PURA# : 10-06-18
Customer Service only talkable point
The energy service provided were honestly not up to standards. Billing was confusing not to mention their non-existent Plans and Promotions.
The only professional aspect was their customer service, they were very understanding and acknowledging although that is no excuse for their other shortcomings.
Would not recommend as a first-choice but they aren't not the worse. ”
January 10th, 2017
I Consider Spark Energy a Scam!
I changed to Spark Energy based on the promise of reduced cost and continuous service. I have received anything but a somewhat reduced cost!
Spark Energy appears to be a company (possibly operating out of a garage somewhere in Houston, TX) with an "Office of the CEO" Secretary running the company (her name is Jennifer Lewis).
I called Spark Energy in August 2016 to file a complaint regarding consistent Voice Mail messages my bill was due and I would loose Service if it wasn't paid on time. Please note, at the time I received this message it was over 106 degrees in Plano, TX at the time and as a 62 year old retiree I received this message creating severe Emotional Distress considering the implications of a lack of electrical service especially considering my bill had been paid as Due.
I attempted to call for a conversation with Spark Energy's CEO to discuss why my electronic payments from Bank of America (schedule and paid on the "Due Date" proscribed by Spark Energy) were not being applied to my Spark Energy account. I ended up at the desk of the "Supervisor, Office of the President" (Ms. Jennifer Lewis) of Spark Energy.
Jennifer, is obviously nothing more than an Executive Secretary, specifically indicated I would not be able to talk directly with the CEO of Spark Energy. What CEO refuses to talk with his / her Customers? I pushed for a conversation with the CEO of Spark Energy to no avail.
At this point, it wasn't about being charged for "Late Fees" of which were inappropriate based on the fact Bank of America had documented the fact my bill was indeed "paid by Bill Date", my disgust was based on the fact I believed Spark Energy was nothing more than a Scam (as perpetuated by Ms. Jennifer Lewis).
Spark Energy produces a billing with a fifteen (15) day "payment window". Spark Energy has in VERY SMALL PRINT on their Invoices a statement that you must pay your Invoice (proscribing payment 2 to 3 business days PRIOR to the "Due Date") to avoid "Late Charges". This allows the Consumer a total of approximately twelve (12) Business Days to pay their bill without being charged Late Charges, as I have now been charged, and amounts to as much as $9.32 / month eradicating ANY benefit of utilizing Spark Energy as a cost effective alternative!
This IS a SCAM! The CEO of Spark Energy refuses to take Customer Phone Calls (can you believe it), his "Watch Dog" (Jennifer Lewis) is nothing more than a Secretary, and the Company still remains charging customers for discounted energy rates of which are at least questionable!
I am interested in pursuing Spark Energy through a Class Action Lawsuit including Emotional Distress, unethical Business & Collection Practices and a variety of other issues. IF you are interested in adjoining with me please alert me related to your interest at PMorlan01@Yahoo.com.
I Consider Spark Energy a Scam!
December 22nd, 2016
Poor Customer Service - Liar
I have been using Spark Energy since 6/2015. On 9/2015, I referred a friend. Then I called Spark Energy for my $25 credit of referring a friend, they told me to wait after 3 months, to make sure that my friend would pay her bills for 3 months for me to get the credit. I said ok, but why you don't say anything about that waiting after 3 months anywhere on the website or in the letter you send me about my ID of referring a friend. After 3 months, I called them, they said they could not locate the referral, and asked me to asked my friend for their account number. Then I called them again this morning for the account number, a guy picked up the call and asked if at the time of the referral, if I sent my friend a link, and he said everything should have been done through the link and the referral would automatically applied. I told him I was the one that opened that account for her through online and put in my referral ID, and about the specific step of the link, I can't remember, and it would be too much for me and my friend to open her email to make sure that she received that link through her email. Then he said that was the only way. I asked my friend for me to check her email and it was an email of the link, and the email was read, it meant that I really used the link to open the account for her. Then I called Spark Energy again to tell the fact, and the lady ask me to have my friend with me to verify the account. Are you insane? How if my friend is living far away from me? Representatives of Spark Energy just provided different instructions and explanations every time I called them and avoided paying me my referral.
