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Texas family hit with $8,000 electric bill

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posted on May, 15 2010 @ 05:51 PM
reply to post by highlyoriginal

Just a hunch... based on some things I've observed over the years. And I wouldn't be the one who was being biased if my observation turned out to be correct... now would I???

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

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 06:09 PM
no payment plan non of it, they shouldnt be held accountable like that, the clerk who made the "clerical" error should be written up or what have you. n thats it how would it be our fault they explitive up'd

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 07:32 PM

Originally posted by Blanca Rose
reply to post by sdcigarpig

Yes, and also as for as many times that they were at the home to read the meter, she got a bill.

She used it, regardless of who is at fault.

Having signed up for the service, her part is to make sure the bill is correct everytime she gets a bill.

While the meter was not set up with the correct code, she knew she was using electricity every month, and not paying for it.

Sooner or later, what's the difference? Like I said, would you prefer her expenses be passed on to the other customers using the service?

No, but the question is not of if she checked the bill every month. Let me ask you this who ultimately is to blame for this? I know that the electric company is the one who not only provides the service, but it is not until they perform the inspection on the meter can the power be turned on. A tech, who worked for the electric company had to sign off on the meter. There is a person in an office who is responsible for turning on the power to the home, a person who comes by every month to read the meter, and someone in billing who inputs the numbers and sends out the bills. I am not saying that she is not responsible for the error that has happend, but at the same time it is not just her fault, and part of the blame lies on the electric company, as they had 5 years, that is 60 months, to catch this mistake. If I was called to serve on a jury trial, based off of the information that is provided, I would find that both the electric company and the consumer is at fault, and would rule in accordance to that. I am not saying she should get off scot free, but neither should the electric company who has spent thousands to hire, train and impliment policies when running a public utility. Tell me, would it matter if it is was your home and your bill? What would you say if a ultility company came to you one day and said, oh we have been under charging you for 5 years and you need to pay the back amount. What would you do, or how would you feel? You would be very upset, and probably want to know how they could have made that kind of error, as well as, question as to why it was not caught earlier.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 07:40 PM
OH BOY, Texas, AH!!

I have traveled to many states and lived in many places, and Texas I can say seems to be the place where time and time again I hear of stories that occur to ordinary folks causing them massive financial misfortune or total financial ruin through no fault of their own. And the reply from the higher-ups is: "tough luck buddy". And nobody has the "stones" to challenge anything or file an appropriate lawsuit against such madness.

I would honestly say that if there were an actual Devil lurking around, I would bet everything that He lives in Texas from what I see down there. There seems to be NO MIDDLE-CLASS there, and the folks there LITERALLY WORK TWICE AS HARD as folks in other states only to live a life bordering poverty always, while folks elsewhere have a cozy middle-class life!! Its a shame, as they are a nice people there but for some reason they like to be taken advantage of and exploited.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by ToToo]

[edit on 15-5-2010 by ToToo]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 08:16 PM

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.

That is not true.

My wife and I have lived in our home for nine years. We really do not associate with our neighbors much more than maybe some random small talk from time to time (really very rarely). We never have discussed finical anything with any of our neighbors.

I do not even know what my family pays for their utilities or what my co-workers pay.
It might be that she much like my wife and I chose not to discuss things with neighbors or even chat with them for the most part. I honestly like to keep to myself.

As for the story in the OP I think the electric company should cut it as a loss due to their own mistakes. If they do pursue it and for some reason it is decided the woman must pay it should be in payments over time and only half the original cost. The electric company should eat half the costs at the very least for their own mistakes and not catching it before five years.


posted on May, 15 2010 @ 08:25 PM
Invoice is contract.. once paid.. both parties agree to the amount printed.

If there's any changes to to future invoices.. then both parties must agree to it.

Adding mistakes is not an option. It does not have to be paid if the service and amount is not agreed upon.

Since she honoured the invoices at which the amounts were paid, then anything beyond that is for the company to deal with and not the customer.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by Willbert]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 09:00 PM
sounds to me like her "boyfriend" might be here under dis-honest circumstances...who knows maybe she never finished the 6th grade anywho SH!T HAPPENS DEAL WITH IT...what doesnt kill you only makes you stronger

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 09:33 PM
Yup, this sounds familiar.

My old mans hydro company apparently had been under-billing for a few years (no one noticed?) and they sent him a bill for $2500 1 week before Christmas! Nice guys eh?

This is so stupid. This poor couple, with all the other bills and expenses a young family has to scrape by and pay, and now this? Its outrageous! The utility company should suck it up and take the hit for their incompetence.

All other for-profit companies do when they screw up.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 09:40 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

It doesn't surprise me that a company that cannot collect bills properly can also not collect bills properly.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 10:28 PM
I actually am related to the family this happening to not really updated on whats going on at this moment but will post the facts whenever i get back in contact with my cousins johnny and yolanda

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 10:29 PM
reply to post by Aggie Man

The same thing happened to my niece in East Texas. She got a bill of several thousand dollars when she'd already been paying several hundred a month already. It took some irate phone calls but they did finally admit to an error with the new meters. The amount was dropped to match her normal billing.
The same thing has probably happened to this woman.

