Perhaps you’ve seen an offer from a third-party utility provider, promising great savings on your monthly utility bills.  As our Philadelphia partners at WPVI’s Action News Troubleshooters report, the offer may be too good to be true.  Such an offer left one customer facing soaring costs — Hundreds of dollars a month more than she used to pay.  The initial offer was simple.  She could get the same electric and gas service for a lower price.  For several months, she saved money, exactly like she was promised.  But as time went on, she stopped checking her bills and just kept paying them until one month she realized that her monthly cost was almost $600.  With a bit of research, she discovered that the rates had snuck up and she could get the same utility service from her original provider at less than a third of the price.  She switched back and requested a refund from the third-party provider for having been overcharged for years.  The third-party utility company stood firm until Troubleshooters volunteers got involved.  After a call from Troubleshooters, the third-party utility provider sent the customer a refund of $1,560.

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While you can save money with utility competition, make sure you’re tracking your costs and the offer details.  If you get a special introductory rate, mark your calendar for the end of the introductory term and reassess the costs relative to their competitors.  Then you can decide to renew or switch providers again if you can get a lower rate elsewhere.

To submit your consumer complaint, use our online form.