Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Had the gas turned on for 1 day in Sept for a home inspection on a short sale property I was interested in. $52 for turning the gas on. Ok, I get that. So I ended up purchasing the property, now I have a $121 "seasonal reconnect" fee? I called up and they basically told me because I bought the property in the winter time and I had it turned on that one day it is considered a reconnect. I said, "that was for the home inspection!" She said "too bad" and when I asked to speak to a manager she politely told me to ** off. UNREAL. So I guess I better pay the $121 reconnect before they disconnect and charge me again and according to these over review end up for $1000 in fees. UNBELIEVABLE.
I returned Monday (8/29/16) from being out of town for 5 days and noticed a tag on my door from Columbia Gas telling to call 800 number to turn my gas meter back on, without stating any reason why my service was discontinued. I called the number at about 4:00 PM that day and lady told me that they could not turn it on until Wednesday (8/31/16) and that if I missed the appointment date there would be a charge of $87. I told her that I had an auto payment plan and it wasn't my fault that the service was cut off. Her response was "the serviceman will call you within 30 minutes of arrival" and ended the call without saying that they were sorry for the inconvenience.
The serviceman arrived on Wednesday at the correct time after he telephoned me. He told me that they had disconnected my meter on 8/26/16 at 2:45 pm to check my line for a flow valve which it didn't have and in the future would have to be installed. He said that they would have come out Monday the 29th and reconnected the line and she was wrong for telling me that they weren't available until Wednesday. So for two days I went without use of my gas range and hot water. I wonder now if I will have to go through this again when they install the flow valve?!
Their fees are astronomical, higher than the actual gas services itself. They tack on an $89 fee/charge for everything and sometimes more than once for the same thing! On two occasions I scheduled an appointment stayed home all day in a one-level apartment and waited only to find a "sorry. we missed you" tag on my door in the afternoon. I promptly called in explaining that I had been home all day that I was in a small apartment and the doorbell was never rung nor was the door knocked on. I was told too bad and that it would cost me another $89 and another 5 day wait to have somebody come back out.
The company takes no responsibility for their shortcomings, extremely poor/borderline rude customer service, excessive/bogus fees and their representatives say one thing on one call and deny it on the next. This company is taking advantage of the monopoly they have in my area to provide Gas services. I can guarantee you if there was another Gas provider available Columbia Gas would dramatically change their unprofessional and billing ripoff dealings with their customers or they would no longer be in business. Needless to say I will not be renewing my rental lease solely based on Columbia Gas!
I come home today to a piece of paper that my gas was shut off after being 1 day overdue, according to my online account. I never received any notice that this was going to happen. I never spoke with anyone. The representative acknowledged that they have no record of anyone speaking with me but stated "We sent you two automated messages". They had my address wrong and could not confirm that anyone had contacted me directly. I have never been late on a bill from them. They wanted me to pay what I owed $113.44, which I would gladly pay. But they also told me in order for me to have any service I would also have to pay $87.00 turn on charge, $239.00 security deposit, and get this, $75.00 to light my pilot light.
Now it gets better, when I ask the representative, "Is there any other company that I can get gas from?" She stated, "No one else can supply you with gas because we service your area. You can try, but I don't think they will." Sounds like a monopoly to me. Grand total $514.44... I even spoke with a supervisor. Please take the time to write your complaint if this has happened to you from Columbia Gas of Virginia.
We were informed to pay the past due of $169.00 and an $87.00 reconnection fee. This amount was paid on a Thursday and a reconnection appointment was set for the next day (FRIDAY). The representative scheduling this appt. was specifically asked was it necessary to have someone home. We were informed that as long as the backyard was obtainable and no pets were on the premises that all was fine.
I arrive home Friday evening and find a note stating that we would need to reschedule due to no one being at the home. Once I finally speak with a Columbia Gas rep, we are informed the earliest appt. for reconnection is Wednesday of the following week. Are you serious? 2 small children in a house with no heat, hot water or food preparation for 7 entire days, AFTER the necessary steps of payment, reporting of payment etc. were established is ridiculous and horrible business. After speaking with a Supervisor, the appointment is pushed to Monday. This is unbelievable. Either more training is necessary for employees or Columbia Gas is ok with having one of the worse reputations of any company in the state of Virginia. Not certain if they have been reviewed by the BBB, but they need to be.
