Consumer Complaints and Reviews
We have been customers of NOVEC since 1985. Since then, we have had power outages whenever a "worse-than-average" storm comes through the area. Because of this ongoing problem, we have a diesel generator that can run for days if needed... Indeed, it was needed when Hurricane Sandy passed through here on the way to New York and beyond. Were it not for the generator, we'd have had a basement with a foot of water. But, NOVEC engineers certainly know the history of the outages on this leg of their system. My question is why steps haven't been taken to mitigate the problems caused by the trees and tree branches which fall on the wires shorting out the system here near Bull Run Mountain in Haymarket. Our complaints are solely about these outages. Otherwise, we have a favorable opinion of the company.
9/22 NOVEC turned off my power without any notices to me. When I called, they said I was notified via email. I have been a customer for 22 years, and never missed a payment. In July I changed banks, logged in their website, changed all of my information. They have an old user hostile website, that did not use the new account number. I have not had a paper bill for 10 years, and their e-bill system does not work when updated.
If you have the choice between another company and Novec take the other one. I have had them for 10 years and have never had a correct bill. We signed up for budget billing which has never worked. They tell you one amount and charge you something different. Their cs departments always seem annoyed when you call them. They are worse than the cable company. In the winter we are always without power for 3 or more days while the Dominion side of the neighborhood is fine... No excuse as to why.
I paid my past due electric bill first thing this morning $220.00, only to come home at lunch time to have my service disconnected. I called to tell them that this was a mistake and that my billed was paid 8am this morning. The Rep then tells me I needed to call back and tell them I paid. No one ever told me I had to call back every time I pay. When I spoke to someone this morning, she just transferred me to the phone payment system, which only states that if you have been disconnected to call with a confirmation number. I wasn't disconnected, so I was not aware that I had to call back and the rep never said to call back either.
I was forced to pay a bill that wasn't even due yet in order to restore my service. No one worked with me even though it was their fault. I ended up having to pay the additional $247.45 which I didn't have. I called back to give the confirmation and the lady says "oh we already called for a reconnect." I said to the lady why didn't they do that this morning. This company is horrible, the service is bad and the reps are illiterate and need further training. They also need something on the phone system that states to call back and report EVERY payment. I want to move out of the VA area just so I don't have to deal with NOVEC.
I did not have a notice sent that the gas bill had not been paid. They claim the notice was sent via email but they had my old cell number that was turned off when I last lived in my home almost 2 years ago. Because I did not know a mere $180 dollars was due (really in this mild weather) they turned the service off on Wednesday and could not turn it on till Monday (6 days!). If I paid $85 dollars extra I could have it turned on Friday but I had to be here all day and let them enter the property to do an "inspection" for which the customer service agent had no clue what an inspection entailed. For an additional $85 dollars I could have the pilot light lit. This is not a Coop but another example of a business gone bad and harm consumers by overcharging and gauging on fees. The Virginia State Commission does nothing to protect consumers from monopolies such as the utility companies.
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We have lived at the same address for 25 years and our electric consumption was always low in winter, heating being provided by gas. This year Novec is sending us bills that show more than double the max. Winter daily average consumption we had consistently over 25 years. The only difference is that over time we replaced the appliances with more energy efficient ones. By the rule of thumb this must be wrong. How do you double kWh daily use in the same house??? Do we have any remedy available? Is there anyone capable to 'catch NOVEC cheating'? Can we install our own or independent meters? Do we have any rights against being sent energy charges for 2 houses instead of one? Thank you for any advice, including legal.
I am curious, did anyone here file a LAWSUIT against them, and if yes what was the outcome? I am looking to FILE A LAWSUIT against this company, because I have experienced the same as the reviews, not once but twice in the past 3 month. My bills between October 2014 to date are over $1,500 which is ridiculous; which includes a $350 reconnection fee and an installments of $50 every month added to my bill, which they say is payment for a deposit(???) because one day the bill system from my bank made the payment arrive to them 4 hours later than expected. And yes I was travelling that time.
In short, ridiculous company. I spoke with Susan, Mrs. ** and their manager and none acted concerned, and were marking horrible remarks, impatient, and most of all, they were laughing because they knew either way I have to pay the insane bills they send because I have no choice. So if anyone filed a lawsuit, I would like to learn about it so I can proceed with this action. I don't think America would allow a company to treat customers that way.
They take advantage since they are the only supplier. They charged us 440 for amp that we were out of state and everything was off and they said they had actual reading!!!! How that possible? Unless you have something going on!!!
We just arrived home from being out-of-town for over a week and found a note on our door from NOVEC stating: "Date & Time: 7/08/14. Delinquent Amount Due: $119.09, Current Amount Due: $123.62, Service Fee $ 40.00, TOTAL Due: $282.71. A NOVEC representative visited your home for the purpose of collecting an overdue payment on your electric bill. We are extending you the courtesy of not disconnecting your electric service at this time. Please note, if your account (Heat) balance remains unpaid by 7/10/14, your electric service will be disconnected."
