Beware of Universal Gas & Electric

Posted by: Mon, Feb 25, 2008
Posted in category Big Business

This company is scamming the consumers in Michigan and Canada! I have been warning friends and family about this company for over a year and finally The Michigan Public Service Commission has stepped in to investigate.

universal gas & electricUniversal Gas & Electric promises it’s customers a “lock in” rate on their utility bills for five years. They entice people by scaring them with the threat of higher natural gas price, saying things like

“when the cost of gas increases your rate will stay the same.”

What they fail to tell you is that their rate is already HIGHER than your current rate and you will only benefit if the cost of natural gas goes “extremely” higher. This company also fails to notify their prospective customers that once they sign they are locked into a contract for five years with a $250 cancellation fee.

My personal experience in looking into this company has taught me to stay away and warn others. Over a year ago we began receiving promotional flyers for this company in our mailbox. They were offering a lock in rate for two years at $1.09 a CCF for natural gas. Our utility provider was only charging us $0.89 a CCF at the time, so wondering why I would switch I read the fine, fine print were it proceeds to briefly mention the “lock in” contract. Red Flag for me, but giving them the benefit of the doubt, I continued to check the CCF price on our monthly gas bills. For the last twelve months our rate has fluctuated from month to month, but never exceeding $0.96 a unit that is still well under the rate that Universal wanted to lock us in at. Salesmen representing the company have also appeared at my door a few times. Those poor fellas did not know that I knew the dirty little tricks of their company. They actually insisted that I show them my current utility bill, so that they could see what rate I would be eligible for. I went on to explain that I would not show them my bill and what our average usage was. They kept stating that they could not provide me a rate without the bill, so I asked them about “the contract”. As one salesman eyed my electric meter the other flat out LIED stating that there was NO CONTRACT! At that time both gentlemen said they would come back later when I had more time to find my bill. I had no intentions of showing them my bill and they never returned.

As I read the article on our local news site  about the company being investigated it broke my heart. People that are most effected are senior citizens and low income households. In our failing economy in Michigan who wouldn’t want the promise of saving money on your heating bills. Now these residents with a fixed income are encountering higher bills, and locked into a contract they can not afford to get out of!

On their website Universal Gas & Electric states

Universal Gas & Electric Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Energy Group, a publicly traded company on the TSX. For more information on investor relations see universalenergygroup.ca

According to Business Week

Universal Energy Group Ltd. announced the release of its financial results for the three month period ended December 31, 2007. The company earned revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2007 of $80.1 million compared to $46.6 million for the 2006 period.

That’s almost double the revenue, scamming innocent people out of their hard earned Money.

If you are a victim of this scam you may visit Universal Energy Scam – and how you can get out of it. A very good article posted at Cheeze Wiz and Mustard.

Universal Energy Corporations Survivors Page – a self-help site educating people on how to get out of this mess

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51 Responses to “Beware of Universal Gas & Electric”

  1. J says:

    Mar. 5, 2008

    These guys are liars and slobs. I worked for them when they first started in MI. in 2006. 3 months of lies. I was one of their top guys on path for management. That was a lie also. They are cattle call company. Getting as many people through the door as possible because no one lasts more than a few months. The pay you pennies and lies about their business. They have people crossing the Canadian border both ways to work illegally. They have stupid script ” I am Joe blow form Universal Gas and Electric. I’m here to see if your business “qualifies” for price protection on your natural gas bill. This program is only for businesses (or residences) and I need to see your gas bill to tell you if you “qualify”.

    If someone asks a question the answer is always “I just need to see your gas bill”.

    They are scammers out of Toronto and I know who is running the show in MI. Two hammy sales people. One big dope who sniffles allot and a littel midget with red eye.

  2. Chad & Stacey says:

    Mar. 5, 2008

    We were hoping that someone who had expereince with this company would comment. So thank you J for giving more insite into this scamming company, these people should be in jail for fraud!

    Now we know why they always respond with “I just need to see your gas bill” , That should be a major sign that something is just not quite right.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mar. 5, 2008

