Detroit man turns to Call For Action team to help get DTE Energy deposits back after four years

DTE Energy works with customer on refund issue

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Perry Weston was extremely disappointed to learn he wasn't going to get more than $500.00 back in deposits after four years of trying.  So, he reached out to our volunteers for help.

Weston owns two homes -- one in Detroit and one in Hamtramck.      

He always tries to pay his power bill on time.  However, in the fall of 2009 he missed a payment and received a shut-off notice.

So he rushed to a DTE Energy office to pay the bill in person.

"When I get home, my power is shut off.  Then next day I have to go back and get it turned back on, so I paid a deposit," explained Weston.

He said the deposit amount was about $280.00 for each home.

To get that deposit back, he would have to pay 12 straight months in a row on time.

But he encountered some economic misfortunes, and it took him four years to make 12 consecutive payments on time to receive his refund.

However, his relief soon turned to disbelief.

"[The DTE Energy] lady says, 'Well, you would get the deposit, but you missed one payment by two days. So you have to start all over again and you won't get your payment until august of 2014," recalled Weston.

He thought by paying in-person his payment would post immediately. 

But he learned it takes three-to-five days to post.

So the 12-month clock rewound to zero.

"I was quite disappointed. My patience was almost lost," said Weston.

He talked with DTE Energy representatives on the phone to try to explain, but he had no luck.

So he turned to our Call For Action team in early August.

"A week later that's when I talked to someone from DTE. [She] called me and asked me did I have a complaint with Channel 7?  That's when they responded right then," said Weston.

DTE Energy credited Mr. Weston's account in August less than two weeks after our Call For Action team took the case.

Weston said the total refund credited to his account was $532.00.

A company spokesperson gave us this statement:

DTE Energy's policy is that a deposit will be refunded after a customer makes 12 consecutive monthly payments by the due date. Because there were a few late payments on each of Mr. Weston's accounts, the rebates weren't processed automatically. When we investigated Mr. Weston's accounts, we found that those few late payments were just a day or two late, so as a goodwill gesture, we refunded both deposits to Mr. Weston.

            -Grace Flores, Media Relations, DTE Energy

"I was happy because I thought it was going to take a little bit longer, but it happened right away.  And I'm pleased," Weston smiled.

If you have a consumer issue you've been dealing with for months or years contact our "Call For Action" team.

The number is (248) 827-3362.

Volunteers take calls on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

You can also fill out an online complaint form here.

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