In fact, a new wave of unhappy customers is about to crash upon FirstEnergy's affiliate shores.
West Penn Power customers in Pennsylvania are unhappy with the company's failure to read meters in a timely fashion in accordance with state law.
"David Kline from FirstEnergy talked to the Waynesboro Borough Council on Wednesday about complaints about power bills having estimated meter readings several months in a row.
When Allegheny Energy merged with FirstEnergy two years ago, there were not many immediate changes, Kline said. However, computer systems and meter-reading policies started changing about a year ago, he said."
Right... those "policies" are just some of the "merger synergies" customers are receiving from the ill-advised Allegheny Energy/FirstEnergy merger in 2011. The "policies" save this poorly managed company the operations cost of paying a meter reading staff a living wage, and as the company has stated many times, attempts to reduce its operating costs continue as it struggles to stay afloat.
Recently, a new scheme has emerged -- failure to bill Potomac Edison customers in a timely fashion.
"I, as I expect most of you, budget as closely as possible to the money coming in. It is the only way to function in this day of continuing rising costs and non-rising paychecks. When I saw that the bill had not come, I called the friendly customer service line and was told Potomac Edison was changing their billing cycle and I should receive my statement in about three weeks.
Not once did Potomac Edison inform me ahead of time that there was a change coming in billing cycles. Now I have received the statement which includes a month and about three-quarters of another month because the statements went out later than they used to. That has jumped my bill by a significant amount and we pay on the monthly budget plan!"
Without warning, customers are facing electric bills nearly double usual amounts, even customers who signed up for the company's "budget" plan which is supposed to average yearly usage and bill monthly so that your bill remains constant year round, no matter how much electricity you use. Even though you are receiving two months worth of billing, Potomac Edison isn't giving you two months to pay. Oh no, the entire balance is due right now.
The giggly "look at how incompetent we are" excuses from Potomac Edison, Mon Power and West Penn Power are wearing paper thin by now. It's been a year since the problems started. Instead of remedies, customers are being further injured by unjust and unreasonable billing practices. Is it really corporate incompetence, or is it a sign of corruption? You decide.