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View Full Version : Hm. I guess if you don't pay your bill, they DO cut the water off.


Bruce_Daddy
04-07-2004, 09:39 AM
Last month I paid the bills that aren't auto-withdrawal or online with a check book from an account that was cancelled. Last summer. Don't ask me how this checkbook was still in existance, I don't know. Somehow, from the black hole that is my house, an angry, disowned, useless and vengeful check book decided to leap under my pen and get it's children into several envelopes, including Greenville Water System. Most of the establishments called me and rectified the situation. Not GWS.

It's not GWS's fault. I'm the idiot that wrote the bogus check. I'm the idiot who doesn't check his mail but once a week. I'm the idiot who doesn't really pay attention to what the mail says once he's checked it. My fault. Got it.

Do you know how bizarre it is to turn the faucet on the sink and nothing happens? Or, to go outside at 3am in your boxers to pee? Or to fill the cat's bowl with icecubes so that at least he can have something to drink? Or to call a friend and say, "Um, dude, can I, uh, come over to your family's house and take a shower?".

This sucks. I'm never fucking that one up again.

the Lady
04-07-2004, 09:47 AM
I've never had the water turned off - but ATCO will turn your gas off if you persist in not paying them.
That wasn't fun. It was cold. I wore the then-boyfriend-now-husband's Helly Hansen suit and piled every blanket we had on the bed. (he was working nights and got to go to nice warm work) Then I boiled water to add to the freezing water in the tub so I didn't have to go to work all dirty.
We had money to pay the bill. Our idiot roomate simply chose not to.
We moved out shortly afterwards.

SkeptiJess
04-07-2004, 09:50 AM
Wow, that really sucks -- especially since you know it's your very own fault. Shitty stuff is easier to deal with when you can blame it on somebody else.

Are they charging you a big fat fee to turn the water back on? Hopefully next week will be a better week for you. And throw all those old checks away right now!

velvetjones
04-07-2004, 10:05 AM
That happened when I was living with my parents once. My brother walked out to the front yard and opened the meter box and turned the water back on. When we called to clear up the mess (it was their clerical error, not ours) and told them not to send a technician because we'd already turned it back on they said "you're not supposed to do that". Right :rolleyes:

Bruce_Daddy
04-07-2004, 11:11 AM
That happened when I was living with my parents once. My brother walked out to the front yard and opened the meter box and turned the water back on. When we called to clear up the mess (it was their clerical error, not ours) and told them not to send a technician because we'd already turned it back on they said "you're not supposed to do that". Right :rolleyes:
That's the first thing I tried, but they had a big freaking lock on it. Bastards.

Exgineer
04-07-2004, 11:19 AM
On a sort of related note, I just happened to read a letter from some outfit I'd never heard of threatening me with legal action if I don't let them in to install a new remotely-readable gas meter. They're contractors for the gas company or something. Evidently, this was my "second notice" but I didn't know that because, like you, I don't really check my mail very often. I almost didn't open this one either, because it really looks like junk mail.

All my fault? Sure. Annoying anyway? Hell yes.

Casey1505
04-07-2004, 11:26 AM
Shut off after only being (presumably) one month behind? And then giving you less than a weeks notice before they cut off service? Don't they have a contact # for you? Or put a hang tag on the door?

A reconnect fee should be waived if they didn't give you a chance to straighten it out. One week doesn't sound like much time for recourse. Sounds like they skipped a few steps along the way.

And yes, you should destroy those checks. Or you could write a whole bunch of $1,000,000,000.95 checks and have another balloon launch. Make sure to forget to sign the checks and make them payable to VOID.

GingerOfTheNorth
04-07-2004, 11:31 AM
When I was a poor kid in my first apartment with a stupid room-mate, we often let our utilities slide for a couple of months. Atco, and the City of Calgary, were quite nice about it and never actually cut us off, despite threatening. Three months was usually the limit though.

Tark
04-07-2004, 11:56 AM
Here in the good-ol' town of Richmond the gas company will give you about 45 days past due. Then they come out and shut it off, charging you $35 to turn it back on "the next business day." If you want it back on the same day the charge is $70. They let you put it on your bill, though. Isn't that nice of them?

The water is handled by the county we live in, Henrico. They bill on a quarterly basis and won't send you a cutoff notice until the next billing cycle hits. So that's a three month leeway.

I used to have to juggle these a lot. Things have gotten better now.

misstee
04-07-2004, 11:58 AM
(((((( Bruce_Daddy )))))


[sixe=1]ewwwww, what's that smell?[/size]




Just kidding. Hope all is worked out today.

Bruce_Daddy
04-07-2004, 12:52 PM
Shut off after only being (presumably) one month behind? And then giving you less than a weeks notice before they cut off service? Don't they have a contact # for you? Or put a hang tag on the door?

A reconnect fee should be waived if they didn't give you a chance to straighten it out. One week doesn't sound like much time for recourse. Sounds like they skipped a few steps along the way.
In their defense, it's been more than 30 days. I think they cut it off right around 60 days. I'm not real sure, I'm not that good at "paying bills".

And yes, a note on the door would have nice. I think the cable guys at least do that, and cable is obviously much less important than water. Since signing up with them, I've disconnected my home phone and they don't have my cell number.

I could rant and bitch but it's my fault for being a dumbass.

Casey1505
04-07-2004, 01:06 PM
In their defense, it's been more than 30 days. I think they cut it off right around 60 days.Even that seems harsh. I've paid utility bills like this before. Missed January, figured I'll make up for it in February, forgot about it, ah, damn, I'll catch it in March. Around the end of February, I'd get the "Did you forget to pay you bill?" letter. Then about a week before March's bill (now a triple bill) was due, I'd get a "You have 10 days to pay your past due amount (Jan & Feb) or other satisfactory arrangements, or we will discontinue service on or around (about a week after the initial deadline)." And PAWC are a bunch of money grubbing bastards, charging all that money for barely potable water.......

I'd still sent them a letter of complaint for the way the matter was handled.

Edward The Head
04-07-2004, 01:44 PM
This just happened to me last month. I don't have full cable and as such I usually pay for a lot of months at once. They still send you a bill for $0.00, so I don't always look at them. Well I got one that said I forgot to pay, the next day I got a notice saying that I owed $35 or so, but it also said that I was going to have it cut off in 10 days from when they sent it out, I would still have to pay, they are sending my bill to a collection agency and a bunch of other crap. I couldn't believe that they would even want to cut me off after less then six weeks, and the current bill wasn't due for two more weeks!

I've been behind like that a few times, but never have I been threatened like that. I'm still thinking about switching to something else.

Grant
04-07-2004, 01:44 PM
I used to be a water treatment plant operator and was on the board of directors for said water system. Even 60 days seems harsh. 90 days is standard unless you are a repeat offender. Our particular water co. would leave notice on the door after 30 days and then a final warning 10 days before the water was shut off. THe repeat offender would still be given 30 days before turning it off.

originally posted by velvetjones
That happened when I was living with my parents once. My brother walked out to the front yard and opened the meter box and turned the water back on. When we called to clear up the mess (it was their clerical error, not ours) and told them not to send a technician because we'd already turned it back on they said "you're not supposed to do that".

I realize that this was not your fault and that this kind of thing does happpen but this is a crime. It's called theft of service and is a class e felony. In your case I would have done the same thing but had it not been their fault it could get serious.

papergirl
04-07-2004, 01:53 PM
Probably their Big Issue was not the delinquency, but the fact that the check was written on a closed account. Unfortunately, I know from experience (I closed an account without realizing I still had a couple of checks out on it) that in such cases, businesses are not NEARLY as accomodating as they might be if you were just late or simply had a bounced check. When one of my closed-account checks came through a chain grocery, they sent it straight to the Prosecutor's Office with no nice letter or anything. It cost me a bundle, but that was their policy, and of course I had to admit that I was an airhead who didn't check thoroughly when I closed the account.
Bummer, BD. Hope things get better from here!

Best,
karol

Bruce_Daddy
04-07-2004, 04:54 PM
I'd still sent them a letter of complaint for the way the matter was handled.
I have to be super nice to them or they might boot me and then I'd have to get a well. I dare you to google "Simpsonville wells" :eek:

bodypoet, that's a good theory. Sort of like "Hey, I bet this bastard left town. Eddie, throw the big switch on Bruce's house, he's gone!".

Eats_Crayons
04-07-2004, 05:20 PM
When I was a poor kid in my first apartment with a stupid room-mate, we often let our utilities slide for a couple of months. Atco, and the City of Calgary, were quite nice about it and never actually cut us off, despite threatening. Three months was usually the limit though.

What time of year? In Toronto, they won't turn off the gas during certian weather months because the hardship could result in serious property damage and people freezing to death.

How'd did I find this out? My friend had a total irresponsible, idiot-bitch of a housemate.

He and his two other houseates shared an apartment with Idiot-Bitch. There was also an aparmtent on the first floor -- three women lived there (it was a pretty big house). The gas worked in such a way that the bill was for the whole house. Idiot-Bitch was the one who collected money from all the other housemates and the three women downstairs. Then she would send a check to the gas company.

In March, my friend and I were going to Panama for Carnaval. Two days before he left, the gas was cut off. Apparently, they reached that official "it's not winter, so you can turn it off" date. Idiot-Bitch had already moved out for the spring term. She did not leave any contact information.

She had stopped paying the gas bill in October. Oh, she collected everyone's share of the money all those months, but Og knows what she did with it!

My friend used his plane fare to pay the humoungous outstanding bill --almost $1500. Left with no other contact information for Idiot-Bitch, he did the unthinkable... He called her dad! :eek:

Idiot-Bitch's dad was mortified. He was classy enough to wire my friend back the $ within 24 hours.

After we got back from Panama there was a message from Idiot-Bitch on his answering machine: "How could you call my dad??? :rolleyes:

mnemosyne
04-07-2004, 06:13 PM
A couple years ago, we were living in a house with 4 other people (total of 6). We each paid a lump sum to our slumlord, who lived across the street, to pay for utilities.

One day, we came home to find a warning sticker on our door - telling us that if the hydro bill wasn't paid within a week, they would shut down the power. Our fucking slumlord had collected our money but hadn't thought to actually PAY the expenses on the house HE owned.

All 6 of us marched over to his place and gave him hell - the power stayed on, so I guess he paid it. His excuse was that he was "busy and forgot". If you're going to rent out your property to 6 students, and tell them (in the lease too) that you'll take care of bills, then you'd better take care of the bills!

Thank goodness we are out of that house now! We did list his name with the "bad landlords in Hamilton" listings on campus (which was the next street over). Unfortunately, thanks to the good location, he still gets tenants.

Pammipoo
04-07-2004, 06:55 PM
Hmm. I've always wondered about this, because I've lived in this apartment over a year and a half, and never delibiritely paid a dime for water. When we moved in and I was setting up the utilities, I couldn't find a setup number for the water dept, so I figured I'd just wait until someone sent me a deliquient account statement, and then I'd get it straightened out. We never got such a bill, and I still have water. Granted it's Boston tap water, and it's credibility is slim, but it's water nonetheless. I'm assuming my landlord foots the bill, but he's never mentioned it.

jkusters
04-07-2004, 07:27 PM
Yeah, I know quite well the feeling of turning on your tap and nothing coming out. Or only having cold water. Or not being able to make calls. Back when I was in college, I roomed with this guy who took responsibility for all of the bills since he was the only one with verifiable income. Boy was that a mistake. I lived with him for two years and had each of the utilities shut of at least once during that time. And of course it was never his fault. "The bank screwed up! I should still have money in that account!" Or "I never saw the bills, the post office must have decided not to deliver them!" Or "The city must be pissed at me for some reason."

Mind you, he never balanced his checkbook, let his mail pile up for months on end, and... well, the city was frequently pretty pissed with him.

Of course, each time he said he'd get better, and each time I believed him. I sincerely hope I've grown less naive over time.

JOhn.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
04-07-2004, 08:12 PM
I once had my phones cut off because the electronic bill payment I did through my bank went astray. There was no identifiable reason for it, my payment specified the correct address, account number, and so on. I ended up having a royal hassle over this.

Now I'm tentatively trying the bill payment system again, with small payments that are not so critical. So far, so good.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
04-07-2004, 08:14 PM
It could also be that the water company was vexed and miffed over the check drawn on a closed account, so they came down a little harder on the OP than they otherwise would.

Manduck
04-07-2004, 08:37 PM
[sixe=1]

See, there's you problem right there. It should be "[six=6]".
Glad I could help :)

Tentacle Monster
04-07-2004, 08:43 PM
I don't even want to know what happens if you don't pay the sewer bill.

The Vorlon
04-07-2004, 08:59 PM
Hmm. I've always wondered about this, because I've lived in this apartment over a year and a half, and never delibiritely paid a dime for water. When we moved in and I was setting up the utilities, I couldn't find a setup number for the water dept, so I figured I'd just wait until someone sent me a deliquient account statement, and then I'd get it straightened out. We never got such a bill, and I still have water. Granted it's Boston tap water, and it's credibility is slim, but it's water nonetheless. I'm assuming my landlord foots the bill, but he's never mentioned it.


Pammipoo---under MA state law, the landlord gets to pay the water bill. This, as you can understand, led to much knashing of teeth when the big MWRA rate hikes hit a few years ago.

(For those of you living in more civilized locations, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority was set up to drain the ratepayers pockets. The official reason was stated that Boston harbor was just short of a superfund site, with all sorts of fun stuff being basickly quietly dumped in the harbor with zero treatment. Many zillions of dollars later, most of the end by-product of the residents of eastern MA is getting treated and being dumped far out to sea, and the 'overflow' pipes that would dump raw sewage in the harbor from a light mist have been sealed. This has come at a great cost. Ratepayers still view the authorities trucks, with special WRA licence plates, and know that it stands for We Ride Around)

Quercus
04-08-2004, 02:46 PM
And pamipoo, for what it's worth, I'm a environmental professional who knows all the nasty things that can and sometimes are in Boston water, and I drink it.
You understand, bottled water isn't going to be any cleaner or safer.

[Unless you have a child, in which case get the water tested for lead, which would be coming from the pipes inside the building]

misstee
04-08-2004, 05:33 PM
See, there's you problem right there. It should be "[six=6]".
Glad I could help :)





Oh my, I am so very thankful. Is there anything I can do for you for helping me see the light? ;)


HA, see, I can get it right!

wolfman
04-08-2004, 05:50 PM
I can speak from experience that turning the water back on yourself can become a huge problem.
I had a landlord that was having a fair amount of work done around me, One day the water was turned off, and I had figured that the plumber had forgotten to turn it back on after he left so I went and turned it back on. Three days later I got a final notice about the water bill, that said they were goin to turn it off on me the three days earlier. I called in somewhat pissed and let's just say that it wasn't a civil conversation. They said I had to pay a $100 water turn back on fee even though I had done it myself. I said I wasn't going to pay a fee for them to do nothing after they hadn't even told me in time they were going to do it in the first place.

The next day my water was off again, and the water box lid was locked. But the box was a cylidrical tube around the fixture with only a lid, no bottom. So I ripped the whole box out and turned my water back on again. So they started sending me letters saying I was going to prison and whatnot. Eventually they started making a leagl case against me and found out that was only a renter and not an owner. The owner has to pay the water bill, and therefore was the one liable for the original bill. So I guess she settled it up, or called in a favor or something because I never heard about it again.

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