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One of the worst consumer services in the business. I missed one payment and they shut off my gas on a Thursday afternoon. I paid the full amount plus a "deposit" and $87 to have the service reconnected. I was told that service will be restored the next business. This was during one of coldest weekends in February. I was told that I could pay an additional $87 to have it turned on that day!!! I told them I was not paying any more money. On Monday they told me that the call was "lost" and they did not have me on the route that day to restore service. I cannot believe these people are allowed to continue to do business this way. I have already contacted another provider of Natural Gas and will be changing companies as of next week. I am in the process of contacting the District Attorney and explaining to them how this company handles its customers. I would encourage anyone who has a complaint to do the same.
VERY MONEY HUNGRY COMPANY!!! BE AWARE!! ! The company charges a deposit up front that you can receive back if you pay your bills on time for a year. Mine was $100. They also charge a fee of $75.00 to have a tech light the pilots and inspect the premises. Both of these things are understandable, however, if you choose to NOT have a technician light the pilots and inspect the home they charge you $46.00. I asked the customer service representative, "So you charge to have a tech light the pilots and inspect the home, but you also charge to have a tech not light the pilots and inspect the home?" The representative simply replied with "Yes." So this company charges you just because they can. I am being charge $46.00 to have them do nothing!
This company came out after 1 day of the bill being past due. No shut off notice - no nothing. I was out of town on business, when I got back I called and paid it. They were to come out the same day to turn it on. Well, their tech decided he didn't want to work so he goes into my VM without letting it ring and tells me he's attempted to call and I have to reschedule. l call the customer service. They tell me there is nothing they can do, no way to contact him to tell him I am at home and that the next appt they have avail.... is NEXT WEEK! 7 days from now. I have two young kids, how am I to feed them (gas stove), how am I to bathe them (gas water heater)? This IS CRAZY! But they don't care because they know I have no choice, if I want gas in my house, I have to use them! WORST utility company ever!
Every individual I've ever dealt with at Columbia Gas, whether a field technician in person or a corporate employee on the telephone, invariably their attitude has been arrogant, condescending, and anything but customer-service oriented. Their attitude is exactly what you would expect from a monopolistic business. They don't have to offer good customer service because they know their customers have no options. I am disappointed that the regulators/legislators have allowed this to occur and perpetuate.
Like many others I have also experienced the shut off of services due to late payment by 1 day. First time in 18 years due to just oversight and misplaced bill. I immediately paid all that was due after hours online and called first thing the next morning to give my confirmation #. Had no idea I would have to pay a security deposit as much as $800!!! I absolutely was in shock! No waiver of fees. No consideration of loyalty. No adjustment and nobody else to talk too!! Then say the first available reconnect appointment was as much as 10 days out BUT could squeeze to 4 days out but with much begging I could pay an additional $87 for next day with open appointment between 8-4:30pm!! This just seems so illegal! They hold a monopoly on a needed service and rip customers off because we have no options!! Pure disgust with this company!!
First of all, a Columbia Gas worker showed up in his truck this morning and proceeded to sit in my driveway for an hour or smoking cigarettes. When I finally came out to investigate, he said he was waiting for his buddy to show up. I ask him what they were going to be doing on my home and he said that they were putting in a pipe to protect the gas meter and prevent corrosion. His buddy finally showed up and they proceeded to install an ugly metal 3 feet tall pole next to the back entrance of my house. It is unsightly and poorly placed. They moved all of my potted plants away from the steps and placed their so called "required by law" pole there instead. When I called Columbia Gas to complain I was greeted with rudeness instead of receptiveness by an obviously unintelligent poor soul by the name of "Kim" (she refused to give me her last name). If only there was another option for service. Horrible monopoly of a company.
