June 1, 2007 admin

Cirro Energy, Customer Confusion Over Variable Electric Rate

Power To Choose had Cirro Energy listed on their website with a Residential Electricity Rate for 12 months at 12.3 cents\kwh back in June of 2007. This tied with Spark Energy who also had a 12.3 cents per kwh energy rate. After looking closer I noticed that you can only qualify for the 12.3 cents\kwh rate with Cirro if you are using more then 500 kwh a month in electricity. Since then Cirro Energy was advertising only a variable 12 month rate on Power to Choose but would show it as a 12 month term. Mind you I had multiple people call me to complain about Cirro because they thought they had signed up for a 12 month fixed rate not noticing they were being locked into a rate that can change at will by Cirro Energy for any reason the energy company decides. I received enough of these calls to realize that most people who signed up with Cirro seemed to be under the impression that their electric rate was locked in for 12 months.

817.929.7095 tel
903.484.9222 fax

Another bad aspect to the Cirro Energy residential electricity rate was the early termination penalty. Back in June of 2007 they would charge an electric customer 1 months average electricity bill if you were to cancel. This could be $200 – $500 for some residential customers who use a lot of energy. On a more positive note an apartment customer might only have to pay $50 – $75 to cancel since they do not use as much energy. Since June of 2007 Cirro’s early termination penalty is more in line with other electric providers. They now offer both a fixed rate and a variable electric rate.

In comparison to Cirro Energy, Startex Power has a competitive electric rate worth looking at. They have standard fixed rate terms without monthly service charges. Another electric rate plan that is good for those looking for a guaranteed no deposit plan is with Bounce Energy.  The electric rate is not dependent upon the amount of electricity used  unless you are using under 500 kWh a month. Most people do not use under that but if you do there is a $4.95 monthly fee.

Cirro Energy has announced as of August 2008 that they are being bought out by a large electric company named Dominion Retail with over 1.7 million residential and commercial electric service customers throughout the USA. My guess is that the churn rate of electric service customers has been increasing and electric companies like Cirro are looking to sell out. After reaching critical mass it actually does make sense to sell out. I wonder if this sell out is foreshadowing what is to come in the Texas retail electricity market?

Remember telecom long distance deregulation? AT&T, MCI, and Sprint. The market became pretty thin and volume ended up making or breaking these companies. Once the companies got too big and their customers started jumping ship to the next best provider they couldn’t justify the size of their companies infrastructure any longer. These companies began losing money and selling off and downsizing.

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About the Author

admin Donny started ElectricityBid.com back in 2007 from his parents basement and has since married his wife Melody and had three sons, John Adam (7) and Noah (4) and our new 20 month old son. He enjoys tech related things, softball, kickboxing, going to the gym, excursions and activities together with his wife Melody. Our service allows you to shop and compare commercial and residential electric rates and providers. Would you take the time today to try our service and see how you like it. Thank you! and God Bless You!

Comments (20)

  1. martin meister

    we signed up for cirro in sept 06 for 2 yr

    our recent bills (per kwh) are much higher than the quoted price (12.3) for 1 yr.

    why i dont know but i hope to find out
    martin meister

  2. Cirro is Raising my Fixed Rate!!!!!!!!

    The customer service is Terrible.

    They act like they're doing me a favor by not raising my Fixed rate sooner than they did. I see a Rip-Off-Report in their future:)

  3. darc9999

    RIP-OFF IS RIGHT. I RECENTLY CHANGED FROM TXU TO CIRRO. I HAD NO CONTRACT WITH TXU AND WATCHED THEM GO FROM 10.5 TO 13.26 HEADING TO 14.9. I AGREED TO SWITCH TO CIRRO ON A ONE YEAR CONTRACT @ 13.1. THEY CHANGED TO 14.9 IN THE SECOND MONTH. WHEN I QUESTIONED THEM ABOUT THIS, I WAS TOLD THAT THEY A PRICE INCREASE. WHAT ABOUT MY 1 YEAR AGREEMENT? DOESN'T COUNT SHE SAID. IF I TRY TO CANCEL THEY TELL I WOULD HAVE TO PAY A ONE MONTH AVERAGE BILL TO RID MY CONTRACT WHICH THEY HAVE ABORTED. YES, A RIP-OFF