I would switch to another company whenever my contract ends and will never refer any friend to Spark Energy again.
March 7th, 2016
SUCH A SCAM
“ Spark Energy is horrible! They came to my door to sign up and talked about comparable rates and saving money this winter. My last 2 bills have been increased 4x. I paid $400 versus my neighbors on just Nicor variable rate of $100. That's .25/therm versus mine which was 1.25/therm. I have a large family and can't afford this type of bill. They are unwilling to help out in anyway other then sending me some "valuable coupons in my email" - WOW. THANKS!!! I have cancelled and filed reports with the ICC. Nicor has said they get complaints about them ALL THE TIME. Customer service sucks and of the 4 times we have talked to them so far never has anyone been understanding or have we been able to talk to a manager. Even if I signed up again they would not help out my high bill in anyway. I will do everything to let everyone know what a horrible company they are and to STAY AWAY. They shouldn't be able to sleep at night charging people this much! Not sure how they sleep at night. ”
March 2nd, 2016
“ I have been a Spark customer for two years. I called to renew my plan. One of the choices is the Sure Saver 12, which claims you get a $60 monthly credit if your usage is above 999 kWh. The representative figured out what my bill would be on that program and it was quite a bit cheaper than the Price Protect Plan. Well, he put me on hold and when he got back on the line, he informed me that the $60 was INCLUDED in the price and there actually is NO CREDIT!!! In other words, it is a wash. Very deceitful practice, if you ask me. FALSE ADVERTISING!!!! ”
February 22nd, 2016
HORRIBLE!!! DO NOT USE!!! BORDERLINE CRIMINAL!
I am the kind of person who understands that bad moments happen. When I read review I always disregard the 5 stars and the 1 stars due to "bad moments". On this company please take into account the 1 star ratings and poor reviews because they are 10000% TRUE!!!!
I have had Spark energy for almost 2 years now. Had no issues with my main residence. When I went to add my daughters apartment as a secondary service location is when all hell broke loose.
For the first 6 months of a 6 month contract they never billed me. Called every couple of weeks asking for my invoice but the person on the phone argued that my account showed a zero balance. Must have called at least ten times. Finally i got a hold of someone that had a higher IQ than a cupcake and they went digging in the account to find that Centerpoint was billing them but they never billed me. The bills were astronomical for a small one bedroom apartment. I had to pay close to $1000 in bills. Then the delivery charges started hitting. I was being charged $200-300 just in delivery charges! Paid it all but was stuck in a contract. Then the bills went to normal. $60-80 a month so I just let it go hoping that it was finally done. Then I get December's bill. For 484 kwh the electricity portion of the bill was $20. They were also charging me $127 in delivery charges!! So out of a $216 electricity bill only $20 was actually for electricty!! Called in and was told once again that there was nothing they could do about it because Centerpoint charged them that. What s BS line!!!! Had them cancel service for my secondary service location effective immediately. As soon as my main residence contract is up in March I will be changing service providers then. ”
January 4th, 2016
save your time and money
i'm all about supporting new smaller businesses but i don't think data information is managed well here. i don't think i've had so many issues with a provider since i've been on my own.
issues since jul 2015, we are in dec 2015 as i type this out:
1. since i joined in july i was promised a 25 credit after 90 days and each time i call after this time frame, they say, i promise, the next invoice you will see it. this is with every rep i talk to. my neighbor who referred me can't get her 25 either. we still have not rec'd the credit.
2. 1st billing i got, there was a charge for underusage when clearly i was just switched over and had a shorter statement cycle - why would i be penalized? they waived it but for it to appear automatically tells me the customer setup/billing system sucks if they blanket apply to all statements regardless of when a new customer was switched over.
3. i've received messages from their IT system about how their system was down and/or there were billing errors
4. after point 2 above, i've received 2 additional statements with billing errors: one in conjunction with the above point 3 IT system issue (per rep) where they charged me a late fee when i'm on autopay? and another where they gave me a credit (not the 25) and then took it back.
save your time and money folks. they are too much of a hassle to deal with considering all the phone calls you have to make. i don't know where the issue is? the reps are nice enough and they put in the notes and all but it appears to be a system issue? i don't know. i'm tired of making notes about who i speak to and when and what they say. ridiculous.
