Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Called to have my heat turned back on after finally paying off the bill. Rep said they can do it the next day between 8-4 pm. Said "Perfect. I'll be home all day". 4:30 rolls around, no tech. Called SEMCO and they said a tech was there at 8:45 am. No one answered and left a note to reschedule. I was awake in the living room chair which is 7 ft away from the front door. No knock was heard. No note on the door. Neighbors dog barks at all strangers. Never barked. I could hear him if he did.
I live in a duplex and we share the living room wall. No note on his door as well. Spoke to a supervisor and she says "sorry you didnt hear the knock" and "sorry the wind blew away your note". She said we can reschedule for the next day, might be able to waive another $50 reconnect fee. I work 65 hrs a week. It's hard for me as it is to get a day off during the day. At least my job was understanding when I called and told them and switched my hours around. I have never been so angry before.
A couple of years ago my wife called me at work to tell me there was a circus of work going on in our front yard, near the roadway, and our basement smelled of natgas. Apparently a county employee was rodding out the storm drain in front of our home, which our basement floor drains are attached to, and ruptured a natgas line which one of Semco's idiot contractors ran right through the middle of it a few years prior, using a boring tool. The county guy realized what he did and made the proper calls, but if you think Semco cares about anything beyond their equipment, like perhaps notifying the local FD or calling homeowners to notify them of the emergency, you are sadly mistaken.
Good thing the wife noticed the smell before starting her shower which would have caused the water heater to kick on. The line that was cut was separate from ours and our natgas appliances were still on. I could have very well come home to a smoking crater in the ground. After complaining to their rude customer service reps I was eventually contacted by an engineer who apologized but said it was the local FD's responsibility to evacuate. No idea. The company seems to be badly managed with a dysfunctional infrastructure.
I had sent a request to Semco Energy to have natural gas brought down our road. We live in a rural area but there are gas lines within a 1/3 of a mile from where we live. I had contacted some of my neighbors to make the same request so the company realized that I was not the only one that wanted this to be done. Within two days we received a response that further work would have to be completed and a survey and a cost estimate would be sent to our neighbors. We received the estimate within several weeks and was shocked at the cost. To extend the gas line around the corner from where we live they wanted us to pay $9594.56 upfront or pay $211.78 a month for five years. That equates to $12706.80 for each household that wanted gas brought to their homes. That cost was if we had a minimum of at least eight homes sign up.
There is the potential of over 15 homes that could take advantage of this. To me that is crazy. It would take me around 12 years to recover my investment. That does not include the $200 gas line fee up to 400 feet of line, from the gas supply line, plus the $50.00 gas meter fee. Yes you have to buy your own gas meter. I can live with the $200 fee and even paying for the meter but the rest is absurd. That is like asking an auto maker to say, "We will sell you a car but you need to pay us first so we can build the factory and then we will build your car that we will sell you." Semco is the only company we can use, other than the buying propane. As a public utility I thought they were in the business to sell natural gas. I don't feel it is our responsibility to pay for their infrastructure so they can sell us their product. In the mean time they are losing sales for many years to come.
I have a state caseworker. I paid a required amount the state was supposed paid the other amount. I paid the $78 toward Semco gas for Heat. The state didn't pay the other amount. So it was shut off. Fine... :) I pay the other amount. Here is the problem. They can only turn on service between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. I wasn't aware I was going to be shut off. The issue is they will in no way will turn my gas back on the same day it was shut off, even though it was a just a misunderstanding with paperwork.
I paid them on Feb 10 with my debit card the same day as the shut off before 4 p.m. but I have to wait till the next day. The next day wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't Feb 10, and 8 degrees out. I have kids in the house. I wasn't arguing the issues of non-payment but the fact that there is no way after I paid them that they couldn't send someone out to restore gas service and heat to the home. How can their only hours be from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Michigan during severe weather times. It’s not okay to let people freeze.
My home that I was renting out someone moves out, doesn't pay their Gas bill. Semco shuts them off. Now I'm liable even though they told me that since my bill for my current residence had a shut off notice if I paid the past due, which mind you, was $37, they would turn it back on after that amount was paid. So the next day I call back to let the customer service representative know it was paid. So I call back, I find out they removed the meter the same day I called. Said that since the billing was delinquent, they removed the meter and they won't reinstall until I send in a contract or pay $360. WHAT? The day before I just had to make a payment and they would turn it back on. WTF. So I sent in what they requested and this was on 12/23/14 and still no gas to this date 1/5/15. I wished that the city of Battle Creek would just do away with just having ONE GAS SERVICE provider.
