Phil Unger, Houston, Texas - 2014-09-11 08:55:25
Phil Unger from Houston here again. My first review was posted roughly a year ago. At that time to start my first 12-month contract, I had just been hit with a fraudulent 1-day monthly billing cycle and the $20 under-consumption penalty happily applied. Being unable to get anyone at Reach by phone, I sent a complaint to the PUC. That worked, Reach grudgingly refunded the $20 penalty, that time. I won't go into all the hell I went through to get my credit card correctly entered into their database. My contract specifically required direct credit card billing and I was afraid that absent that feature I would be charged a higher rate. Over those first months I received no less than FOUR DISCONNECT NOTICES, each new month threatening once again to shut off my power for non-payment. Each time I called, filed a complaint with the PUC, and each time I was assured by Reach that they had my credit card and that the account was correctly configured for charging to that card. I don't know how but finally by the 4th time they got the account configured correctly. All I can say is this was more hell than any cheap power can possibly be worth. It gets worse. A year later, Reach was still the low cost provider on the PUC PowerToChoose web site. Holding my breath I signed up for a 2nd term with Reach. My experience is that these low cost providers are the worst from a billing and service viewpoint, but better the devil you know, and by this point my direct credit card billing was working. To start my 2nd 12-month fixed price contract, exactly one year later, another double meter reading from Centerpoint and yet another 1-day monthly billing statement from Reach with the same $20 penalty. Worse yet, in direct violation of the first 12-month contract, Reach had raised my power price that 12th month to the higher rate for the subsequent contract. This was pure fraud and I am convinced their billing program was written by an idiot, as it must have been counting billing cycles rather than looking at dates and my 12'th month was the 13'th billing ‘cycle’ due to starting off with a 1-day billing cycle. Oh, and to make it worse, Centerpoint had done a manual meter reading and misread the meter. Somehow instead of consuming the 30-day average that month of about 77 KWh that first day of the new higher priced contract, I had magically consumed 650 KWh at the higher price. Folks, it is NOT possible for a residence to consume 650 KWh in a single day, the home wiring will not support that kind of electrical load. Anyone with even a grain of intelligence can see either there was an error reading the meter manually, or a data entry error. The 30-day apart Smart Meter transmitted readings were reliable, but human error sure made a mess of the transition from Contract 1 to Contract 2. Thank you Centerpoint! As I am busy composing yet another strongly worded note to the PUC I get an e-mail from Reach stating they are 'exiting the business' and are handing my contract over to a provider I never heard of, and that my rate will be honored there. It wasn't but that is a different provider. So a few days later I get the final transition bill, all within about a week of the other two bills (up to 3 bills now) and it had an inexplicable "Extra Fee" of $5. All I can guess is that Reach was attempting to pass along to their customers the out of cycle extra meter reading costs for their own exit of the business. I for one am not paying for that and did not agree to any “Extra Fee”. Still, it all went on my credit card. Ok, so scammed for $20 with a 1-day month, wrong rate for the last month, bad meter reading shifting power from low price contract to high price contract, and a fraudulent $5 fee all in the last 3 bills from Reach. The really sick part, Reach is gone! They took the money and ran to the bank laughing the whole way. By now I had an e-mail address for the CEO of Reach, advised him of the billing problems, got no answer. Complaint to PUC went nowhere, PUC says 'Reach is not responding and is in violation of …”. Yeah pretty worthless as Reach doesn’t care about staying in business now. Next step, contact Discover Card about the fraudulent charges. Ok, this is about Reach, we won't go into the fact that Discover is a second rate financial institution and even with all the documentation I have they ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to reverse the fraudulent charges and credit me for any of it, even the obvious stuff. Let this be a warning, if you carry a Discover card, unlike Visa and MasterCard who will bend over backwards in these situation, Discover takes a very hard line pro-merchant stance, and it is nigh impossible to pry fraudulently collected funds back out of them. Use Discover at your own risk. Me, I cancelled my Discover account, with prejudice. In the grand scheme of things Reach managed to defraud me of around $60. I can live with that but I sure hate to let them win. I have no idea how many other Texans they cheated, and the sad fact is that while a lot logged problems on this web site, it appears that most gave up and did not get the PUC involved or contact their credit card holder to recover the fraudulent charges. Reach clearly came into this thinking being an Electricity Provider in the deregulated Texas Market was a sure get rich quick scam. They ran the business on pennies, had almost no staff, and relied on a buggy billing program with no checks or balances. On the other hand, their price for power was quite attractive, and in the end I probably saved a few dollars over what I would have paid to the next higher priced provider. Would have saved more had it not been for all the unrecoverable fraudulent billings there at the end.
