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Green Mountain Energy

Green Mountain Energy
Overall Satisfaction Rating 1.36/5
  • 5 stars
    4
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    0
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    4
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  • 1 stars
    64
Based on 75 ratings

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    Green Mountain Energy Reviews

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    Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
    Rated with 2 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 21, 2020

    I was a customer of Green Mountain for about 3 years, starting from the time I purchased my house and got service. When I started, my per kWh rate was about $0.01 or so lower than the area's primary energy provider. I wasn't lied to, but something you should understand if you live in a deregulated power market is that when you are asked if you want to use an alternative energy provider the operators you speak to are carefully restricted as to how they can respond to questions. In some sense this makes sense, because otherwise you could have operators that work for the primary supplier bad mouthing other options, which wouldn't be fair. That said, it also means they can't supply some important information about options they present to you, which is how I got taken advantage of by Green Mountain.

    When I was presented the option, I knew enough to ask if the price was a "teaser" rate, meaning that the true price was higher than what I would start at. I was told no, that what I was being offered was the regular rate. Here's the sneaky part though. When they say it's the regular rate, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the rate they charge every customer, it only means the price won't increase during your contractual period, typically a year. So what happened to me is that almost immediately after my first year the company began scamming me.

    That's a hard accusation, so here's what I mean by it: when they are defending themselves, companies like Green Mountain will tell you that after your contract period expires, prices may "fluctuate" with the market. Most people hear fluctuate and think 'up and down', but that doesn't actually have to be true for them to use the word. After my initial year, Green Mountain began raising rates by about $0.03 per kWh every six to eight months. Always an increase, and always by about the same amount. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what their strategy was. They know many, and I would argue most, people don't scrutinize every bill. We get a lot of bills every month, and getting into the weeds on each and every one of them would be draining and time consuming, so we scan our bills to see if they look 'about right'.

    Green Mountain is taking advantage of that aspect of human nature to slowly scam you out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Their hope is clearly that by increasing in small increments over quasi-random time periods that they can sneak the increases past your monthly bill scan, like the proverbial frog in the pot of water. They want to boil you, but they know full well that if they try to do it all at once you'll drop them like a scalding hot pot handle, so instead they just make little changes designed to slip under your notice.

    Unfortunately this strategy is not unique; you see it in a wide swath of monthly services these days, particularly if you are older because companies know that older customers are less likely to carefully scrutinize bills. My mother, for example, has her Internet and cable TV bill increase almost every three to six months unless I call and threaten to switch services to keep her bill from increasing. And I have had to tell her to hang up on calls from her providers after a negotiation because I found that after I negotiated a new price the company would call within a month and try to confuse her with some offer that nullified the regular service rate.

    It's a disgusting but popular strategy in any market that isn't regulated. In my case, my Green Mountain electrical charges increased four times over two years from just below parity with the local energy provider to just slightly more than double, and I have zero doubt they would have continued that trend for as long as they could. While I admit it wasn't illegal, I would argue that their behavior was very intentionally deceitful and opportunistic, which meets my definition of a scammer. That said, you will often see defenses of companies like Green Mountain, whether real or fake I couldn't guess, that fall into one of the following:

    1. "Sure they regularly increase prices, but it's on you as the consumer to keep track of that and if you call them they'll reset the rate and contractual time period." Boiled down this argument is 'It's all your fault if you get taken advantage of because I found a way to not get taken advantage of'. This is a facile and callous argument that assumes that because you have the time, energy, and mental wherewithal to find the loopholes that everyone else should as well. By this argument, if I have never paid income tax because I studied tax law and found obscure ways to avoid paying my share, the system is still completely fair even if you end up having to pay more because me, and people like me, found ways out of paying our share. Some people would actually agree with that logic, but it strikes me as the kind of thing people say until they find themselves hurt by being on the wrong side of the equation.

    2. "I don't mind paying more if it helps the environment." Neither do I, within reason, but that isn't what's happening here. If the price increases were just to cover the gap between industry standard and green power generation costs, there would be a regular or average price that might fluctuate slightly but would otherwise be relatively stable. That isn't what's happening here. This is a systematic attempt to keep increasing prices and gouge as much as they can from customers without alerting them to what's going on, while trying to hide that reality behind a camouflage of 'going green'. Somewhere some elderly people are getting charged triple or quadruple standard costs because they don't have the capacity to catch on to what Green Mountain is doing to them, and I find that reality repugnant.

