Energy company reimburses woman charged early cancellation fee

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Linda Harrod's electricity contract was coming to an end, so she started looking for deals online when a salesman knocked on her door and offered what she thought was a good deal.

When she realized she paid more than what she was promised, and there were unexpected fees attached to her new deal with retail electric provider Just Energy, she Turned to Ted.

"I'm minding my own business, doing my own thing and somebody knocked at the front door," Harrod told ABC13's Ted Oberg. "He knew everything about me. He knew when my contract expired with my current provider. He knew my meter number. He offered me a rate of 10 cents per kilowatt hour."

When she got an actual copy of her contract, though, the rate was twice what she was pitched.

Even when you factor in free nights and weekends, it was still higher than what she says she was promised verbally. And, that wasn't the only problem.

Harrod said she was charged $135 early cancellation fee when Just Energy changed her over from her previous provider too soon. Harrod said that's not what she wanted either.

"You wanted one contract to expire and the new one to start," Oberg asked her.

"Yeah. So it would've been seamless. I wouldn't have any hassles," Harrod said.

Just Energy would've covered the $135 cancellation fee if she stayed with them, but since the per kilowatt rate wasn't what she was told, she wanted out and they wouldn't pay the fee.
She called and called but told us Just Energy just wouldn't budge, so she Turned to Ted.

Two days after reaching out to ABC 13, Harrod said she got a call from Just Energy saying they would reimburse her the $135 cancellation fee.

Just Energy sent us this statement:

"We are pleased to confirm that following direct communication with the customer, the matter has been resolved. While all processes and protocols were correctly applied at the time of enrollment, we understand, through conversation with the customer, that they lacked clarity regarding the switch process and timing. As a gesture of goodwill, we will cover the early termination fee they were charged from their previous provider."

It's also important to remember that, as with any contract, what matters is what you sign. The contract usually wins if there's a dispute between what is written and what you remember being said in a sales pitch.

The Public Utility Commission recommends reading everything on these switch deals. And if the salesperson is using a tablet or iPad to show you the contract, don't sign if you can't read the full deal. Know your cancellation date and make sure a new contract specifies the date you want to switch to avoid and cancellation fees.

For the latest investigations, follow Ted on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a tip for Ted Oberg? A problem to solve? Get in touch with us on our tip page, or send a tip below. (On mobile? You can open our form by tapping here.)
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.