Thank you very much for the heads-up. Energy Plus has been sending offers promoting Marriott Rewards points for at least two years in New York. The offers I receive go straight into the shredder.
The most recent offer arrived around last Thanksgiving. Although skeptical from the onset, I really never bothered to Google or check it out until your post. Energy Plus is listed at Marriott.com. The consumer ripoff complaints regarding Energy Plus are quite alarming. Some are reporting rate hikes of 250% from their previous provider!
Aside from a variable rate scam which I've managed to avoid, I'm concerned about a more serious threat: A breach of privacy. I do not recall subscribing to any 3rd party marketing information partnered with Marriott: Is Marriott selling names and contact information of Marriott Rewards members to Energy Plus or other 3rd parties?
I am shocked to see that Marriott is still funneling this promotion to rewards members after receiving complaints going back to 2011. Seriously? Unfortunately, I did not check this site and signed up a few months ago. I just got the bill on which the promotional rate doubled, without notice. I have canceled the contract but am on the hook for a second month of the double rate. I find it deeply disturbing that Marriott has known that there are problems with this partner and continued to extend the offer. I am seeing Marriott in a new way.
I am continually amazed at cross-brand marketing techniques used by companies, not just Marriott, to generate business. Recall that Marriott Rewards teamed with Clear, the now defunct screening system then in place at a few airports.
Many of the companies that we work engage un business pumping through third parties, and It's a constant struggle to keep things straight. Thanks for that reminder.
Good Afternoon, all.
I had brought this thread to the attention of the appropriate team here at Marriott Rewards, and they have asked that I post the following on their behalf:
We'd like to respond to the original post by "surfandsand" on 1/29/11 as we are concerned to hear about the negative feedback on Energy Plus. In response to your complaint, we contacted Energy Plus, which assures us that it is committed to providing value and exceptional service to its customers. They ask that you contact them at 1-877-320-0356 (toll-free) and ask for a manager who will review your situation and work to resolve it.
Energy Plus informs us that it has provided service to thousands of satisfied customers across six states (CT, MD, NJ, NY, PA and TX) but acknowledges there have been a few instances of increasing rates that are not representative of the typical customer experience. They encourage customers to review their bill each month, as with any energy supplier, and ensure the program is working for them. Energy Plus indicates that it offers customers the opportunity to cancel service any time with no penalty and in the case where the customer has to finish a billing cycle before switching to a new provider (a utility rule), Energy Plus can offer a credit if warranted.
In response to the question posted by "TCJNewYork" about Marriott selling information to 3rd parties, please rest assured this is not the case. Marriott Rewards permits a limited number of companies to offer products or services to its members, which it believes may be of interest to members, but at no time does it release member personal information to those companies. If you do not wish to receive these types of offers, please call Customer Support at (801)468-4000 or go online to update your postal preferences in your Marriott Rewards profile.
Thank you very much for your feedback.
Interestingly, one of the Energy Plus offer letters received last year surfaced.
Because the enrollment bonus more than doubled from 3,000 to 7,500 Marriott Rewards points, I wrote, 'check T&C' and moved it from the shredder pile to the follow-up file. Finding it near the bottom of that pile just now, it was tempting to overreact because my Marriott Rewards ID number is printed on the letter!
I was surprised to find Andrew's response. It's reassuring. Thank you, Andrew for escalating the concerns voiced and responding so quickly. As suggested, my 'Postal Preferences' are updated. Insiders, do consider the same and update your postal preferences in your Marriott Rewards profile.
I cant believe Marriott would team up with a company like Energy Plus. After the first month of service, energy plus raised their rate over 50%, costing me over $70 extra for the month of November. I assumed Marriott would make sure their partners would not screw their customers, but that's what happens when you assume.
I originally signed up via an airline frequent flier miles promotion, not Marriott, but Energy Plus uses a variety of ways to hook people in. The promise was miles plus low electric rates, better than my major Boston utility provided. When I happened to look after the introductory period, the rates two years ago were TRIPLE the local utility standard rates. When I called to investigate, they gave me a more competitive rate for six months, still not a hot deal. I made a note to check rates when it was time to renew or change.
I called them, they stated that it takes 1-2 months for new supply rates to be billed by my utility and that therefore I could not change for another couple of months or pay a fine/fee to them for leaving.
When I asked for a better, longer-term rate, they hemmed and hawed, said they would need to pull the recorded conversation I had had 4-5 months before with them, and so forth. They passed me to a supervisor who stonewalled even better. So I found a much better rate for MA, switched, knowing that it would take 1-2 months and I would have no penalty. Beware of them. They were fined heavily in CT, and even with new owners from a few years back, they are still anti-consumer and hiding behind legalisms.
Oh, and the supervisor called back a week later to tell me that they had reviewed the taped conversation, that I was at fault. Good customer relationships are their specialty. I suggested that a gentler approach would be better for marketing, and he told me that their quality team looks into these things. End conversation.
What a bunch of stonewalling non-listening idiots running that company. Best to go anywhere else.
You can believe that Energy Plus is a scam and that Marriott is in on it.
Or, you can believe that Energy Plus really CAN save you a ton of money if you switch - tantamount to saying that your current energy provider is scamming you.
Guess we are all screwed one way or another.
Out of curiosity, What is your electric rate when compared to your previous provider? I would like to compare those rates. I understand that they offer a promotional rate for the first three months. After 3 months, what is the comparison to your previous company? Is that a significant difference as well or is it just that the promotional rate has expired and you are no longer getting a discounted rate?
The EnergyPlus promo rate was 5.9 cents kh, which seemed OK since the Duke Energy rate sometimes goes higher than that, I think. When the promotional period ran out, the rate doubled to 11.8 cents, then rose to 14.4 cents the following month. I was able to get out of the contract at the end of that second month and, because of my complaining about Marriott's role in this scam, got a call from EnergyPlus offering me a partial refund. I have never heard from Marriott, however.
The problem with Energy Plus is that it's a variable rate that is not tied to the market. Also, when you go with a third party, you lose the regulated low rates in peak months and pay higher. When I finally called Duke, I received a breakdown of their rates over the past year compared to what I was paying to a third party. We have a pool and some other things that run up our bill, but we probably overpaid by about $2k last year trying to beat the system, even with a fix contract at 5.8 cents for most of the year.
I am deeply disappointed that I never heard anything from Marriott. It's clear from what others have posted that they put the squeeze on EP to refund some of the cost if people complain, but Marriott still induces other members to sign up. Shameful.
I'm in complete agreement with you.
NathalieF and/or The specified item was not found. would you please inquire at Intergalactic about what the formal position of Marriott is regarding this partnership? Being sure to pass along the ambiguous, in several cases, deceptive practices of a firm using the Marriott affiliation (for several years). I would think Marriott would certainly want to know this kind of feedback and if they have already heard it, I would like to hear their explanation for the continuance of the program.