    I have worked for this company in the past and the simple fact is anyone who has signed up has so far not saved any money in the 3 years it has been operational. Unless there is a DRASTIC increase in gas rates no one will have saved any money. I will provide an example for the typical Ontario customer because I believe they have been in business for about 3 years in Ontario 2 years longer than in Michigan.
    The typical customer in Ontario is currently paying 50% more than if they had stayed with their local utility company. This customer will have been with Universal for 3 years and so far they have been paying anywhere from 10% to the current 50% more. This is true for almost every fluctuation in Ontario besides one or two peaks (which they use as major selling points). Even if the Utilities prices catch up to universals price (which looks unlikely) the customer has already been overpaying for 3 years. To make up for this deficit the utilities prices will have to be maybe 50-80% higher (these percentages are all guestimations) than the fixed rate universal provides for the remaining 2 years, for them to have saved any money.
    Now if the agent had spelled this out to you clearly would you have signed up? Of course not! Hence the agents use shady tactics, deftly avoiding specifics on how they will save you money and in some if not most cases outright lying. This kind of behaviour is of course expected by Universal but never endorsed to avoid liability. And to further cover their asses they are obligated to make a recorded phone call to the customer which they use obtain an agent rating from customers (before they realize they have been ripped off) and in most cases the agents get a glowing review from lonely seniors and low income households (I would assume they are charismatic).
    Moral of the story DO NOT SIGN, who are they to pressure you into signing something you are not sure about. If the agent is using terms such as; possibly, likely to happen… SLAM THE DOOR!

    -Anonymous

  4. Bill Sithers says:

    Mar. 16, 2008

    Glad to have found more affiliations exposing this scam. I actually did not know they were in Michigan also? I have a self-help site educating people on how to get out of this mess

    Bill

  5. Chad & Stacey says:

    Mar. 16, 2008

    Thank you Bill for the comment you have great information on that site. We have added a link to the bottom of the post so it is easier for people to find your site.

  6. arvin says:

    Mar. 18, 2008

    the cancellation fee is $1352.04, or even higher.
    some people were asked to pay +$2000.00 for cancellation

    check the link below to see the letters.

    http://arvins.us/0/rfd/ue3.jpg
    http://arvins.us/0/rfd/ue2.jpg
    http://arvins.us/0/rfd/ue1.jpg

  7. Graduate of the University of Life says:

    Apr. 4, 2008

    So, you want a guaranteed price?

    Do you expect any supplier to fix a price without adding their ‘insurance’ premium?

    Will you work without any wage increase for 5 years?

    Haven’t you heard – there’s a Global energy crisis? Billions & billions of Chinese & Indians are now enjoying a better standard of living, buying goods, making things etc. All this takes Energy. Global energy prices are going only one way – & that’s upward. Next month, next year, & every year afterwards. You ain’t forced to take a long term gamble, but a 20% premium in year one isn’t too farfetched.

  8. Bill says:

    May. 3, 2008

    Just had my life threatened over the Internet by an agent who says “want’s to gut me like a fish, in front of my kids”. Ya? I guess the site really hurts sales for these ‘sincere’ agents.

    Well the word is really getting out now!

    Cheers!

    Bill

  9. Lee says:

    Jun. 23, 2008

    I interviewed for a job with the Canada based company, Universal Gas & Electric (UGE) in May of 2008, at their behest.
    I was assured that this was a one on one interview, but was actually a cattle call presentation (Lie #1).

    Due to deregulation in Michigan, they are able to charge you for residential & commercial natural gas that you receive either through Detroit Edison or Consumers Energy if you agree and sign a long term contract with them. The UGE charge appears on your normal Detroit Edison or Consumers bill, only replacing the “Gas Cost Recovery Charge” line item on your statement; the “Distribution Charge” will remain on your statement (currently .2047¢ from Consumers Energy).

    UGE only “sells” a five year locked in plan that is substantially higher than what is currently billed through the aforementioned utilities. At the time of my interview, my “Gas Cost Recovery Charge” billed through Consumers Energy was .92152¢/ccf – UGE was at $1.14/ccf

    During the course of their presentation I asked a question regarding the fact that for 40 minutes the presenter (Rob Watson, Regional Manager) only spoke about billing for natural gas – what about electrical billing? Mr. Watson stated that the MPSC only issues a 2 year license for electrical billing, which was contrary to UGE’s 5 year locked in plan, so UGE “opted out” of electrical service billing in Michigan.

    So, how do you “sell” a product, door to door, that is 26% higher than what the customer is currently paying? UGE conveniently leaves that up to their 1099’d (http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.html) sales staff.
    According to UGE, if you use their “Proven Sales Techniques” you can earn “Six figures within the first three weeks”. Mr. Watson further explained that the whole sales process should take about 5, but certainly no longer than 10 minutes or “you’re wasting your time.” UGE does not provide protected sales territories, but instead recruits “Sales Managers” to flood the market – an unlimited number of UGE 1099’ers could converge on your home or business in one day.
    Amongst other things, their “sales techniques” includes throwing in the volatility of OPEC, i.e. $4/gal gasoline, into the sales pitch to the potential customer.

