brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

Ameren UE and Piss Poor Customer Service

Ameren

Ameren UE just tried to deny me electricity service. Ameren UE is the only source for electricity in this city and they just tried to deny me service based on the fact that my last name happens to match the last name of someone who stayed in the apartment building I just moved to and they didn’t pay their bill. My furniture is in my new apartment, my gas has been activated, my cable and telephone service has been applied for and they’ll be activated in a couple of days. But without electricity the apartment is practically unlivable according to standards here in America.

I applied for electricity the same day that I applied for the other utility services. The Ameren representative gave me a fax number for me to send documentation such as a copy of my lease, picture identification, and some information regarding my last electric service provider. The next day I called to check the status of my order along with everything else. The electric utility informed me that the application was under review and that if it was approved then service would begin in three or four days. Today, three days later, I called to check the status of the electricity. I was told that my application was denied. Why? My last name matched a previous tenet. Who? Somebody else who shares the same last name.

Now I have one of the most common surnames in America. It ranks right up there with Smith, Jones, Nguyen, Gonzales, Madison, Ford, and Taylor. I come from a large family. I have a number of brothers and sisters and we all have pretty common first names as well. If people are considered guilty by nothing more than name association then my family is as guilty as sin.

I continued my conversation with the representative, but this is where our conversation starts going south. I asked the Ameren representative for information about the people that stayed in the apartment previously. Believe it or not the representative on the other end of the line actually replied, “Oh, you know exactly who we’re talking about.” I tried to explain to the Ameren representative that I was new to the area and that I had just come from several states away and that I didn’t know who she was talking about. My driver’s license from the previous state should prove that I am new to the area. The woman replied that the investigation that Ameren conducted proved beyond their less than reasonable doubt that I was trying to circumvent their payment collection process and that I was indeed related to the people they were trying to collect from. I asked for information about the previous tenets. We don’t give that information out to just anybody. But you just said that I know who you’re talking about so by your supposed logic you are not telling me something that you believe I already know. Well we don’t give that kind of information to family members. So how can I prove I don’t know these people if you don’t give me the information on who these people are? Not our problem. You have a good day in your dark, no electricity house. Click!

My next call was to the state’s public utility commission. I gave them my side of the story. I gave all the information I had. The woman at the state office took all the information and then informed me that a state investigator would call back. When? Well they have to contact the utility and the utility had up to fourteen days to respond. So what am I supposed to do until then? Well don’t you have some place to stay that has electricity? It doesn’t matter, what if I don’t have somewhere else to stay what are my options? Well sir that’s our procedure and they have up to fourteen days to respond and then the investigator has up to thirty days to determine what needs to be done to resolve the situation. This was truly unacceptable.

My next phone call was to the Mayor’s office. The call after that was to the city alderman’s office. The next call after that was to the Governor’s office. The woman at the Mayor’s office admitted that she had a similar problem with the electric company. Ameren UE appears to have a reputation for poor customer service. Obviously, because they are the only electricity provider in town they can run rough shod over people without fear of a loss of business. If you want electricity and you don’t have a windmill or solar cells on top of your house, if you’re not the professor on Gilligan’s Island and you can’t make electric batteries out of coconuts, you’re going to deal with Ameren UE whether you like it or not.

Two hours after calling everybody who I could think might be helpful in getting me the service I am entitled to I received a call from one of the Ameren UE representative. The woman on the other end of the phone was curt and not at all very customer service oriented. She was calling to inform me that the Governor’s office called and that the electricity in the apartment would be activated within the next twenty four hours. It was strongly recommended that any circuit breakers be examined prior to the switch being thrown in order to prevent problems. I didn’t even get a thank you for doing business with Ameren UE. From the way she was responding you would have thought that she was Ms. Ameren herself.

The representatives of Ameren UE do not understand that as the sole provider of electrical services the company does not have the luxury to deny service to potential clients based on little more than coincidental last name and address combinations. Ameren has absolutely no channels for conflict resolution when there is a discrepancy with their woefully less than thorough outstanding payment investigative services. I didn’t even have the option of giving a larger than necessary deposit in order to activate the service until the matter could be resolved. It was Ameren’s way or the highway.

I thank the Governor’s office for their expeditious help in getting this matter resolved. But, I also hold the Governor’s office and the other political entities responsible for the conditions within the state that is making Ameren the unresponsive juggernaut that is able to operate with impunity. The representatives of Ameren may feel that the fact that they deny service is not their problem. But I plan to make it my personal goal to help change the laws that have given Ameren its monopoly. Hopefully, soon this company will realize that me not having electricity truly is their problem.