Unfortunately there is not another option to have gas for your home and you have to use this company if you are living in my area. The customer service representatives are rude. They do not put everything in the computer that was discussed. They try to double charge you fees so KEEP YOUR CONFIRMATION NUMBER!!!!! They are very unwilling to assist or help out in any way. Hopefully you can get your situation resolved during the business day because if not they cannot do anything on the weekends but tell you to call customer service back at a later time. Honestly the worst utility company I have ever had to use. Despite not receiving any notification of shut off, having the wrong account number on the shut off notification. Having a first time issue with this company, they still charged me a $217 security deposit and $75 turn on charge.
The gas was shut off sometime Thursday. I paid as soon as I got home $280.99 stating that the notice I received on my door was a quote. I was told that someone was coming out Friday, no one showed up. I was able to be home all day due to having the day off of work. Then Saturday comes around. I have my daughter’s birthday party. I figured that they said the gas was restored. Perhaps I just had to light the pilot or something. I call the company Sunday realizing that still no hot water and that someone failed to show up Friday but the payment was made and they told me I had to wait to call customer service during normal business hours. I called first thing Monday. If I wanted someone out today I would have to pay another $85 to have it turned on today, if not sometime between 8 AM and 4:30 PM tomorrow.
Wow that is almost a week from when I paid to when I can get my gas turned back on. I received ZERO prior notification despite them telling me they sent it and yet we didn’t even have the correct information on the shut off notice. Regardless of being pregnant and in the hospital for food poisoning that week, the first time asking for a monetary break from the company in regards to their outrageous fees and trying to stay calm I still received rude service from extremely unhelpful and non-understanding people. If this was a company I could choose to cancel without hurting my family I 100% would. Good thing for them that they are more of a monopoly or I would take my business somewhere else immediately! Sorry if you live in our area and have to use them.
I have owned a house in northern VA for the past three years and have never missed their bill. My wife has been in the hospital for the past 2 weeks and she usually pays the bill and I got home yesterday from the hospital and a saw a letter stating our gas has been cut off. In a panic I pick up the phone and call customer service to pay the $165 dollar bill along with $330 in late fees and reactivation fee. When I said this has never happened before and my wife has been in the hospital the representative did not care. I paid the bill and they said it will take three business days to turn back on and I told them I have a 16 month old baby in the house and we need gas and I paid the bill. The representative responded "I don't care. It will take three days." WORST COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH. What they do is legal? I will contact my local gov. representative.
The exorbitant fees that this company charges if a customer is late are absolutely ridiculous. This is a utility that people depend on for the care of their families. I had been a customer of theirs for more than a year. I was one day late on my bill and they shut off my gas. I expected to pay a reconnection fee of $50 or so, but they charge $75. A snow storm was expected to hit my area that night, and I thought my service would be restored that day after paying the past due amount and reconnection fee. They would not restore my service for three days unless I agreed to pay an additional $85. In addition, they wanted a security deposit of $409 dollars, but adjusted down to $140, which is still ridiculous. They also wanted $75 to start the pilot light on my water heater, which I declined. A $195 gas bill ended up costing almost $550 and would have cost over $700 if they had made me pay the full security deposit.
I am amazed that this company is not being investigated for ripping off their customers. The fees and charges should not be allowed for a utility such as this. The customer service representatives showed no care or concern that my family would be without heat during freezing temperatures. I would do anything possible not to do business with this company.
Came home from carpool to discover a note on my front door. The gas was shut off and the hand written note quoted a "reconnect fee", past due amount and security deposit. I knew I had paid the bill so I called immediately as it is in the 20's today. The RUDE customer service girl explained that they had "left me a voicemail" (and I checked my Caller ID and there was NO message NOR was there a vm) and I explained I mailed my regular bill on time like I had done for the past 17 years!
She proceeded to explain there was NOTHING she could do but to take a credit card or check over the phone to remedy the situation and to "start an investigation" as to what happened to the check. Never once did Columbia Gas offer (as a loyal customer) to waive the $75 reconnect fee. They also (like in ALL the other posts) said they could come out the next day to reconnect unless I paid ANOTHER $85 dollars to get the same day service.
