By Warren Woodward, Sedona Resident
(June 27, 2013)
As a result of my letter below, Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Commissioner Gary Pierce’s office is now taking reports of APS’s abuse and intimidation of customers who call APS to “opt out” of “smart” metering.
If APS has attempted to intimidate and discourage you by any means — especially by making it sound like you will have to pay huge “opt out” fees when none have in fact been approved by the ACC — then please call and report it to Pierce’s office at 602 542 3933.
Utility abuse is a violation of state statute.
June 17, 2013
Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328
I continue to receive reports of the intimidation and abuse of customers by APS.
I first brought this disgraceful APS practice to your attention 3 ½ months ago in a letter dated March 2, 2013. Yet I continue to receive reports from customers who are met with intimidation when they call APS to say they do not want a radiation emitting surveillance device, AKA “smart” meter, on their property.
APS tells callers they will be charging huge fees – $75 upfront plus $30 – when no such fees have been approved by you!
Don’t you think the mention of the huge fees is a form of intimidation and therefore an “abusive business practice”? Why have you done nothing about it?
According to A.R.S. 40-202.C.1 you have a duty to:
“Protect the public against deceptive, unfair and abusive business practices, practices related to deposit requirements and reconnection fees, intrusive and abusive marketing, deceptive or untrue advertising practices and practices prohibited under subsection H of this section.”
Throughout this whole “smart” meter fiasco APS’s pattern of misleading and abusing customers seems in direct proportion to your pattern of neglecting your regulatory duties.
Here are just two examples of the kinds of customer reports I receive.
Customer called APS and requested an “opt out”. She was informed by APS Customer Care that the time limit for applying for an “opt out” had expired and that she would have to pay a $75 initial fee and $30 per month to “opt out”. She was told this fee structure is APS policy.
A man in his 80s has been trying for several months to “opt out” of a “smart” meter and keep his existing analog meter. He was told by APS that unless he accepted a smart meter installation on his home by June 3, his electricity would be turned off.
Like I said, disgraceful.
In my opinion, APS should be prosecuted. At the very least, you should issue a press release informing people that no “opt-out” fee has been approved by the ACC, and warning people not to be taken in by any utility’s misinformation.
Cc: Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne