Many of you who were switched to a POLR (Provider of Last Resort) after National Power Company went out of business have a lot of questions and concerns. I took all of the questions you asked me to Public Utility Spokesman Terry Hadley. I asked and he answered. Read it here:
Amy: So if customers have a one year contract with National Power Company, can NPC charge them for switching companies now as the contract states?
Hadley: Since National is leaving the market, former customers are not responsible for the fee. Customers should file a complaint with the PUC if the company attempts to collect.
Amy: Consumers are telling me that most companies they want to switch to tell them it takes 35-45 days to switch. Is there anything that will speed up that time for these customers? They don’t want a June bill at the highest kilowatt rates. I know one customer told me Stream told them it’s standard that it takes them 45 days to switch customers over.
Hadley: An ERCOT representative said a switch could happen within four business days. This would require a waiver of the customer notification process designed to prevent slamming and give the customers a “cooling off” period. REP call center personnel should know about the ability to offer this waiver, especially to POLR customers. As you know, not all customer service people know all the rules all the time. So, it could be helpful if the customer asks, ”How soon can I get switched, and I am willing to waive the customer notification process in order to receive the lower-cost service faster.
Amy: A couple of NPC customers told me they had to put down a processing fee or deposit with NPC when they signed on. They’d like to know if they will get that back. If so, how? Can the PUC help?
Hadley: PUC rules require the deposit to be returned within seven days. If that doesn’t happen, file a complaint with the PUC.
You can file a complaint with the PUC online. You can also call the Customer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-621-0508.