In addition they offered to connect my pilot lights for an additional $75 or to "call your own plumber". ARE THEY KIDDING ME? WHAT A RACKET! A DANGEROUS, UNSAFE RACKET! Meanwhile, I have a "floating" $588 check out there to them and an $800 accrual of bogus "fees" I had to pay to get them to get my gas turned on. The Supervisor told me they "owned my lines" and therefore it was impossible to get another company! APPALLING service and utility company...
Columbia Gas had to fix the line that fed my house. The problem is they can't guarantee they will turn the gas back on the same day. Due to no fault of mine, I have to take a half day of leave from work, and they can't even guarantee they will be here to turn it on. The customer service rep on the phone was nice but offered no help in my situation, so I have to sit here and wait hoping they will show up so we can have heat tonight. There is no recourse, we are at the beck and call of their schedule, not ours. Makes matters worse was this was due to no fault of mine. Not a customer-friendly company, but there is no other option for me so why would they care.
We just moved from California to Virginia with our two babies. No one told us (not our real estate agent, the power or water company, or the previous owners) that we needed to set up gas service for heat and hot water. In California all power and gas is supplied by SDGE. When we arrived at our new home in VA we were shocked to find there was no hot water and no heat. It is below freezing outside and we are fighting to keep the house above 60. We called Columbia to request emergency services and explained our situation. We even offered to pay extra to have someone come out immediately. But they were very rude to us and said they wouldn't send anyone out until the following Monday (we moved in on a Friday). We pleaded with them over and over to help us. But they refused and we're as cold and uncaring as the weather outside. I'm pretty sure it's a federal law to provide heat to paying customers.
As movers were finishing my move in, a Colombia Gas Tech arrived to shut off the gas to my new home. I had just moved from NY where you call one company to start your gas and electric service (NYSEG). I had called Dominion Power to start service and did not realize that I needed to call an additional company for gas. I told the technician that I would call, but he said he had to disconnect the service right then. He could see the movers were moving things in. I immediately called Columbia gas and requested service. They originally said the hook up would not happen for 9 days. With temperatures forecasted to be a low in the 30's. I asked for expedited service. For an additional $85, they agreed to turn it back on in 2 days. They will not light the 3 pilots for my furnace, hot water heater and fireplace and encouraged me to hire a licensed plumber to do that. They also gave me an 8-hour time window for reconnection. I just started a brand new job and have to ask for a day off.
To top it off, their customer service rep asked me if I wanted to be connected with a third party service called ALL CONNECT for other utility connections. Dominion Power also uses ALL CONNECT and when I called Dom Power they transferred me to ALL CONNECT who gave me higher quotes on cable than the Internet and never even mentioned Gas service. No flexibility, poor customer service and long wait times for connection. If only Virginia Natural Gas had a main line on my street.
I was 1 day late on my bill and they cut my service off. The bill was $142, so when I called them to pay it the day after it was due, they had already cut my service off and to make matters worse they charge a $75 re-connection fee which is understandable but the $181 security deposit fee and the additional $85 to re light the pilot is outrageous. So a $142 bill has now turned into a $483 BILL! Oh and if you want them to come out the next day it's an additional $85 on top of that. So it takes 1 minute to cut it off but 2-3 days to come back out. Then you have a time frame of 8-5 pm that they will come out.
Why does it take four days to get gas service turned back on after the bill has been paid?????? I'm glad the rest of the world doesn't have the same service model. "9-1-1 - what's your emergency?" "There's a fire." "We'll be there in two days." And why is Columbia Gas a monopoly in Virginia?
Columbia Gas shut down my gas twice; both times I was late in payment for a couple of days! Yes granted it was my fault that the payment was late. But their reconnect fee is outrageous! $75 turn on charge stated on the bill. But wait, when you call the customer service, they told you have to pay another $75 if you want to have the tech turn on the pilot light, and an additional $85 fee for expedited turn on! That's $235 total fee for $80 past due I owed! This is robbery!!! The customer service is unprofessional and unsympathetic. I'm done dealing with this company! Screw you Columbia Gas of Virginia! Luckily my lease is almost over, and now it's summer. I can shower at the gym and cook using electricity. In my entire life I've never felt as frustrated with any utility company as Columbia Gas.
