Spark Energy, LLC is the defendant in a class action that alleges the company tricks consumers into buying its electricity services by offering a temporary fixed rate lower than its competitors’ prices only to overcharge customers after the initial rate expires.
The Illinois consumer behind the lawsuit claims the company initially offered him a low fixed rate that, once expired, was to be followed by a “market-based variable rate” that he was told may fluctuate according to market conditions. According to the case, however, Spark Energy, despite its representations, makes no effort to ensure its rates remain competitive and charges customers “substantially higher” prices than competing energy suppliers.
“Remarkably, Spark Energy almost never lowered its rate from the preceding month, in contrast to fluctuating market conditions, demonstrating that the representation that the rates ‘may’ vary according to market conditions is false and misleading because they rarely if ever vary according to market conditions,” the complaint alleges.
The defendant further deceives customers by adding unauthorized fees to their monthly bills, the case alleges. The suit says the company’s terms of service states customers may be charged administrative fees, which, if applicable, would be disclosed in their service agreements. The plaintiff claims that even though no such charge was disclosed in his contract, he was billed between $4.95 and $6.95 per month in administrative fees.