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You’ll need an aspirin for these headaches

20140411_utilitysurvey_fbAt CUB, we couldn’t do the work we do—saving individual  consumers hundreds of dollars on their utility bills, advocating for consumer protections in Springfield, and fighting rate-hike hungry energy companies—without support and input from our members.  That’s why we sent a survey out last November asking you  to rate your gas and electric companies and identify your most pressing utility issues.

And boy, are there some issues:

High rates, power outages, confusing bills, and terrible TV pricing topped the list of concerns facing consumers in 2013.  CUB plans to use the survey results to plan its money-saving work for 2014, when it could easily face $1 billion in rate-hike battles.

According to the results, 60 percent of CUB members think “high rates” are the No. 1 utility concern, regardless of which company provides their gas or electric service.

The survey also found that power outages still plague ComEd customers, with 23 percent citing that as their chief concern. Sixteen percent of respondents listed confusing bills as the next most pressing problem.

20140410_surveyresults_blogAnd gas and electric companies aren’t the only ones causing headaches for Illinois consumers. The vast majority of survey respondents, 77 percent, subscribe to a paid television service, like cable or satellite TV. But just 3 percent reported being very satisfied with that company.  If any of this grinds your gears, read about our most recent action alert to the FCC regarding cable TV service.

Part of the problem is that consumers are forced to pay for hundreds of channels they don’t want.  According to the survey, 77 percent of CUB members would prefer “a la carte” pricing that would allow them to purchase only channels they really want.

With all of these headaches, you can see there’s a lot of work for CUB to do in 2014.

Consider contributing to our Consumer Defense Fund to help us tackle these issues in the upcoming year.

If you have more suggestions on problems you’d like CUB to address, call us at 1-800-669-5556.  We love hearing from you!