Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Little Thing Called Tracie Luck

My mother coined the phrase "Tracie Luck" to describe the often insane goings on that I can set off simply by existing. Today we'll focus on my often insane interactions with utility companies.

Graphic From Southern Garage Bands

This is an oldie but a goodie. I moved into my first house, which meant I had to arrange for natural gas for the first time (apartments down here tend to be electric only). So I did. Then a couple of months go by and I realize I've never received a bill. I call. They ask me should they send the bill to the service address instead of the billing address? I'm perplexed, since I only have one address.

Turns out? They've been sending my bill to a huge government contractor in the area. One I have no connection to. Why? Who knows! This, by the way? Actually never gets fixed. Every month I have to call them to get the bill amount, and ask them to send the bill to my address and remove Government Contractor's. Every month they apologize and say they will. Never happens. Computer fluke? I finally switch gas providers.

A few weeks ago we get a notice on the door stating our power had been turned off due to non-payment. Except I had paid it. So while our poor pets froze (it was, naturally, the coldest day of the year) I headed down to the power company. I'm not happy. I pull up our bank account and see where the check cleared. They are perplexed...until they realize they credited our payment to another account.

Whoops. Maybe I did bear some responsibility here. I pay all our other bills online, but the power company charges $4 to process online payments. This makes me angry. We live a couple of blocks from their office so I usually just drop the payment off. Naively, I thought that since I saw the money leave my bank account all was good in the world. Nope. From now on I'll log onto the system to make sure the payment actually went to our account.

Photo From My Town Rochester
This was the amount of water that came out of my kitchen faucet Monday afternoon when I went to fill the dogs' bowls. Yep, our water was off. Water is important to everyone. However, J suffers from Crohn's and we're in the midst of a flair. So water is INCREDIBLY important to us. 

I call the water company. After forty minutes on hold they tell me they have absolutely no idea why my water is off (I'd paid our bill, thankyouverymuch). No order in the system, no construction in the area. They tell me to call a plumber,

I'm seriously a very polite person, and I'm actually shy and hate making a scene. This is the point where I ABSOLUTELY LOST IT. My husband's sick and a utility I've paid for is off. After a few minutes of ranting they agreed to send someone out.

And? They'd meant to turn off the neighbor's water.

I don't know that there is a takeaway from this. But I feel so much having shared. Actually, there is a takeaway. Keep your receipts in an easily accessible place so that when your local utility company turns off your power/water because someone else didn't pay their bill it's easy to prove you are in the right.


  1. Oh my heck! That is HORRIBLE. What A-holes. I can't even believe that major cluster.

    Did they at least do anything to make it right with you? Credit you anything?

    You have a better attitude than me. I would have gotten ghetto real quick. The phrase "come at them sideways" comes to mind.

  2. The idea of you going ghetto on someone made me actually laugh out loud. No, everyone's attitude was kind of "hahaha mistakes happen."


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