    The fact is, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has already rescinded their license to invoice electrical service (see paragraph 4 above), and are in the process of revoking their natural gas license for possible ethics violations related to the sales techniques of their 1099’d door to door sales staff.
    This is public information at the MPSC website – Case #’s U-15577 & U-15509 (http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc).
    The full complaint that the MPSC filed against Universal Gas & Electric can be found at: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/orders/gas/2008/u-15509etal_05-20-2008.pdf.
    You can file a complaint with the MPSC at: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/gas/gascomplaint.htm
    Or by calling 1-800-292-9555 (from within Michigan) or 517-241-6180 (from outside of Michigan).

    A simple internet search will turn up thousands of consumer complaints from Canada to the
    USA. My grandfather used to call company’s such as these “Boiler Room Operations!

  10. Bill Sithers says:

    Jul. 27, 2008

    Lee,

    Funny, your grandfather would call such businesses “Boiler Room Operations”

    Check out the link to mysite

  11. Jessica says:

    Sep. 24, 2008

    Wow! Today (9/24/08) I was doing some job research online and ran across Universal Gas and Electric and seen they were hiring for management. I called the number and was told I could come in for a one on one interview at 3:15. When I arrived there, 12 of us were put into one room. Someone came in and told us their sales pitch on the company and how they became sucessful…blah blah blah. He kept stated he was not looking for sales people, or managers. Just hard working people! I was quite skeptical. As he finished talking we were asked to meet with some big wigs and have one on one interviews with them in their offices. Some people were only in the rooms for one minute. After filling out an application, they never called us by name, it was “NEXT, please.” When I went into the room, I basically told the guy I was impressed with his success with the company and I was hungry to know more about the business since I was already in management. I rattled on about my work experiences, and he didn’t even interview me. He said to me, “I like you! You need to work for this company, and I want to hire you!” He handed me a card with a direct line and wanted me to call him later that day so I could speak to his boss. I later called, and I wanted details about the pay structure, and training, and he said we need to train you first. He asked me, when can you start or come in for more details on the job training. I said with any job I need to put in two weeks notice. He said to me, well we need people now! At that point, I was no longer interested. I figured out quick it was a mickey mouse operation! I am in management, and you just don’t go hiring people off the fly of a handle! Too good to be true……DEFINATE SCAM! I hope they are reading this message as we speak!

  12. Jesse says:

    Nov. 21, 2008

    This Business is a scam. I worked for the company for one day and I was good at selling there program but at the time I didn’t know how big of a scam it was so dont hate me. They give you a script to read from door to door and basically you introduce yourself and the company and you say that your here to see if they qualify for 5 years of price protection on there natural gas. So whats the scam about this you ask? The scam is everybody qualifies, there’s no way you can’t qualify. So basically your tricking people into getting excited and running to get there gas bill to see if they qualify. The majority of people dont run to get there gas bill but Universal forces there sales people to be out there from 9:00 a.m to 9:30 p.m….. I was out for 12 hours in the cold Michigan winter freezing my ass off. During that 12 hours a typical employee knocks on about 200 to 300 doors saying this script trying to scam innocent people into signing the contract. Every person you get to sign the contract the employee gets $50 for every house. Take my word dont sign with Universal.

  13. birdman says:

    Nov. 30, 2008

    I was working a full time job for over a year and I was ready for a career change. I went outside on my lunch-break and I noticed that I had missed a phone call on my cell. When I listened to my voicemail I was blown away!!!

    A very polite woman stated that her company had found my resume on-line and they were very impressed. I was told that the job came with paid training, and plus the pay out was $25.00 AN HOUR. I needed to come in for an interview the next day because another person had cancelled. I thought about it for a while and I called into work the next day.

    At the interview there were about 30 people there. The session started and a guy stood up in front of the room and sold me the idea that I could make $2500.00 a month with no problem. No start up fee. Nothing to buy. WOW! But the main thing that I was doing was helping people save money on their gas.

    After the session I was called into an office where the gentleman made me feel like I was on the ground floor of some real money. This is what god has called me to do.

    I then quit my job and started with universal the very next day. Now I find out that it takes about a month to get paid, you will be in any part of the state just walking from door to door from 11:30 to 9:30, 6 days a week. You must stay in the area where they drop you off until they come and get you that night.

    But if you sign up 5 people a day for six days, at $50 bucks a pop, WELL YOU DO THE MATH. Please tell me if it is illegal, then why isnt anyone doing anything about it. And from what I am seeing on the streets is that it is not just universal doing gas this way.

