February 25th, 2008

PG&E Meter Readers Make HOW much?

First to note, I have lived in this apartment for almost two years now. In the winter, due to space heaters/gas heat use our bill is usually $100-150. Divided amongst 4 people (albeit we're pretty broke college students/young professionals) it isn't that bad. During the rest of the year it's usually no more then $60.

Feb 8,2008
Our mid Dec-mid Jan cycle bill came. Now I ADMIT freely it's my fault for being a lazy ass and not opening the bill to check earlier. In defense, I was busy with the restarting of classes, getting tons of work done in the lab etc. So imagine my surprise when our bill was $254.98. I should ALSO mention that during this time period, technically only one of the roommates was in residence! Since we live above a restaurant I figured perhaps the meter reader confused ours with theirs or something like that. I opened the bill basically the day before it was due so I HAD to pay asap.

I call them 1-800 number wanting to know WTF was going on. Waited 20ish minutes to talk to a women. She was perfectly civil, had me go read the meter and turned out that sure enough, it had been misread. By 150kilowatts. The woman couldn't tell me how much money that type of misread translated to since charges are all due to a graded scale. If you use x amount over x amount line you get charged more. They took down the case ID etc and said in 6-10 days I should receive a new bill reflecting actual use but since it was due that day I had to pay. She suggested that perhaps it was the use of space heaters by our roommate Adam during that time period. So immediately all of us stopped using our space heaters and admittedly, the 'winter' period of San Francisco had passed so we didn't need them anymore.

The only really bad part about this days transaction (aside from the misread) is that she transfers me to billing where I waited 52 minutes for them to answer the phone for a transaction that lasts two minutes. Trust me, I counted them!

Feb 20,2008
At this point I STILL haven't received the 'new bill' but instead receive a mid Jan-Mid Feb bill. Which was $314.70!!!!!!!!! With the only notation as far as receiving the previous payment as a 'thank you' not, 'we fucked up, you don't owe us anything' that was expected. So I call up again, this time I speak to a huge jackass. Who said essentially that the new reading of $314 is a correct reading when I asked if it possibly had been misread again. He said that no it WASN'T and wouldn't let me confirm readings with him verbally. Instead that the $314 reflected how much energy was used and we had to pay for it.

I explained that we'd been living here for almost 2 years now and never EVER had our bill been more then $150, and so the new $314 bill could not be correct. He asked what 'large appliances' we had. I replied with our fridge and that was it.

"Well how old is it?"
"Um, I don't know, it was here when we moved in so probably 5-7 years old"
"Well that's an old fridge, you should tell your landlord to replace it. Large appliances should be replaced every 5 years"

::me shocked head desk WTF:: Basically our conversation ended at this point and I fume to my boyfriend. SERIOUSLY?! I'm just going to call my landlord and say, 'PG&E says the fridge is old, replace that shit' When it works and come on, who the fuck has the money to replace appliances every 5 years?

Feb 21, 2008
I receive the reissue bill which says we don't actually owe ANYTHING for this new cycle, in fact we had a credit of $1.74. I call again and receive a nice person this time. She confirms that in fact the meter HAD BEEN READ WRONG TWICE and that the actual amount that was due was 85.44 with re bill corrections tallying up to $495.04. I asked if I could file a complaint against the meter reader. I wasn't trying to get him in trouble, just that he knows how to do his friggin job correctly so he stops fucking up our meter readings! I know your job probably sucks and the area where you read our meters smells like crap due to the restaurant being nasty, but do your DAMN JOB correctly!

For the tl;dr people...
-PG&E misread the meter charging exorbitant amount of money (for us at least).
-PG&E women is nice, writes a case log for us, assures new bill will be issued.
-Billing department sucked ass. I wait almost an hour to pay the bill.
-NEW bill comes, not the reissue but new statement which is EVEN MORE then the previous one.
-PG&E guy is an ass. Claims the reading couldn't be wrong, that's how much we used, that's how much we owe, is an all around asshat and informs me that I should tell my landlord to buy us a new fridge. Since ours is 'old' and appliances should be updated every 5 years.
-Get reissue saying we owe nothing for the period. Versus the $314.
-Call PG&E again, get another person, she confirms the meter WAS misread TWICE and that we really only used $85 in utilities. I file a complaint because dude, I don't care how shitty your job is, basically your errors account up to $495.04 and there is just no excuse for that.
HouseWilson

Bad service, followed by good service

I have a Fido prepaid cell phone. I pay $10 a month for prepaid service, and if I don't refill my phone before the deadline, I lose all the minutes I've built up.

Anyway, for the first time in a year and a half, I forgot to refill my phone before the deadline. I did the refill at 1:42 a.m. and the deadline is midnight. I lost $90 worth of saved-up minutes. (I rarely use the phone.) So I went to the cell phone store and asked the sales person if she knew whether there was any way of restoring those lost minutes. She gave me customer service number and told me that if it was the first time this had happened, the company would probably credit me half of what I lost.
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