have not received it yet and it is the 24th now?”

APS: Let’s take a look. Okay, I see that your meter will be read by the 26th of March, so your bill will be due in April 2014.

Roxy: What happened to my billing cycle, for the past 6 months I have noticed a different billing cycle for every month, this makes no sense? Also, can I please set my billing cycle to the 15th of the month (as it had been for many years)?  This is getting confusing?

APS: I am sorry; resetting your billing date is not an option for you.

Roxy: Why not? Can I at least get the billing cycle to be the same (day) for every month?

APS: No ma’am, you no longer have that privilege.

Roxy: Why not? I have never been late on a bill, what happened?

APS: Only our customers who have an automated meter are allowed to keep their monthly billing cycle or choose a new date in which they would like their billing cycle to fall on.

Roxy: Are you referring to the smart meter that I opted out of 2 years ago?

APS:  She repeats:  Only our customers who have an automated meter are allowed to keep their monthly billing cycle or choose a new date in which they would like their billing cycle to fall on.

We digress.

Roxy: Are you referring to a SMART METER, is this what you are calling an automated meter now?

APS: They are called ‘automated meters’.

Roxy: 6 months ago you called them SMART METERS, have you changed the language, are you still referring to a SMART METER?

APS: Yes ma’am.

Roxy: So you are basically telling me that if I don’t have a SMART METER, then I don’t have the privileges of other APS customers, is this correct?

APS: Yes.

Roxy: Do you realize how confusing this may become for your  customers? And what about unfair practices in business?

APS: Have I answered all of your questions?

*pause

I will not bore you with the next 20 minutes of the conversation with APS, rather I will fill you in on some statistics, and I encourage customers to follow through with what I have done today, especially if you opted out of smart meters on your home.

  1. I filed a REPORT with APS using this link which was not easy to find. I let APS know that I am a very unhappy customer and why. https://www.aps.com/en/globalservices/contactus/pages/contactus.aspx
  2. I filed a complaint with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) http://www.bbb.org/Phoenix/consumer/qualify/17605  and while I was on  the website, I checked into complaints against the monopoly, you can see the results here: http://www.bbb.org/Phoenix/business-reviews/electric-companies/arizona-public-service-co-in-phoenix-az-17605/add-review.  APS seems to have an enormous climb in complaints since July 2013. I see why.
  3. I wrote a letter to the UTILITY COMMISIONERS BOARD to let them have a peek at APS’s erroneous and unfair business practices. You can file your complaint here: http://www.azcc.gov/divisions/utilities/consumerservices.asp
  4. Here are some tips:


Call your current Electric Company first to attempt a resolution. Secondly, contact your Electric Company in writing and use it as a paper trail.  Next, file a complaint with BBB. (Make sure you let them know that you called your electric company and write to your electric company, give dates and times and who you spoke with.) Third, contact the utility commissioner’s board; file a copy of your complaint with the BBB, your original email to your electric company, and any phone calls that you made to remedy the problem.

Please keep this in mind. The ONLY reason why I called APS in the first place was for the purpose of trying to PAY MY BILL. I cannot pay my bill if they do not bill me. They are randomly billing me, confusing me, and this is not by accident. This is unfair business practice!

If this is happening to you, as it is happening to me month after month, then please let THE TRUTH DENIED team know about it.

If you have further questions, feel free to write info@thetruthdenied.com  and put in subject line  of your email “ELECTRIC BILL/SMART METER ARTICLE”.

Read More about Smart Meters here: SMART METER DANGERS

STEP-by-Step Complaint Process

The First Step: If you have a complaint about a regulated utility, and have already attempted to resolve the issue with the utility, Consumer Services staff may be able to assist you.

You can also fill out the form below and send or e-mail it to the Arizona Corporation Commission and a representative from our Consumer Services Section will contact you. They will also contact the utility for their perspective on the complaint.

Current rules allow the utility 5 days responding to the Commission.

Certain circumstances require expedited handling and the Consumer Services staff will know if this applies to your complaint.

If That Doesn’t Work: If after filing an informal complaint you and the company have failed

to reach an agreement, you and the utility may agree to arbitrate the issue before a representative of the Commission. At arbitration you and the utility will present your respective views and proposed remedies for the problem. The representative will write a non-binding decision reflecting what he or she believes is a fair resolution of the problem based in the information provided.