Unable to handle my billing issues. They're not efficient in getting you to supervisor, supervisor usable to assist you. Extremely poor customer service. We will close our account and no member of my family will use this company, and I will tell my friends about my experience with Columbia gas.
With Bay State Gas, never had to wait 3 weeks so far for a part?? Columbia Gas is screwing us by threatening us with no service if we do not take the Guardian Care Plan. I have used Guardian Care Plan since it first started in my house in Milton and continued using it here in Marshfield, which is since 1970 (Marshfield). This new service with Columbia Gas is ridiculous. The gas company (Bay State) employees were kind and helpful and CARED. I can vouch for that when I needed a new furnace in 2006.
We've been having issues getting our mail, and so we did not realize we were past due 108 dollars on our gas bill. Our gas was promptly shut off. I understand this. The part I'm upset is the $75 reconnect fee, which is only executed a week later. If we want immediate reconnection it's an additional $85. So from $108, to $268 which is a 248% increase. No late payment in the world is 248%. I understand, there are service needs that require additional techs.
It gets worse, when we're required to pay a $376 deposit. Which brings the total to $644. That's a 596% increase. We were given the option to be billed on part of this, so our ending bill was $311 on a bill of $108. This I can understand, although it's very high fees.
When the tech came out, he was unable to re-establish service due to our water heaters being out of code. To my knowledge we've had these water heaters set up the same way since 1989, certainly since we bought the home in 2011. Columbia gas had no issues connecting service in September/October of 2011. My issue is this, I have no support or service to help us resolve this except to pay a plumber an additional sum to fix this. All the while, Columbia Gas has their money and is charging us for service we do not have access to. We have no alternative company to do service with, we are stuck. Columbia gas owns the market, and the employees reflect this attitude. I'm not being given good customer care, I'm being treated as just another account number to them. I was given the runaround, and told it needs to be brought up to code to re-establish service, with no support or advice. I have a 2-year-old son, and it's getting colder. At this point, I don't know when my family will have heat or warm water. I have two options: move, or pay these prices I consider to be gouging.
This organization has a legal monopoly which is regulated by our state.
Follow up on calls: Complaint would not be accepted. Asked to write letter of complain. Policy referenced and transferred to customer service manager, who explained that my bill was late, and that's why I have this issue. I was then referred to the plant manager.
I forgot to pay my bill, and was 1 day late. That part is my fault obviously. The day after it was due, they shut my gas off. I had an overdue of $53. Freakin $53 (!) and it gets shut off less than 24 hours after due date. So now I have no hot water. But the best part is all the fees they put on you. They want another deposit, reconnect fee, late fees, plus the overdue bill. Then they want $85 to come out right away, then another $75 to light the pilot light. ** really?? They must make an absolute killing off of us hardworking people. It's way more than electric, and the electric company (Dominion) is WAY more lenient.
If you can avoid having these people, by all means, DO IT. There was only 1 person, the guy who turned my gas back on, who was decent. After paying all the fees, plus the $85 get-the-hell-out-here-today fee, I was already irritated. Then I thought... damn... I need to have the pilot light lit! This man did it at no charge. I think even their workers know how ridiculous it is. Whoever runs this place needs a dose of reality... and quick!
I went home from work at lunch time today to find a notice in my door from Columbia Gas of VA. It stated that my gas service had been cut off. They wanted the bill amount which was $82.00 plus a turn on fee of $75.00. Being that it was my fault that the bill was not paid, I would have to bite the bullet and pay the extremely high fee. When I called the company to pay it, I spoke with a rep named Shannon, who really could have cared less about my situation. I asked if the fee could be waived since I had never had this happen before. She said no. I asked to speak with a supervisor, her name was Stacy #**, she was just as unprofessional as the other person or worse.
