Author Topic: My power was cut off...  (Read 5047 times)

Fonzico

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My power was cut off...
« on: April 17, 2014, 07:33:58 PM »
Because my landlord hasn't paid the bill in a few months. Utilities are included in the rent, so the first sniff I had of this was when I arrived home from work today, to find "limited power" aka my fridge works, I have 2 1/2 outlets that work, and the dining room light.

Now, obviously I'm annoyed, but there are just so many things wrong with this scenario! For starters, I suspect (although have little proof) that this was a result of extreme forgetfulness, not lack of funds - my landlord has shown signs in the past of being a bit of a space cadet - nice guy, deals with stuff when we call him, and leaves us alone otherwise... but yeah, not too on top of things.

But the bill was almost $400, so that had to be at least 3 months overdue. And now he has to pay a reconnection fee of $300 as well - what a waste!

And to make it worse, he had supposedly already sent in the cheque, but of course cannot prove this, and because he "doesn't have online banking" (and the utility company won't accept credit cards, which is pretty weird) we had to pay $660 to get our service restored...sometime, maybe within the next 24 hours. Obviously he is reimbursing us for this, plus he offered to pay for our meals until it's hooked back up (had stuff in the slow cooker for tonight, but I'm thinking breakfast out tomorrow morning!) and made some mention of otherwise making up for the inconvenience (like I said, he is a nice guy). But what an awfully expensive mistake to make.

And I can't help but wonder how many people wouldn't have had the money sitting around to cover that. There was a time not too long ago that we wouldn't have.

Jack

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 05:39:29 AM »
the utility company won't accept credit cards, which is pretty weird

That's not weird, that's just how monopolies behave. "We don't want to pay Visa fees... so we won't. If you don't like it, too fucking bad because we're the power company and you don't have a choice."

My water bill (water is provided by the city where I live) is the only bill I can't get an e-bill for and pay automatically, for the same damn reason.

marty998

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 06:00:26 AM »
Hmm if I don't pay my bills then EUREKA! 100% saving!!!

What a brilliant idea.

/End sarcasm

plus he offered to pay for our meals until it's hooked back up (had stuff in the slow cooker for tonight, but I'm thinking breakfast out tomorrow morning!)


Tell your landlord you had a beautiful spread of lobster, caviar & oysters on the cooker when the power went out.



greaper007

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 06:19:35 AM »
the utility company won't accept credit cards, which is pretty weird

That's not weird, that's just how monopolies behave. "We don't want to pay Visa fees... so we won't. If you don't like it, too fucking bad because we're the power company and you don't have a choice."

My water bill (water is provided by the city where I live) is the only bill I can't get an e-bill for and pay automatically, for the same damn reason.

I had the same problem.    Everything is e-pay except for water.   Somehow I missed a payment and they turned my water off, didn't even realize I missed it.    So I called them up thinking there was a water main problem, told me it was shut off.   I just walked out to the street and turned it on myself.     Still got charged for a reconnection fee though....

The next month they got an online payment system, I haven't missed a bill since then.   It seems like it would be more efficient for a company to just have an e bill payment system.    Less people opening mail and dropping off checks, less variable with payment dates etc.    They don't have to take a credit card, I have a bank draw for most of my e payments.

Jack

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 07:06:57 AM »
The next month they got an online payment system, I haven't missed a bill since then.   It seems like it would be more efficient for a company to just have an e bill payment system.    Less people opening mail and dropping off checks, less variable with payment dates etc.    They don't have to take a credit card, I have a bank draw for most of my e payments.

Oh, it certainly is more efficient for them to have an electronic payment system! In fact, my city does... but it's only available from their end (so they "pull" from your bank account, rather than you "pushing" the payment to them) and they charge you an extra $5 or so for the "privilege" of saving them money...!

Granted, I can (and do) push a payment from my bank for free, but I have to receive the paper bill and type the amount in on my bank's website each month.

Wesmon

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 07:07:35 AM »
How is it possible that some things work and some don't.  That doesn't make sense.  Usually the power would be turned off at the meter. Could it be a technical issue? Or do you have two meters serving your residence?

johnintaiwan

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 07:31:28 AM »
This is why I hate having to rely on other people to take care of important things. I had a similar situation about 6 months ago when my boss turned my visa paper work in late, despite me filling all of the forms out a month in advance and being assured it was already taken care of. The boss was a decent person and footed the bill for a last minute trip to Hong Kong to get a new visa. I was pretty lucky I didn't get deported and the boss ended up paying around $1,500-$2,000 for her screw up.

BlueMR2

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 07:32:51 AM »
That's not weird, that's just how monopolies behave. "We don't want to pay Visa fees... so we won't. If you don't like it, too fucking bad because we're the power company and you don't have a choice."

Ran into the same thing with the last car I bought.  Went to the BMV for the transaction.  Owed just north of $1000 in tax.  They don't take credit cards.  They don't take checks.  Only cash.  I bought a not totally unreasonably expensive car.  What if I bought a luxury car?  Who walks around with $10000 cash in their pockets?  In my case, luckily my local bank had a branch in the same shopping center so I was able to get some cash before the BMV closed, but man that could have been an ugly surprise.  The guy I was buying the car from was moving out of state that day and the BMV was only open half a day.  If we hadn't been able to complete the transaction right then the whole deal would have fallen through because the BMV expects everyone to be walking around with huge wads of cash in their pants.

BlueHouse

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 08:18:16 PM »
Granted, I can (and do) push a payment from my bank for free, but I have to receive the paper bill and type the amount in on my bank's website each month.
This is why I use PayTrust and I love it.  This type of bill gets redirected to a virtual address in Sioux Falls, they scan it in, then it shows up like all of my other e-bills.  I love the service, but you do have to pay money for it.

Fonzico

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Re: My power was cut off...
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 10:48:16 AM »
How is it possible that some things work and some don't.  That doesn't make sense.  Usually the power would be turned off at the meter. Could it be a technical issue? Or do you have two meters serving your residence?

I don't really understand how it works, but this is a thing in Canada - they're not allowed to cut you off completely between October and April (at least not right away, if you continue to not pay, they can and will) so you'll still have heat and not die. They put a load limiter on your meter that limits you to 120 volts. There was a lovely little disconnect note attached to the meter explaining this.

Unfortunately for us, for some reason this wasn't enough to run our furnace, which kind of defeats the purpose. Also, every time we tried to plug in a space heater, it would trip the breaker they put on the meter, and we'd have to run outside and reset it. Eventually we just decided to suck it up, pile on the blankets, and be thankful the fridge was running.

It's reconnected now - about 48 hours altogether. Fortunately for our landlord, we are nice people, and didn't get a hotel room, and we only ate one meal out, but he will still be giving us a big discount on next month's rent.