Filing a Formal Complaint: If mediation/arbitration is not the preferred method of resolution, the informal complaint may be escalated to a formal complaint. At the formal complaint level, the proceedings are much like a court case. You open your complaint by filing a detailed, written description of your dispute, what you have done to address the issues so far, the specific Commission rules or administrative codes you believe were violated and the specific resolution you are seeking.

You and the utility will testify in front of an administrative law judge. You should understand that the party filing the complaint bears the legal burden of proving its case.

The judge will then prepare a recommendation for the Commissioners to review and provide copies to both you and the utility. The Commissioners will make a final decision on your case during a public open meeting.

How to Contact APS: To request help from the Arizona Corporation Commission,

Please call  the numbers below between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Within Metro Phoenix: 602-542-4251

Within Metro Tucson: 520-628-6550

Outside the Metro Phoenix or Tucson areas, but within Arizona, call toll free

1-800-222-7000 connects you to the Phoenix Office and

1-800-535-0148 connects you to the Tucson Office

You may also fill out the Consumer Services Assistance Form by clicking on the words below. This form contains the basic information we will need to begin helping you. Please be as complete as possible in the space provided and e-mail the form to APS.

 

Suggestions for our readers: (Personal note from the author)

 Success! 3-24-14 UPDATE 4:00 PM :

It helps to put your complaint in writing, and if you act quickly, even corporations like APS must act on these complaints. Customers have rights too! 

UPDATE: Within a couple of hours after I  had filed my complaints (with BBB, APS and  The AZ UTILITIES COMMISSIONER) , BBB contacted  the upper management department at APS who in turn contacted me personally expressing a need to  resolve my entire billing problem. They  (APS) understood where I was coming from as a customer and will first  address a set  billing & due  date for my electricity usage. As I suspected, they (APS)  are not within the law to shift my bill around month after month outside of a 35 day billing period. APS also verified that they had viewed my past bills  and are in agreement with future changes to satisfy me. Turns out that  I do have equal rights as other customers. They (APS) will be contacting me on Friday to let me how they will  resolve the problem mutually.  The conversation with  the representative was very professional and I was treated with respect.  The refusal of  a smart meter on my home  is also my right that should not trigger a discrimination event.

Let’s see what happens on Friday, and please  stay tuned for more reports.

 

UPDATE: 4:54 PM 3-24-14: More Sucess!

You have received a comment on your BBB Customer Review.

The business indicated: March 24, 2014

Dear ______________ Thank you for letting us know you have not been receiving your APS bills by email. I’m sorry for the confusion and inconvenience this has caused you. To prevent this from happening in the future, please update your email settings, so both aps.com and apsc.com are listed  in your approved senders list  Doing so will ensure that any future emails from APS do not go to your SPAM folder. However, APS has updated its records so you will now begin receiving both an electronic bill and a hard copy bill each month. That said, I understand your concerns regarding the variation of bill dates and appreciate the opportunity to explain that from time to time it is necessary for our company to move customer accounts from one billing cycle to another in order to balance the workload handled by our meter readers. This is called re-districting. The re-districting that was done in your area caused your billing cycle to be changed several times and I sincerely apologize for the distress and inconvenience this has caused. My colleague, Cindy Martinez, APS Consumer Advocate, advises me she spoke with you today and addressed your concerns regarding the re-districting and will follow up with you later this week. I would also like to take the opportunity to discuss APS’s Pick a Due Date program. This is a billing option that allows our customers to select a due date for their APS bills. However, in order to be eligible for the program, your home must be equipped with an automated meter which will allow APS to move your billing cycle to align with your selected due date. M.s_________  you are a valued customer and we appreciate your business. Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.

Sincerely, Angela Allison APS Sr. Consumer Advocate

Sincerely,

Your BBB

BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona
4428 N. 12th Street Phoenix, AZ 85014-4585 http://central-northern-western-arizona.bbb.org/

 

***Turns out it is true, I can pick my due date if I have opted out of a SMART METER. Will update you  later this week.

 

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