Texas Attorney General sues Griddy over bogus ads following winter storm price hike

Illustration from article titled Texas Attorney General Sues Griddy for False Advertising Following Winter Storm Prices

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Griddy, the Texas electricity supplier it is done securities recently for clients’ very high energy bills after widespread winter storm failures, has accumulated another trial. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues company for “false, deceptive and deceptive advertising and marketing practices” which, according to him, have deceived customers by promising them advantageous prices, “wholesale” energy prices.

Griddy offers its customers what it claims to be “wholesale tariffs” for electricity with per kilowatt-hour tariffs tied to market prices, as opposed to the type of fixed rate plans offered by other retailers. The advantage is customers save a few extra dollars when energy is cheap. The disadvantage although, so many Texans are unfortunately find, do these variable prices can skyrocket to $ 9,000 per megawatt hour when spikes in demand due, for example, to statewide power outages caused by a record cold spell like the one we saw last month. The fallout left customers blocked with invoices of $ 5,000 or more for only five days of use.

The state has received over 400 complaints from Griddy customers about the price increase in less than two weeks, the lawsuit calls for.

“Griddy misled the Texans and signed them for services that in times of crisis cost Texans thousands of dollars apiece,” said Paxton, a Republican. in A declaration this week. “As Texans struggled to survive this winter storm, Griddy compounded the suffering by debiting outrageous amounts every day.

“As the first lawsuit brought by my office to deal with the scandalous failure of the power companies, I will hold Griddy accountable for the escalation of this winter storm. My office will not allow Texans to be deceived or exploited by illegal behavior and deceptive business practices, ”he continued.

The lawsuit accuses Griddy of violating the Texas Deceptive Marketing Practices – Consumer Protection Act because “did not adequately disclose the risks of its pricing model to its customers ”and downplayed the potential consumer Cost fluctuating energy prices. The suit particularly calls Use of automatic invoicing by Griddy to automatically withdraw these exorbitant the sums of its customers checks, which lead overdraft accounts and overdraft fees that left Texans unable to pay their other bills.

Griddy also faces a class action of angry customers looking for $ 1 billion in damages. Earlier this week, the Texas Electric Reliability Council effectively shut down Griddy in revoke company access at state electricity market. Paxton also announced investigation in ERCOT with nearly a dozen power companies as a result of this scandal.

While fighting back against the big one, Bad electric companies taking advantage of Texans’ woe could gain some goodwill in Paxton, it should be noted that the lawyer the general is currently under investigation by the FBI for allegedly abusing his office for the benefit of a wealthy donor. But I guess even a the broken clock is right twice a day.

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