I can't believe the electric company in my town!

@Katlady2 (9920)
United States
January 13, 2009 12:21am CST
In case you haven't read my previous post on the lovely goings on in my life, here's the link to it: http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1867302.aspx?p=1#2_18745158 I'm fighting to keep my electricity on, and I'm going nowhere fast. So today I tried to take in $60 for a partial payment on the bill and a typed up request for a payment arrangement stating that I would have the delinquent bill payed up by next Friday (the 23rd). I could not believe my ears! For one they refused the payment arrangement, which I sort of half way expected...they have been really cracking down on that to the point of being real buttheads about it. And for two, they actually refused to take my payment because it was under the amount that was due! Go figure! You'd think they would take anything to get the bill at least part way toward being caught up. I was mad to the point of tears when I walked out of the building. I promptly went home and went online and filed a complaint with the public utilities commission. It probably won't keep my electricity on, but maybe it will get someone to investigate the whole b.s. show. So far I haven't heard back from my pastor, so I'm trying to be optimistic that he maybe talked the church board into giving me a break and making an exception to their one time only help rule since I promised that I could have them paid back by the end of the month. If I don't hear from him in the morning, I will be on the phone probably non stop trying to get help from anyone and everyone that I can find. I will let you all know what comes of all of this. Hopefully I can avoid having things shut off. I probably already know the answer to this, but who else is going through similar situations? Times are tough all over the place, and my heart and prayers go out to eveyone that is struggling as much as, if not more than, I am. Much love and hugs to everyone. Hopefully I will be able to be on to respond to all of you. If not, you'll know why.
4 people like this
11 responses
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
13 Jan 09
That's pathetic, you went in there with money in hand, how ignorant. It's time people realize it's hard enough to be in a position of not being able to pay the bills without being treated like a bum. That's not really fair and the end of the month will be here in a short 17 or 18 days. It's tough for everyone right now. Good luck and keep your head high.
3 people like this
• Canada
13 Jan 09
I think this is insane too. As a fellow Canadian, I know for a fact that 'our' utility companies don't behave this way. At least not the ones I deal with. I live in Ontario, by the way.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
Thank you both. I think that if it had been the normal Pacific Gas and Electric company I and the other customers would not have been treated like this. But this is a fairly small rural town and we're at their mercy...and I feel like they take advantage of that. So sad...
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Jan 09
Not going to say you're wrong but I too live in a small town about 800 people but this is no way to treat anyone. For whatever reason you're short on your bill gives no one to right to treat you with anything less than respect. It's no wonder people give up and develope crappy attitudes.
2 people like this
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
13 Jan 09
That's just horrible..I bet the people who work there have past due balances..... Everyone has problems...Even me...I am on a payment plan...thank god they still do that here...or I would be in trouble too!!! I love it when you owe money and offer some...they don't want it...what a crock of bull.... I sure wish I had it to give to you.....and I wouldn't even ask for it to be paid back...becuz I know what it is like to be in these situations... I used to cry about it but I have become tough and give them a piece of my mind........ Keeping you in my thoughts as always.....PPP...love you...
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I wanted to give them a piece of my mind, but the poor girl at the desk was near tears herself from having to tell both me and the woman in front of me 'no' to payment arrangements. And was the main guy around to tell off? Of course not! Go figure! Thanks for being such a great friend PPP. Hugs!
1 person likes this
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I know sweetie....I would have been in tears having to tell you and others no...that is why I do not work there...I just wish I had it for you......I could offer something but it won't be enough.... They better not make me have to come out there......LOL..Cuz the Sh*t will hit the fan...LOve u PPP...hang in there.....if there is anything I can do....just call me..................