    3. "Maybe they are gouging a little, but they are pushing forward the transition from fossil fuel to green energy." No, they absolutely are not. Beyond some token programs, the extra money they make isn't used to further the transition of our power grid, it's used to make investors wealthy by using tactics that we would otherwise complain about but might give a pass to here because of our emotional connection to the concept of "green energy". Making a profit is not a sin, but how you make it is important no matter how noble sounding the rationale.

    Anyway, that's my complaint about Green Mountain. I think that they use highly deceptive and opportunistic business practices designed to make them appear like a noble option when they are really just taking advantage of people's desire to do something good. I'd strongly recommend avoiding becoming a customer of this company.

    8 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 14, 2020

    Green Mountian Energy company took 2 payments out of my bank account. I called them 1 business day after to get my money back. I have called EVERYDAY and have talked to an "account supervisor" EVERY TIME. They "ESCALATE" the issue.. I have called EVERYDAY FOR 2 WEEKS STRAIGHT. This starts my 3rd week of trying to get my money green mountain STOLE from me. I wanted to go green for the environment but their customer service has shown me I need to find a new company.

    When they took the 2nd UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENT FROM MY ACCOUNT they caused me a week of negative money in my account; which I got penalized for. I started this June 30th and it's is now July 14th and I am still trying to get my $138 back and get compensation for the other bills that are now late because of Green Mountain. I was told that the account supervisors boss would call me july 13th but again was lied to. I used to sell this service door to door in the hot Texas heat.. But no more am I a supporter.

    8 people found this review helpful

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      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Feb. 8, 2020

      This company has horrible sales methods!!! He basically told my husband we were required to give him our electric bill, that he works with the township and several nearby areas. I was supposed to have received a letter requiring me to show them my energy bills for proof of overpayment. My husband KNEW that I wouldn't be interested and yet he insisted! My husband told him I wasn't well, that I was in bed, but he said he had to see my bills, it was "required". I finally heard enough and went out there and asked him what service he was selling, electric, solar or gas, he lied, said neither. Then he told me he has to see my bills to show me "proof". I said no that I wasn't well and needed to rest and this wasn't a good time, he said, "Good then I'll be quick." "No no no," I finally lost my cool and told him I wasn't continuing the conversation with him and he said, "Well then, no worries, we'll be back."

      Such a disturbing incident, I've never in my life seen such strong arm tactics to get customers! This borders on extreme and desperate tactics to keep their pockets fattened with all the money they're duping people out of by forcing them into joining. Sickened by this company. I will file a complaint the next time they come to my door!

      8 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 27, 2019

      I moved out of my apartment on December 4th, having paid up through the end of November. Accordingly, I asked this company to send me a break down of the actual charges for the last 4 days, and I will pay it. They ignored me twice, then finally mailed me a bill for 2 months claiming it was due the day before I had even received it in the mail. I would never do business with these folks. Avoid them and choose someone else - you'll be much happier!

      10 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
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      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Oct. 16, 2019

      I wish there was something like "zero" stars. I would give that to Green Mountain Energy. Beware of this business and do not get their service at any cost. I had a single bedroom apartment, I used to travel for work so I wasn't home Mon to Thu yet my bill was $200 a month. Then I called and inquired after 4-5 months and they changed my plan and brought it down to $100 a month which also I thought on the high side. But the best was yet to come...I bought a house in Aug and moved out. However, I kept my apartment lease until the end date of Oct as it was cheaper to keep the lease and run out its due course than cancel it. So Aug to Oct I did not live in the apartment at all - and guess what my bill was??? $125 a month! I called them and they had no explanation. Do not sign up for them at all.

      23 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 5 stars
      profile pic of the author
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Oct. 15, 2019

      I've lived in my current house for 10 years and have used Green Mountain for 10 years. We live in an established 30 year old neighborhood with trees that line and cover the streets, but most of the house is not covered. I'm guessing our neighborhood is at least cooler overall than some of the newly built neighborhoods. We get the Texas heat with maybe some shade on the house when the sun rises and sets. Our house is 2,200 square feet, running on one A/C unit and we keep it at 75 degrees when we're home in the summer, 78 when we're out of the house at work, with little/no-use of the A/C in the winter (gas heater). We have those black solar screens on our windows, the original windows (none of that fancy gas filled energy saving double pane windows), the A/c is about 2 years old, and all brick construction.

      Our bills for 2019 have ranged from $60 in January to $125 in July and the highest was $162 in September. I've never had a ridiculously high bill like one person said >$300 in a small apartment. When they e-mail me to let me know my contract is about to expire, I get on top of that to avoid what these other reviewers are probably experiencing (suddenly higher rates). I've actually received a call from a rep one time to ask me if I wanted to renew over the phone since I didn't respond to the e-mail. I hope this review is helpful and that more people consider using a green energy company.