I have a current bill from NOVEC stating that Amount of $242.71 was due by 2 p.m. on 07/09/2014. On 07/02/2014 at 3:39 p.m. CT, I scheduled an online payment in the amount of $242.71 payable to NOVEC on 07/09/2014 (per the bill) via my Capital One account. I never received a June bill from NOVEC and didn't realize that fact until I received my current bill, which was unusually high. On the current bill I received, NOVEC didn't separate the amounts, therefore, I paid the bill in full according to the due date as stated on the billing line... Amount Due by 2:00 P.O. On 07/09/2014 $242.71.
I just spoke with a representative at NOVEC to confirm that they received my payment on the due date. They stated that they were still billing me the $40.00 service charge for a NOVEC representative showing up at my door the day before the bill was actually due to collect payment in person. They refuse to waive the charges.
I have done online research, and Consumer Affairs lists nine online complaints logged against them since October 2013 that are similar. I am sure that number is only a small sampling of the people that NOVEC has abused. NOVEC's practices need to be examined, I believe that if you look into their practices you will clearly see NOVEC is abusing the fact that they are the only power provider in this area.
Novec is a piece of garbage, racist company that doesn't like minorities. They use unethical, monopolistic business practices to overcharge minorities for services. Novec, you will be hearing from the ACLU and my lawyer. I hope you rot in hell!!!!
Two years ago, I began planning for a modest (10' x 13') addition to my kitchen that required moving the Novec meter from the end of the house to the side of the new addition, no more than a feet. Novec was the first service provider that I contracted, and a representative came out at the start of this project a year later and explained the process of moving a meter. I sent a check in July 2012 for $993.83 for relocation of the meter. Then, Miss Utility marked the power line across my asphalt driveway, and my contractor began construction in late October 2012.
Novec representatives came to my house many times once construction began because my contractor was having difficulty finding the line near the meter. Once it was located in early December, he called Novec to transfer power to the new meter. Instead, I got an email on December 18, 2012, from Novec's Utility Designer, Tina **, telling me, "After talking with construction, in order for Novec to relocate your existing service, you will need to install conduit from (see attached) #4, along the driveway to the new meter location. The reason for the conduit installation is due to the service wire depth is not to Novec specifications and the service wire is inaccessible."
On December 20, a Novec representative came to my door and verbally told me that I have to dig a trench across at least a half-acre, running the line under my asphalt driveway in order to place their electrical line in the conduit pipe "because something could happen to that line tomorrow and we (Novec) couldn't get to it." I told him that I would deal with that "tomorrow" if it happened, but that he had no right to make me pay thousands of dollars today because something might happen in the future.
I am three-quarters through a project that Novec has been aware of for more than half a year, and now they tell me that I must pay a horrific price to relocate their electrical lines that have not caused me a single problem since I bought the house from its builder (who was an electrician) who had lived in this house for seven years before I bought it from him in 1998. This is an unfair demand from Novec, and the firm is holding my project hostage unless I pay to have this work done. They will not transfer the power to my new meter unless and until I pay a horrific price to solve a problem that doesn't even exist!
They were willing to put 3 kids without heat! Horrible company - Manassas, VA: I am a single mother of three boys and received a courtesy call from NOVEC that my bill was due 11-18-2012 and as of 11-19-2012, it was a day late. I clearly somehow slipped up and forgot the date the payment was due. I made sure to send them an email informing them that my payment could not be made until the 11-21-2012. They sent a reply telling me tough luck, that they will shut off my power in the winter time at any moment. I was forced to call into customer service and talk to them. The woman who answered the phone told me that she was unable to give any extensions and could do nothing to help me unless I paid my bill.
I literally had $116 to my name and my gas light was on in my car (out of gas) and if I paid them what I had, then me and my boys could not eat and I couldn't get to work. I begged them to give me till the 21st to make the payment which was from the time I called only going to be a 48 hour extension. They firmly informed me they don’t make payment arrangements and to ask for someone to give us the money. I mean are you kidding me? I have to go around begging for money because NOVEC has no heart? That is so sick to me and sadistic. Otherwise, they could not guarantee that my power would not be shut off. I responded with "I don’t need a payment arrangement; I just need 48 hours and I would have the full balance paid if they could give me 48 hours." Needless to say, nothing I said or did would help.
The women on the other line could care less as I am begging and balling my eyes out, that they please don’t do this, please don’t turn our heat/power off. I had no choice but to take all the money I had in my account to pay the $103 to keep my power on. Then of course the $2.45 speedpay charge for a total of $106 and change. I have literally had to dig around my car and house to find change to fill up my car so I could work and prayed that nothing else would happen from Monday to Wednesday when I got paid. I think that it is disgusting when a customer calls to let the company know they need a 48 hour grace and they could care less knowing my situation. I mean if I still didn't pay after that day, then sure cut off my power. I was not trying to scam them and I did not deserve to be treated that way.