  14. Chad & Stacey says:

    Dec. 1, 2008

    birdman – I would get out while I could. I am not sure if it is illegal, but it is morally not right. You can read the comments here from people like Jessica that have worked for them. The bottom line is they lie to get you to sign a contract that is very difficult to get out of. They prey on the fears of high heating costs when their prices are higher than I have ever paid for my natural gas. Just ask yourself…would you feel right making $50 to get someone to sign a contract that will RAISE their bill? The choice is ultimately yours.

  15. scrooge says:

    Dec. 16, 2008

    They were just at my door 1hr ago in Tecumesh, MI and my dog’s bark and I blew them off.
    Who goes door to door at night the week before christmas in a Snow Storm.
    talk about spreading the season cheer.

    Bah hum bug, will burn the coal instead paying these hidden costs…

  16. Frank says:

    Feb. 25, 2009

    Thank you everyone for these informative posts. Just FYI, these UGE MI-based slots were posted on the Sologig job board today, 2/25/09. (http://www.sologig.com/Default.aspx?p=0&kw=&c=Walled+Lake&s=MI&dis=50). I won’t be pursuing them:

    Southfield, MI
    Enrollment Agent
    Universal Gas and Electric
    Southfield, MI
    Crew Member
    Universal Gas and Electric
    Southfield, MI
    Application Taker
    Universal Gas and Electric
    Southfield, MI
    Team Leader
    Universal Gas and Electric
    Southfield, MI
    Supervisor
    Universal Gas and Electric

  17. R. Lee says:

    Feb. 27, 2009

    Believe it or not, there are other scumbag company’s out there other than UG&E providing the same “service”. The reason why they HAVE to see your bill is because the law in Michigan only allows them to add their “service” to existing DTE or Consumers customers without any other scumbags providing the same rip off they are. That is what they’re looking for when you show them your bill. The law only allows one scumbag at a time on your bill! I wonder whose re-election pockets are being lined!

  18. Chad & Stacey says:

    Feb. 27, 2009

    R. Lee,

    If you know the names of those companies, I would appreciate if you could email me with that information. I would like to post about them too, so that people are aware they are scumbags.

    It is unfair to all of us when there are companies out there looking to line their pockets while innocent people are taken advantage of.

  19. mk4turbo says:

    Feb. 27, 2009

    umm yeah, i work for the company now, and have since aug of 07. this has been the most rewarding employment i have experienced. we dont work from 9am to 930pm either, (jessica) we dont even leave the office til 11 or 1130am. this is not a scam. i do this job with honesty and integrity. if the customer is made to understand exactly what this is and how everything works, they can make an educated decision that will benefit them for years to come. i dont lie to my customers. every person that i have enrolled into our program has been happy with their choice. as far as the people who say that they’ve worked for universal and its b.s.?…then u are lazy, and just afraid of a little hard work. i busted my ass for this company, and i made close to six figures in my first year!

  20. mk4turbo says:

    Feb. 27, 2009

    as far as the first post that was made on this page, that guy clearly has no idea what the hell he was talking about. universal does not send out stuff in the mail, they dont go to doors in pairs, and they dont “check to see what rate you qualify for”. if they ever go to a door in pairs, one of them is standing a ways back, and is only there for observation, as that person is being trained. also they dont sign senior citizens. 18-70 only. do your research

  21. jessica says:

    Feb. 27, 2009

    I am sorry mk4turbo that you make an honest six figure income with universal. Someone below you must of had to give their life to work for universal to pay your wages. When I was almost shafted into working for universal I knew it was a scam when they had me call their vp back in a private conference call. He promised me a mgmt position and NEVER MET ME. I said I needed to put a notice in at my current job, he pushed and said we need you now. Well that was back in sept. 2008 and still the same job posting is on career builder. I am sorry,but how can you ask someone to quit their job on the spot for universal scam? I supervise 10 employees, do hiring and firing, and out of “integrity” I would never ask someone to quickly quit their job to work for me. Also mk4turbo, this is the internet. People don’t go out of their way to go onto a website just as this to say how wonderful a company is. The odds are against you and universal. If you say a six figure income got you where you are how do you find the time like most of us measly five figure income people to post your comments to save your universal world? You should be out with pride and joy living the high life while feeding off the middle class bottom feeders. Take your universal world and live in it. While the rest of us americans make an honest living. I don’t need six figures living off others who do work hard. I am in sales… I know how it works. Ok..off my soapbox…shut my blacberry down. Universal is a scam. Plain and simple

  22. mickey says:

