MPSC opens investigation on door-to-d...

MPSC opens investigation on door-to-door gas sales

There are 93 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Feb 26, 2008, titled MPSC opens investigation on door-to-door gas sales. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

The Michigan Public Service Commission has opened a formal investigation into "hundreds" of consumer complaints against Universal Gas and Electric.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

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Grand Rapids, MI

#1 Feb 26, 2008
We made the biggest mistake by switching to this "deal". Our bill doubled and our family is already tight for money. I can't believe that there is no way to get our money back after being lied to about what we were getting. We are paying the cancellation fee and now have to pay this new high rate for 3 more months as well. This adds up to almost $700.00 that we are now out. What a way to make some fast cash off of many families that need that money to survive. I hope someone will help our families and community by getting us back what is rightfully ours.

Pueblo, CO

#2 Feb 26, 2008
If it sounds too good to be true...
Steve Bollinger

Mount Pleasant, MI

#3 Feb 26, 2008
I would be interested in any further info you may find.
I too am locked in at $1.04 but can't afford the $250 cancellation fee.

Steve Bollinger
Crystal, Mi
[email protected]
Jennifer Burns

United States

#4 Feb 26, 2008
I was happy to see news 8 decided to investigate what this company has done to so many West Michigan residents, including myself. I also fell for the company's misleading and decieving representation. A gentleman came to my door claiming to be doing me a service, that the state of Michigan had approved to lower the rising cost of gas. He told me by locking in a rate, I would be saving thousands of dollars. He never told me about the cancelation fee of $250 or the five year contract I was signing myself into. Again, I was under the assumption that this was something everyone was doing to try and control the rising gas prices. I called to complain but was told about the cancelation fee and if I was unhappy I could write a complaint. I am upset with myself that I did not do the proper research, and allowed these people to take advantage of me. Please continue to follow this story and be the voice for West Michigan residents.

Thank you,

Jen Burns
fed up

Southgate, MI

#5 Feb 26, 2008
why does the media constantly quote Paul Mayhue? He does not represent all African-Americans in Grand Rapids. he is a joke.

Westland, MI

#6 Feb 26, 2008
I was wondering how do we as the community take steps to get out of this five year cap that they have misled us into. I think it would be best that they should not be able to sale their sevice in the state of michigan anymore and should have to pay a fee for the customers that have took their service.


#7 Feb 26, 2008
We were one of the lucky ones that got out in time. I can see how people can be taken though it took me 4 phone calls befor they cancelled my account during the 30 days. I called my gas company to find out how much we were paying and asked if they could give me any info about that company. She just told me that it was my choice but she had worked at consumers for 8 years and the price of fuel hadn't gone past ~.85. The other company just kept trying to talk me out of cancelling and telling me I was gettinh a great deal and later it would cost more to get back into their program. The guy just came to the door and asked to see our gas bill and said yep you qualify. They are some cons and I agree it shoul be illega we have enough things to worry about.
Give me a break

Kalamazoo, MI

#8 Feb 26, 2008
I had these people at my door on the NE side of GR more then 5 times!! I said no the first time and they kept coming back. I was so annoyed with them, that the last time I really let the guy have it. It is a scam just like all those other door to door people!!!
Ruth Augustine

United States

#9 Feb 26, 2008
I am a single mom and only work about 20 hours a week because jobs are tight. I am sickened by what these people have done. I try to do what I can to save money and here I thought I would be saving by switching to this company. I too called after signing up because I was concerned about being able to make payment arrangements and they told me yes but it will be such a lower payment with them than DTE. I now find out that I am going to have to pay a $250.00 fee to get out of this. I live paycheck to paycheck so I don't have any clue where I would even get that kind of money. I am really upset so if I could get some answers so my gas bill which has more than doubled won't keep going up. I would appreciate it. Thank you for your informative reporting. Please keep up with this story. Blessings!! I wish I never would have answered the door.
Kellina G

Parker, CO

#10 Feb 26, 2008
6They came here awhile ago. I thought they said they were sent by DTE so I went and got a past bill. Then he wanted a signature and phone number to call and confirm, so I said you should have my number from my billing account. So I checked his identification and saw he did not in fact work for DTE, questioned him about it and he gave me some lame explanation, so I told him to send me something in the mail. I said I wouldn't sign anything and no phone number. He stormed off and said I'll be sorry later. Guess what I'm not. Beware of anyone who comes knockin on your door. Their worst than telemarketers.
4 Justice

Grand Rapids, MI

#11 Feb 27, 2008
This company was advertising on Craigslist a couple weeks ago trying to recruit. Not working, I wouldn't even stoop that low for a cheap ass sales job.