December 21st, 2015
Misleading, lying, criminal
“ Encouraged me to sign up for a new plan with a very low rate. Did not disclose TDSP delivery charges. A 3-4% rate is actually more than 11% ”
December 7th, 2015
Sucking Money out of former customers
“ After moving out of state a letter arrived with the incorrect address of my former home. Spark Energy is wanting an even 50.00 or they will go to collection. Called the number and the person who answered put me on hold for 5 minutes only to get nobody on the phone. Another company that does not produce any energy sources, but love billing people for no service. Stay far away from this company, it like extortion give me 50.00 dollars or else. ”
October 19th, 2015
Misleading Sales Pitch
This has been one of the most unethical experiences while dealing with an electricity supplier. I signed up a sixth month plan where I was told by the sales representative that I would be charged 9.9c for the period. Two months later I was being charged 13.3 c. I didn't notice this for 4 months (Spark never informed me either) and when I call I am being told that it was a flexible rate and not a fixed rate. This was NEVER COMMUNICATED to me before signing up and now when I call I am not being comped for this nor will they drop the ridiculously high rate (30% above market rate) till the next billing cycle
A very dissatisfied customer,
September 1st, 2015
Spark Energy... Price Gouging?
“ We were long time customers of Spark Energy for a number of years and never experienced any problems until recently. Our rental home became vacant earlier this year and while we made some minor repairs, we decided to go back to Spark Energy for a 6 month contract at 6 cents per kWh. Things were great, bills were low until the contract expired in July. Being close to putting the house on the market, we didn't want to get stuck with a cancellation cost so we decided to go on month to month (variable rate). Boy o Boy was that a mistake, the rate jumped from 6 cents to 21 cents per kWh :0 Really???? I called the customer service number hoping there was a legitimate reason or a mistake in the billing. How can the rate jump 3 fold in the course of 1 month? No luck, they responded with their standard response of... it's a variable rate and we use the rate of what we buy it at market? Really?? We have a different electricity provider in our primary residence and it just so happened our contract expired at the same time our rental home did. Our 'variable rate' in our primary residence was 7cents per kWh? How can one company have a variable rate of 7 cents and Spark Energy have a variable rate of 21 cents per kWh? This does not sound right at all..sounds more like Price Gouging... I also reviewed my invoice and under Plan Information it lists Residential Evergreen, expiring on 9/14/2015. Why can't I find the Residential Evergreen plan anywhere on Spark Energy's website? Help?? I'm looking at a $575 bill for a vacant house :0, this is almost double that of my primary residence. ”
August 27th, 2015
Spark Energy continues to utilize a third party marketing plan that is misleading consumers, they encourage consumers to unwillingly sign agreements by stating that they are attempting to lower their current rate for gas services.
Spark promises savings but can't deliver! ”
August 13th, 2015
No customer loyalty offer
“ I have been with Spark for over 5 years. Our usage is usually under 100Kwts and Spark was charging us more to use LESS power. They would not offer us a lower price contract. Why should we be penalized to use less electricity...see ya Spark! ”
August 7th, 2015
Spark energy deceptive pricing
“ Spark Energy quotes kwh prices significantly below competitors rates but these rates do not include TDSP delivery charges. My quote was .07 cents per kwh. but my first bill showed an additional TDSP charge of $49.26. While this is not illegal it is deceptive because most companies include this rate in their quote. My termination fee is $100. I'm terminating!!! Read the fine print in these contracts and call to verify that the rate you are quoted includes TDSP charges. ”
August 3rd, 2015
DO NOT USE THIS PROVIDER!!!! HORRIBLE!! HORRIBLE!!!
We switched over to them in Sept of 2014 for a 5.2 cent rate. I did not receive a bill the next month, called, they said they were having a problem with their billing/invoice system; I asked for an estimate, they said could not give an estimate. I paid $200 to the account anyway. THIS WENT ON OF A NUMBER OF MONTHS, and I kept paying $200 a month, BUT EVENTUALLY I GOT A GROSS BILL FOR ALMOST $1000 (YES, A THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!). Luckily, I had been paying something every month, otherwise I would have been screwed. THEY CALL CONSTANTLY. I have had them call over missed / nonpayment of a $13 late fee. Their customer service call center reps are incompetent and do not know what they are doing, obviously due to high turnover caused by low pay. WE ARE DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO RENEW WITH THEM.