    Mar. 5, 2009

    I saw their ad on Career Builder and figured that it would be a great company to work for. Pete Reznik called me today for an interview. I called back and Courtney answered. This person was the most unprofessional girl I dealt with on the phone. I was told to make sure that I had a current license when I arrived. I thought that this was unusual to ask someone. I went to the Southfield office and was asked for my information. I gave her an old i.d. just to see what she would do, and was told that it was not valid (which I knew). I told her that I never had anyone to ever ask me this when applying for a job. I was a victim of identity theft and I am very cautious. She told me that it was part of the application process, which read SCAM to me. I also saw other people arrive for an “interview”. I was like “not the group interview thing again”. I realized what was up then. I was given a card and told that I would have to reschedule my “interview”. Yeah, right. I knew that there was something about this company that was not right. So, I found this page online and now I’m here. I new my intuition was leading me in the right direction. Thanks for the information.

  23. Joe says:

    Mar. 11, 2009

    Sorry to hear about all these sales guys with universal gas and everything they put you thru. If you still like the natural gas industry and truely want to help people save money please go to myutilitybrokers.com/ccmgasbroker and look at what we have to offer. My companies business model is to help people save money and to beat the local utility each and every month. Our company has no contract no switch fees and enrollment fees. If we are higher at anytime you can fire us at anytime no questions asked! If they are a high end user(2000+ mcf’s per year) only then they can get a contract. Variable rate has out performed a fixed rate almost every month. Most local utility companies are on a variable rate unless you specify that you want a contract. Anybody reading their bill just look on the line where you see gas cost recover charge it’s usually the 3rd line of charges. If it says g.c.r.c only you are still with the local utility or it will have the name of your choice supplier, phone #, and the rate will be printed there also. Good luck to everyone with U.G & E. . If you would like to file a complaint please go to Michigan.gov/som and read all the info. Or write to the Michigan Public Service Commission : Executive Secretary:MPSC:P.O. Box 30221:Lansing:MI:48909 you will need to give some information name address phone # your local utility company times and dates what happend and a statement on what you what done about the matter. Good luck to all!

  24. D malott says:

    Mar. 30, 2009

    Get this They UGE go to college campuses and go to campus apartments and housing. Now give me a break..College kids don’t read…so called contracts..and they don’t like sales reps..and are in a hurry to get rid of anyone that shows up at there door asking for money. they have been led to believe they would be saving money but they aren’t…they are doubling if not tripling there bill. How can you ask al college kid to sign a 5 year contract?? How can you expect a college kid to have $ 250.00 to void a contract. Easy prey.. How much money do you think this company made by going to CMU last fall?
    This just makes me mad..Its bad enough the economy sucks. but to go after a kid who is trying to make it in college..

  25. Hula says:

    Apr. 2, 2009

    Yes, this company is a big fat scam. I see their ads on Craigslist, Monster and Careerbuilder all the time. A company that’s constantly “recruiting” is a dead giveaway that something is wrong. I feel bad for everyone who has been fooled by these horrible people. How can they possibly sleep at night? I have slammed the door in their faces several times, in Oak Park as well as in Westland. These people definitely get around. They have knocked on my door at all hours of the day and in in type of weather; Just to sell people a pack of lies. I just don’t get it. I understand the economy sucks, but there has to be something better out there that’ll keep your conscious clear at the end of the day.

  26. Joe says:

    Apr. 2, 2009

    Yes they make it hard for the rest of the legit companies that are trying to do good business. I just had a possible customer/friend today told me she’s paying $11.49 per mcf until 2013. Consumers Energy was never even close to this price. The highest C.E was $9.69 per mcf this past August 08. They use a scare tactic the prices are going up and up and say you can cancel when ever you want and then find out they have a 5 year contract and don’t leave any info. The natural gas prices have been coming down the past 6 months. Sorry everyone! They are going to lose their licence in Michigan don’t worry! Lawsuit is underway already. If you have any questions please check out Michigan.gov for more info on natural gas suppliers then google all of them!

  27. Fonzie says:

    Apr. 9, 2009

    I just called the Michigan department of consumer services and have been told that they have settled with this company. The rep I talked to didn’t know what the exact settlement is and was waiting for his boss to get back on Monday. Cross your fingers everyone that its the ability to get out of your contract without paying any fees!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Apr. 13, 2009

    Don’t have a problem with this company, if you have a cell phone and want to get out of your contract you have to pay to. Price protection is good, expecially with them predicting prices are going up.