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
Hey hon...we can be happy together now. My pastor came through for me even though the church board advised against it. I went and picked up the check from him this morning and went straight to the utility company. I feel a lot better now...not sick to my tummy any more. Big big big hugs to you hon. You're the BESTEST!!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 09
Hi Katlady2: I'm sorry I missed your previous post but I did go back and read it this morning, about two years ago or less I was in the same boat as you are and it sucked big time; There is a online place that helps those of us in need, you might check with them I'm sure they've been barraged with requests but they helped me that one year with my electric bill, Thank God! And by reading your posts you do have your delinquent notice/aka cut off date ( those pigs) so that is good as you will need that too for this site, check it out; http://www.modestneeds.org/ Hopefully you still have your electric to where you can see/read this or if not maybe another fellow mylotter lives close by you??? Can reach you someway?? I wish you all the luck in the world, I don't know what its called in your state, forgot to see what state you live in first DUH! BUT in my state this place is out with our local Division of Social Services, this place helps me out with a one time payment each winter with my utility bill being on disability I need all the extra help I can get (G)! http://www.showmeaction.org/ ( CMCA ) [i][/i][u][/u] is the name of mine like I said here in Missouri; Good luck to you, I pray you get some help its too cold outside "anywhere" this time of year;
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I had tried modestneeds, but didn't qualify because it was less than ten days to the date of shut off, and they require it to be ten days or more beforehand. I just checked the other link, and we do have something like that here in California...it's called Community Action Agency (CAA). They helped me out a couple of years ago. And I think they would have helped me again if I had applied early enough. But fortunately things did work out...this morning as a matter of fact. Please say a thankful prayer for my pastor, because he actually went against what the church board advised and paid the bill, with the stipulation that I have it paid back by the end of the month. AND it's the last time that they can help me with a big payment like that, only because that's their normal policy. I'm so relieved, and I can finally take a deep breath without getting sick. Thanks so much for the encouragement and help hon.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 09
HI Katlady2: Well that's good news for sure, I just saw your other topic so will go post there next; I am glad your pastor helped you out again, I am surprised though that they want you to pay them back the money?? I guess things are just different everywhere aren't they? But I am so happy for you, I know all too well how stressful it is to be so broke and behind on well everything that you don't know which way to turn?? its sad; Hang in there!!!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61135)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I think a co-worker of mine managed to get a few bucks outta some place like Goodwill for a one time emergency. Have you checked with something like 211 (kind of a all around help line here in Austin anyway) to see if there might be other resources in your area. I know my client once got a few bucks help from some church in town, and it wasn't even her own church.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I was going to start calling other churches and the Salvation army this morning, but things actually worked out...my pastor went out on a limb and paid the bill for me in spite of the church board. I just have to pay it back by the end of the month, which I had already budgeted for 'just in case'. Thanks so much hon.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (61135)
• United States
13 Jan 09
Phew! He's working on his halo! you take care now and hopefully soon everything will be working out
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
13 Jan 09
Wow that is just terrible I mean you would have thought that they would have taken the part Payment What kind of a Company is this Place I mean I have never heard of such a thing I really hope you can get this sorted out Big Hugs to you
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
It blew me away too. It's a bunch of b.s. as far as I'm concerned. I mean we're in a low income area as it is with lots of people on welfare assistance. You'd think they would be a little more considerate and patient. But they aren't anymore. One of these days (more like years) I'll maybe be able to move out of this town. Thanks hon. Big hugs to you.
1 person likes this
@someonesmom (5765)
• Canada
13 Jan 09
Hi Carryl, This is all 'absolutely insane.' I've never heard of any utilities company behaving this badly. Here in Canada, we refer to it (usually) as our hydro bill. My hydro company doesn't do anything like this. I pay my bills online, and if I am behind, I send them as much as I can until it's all caught up. They (the utility companies,) have given me dates by which I must have everything all caught up though, or they'll shut me down (for whatever.) I do hope your Pastor and church will come through for you. Why wouldn't they, because you've promised to have them paid back in a short period of time? I hope they'll show you some compassion here. I've had the type of problems you've mentioned here for years, on and off. Since my husband passed away, when my daughter was a toddler, things have been really tough. I'm 'still' trying to find a legitimate way to make money online, but it's mostly just pennies, or it turns out to be a scam. 'This site' is legit, but they don't pay enough to really be much of an income. My daughter is now seventeen, and they are expected to have a computer for their schoolwork, complete with the internet of course. I've continued to make sacrifices, to keep this a reality for her (and for me.) I don't get out much, especially in the winter, due to my ongoing health issues, so this is a bit of a lifeline for me too. I do not qualify for disability, as I've been out of regular work for too many years. They have 'very specific' rules here for this, and I've babysat for my neighbours for years, but this doesn't count toward obtaining disability. The New Year hasn't started out all that great 'for us,' with our recent loss, etc., but I refuse to give up. I 'will' remain optimistic, and positive, believing that things will turn around for us. I have some tough decisions ahead of me, as my daughter is turning eighteen in June, and will likely go away to university. This means lots of changes on 'the home front' regarding where I live, finances, etc. Sorry for rambling here, but I do know what you're going through. I wish I could do something to help so many that are in need ... maybe one day. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and be waiting to hear the outcome of your situation here. Big Hugs.