  4. cclendy

    I signed a "fixed rate" 2 year contract with Cirro at 10.9 cents KWH. With my last bill being 15.7 cents, I called Cirro. Cirro now says I never did have a fixed rate and that they do not even offer a fixed rate. The portion of the email that I saved in case this happened will not open to prove my point. Cirro actions are fraudulent if not criminal. I urge everyone to file a complaint with the Texas Public Utility Commission.

  5. Suzanne

    I have been a Cirro customer for 2 1/2 yrs and have had no problem with them until last months bill arrived, I have always had a 12 mos. contract with them with a fixed rate and now they say they have never had a fixed rate. My electric rate increased 42% (10.74 to 14.45 per kwh)in one month. The contract they offer obviously means nothing, I thought I was on their 12 mos.smart plan. I renew in Dec. and definitely will not renew with them again. What a rip-off!!!!! I GREW UP IN THE ERA A CONTRACT was a viable piece of paper to protect both parties! OBVIOUSLY this is not the case with electric companies. I urge everyone to file a coplaint with the PUC as well as the Attorney General's office, Consumer Fraud Division. If enough customers do this perhaps Cirro will be forced to honor what they are selling by contract. Cirro certainly did not lower my fixed rate when I was paying 2 cents more for energy last year when the rates were much lower than what they are today. If I remember correctly; when I negotiated a new 12 month contract in December, that conversation was recorded and Cirro was suppose to send me a written contract which they did not.

    Citizens of Texas need to get organized as a majority to tell these electric companies that we are not going to put up with their greedy ass plans anymore.

    My next question is why can't we buy electricity from another state… other states have much lower rates than Texas!! We have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas under our homes in this state (Barnett Shale)- why are we paying such high prices!!!!

  6. Carole

    Don't switch to Dynowatt!! They raised the rates here in North Texas from 13 cents per kwh to 24 cents per kwh in June 2008 with no notice. Our electric bill and many others more than doubled, and you all know how high electric bills are already in Texas!

  7. zuzuh

    After havng Cirro for almost 3 years at a fixed rate, they have now raised my rate more than double from 12.34 to 23.49 wih no advance notice and are now sending me HUGE bills. I have changed providers and WILL NOT pay and have told them that. I will file a complaint – what is going on?????

  8. pat

    Well I am another Cirro customer who was duped by them. How could we all be wrong??? I would not have entered into a contract unless I was getting a locked in rate. They obviously mislead us all. Now they say they never had a fixed rate. Funny how they can change the contract but we can't. My rate went from 11 to 18 cents. I will change providers when my contract ends.

  9. TXU Man

    I've been a TXU customer for the past 3 years & I have never had a really high lightbill. My average Lightbill would run between $100.00 & $130.00. Once you set a contract with TXU then thats it for that year. I've had no problems with TXU so far. I'll be a TXU customer for life.

  10. linzolinzo

    I switched to Cirro on the advice of a friend who had started a job as a broker of electric utility services and was promised in my pamphlet a rate of 11.08 cents per kWH. I honestly didn't think we would save much b/c I think all utility companies are scams, but thought I would do her a favor.

    Our first bill from Cirro was a whopping $467 compared to last year's bill with Reliant of $294, and they are charging 14.2 cents per kWH. And yes, we were promised a fixed rate but are now being told that natural gas rates are variable.

    Stay away from this company; it is nothing more than old bait and switch. And please file formal complaints with the appropriate agencies.