  29. Joe says:

    Apr. 13, 2009

    Sorry but the gas prices have been going down since August 08. August wast the highest that Consumers Energy was for the entire year at $9.69 per mcf and U.G.E was anywhere between $10.49 – $10.99 per mcf stuck for 5 years and a cancelation fee even if you sell your house or move out of an appartment. Never sign a contract longer than 2 years. A market based rate(variable) has out performed a fixed rate 33 out of the past 36 months. Most supplier companies are legit. Too bad for U.G.E they lost their license to to business in MI. They make the trash and we clean it up!!! MyUtilityBrokers.com/CcmGasBroker look us up and we will actually will help you save $ and no contract or cancelation fees! Average of $0.65 less per mcf against Consumers Energy the past 5 months.

  30. Majors34 says:

    Jun. 1, 2009

    I just recieved a call about this Universal Gas company out of southfeild michigan. I live in michgan and just graduated college. it is a fact that only 20% of college graduates will actually get a job after graduation, especially in this economic state. so of course when the woman on the other end of the phone said you could make $25.00 an hour, i was a excited, but didnt get my hopes up. I questioned the pay and she said well as long as your a hardworker, then you wil make that. i went home and decided to do a little research on this company that i have never heard of……ever. I have been on here reading all these posts, and i have not found one good thing about this company at all. it is all about how they are a scam. I never even filled out an application for them and they are calling me about a job offer. this is kind of scary. dont ever trust anyone that contacts you through a website, or calls you and tells you they have a job for you. i know in this day an age, a job is hard to come by. but dont lower yourself to work for someone who wants to use and manipulate you.

    P.S. SCREW YOU UNIVERSAL…..IF I GET A SALESMAN AT MY DOOR, I WILL KNOCK THE F***** OUT

  31. Joe says:

    Jun. 1, 2009

    Hello Majors34 please take a look at our website ccmgasbroker.com if you would like to work for yourself but not by yourself. My info is on the website and contact me later. Universal just had a judgement against them of $300,000+.

  32. Parsed V. says:

    Jun. 15, 2009

    I went to their interview as well as their first day and even memorized their script, but once we were about to get in the cars and hit the streets to sell crap, I went home.

    They are very meticulous about brainwashing people who show up to work, and I could list a few dozen ways they keep control of the situation and prevent questions, but I won’t bother.

    Bottom line is this company is run by crooks and cokeheads.

  33. Desiree says:

    Jun. 23, 2009

    While living in MI for grad school, two UG&E reps came to my apartment. I was in the middle of cooking dinner for expected company, and I told them I didn’t have time. However, they would not leave. The man kept saying that it would only take a few minutes, then a few more minutes, then a few more. I asked them to leave several times, but they would not. They finally harassed me into signing their agreement, with the promise that I would receive full details later and had 30 days to cancel, and they left (after causing me to burn the meal!). I did not receive the promised information until the 30 day period was over, so I was stuck in the contract.

    I moved to AR later, and I started getting mail from UG&E saying that I had to notify them of my new address so they could change my service, or I would have to pay them $250 for early cancellation. I called them and told them I was living in AR. The representative I spoke with led me to believe that it would be taken care of. Later, I received another letter from them stating that I had to pay the fee, or they would turn my account over to collections. I called them, again, and this time they told me I had to fax them a copy of my change of address confirmation from the post office, along with a copy of a utility bill for my residence in AR showing that I was not the person responsible for paying the utilities at that address. (I had explained to them that I was living with my grandparents.) I faxed the information to them and heard nothing more…until today. I received a letter in the mail stating that my account has been turned over to a collection agency. I have 30 days to respond in writing to the collection agency; otherwise, they will assume the debt is valid. Apparently, UG&E conveniently lost the information I faxed to them and turned me over anyway!

    They are EXTREMELY unprofessional. They use shady tactics to get you on their hook and then won’t even abide by the terms of their own contract when they should let you out of it.

  34. Jessica says:

    Jul. 7, 2009

    Please help prevent Universal Gas and Electric’s Mis-leading job ads! I have noticed that Universal has slowly moved away from Career Builder on posting their misleading jobs! They are now on Yahoo hot jobs. If you feel that their job postings are mis-leading, click on Universal’s job posting and just underneath the job posting you can click on “report abuse”. If any of you have felt that Universal was mis-leading, you can choose this option and Yahoo jobs will ask you why you selected to “report abuse”. You can find Universal Gas and Electric with job listings looking for so-called “Registration Agents” for $25.00/hr. (YEAH RIGHT!)

