Con Ed: Now With Twice The Bill!

Consolidated Edison — so charmingly short-handed to Con Ed by the consumers they’ve gouged — has a delightful new savings plan for customers now available: by merely paying twice as much as you’re currently paying, you can secure yourself the same amount of power you were getting before at a “fixed rate”… but with an unfixed “supply cost.”

Reader Elaine C. somehow managed to sign up for this plan. She’s not quite sure how — it seems to have involved some boogery child wandering around her apartment complex with a clipboard. Nevertheless, now she’s being charged twice as much for the same amount of electricity she used before. Actually, less! Because she’s been in China for the last two months, which is the period of time ConEd’s been billing her.

Elaine’s perplexed and pissed. A Con Ed CSR, when pressed, admitted to her that while it was a super wonderful deal for her, 9 out of 10 of his fielded calls were complaints about the plan. What it sounds like, though, is that she fell for the good old scamming tricks of IDT Energy resellers, whom we’ve reported before.

Elaine wants to know if there’s a class-action lawsuit. Anyone know of one?

Her email, after the jump.

Though an avid reader of Gawker media’s Kotaku and Gizmodo, I only recently came across your blog, and just in time too! I live in NYC, and if anyone knows anything about NYC, it’s that you have to have some kind of Con Edison service… and it sucks.

So in the last few months, I’ve noticed that I was being charged double for my electricity/gas bill. I wasn’t home for the previous two months because I was in China visiting my family. So I call Con Edison up on Saturday and they tell me that I had somehow been subscribed to Con Edison Solutions (or IDT, or something else…) which gave me a ”wonderful opportunity to enjoy a fixed rate„ on my electricity bill. Only, this fixed rate comes with an unfixed ”supply cost„ from Con Edison to bring electricity/gas to my apartment.

Okay… so the extent of recall I have of ever doing anything to my electricity was when some kid came up to my door and told me to sign something, saying that Con Edison was no longer supplying electricity to my complex and I needed to change suppliers. Okay… maybe if I was a slightly less na

ve consumer, I would’ve checked that up, but I didn’t, and since they weren’t asking for my SSN or credit card info, I signed the paper.

Anyways, back to the phone call. So I was told by the customer service rep that I could switch back to Con Edison proper and stop paying double my bill, but that I would have to talk to the other electricity company first… which prompted me to ask why exactly I would be even subject to a plan that would charge me twice in the first place. The CSR gave some long explanation about how it was beneficial to me as a consumer (riiiight) and how it lowered some electricity bills…

I called it a scam, and he insisted it wasn’t but when pressed, admitted that 9 out of 10 calls he got were complaints about rate increases. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to get my money back because by giving IDT my account number, I had basically voided myself of all ability of restitution.

Okay, what? First off, I didn’t HAVE to give IDT my account number for Con Ed, because they already had it. Secondly, If there are 9 out of 10 people complaining about this, is it possible there’s some class action suit over it (that I can pop my class action cherry on… I’ve never been part of a lawsuit, nor threatened to sue, but frankly, I just paid double my elec. bill for three months and that’s over 100 dollars now!)?