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Old 05-12-2008, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Clear Lake TX
8,314 posts, read 28,067,879 times
Reputation: 4621

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Take note, as this theoretically applies to everyone here. I just got a notice from my middleman, National Power Co. Awhile back I signed a 12 month contract for $.110/kWh, a pretty good deal for around here. Well, Friday I received a letter from them in a plain envelope with no return address that read:

Dear Valued Customer:
This is to notify you that National Power Company finds it necessary to raise the price it charges you for electricity to $.153/kWh. This new rate will go into effect 45 days from the date of this letter unless you cancel your Agreement with National Power no later than 10 calendar days before the effective date of the change. No early termination fee will be assessed should you choose not to accept this Material Change to our Agreement. This notice is give under Paragraph 15, Material Change, of the Agreement National Power has with you to provide electricity to you.

Should you have any questions concerning this notice, feel ree to contact us at customercare@nationalpower.com or call 1-877-333-7693.

We appreciate your business.
Sincerely,
Richard Hunter
President

Well, chances are if you have a contract with a duration of longer than 1 month, a "material change" caveat is most likely included. Material change meaning:

...a change in any written document is one which alters its meaning, applicability, enforcement, tenor, or its legal meaning and effect. Changes to the scope, policy statement, enforcement and significant content changes are material changes. (source (broken link)) It could mean something different based on context, but that's the general definition.

Thumbing through the PUCT law, it appears they haven't stepped over any legal boundaries, but I'm no lawyer. Some people here towards the bottom of the page are running pretty hot, claiming bait & switch deception. Can't say I disagree. I think I'll be watching that one.

Another article discussing material change: Q&A: Making the power provider choice | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

In the mean time, it's time for me to find another electric provider.

NPC, by offering electricity to customers for cheaper than you can buy it for, you failed. No one is going to go stay with you at this new rate you offer, and especially since your phone lines are on indefinite hold.

Again, just wanted to spread the news for everyone to watch out. With skyrocketing energy costs, other companies could follow suit...

(And hopefully when someone Googles "National Power Company" this thread comes up.)
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:33 PM
 
1,298 posts, read 5,962,448 times
Reputation: 1013
This whole deregulation scheme is a scam. Enron may be gone, but their legacy and the laws they helped get passed to rob you of your wealth persist today. This is just the kind of crap that happens when you have the fox guarding the henhouse at the Public Utility Commission. Legalized corruption. Consumers getting screwed left & right.

With regards to this particular case, I'm thinking Class Action Lawsuit.

I'll call one of my attorney buddies and ask him about it.

Do you have a copy of your initial agreement?
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:52 PM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
15,022 posts, read 27,464,319 times
Reputation: 10399
Why the hell can't they identify themselves on their envelope? That's pretty shady sounding for a utility company.

One way or another you might consider becoming a thorn and sticking yourself in these guys' sides. I think you've got the means to do it too.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Austin & Houston, TX
1,461 posts, read 5,175,861 times
Reputation: 424
Was that you on channel 2?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
Take note, as this theoretically applies to everyone here. I just got a notice from my middleman, National Power Co. Awhile back I signed a 12 month contract for $.110/kWh, a pretty good deal for around here. Well, Friday I received a letter from them in a plain envelope with no return address that read:

Dear Valued Customer:
This is to notify you that National Power Company finds it necessary to raise the price it charges you for electricity to $.153/kWh. This new rate will go into effect 45 days from the date of this letter unless you cancel your Agreement with National Power no later than 10 calendar days before the effective date of the change. No early termination fee will be assessed should you choose not to accept this Material Change to our Agreement. This notice is give under Paragraph 15, Material Change, of the Agreement National Power has with you to provide electricity to you.

Should you have any questions concerning this notice, feel ree to contact us at customercare@nationalpower.com or call 1-877-333-7693.

We appreciate your business.
Sincerely,
Richard Hunter
President

Well, chances are if you have a contract with a duration of longer than 1 month, a "material change" caveat is most likely included. Material change meaning:

...a change in any written document is one which alters its meaning, applicability, enforcement, tenor, or its legal meaning and effect. Changes to the scope, policy statement, enforcement and significant content changes are material changes. (source (broken link)) It could mean something different based on context, but that's the general definition.

Thumbing through the PUCT law, it appears they haven't stepped over any legal boundaries, but I'm no lawyer. Some people here towards the bottom of the page are running pretty hot, claiming bait & switch deception. Can't say I disagree. I think I'll be watching that one.

Another article discussing material change: Q&A: Making the power provider choice | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

In the mean time, it's time for me to find another electric provider.

NPC, by offering electricity to customers for cheaper than you can buy it for, you failed. No one is going to go stay with you at this new rate you offer, and especially since your phone lines are on indefinite hold.

Again, just wanted to spread the news for everyone to watch out. With skyrocketing energy costs, other companies could follow suit...

(And hopefully when someone Googles "National Power Company" this thread comes up.)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-13-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Clear Lake TX
8,314 posts, read 28,067,879 times
Reputation: 4621
Nope, that wasn't me on the news. I figured it'd be a good story for either them or Fox26. Anyway, I was a little confused by the plain white envelope with the plastic window. But then I thought perhaps some people would figure it was junk mail and simply throw it away? Someone could claim that they never received notice, as the letter was not certified mail, w/ return receipt.

So anyway, by dropping them and going with someone else, it looks like I will be robbed of ~ $300 of "wealth" over the course of a year. I may have the means to take action, but don't really have the will for that amount. However, this does sound like a class action type of case. A good lawyer may be able to convince a judge how they violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA).

When the dust settles, maybe I'll get a check big enough to buy a 6 pack.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX (Bellaire)
4,898 posts, read 12,330,438 times
Reputation: 4159
I just read this article recently, might be worth checking into:

SueEasy Goes Live - Your Class Action Lawsuit Lottery Ticket
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:18 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 5,962,448 times
Reputation: 1013
I think moreso, its the punitive effect that it has on company's to keep the others playing fair. If these guys don't get hit, then what's to stop the next company from doing the same?

I'm sure there are several thousand subscribers to National Power that maybe a bit more than peeved about this bait & switch, which could add up to a mighty big suit.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,308 posts, read 35,834,582 times
Reputation: 7117
This reminds me of that commercial... "And these customers we have? We've gotta get new ones, they're always angry!"
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:30 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,755 times
Reputation: 10
I got the same notice and just called the PUC to file a complaint. They mentioned that this is allowed under the rules of play but it could change if there are enough complaints filed. So please file a complaint with the PUC @ 888-782-8477. The message says that you have to file in writing but if you stay on and speak to someone they will file it during the call.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Austin & Houston, TX
1,461 posts, read 5,175,861 times
Reputation: 424
Violating the DTPA is a big NO NO. Two 24oz of the cheap stuff, since gas prices fuel everything lol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
Nope, that wasn't me on the news. I figured it'd be a good story for either them or Fox26. Anyway, I was a little confused by the plain white envelope with the plastic window. But then I thought perhaps some people would figure it was junk mail and simply throw it away? Someone could claim that they never received notice, as the letter was not certified mail, w/ return receipt.

So anyway, by dropping them and going with someone else, it looks like I will be robbed of ~ $300 of "wealth" over the course of a year. I may have the means to take action, but don't really have the will for that amount. However, this does sound like a class action type of case. A good lawyer may be able to convince a judge how they violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA).

When the dust settles, maybe I'll get a check big enough to buy a 6 pack.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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