PITTSBURGH - After Channel 11 began reporting on skyrocketing energy bills and their link to variable-rate electric suppliers, we sought out the companies responsible.
Consumers directly affected said their supplier, IDT Energy, was to blame. The company has responded to those complaints and said they are now issuing some of those customers “goodwill credits.”
Here’s the full statement issued by the company:
“Every bill for service is unique. Customers have different bill cycles and different blended rates, but we will get to everyone who has reached out to us and will offer assistance to all customers in the form of goodwill credits. By the time the market settles and costs return to more normalized levels, our customer care agents, who are 100% staffed in house and located here in the U.S., will have issued thousands of individual goodwill credits. In fact, we expect to put about $2 million dollars in service rebates, refunds and goodwill credits back in the hands of our customers in just the first few months of this year.
Regarding "How are you advising customers who have unusually high bills and are have expressed concern over difficulty paying them? Are some being offered payment plans?"
In addition to fulfillment of the good-will credits, since the billing and collections functions are managed by the local utility company, we are advising customers to contact the utility in order to set up payment plans and to register for budget billing, where appropriate.
In the coming weeks, costs should come down further and our customers can expect to see their rates compare more favorably with the local utilities and fixed rate providers, who will instead seek to recover their higher incurred costs in the weeks and months ahead. We would like all consumers to be aware that utilities in particular may seek to recover their costs in the form of hidden increases - costs that are not reflected in the utility's commodity rate, but in other categories on the bill.
Essentially, this is a payment offered by IDT Energy to our customers that lowers the customer's cost for the month in question towards the rate he or she paid the previous month, even though that may be well below the rate we paid for the electricity. We recognize that a lot of folks, especially those on fixed income, cannot afford the price spike and we are doing what we can to help.
We encourage IDT Energy customers to call our toll-free customer service number: 877-887-6866 if they have questions about their energy bill. If you have trouble getting through, please try again. You may also submit a request for call back via email at firstname.lastname@example.org but we ask for patience as we are overloaded with inquiries and requests for follow-up at present.