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I moved in and was told the house was supplied by Semco. I started service with them and found out that they have a $190 shakedown (deposit) fee. I was also told that if I could supply a letter from my former gas supplier, that the fee would be waived. I sent in the requested letter and was still billed the $190. I got a letter in the mail stating that I had not been at my current address long enough to establish good credit with my light company and still owed the fee (well, duh. I was only there for 2 months at this time.) So I got a letter from the light company AGAIN only this time listing my former address, which I was at for 18 months with no bad debt, no collection letters, no late payments, and no outstanding balance. I received a bill today with the fee still there and a shut off notice. They did not honor what they told me and I don't have an extra $200 laying around. Avoid this company.
Shut off notice and recording stating as much. Been a customer way before SEMCO took over. Always have paid my bill, without intimidation or threats. Other gas providers... sure.. but all go through SEMCO.... Alternatives? propane, of fuel oil. Customer service reps uncaring about your situation? Well, when you are as someone else here stated "the only game in town", you don't have to care... pay your bill or else is truly their motto.
I am contacting my state representative and local city council in regards to having legitimate competition. No one should be threatened or intimated by being a few weeks late with a payment. Shut off notices in big bold letters and recordings, stating service will be shut off for (in my case) $150.00 past due amount. They didn't say a thing when from Dec through April, I paid $380 every month for just myself in a 1800 sq foot residence. My experience with them and their attitude is basically "we have the right", which was repeated to me several times in regards to shut off . My response was simply, "no one is arguing your right". Very short sighted company as you don't bite the hand that feeds you. In other words, at some point, competition will come and because SEMCO chose to alienate those who pay their salaries and establish a good relationship with them, they will lose good, hard working, honest costumers.
Stay away from SEMCO. They will lie, threaten, harass, and violate the law, anything whatsoever to collect money, whether owed or disputed. Go with any other utility company!
I got a late payment notice in the mail and paid it. The next morning, a woman came here to shut off the gas. We explained that we had paid and she gave us a number to call to clear it up. My wife called and the woman she talked with confirmed that we paid and called the service technician and straightened it out.
Today, it is three days later, a man in a service truck without knocking, walks into the yard and takes the meter. My wife tries to stop him and asks what is going on, he says that our gas was shut off three days ago and it is illegal for us to reactivate our own gas, which is stealing. My wife says that there is a mistake, we didn't have our gas shut off and that she have the paperwork and confirmation number inside, so he can come in and get this fixed.
He responds, "my order says you were cancelled, there was gas going into your house that is illegal, I am taking your meter so you cannot reactivate." My wife says, "please don't do this, I have children in diapers and a 4-year-old here; we need heat." He said, "you should have thought about that before you stole gas for three days."
We have called three different numbers and have gotten nowhere. Two numbers are closed for business till 8am; the third was a call number to report a gas leak. That man "Brian" was very rude to my wife and we got him through a company called Homeserve. They do line checks, and that man named John was on the line when the other man from SEMCO, Brian, was yelling at my wife and heard the whole thing. He called us back after the hang up by Brian when he was asked to talk to a supervisor. John said that he will be filling a report on our behalf in the morning but he can't do anything for us; he is a different company.
I called back to SEMCO and got Brian. I asked about help getting the meter back. We have a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 4-year-old. The temperature outside is 32 and will be dropping as the sun goes down. We got the same response; there's nothing he can do. We might all freeze to death tonight. My 1-year-old might not make it through the night. We have done nothing wrong; it is their paperwork.
I was supposed to receive a larger meter as we are prepping for a whole house generator. I spent days setting up the appointment given to us by supervisor - Monday, August 17, 2009. No one showed. I called, was told there was an emergency. I was rescheduled for Tuesday August 18, 2009, but no one showed. I called, and again they said there was an emergency. I am tired of the runaround. This is ridiculous. They set the appointments I had to waste time waiting here.
they changed out my gas meter, then a year later, came back to me and said that i owed them over 800 dollars back bill because the meter wasn't reading correctly. I set up a payment plan with them to be a set amount toward the 800 dollar bill and my current bill amount each month. They charged me penalties on the outstanding amount. I called and talked to the supervisor and she said that they'd take the penalties off and I wouldn.t be charged for them again. The next month my bill had a late fee on it. I paid the agreed upon amount and my present bill. I didn't pay the late charges. Now I have a cut off notice that says that I must pay in full all at once.
Really don't know who to complain to. How can I get a bill for heating my home ten times more than the gas I used. I used $3.16 in gas and my final with all there extra charges is $35.81. Who watches this and what will happen come winter. At this rate my home heating will be 1200 to heat a small mobile home for one month.
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