Norman, Kingwood - 2014-03-12 11:45:38
Wish I had found this site before I ever signed up with Reach. I agree with virtually every negative comment on this site.
pie_man, houston - 2014-01-16 16:37:56
I was lured in by a special low rate (1 of the lowest around $0.790 per kw) with a base $19.95 charge. On the month where the special expired, the rate almost doubled. When I found out (from the bill) I decided it was too high and wanted to switch to someone else. When I called in to cancel, they said it had already been a week into the next billing cycle. When I got the bill, I saw they had charged me a total of $157 for 97 kw (during the 7 days into the new cycle, they used a $1.0 multiplier)... that's 1.60 a kwh!
Jack Blackburn, Friendswood, TX - 2014-01-15 12:49:24
Price was great; service is horrible. Everything has to be done over the phone and you always get put on hold and soon taken to voice mail. If you pay your bill be credit or debit card, the charge you way before the bill is even due. If you have to update your credit card information, good luck. I would not recommend this company to anyone. I won't be doing business with them again.
K. moore, Taylor - 2013-07-08 07:35:44
I had reach energy for about a year. I had to call every month to get my invoice when they were supposed to be sent to my email automatically. I had automatic draft with them because its what i qualified for but somehow my bill was always late. When i called to my cancel my contract with them the begining of May 2013, apparently the didnt cancel it so my account was over drafted $328 to my account at the end of june for the months of may and june. Bi didnt have them anymore i didnt understand why the hell i was being charged. I called and tried to find out what was going on. The horrible lady that always answers the phone said she could not find any record of me calling and canceling my contract. Wow! I asked for a manager to call me. Never got a call!!! And their customer reps would always call me on private numbers. They finally stopped when i called amd yelled at people demanding they stop or there will be peoblems dont ever choose reach energy. Yeah prices are great. Everything else is a pain in the ass!
Bruce, Richardson - 2013-06-23 12:51:49
I read quite a few reviews on this site about Reach Energy that were negative and related to fraudulent or misleading billing practices, yet the Texas Electric Choice Education Program customer complaint statistics show only 12 total complaints against Reach in the last 6 months, only 4 of which are billing related. Does this mean that those who complain here did not report their problem to Texas? Why would they not? Something here does not add up.
Doug, DALLAS - 2013-06-09 08:33:51
Thanks for all the reviews- mine is pretty standard- Am looking to change and thought Reach looked attractive... UNTIL reading all of these inputs. I will be checking out some others, but I will NOT go with REACH as they appear to be less than customer oriented and $ driven...
Bob Hux, Houston - 2013-06-03 19:41:27
Glad I took the time to read the reviews which I usually don't. Have to wonder why we have a PUC based on the reviews of this company. Thanks to all that wrote the reviews.
happy customer, houston - 2013-05-31 09:42:01
i've been with reach energy for a year and they work with me when I have a problems paying my bill reach energy is pretty straight forward with their rates I was reading all the reviews and I don't know why people keep complaining about the base fee it is stated on their efl if people would just take their time and read all the fine print instead of rushing into a low price they would see that it clearly says they will bill you a 19.95 base charge if u do not maintain a 1000kwh usage per invoice not per 30days this is why when you sign up your are asked what date you want to start service.