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
You're in my thoughts and prayers too hon. This is a hard time for all of us I think. I wish it would get better, but it's getting harder to be optimistic about that. My daughter was supposed to start her second semester of junior college at the beginning of the month, but I owe them a whopping $73 and until that is paid they won't let her register. She didn't qualify for the grants last year that would have paid everything...she only qualified for the governor's grant which pays all but a portion. So she is taking this semester off until I can get that paid. You keep your chin up hon, and I will try to do the same.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
13 Jan 09
The utility company there deserves a HUGE thumbs down in my opinion, not only in a humanitarian light, but also a business one. Has your church called them on your behalf? Many utility companies will give an automatic extension for cut-off date with a call from a possible funding source. Are they the only utility option where you live? I mean once you've settled the bill, can you change providers? Having not gotten anywhere with their local office, is there a headquarters somewhere? Here's a few calls that you might want to consider making: Local media: television, radio and newspapers. Elected officials: Mayor, state reps, senators, congressmen. Other areas of assistance: You United Way office can give you a list of other assistance possibilities. These other agencies, if any, are funded all or in part by United Way. Good luck to you!
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I will probably be getting in touch with most of those people you mentioned. It's ridiculous how the customers are treated here. There was a woman in front of me that was turned down as well, and she was about to come unglued as she was walking out of the lobby. I wish I could change providers, but the electricity is strictly city run. Our gas comes from a different larger company, so that one is easier to deal with. Heck...I was due to be shut off on the gas last year, and the guy showed up on my door step and told me that if I could get a check to the pay station within 2 hours he wouldn't shut me off and he would write it up as taken care of. But the city company won't do that. They are real buttheads. So for now I'm between a rock and a hard spot...I'm stuck with them until I can move out of this town. And I don't see that happening for a while. But things did get straightened out finally thanks to my wonderful pastor. Thanks for the suggestions hon. I appreciate it so much.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
13 Jan 09
City run? Then I hope that all of the elected officials that support that type of antihumanitarian policy get fiberglass insulation woven into their underroos! I'm glad your pastor was able to help, was worried about you. I hope that some of these policies are looked at come next election time.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
28 Jan 09
Ouch! That could give "scratchy panties" new meaning! LOL! I just got a letter back from the public utilities commission and I have to send in copies of my bill. So at least the ball is rolling on the complaint I made.
@ladybug565 (2217)
• United States
14 Jan 09
I am sorry that you have to go throug this. I cant believe they actually refused to take your money. hopefully your pastor can help you. I am still praying for you.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
28 Jan 09
Thanks hon. I couldn't believe it either. Hugs!
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
14 Jan 09
My daughter's boyfriend went thru this a couple of months back. They actually did shut him off. He went to his town office and they helped him out. He got his electricity back within a couple of hours and he owed them 900.00! Of course the town does expect him to repay it but they are not pressuring him. It is so hard for everyone right now. I am currently juggling between electric and phone and rent....not much money left for anything else. Hope t his all works out for you,Katlady!
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
28 Jan 09
I don't know if you saw my other post, but things did work out. My pastor went out on a limb and let me borrow the money anyway. I have to make the last payment to the church this weekend. I'll be glad to get that done and out of the way. That's great that your daughter's bf got it taken care of like that. I bet that made him feel a bit better, even though the bill was on the high side. Thanks for the response hon.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
13 Jan 09
Dear Katlady, I am sorry you have so much trouble and I am so glad your church is helping you out this time around. I hope you will be able to pay them back as you said you would. You are also lucky you live in California because I guess it does not get that cold in the winter so your heating costs must be small, or am I wrong? As far as the utility company is concerned I also believe it was not legal to refuse partial payment. At least I would say it would be illegal where I live. In any case I hape you can chop all your other expenses in order to catch up with your outstanding bills. Seriously we all can reduce something, even food costs if there is a food bank available and Salvation Army stores if we absolutely need some clothes or a lamp or some dishes. As for your daughter perhaps she could get a little job at McDonalds or other places that employ young people. It is a hard fact that colleges and universities do not let you register if you owe a dollar. Best of luck to you.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
Where I'm at (in the northern part of the Sacramento Valley) it very rarely snows but it does get pretty icy sometimes. I'm fortunate to live where I'm at and not in the mountains, in that sense. Believe me, we've been cutting back on everything. I finally got a new sweater only because hubby received a bonus from work in the form of a Sears gift card, so we had to use it there. If it had been cash it probably would have gone on the bills. I think my daughter wants to work a few days a week at the Dollar Store, so she is planning on getting an application from them pretty soon. Any little bit would help her with school. Thanks so much for the support and friendship hon. I really appreciate it.
• United States
13 Jan 09
that is illegal They have to take your payment and credit it to your amount no matter what. The fact they didn't says they broke the law. unfortunately in my experience when the big guys break the law us little guys take the fall.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
13 Jan 09
That's what I was thinking is that it's illegal to refuse payment like that. I'm going to be writing some letters here in the next few days, and see if things can't get stirred up around here over this whole mess. I'm hoping the public utilities commission looks into the situation soon...that oughtta get things moving in the right direction. Thanks for responding hon.