Monday, October 15, 2007 - Posted by | African Americans, Ameren, Black Community, Black People, Life, Thoughts

8 Comments »

  1. that sounds like ameren. I get a disconnect notice in the mail today.. november 26, and the date to be disconnected is of course november 26. I called and was asking about the cold weather act that they are supposed to abide by, and the customer service rep just kept telling me how much i needed to pay. and i said “i understand that, i want to know about this cold weather act and how it works” well then she started laughing and said “i told you, you need to pay $106” and just proceeded to laugh at me. by the end of the call, i was crying because she made me feel so worthless because i couldn’t afford it. i’ve had issues with them every month. i called one time to see how my bill was $111, when i live in a one bedroom apartment, and she told me it was probably due to me running my air conditioner. i have a window unit and it had been broken for 3 months. my electric bills are larger than my mother’s and she lives in a 1 bedroom house. i just filed a complaint on them, but i doubt it will even matter.

    Comment by amber | Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback amber,

    And when Ameren UE goes out of business these people will be so upset that they lost their jobs and looking for someone to care about them.

    Don’t dis the complaining. That was how I got Ameren to turn on my lights. Especially if they’re the only game in town, the government will help assure that they don’t simply run over people. Besides, it definitely won’t hurt.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. Ameren is a terrible company. Like many in America today I have been unemployed for some time. I have payed all my obligations and kept up with my bills even going through my savings and 401k. Every company I contacted helped me in arranging a way for me to pay some of the bills I was a bit past due on…but not Ameren. They would rather disconnect me than try and work something out. I either have to pay my past due bill of $311.98 or 1/2 of my current total which equals to $250. I told them I could not make the payment… I just don’t have the money, but I could pay a smaller amount of $100-$150 today and then pay a bit more in 1 or 2 weeks or whatever arrangement they could see fit to help me with. NO! nothing doing! Pay the $250 or $311.98 or get disconnected! What a bunch of TOOLS!!

    Comment by james Reedy | Monday, April 30, 2012 | Reply

    • I hate Ameren as well. I’ve had nothing but problems with them since I became unemployeed 8 months ago. Now that I am employed again I’m having the same problem as you James. My heater was broken all winter, so I didn’t use it. Yet they jacked my kilowatt hours up saying I was just using my heater more. I didn’t have a heater!! I am moving to pickup a petition from the state to get an investigation started against Ameren for numerous offenses. I could use all the signatures I can get. This boot legged company pissed off the wrong guy. WG_Kemen@yahoo.com.

      Comment by Anthony Miskel | Tuesday, August 14, 2012 | Reply

  4. Ameren UE is a bully. I had a $351 electric bill on July 31st after just paying $213. I then received a disconnect amount for $642 on September the 9th. I dont understand how my bill can go up $300 in one month!! Not to mention half of August i was out of town. During a phone call Ameren proceeded to inform me that $120 was due to a deposit and $30 for a reconnection fee. That still doesnt explain the remaining amount. So i used $141 in electric in a house that wasnt even occupied for 2 1/2 weeks?? Oh and the only payment arrangement they could offer was for $381 by the 19th or they would disconnect my service on the 20th… They completely take advantage of being the only electric company provider in St. Louis. I am a single mother and these bills are becoming almost my income for the month. There customer service is not a service at all and filing a complaint gets you basically nowhere.

    Comment by Courtney | Monday, September 16, 2013 | Reply

    • well, they are not as bad as laclede gas

      Comment by ken | Saturday, November 2, 2013 | Reply

    • Ameren UE blows! Must be nice to be the only game in town. Disconnect your service when they feel like it. Reconnect your service, when they feel like it. Charge you a reconnect fee and a “asset protection fee” if you reconnect yourself, because their service is piss poor and they can reconnect the same day payment in full is made. And all of this with no option for recourse. Then when you call customer service you are treated like dirt. I waited all day for a supervisor to return my call and they never did. I had to call th back at the end of the day.

      Comment by Roget | Tuesday, October 20, 2015 | Reply

  5. AMEREN UE OF MISSOURI SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY MUST ONLY HIRE THE COLD HEARTED. OUR POWER IS OUT, I INFORMED AMEREN SPOKE TO SEAN AND TOLD HIM MY HUSBAND HAS SEVERAL MEDICAL ISSUES AND CAN NOT BE IN THE HEAT. HE SAID HE DID NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO PUT THE WORK ORDER AT THE TOP NOR DID HE HAVE THE ABILITY TO TRY. WHY WOULD A COMPANY HIRE EMPLOYEES WITHOUT ABILITY. I THEN SENT AN EMAIL AND A SUZANNE S::::: REPLYS TELLING ME WE SHOULD BUY A GENERATOR FOR THESE UNEXPECTED OUTAGES OR MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS.
    I DON’T WANT THEIR ADVICE I WANT MY POWER ON SO MY HUSBAND CAN BREATH.

    Comment by Irene Wobbe | Thursday, July 14, 2016 | Reply


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