phil unger, houston - 2013-05-10 12:04:14
I read the reviews of Reach Energy here and in the end decided that their electricity rates were so attractive, on a fixed price 12 month contract, that I signed up with them. Their tricky hidden account setup fee (which they call a security check fee) of $65 becomes less significant with the longer fixed rate contracts, but is still galling. When signing up by web to get the 8.5 cents per kwh rate, the user is given no opportunity to select the cheapest $25 security check, only the more expensive $65 and $85 options are available, so might be worth doing this by phone if you can stomach it and have the patience for it. All of this is penny-ante compared to what happened in the first two days of service. My old contract expired on the 28'th of the month, so I requested a transition date of the 27'th, to avoid any excessive monht-to-month billing cycle from my prior provider (another fly-by-night provider in fact). My meter was read on the 29'th, for the transition, and then again for no obvious reason on the 30'th. By now you can guess what happened. Reach Energy billed me for a 1 day monthly billing cycle. That lovely penalty for consuming less than 500 kwh came into play and so they collected $19.95 on that and something like $7 for the power consumed. Their nominal 8.5 cents per kwh rate morphed into a massive 32.3 cents per kwh rate for this one day long monthly billing cycle. Is this fraud or what? All I can hope at this point is that the PUC rains down on these guys parade and shuts this fraud down. It needs to stop. WRITE THE PUC, COMPLAIN, THEY EVENTUALLY WILL GET TIRED OF GETTING COMPLAINTS ABOUT REACH ENERGY.
Eric, McAllen - 2013-05-10 08:14:26
Worst customer service ever. I can't believe I am locked into a 6 month contract with these people. They started my service a month late on a random date, sent me the wrong bill for another customer, I have no clue what they can possibly be doing over there... This is a joke of a business.
Don, Katy TX - 2013-05-09 17:46:29
Just finished switching over to Reach energy for electrical service. Should have gone with someone else when I saw that Reach charged for a credit check before beginning service. I switch my electrical provider every 6-12 months and have never had a provider charge me for a credit check. Reach, like many others, also charges a fee for electric demand below 1000 kwh in any given billing cycle. For my first billing cycle, which was only 7 days long, I was well below 1000 kwh and they charge me $20. When I called, they would not remove the fee in recognition that the billing cycle was well shorter than a full month. I've encountered this issue before with other providers, and they always rebated the fee. Won't go back to Reach when this contract expires.
TK, Dallas, Tx - 2013-05-03 12:45:45
I signed up with Reach Energy late last year. I was told the automatic pay was the only option I had as far as payment. Signed up and after 5 months I receive a delinquent notice and that my power was being shut off! And on top of that I would be charged a late fee and $50.00 delinquent fee. I am currently looking for a new company. How can I be late if you are automatically charging my credit card? (And BTW there was no problem with my CC)
Jonathan Smythe, Houston - 2013-04-24 10:53:20
Have lived in Houston for over 50 years, never paid any bill late, looking to transfer electric service for better deal. Found Reach Energy, filled out application on website but it would not let me enter a "start date" so I clicked "submit" and then got a red error message saying to fill in the start date. I tried but it would not accept any information at all. I called the phone number and got a voice mail saying to leave name and number. I have changed electric company almost every year or so and have never been requested to pay a deposit or application fee. From my experience so far and from reading other reviews I think there are enough red flags that I need to look elsewhere
Hinderer, Pearland, TX - 2013-04-06 10:50:04
The "too good to be true" rule seems to apply here. Will NOT be going with Reach. Thanks again.
Art, Houston - 2013-04-01 16:15:40
Thanks for the heads up to all those who posted about this company! I was ready to sign up even after reading the fine print. I translated that I would not need the credit check (even though mine is fine) since paying by cc. I would rather pay higher & go with reputable company. Thanks again!
L~Mac, Houston - 2013-03-28 11:36:04
I appreciate and offer praise to all of the previous commenters for your frank and honest commentary! I was seriously considering switching to Reach before reading about all of the problems with hidden fees, charges, and deceptive practices, that all posters here have eluded to! I'll keep on searching for a more reputable company because clearly. Reach Energy isn't worth the aggrevation or my time!
Emily, Plano, TX - 2013-03-18 12:06:16
My 3 month contract with Reach Energy is coming to an end this month and I'm conflicted about my next step. I got in a promo for .05 kw and they claim it will stay "about the same" for my renewal but the customer service is terrible. After numerous calls and voicemails about RENEWING my contract I never got a single one returned. On about the 15 call I finally got an answer but the agent was anything but helpful. I'm all about a good deal but I can't decide if it's worth saving a few pennies to keep having to chase down my electric company.
