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Texas family hit with $8,000 electric bill

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posted on May, 15 2010 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by Blanca Rose
 


I did read the entire article... twice... but that still doesn't prove intentional theft. I'd have to look at her bill personally to make a more honest assessment. Apparently she wasn't in the habit of scrutinizing the bill. She TRUSTED that it was correct.

I wonder what all the gas was used for? Backyard barbeques? Sounds kinda high for Texas. Maybe they should audit her gas bill consumption, too.



[edit on 15/5/2010 by Hedera Helix]




posted on May, 15 2010 @ 01:05 PM
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It seems to me that the Texas Republic needs some statute limitation on such things. But then again the Texans need a governor who isn't a @#*%(&! too, and that looks unlikely as long as 'Rick Perry - Male Escort' is servicing the Bilderbergers...

That sounds worse than I intended but I'll let it stand.

I wonder about how many people who have been hit with such bogus billing in Texas and elsewhere and are simply swallowing it, paying the ransom, and moving along. It is rough when everything in a society becomes criminal.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by Pellevoisin
 


How is it a ransom, to pay for something you used?

They are not hitting this woman up for extra fees, they are asking her to pay for her usage.

I said it before, and I will say it again, do you, as a neighbor feel it is ok to pay this person's bill? I am asking because they will pass the loss onto you!



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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that's one hell of a bill :|



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 01:48 PM
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The company is probably loosing money and going back over their clients figures of the past couple of years to see if there is anything else they could "legally" charge them for. I am not a home owner but do electric companys make you sign a contract? Or is it written in the contract for the house?



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Blanca Rose
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


This woman has to have known something was wrong, over a 5 year period. Tell me she had no idea what her neighbors normally pay. When you live in any neighborhood for this length of time, the discussion of utility bills will come up with the neighbors.

$8,ooo seems a little excessive for five years, though. Heck, did she run every electric appliance in her home non stop for that period of time?

Having worked for an electric company for years, which might make me biased, I wonder how they can exactly determine what her usage might have been. Is the electric company doing and estimated read for 5 years?

I don't think she should have to pay the whole amount in a one lump sum, she should have to pay a flat fee for the past usage that is affordable to her, considering the huge mistake of the electric company.

They will get their money, sooner or later. They waited this long to collect on this woman, so they should wait that long for her to pay it back.

If she used it, sorry to say, she should pay the bill.



I actually thought $8,000 seemed a little cheap for five years depending on the size or their house, whether or not they have an all electric house or some gas components; an electric hot water heater can really run the bill up, electric heater can too. In my house, which I live by myself, I usually get billed around $180 a month average, I think it is $0.13 a kilowatt hour. My families place in Arlington, TX gets billed $0.16 a kilowatt hour, which would be around $10,000 in five years.

How the hell did they not know something was wrong when they didn't pay an electric bill in five years and continued to have electricity? It's their responsibility as ADULTS to pay their bills. It seems ridiculous that they feel they shouldn't pay anything while getting electricity for FREE for five years. Where was their heads? I think the electric company should deduct some of the payment but I think the family should accept the fact that they will have to pay a majority of the owed monies and it is partly their fault for not paying attention and fixing the problem when they first noticed it, not paying a bill in five years?? Were they stupid enough to think it would continue on like this forever while never being billed? I have no sympathy for them and I feel they should stop whining and come to some sort of agreement with the electric company, or live without electricity. Quit asking for help when for five years the imbeciles lived with electricity without paying a payment and now they all the sudden feel they are the victims.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by milkmustache]



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by Blanca Rose
 



True as that may be, she also had meter readers come out to the home. This is not a requested service that she could have avoided, they come, rain or shine. How did they not notice that the meter was not registering correctly for 5 years?

I do not have experiencing reading electrical meters, other than at my home. But I have read water meters for the department, which in my area are similar. When a reading was too high or too low we needed to have someone come and determine the cause. Most of my experiences were in the too high department due to leaky pipes. If a bill was too low it was because the water department was estimating the bill instead of actually sending someone to get a reading. By policy when a bill is estimated accounting is supposed notify the department manager and send someone to investigate so that the issue does not progress. However, that is not how it is worked, most people are lazy, I've seen bills estimated for as long as a year, then the department tries to get the money from the customer. Often times they come to an agreement without it going to court.

Yes, a person should pay for what they have used, but when the company is negligent they aught to have a punishment as well and 5 years of laziness should not be rewarded. Had the company done their job this issue would not have progressed for that long, a few months perhaps depending on circumstances, but certainly not for 5 years.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:03 PM
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She should get another job and quit complaining, you would think they charged her $8,000,,,



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by Blanca Rose
reply to post by Pellevoisin
 


How is it a ransom, to pay for something you used?

They are not hitting this woman up for extra fees, they are asking her to pay for her usage.

I said it before, and I will say it again, do you, as a neighbor feel it is ok to pay this person's bill? I am asking because they will pass the loss onto you!



I reckon if she "cannot pay"
they should give her 30 days and then take her house to pay for it. No, Her gross irresponsibility should not be her neighbors plight, she should have spent time getting a better education so that she could afford her usage.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


The company should be obligated to dilute that payment over years and not impose it all at once, or at least search for an agreement that works for both sides. After all it was their mistake and now they are holding the family hostage with the thread of cutting their light. If I was the one to pay this I would get a lawyer and set this case in court, and if the family looses US for some mysterious corporative reason I must say that the judiciary system is long gone.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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she needs to consult an attorney. I think every state has a statute of limitations on past debt collects.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by searching4truth
 


You want an answer, so here you go.