  35. Jessica says:

    Jul. 7, 2009

    Here is what they list on HotJobs. Hmmmm…. I wonder who Mr. Tate is? There’s always a different person

    “An International Company has immediate openings for Registration Agents (Average $25 per hour) No prior experience necessary. Call Mr. Tate 248-594-2341”

  36. dream says:

    Jul. 13, 2009

    I just want to say thank you to this website an thank you to all the people who have told wats been going on , I live in Springfield, Ohio an a guy came to the door at 9:00 on 7/13/09 at night talking bout i need to see youre gas bill thats all he kept saying, so finally i told him hell no and that i was bout to call the police for harassing me, he was very rude ,and cocky, at the time i notice that one of my neighbor had signed up, that’s when i looked online an found this site, i have typed flyers an have been handing them out telling everyone wats going on. Thanks everyone.

  37. Joe says:

    Jul. 14, 2009

    Keep up the good work Dream. If you would like a ligit company to look into for your gas please go to my website of MyUtilityBrokers.com/CcmGasBroker from there you can look at any info. Please give me a call after that for our no contract program. My # is on the website. Thanks

  38. Jessica says:

    Jul. 21, 2009

    Hmmm… Another mis-leading job ad that seems similar to Universal. Which is described under the name of “COMMERCE ENERGY”? I ran across this posting on career builder which is very similar to their Universal Energy ads. What desperate individuals! Oh….the giveaway is the salary range….. $0 – $115,000 a year…COME ON!!

    http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?IPath=ILGM&ff=21&APath=2.21.21.0.0&job_did=J8E6446301QMS4D847V

  39. Sharron says:

    Oct. 23, 2009

    I signed up with Universal Gas and Electric in 2007 apparently, I don’t remember..It seemed that my gas bills were higher but I didn’t look closely at it..My problem came when a representative for Commerce Energy came around and I told her I was with Universal gas and Electric…she said I could save money with Commerce and they would take care of all fees.I signed up .I got a bill for $250 from UGE.I called Commerce, come to find out they were both the same company !I called the Michigan Public Service Commission they said they would check on it. After a week I got a bill from a collection agency for Commerce Energy.I called MPSC I was told they talked to UGE and because it was their fault they would put me back on my old contract with them..Am I crazy this is not a good solution for me. I am really frustrated and tired of being patronized by Government Agencies ..I think this company should be driven out o Michigan.Other than putting a big sign in my yard to let people know I don’t know what to do…

  40. Joe Ostervik says:

    Oct. 23, 2009

    Sharron I’m really sorry that this happened. UGE is based out of Canada. Yes they have been ripping people off for years. They just had a lawsuit against them this past year($300,000+ fine). They changed there name as well. I didn’t know what it was until your posting. Thanks. Companies like this makes my business harder to do. Everyone is afraid to change because of this. My company only works on a no contract month to month program and you have it in writing before we part. My friend was in an apartment and the sales person knocked on his door July 08. He told the guy that he was moving next July 09. He said no problem you can cancel anytime. Ya right! He moved back in with his parents and the stuck him with a $250 cancelation fee and his rates were $10.49 per mcf or $1.049 per CCF depending on who your utility company is. Consumers Energy right now is only $7.27 per MCF. Call the MPSC again they will help you out. Just tell them what happened. If enough people come together again maybe they will lose there licence again.

  41. Mr. Gullable says:

    Dec. 1, 2009

    My experience is from the employment side. A company called “Energy Services” (248)594-2341 someone by the name of Kris (female) what’s me to set up an appointment to hear/view their sales pitch. (I am looking for work, they obviously found my resume online). She would not answer any of my questions unless I come in to there building (Southfield, MI) and listen to what they have to offer. This tells me it’s a scam off the bat. Any employer looking for help would describe exactly what they need and or looking for in an employee. I had this happen to me one other time. It was a sales rep position, they would not give you info until you came in and listened to what they had to offer, even when I went in I still did not know what they did. They made me sign a release paper stating I will receive no pay the first day if I decided to test-drive the company. So, basically their scam is . . free labor to help carry merchandise for entire day. Pretty Deceiving !!

  42. Chad & Stacey says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Mr. Gullable,

    Your story is all to familiar to many Michigan residents. UGE is trying to get as many people as possible to promote their scam for “cheaper” natural gas prices. I can’t believe that the state of Michigan still allows them to operate.

    As far as Joe’s comment from above…remember any sales position is “commission” based. When I went through the sign up service for Joe’s website you have to invest almost $400 to get started. With Michigan’s economy at it’s worst and considering the fact that many residents have “scam” on their minds when they hear utility broker, I would proceed cautiously. From one Michigander to another I wish you the best of luck finding employment…I know first hand it’s hard to come by.