The reason I believe this is that my niece's bill was also $8000, what an amazing coincident.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 10:39 PM
reply to post by Willbert

Star for you!! Because that's the way it works.

2nd line? Hmmm. When you have nothing intelligent to say, it's best to say nothing at all.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:32 PM

Originally posted by zerbot565
reply to post by Blanca Rose

so what your saying is that the electrical company only has one meter they check per house ?

i have one in my boiler room which they check yearly
an other one across the street between my house and their line , and a third between that main line and the line that's linked to my house,

guess i'm delusional

and i'd assume they have meters at the company as well for each block or residential area to monitor in the real time power consumption

Most houses have one meter, if that meter is unaccessable there is usually a remote meter placed where the reader can see it easily.
The only time that I've put in a 3rd meter is when the customer was suspected of stealing power.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 02:13 AM
reply to post by Willbert

Yup, that's my understanding. I'd put the utility through the legal loops. I believe that this lady doesn't sound like the brightest bulb, the Utility is just taking advantage of her.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 02:26 AM
She doesn't owe them a penny.

Every bill they sent her represented that the amount shown on the bill is the amount owed for that month. She paid each monthly bill in full. She satsified her obligatin on a month-to-month basis. No going back and billing for more.

A court of equity would dismiss their claim in a heartbeat. She needs to consult an attorney and, if she is indigent, she needs to consult the local legal aid society or find a reduced fee or pro bono lawyer through the county or state bar association.

The people at the utility company who decided to try and visit the consequences of their screw-up on this customer should be sanctioned for their heartless and illegal stupidity.

[edit on 5/16/2010 by dubiousone]

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 02:35 AM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

This made it to CNN, zzzz this is important?

Pay your freaken bill!!!

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 03:11 AM
While my situation is no where this extreme, I feel that our company here has been ripping people off left and right.

Last summer Northwest Energy started coming out to customer's home and taking their old meter out and replacing it with a new one. Then voila, suddenly everyone's bill jumps up $30 - $60 more per month. It's been happening to many people, as they continue to replace everyone's meters. And it's the same story whenever anyone, including myself calls to complain about it. They claim that the old meter was not reading properly, and that their new meter is. Therefore, our bill will now be higher. Uh huh.

I've been living here for 9 years using the same amounts of energy give or take a few things. I track it pretty closely. Then they claim my new shiny meter shows I actually owe $40 more per month last fall.

It doesn't seem right, and it doesn't seem fair, but the bottom line is, they got everyone by the balls and there's not much one can do unless they want to live off the grid.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 03:13 AM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower

This is just ridiculous.

The company made a mistake, and now the family is left holding the bill?

This isn't right.

They should not be allowed to do this. This is their mistake, they should have billed them properly over the past 5 years.

Now they are left with paying 8K in bills with no way out.

"We don't know how to calculate those numbers and what those numbers mean," she said. "You trust that whatever they send you, whatever that amount is, that's your bill."

The next proble, trying to figure out if you actually owe them this money or if they are just trying to squeeze more cash out of you.

Thoughts ATS?
(visit the link for the full news article)

She should consult a lawyer. The electricity company will likely be estopped from demanding full payment from her as she had been led to beleive she had paid enough and then, in reliance on that, did not make any special headway for paying the bills.

Any good lawyer should be able to argue her way out of it. If you cock up and then someone does something to their detriment in reliance on that statement, the Courts will not force you do something or benefit one party where to do so would be unconscionable.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 08:55 AM
Jeepers, imagine my old work (laptop repair) - take your machine(s) in over many years. One day you walk in to pick up your laptop with a $5000 bill for misbilled repairs.


posted on May, 16 2010 @ 10:15 AM
Where do you guys live that the electricity is so expensive? I am in Northwest Florida. My electric bill for the past month was only $102.00. I have a Heat Pump, a 1991 home with cruddy insulation and well water with a septic, so the well pump constantly kicks on when water moves in the house.

During the hottest months it can get up to $200 but that is it. I suppose it might be because I have very few electrical devices plugged in and I bump the AC up to 80 degrees while I'm at work during the day as well as closing all the shades/curtains to keep the house from getting hot. I only turn the AC back down prior to going to bed and I set it at 73 degrees.

As for the $8,000 bill this woman got. She shouldn't have to pay a dime, as it was the company's mistake and it was not due to her scamming the company or due to some malicious intent on her part. It is their own darn fault for not having a system in place to catch these things and they should be the one to pay. Hopefully a local lawyer will take it pro bono, make a name for themselves and get the bill dropped and perhaps even sue the electric company for distress and mental anguish from such a ridiculous thing.

[edit on 16-5-2010 by DJM8507]

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