Any financial blogger ought to know how to pay their bills on time. It seems to be one of the personal finance principles. Some people automate their bills, some use electronic reminders, some people set up e-bills so they get an email when the bill is due, and some people still get the bills via snail mail. I personally prefer to use reminders in my phone. I don’t like the idea of having my bills automated because they can change and it’s possible that I wouldn’t notice. Instead, I use my phone to give me automatic notification. In my entire life, I have only missed one credit card payment and that was before I set up the system that I have now.
Despite my bill paying system, when my wife and I went to make dinner a couple weeks ago, we discovered that we didn’t have gas for our stove or oven. Luckily, we only use gas for our stove/oven and not for heat. If that were the case, I would have been significantly more upset. While we don’t get a long with all of our neighbors, I was surprised to learn how they left us without gas for days.
How I Tried to Get My Gas Turned On
When I discovered that our gas wasn’t working, I immediately called our provider. They let me know that there was no reason for there to be no gas and they would send someone out. To their credit, someone came within two hours. I was quite surprised. The repair guy came to the house and immediately descended into the basement. He turned on my meter and asked me to check the stove to see if it was working. NOTHING. He noticed that my neighbor’s gas was also turned off (as I live in a multi-unit house) and so out of curiosity, he turned on the other meter. SUCCESS! It worked. For some reason, the meters were switched and now we had our gas back on. I thanked him for coming out so quickly on a Sunday.
Why My Neighbor is to Blame
My wife and I were going to return to our effort to make pasta, when the door bell rang for a second time that night, just minutes later. The repair man told me that he couldn’t leave that meter on because there was a no payment notification on the account. When I instructed him that this is impossible, he apologized and told me he had no choice. Even when I called, I made sure that there was no such notification on my account. As it turns out, my neighbor hadn’t paid their bill. I don’t know how long it hadn’t been paid. All I know is that because the meters were registered incorrectly and my neighbor didn’t pay their bill, I was left without gas.
Sometimes Rules Don’t Make Sense
What I think is the worst part about this is that the utility repair guy could see on my account that I had paid my account in full. Not only that, but he could tell that the meter that he was forced to turn off because of a no payment notice was directly connected to our apartment (again, that was paid in full).
The moral of the story?
So, what’s the moral of the story? As I see it, there are two major things. Companies should care more about excellent customer service than following rules or regulations. There is no reason why I should have been left without gas. Secondly, even though you pay your bills on a regular basis, there will be an occasional curve ball… all thanks to your lovely neighbor.
*featured image provided by kennymatic