Be Aware of 'Auto-pay', Communication and The Company Line - The Customer Is Never Right!
After having Bounce since 9/2012 (switched from 20+ years w/TXU) and recommending Bounce many times during those early months and always paying our bill on time or ahead of payment time (and receiving several referral 'bonuses' and 'cash-back rewards'), I noticed when it came time to lock in a new rate this spring 2014, that Bounce wasn't getting customer ratings as highly as they were in 9/2012. I gave them the benefit of the doubt because they seemed to be constantly in contact via email (their touted 'customer account management software') about everything from weekly usage to offers etc. But, I noticed other companies were not only getting better reviews but were also offering better rates, which in the fall of 2012 were almost always dominated by Bounce. But, again in the Spring 2014, I gave Bounce the benefit of the doubt and long story short, I renewed with Bounce and took a 24 month plan Spring 2014. At their constant urging, I enrolled in 'auto-pay'. Between my wife and me, we have 5 BOA accounts and recently BOA sent me a new card on one of my accounts with the caveat that unusual activity has taken place and I should activate the new card in place of the other one -- and to BOA's credit, they called me almost daily saying I needed to activate the new card. Turns out it was the card that Bounce has on file for 'auto-pay' and once I activated the replacement card - BOA cancelled the old card. The cancellation phase passed over a long weekend and the Bounce 'auto' payment was not collected. The company (Bounce) that bombards me constantly with emails (their touted 'customer account management software'), did NOT send an email indicating anything about a non-payment, overdue payment -- nada, zip, nothing! In fact, I eventually received a phone call from an unknown '877' phone # - 5 days after the 'uncollected' due date from Bounce 'collections' with a message to call. It was interesting I got an American-sounding human very quickly when the 'collections' dept. was called, but other Bounce # take me into customer purgatory hold (which I honestly thought was different about Bounce in the fall of '12)! So once called, still not knowing about the BOA 'auto-pay' issue, the Bounce collection woman,'Yolanda' was at first a scripted robot-like rep, asking me multiple questions (account #, address, name, etc) before finally my last 4 digits of my SS#, which she said didn't match and she couldn't continue. "Really!? After 18 months, do you not have another security question you can ask?" After putting me on hold multiple times and literally cutting me which I believe she intentionally did after I ask to speak to a supervisor or someone with the ability to make a decision - which I never spoke to (i called back and to my amazement got 'Yolanda' again) then eventually as I asked 'Yolanda' she became condescending with a smirking tinge while (scriptedly) continually apologized for MY being upset. 'Why are you apologizing for my being upset?" That made no sense! When I asked why I had not rec'd an email (their touted 'customer account management software') about this, she said Bounce didn't do that - that this was my responsibility, even though I pointed out that they send multiple emails (their touted 'customer account management software') a week about everything else. In fact every answer she gave was the same: 'when you signed the agreement... customers' responsibility' I asked her to note in my file and pass along company-wide the fact that a courtesy email about a 'auto-pay' not going through would go along way in the future. She smirked and said 'oh, believe me, every word of this call is going into the files'! I asked is the call being recorded, since she did not state it up front, she curtly said, 'Yes!'. That had NOT been indicated to me! I said. 'You (Bounce) have not offered me one thing for being a loyal customer, have you?' She said, 'no'! I asked, 'will you offer me anything for being a loyal customer? "NO!"I said, do you understand how someone that has been loyal for over 18 months payment-wise, made referrals etc and now is being told that it means actually nothing to this company - feels about this. "It IS the customer's responsibility. I apologize you feel this way!", was her answer... Really!?
Conclusion, I am appalled with Bounce Energy, their customer service, collection reps and their touted 'customer account management software'. July 2014 Bounce is NOT the company I signed with in 9/2012. Maybe that's par for the course for new aggressive customer-centered companies that eventually become just a cash-cow with a customer-be-damned policy in the wake! Their rates were much higher in 2014, even for a 24-month locked-in rate, but I was loyal! I gave them the benefit of the doubt, maybe those negative reviews were just hard-to-please bargain hunters, or even shills for other companies, I thought. Well, I don't think that anymore! I know energy companies deal with fuel prices that are constantly in flux and well regulated, but I stayed loyal to Bounce because of the personal service and their touted 'customer account management software'. And, when there were other options, I am now ashamed to say -- I ignored them! Never again! I really, really, really regret renewing with Bounce spring/2014 and not because the prices were not as competitive but the personal service and customer loyalty aspect now means zero to them. Big mistake - on both our parts! As as soon as I can get away from Bounce, I will! Maybe I can't find another company that gives a rip about loyal customers, but I bet I can at least find one, at the same price - if not better that will at the very least be 'different'!... and for me, 'different' will be better than Bounce Energy 7/2014!
Fyi, the 'customer account management software' line is from their company blurb at the top of this page! ”
responds October 4th, 2017:
We are sorry that we did not see your post until now. We appreciate feedback and are always willing to help with any issue that may need resolution. We can be contacted at DEdigitalcare@directenergy.com anytime! -Eden ”