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Direct Energy contract changes

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Newbie
Jan 6, 2008
24 posts
1 upvote
magster wrote:
Mar 14th, 2012 7:37 pm
DE is feeling the heat so to speak. Just read on Ellen Roseman's website that DE has extended deadline to May 1 opt out of the new contract terms.

http://www.ellenroseman.com/?p=1275#comments

Here is the e-mail address that Ellen Roseman indicated that DE provided: rentalterms@directenergy.com

That's good news as it gives me more time to figure out the replacement as I plan to tell them to come pick it up or drop it off in the near future. As someone else mentioned, this is a great time for a good company in the GTA to get a GB going.
Newbie
Oct 2, 2009
63 posts
5 upvotes
Hi all,

I will have to call and opt out. Funny enough I have been thinking about calling to find out my buy out for a month or two and just never did it.

Question for some people on here- with the Sept 2010 cut off date, is that for new customer installations or if someone had a previous rental replaced due to a aging failing water heater? My folks had the original rental replaced last year (no break in the rental time period) so I am wondering if they need to call as well.

Thanks-
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3339 posts
388 upvotes
Valleywood
Khayes, any replacement of the rental unit by DE resets the rental clock and the new post-2010 contract terms apply. Also the buyout value is now based on a 1 year old tank. When the tank failed, the wiser choice would have been to tell DE to come get their tank.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3339 posts
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Valleywood
hyperactiveme wrote:
Mar 14th, 2012 3:49 pm
I need a new tank probably thus year. I wonder if it makes more sense to buy out once its installed.

No. You will then be buying a 1 year old tank. If the tank is 10+ years old, just buy it out now, save your monthly rental fee and cross your fingers that you get another 2 or 3 years.

Again, a replaced tank will have a "0-1 year in service" buyout value.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2007
4285 posts
300 upvotes
Thanks for reminding me about this. But DE sent letters about contract changes several months ago, I still have mine somewhere. I think it was an RFD thread about this at that time.
Newbie
Dec 15, 2011
5 posts
1 upvote
KANATA
khayes wrote:
Mar 14th, 2012 9:51 pm
Hi all,

I will have to call and opt out. Funny enough I have been thinking about calling to find out my buy out for a month or two and just never did it.

Question for some people on here- with the Sept 2010 cut off date, is that for new customer installations or if someone had a previous rental replaced due to a aging failing water heater? My folks had the original rental replaced last year (no break in the rental time period) so I am wondering if they need to call as well.

Thanks-

khayes,

I am in a similar situation as your parents. I read the Rental Contract that I got when DE changed my HWT (Sept 25) . It is the Pre-sept 2010 wording. I will call and opt out.
Member
User avatar
Mar 1, 2012
330 posts
27 upvotes
So let me get this straight.... Basically if I 'opt out of the new terms and conditions', I can continue to be under the 'old terms and conditions' where I can:

-still have my current rented DE tank removed for $75 to be picked up by DE?
-or drop it off myself for free?
-continue with my current rental charges as is... until I decide to remove

These would be old terms and conditions still, correct? I would have these privelages but I just need to call DE to tell them I want to stay this way??

So if all above is true, and if I stay under old terms and conditions, if my rental tank decides to break down in the summer time/winter let's say (like no heat or hot water), what do I do? Call DE and have them come fix it or repair it? At no charge? (Do the current rental charges also include repairs/fixing done by DE as long as you are renting with them?) I know the new terms and conditions they guarantee a technician to come and fix within 24hrs...

Thanks in advance

Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 24, 2008
1028 posts
77 upvotes
Etobicoke
ryebread12 wrote:
Mar 15th, 2012 8:49 am
So let me get this straight.... Basically if I 'opt out of the new terms and conditions', I can continue to be under the 'old terms and conditions' where I can:

-still have my current rented DE tank removed for $75 to be picked up by DE?
-or drop it off myself for free?
-continue with my current rental charges as is... until I decide to remove

These would be old terms and conditions still, correct? I would have these privelages but I just need to call DE to tell them I want to stay this way??

So if all above is true, and if I stay under old terms and conditions, if my rental tank decides to break down in the summer time/winter let's say (like no heat or hot water), what do I do? Call DE and have them come fix it or repair it? At no charge? (Do the current rental charges also include repairs/fixing done by DE as long as you are renting with them?) I know the new terms and conditions they guarantee a technician to come and fix within 24hrs...

Thanks in advance


All TRUE..

As for the heater breaking down, under either contract they are still obliged to come fix/repair it.

I have had them come out and fix my water heater back in January and they showed up in less than 3hrs.
State that there is absolutly no hot water and they will/should put a rush on it.
The only place you're going to find a helping hand, is at he end of your own wrist. Joe Mondello
Newbie
Oct 20, 2009
11 posts
magster wrote:
Mar 14th, 2012 5:35 pm
If your water tank was installed prior to Sept 15/10 then the existing contract does not contain the buyout penalty but if your water tank was after Sept15/10 then you have the contract with the ridiculous forced buyout. DE's nasty tactics are aimed at suckering people like me whose existing rental agreement doesn't have the buyout penalty to inadvertently accepting the new terms by not calling them.