  11. vickiet

    i also have been very deceived by cirro energy. my bill trippled in one year. I called them to ask why i was not given a notice before they raise my bill. I also that day told them that I was switching company, and they raised it one more time before my final bill arrived. i hope that you will think twice before you do business with cirro.they are sorry as far as i am concerned

  12. henderson

    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww so im not crazy…lol i knew it wasnt jst me….. they acted as if i ws crazy for thinking i ws to be on a renewal contract and set (fixed) rate… wnt frm 12.7 cents per killowatt to 18.60 from less than 100.00bills to 420.00 how do u figure and yet last year with them i paid at this same time of the year… no more than 250.00 … and so i made the switch too …so hoping NEC is as good as they sound on tv commercial…..

  13. nanny00

    I too am a customer. But it clearly states in my terms of service agreement that it is a variable rate. Until this past month. They graciously sent me 30 notice letting me know that my contract was expiring.

    GREAT service!!!!!!!

  14. crasster

    Amigo Energy is doing the same thing. After National Power Company went under we were auto switched to Amigo.

    Amigo didn't bill for 2 months. All NPC customers got bills of .2419 per KWh. Some people $1800.

    Also they do this to current customers with no warning as soon as their contract runs out.

    Stay away from Amigo too!

  15. Lena

    I'm a senior on a fixed income. I live in a tiny apartment and barely use electricity because of money issues.The last bill Cirro sent was four times higher than my usual bill. I was shocked! I called and was told I had signed up for 6 months and it had expired. I was now paying market rate. I told them I thought it was a 12 month contract and signed up for another 6 months to get back on fixed rate. I asked if they would please give me some credit for the $300 bill because paying a huge bill like that would be a hardship. She said said her boss said NO! What kind of business is this? This has been a very expensive lesson and I'm still signed up for six more months. I'm dreading to see my next bill.

  16. Mary

    Sounds like some scam company to me. How long have they been in business and who owns the company?

  17. homer

    Cirro never made any effort to contact/alert us that my parents contract was expiring. At first it was subtle, moving from 12.34 to 13.09 but then it spiked to 23.07 (I attributed the high bill to Texas weather) then to 24.39! That's when I started inspecting the bill looking at the small print for a clue.

    I called customer service hoping to gain a sympathetic adjustment to a significantly lower rate for this current billing cycle. I was quickly denied.

    I shudder at the thought of opening this month's bill (August). I hope my new provider moves quickly so that I can leave this bad experience behind.

    In my opinion, Cirro did not act ethically when they automatically assigned my parents to what appears to be Cirro's higher market rate plan.

  18. I have had the worst experiences with Cirro, rate included. This company is not ethical, bully’s their customers, and doesnt care about the clients needs. They wont even let you speak to someone in charge (Bart Jenkins, the ‘manager’, said he is the highest up that anyone is allowed to. Shannon Bowling, the vp of operations, doesnt seem to think so).

    Cirro is horrible and I wouldnt recommend to anyone!! Take a look at my blog for my experiences with them…there are many!

    luculent

  19. Patterson860

    – Lawsuit – Cirro Energy Customers, I am also a victim of Cirro’s deceptive and illegal practice. Cirro’scontract requires them to notify you in writing 45 days in advance before making a material change to your contract. The price they are charging for electricity is a material change. If Cirro raised your rates within then intital contract term without providing you with written notification of the change you have a viable cause of action against them for breach of contract and under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Our best chance to recover is to band together and sue Cirro under a Consumer Collective Class Action. The lawyer will not charge you anything to represent you, he will only take a percentage of what he recovers for us. Cirro provides sercvices in Corpus Christi and other areas of South Texas which are excellent venues to bring such a suit. If you are interested in joining me in this lawsuit email me at Patterson860@hotmail.com
    – Brian Patterson

  20. Chuck

    I too signed up with Cirro on a “fixed rate plan” promising 10.8 cents per kwh based on the kwh’s we had been using. It did not take them long to change that and we have been paying much higher rates all year. I copied the contract when I signed up and can find nothing in it that says they can raise the rates. It point blank states that our rate is 8.2 cents per kwh plus the transmission charges which would bring it to 10.8 cents per kwh. Their customer service told me that they don’t offer fixed rates. I will be filing complaints with all applicable agencies today.

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