The Consumer Complaints Blog

Fighting the trained monkey in modern society.

October 30, 2011

Direct Energy Tank Return Gone Bad

Filed under: Service Based — Editor @ 10:07 pm

Penciltrick Team:

I do believe the pen is mighty. So I wrote a complaint letter to Direct Energy about my ordeal hoping to deal with this privately. However, the response I received motivated me to make this issue public. Please refer to the attached letter.
I got a call September 21, 2011 from Donna, who made the following comments regarding my letter:

– Donna said there were two departments at that location, one that worked until 4 pm and the other until 6 pm supposedly to process tank returns. I can confirm there was NO ONE THERE after those two employees left. I banged on the back door and the front doors were all locked and lights were out.
– Donna said she would forward the letter along with an email to the Brampton office. So the Brampton office doesn’t even know about this, and she did not mention anything about what will happen to those two employees in question.
– Donna said it was my choice to hire someone to help me with the tank so there will be no reimbursement. I would have gladly paid the $50 out of pocket, but because Direct Energy failed to processed my tank return, I paid $50 for someone to do NOTHING. The task was not completed and it was not the fault of myself nor my hired help.

So needless to say, Donna did not call to provide any resolution to my concerns, but rather to make excuses and confirm that Direct Energy’s customer service can be just as bad at head office.

Can you help?


August 28, 2011

Direct Energy Home Services
Customer Care
80 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario
L3R 6H3

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing with regards to my recent experience returning a water heater tank.

I had a new water heater installed in my home on Saturday August 27, 2011 and on the same day decided to return my old tank to Direct Energy Home Services. I had called your company beforehand to obtain details of the drop off location, hours of operation and the return process. I also hired someone to assist me with carrying the bulky and heavy tank. We arrived at the Brampton Direct Energy Home Services location just before 4 p.m. and found all the doors to the store were locked and the lights out. I was confused, because I was positive that the customer service (CS) agent had told me that the location was open on Saturdays until 6 p.m. and the sign outside the store confirmed this. I called the CS line to inquire and was assured that the location should be open for business. While I was on the phone, I saw a woman rush out of the store. I quickly intercepted her and asked her if the store was open and she replied “no”, I then asked if it would still be possible to process a water heater tank return. She brushed me off telling me that there is still someone at the back of the building that will process my return and then rushed into her vehicle and left. We drove to the back of the building to find a man getting into a Direct Energy branded van. I walked up to his moving van and tapped on his window signalling him to lower his window so that I could speak to him. Not only did he refuse to lower his window, he waved me off and sped away while I was only a mere inches of his vehicle. We also knocked at the back doors and rang a doorbell to see if there may still be anyone else inside the store, but we received no answer. I called CS immediately and related the entire incident to Erin and also to Bob at Customer Care. While Bob was kind enough to arrange complimentary pick up of the water heater tank, I feel that the issue has not been totally resolved:

First, I ask that the two employees at the store be severely reprimanded if not terminated. Their actions were absolutely unacceptable as front line employees. Neither employee I saw that day wanted to take ownership of a simple water heater tank return, and just passed the buck or refused to even hear me out. I may add that I was not under any impression that either of them were leaving due to any emergency, but rather seemed eager only to leave work. If they are so unwilling to do the work they are hired to do, then they really should not be hired at all.

I do not have the names of the two employees but I can describe the woman as Caucasian, with reddish-brown curly shoulder length hair and drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The man is South Asian, bald with a mustache. As far as I know, those two were the only employees at the Brampton location until 4 p.m. that day.

Secondly, the management of that location must be thoroughly reviewed. My tank return should have been processed as I arrived well within operating hours. I trusted the information that was provided by your company and based on that I made arrangements to return the tank. Clearly, the employees at the Brampton location do not respect the stated operating hours, and failed to deliver on customer service. I can tell that customer service training is apparent at the call centre, but somehow the training is sorely lacking at the store. The disconnect needs to remedied, as it only takes one bad customer experience to taint further dealings with a company. I also question if the managers at the store are aware that they have employees who claim to work all day only to shirk their working hours yet still expect to be paid in full. I am sure you can agree that an inefficiently-run store wastes resources and ultimately impacts the bottom line of the entire company.

Lastly, I had mentioned at the beginning of my letter that I had hired someone to help me return the tank. Obviously, the task was not completed as intended and his time was wasted with the added exercise of having to unload the tank back into my garage for pick up. I was required to pay him $50 regardless for his time and effort. I kindly request reimbursement for the said amount, which has been an inconvenient ordeal for both him and myself.

Your attention to my concerns would greatly appreciated. I would also like to hear from you soon regarding the resolution of the aforementioned issues. If you would like to discuss this further, I can be reached at (NUMBER REMOVED).


Helen (last name and address removed)

This article was submitted by one of our readers. Penciltrick cannot make any claims as to its authenticity but the article was accepted on a good faith belief that it is an accurate and truthful account of the events listed.

2 Responses to “Direct Energy Tank Return Gone Bad”

  1. Priti Shah Says:

    Hi I read this whole aricle written by the person named “Helen” First of all I would like to inform you that this is a case whole made to critisize DIRECT ENERGY I would like to clear I am not favouring DIRECT ENERGY but the way person wrote this letter intentionally to arise a hipe over the internet against DIRECT ENERGY as i am a lawyer i would like to clear the things
    If the person hired someone to help him then total responsibility is upto those two person not DIRECT ENERGY was involved when the person hired to help him for tank drop off so for that person can not claim for compensation to pay the person due to mutual understanding between those two without inolving DIRECT ENERGY. Direct energy is not responsible for if person is hiring to help him/her for personal wok there is no guidline by DIRECT ENERGY that they are responsible or they will give compensation either work done or no. More over to this person is claiming that those TWO person and description then why he/she didnt go back to that Brampton office report this to managers and asked for compensation nex day or another working day available because this person dont want to work and only asks for compensation and help from well reputed companies, these kind of persons threatening always to the famous companies and intentionally harm the reputation of the companies

  2. Nelson Says:

    This comment is way overdue since the original comment was made 2 years ago, but here are mine anyway.

    I don’t feel that Helen deserves a $50 reimbursement for the person she hired to help deliver the tank (unsuccessfully) since Direct Energy picked up her hot water tank at no charge. It seems like a fair remedy.

    Regarding Direct Energy’s employees, poor customer service and poor business management, the best way to cause change is to take your business elsewhere. The act of Helen installing her own hot water tank vs. renting already delivers a clear message to Direct Energy that the water heaters and services it sells are undesirable.

    Regarding the comment above, I doubt Priti Shah is a lawyer in this country. Her English writing skills are very poor.

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