Universal Gas questions answered

Universal Gas questions answered

There are 60 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Mar 11, 2008, titled Universal Gas questions answered. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

By Henry Erb GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- When East Grand Rapids home owner Ed Miller got his first Universal Gas and Electric heating bill he decided he wanted to cancel his new supplier because the price was higher ...

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

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Amelia Court House, VA

#41 Mar 22, 2008
Tom wrote:
<quoted text>Sounds to good to be true, take a look at your gas prices both past and present. You were paying 38cents per ccf not too long ago. Your prices went up to 84 cents this month (march), and rumor has it that its going to .999 next month (april). So you truly believe that in the next 5 yrs, that natural gas prices are going to go up only 5cents. No i dont have a crystal ball, but be realistic. the price of gasoline today is between 3.20-3.40 cents a gallon, do u think its going to be only 3.60 cents a gallon in 5 years.
Tom, this business is based on nothing more than pure speculation, and people who are living paycheck to paycheck or on a fixed income can't afford to pay higher than the current market price just based on fear and speculation of what MIGHT happen. It's been a full 6 years since DTE rates have been 36 cents per ccf. Sure, rates spiked after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but have been fairly stable in the past 2 years since then and have continued to go down, much to the dismay of Universal, and it is doubtful that they will go go as high as the $1.049 per ccf that Universal is scaring people into believing.

Why should I pay a full 20 cents more per ccf for an unknown number of months while I wait for the promise of savings? I can take the extra 20 cents per ccf that I would pay Universal and put it in my own savings account and save it for when (or even IF) natural gas rates do increase, thank-you very much.

Deerfield, IL

#42 Mar 26, 2008
I filed a complaint with the State of Michigan after the story was first aired. I received a call last week from Universal Gas and they are cancelling their contract and waiving the $250 early termination fee. So if anyone wants it cancelled the best way is to file a complaint with the state.

Holland, MI

#43 Mar 27, 2008
Regarding Universal Gas and Electric Co. Cancellation policy is nothing more than a rip-off!! Spoke with company representative yesterday 3/26/08. Told it could take "2-3 billing cycles to terminate contract" even though cancellation of $250 paid and check cashed on 3/10/08. They will still charge you the higher rates for gas even though you cancelled your contract, and no refund of extra money charged will be given. Also stated that it takes 15 business days for termination process to be completed, So why are they telling me it may take 2-3 billing cycles??? I don't believe they know what they are doing and are ripping off the consumer for as much money as possible! The contract termination date should be the date they take in your and cach your cancellation fee and NO extra charges should be made!! What kind of company is this?? I think the Attorney General should step in and file fraud charges--the average person would not get away with this behavior!!!!!!!!!

Monroe, LA

#44 Mar 27, 2008
Universal came to our house twice last summer. I cancelled right away when I had time to look closer at the agreement and such and I was not charged a cancellation fee, nor was I ever told of a cancellation fee. The lady who came to our door the first time even tried to recruit me, telling me what a good company it was to work for.
Lorri Ryan

United States

#45 Mar 27, 2008
I signed up w/ Universal Gas just before Thanksgiving this past year. The door to door sales person gave me the impression DTE and gas prices were headed up substantially. He offered 1.049 for 5 yrs. In late december I called DTE to see what they had to offer because I had'nt seen a change on my bill. They said they could offer .84 cfu but I had to cancel Universal Gas. I called to cancel and they said I could not without paying the $250.00 fee. I felt very trapped as a consumer with no options to have a lower gas bill. Universal did not change my rate or apply there effective rate untill my current bill due April 9, 2008. They also would not honor the budget plan that I had with DTE at $107.00 a month. I currently have an outstanding bill with DTE for $460.24 due to trusting a company that they would provide better rates. I was stuck paying DTE at 1.09 cfu all winter because I couldn't get out of my contract with Universal Gas and they did not apply the contract rate for at least 90 days or the majority of the Winter season......Help!!!

