Shopping for electric service: reader war stories

A number of readers are sharing their war stories about trying to find new electric providers after their original retailer went under. Here are a few comments straight from readers, unedited and unvarnished:
Considering YEP:

Signed up with YEP (14.1kwh/year), but their chat service said they cannot waive notifications, expidite, or mid-cycle read. Supposidly confirmed with a supervisor. Tried to speak with a human (not in India), but got VM.

Gone to Green Mountain:

I would also like to let you know that Green Mountain Energy seems to have the best rate now with their 3 month introductory offer; just enough to get you past the peak usage season. This plan has no monthly fees, no early termination fee, and the price is locked for 3 months, after which becomes variable. The customer service agent for Green Mountain was aware to the Riverway fallout and told me that I can be switched over as soon as June 16th – not too bad considering I called today. The agent was very friendly, and I would like to say that I had no complications with them.

From a SparkEnergy customer:

This early switchover thing doesn’t seem to work if your company is still solvent and you’re just trying to switch to a lower rate somewhere else.
I think its B.S. that (1) the switch date takes weeks to occur, (2) you can’t set up the switch date weeks before your contract ends because if it switches before the end of the contract – OUCH – you get hit with the early term fees

Relying on Reliant:

I transferred from Riverway to Reliant today after reading your blog. The Reliant rep told me if I happen to get transferred to Reliant as a POLR customer, I should go immediately to being a Reliant regular customer. I should call them if I get a notice that Reliant is my POLR provider and they would make sure. Of course, I take all that with a grain of salt.

Trying Gexa, Reliant:

I am a Riverway customer getting the ax and tried to switch to Gexa today. Neither the regular customer support person or the manager could help with the “off cycle meter reading”. They said they could only do the normal switch which would take 4-6 weeks.

Next I call Reliant. They can do a off cycle meter reading however that still takes up to 13 business days to take place….plus there is a $26.95 charge to do this. The guy at Reliant said the best thing to do is to wait until I’m on POLaR and then switch. Then the switch will only take 3 business days and the fee is only $6 dollars for the meter reading. Until your on POLaR they treat it as a normal switch.

***UPDATE: Gexa official tells us that prior to Riverway being declared POLR, they could not offer those customers anything other than a normal switch, per market rules. Now that they are POLR, Gexa can offer the off-cycle switch. The exact number of days required would vary based on when a customer enrolls, but it should be available within three business days for customers, depending on what time in a day they enroll etc.***
More efficient, but still angry:

Just discovered, after analyzing several prior years of electric power company bills, that I have reduced our (spouse & self) electricity consumption by more than 50 percent in the last 5 years by installing insulation, double pane windows, a high efficiency A/C and an attic solar collector. That would make me feel good, except for the fact that as a soon to be former customer of Riverway Power, I will almost certainly be paying about double the 10.8 cents per KWh they promised on a 12 month contract three months ago. Riverway is the fourth company I have switched to in the last 2 years, due to the bait and switch tactics and other dishonest billing practices of previous suppliers.

Changing to Stream:

I have switched to Stream Energy for a one year fixed @ 15.5. They waved the meter read fee and say that I will be connected in 10 business days. I am currently considering small claims (against Riverway).