      8 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Sept. 24, 2019

      I have been with Green Mountain Energy for 2years. I live in a one bedroom, square foot 759. It is sad to say, but Green Mountain is dishonest. Honesty and loyalty goes a long way. I don't need you to discuss my bill, I need the company to be honest with their customers! For a one bedroom my bill is $347. If Green Mountain has any regards to their customers!?! Hopefully, the representatives will be honest when signing up customers! No, worries I will not be recommending anyone I know to do business with Green Mountain! Integrity?

      26 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Sept. 22, 2019

      While I don't know if their practice is unique, the average billing feature is a scam. Essentially they are supposed to average your bill, giving you a reasonably consistent rate month to month. Sounds great, right? However, they raise rates constantly - which means you quickly begin accruing a monthly balance from the amount 'over the average' (the average is based on previous usage, so if the rate constantly goes up, you'll never be paying a consistent amount - it will ALWAYS be more). So when you want to cancel average billing, or switch providers, you owe the full deferred amount. Basically this functions as a unlimited-length contract with an extremely high cancellation fee. Awful and deceptive practice that should be illegal.

      26 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      profile pic of the author
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Sept. 9, 2019

      Called on three separate occasions to set up new service. Was given the wrong information the first two times. At the end of the third time, I asked if there was anything else needed or would I walk into my new house in three days and the power would be on. I was told "Yes, there is nothing else needed. Your power will be on in 24-48 hours."

      Arrived at the house on a Saturday Evening...guess what...NO POWER! The morons sent an email requesting more information even though I was assured I was 100% good to go. They then let me know that it would be another 48 hours, but with the weekend, like 72, before they would turn my power on. RIDICULOUS! I asked for a manager and after another hour of wasted time, mainly waiting on hold (Likely because they have so many other customers they have screwed over) and he said he would escalate it IF after he listened to a recording of the call that the email part was not explained to me. He, of course came back and said it was, even though it was NOT.

      They have my SS, my new home address, all the information they could need in the world and the morons can't turn on my power. Utter incompetence. I will NEVER use GME, nor NRG, their parent company's products or services again. I will warn everyone I know or even bump into about their CRAPPY lack of customer service.

      15 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      profile pic of the author
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Sept. 5, 2019

      First of all I want to say this is one of the most ridiculous energy company. I have been with GME since 10/2019 and for the first few months it was good until lately when my bill spiked up and up and up but I never bothered to check. I just made my payments. When my bill was due I paid it always on time only for me to move from my 1 bedroom apartment to a new house some few days ago and I get a bill of $500.73 and when I called them I was told it was money that accumulated from my bills since January 2019 saying that I signed up for average billing which I did not. Neither did I have any knowledge of that.

      Now they are telling me I signed up for it and that I have to pay for it or that they can do a payment plan for me and I am wondering if I was paying almost $130 monthly for a 1 bedroom apartment and then they still say that's just part of the bill and they were keeping part of it aside which is what accumulated to $500.73 and am letting them know I didn't sign up for the average billing stuff. I am just gonna go ahead and file a lawsuit because I am not going to pay that money.

      17 people found this review helpful
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      Green Mountain Energy author review by ConsumerAffairs

      Green Mountain Energy is an electricity company in Texas focused on eco-friendly energy. The company offers electricity via renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power.

      • Eco-friendly: Green Mountain is focused on providing electricity that comes from renewable energy sources. Consumers interested in eco-friendly alternatives to other electricity providers will appreciate Green Mountain.

      • Plans: Green Mountain Energy provides a different selection of plans, including the LITE-UP TEXAS Low Income Discount Plan, which helps qualified residents in Texas with electricity discounts in May, June, July, August and September.

      • Rewards: Green Mountain offers customers who sign up for their plan rewards, including gifts like the Nest thermostat.

      • Cost: Buying electricity generated from cleaner energy sources can be more expensive than buying energy from traditional energy sources such as coal or natural gas.

      • Fees: Green Mountain Energy charges some additional fees, including a fee for opening an account and a fee for closing an account.

      by ConsumerAffairs Research Team

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

      Green Mountain Energy Company Information

      Company Name:
      Green Mountain Energy
      Year Founded:
      1997
      Address:
      300 West 6th Street, Suite 1600
      City:
      Austin
      State/Province:
      TX
      Postal Code:
      78701
      Country:
      United States
      Phone:
      (512) 691-6100
      Website:
      www.greenmountainenergy.com