I used to have Direct Energy's much advertised Heating and Cooling Protection Plans.
Direct Energy uses the local utility, Enbridge Gas Services to do their billing. So, you see Direct Energy's bill on your utility bill. I have set up a recurring bill payment with my bank account to pay Enbridge a fixed amount every month, slightly more than the average monthly bill.
In January 2008, I informed Direct Energy I did not wish to renew the plans. I (think) they finally managed to agree in September 2008. Don't know yet! Read on...
One of the plans was renewed in March. After a couple of calls, it was cancelled. I asked that the mistake not be repeated for the next plan.
Enbridge charged me late fees because the credit from Direct Energy came several weeks late.
The second plan was (of course) renewed when it came up in June. I called to get it cancelled/charge reversed. Did not happen that month, so I called again next month. Direct Energy charged me late fees again.
The next month, I saw Direct Energy had given me partial credit - and charged me again for the balance instead of crediting me.
Seems the plan has two parts, which are charged together but credited separately when reversed. For the second part, instead of a credit, I was charged. Simple mistake, right?
But try explaining to anyone at Direct Energy. It took June - July _ August - September, 8 phone calls, 6 emails and about 8 hours to finally get it fully reversed.
Enbridge kept charging me late fees. And to rub it all in, when I finally saw the credit from Direct Energy in September, I saw that Direct Energy had CHARGED me a late fee because I had refused to pay their incorrect bill (and perhaps, complained).
My advice - if you need heating and cooling plans, avoid Direct Energy. Look for someone who has a stake in keeping a customer.