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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Big Rapids, MI

#81 Mar 6, 2008
Have a letter from UG&E it says all info was left by our rep SIGNED BY YOURSELF...(wasnt me)as the person authorized to enter into the program..YOU WILL PAY a flat rate of $1.049/Cd for the 5 year term of this program.....

Have been told any one in the household is ME! from US&E

Some how am not on the same page as US&E!! Is this me or???

THis is a Rental with landlord/Tenant agreement..why would i want to sign anything..

Get the Flat rate that you will PAY!! didnt some where some one mentioned on a forum about flux if the price goes down????

Littleton, CO

#82 Mar 7, 2008
VERY VERY frustrated still with this situation. I went to the Universal Gas Website...and NO WHERE did it say there was a $250 cancellation fee. I have cut and copied the below questions directly from the website. The last question here from there FAQ page only states that you can cancel verbally or in a written request within 30 days...mention of nothing after that 30 days! How can they NOT disclose this on the website. But expect people to pay it? What an absolute rip-off!

Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Universal Gas & Electric Corporation?
Is Universal Gas & Electric licensed in Michigan?
Are you affiliated with DTE/MichCon or Consumers Energy?
What causes natural gas prices to rise?
How do I benefit by signing with Universal Gas & Electric Corporation?
If I chose Universal Gas & Electric as my supplier, will I receive my bill from you?
May I cancel the contract after I sign the Program Signature Page?
Who is Universal Gas & Electric Corporation?
Universal Gas & Electric Corporation is a North American based company.
The Principals of the organization have in excess of 100 years of combined experience in the energy industry and are responsible for aggregating in excess of two million customer contracts since deregulation.

Is Universal Gas & Electric Corporation licensed in Michigan?
Universal Gas & Electric has been approved and licensed as a gas marketer
in the State of Michigan by the Michigan Public Service Commission
(License # U-14732).

Are you affiliated with MichCon or Consumer Energy?
Universal Gas & Electric is not affiliated with DTE/MichCon or Consumers Energy or any other local utility.

What causes gas prices to rise?
Natural gas prices in the producing regions of North America are determined by the competitive forces of supply and demand. The short-term or spot price fluctuates daily due to several factors including weather and short term disruptions. For instance, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, or a snap deep freeze in Western States, two of the largest gas producing regions, can affect the short term price of natural gas.

Longer term gas prices are determined by population and economic growth and by factors such as environmental polices. For example, greater demand for gas as an environmentally-preferred fuel for electricity generation could result in increased gas.

How do I benefit by signing with Universal Gas & Electric Corporation?
There is no risk of your natural gas commodity price increasing during the term of this agreement and no retroactive commodity price adjustments. As in the past, your utility delivers your natural gas and provides 24 hour emergency service. The Natural Gas is supplied by Sempra Energy Trading (SET), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy (a Fortune 500 energy services company). There is no cost to enroll.

If I choose Universal Gas & Electric as my supplier, will I receive my bill from you?
Your bill will come directly from your utility as it has in the past. Once your account has been accepted and approved by Universal Gas & Electric, our name will appear on your bill as your gas supplier.

May I cancel the contract after I sign the Program Signature Page?
Yes, for a limited time. You may cancel the agreement for any reason for 30 days after you sign the Program Signature Page, through written or verbal notification to Universal Gas & Electric.


Since: Mar 08

Big Rapids, MI

#83 Mar 8, 2008
Have called US&E way back with verbal along with filing with MPSC got a email from MPSC states if nothing resolved pleas contact us after 10 days. so this is still in limbo.....

Still waiting......on going
T Miller

Britton, MI

#84 Mar 11, 2008
So, has anything been decided on this? They say they are investigating but I haven't heard anything anywhere since this piece.


Since: Mar 08

Big Rapids, MI

#85 Mar 12, 2008
Received a reply from MPSC..stating that USG&E hasnt replied back to them reguarding the contact I had with them.....Getting to be a confusing mess in limbo....