She told me that if I paid my bill and the $75.00 reconnect fee that they would have someone back at my house on Tuesday to turn it on - 5 days away! I explained to her that I could not go 5 days without hot water. She then went on to tell me that if I paid an additional $85.00 on top of the $75.00 that they could have someone come back to turn it on. But wait that’s not all, for another $75.00, they will relight the pilot light on my hot water heater, which is the only thing that uses gas. It’s amazing how they couldn't get someone to my house till Tuesday for $75.00 but for an additional $85.00 they could get someone there today. This company has a monopoly on the gas business. Their rates are way too high!
So after paying $249.00 to Stacy with my credit card, she states there will be an additional $2.45 for a third party charge for BillMatrix. It just never stops! This company is definitely not customer friendly and the outrageous fees that they charge needs to be looked into! If I had another option for my gas service, I would definitely change.
I went online to Columbia Gas of VA's website to pay my bill. I entered my username and password as usual. I paid $102, my billed amount due. After I selected confirm, no payment was posted on my payment receipts page, and I did not receive an email that my payment went through. Three days later after I still didn't see the payment posted on my account, I paid $40 to see if the payment would post under receipts. It did not. I then received an email that my $40 payment was posted. I went back online to see if I could see the other payment, and it was at the very bottom with the other $40 payment, not listed under receipts but another title in a different box.
I called the customer service number to ask if I could get the payment reversed or cancelled since the other payment apparently did go through three days later, although I didn't receive an email that it did! She gave me another number to call. So, I called that number. After giving the man my account number, he said he didn't see any payments made at all, and couldn't help me and to call Columbia Gas of VA. I said, "I just called them and they told me to call you!" He said he knows but he didn't see my account having any recent payments on it, and he couldn't help me! What in the world? Columbia Gas of VA needs to get their website fixed so payments are posted immediately and emails are sent to confirm payments and have the appropriate billing agents who work with them on the same page as the customer service agents! This is very frustrating! It's the principle of it all. I just want my money back!
Columbia Gas is a den of thieves! I had a gas bill of around $115 for 2 months of usage. On 4/30/12, I paid $50, all the while thinking that the $50 payment would take care of any past due balances. But it didn't, Columbia Gas cut off the service! I come home from work today, 5/15/12, and my gas has been shut off! Dealing with them is what it would be like walking into a back alley dice game. You know you're going to get screwed. I called them and stated my case to no avail. They tell me, "There's nothing we can do." Now they want "reconnection fees, another deposit and all current balances paid." So I miscalculated a payment, big deal! It's $65! ! It's obvious Columbia Gas makes a killing on "reconnection fees." And is my deposit put into an interest bearing account? What a bunch of crooks!
Today is Friday. We were late paying our bill of $88.00. Yesterday when we were out of town, Columbia Gas came to our house and shut off the gas (it was very cold outside). When we came home that evening, we paid the bill online and called today to have the service reconnected. We had to pay an additional $75.00 to do that, but they scheduled the turn on for next Wednesday! So for five days, we have to sit in the cold and use only the microwave to cook. We were told if we wanted to expedite it, they would charge us an additional $85.00. And if we needed them to come inside to light the pilot, that too would cost another $75.00. When we called customer service, they laughed at our being upset.
When my family of 5 moved into our new home of June of 2010, everything was great until we had to get gas through Columbia Gas. Our residence used to be 2 different apartments with different tenants at different times. So, they gave us a deposit of $700 because others neglect to pay their bills. We struggled and got it paid. Since then our service has been current with no disconnections, but we have had to get extensions. I called this afternoon, a year later from the time we've been here and I had to listen to how we weren’t getting our $700 deposit back until we paid our bill by the due date for 12 months straight without using no extensions. This is terrible and a joke.
They should be ashamed of themselves and I hope that their jobs weigh heavily on their personal lives. This is a ridiculous demand and I wish I lived in the perfect world that Columbia Gas does where you always have perfect timing and the right amount of money just to pay them on time. So, they get to "hold" onto $700 that could go towards our children or for home repairs. This is just terrible and I really wish there was another provider of natural gas in our area. Nothing but crooks!
Columbia Gas of Virginia Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Columbia Gas of Virginia