Thursday, August 17, 2006

phone humiliation

Suze would be so dissappointed...
Getting ready to move, we signed up with a new electricity company, only to find out that they "inquired into our credit history" and would require a deposit. We have excellent credit, so looking into the why of this deposit was on my to-do list (though not at a so very high priority, as it involves being on hold forever and a day, or possibly longer). Instead of tackling this, I logged into my online banking account to see if a particular check had cleared (it did, yay!). Clicking around in there, I realized that I hadn't paid an electric bill since 5/30. That's almost three months! And we have two accounts! I admit that I can be sloppy with the bill-paying at times (I know this is stupid, not get off my back), but this was unheard of, out of character even... suddenly, it all fell into place. We moved a year ago in June, into an aparment for which we'd been paying the utilities all along. The billing address was always our address of residence, so when we moved last year, we needed to change it to the new (and also service) address. Is your head spinning yet? Try explaining that to somebody who answers phones for a utility company all day. *sigh*
The post office is obliging with mail forwarding services, but only for one year. See??? We moved in June 05, and May 06 is when I got my last bill.
In their backwards-thinking little prehistoric ways, the utility company didn't allow me to change the mailing address on the phone (or the scary internet). Instead, they mailed me a form (one per account) to fill out and mail back. I received, filled out, and mailed back, shaking my head at the hassle and very possibly muttering quietly to myself on the way to the mailbox. Apparently, the Important Forms never made their way to the company, for they never changed my mailing address. Until this afternoon, that is, when I called them in a tizzy, scheduled roughly $400 worth of payments through the online banking, and when SUDDENLY it was possible to change my address over the phone. Just. Like. That. Easy, and forward-thinking. AND TOO LATE!!!
After that fun encounter, I had the pleasure of calling the new utility, telling them the wild and crazy story of how innocent* little me had never received my bills, because the change-of-address-forms got lost in the mail. Never mind how true that is; I wouldn't have believed me had I been on the other end of the phone. And because I sadly have 5 delinquencies in the last 12 months on the obligingly supplied letter of credit history (bestowed by none other than paper-and-snailmail crazed old utility)(3, BTW, because of the mailing address fiasco), and because the new utility will only waive my deposit if I have shiny 0 deliquencies over the last 12 friggin months, I will have to pay a deposit.
And now, the silver lining:
I get my deposit back once I pay every single bill on time for a consecutive 12 months. This will be a grand motivator! (And though it might not happen often, I'm totally serious about this.) Only one year until I get back my whole $15. PLUS INTEREST!**
I, people, will be rich. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

*Back off, internet trolls. I know that this is all my fault. If I was more organized, I could've avoided the whole drama.
**Yup. All that pain for fifteen buckaroos.


gracie said...

Don't you hate stuff like that? That is my most hated-est part about moving! (That and making more new friends.)

Moving! You are On Notice! One more phone humiliation and you'll be Dead to Me!

J.a.G. said...

$15 bucks? That's not even a real deposit. I know people who had to put down $500.

That must be the utilities version of a slap on the wrist.

(did you remember to watch Grey's???)