United States

#46 Mar 27, 2008
I think action and Consumer relief should be mandated from Universal Gas. I was locked into a higher rate due to the high cancellation fee and the length of time it took to implement there new rate(all winter). Also my budget plan payment was not honored and was cancelled.
Amber of Belding

Richmond, IL

#47 Mar 27, 2008
The sales Universal people knocked on our door the the idea was great idea not knowing about gas prices going up and down so we decided to sign up then we called a call back from the agent and says that we cant sign up because someone else has our phone number so we decided not to go through with it then they came back again and tried to sign us up and we told them we couldnt someone already has our number. So the agent calls again and we tell them not interested to many problems trying to sign up for it not interested any more. Havent heard anything from this company next thing i know we have a shut off notice and I have not recived anything saying that they are our gas provider Im thinking still have DTE for our company.Then I get our bill and its for a shut off of $491.00 and they are the gas provider so the only money we have coming is my husbands SSI payments so we got help to pay this bill off and the next bill comes and its for $439.00 that I owe them for the next month. I cant afford this and they said we cant cancell them till we pay $250.00 and $10.00s to DTE to have them back. If anyone could help gets us out of this mess could you please help email me at [email protected] THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Amber of Belding

Richmond, IL

#48 Mar 27, 2008
Universal gas sales people came to our door twice this summer and the first time thought it was a good idea then their agent call back to confirm and said that we couldnt do it cause someone else had our phone number. Then they came back again and their agent called my husband told them we couldnt do it cause someone had our phone number and we didnt want to do it then the agent called and he told them we didnt want to do it. Havent heard nothing from this company since then next thing I know and we had a shut off notice of $491.00 and we live on SSI income and we had to get help to pay this outstanding bill got that taken care of and I get the next bill and after just paying off the shutoff notice and its $439.00 and called to cancelle with them and we have to pay $250.00 fee and $10.00s to Dte to get them back and write a letter to them saying why we want to cancelle our service with them. If anyone can help us please email me at [email protected] IT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU
Guy L Matthews

United States

#49 Mar 28, 2008
The higher price we are paying is only part of the issue the fact is when the man was here we asked him several time if our price would increase and he said no we were just locking in the current price for five year we also asked if there was a charge for the service and he said no if someone obtains a contract from you under false pretenses it should be illeagal.

Thank You

Guy Matthews

United States

#50 Mar 29, 2008
Karen wrote:
What did you say to them to get out of the contract. I contacted them and they just said everything that was said over and over. I contacted the MI Public Serv Comm and they said the only way to get out was to be over 70 or disabled or Low income. Was there a trick to what you said?
I just stayed persistent. I was treated rudely from the first phone call. I asked for a supervisor, and the reluctantly got me one. When she turned out to be rude as well, I asked for her supervisor. That is the lady that let me out. It took some talking to, and she still blamed me for everything, even though I was lied too. I say to keep trying, this company can not get away with this. When they come to my door next, I plan on asking them to leave, and then following them with a video camera catching their lies on tape.

Attica, OH

#51 Mar 29, 2008
Karen wrote:
<quoted text>
I would be happy to go in on a class action. I can't believe they ripped us off so badly. I kept my heat @ 65 all winter and bought a space heater for the evenings, so that they didn't get as much $$ from me.
Is there a class action suit being filed, I would like to participate.