Panama City, FL

#86 Mar 14, 2008
I am also unable to pay the fee and even my gas bill I am a full time student and I make little money. I have reported them as well. I hope someone can help all of us my bill is over $130.00 for a little apt. Before I was paying about $40.00 and I was struggling then.
Robin jowers

Grand Rapids, MI

#87 Mar 17, 2008
I was deceived by Universal gas and electric. I hope that the State of michigan can help all the consumers that were misled by this company. It's bad enough that our gasoline prices are as high as they are for those of us that comute to and from Grand Rapids. Then to get misled by this company is just icing on the cake.Thanks for listening.
Robin jowers

Grand Rapids, MI

#88 Mar 17, 2008
Please help all the consumers that were misled by this company including myself. Times are hard enough for middle class families without adding misleading varibles into the mix. For some families this is enough to send them bankrupt.
Allen Fisher

Sterling Heights, MI

#89 Mar 19, 2008
I also was dupted and this company rep swore they had lower prices if I locked it in, now my bill is the most I've ever paid (over $400 per month). It does not help that Consumers still charges their fees on top and seemed to raise my electric after I left them for gas.

Greenville, OH

#90 Apr 15, 2008
this is totally incredible! This happened to me on a Sunday late afternoon when someone knocked on my door. A woman went into her spiel the minute the door opened. I couldn't get rid of her. She kept asking for my gas utility bill and account number. I told her that I shredded it already. She proceeded to make an appointment for the next day. Needless to say, thankfully she didn't return. I live in a condo complex with posted No solicitor and No trespassing signs. I have since put a warning sign on my door that all solicitors will be reported. It is within the law to post signs that you do not want any solicitors. I later found this blog and was shocked to see how many people have had this unfortunate scam happen to them. Guess I was lucky, but trust me, I am warning everyone about this. It's disgusting.

Nisswa, MN

#91 Jan 20, 2009
Be very aware of these sales tactics. My gas service has been slammed. This does not involve UGS but MXEnergy. IF your gas service has been switched without your permission, you do have a recourse. MCL 460.9(2) specifically makes it illegal for them to tell DTE to switch your service without your express permission. In my case, I found out about it when my gas bill arrived at substantially more money and the name MXEnergy on the bill. DTE said MXEnergy claimed I authorized it and they had no choice but to switch. Since I wasn't in the state when the switch was alleged to have happened, it's very clear that this is fraud. I do encourage everyone with any issues with these AGS companies to file an informal complaint. MPSC is now in the process of shutting down UGS. It remains to be seen if MXEnergy will voluntarily fix the problem. Since I have not paid the portion of the bill they claim I owe them, they told me to pay the bill and they'll send me a check for the difference. I told them to send me a check for the fraudulent amount and I'd be happy to pay, once their check clears the bank. Otherwise, we'll file a formal complaint with the MPSC for a contested proceeding and let them explain their actions to an administrative law judge.

By the way, Michigan gives the MPSC the authority to levy fines against them for unauthorized slamming of up to $70000 per occurance and to order them pay the slammed customer between 10 and 50% of the fine. This is strong incentive to go after these guys. It should be strong incentive for them to be honest. But I guess that's too much to be expected.

Waterloo, Canada

#92 Aug 25, 2010
DontGetMeStarted wrote:
<quoted text>
If someone else in your household did this, you can take them to court to recoup the monies. If they signed YOUR name, you can file a police report for fraud.
You will have to pay the cancellation to the company or keep their plan though.
It's legal.
if its with universal there being sued for 20 million dollars and changed their name to just energy and by doing that they voided any contract they had with you so don't pay
T Miller

United States

#93 May 17, 2012
Odd. They knock on my door a few times a year, and in the past week have sent a different rep to the door 3 times. So I went looking for info about it online and find that not only have I done this before, I actually left a comment here in 2008. 4 years later, they're still out trying to convince people their way is better. Nevermind my posted no solicitors notice - they keep on knocking.
Today a young man was on the porch, and when I saw the uniform & clipboard, I immediately said "Please just go away, I am not interested." He looked angry at me & said "WHAT?" "Leave my property before I call the police. You are trespassing." A few words into his "I'm just trying to work, and I'd like to tell you about..." I had already closed the door.
Wouldn't it be nice if they actually kept track of the people that said no thanks to them, and left them alone??

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