Here's the link to the DE contracts. I made sure to download a copy of the pre-Sept15/10 contract to confirm that there was no wording for a forced buyout at termination.
http://residential.directenergy.com/EN/ ... ement.aspx

Terrible service, I was able to call last Friday to confirm that I was refusing the new contract but haven't been able to get a figure for a buy out. In the interim, I've been calling around to get quotes for a new water tank.

Magster, when our heater was replaced in 2010 we obtained written agreement via email from Direct Energy that we would not be subject to the new contract (which in any case we were not informed of until after installation). It is their own written agreement that they are now calling "misinformation."
Newbie
Apr 21, 2005
2 posts
If I email: RentalTerms@DirectEnergy.com
What information do I have to provide? I assume some type of customer ID is needed.

On my gas bill, I only have an Enbridge customer ID that I can find. The Direct Energy rental charge is just another line item on the bill.
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 24, 2008
2698 posts
599 upvotes
Toronto
fastlayne wrote:
Mar 13th, 2012 3:23 pm
Based on the 2009 Buy-out Schedule (PDF Link Here) any CV60 (or even PV60) tank approaching 15 years is yours for $100.

DE operators are ready to take your call! ;)

That buy-out schedule is wrong. We bought out our 17 year-old tank in January for $25.
Member
Mar 19, 2008
473 posts
22 upvotes
irishbear wrote:
Mar 15th, 2012 9:41 am
If I email: RentalTerms@DirectEnergy.com
What information do I have to provide? I assume some type of customer ID is needed.

On my gas bill, I only have an Enbridge customer ID that I can find. The Direct Energy rental charge is just another line item on the bill.
All you should need is your address and possibly name. I emailed them ( at DEHS-BillingEnquiries@directenergy.com ) and that was all I needed.
Newbie
Oct 20, 2009
11 posts
Here is an interesting anonymous comment on the Ellen Roseman column. It was posted Mar 15 2012:

[INDENT][INDENT]The terms and conditions used by DE under its contracts with customers prior to Sept. 15, 2010, did not provide the right to amend the contract by notice to the customer.

The Ontario Consumer Protection Act and Regulations (the “CPA”) distinguishes between consumer contracts that contain provisions allowing for amendment and those that do not.

Consumer contracts entered into outside of the supplier’s place of business (i.e. at the consumer’s door, by phone or over the internet) can only be amended if all of the requirements of Section 41(2) of the Regulation 17/05 are satisfied, including:

• the supplier provides to the consumer all of the information that was originally required to be set out in the agreement when it was first entered into and the update reflects the effect of the proposal to amend;

• the party who receives the proposal, in this case the consumer, explicitly and not merely by implication, agrees to the amendment; and

• an acknowledgment from a consumer that he or she has received a proposal does not in itself constitute the consumer’s agreement to the proposed amendment.

In addition, under general contractual principles, unless a contract specifically provides otherwise, it cannot be unilaterally amended by one party without the explicit consent of the other party.

DE’s water heater terms and conditions (for installations prior to Sept. 15, 2010) are posted on their website.

It appears that Direct Energy is not acting in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act.

It appears they are negative optioning their customers into an agreement that binds them to buyouts of the water heater (several hundred dollars in the average case).

Where is the Ontario Minister of Consumer Services? Consumers have been complaining to the Ministry for the past couple of weeks, yet the Minister has yet to act or respond publicly. This issue affects almost 1.2 million Ontarians.

Look at the speed by which Direct Energy has, soon after the expiry of the consent order, moved to implement the exact practices that the Competition Bureau expressly prohibited them from doing.

If you take the average buyout, based on an estimate of the age of tanks and number of customers, they have added more than $500 million of value to EnerCare Inc., the DE affiliate that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.[/INDENT][/INDENT]

On the same page, Lisa Frizzell of Direct Energy posts that Direct Energy has extended their deadline from April 2nd to May 1st.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2582 posts
548 upvotes
NORTH YORK
Techhead wrote:
Mar 15th, 2012 9:32 am
All TRUE..

As for the heater breaking down, under either contract they are still obliged to come fix/repair it.

Will have to be careful here though. The way it sounds to me, even if you opt out of the "new" contract and stay in the old one, if your heater ever broke down now and you called DE, they would insist you put in a brand new heater and you would then automatically be put under the "new" contract.

So in other words, everyone should immediately buy out their tank, and just hope it lasts at least as long as the months needed to make up the cost in monthly rental charges you would be saving. Cause when this heater breaks... its better to buy new than go back to DE to fix it. Unless of course you want to rent the rest of your life in that house.
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