slnash (slnash) wrote in bad_service,

Stupid Electric Company

Wednesday I left for classes around 9am and went straight to work afterwards. I got off at 4:20ish and went home. I live only five minutes away. When I got home my power was out. We had just received the bill for the past month and it was due on July 17th . . . so I was confused. I know the past month's bill was paid because my boyfriend was late meeting me for lunch one day because he went by to pay it instead of mailing it in. So - I assumed there was an outage in the neighborhood and called it in. The power had gone out early that morning - as my fridge was no longer even remotely cool and my house was hotter than the temp. outside.

I was on hold for 28 minutes and finally spoke with a rep. He told me that we owed them $55.55 from early March/April statements. I told him that I was confused - why were we not showing a past due balance on any of our bills? I could not find my statements and hung up with him. He told me that I could call back, follow the prompts and pay my bill over the phone. About ten minutes later I still couldn't find those stupid past statements, so I called the number again and followed the prompts for reconnection. I figured I would just pay the $55.55 - have my power turned back on - and sort it all out the next day.

Once I had entered my account information, the automated voice told me "Hm. I do not see a problem with your balance. This is not the reason you have been disconnected - I'll have to transfer you to an agent." I waited on hold for 38 minutes (these are all on my cell phone, btw) and spoke with a person who should be banned from answering phones. She told me that we owed them $55.55 - I said fine, that I wanted to pay it. She said that she'd have to transfer me to the automated system. I told her I had already done that, but the system wasn't recognizing that I owed them any money and that the statements I had received didn't mention any bogus $55.55. She said that she couldn't do anything unless I paid the fee. THEN she said that I also had to pay a $30 after-hours reconnection fee (because they "closed" at 5:30 and it was now 10 until 6pm). I explain that I had been trying to get this resolved for over an hour (starting at 4:30 when I spoke with the first rep.), but I had been unsucessful because their system would not allow me to pay this bogus $55.55. She said "oh well". I asked to speak with a supervisor. She told me there was not one present, but she could email one for me. I asked how long their reply would take and was told "24 hours". I told her no, that would do me no good seeing how my power was off and I needed it back on now.

She continued to repeat herself about not having a supervisor and finally asked what I wanted her to do. I told her I wanted to pay her $55.55 that the reps say I owed, have my power reconnected, and leave a message for a supervisor to call me Thursday. She said no - she couldn't do that. I would have to pay via the automated service, would be charged the $30 reconnect fee, and that I could not speak with a supervisor. I finally asked to speak with another representative. She said "hold" - put me on hold for 3-5 seconds - and then the line went dead. I was hung up on.

(Here is the deal - I answer phones nearly everyday and take customer orders, customer complaints, and general customer questions. The ONLY time I have ever hung up on a customer is when I accidently press the "hang up" button instead of the "hold" button. How she would have managed to place me on hold for a whole 5 seconds and THEN hang up on me without it being on purpose -- I do not know. And I do not think it was an accident at all.)

By this time the heat is unbearable in the house (I'm in North Florida) - so I head over to a friends. I call again and speak with a male rep who tells me that we owe them $55.55 and blah blah blah. I tell him that yes - I know - and I just want to pay the freaking bill already, but the automated system does not recognize that I owe them ANY money (until the 17th) and my statements reflect that as well. He says he can try and transfer me to another system and see if that works. He transfers me to this system which recognizes the "late" $55.55, but wants me to pay the ENTIRE balance . . . the $55.55 plus our current bill that's not due until the 17th. ARGH! I do not have enough money in my checking account to pay $350. I transfer back to a rep who tells me that I can go to the police department and pay the $85.55 ($55.55 "past due" balance, plus $30 reconnect after-hours fee). I said fine and got the information to do that with.

I then called my boyfriend who was working an evening/night shift at a hospital two hours away. I explain that I am about to kill someone because I have been on the phone trying to get this worked out since 4:30pm and it's now 7pm. He gives me his credit card information and tells me just to call and pay the bill in full (the $55.55 and what's due the 17th). I call back in - go thru the automated system, pay the current bill, the "late balance", and a $10 "conveience charge" for using my CC over the phone. I get teh confirmation number, press 0, wait on how for 17 minutes, then speak with a representative.

I give him the confirmation number and am told that the $30 reconnect fee will appear on my next bill and my power will be turned on between now (7:30pm) and 11pm that night.

My power was turned on around 10:20pm-10:30pm.

I am PISSED! Beyond belief.

My birthday was today (Thursday) and my boyfriend was still out of town (his name is on the account) - so I couldn't go in to the office and get it handled today. But, tomorrow I am going in to the main office (with the guy in tow) and will have this sorted out. My guy told me where to find the statements which all read something like this: "March, Owed: $192.47 - Paid: $192.47"; "April, Owed: $223.34 - Paid: $223.34"; "May, Owed $X - Paid $X"; etc . . . all of the pay stubs and statements say the say damn thing - that the $55.55 is fake/was left off all of the statements/is stupid/etc . . .

We were charged/are being charged a bogus $55.55, a $10 "conveience fee" for paying the damn bill, and a $30 reconnect fee when we should have never been disconnected in the first place. That's about $95 dollars that needs to be refunded.

If I was a real bitch, and have never worked in customer service, I would also be adding to that refund the contents of my fridge - since everything was pretty much ruined - as well as my 90+ minutes that were used on my cell phone trying to get this shit in order. But, I'm not at complete bitch and I have worked in customer service for a while now.

Just to note - I never cussed or yelled/screamed at any of the CSRs. I understand if something is out of their hands, but when I try to pay a fucking bogus charge on my account which has my power disconnected and the system won't let me because it doesn't know it's there - then I get pretty pissed off - especially when the CSRs keep repeating themselves, I keep repeating myself, there is not supervisor to speak with, and I have to pay nearly $100 to get the "problem" fixed.

I feel bad for the person I speak with tomorrow. They are going to wade through paperwork with me until I'm happy and leave with $95. And the girl who hung up on me . . . I better not ever see you. (And I have her name, which will be reported tomorrow.)
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