Texas Electricity Ratings News: Stuffing The Ballot Box

Posted on Posted in Reliant Energy, TER News, Texas Electricity News

A key part of what what makes Texas Electricity Ratings unique is that we’re the only site in Texas that allows customers to have a hand in the deregulated electricity market. By allowing customers to submit reviews about their own experiences and rank the level of service from the electricity providers they’ve used, people currently shopping for electricity can benefit from the past experience of Texas consumers. It’s a great system that allows discerning shoppers to cycle through the positive reviews, as well as the negative reviews, to get a potential idea of what to expect and look for from their next electricity providers. “Everybody Rates – You Choose” is our motto for a reason.

Of course, perhaps I should be clearer when I say “Everybody Rates.” When I say that, I certainly mean individual residents, and not the actual companies who are trying to sell Texas electricity. Stuffing the ballot box with false reviews to make individual companies look better is not a new practice people have been trying to get over on Texas Electricity Ratings. In fact, I’m 100% certain it’s not a new practice anywhere on the Internet, regardless of the product. I get false reviews all the time. But this week, after a fresh onslaught of false reviews, I’ve finally been frustrated enough to do something about it by sharing a few with the world.

Here are some phony reviews that have been submitted by Reliant Energy. How do I know they’re from Reliant? There’s actually almost half a dozen different ways to determine whether or not a review is authentic, and these failed pretty much every test I threw at them. Here’s the first one:

“Great Customers Service – I have been a Reliant customer for 6 years. I love thier customer service and online account features.”

Naturally this review received a 5 out of 5, the highest mark possible. Of course, I was somewhat surprised to see an additional review from Reliant Energy come in seconds later, submitted by the same person:

“Reliant isn’t the same Reliant as it was 3 years ago – I have been very happy with my switch back to Reliant. The customer representatives are professional and actually care about what is in the best interest of the customer. They also had good pricing and a variety of options depending on my needs, which the customer service rep was able to walk me through. I have one of those new smart meters and they have some great tools that help me be able to know what my bill will be before I get a suprise in the mailbox and basically I can change the thermostat a little and keep my bill from being more than I budgeted for the month. I really love it.”

Now that’s a great review, and it naturally got another 5 out of 5. But specifically, it’s detailed, it offers pertinent information about why the customer was happy, and what they felt set the company apart from the competition. The only problem is that it’s 100% fake. And I know it’s 100% fake.

So as a public service announcement to all of the REP’s out there, I’d like to say a few things. Thank you guys for your interest in my website. I’m flattered that I’m on your radar, and I hope you continue to visit and read the reviews submitted by users so you can see what issues people are consistently encountered and use it as ideas for how to improve your business and customers satisfaction. However, please refrain from submitting false electricity reviews that aren’t from real customers. I have a rigorous battery of tests through which I look at all the reviews, and the fake ones get tossed out. Additionally, moving forward, I’m going to point out all of the fake reviews I get and point a finger at the guilty parties. Trust me, it won’t look good when I point out the guilty parties to Texas shoppers. And believe me, Reliant and their new subsidiary Pennywise Power aren’t the only guilty parties here. They’re just the only guilty parties I ran across this week. So please, Texas Electricity Providers, stop falsifying reviews. Allow the customers of Texas to have their voice.

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