Attica, OH

#52 Mar 29, 2008
Kimberly wrote:
I can't believe that they are getting away with this. I never got the information that they were supposed to send, but they could care less. I do not have the $250 that they charge to get out of their contract. At this point I have until May 17 to figure something out. I recently got married and bought my first house. I heard the Target 8 story just before transferring my service from my apartment to my new home, I put the new bill in my husband's name and canceled my old service. They know that I have moved, but at this point don't know where, so they are giving me 60 days to send them updated information. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to get out of the contract with out paying the $250? The person I just talked to told me when I requested a supervisor that there were none in the evenings on "during the morning hours".
If anyone is up for the class action suit, I would be all for it!!! Paying a $40 bill to heat an aparment for a told of about 6 hours (we were priming the walls and turned the heat on as it was 12 degrees out that day...other than that it was off all month until we turned in our keys and cancled service) is crazy!!!
You would think our governor wouldn't stand for this given the crisis that our state economy is in and the one that our nations economy is facing! Although, she is probably getting some kickback. A little ironic that they are from Canada Eh!
I wondered about the Canada thing..you don't suppose there is some connection. Maybe we should email her.

Ypsilanti, MI

#53 Mar 29, 2008
My wife signed us up with UG&E when I was at work. The salesmen failed to notice the NO SOLICITING sign posted on my front door. Even though, my wife was lied to by a salesman from this company. She signed up, thinking prices were going to go up and if we didn't sign we would be paying more each month than we currently were. I was already with a different gas supplier who had contacted me with threats of an early cancelation fee. At this time I was unaware of the switch and told them not to terminate my contract. About two months later UG&E called, only this time they deceived me. I was told by a UG&E rep. that they were my original suppler and the other company was trying to become my new supplier. Not having any paperwork with me to verify this I told them to keep me as there customer. At that time the had re-enstated my contract. now I have to pay the other company's early term. fee and this ones term. fee. I wish someone in a higher form of autority would put an end to this.
Sandra Bowman

United States

#54 Mar 31, 2008
sharon of grand rapids wrote:
<quoted text>
page 12 or 13
Sharon, I could not find anything on petition to file class action against Universal gas. Nor target 8 investigation,
Sandra Bowman

United States

#55 Mar 31, 2008
Where is there a post to sign for class action against universal gas? I looked for target 8 investigation under universal misled customers.
sharon of grand rapids

Grand Rapids, MI

#56 Apr 1, 2008
Sandra Bowman wrote:
Where is there a post to sign for class action against universal gas? I looked for target 8 investigation under universal misled customers.
it has now been removed

Ada, MI

#57 Apr 1, 2008
There are websites out there that make Utility companies compete for pricing, not that they can guarantee you savings but you can at least find out if the pricing you are currently at is the going rate.

I followed the Universal story pretty closely and they are right when they say the the local utility companies can adjust and be at a higher rate then the $1.05 they were offering. They are just offering you PRICE PROTECTION, if there is another Katrina, the rates will go through the roof, then everyone would be praising Universal. But there is alot to be said about giving people all of the facts.

Here is a site that i have found http://utilitytree.com , this site will allow you to get free quotes.....

Ron in southwest MI


#58 Apr 3, 2008
I too signed up for Univ. Gas, I was took by their line of bs also. I wrote a letter to the MPSC and to Univ. Gas also sbout my disgust with the way it was presented to me at my door. LYE after LYE. About a month later I received a letter from the Universal Gas Co. with confirmation of termination of their services, nothing was stated about early termination fees. Then about a week after that I received a letter from the Michigan Public Service Commission stating that my request to terminate with Universal Gas would be granted without any early termination fees.

Lawrence, MI

#59 Apr 4, 2008
Susan wrote:
I filed a complaint with the State of Michigan after the story was first aired. I received a call last week from Universal Gas and they are cancelling their contract and waiving the $250 early termination fee. So if anyone wants it cancelled the best way is to file a complaint with the state.
Which dept w/state did you file the complaint?
Norm in Lakeview

Pittsburgh, PA

#60 Apr 5, 2008
i signed up last fall and now my gas bill is more then doubled from what i was paying these prices are to much for me when i work all day and run my furance in the evening more when i'm home and still have a 200 dollar a month gas bill, then the people came around again about a month and tried to sell me the service again and i already have ot anyway, will i run the guy off my porch and out of my yard, told them never to come back again

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