Spark Energy Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
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2.3
25 Reviews
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Spark Energy CEO William Keith Maxwell III
William Keith Maxwell III
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Was a really good company - or a better compny

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Spark Energy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    very employee oriented company overall

    Cons

    Senior Leadership was a major issue

    Advice to Management

    With the correct leadership in place the electricity model will work. Mid-management was strong overall

  2. Spare yourself.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Spark Energy full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The pay isn't bad. As far as I can tell, Spark pays market rates for their talent. And, where your resume is concerned, future employers may judge that retail energy experience is valuable.

    Cons

    There is no coherent talent acquisition and retention plan. The plan, if it can be called one, is to hire everyone and then terminate the people that don't fit in. There is unbelievable turnover at this company. Everybody is temporary, very few people actually want to be here and, among them, almost none of them are what I would call good talent. You will work absurdly long hours, mostly to remedy nascent issues born from prior generations of migrant employees. And you will be resented for suggesting improvements because your managers -- the extreme minority of minimally-competent employees who are able to tolerate working here -- will recognize that you recognize their weaknesses as leaders. Ultimately, you -- like those before you -- will have no choice but to leave. So spare yourself the trouble.

    Advice to Management

    Frankly, I really don't think that anything can be done to save the organization. The leadership gap is too wide and the organization is too old to reverse course. My advice to management: find a way to separate yourself financially from the company now before it is worthless.

  3. Helpful (2)

    A nightmarish chapter of my life.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Houston, TX

    I worked at Spark Energy full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Conveniently located, geographically. Compensation is sufficient.

    Cons

    Extreme work load, consistent late nights for most members of the team, unparalleled disorganization and poor project planning (precipitating the former), continuous hiring, firing and exiting of employees, poor outlook comparing company performance to competitors.

    Advice to Management

    Strategy. Success in business requires strategy, and it requires appreciation for deferred gratification. The founders and financiers finally got their exit with an IPO in 2014. If the company wants public investors to take it seriously, they need to think way ahead now. To me, it looks like a sinking ship.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    Replaces IT and developer staff every 2 years. Developer time mostly spent tracking down customer bills off by 25cents.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Spark Energy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Drive time, cafeteria and parking

    Cons

    Unprofessional IT / development management. Minimal development work, most time spent fixing incorrectly processed customer bill transactions. Dev expected to do off-hours on-call support with a company cell phone for 10-25 extra hours per week. Open bullpen office with minimal space.

    Advice to Management

    Turnover due to excessive overtime and over-committed schedules can be fixed.

  6. Unlike any other company I ever worked for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Outside Sales/Marketing/Direct Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Outside Sales/Marketing/Direct Marketing in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Spark Energy full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Uncapped commission, late starts (12pm to 8pm). The team does spend a lot of time together outside of work, and more experienced team members are willing to go the extra mile to help you learn the process. You get to know neighborhoods well, and you learn some basic sales techniques. You also get a lot of exercise.

    Cons

    Poor four (4) day training program, no base pay, commissions are low, you spend a lot of time doing things that you aren't paid for (like training), you get treated very poorly by customers since you are going door to door, questioning the company's ethics results in a very hostile response, the news has done stories on this product that have yielded negative publicity, Turnover is very high. I feel like the municipalities in which they operate will enact ordinances which will make this job harder.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees should receive either a base pay, or an hourly wage. I'd consider a different product than Spark Energy, and a different technique than door to door. Have a lead generation process so that all calls are warmer than permafrost.

  7. Helpful (5)

    Not a good place for developers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at Spark Energy as a contractor (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    No pros here.they are out sourcing every thing.I suggest people be care ful taking offers of contract or employ roles here.

    Cons

    Bad manager and it director.2 ladies with no ehics managing IT department.You will be laid off or end your job if they dontlike you.they can remove your job with out any reason.This place can ruin your career.
    No programming work going on here from years.it is all maintainance.
    .

  8. Helpful (1)

    Growth & Love

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Spark Energy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Personal growth and promotions are common.

    Cons

    A lot of people get positions or hired because of who they know versus what they actually know.

  9. Great Place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Director in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Spark Energy full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Strong, Smart leadership. Advancement opportunities. Great Work/Life balance. I love going to work every day.

    Cons

    As with any entrepreneur owned company, change is constant.

    Advice to Management

    none

  10. Small company and probably not thinking about growing that big, small salaries for L8s and L9s.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Support Agent in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Sales Support Agent in Houston, TX

    I worked at Spark Energy full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The building environment is nice, outdoor breaks available.

    Cons

    Salaries are low, and company does not make you feel important.

    Advice to Management

    More training, and better pay, and more involvement.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Uncertainty at the highest levels which is part of company culture now

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Houston, TX

    I worked at Spark Energy full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very entrepreneurial owner. Work/Life balance is great and rarely anyone sticks around after 5:30-6p.

    Cons

    Very uncertain steps taken by the upper management every few months. No organizational communication leaves people hanging. The best of folks have already left/pushed out leaving the bare minimums working for paychecks and ready to leave at 5. Owner shows least care in the day to day as well as the future outlook of any of the organizations. The board members are close buddies that talk in owners tone. Senior management has changed at rate of once per year. Don't expect a salary raise so better negotiate everything before getting hired. Annual bonuses are not guaranteed even when the numbers hit and surely are never on time (sometimes paid in August for the prior year).

    Advice to Management

    Hire visionaries that can create a map for next 5 years not 6 months. Make mandatory training/education on the current management. Most folks have lost confidence and are only stretching their time.

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