Mike Mallery, Keller - 2013-02-16 09:11:55
I will not be calling Reach based on the reviews. Their rates looked to good to be true. Apparently they are based on the reviews.
Victim of Reach, Wylie - 2013-02-12 16:39:39
I was shopping for a new plan and found reach offering a 3 month plan at a good rate. They requested a $25 credit review fee. Leading me to believe that I am paying for them to review my credit. In a way they are willing to review it, but only after I pull my own credit report and past electric bills and submit it to them to review. I was blown away that I had to pay them for privilege of letting me pull my own credit and electric history so that they could "review" it. I paid for absolutely nothing and when I asked for a refund, they said it was non refundable. What could they have possibly done with my money that they could not refund it? At that point, I figured it was better to count my losses and search for a reputable provider before giving away any more money. Beware before giving them any money. Read all the fine print and talk to someone to be absolutely clear about what you are purchasing. My suggestion, it go with someone who will actually give you something in return for what you pay for.
R G MURL, POTTSBORO, TX - 2013-02-11 14:17:18
I almost signed up but changed my mind when I reviewed the "CREDIT CHECK" - NON-REFUNDABLE FEE of $65 or $85. This will put make their charges higher than the next competitors.
Rob, Dallas - 2013-01-10 02:22:26
Signing up with this company was a PAIN IN THE ASS! But everything is as they stated so far... The first person I ever talked to was completely unknowledgeable or unwilling (I think it was the latter) to tell me anything. When I decided to sign up for the $0.05 per kwh, I knew it would be an uphill battle and was prepared for a disappointment. They have terrible credit hoops to jump through AND then they insist that you pay by credit card. Why does any company need my credit report when they insist on taking payment from my creditor? Stupid! Anyway, I chose the $25, "I prove my credit" route. I sent them all my electric bills for the past year. It took getting to a second woman, who was much nicer and willing to help. She said they would take my credit report from me from one of those free yearly credit report companies. I had obtained my credit report but they had no SECURE methodology for me to get my credit report to them! They wanted me to send my credit report over unencrypted email or fax. (I'm a snob; I don't do fax.) I tried to send them my self-certified email encryption certificate but they didn't know what to do with it. It ended up that the nice woman went to bat for me. She spoke with her manager and that person agreed that since my previous electric bills were all in good standing, that I was a good risk. They never forced me to send my credit report to them. (Thank you! I wish I had the nice woman's name.) On the good side, they did force me to check my credit report this year. If you use less than 1000kwhs in a month, they do charge a steep $20 on top of the bill. I've never done less than 1200kwhs in a month... except this one! So, they took their $20. I agreed to that policy so I can't complain. If I add this month's cost, plus the $20, plus the $25 credit fee, my energy rate is $.101 cents per kwh. (I'm one of those anal people who has a running total of electricity for the past 7 years.) I hope next month's bill is in the $40-$50 range. Nothing on their website nor contract says that the $0.05 per kwh is a promotion so I expect to get $0.05 for the next 2 months. (Again, a LOT of work for 3 months.) We'll see. I will report my next experience here... if it is bad. No news will be good news. Now to go turn on more heaters to push my kilowatt usage higher! Rob
Kelly, Dallas - 2013-01-02 05:33:29
I've been using powertochoose.org for years now and just jumping from REP to REP without issue. My current contract expires in 14 days, so I'm shopping again for a new REP. I did what I always do and found that Reach Energy has the current lowest offers. As I was going through the sign-up process for their New Year 3-month plan, I came to a page that described the different 'Credit Check' options, and all of them involved a non-refundable credit-check fee of $65. I found this odd since no other REP has ever charged me a credit-check fee. I also noticed on the EFL for this plan that the fee for using less than 1000 kwh was $19.95, which seems excessive since most other REP's charge only $9.95 for using less than 1000 kwh. During the winter months, we are always below 1000 kwh, so this extra $10 would hit us every month. When I do the math, going with this plan would cost me an extra $95 over the total 3 months ($65 credit check + $10 + $10 + $10). I decided not to go with Reach Energy because of these unnecessary extra charges. Point being, check out those EFL's and make sure you know all the fees you're being asked to pay.