  43. Joe Ostervik says:

    Dec. 1, 2009

    Mr. Gullable! Would you like to look into the energy business be your own boss. It’s a recession proof business. Please listen to my 3.5 min pre recorded phone message 212-461-8812 then email me with your # and I will talk to you more. JoeO@CcmGasBroker.com

  44. Chad & Stacey says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Hi Joe,

    I see that you are technically “spamming” the comments sections of this post…so I sent you an interview invitation to help clear up any confusion with our readers about your services & job propositions.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

  45. Joe Ostervik says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Dear Chad
    I am not spaming anyone. I was looking into UGE and I came across this site. If you read any of the comments earlier I am helping people watch what they do. My company that I represent is helping people save money not to scam them. We have been given a A+ rating from the BBB and MPSC and were the only company that actually showed a savings for there customers in the past 3 years! And anyone that would like to be a rep very well could be. Yes it’s a $329 start up fee but you can be your own boss and work as hard or as little as you would like your income is total up to you. As of last month our company was $6.99 per mcf and Consumers Energy was $7.42 per mcf and we DO NOT HAVE A CONTRACT unlike most companies like UGE with a 5 year contract and they tell everyone you can get out of it at anytime. One of my future customers is with UGE and they told him a $6500(commercial act) cancelation fee if he wants out and $10.89 per mcf. UGE has changed there name to Commerce Energy because they had a lawsuit against them. Do you know any insurance salesmen they pay a desk fee and a yearly fee also! If you think that way this economy is why do we have several thousand reps mostly in MI and Ohio and keep growing every month? We sell gas(res and com) in 5 states and electrictiy(com only) in 9 soon all of the USA. Not one of my customers have dropped out of our program since Dec 08. It’s because we help people save money not scam them! Just want to help anyone save and maybe make some extra $.

  46. Wally says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    I just want to express my pure hate for universal energy and all of their employees. Not only did i get scammed into this 5 year rip off of a contract but I sold my house about 4 years in and they refuse to acknowledge the fact that I will not need their services any longer and they are charging me a cancellation fee of $171.92. They keep telling me that I am not sending in the right documents to have this fee removed even though I am sending them RENTAL AGREEMENTS meaning I don’t pay utilities!!!!Customer service needs their faces rearranged since the lady refuses to put a manager on the phone (even when I call back!). My mom who is a first time home owner was scammed as soon as she moved in. She had no idea who the rep even was. I wonder if this company is perfect candidate for a class action suit? I’m not a law student but if anybody has any ideas on how to sue these people out of all they own please let me know and thank you.

  47. Joe Ostervik says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Stacey read your email please send me any questions you have and your email back and not just boiledover.com . Not a problem our company is ligit!

  48. Joe Ostervik says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Wally they were sued this past year $300,000 not much for a big company and they lost there licence and moved out of MI and came back with a different name “Commerse Energy” using the same sales tatics and are a Canadian company.

  49. Chad & Stacey says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Joe,

    I preferred to give you an honest chance by interviewing through email (which boiledover is my email address) but you chose to post a comment. (which is fine too) You are right about the company you represent, I researched them before sending you the email this morning.

    I only implied that you may be spamming due to the fact that you have used (Joe & Joe Ostervik) PLUS you have used three different links associated with your name ( http://ccmgasbroker.com/, http://yourgasguy.com/, http://myutilitybrokers.com/ccmgasbroker). Another reason why I contacted you to give you a fair chance to explain.

    I mentioned the start up fee for your broker business only to respond to a reader that is having difficulty finding a job. You may not realize but Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We are all struggling and if the gentleman that was desperately looking for employment has to invest hundreds of dollars to become employed he should proceed cautiously.

    My plan was to get some background on you and the company you represent to assure that the readers of this blog are getting the right information and that your true intention is to help them. I was actually impressed by the information I found although it was very vague and planned to feature it in a post.

    I know UGE is a rat, scamming company…that is why this posts was written to begin with.

  50. Chad & Stacey says:

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Wally,

    We appreciate you sharing your experiences. Every person who posts a comment about how bad Universal Gas & Electric is helps other people out there looking for information.

    We wish you the best of luck.

  51. Jerry says:

    Nov. 19, 2011

    They are in Allegan county, as of 11-18-2011. They came to my home, All i remember is He siad he was with, (not sure of the name. wasnt ready buying anyway), But the next line was Can I see your Gas bill? I replied “go away not interested”. After that i call my local gas company, and asked “whats up with the door to door”. they said “it was other gas companies tring to take your account over”. 2nd question was, “Why did You not send out warning letter about this”, and my local gas company replied “What they are doing is not illegal.” And went on to say “That all they need is your meter # and account #”. did not say they need anything signed. So if you Here Can I see your BILL? Just say NO!

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