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Can utility companies do this??? OMG Apparently they can and did!

Posted by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:49 PM
  • 27 Replies

Grrrr. Just when things we getting sorted out and everything was paid up the electric company slaps a cut off notice on our door for a $490 bill that belonged to SO way before we even started dating. It was back when he was with ss' mother. All of the bills are currently in my name and I didn't even know about this bill. I have already paid this company over $500 this month. $200 was this month's bill and the other $300 something was for the remaining balance of a payment plan I had set up when SO was still unemployed. It felt awesome paying it off in full and NOW this happens just a week later. They are giving us until tomorrow to pay it or they shutting MY electric off. I am sooo mad. We had no notice or anything. Apparently, SO's ex sent them in my direction when she got it put on her bill and we got the notice late yesterday. Seriously, I have given them over $500 and they expect me to give them another $500 no problem? Ugh! We will but there goes money for groceries and we will be short on rent next month. I am so aggravated!

Btw I don't mind paying it. I would rather do it by way of payment plan or had maybe more of a notice, kwim?

Update: So I finally got ahold of them and they said that my electric will not be shut off. They haven't done a transfer so I am not liable but SO still needs to pay the bill. I told them that would be no problem but we needed a little more than two days. So it's resolved. The cut off notice is for the old account which is not in use unless they are speaking of my SO's ex because they did tranfer the bill to her. Hopefully not because it won't get paid until Friday at the very least. This whole thing was very frustrating.

So yesterday afternoon my electric was SHUT OFF. The guy I spoke to before either didn't know what he was talking about or LIED. They shut it off at 1:30 (right after I got home from school) and we called to pay them at not ten minutes later (I had to wait for SO to get home). We ended up using the money we had for RENT. I was planning on paying them off when I got my scholarship money. Well the lady that SO spoke to was upset that SO was upset and not exactly "nice" to her. She put the order in after three sooooo we didn't have electricity until 10am this morning. I was livid. All of our food went bad because I called them at 5pm and asked when they would be out. He said he wasn't sure but since I paid before 3 then we would definitely have it turned on that night. WRONG. I waited until about 7 and finally called my sister to ask her if I could store things in her fridge. We were only able to save about 1/4 because it had been off for over 8 hours before she got here. Mind you I just spent $150 on groceries! I'm still fuming about the whole thing. I told them I was extremely upset that I was being held responsible and they had told me my account was okay. They said well anytime someone owes money and they are benefiting from our services then we have a right to shut it off. I said well MY KIDS are benefiting as well. So I got next to no sleep because my kids were freaked out and I had to wait until after SO got home (11:30pm) to buy lanterns and flashlights. We only had two small candles before that. Not a fun night at all.

The main issue I have is every time I called they were extremely cold and callous. Not the type of behavior you would expect from someone SERVING you. What sucks is they can get away with this behavior because they know people HAVE to use the service. Nice, huh? We have no other options in this town or you can bet your ass I would be going with someone else. This whole experience was mortifying and ridiculous!


"Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings, who don't have all the answers, to think they do."

by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mamaleah17
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:53 PM

I would talk to the company before giving them anymore money.

Laura913
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:54 PM

if it is in only your name and you aren't married to him i don't see how you are responsible for his past bills thats crap i would call them and let them have it

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Luna091306
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:54 PM

We tried to get ahold of them yesterday and they said they would call back. They did but we were gone. I am calling them right now. We'll see. I just can't believe they expect me to pay $1000 in one month during the hottest month of the year. Ridiculous!

Quoting mamaleah17:

I would talk to the company before giving them anymore money.



"Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings, who don't have all the answers, to think they do."

Luna091306
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:56 PM

I agree! Charge him with the debt but don't shut off MY electric. I've paid my bill.

Quoting Laura913:

if it is in only your name and you aren't married to him i don't see how you are responsible for his past bills thats crap i would call them and let them have it



"Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings, who don't have all the answers, to think they do."

mamaleah17
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:56 PM

It sure is....

Quoting Luna091306:

We tried to get ahold of them yesterday and they said they would call back. They did but we were gone. I am calling them right now. We'll see. I just can't believe they expect me to pay $1000 in one month during the hottest month of the year. Ridiculous!

Quoting mamaleah17:

I would talk to the company before giving them anymore money.



NewMom2RAD
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Well, look into it because there are certain times of year or situations where they legally can't shut off your electric. How old exactly is the bill? If it was at that residence, but a different account, and they are going to shut it off for that, they shouldn't have let it be turned back on in the first place, at least without it being paid. Can they apply any of the payment you just made to THAT balance and let your bill roll to the grace period? And, by the way, was SO's ex's name on the account? If so, she should be partially responsible...maybe send the electric company back at her. Definitely definitely research the laws, and I would call and immediately ask for a supervisor. I have always had to deal with electric companies. You just need to explain that this was sudden, it's an old bill, and that it's totally unreasonable for them to expect you to pay it with one day's notice. They probably won't shut it off, and if you get lucky and  cancat ch the $7/hr guy coming to shut it off, you might be able to convince him not to...I have had days where they were supposed to shut it off and they never did. I wouldn't throw grocery money away on such an old bill!

Jena_miraclemom
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I had that happen to me and I save all my bills so I showed them proof it wasn't my electric bill. They took it off. They tried to do it and I fought it like a mean broad lol. Good luck.

Call them and tell them you are going to fax your bills to them to show they are not his and you will not pay it. He has to pay his own.

Call his ex and tell her she owes half, not you.


Luna091306
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:59 PM

It is over four years old and at a completely different residence! I am going to raise heck once I get ahold of them.

Quoting NewMom2RAD:

Well, look into it because there are certain times of year or situations where they legally can't shut off your electric. How old exactly is the bill? If it was at that residence, but a different account, and they are going to shut it off for that, they shouldn't have let it be turned back on in the first place, at least without it being paid. Can they apply any of the payment you just made to THAT balance and let your bill roll to the grace period? And, by the way, was SO's ex's name on the account? If so, she should be partially responsible...maybe send the electric company back at her. Definitely definitely research the laws, and I would call and immediately ask for a supervisor. I have always had to deal with electric companies. You just need to explain that this was sudden, it's an old bill, and that it's totally unreasonable for them to expect you to pay it with one day's notice. They probably won't shut it off, and if you get lucky and  cancat ch the $7/hr guy coming to shut it off, you might be able to convince him not to...I have had days where they were supposed to shut it off and they never did. I wouldn't throw grocery money away on such an old bill!



"Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings, who don't have all the answers, to think they do."

Kays_Mama06
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM

I would look into it because i know in FL(i believe this is right) if you have children under a certain age in the house, your electricity can not be shut off. 

Maybe there's something like that in your area.

 


25beengoodtome
by on Aug. 25, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Do you have copies of the payment agreement and your reciepts of payment?

My sister is an Admin in Customer Services, for a huge utility company. The best advice she gives is to call customer services, Calmly ask for help and explain what's going on. A person, NOT THE COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM is the best way to handle this type of emergency. You have kids? You need the power, to keep them safe & comfortable. Once you reach a person, you should be able to get some time and assistance.Never know, those people can be more powerful than any computer! Good luck, when you give them a call relaxand be  the concerned mom, not a raging customer.

~Marie~, ABSOLUTELY ADDICTED TO CAFE MOM and loving it!
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