Alex Jarvis, San Diego - 2012-12-05 06:29:14
I have to agree with the other reviews. I paid extra to have service turned on quickly, and 3 days later I am still waiting. They are nearly impossible to reach by phone and slow to return a call. I am hoping things get better as I am tied into 3 month contract. I can't rate billing as I am still waiting for service.
Amy, Harker Heights - 2012-08-17 16:16:52
Moved to Harker Heights and found a special 3 month rate for Reach energy. Signing up initially was no problem but at the end of the contract time getting ahold of the company to check new rates was TERRIBLE. I have called 5 times from my home phone and left messages to be called back but have yet to receive a call back. I used a friends number and they answered right away- no voicemail. I am convinced they screen out existing customer contact numbers somehow.
keith bowers, bellaire - 2012-08-10 07:53:26
advertized low rate as if that was the current ordinary NEVER disclosed it was first month 'promotional', doubled at day 31 . Only after completing application did $75 'set-up' fee show-up, no one could waive that etc. When rate doubled and I inquired why-, then said I was going to switch-was told a CANCELLATION FEE would apply!!
Ryan, Fort Worth - 2012-07-24 16:59:38
I recently began renting a home and needed to choose an electric provider. After searching for the best rate in the area (Fort Worth Metroplex), I found Reach Energy, LLC. They are a fairly new energy provider, and were offering great introductory rates, presumably to expand their customer base. On April 20th, 2012, I signed a three month contract with Reach for $0.059/ kilowatt hour with usage exceeding 1000 kilowatt hours, and less than 1000 kilowatt hours of usage incurring a base charge of $24.95. My service began that day, and after attempting to find out when my billing cycle would be, I was led to believe that the first meter read would occur on or around May 20th, approximately one month from the initial provision of service. I was surprised to receive a statement on April 24th, 2012 for a three day billing cycle. During those three days, I obviously did not meet the requisite 1000 kwh to eliminate the base charge, and my bill was $25.93. I contacted Reach and disputed the assessment. The company agreed that the base charge was unreasonable, did not bill me for the base charge and rolled over the kilowatt hours to my next bill. My statement received on 5/23/12 was correct, with the credit included. My statement received on 6/22/12 was also correct. After remitting payment for the third billing cycle, I was notified that my contract would be expiring on July 19th. I was given the options to either continue service month to month, where I would be automatically switched to a variable rate plan, establish a new contract with Reach Energy at a fixed rate, or cancel service. After establishing that I would not be able to receive the best possible per kilowatt hour rate through Reach any longer, I opted to cancel service. I found a new provider with a satisfactory fixed rate who would both begin my new service with them on July 23rd and cancel my service with Reach at the same time. On July 24th, 2012, I received my fourth and final bill from Reach for the third month of service. It was for a 32 day bill cycle. Reach charged me a variable rate AND a base charge of $19.95, not only for the three days I was provided service after the expiration of my contract, but charged the first 29 days of the billing cycle at the variable per kilowatt hour rate as well. This means that in breach of contract, Reach Energy, LLC only provided me with two months and four days of service at my contracted rate. Irate, I contacted the company to dispute this assessment and was met with an unhelpful and incompetent employee who refused to remediate the charge. When I asked point blank if it was the company's policy to break contracted rates with consumers and fail to fulfill the terms of their contracts, the employee finally replied, after dancing around the point and avoiding answering, "Yes. That's our policy." I thanked her for reassuring me that my choice to switch energy providers was absolutely correct and hung up the phone. Reach Energy, LLC owes me a little less than one hundred dollars for my incorrectly billed last cycle, and while it's not enough to justify small claims court or legal action, I'd like other potential customers of this company to be aware of their incredibly poor and unscrupulous business practices. The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They are no where near up to par, and potential customers need be aware that it isn't worth their seemingly unbeatable introductory rates for the hassle and underhanded billing practices you will endure if you elect to go with this provider. If you have had a similar experience with this company, please post it here. Together we can insure that they never become BBB accredited.