DO NOT USE THIS PROVIDER !!!! SHOP FOR ANOTHER !!! TELL EVERYONE!! RATING THEM
ON A SCALE OF ONE 1 TO FIVE 5, I WOULD GIVE THEM A MINUS (NEGATIVE) -1.
July 25th, 2015
Spark .. Never Again!
After my contract expired Spark rate for month-to-month stated to me was at 8.6c / KwH. Thus, I after being customer for 3 years, I relied on their statements, trusting their business. Due to traveling, I took a month and a half before reviewing Plans and planning to renew contract with Spark. Spark, however, switched me to Renewable plan without asking nor notifying me, and rate went to 18.9 c / KwH! My two bills doubled, and they did the switch in June and July when my consumption is the highest, costing mew few hundred $.
Spark did not bother to remind me to renew contract or review my rates. Being customer for 3 years, paying my bills with by withdrawal from my checking (was never late), did not mean anything to Spark. They were just charging me hoping I will not check rates for few months, so they can rip me off!
After I complained, they called me from office of the president, but did not want to adjust charges nor explain how price per kwh doubles when gas prices are at historic low, and no changes to regulations! The explanation is that plan is just 19 c/ kwh! Spark did not care about keeping my business nor considering any resolution to my complaint. I agreed that month-to-month is pricier, but within the reason. But doubling rate with no changes in the market environment! No excuse!! I will never, ever use Spark and will tell all my friends and colleagues about their malpractice. Be warned!
PS Yes, there is a way to warn people. Reliant forecasts customers bills trending per latest consumption and sends alert emails warning customers of potential high bills (so you can adjust your consumption timely, if you want). I explained this to Spark, but they did not care about this service.
July 23rd, 2015
No loyalty no call back
After 8 years with Spark I noticed my rate had increased (Quadrupled). I called to discuss the issue and was told someone would call me in 24-48 hours, that didn't happen. So I had to call them back and after going through the very lengthily verification process of who I am, we finally discussed my issue. Apparently my contact had lapsed and they allegedly sent me a renewal notice, though I never received one. After 8 years of service they could not do anything about the increase in the billing rate unless I signed up for another 1 year term, which is not possible because the home is for sale which I explained. This was also mentioned when I added my new home with Spark, they just don't care, so I will now switch both homes to another provider.
Hopefully I can find a company that actually rewards loyalty, though from the reviews I have read I think that might be doubtful. ”
June 23rd, 2015
“ I signed up with them but the very next day I send in a cancellation letter that they gave me and this was in June 24, 2014 and now it's May 11,2015 and I am still getting billed that I owe but in there computers it shows that I canceled. Now they are threatening to send it to collections, how are they gonna do that when I cancelled a long time ago!!!! Phone calls don't stop!!!! ”
May 11th, 2015
Horrible Customer Service
“ Call 2 different times and after a wait of approx. 45 minutes I disconnected. Tried to call the Houston office which was the same as cutomer service. Switching providers! ”
March 26th, 2015
Spark Changes Billing System, Wipes out Auto Pay = Cancellation Notice
“ I signed up for Spark Energy when I bought my town home in Houston. I signed up for their 6 month plan. The agent was professional and courteous. I was very impressed. And, the rate was great. Upon expiration of my 6 month contract, the rates shot up! When I tried to renew on line, the product offerings were confusing. After calling an agent, I was able to lock in a 12 month rate which was slightly better than the online promotions. Slightly. I was set up with Auto Pay, so I was upset when I received two cancellation notices within days of each other. When I called, they had apparently updated their billing system and wiped out my Auto Pay information. I had my last statement from the month earlier that clearly said, "DO NOT PAY"...I re-entered Auto Pay information after learning of THEIR error. The following day, I get another cancellation notice!! When I called collections, Traci, hung up on me after I told her that I was getting cancellation notices because of their system update. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE and BILLING! ”
October 3rd, 2014