Being both a meter reader, and an executive assistant for an electric company: One job led to the other........LOL, yeah, I am that good!

When I worked at an electricy company, in northern Wisconsin, I had a palm unit, which is a hand held, data entry device.

We go to a home, and punch in, what is on the meter.

It gets logged into the hand held. the hand held is then taken back to the electric company and downloaded, from which the bills are printed. Nobody goes in and looks at the individual reading, they merely enter the data on the dial.

Nowadays, technology has it so that a meter reader does not even have to exit the vehicle, which is good for things like being attacked by dogs, but anyway, they take the information back, or it is automatically downloaded. The meter readers do not compare the last month reading with the present one.

This is something that should have been caught by auditors, but since the lady was paying a bill based on other services, there was no flag, for quite a while.

People need to actually look at a bill they get in the mail. I have seen odd things happen that cause a bill to go up, or down. A problem in the line, power surges, etc..........

Read your bill when you get it.

This lady feels like she got ripped off, but, it was all in black and white for her to read.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by Estharik
How does an error like that go unchecked for five years? How the heck did they find this "error"? It wasn't subject to anyone else? It is partially their fault and I think they should split the bill, it wasn't the family's fault entirely. At the very least there needs to be a payment plan set up.

Probably there was a multiplier on that meter.The meter runs at a slower rate and you multiply it x10 or x20 or x40 etc. Somewhere along the line the meter readers forgot to multiply the reading in all probablity.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by Blanca Rose
 



Having worked for an electric company for years, which might make me biased, I wonder how they can exactly determine what her usage might have been. Is the electric company doing and estimated read for 5 years?


Exactly what I thought when I read the OP. You pay X cents on the Kwh that is recorded by your meter. If this power company has been prorating for the last 5 years, then it's their fault and they should have to eat it.

I think they should have to eat it any way, regardless of the reason. These people have been paying diligently, and now hit with a possibly unsubstantiated bill.

I would challenge them to produce meter readings that were different from those reflected on my bill. If they WERE different, then someone is/has created a fraud, OR there is some serious computer error. Either way, tough buns to the power company, at least if I'm on the jury.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:34 PM
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I work for a customer service at a cable company, one thing u'll learn very fast is that almost everybody tries to rip off big companies, especially when it comes to money.

Sometimes it happens for example that movies people ordered don't get billed for a while (software glitch), when found out, we bill at once, with the option to pay in terms. There is hardly anyone who will simply say "yeah i watched those movies and i'm now obliged to pay them" They always start about how it's all on our shoulders and it's not upto them to bleed for it, going as far as suing..

What i do wonder then...

Does anyone read the EULA of your various companies? You would be surprised what you have actually agreed on when you signed your contracts.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by daddyroo45

Originally posted by Estharik
How does an error like that go unchecked for five years? How the heck did they find this "error"? It wasn't subject to anyone else? It is partially their fault and I think they should split the bill, it wasn't the family's fault entirely. At the very least there needs to be a payment plan set up.

Probably there was a multiplier on that meter.The meter runs at a slower rate and you multiply it x10 or x20 or x40 etc. Somewhere along the line the meter readers forgot to multiply the reading in all probablity.


The fact that something didn't appear on the invoice doesn't always mean it's not registered in the databases. It's usually various computer systems working together.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:40 PM
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I wouldn't be too happy about it if I were in her shoes, but she doesn't have much of a defense. She used the electricity they provided and even though the bill indicated no charges, everyone knows that electricity isn't free. Maybe she didn't notice, but 'I didn't read the bill' only works in Congress, not in court.

That said, I do think the utility has some responsibility here as well. Considering that they didn't notice it for five years, I think the most reasonable solution is to write off half of the debt.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by Sean48
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


If they actually owe the money , they should be able to let them pay it in

payments , over a certain time period.

If the error was the other way, they overpaid 8,000., you certainly would

want to be reembursed.


Its the companies fault though. The only honest thing the company could do is inform them that they are now going to be billed at the proper rate.

The only reason they should be paying them back is if they were billed properly, never paid enough and that no one at the power company caught it.

If an item at the store I worked rang up lower than what was on the shelf. We never charged them more. The only reason we changed price is if it was marked less on the shelf. Even if the item was put in the wrong place and confused for another price. It's just the honest way to do things. It's not the customers fault for a mistake the company made.



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


This has been happening here in the UK for ages and i think it's disgusting a company can try and get the money back. If i walk into a shop and they undercharge me for my groceries, they don't run out of the story after me and ask me to pay for their mistake.

This is the companies fault, it should be their problem and the debt should simply be written off as bad business.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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Well I look at it this way, I know a rough estimate of what my utility bill is each month. If I get my utility bill and it is close to that normal charge one way or the other I assume it's correct. I think most people would probably do the same thing. Same with my phone bill, water and car insurance. All of these costs stay roughly the same. Obviously if I see a variation of 25+ in either direction i'm going to read the full thing and see what's up, but if it fluctuates + or - 5 to 10, then i'm going to write my check and be done with it.




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