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Thread: I hate Utility companies (Wild We-need-a-smily-beating-his-head-against-a-wall RANT)

  1. #1
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    I hate Utility companies (Wild We-need-a-smily-beating-his-head-against-a-wall RANT)

    ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH

    Once upon a time, a meter reader came to my home at a moment when I was not there. Since the gas meter is in my basement, poor Mr Meter Reader had a problem. I haven't been able to get a clear explanation of what he did then. I have asked several bonafide utility employees. I have asked them politely while using simple English words. So far, I've been told-

    A- He may have taken a reading from a secret meter on the outside of my home.

    B- He might not have taken a meter reading outside, because I don't have a meter outside.

    C- It was estimated

    D- It was an actual reading. [Supposedly from the outside meter that I don't have.]

    Please, let's take a moment to appreciate the torturous circular thinking of my story so far. I don't care what anyone says, you don't get that total lack of common sense and logic by chance. That takes dedicated skill.

    Let us continue. Imagine my suprise when I received a gas bill that was easily 10 times the amount expected. Of course, I thought it was a mistake a phone call might correct. HAHAHA I am a hopeless dreamer.

    After some discussion , the first person I spoke with thought it might be good to make an appointment to have the meter in my basement read. Of course, I would have to be home.

    After finding out when I could be home, I called back to tell them that I can arrange to be home ANY TIME next week. Unfortunately, I did not speak to the same person. This new person informs me that their company doesn't make real appointments. To them, an appointment means- anytime in the next 30 days. Naturally, I will need to be home when they get here. Unfortunately, this person was a formidable secret meter believer. No facts could sway her. No amount of reason could make her understand my reluctance to pay what I do not owe. I am proud to say, I remained a lady for the entire length of our talk. (I admit, that went all to hell the minute I hung up the phone.)

    Don't get me wrong. If I owe this money, I will pay it. It's the principle of the thing. If the evil, bloodsucking, money grubbing predators at the gas company want to drain honest, hardworking people dry, they should at least have to give a decent explanation of the charges! I will figure this mess out- I swear it!


    Thank you for the opportunity to rant. I feel better!
    Last edited by SusanBeth; 05-13-2004 at 03:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    I love the idea of a "secret meter" outside!!

    The other utility-related gripe I'd like to add is when you request the phone company to come add a new line. "Our service person will be there between 10 am and 3 pm," they chirp as though your time is nothing.

    This is ridiculously poor service to begin with, but then when you call at 2:30 that day because you think you've been forgotten after wasting a whole day they say, "He's out in the field now and we don't know his schedule."

    Hello-o-o-o - you're the phone company, have you considered CALLING him?! :sheesh:

    I just had this happen........

  3. #3
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    I had a similar thing happen to me years ago.

    The landlord installed a 4th electric meter, so that he would get billed for the hallway and entry lights rather than the garden apt.

    Soon after this, my elec bill came and it was 10 times the usual amount. Coincidence? No matter how many times I explained the situation, or how many different people I talked too, I kept getting lame answers like "Were you home more often this month?" or "Did you use the air conditioner a lot more than usual?". :( Yeah, right, my mounthly bill went form $40 to $400 because I was watching TV in the afternoon. Even if it were true, it wouldn't make any sense.

    Finally, the Landlord took over. On his instruction, I paid the bill, deducted the amount from my rent, and left it with him to try and get reimbursed for the overcharges.

    It's just really frustrating how much of life's time is wasted with this nonsense.

  4. #4
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    These stories are great, frustrating, but great. Here's another one. Try to get an outside meter relocated or realigned. Our meter sticks out from the side of the house about two feet. I have no idea why, but we would like to use the side backyard entrance to store our small fishing boat trailor. It won't fit, they won't move the meter, so we had to move our fence over two feet to make room.............. 42

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    Thanks for the replies. It helps to know I'm not alone in a crazed universe. In order to keep this post from going epic, I left out a few twists and turns.

    I am so sorry, but I need to go epic. A few days back, I attempted to take matters into my own hands and read my real, nonsecret meter. It was a bold move on my part. Please don't think I am boasting. I don't claim to be able to fill a REAL meter reader's shoes. Yet, even though I am no Mathman, I have achieved a certain mastery of the numbers 1 through 9. You can write each number on a separate piece of paper and show them to me at random, each time I can tell you what the number is.

    3-1-2-7 The digital read out was as plain as day. I raced to call one of those sadistic snots the utilities hire to make their customer's efforts futile. She did her job. Maybe she thought the 7 was too much of a reach for me? You see, the numbers I saw with my own eyes on my real meter, weren't the same as the meter reader may or may not have read on the secret meter I might not have. Therefore, my numbers don't count.

    I will just have to wait for my appointment, which is still any time in the next 30 days provided I am home.



    AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH

  6. #6
    english heretic Kateri's Avatar
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    Shall I tell you a heartwarming tale of electric meters??

    in my last flat, I was suspicious since we were about to move out, and we'd never received an electricity bill. So I thought I'd better sort it out, and rang the company.

    Over the course of several confused and confusing phone calls during which I was repeatedly told a.) I didn't exist, b.) didn't live where I said I did, or c.) my flat didn't exist...we eventually found the problem.

    Our flat was above a takeaway, but when they built the flat, there was only one electric account for the whole building. Thus, our electricity was being paid for by the takeaway guys downstairs! We told them, and they said they'd been wondering why their bills were so huge!

    But (this is the good bit!) our landlord was so forgetful and disorganised he never made us pay anything towards it, so we lived there with free electric for a year! Considering we had 3 computers, a TV, 2 stereos, a much-used washer-dryer, and leave all the lights on, this was good!!

    It kinda made up for the fact he charged us for a chair he swore we'd stolen, and carpet burns that were there when we moved in!:sheesh:

    kat.:D

  7. #7
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Try to get the phone company to fix your phone.

    Phone Company asks
    1st question: Did you pay your bill?
    2nd question: How soon do you need it fixed?
    3rd question: Can you be there all day? Not sure when I can get someone there.
    4th question: Are you sure your phone isn't broken?
    5th question: (Mind you this one really got my blood pressure up) If your phone is broke, how are you calling us now?

    All these questions were asked after waiting at least 10 minutes for the electronic operator to direct me.

    Drives me crazy.

    Susan Beth, this is the best emotican I could come up with


    Dee

  8. #8
    On the Ice
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    :o

    Anyone ever had to have their electrical main replaced? First off, only your electric company can put the temporary line in. You can't contract an electrician to do that part. When they came out, they told us since we were replacing it, we also needed to move it. He showed us where and then was so helpful he gave me the names and numbers of two of his co-workers who do a little "side work". I took the numbers, but did not mention my brother-in-law is an electrician.

    So, the really helpful EC tech comes back in a couple of days to inspect the new main. Tells us we need to move it - again. Ironically, he tells us this AFTER he asked if one of his buds did the work.

    The next joyous aspect of the ordeal was the bill. $400. Due all at once. Never during my conversations with the EC on the phone while scheduling all of this, nor with the technician, was the cost ever addressed. Perhaps I should have known to ask, but truthfully, when it 90 degrees outside, you have a 3 year old and no power, the cost isn't the first thing on your mind. Plus, even if they had told me $400, what could I say? "No"? Also, it's important to note, that the $400 was simply for the temporary line that took him 30 minutes to complete. That did not include what we paid my B-I-L to replace and move the main.

    So, when I call the ever pleasant Customer "Service" rep to question the amount, she proceeds to tell me that even though they have no competitors, the cost for this "service" they provide has been approved by some "federal commission". She was very polite when I asked her what my options were and she replied "None."

  9. #9
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    MMM, where have you been? Missed you.

  10. #10
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    SusanBeth:

    Your gas company sounds like our Cable company. My cable was off for a week due to an idiot cable guy knocking my service out when he hooked someone else's cable up. Of course, as your experience went, it took twenty phone calls and demands to speak to someones' supervisor to get my cable up and running. I had the same run around. I finally had to threaten to leave their wonderful service. That got some action!!! I also had to make sure I was not charged for the time my cable was out. What a hassle!

    I agree to that rant smily.

  11. #11
    On the Ice
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    Hi GrGranny!

    Thanks so much for the greeting! I've missed you, too.

    I've been around, but have been pretty involved in real life. My Mini-Mouth started t-ball and pre-school this year, work is insane, etc. You know, frazzled Mom with too much to do and too little time!

    How are you and yours?

  12. #12
    Sal-Kowabunga!
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    MMM, glad to see ya back

    Dee, love that emoticon!

    SusanBeth,

    Another gas company horror tale for you. True story. A friend who shall be unnamed had gas service, from a company I should name! Gas company decided to add electronic/digital outside meters. Add, not replace. Gas company charged users, not owners, as the new meter was "for your convenince."

    Next spring gas company sent notices that they needed to read inside meters and told you when they planned to come. No problem, right? After all, the meter was only one of many in the building. At least one tenant was there, so they should have read ALL the meters, right? Wrong. They only read the meter for the tenant who let them in.

    After much arguing, gas meter reader returned and read meter. This is finished, right? WRONG! A bill for over $300 arrived. They said the inside meter was different from the outside meter and that the user owed them $300. Turns out their new outside meters didn't work properly. Don't you think they should have considered that possibility BEFORE they bought and installed hundreds of thousands of meters? The killer...users had to pay again to have the outside meter removed and a new one installed. I don't know what happened to that meter, as the person involved moved out of their service area!

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