Honestly, I don’t think I could ever work for a company that is so self-absorbed and careless. I hope that those ladies on the other end of the line never experience being a single mother and never have to live paycheck to paycheck as most of America does. I’m sure if they were ever treated the way I was, they could never get up every morning and show up to work. Let alone sleep at night knowing what they have done to this single mom just trying to make it by and trying to make the right decisions for her and her boys. I think it’s ridiculous that I have no other option for power other than this company. They can do whatever they want to people because no one else provides power to the area. Most companies have competition which then forces the company to care about its customers. Since NOVEC has no competition, they could care less about the customers they have and it makes me sick knowing a company has and uses its power for bad instead of good. Thanks for nothing NOVEC.
In the past three months, we have lost power three times. We are always losing power! We are off of a node on a very hilly and densely tree-lined street, and trees and tree branches take down our power on a regular basis. I have reported the problem many times and NOVEC does nothing; yet, I see them destroying trees on other roads - trees that aren't even close to power lines. I just don't understand the complete pack of caring or responsiveness. I have even sent them photos, but nothing works. NOVEC, you simply must fix/clear Hillside drive in Fauquier County, VA. This is unacceptable. Why should I pay you for services I am not receiving?
We have started building an extension on our house. Some work had to be done to move the electric line. Our contractor did the work, the county inspected it and approved the work, but our electrical utility company, who also gave us an estimate to do the work, came out and said there was a safety hazard involving two splices in the line that were done as part the original house construction. We are the third owner. They turned off our power on Thursday and the estimated time to turn it back on is Tuesday when they have scheduled a crew for inspection. The temperature is over 100 degrees here in VA. They are hurting us more than helping us. I have no idea who can help us.
NOVEC subcontractors destroyed an entire row of 100 +/- year old trees to trim away from lines. Trees were not close to the lines. In addition, they destroyed 100+ yards of aged blue/red berries. Purposefully/Completely smashed the entire crop to the ground. The faulty transformer caused low voltage power, destroying the property owner's well pump, computer and all phones. NOVEC is now adding a (larger than standard) pole in the middle of this property. It will destroy three home sites, all under argument of providing power to an old cottage that is unoccupied and cannot get a septic permit for occupancy. Attempts to communicate with NOVEC only fell on deaf ears. Apparently, the slow construction phase is no longer providing work in the congested areas. With no specific/valid reason, they are destroying a property owner's only chance to sell.
We received a past due bill that is due on 2/10/12. A man shows up in a NOVEC uniform and demands payment today, 2/6/12, and if he does not receive payment, he would shut off our power immediately. I told him I cut a check through our bank and it would be there in 5 business days, on the 10th, when it is due according to their invoice. Nope, that was not acceptable with him or with customer service. Both were completely rude. What company sends out a man that could have purchased the uniform from a thrift store and is completely rude? I have never experienced handing over a check and having to question him because it felt like a scam. I asked to see his ID and collect his business card. It was so weird. Not to mention, after handing him the payment, there was no receipt of him collecting.
It was not professional at all! Very disappointed, then tried to clear this all up with Customer Service and she was just as rude! What is the point of sending out an invoice and paying accordingly to the invoice when a man is going to show up at your door! At least send out someone in the company that doesn't look like he rolled in mud.
This is the worse electric company to have! If it's summer and hot and it storms, I lose power for days; in the winter if it snows, we lose power for days while we freeze. We live in a newer community with all our utilities buried but we are the first to lose power. But the neighborhood right next to us never looses power. It's amazing, they must be with Virginia power! A very much better company.
Now, it's winter again and guess what, I'm sitting here in my freezing powerless house under my covers filling out this complaint. Please, if you have a choice in electric companies, do not choose Novac; they really suck. I lose work and my food because of this.
We received a letter from NOVEC on 05/12/10 (dated 05/06/10) that states that "Upon review of your account, we found you were not billed for the correct usage, because the Electronic Radio Transmission devise was not recording your total usage. On April 23, 2010, we took a visual reading off your meter and found the usage was higher than what the Electronic Radio Transmission device was recording. We have corrected your account from April 2005 through April 2010. A new meter was installed on April 23, 2010." The amount of this adjustment is $1,030.61, and they have adjusted our monthly bill to include an additional $17.00 to bring the balance to $0 by 05/31/2015.
A spreadsheet was provided showing the previous readings and the present readings. Throughout the spreadsheet, the previous Rdg figures are higher than the present Rdg figures. They provided no information on how they came to determine that this was due for five years, if they only discovered the problem on 04/23/10. I have communicated with NOVEC by e-mail with the following message:
"Regarding your letter dated 05/06/10 signed by Judy ** (received by us on 05/12/10): Your letter informs us that your recent review of our account on 04/23/10 shows that we were underbilled and notifies us that we need to pay $1,030.61 for the period beginning in 2005 to present. You do not explain how a discovery made in April 2010 can be applied to five prior years. We are protesting this additional charge and feel that an error made on your part should not be charged to us when we have paid the amount billed for that entire period of time. Additionally, I do not understand how "previous Rdg" figures are higher than "present Rdg" and we owe additional funds. It seems that if the corrected readings are lower, then we have overpaid."
My question is whether we are responsible for paying all of the back charges on this. My e-mail to NOVEC was today, so I am waiting for their response. I fully expect that they will insist upon payment in which case I need to know if we have any rights (legal or otherwise) in this matter.
NOVEC Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Formerly Named:
- Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative