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    1. #1
      Rebel [email protected] Idec Sdawkminn's Avatar
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      Electric Company says I owe 9 month's pay

      I have a credit card that I pay all my bills with. I've set up automatic payments with each of my bills and then once a month I pay off my credit card, effectively turning several bills into one. Well, just the other day I received my electricity bill, in the mail stating that I owe $503 and it will be paid by Auto-Pay. WTF? It said it was due to NSF (non-sufficient funds). I looked on my October bill and there was no mention of it at all. It was only for that month's electricity. The same with my previous bills. I looked on my credit card statement and sure enough, there were no entries for my electric company, EPUD, after March. Well, they don't have to know that. Besides, I haven't gotten any notices or anything that they haven't been paid. Normally they'd shut off my electricity after a couple months.

      So, I called them up and said there was a problem with my bill. The woman seemed familiar with my account. She said that their books were short and Accounting, after many months, finally discovered the problem. It was with the 3rd-party company that supplied the auto-pay feature on their site. The 3rd-party company was reporting to EPUD that they were being paid each month from me, but EPUD wasn't receiving my money because they don't have an account with Discover, which is the brand of my credit card. So, once they figured out the problem, they added all the charges to my account. I tried telling her that my Discover statement showed the money being taken out (which it actually did for 1 of the months), and she said that I should call them, then, since I might get that money returned to me since it didn't go to anyone. She wouldn't budge on anything and even seemed hesitant letting me do a payment plan on it. Meanwhile I view it as their mistake that cost them money. I see it as, "Sorry you guys lost money. Mistakes in accounting will do that. Glad to hear you got it all worked out. I'll gladly change over to my VISA and pay you again, but I shouldn't have to make up for your mistake."

      What is everyone's take on this? Is there any way I can get out of paying for the money their accounting department lost?


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    2. #2
      Rebel [email protected] Idec Sdawkminn's Avatar
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      Crap, I read the forum name wrong. I meant to post this in the Lounge. Can someone move it?


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    3. #3
      Awesome dude Noin's Avatar
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      Sue them all

    4. #4
      Member Robot_Butler's Avatar
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      If you were double charged, you should follow their advice and contest it with your credit card company.

      If they just forgot to charge you, there is not much you can do. Just be glad they are not charging you interest or late fees. This happens to me all the time with my utilities. They really only charge me every 2 or 3 months because they are so disorganized.

      If you have a good credit card with protection, like a platinum or gold card, you could try contesting the whole thing with your credit card company, but I doubt it will pan out in your favor.

      (I moved this for you, too )

    5. #5
      Rebel [email protected] Idec Sdawkminn's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Robot_Butler View Post
      If you were double charged, you should follow their advice and contest it with your credit card company.

      If they just forgot to charge you, there is not much you can do. Just be glad they are not charging you interest or late fees. This happens to me all the time with my utilities. They really only charge me every 2 or 3 months because they are so disorganized.

      If you have a good credit card with protection, like a platinum or gold card, you could try contesting the whole thing with your credit card company, but I doubt it will pan out in your favor.

      (I moved this for you, too )
      Thanks for moving it and replying.

      I was not double-charged. The money didn't come out of my credit card (except for March). I just told them that to see what they'd say.

      They didn't forget to charge me. They were charging me, but they didn't keep in good communication with their 3rd party company to let them know they don't take Discover and to know that they weren't actually getting paid.

      If I go to Wal-Mart and the register person tells me a total amount and I pay it, then later their register is short $30 because they told me the wrong amount, then Wal-Mart is out $30 and that employee gets in trouble for having a short register. They will most likely take it out of that employee's pay. In this case, they should charge the amount to their 3rd party company. They never told me they don't take Discover. They never told me they weren't receiving my money (until right now). Mistakes were made. Live and learn. Let's move forward with this new knowledge, not try to make me responsible for fixing their books.
      Last edited by Idec Sdawkminn; 11-27-2008 at 01:31 AM.


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    6. #6
      Drivel's Advocate Xaqaria's Avatar
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      If they are charging you late fees then you have a case against them. If they are just charging you the money you thought you paid anyway, whats the problem?

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    7. #7
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      He want's to know if the problem is a legit way to keep from paying a 9 month old bill, that he should have been on top of in the first place to know that there was no money being taken out of his account.

      In my opinion, no. It's worth a try, though.

    8. #8
      Veteran of the DV Wars Man of Steel's Avatar
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      If you aren't being asked to pay late fees, and you used the electricity, the right thing to do is to pay up. Yes, the billing is their problem, but they're not likely to see it that way. Be honest with them, tell them it is their problem if you wish, but you should be prepared to pay them when they do not agree.

    9. #9
      Member Captain Sleepalot's Avatar
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      You used the service and have not paid for it yet, so there is no question that you owe them the money.

      The real issue is that they should be more flexible in recovering the money from you; for them to demand it all in one lump sum is wrong on their part, although technically they can probably legally do so unless you get the courts involved.

      Bottom line: you owe the money, but they should be flexible in collecting it. Dealing with utility services is a pain the ass, so I wish you good luck and hope they don't just take it all out at once.

    10. #10
      Rebel [email protected] Idec Sdawkminn's Avatar
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      Someone else said to me
      If you went to a fast food restaurant-for ease let's just use Taco Bell as our example-and the bill was $15, you hand the employee $20, and instead of getting back $5 you get back $10. Do you tell the employee or do you just figure, too bad your loss? Personally I'd tell. I like knowing I don't get people in trouble for mistakes because you know what, I've made plenty of my own mistakes and I would appreciate someone pointing it out before it blows up into something bigger then it had to be.
      I'd tell the Taco Bell employee as well. No sense them getting in trouble. But I don't have to. It would be the nice and honest thing to do, but I don't have to. But if they told me wrong and I thought I paid them the right amount, then it was caught after I already left and they got in trouble, I'm not going to go back up there and pay them the extra $5. Or if I bought gas and was charged $1.85 a gallon, and then the gas station realized they had marked it too low and tried to get me to pay to make up the difference, I shouldn't have to. If I make a deal with someone and pay them a certain amount for something they did for me, then I later find out they should have charged me way less, that's my loss. I can't expect them to reimburse me because I wasn't informed about what reasonable rates are for their service.

      Several months ago I bought an outdoor recliner from Lafuma. The chair cost $160. I didn't know that I would only sit in it maybe 2 times. It was a bad purchase. It wasn't smart to do. I made a mistake. Is it Lafuma's fault? No. Should they be expected to buy it back from me? It would be nice of them, but it was my error that caused me to part ways with my money. I can't blame them. I can't hold them responsible.

      Now, I'm not saying I won't pay EPUD the money. I'm not saying I wouldn't give the Taco Bell employee the $5. It is in my personality to be nice like that. I'm saying I'm not obligated to. I'm arguing principle, not what I'm actually going to do. Sure, if they say "pay up or your electricity is going bye-bye and you'll have crappy credit", you can bet I'll be paying it. But I'll view it as being forced to pay a bully your lunch money because he is stronger than you.

      I think it would be fair to meet them halfway. I shouldn't have to pay them any of the $503, but in the interest of good relations and being fair and lenient to human error, I am perfectly fine paying them half of it. I probably wouldn't have even made any of a fuss at all if that's all they had asked for. I just don't like them putting all the blame on me.
      Last edited by Idec Sdawkminn; 12-01-2008 at 06:10 PM.


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    11. #11
      Member Robot_Butler's Avatar
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      I have a similar story you might get a kick out of.

      My mortgage requires flood insurance. Our homeowner's association used to cover a joint flood insurance policy for the whole neighborhood, until we cancelled it recently and decided to each take out our own policies. There was a month overlap where I was uninsured, trying to find flood insurance. My mortgage company didn't notice this uninsured month until several months later. When they did notice, they back-charged me for coverage with their, in house (rip off), insurance carrier. So they charged me to cover my insurance for a month that already happened.

      So why did I need to pay to be insured for a month that was already in the past? Was mother nature going to invent a time machine and flood my house 6 months ago? Isn't this missing the entire point of insurance?

    12. #12
      Rebel [email protected] Idec Sdawkminn's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Robot_Butler View Post
      I have a similar story you might get a kick out of.

      My mortgage requires flood insurance. Our homeowner's association used to cover a joint flood insurance policy for the whole neighborhood, until we cancelled it recently and decided to each take out our own policies. There was a month overlap where I was uninsured, trying to find flood insurance. My mortgage company didn't notice this uninsured month until several months later. When they did notice, they back-charged me for coverage with their, in house (rip off), insurance carrier. So they charged me to cover my insurance for a month that already happened.

      So why did I need to pay to be insured for a month that was already in the past? Was mother nature going to invent a time machine and flood my house 6 months ago? Isn't this missing the entire point of insurance?
      Haha, that's ridiculous!

      I told this story to my boss and he said the reason they do that is because by law they have to have it insured at all times, so them back-charging you allows them to report that it was insured during that time. Well, I agree with that, but in that case they should have charged you $0 for it and reported it insured.

      Anyway, I spoke with my boss on my issue and he initially agreed that I owe for any electricity I didn't pay for. My boss is someone I usually trust and agree with his decisions.

      However, he asked for the situation again and then said that it would be different if they had been reporting to me that the bills haven't been paid and I was just trying to get out of it. But there was a huge lack of communication on their part and it's not fair for them to finally notify me after 9 months. Sure, I should have been checking my credit card statements, but likewise, they should have been checking their transactions. It shouldn't take them 9 months to realize they haven't been paid. He said from a purely mathematical standpoint, I owe them for anything they provided and I didn't pay for, but from a business standpoint (which is how I'm looking at it), I only ever owe them anything because of an agreement we made, and the lack of communication makes that agreement a little shaky on their end. He said I have a leg to stand on and I should go there, ask for a customer service manager and shoot for the moon: ask for the past amount to be waived, even if I might not get that.


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    13. #13
      Member L815's Avatar
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      You're going to have to pay the amount you owe no matter what happens. How you pay it is what you should discuss with them, maybe even ask for a discount for the trouble.
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    14. #14
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      You do owe the Electric Company 9 month's pay.

      Don't worry. Maybe the next Chance card you get will be the one where you win the beauty contest.

      Either way you get £200 just for passing 'GO', so it isn't the end of the world.

      Just keep rolling.

      Keep rolling on.

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