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  #1  
Old 12-21-2005, 03:12 PM
funola's Avatar
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those UI bastards shut my electricity off

I posted this earlier and got a lot of ***** for posting in the wrong forum so I'm reposting here with a little more info.:

I have been lax in paying my elec bills in the past 3 months due to not being home very much caring for a terminally ill family member. 3 days before Thanksgiving I received a certified letter from my utililty co. United Illuminating telling me I owe so much $$. It was not a termination of service letter. I called the collections dept's 800 number provided in the letter immediately and told them I would pay it and did just that the same night via electronically through my bank. All UI collections dept conversations are recorded. The next night when I got home, I found my elec shut off. I called their emergency # and informed had them I paid it the day before and pleaded with them to come and turn it back on immediately. They said it was not possible and that I have to call the collections dept the next day. When I called the next morning they said I was shut off because I did not call in and provide them with the ref. number of the payment as I was instructed to when I first called them. The fact is they did not tell me to call in with the ref number nor did the certified letter say I had to do that, otherwise I would have done so. They insisted that they listened to the recording of my conversation and that I was told I had to call in with the ref number. I demanded to speak to a supervisor and to listen to the recording together with her. Sure enough, I was not told to call in with the ref number and I did say "I will pay it" as the last words spoken in the recording. I called DPUC and told them of the whole ordeal and United Illuminating was charged with an illegal termination, which makes them look very bad in the public eye.

I am thinking of sueing UI in small claims court. Do you think I have a chance? Me an individule against a multimillion corporation? What can I sue them for? I was thinking:

wrongful doing
pain and suffering
lost time from work
a bad cold from freezing my nuts off

I think the max in small claims if $5000? I can use the money to fix up my 300 D :-)

Before anyone jump on me telling me to just pay my bill on time and that I should be more financially responsible, here are some facts:

All my other bills are paid on time by automatic monthly drafts from my checking account. United Illuminating does not offer that service nor do they take credit cards by phone. They are in the dark ages!

I have not paid any finance charges on my credit cards in the last 15 years. I have no debt. Do not like oweing money to anyone.

The point of this post is the UI collections dept did not follow procedures to inform me of what I have to do after I have made the payment, as a result my electric service was terminated illegally. Then they lied to the very end insisting that they have followed procedures, until the recording proved they were lying. Furthermore, those collections dept people have no mercy, they seemed to enjoy terminating people's service. I told them I paid it and they keep saying "how do I know you really paid it?" I actually drove to the UI's office in New Haven with printouts of the online payment record from my bank because I was not able to get through to them on the phone, being on hold for 20 minutes then get disconnected. When I got there, I was told their collections dept do not see customers face to face. Let me tell you I was pissed.
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2005, 03:36 PM
R Leo's Avatar
Stella!
 
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Here's your problem:

I have been lax in paying my elec bills in the past 3 months

Easy fix.

This is an excuse:

...due to not being home very much caring for a terminally ill family member.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2005, 04:05 PM
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Hmmm, I'd let it go.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2005, 04:54 PM
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They have punished you for what you did but you have not had a chance to punish them for what they did. File the complaint with your state PUCO and comsumer affairs office. Forget suing, just make them answer embarrassing questins to the state regulators. They really hate that. Oh, and ask the regulators why the power company is still doing business in the dark ages.
Then forget the whole thing.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2005, 05:02 PM
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Naturally, you can sue anyone for anything. And, in small claims court, the burden of proof is nowhere near the burden in district or supreme courts.

However, I would doubt that you can put a monetary loss on these items:

wrongful doing
pain and suffering
lost time from work
a bad cold from freezing my nuts off

It might be possible to get some money for "lost time at work". But, you would need to document why you lost the time. No electricity is not a reason to avoid work, but, if you get a sympathetic judge, you never know.

Now, if your pipes froze due to no electricity, that's a whole different game.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2005, 06:56 PM
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My credit union allows me to set up automatic payments to be sentout on what eer day I set. I know you cannot know exactly what your bill will be but if you are occupied for a certian amount of time, just set up a payment of $x.xx to be sent out. That way you are covered.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2005, 08:12 PM
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Read The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey it's a great novel about eco terrorism. Then take those bastards down one power pole at a time. that will show em!
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2005, 08:20 PM
MedMech
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There is a new thing to look forward to in life.

Death
Taxes
and taking it up the arse by the power companys.
\

next time I come into some serious loot the house is going to be converted to Geothermal and Solar.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2005, 08:32 PM
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ever think of going off the grid.. one key word friends Lister

www.utterpower.com ive got someone that is going off the grid and they are setting up a listeroid ( lister's havent been produced in a while so in india they rip off the design which is very good for a knock off thus listeroid)
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2005, 07:33 AM
MedMech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narwhal
Dude, the guy didn't pay his bill. End of story--sorry about the circumstances.
I know but I've told you my thoughts on power companies. I just can't stand any company with that much POWER.

I've seen the power company up here shut off power by accident and tell the customer that it will take up to 24 hours to turn it back on.
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2005, 09:20 AM
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Yeah, I'd say drop it as well. Sounds like you have enough on your plate - maybe let this one go...gotta choose your battles.

As to all you prompt-never-missed-a-bill-in-my-life types, good for you, must be impressive to have such a lifelong, perfect record of never missing a payment. However I'm sure Funola is very much aware of the penalty of missing payments and already outlined his reasons - terminally ill family member - which can tend to distract someone. When my father had cancer, the rest of my life shut down for a little while.

My personal beef with power companies is how they mangle the mature trees in our neighbourhood to 'prevent power line damage'. They bring in these chainsaw cowboys and they go to town on anything remotely near the lines. Thank God I'm on the other side of the street and there are no power lines on my property. It looks like a tornado hit the trees from about 15' up. The trees look pitiful. Funny how they can mangle a tree someone planted 20,30 years ago on their property all in the supposition that said tree could possibly lose a limb and break a power line. I suppose that 'infrastructure cost' portion of my bill is for fixing something other than power lines.

Anyway, thx for the rant and good luck Funola!
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2005, 09:54 AM
R Leo's Avatar
Stella!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedMech
I've seen the power company up here shut off power by accident and tell the customer that it will take up to 24 hours to turn it back on.
That happened to me in another life.

I knew I was in the right so I cut their dam*ed seal and reinstalled the meter.
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2005, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeus
My personal beef with power companies is how they mangle the mature trees in our neighbourhood to 'prevent power line damage'.
This thread makes me realize just how satisfactory our service has been from our electric cooperative.

The guys they contract for preventive trimming use a pretty heavy hand in trimming/defoliating brush and trees along country roadways, but they handle the stuff on residential property very nicely - nicely enough not to incur the wrath of my tree-loving wife. If we call them to report a tree that threatens the lines, they'll send a couple of guys out with a bucket truck who will take care of it pretty much exactly as requested.

Even in more urban areas, the power folks seem to make some effort to strike a reasonable balance between preventing power line damage and preserving historic "canopy roads".
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2005, 10:41 AM
Zeus's Avatar
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eskimo,

wanna extend your co-op a little farther north?
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2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
1977 280E - sold
1971 250 - retired


"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2005, 10:49 AM
MedMech
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Our power company installed new poles and lines at my new house and had to cut down several Red Cherrys and Red Oaks in the process all were mature and were valued at $9500 the company that was doing the cutting went as far as having a timber company on site to haul the tree's. I let them load the tree's and called the fuzz, I cut a deal with the logger and the contractor for a bit above the $9500.....for my troubles.

As a result the police contacted every owner in the county and the logger had to fork over about 10% above market value of the tree's.......ha smoked em.
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