Grand Rapids, MI

#12 Feb 27, 2008
I hope the investigation doesn't stop, I was also lied to and told I would save thousands of dollars and I cannot afford the 250.00 cancellation fee, I am hoping that our state government will do something about it. But this is an Canadian company,,,I believe that is were I govenor is from so I won't hold my breath. The residents of Michigan are suffering from this messed up economy more than any other state. I believe because of that this company new we were easy targets.

Sparta, MI

#13 Feb 27, 2008
The Universal Sales person that I talked to was very specific about DTE's current rate shown on the gas bill. At that time it was .84. The five-year contract was for 1.04 and the contract was easy-to-read and offered in English, Spanish and Arabic. I signed up knowing that in the short term I would pay more, but expecting DTE's rates to climb. I believe that DTE has asked the MPSC to allow them to go as high as 1.40. I felt that your report was very biased.

Sturgis, MI

#14 Feb 27, 2008
I truly hope that someone can help all of us who were deceived. The guy told me that I could get out anytime I wanted but never mentioned the 250.00 fee. I want out due to the fact that they for a couple reasons. I do appreciate the former employees who spoke up! Let all hope and pray to a good ending for the consumers on this one! Thank you news 8 for bringing this out!

Littleton, CO

#15 Feb 27, 2008
I have had these sales men at my door many times. The same guy once said he was from DTE, the next he was from this company. He misrepresented himself. He asked for a copy of my bill to "lower my rate".. he asked for a copy of my bill the 2nd time to "confirm that I was still an active DTE Client" etc...
I refused each time & I'm glad I did!
What a scam!

Castle Rock, CO

#16 Feb 27, 2008
A salesman knocked on my door on a very cold and rainy day. I listened to his speel. Keywords were save money, gas prices going up, locked in at a rate for five years. I was not told of a contract, or a cancellation fee. We just took out a mortgage on our home to help lower our heat bills and now I am paying more now than before. I blame myself for feeling bad for the guy and signing up before I researched the program. As I look at my $408.00 gas bill I notice $76 is for michcon delivery charge. So while yes, I signed up before researching, I was also misled and lied to. What can we do?

Cambridge, MA

#17 Feb 27, 2008
I'm intrigued to see this story on your website. I have had two separate experiences with sales people from Universal when I was living on the NW side of Grand Rapids. On one occassion a gentleman approach me and my family as we were on our way out the door. I have two small children under the age of three and getting them packed into the car is no small task. The salesman seemed to disregard the fact that I had my hands full and was persistant on me going back into my home to show him a copy of my latest gas bill. I had to finally step out of character and become rude to the man telling him I do all my bill pays via the web so I do not have a bill to show him and have other matters to tend to at that particular moment. I always live by "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is." I feel bad for those who were sucked in to this scheme but grateful that I did not waste my time or money switching to Universal for my gas service. Thank you for this story!

Ann Arbor, MI

#18 Feb 27, 2008
I find it absolutely amazing that there are so many people that are dumb enough to give there signature without reading what they are signing for. I too was approcached by the Door to Door Sales people, but I took the time to read their brochure while they were at my door. It clearly states what the program is about and it also tells you about the cancellation fee. You all should be mad at your selves for not reading the paper work you signed.
Hedda Martin

United States

#19 Feb 27, 2008
I recently had these "salespeople" at my house trying to "make sure I am getting the best deal possible for my gas". Thankfully, I do not allow any solicitors so I told the young lady to basically go away. Just not interested. It is unbelievable that this has been able to go this far. Greed is overcoming our society. Greed.
steven scott brenner

United States

#20 Feb 27, 2008
I was lied to about the whole thing.The sales person did not tell me how much there gas was selling for cubic foot i understand it is more than dte.The sale person also did not say anything about a $250 dollars for cancellation fee.I am on ssi and was taken for a ride.

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