How My Gas Was Shut Off Because of My Neighbor

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

26 Responses to How My Gas Was Shut Off Because of My Neighbor

  1. You got your gas turned on finally, right?
    Did you have to go through a lot of hoops?

    • Corey says:

      Ah, yes. It was quite the experience. It ended up being 3-4 days without gas. My landlord had to go down to the utility company, close our acct, and open up a new one.

  2. Whoa, it sounds like you’re paying your neighbor’s bill. Hope you got it corrected.

    • Corey says:

      You got it… little to my knowledge. I was paying theirs and no one was paying ours. We did get it figured out (eventually).

  3. I hope your neighbor used the gas less than you were using. If not, you have been paying for the gas that you really didn’t use. I hope your neighbor does not use gas for heating…

    What an amazing story. I just can’t believe these types of dumb things happen to good people. I just hate to deal with these types of companies who fails to do the right thing!

  4. Aloysa says:

    I would be furious. I would be flying on my broom. This is horrible. You know I don’t like my neighbors for different reasons but this one would top it all of my reasons off. I hope you resolved it all and got your gas back.

  5. Michelle says:

    That’s stupid! I would be mad. Something like that happened to me also.

    • Corey says:

      Thanks Michelle. I agree! Thus, the reason I ranted and wrote a post about it. haha. I’m sorry to hear it also happened to you.

  6. I agree. Companies should be about good customer service. I find though that this doesn’t seem to happen as much as it used to. I am really surprised. I would be just as frustrated as you in this situation. Glad it is back on now.

  7. This is so frustrating! what is the company planning to do about it?

  8. Concern for the customer is a rare commodity these days. Just ask Bank of America or Netflix. Maybe some are getting the message.

  9. Suba says:

    I could understand the frustration. If it is metered and you were paying your neighbors bill, is it possible that you would have been paying more than you ought to (if they are heavy into cooking for example)? In any case, glad its back on now.

  10. How frustrating! That also means that your bill was really your neighbors and your neighbors was really your bill! I’m be upset on multiple levels
    1.) the inspector should have caught that!
    2.) the builder, yeah he didn’t directly do it, but still…
    3.) the repairman (thanks buddy…)
    4.) the gas company (I’m sure there are reasons why they did this, but still a little common sense on there part could have went a long way).

    Just curious, are they going redo the meters, or just realize that they need to label them a bit differently to accomodate for your unusual circumstance.

    I wonder if it would be worth it to write a letter to the gas company, complaining about the entire circumstance?

  11. That seems so wierd, I’ve never heard of anything like it!

  12. Don’t you love it when companies make mistakes and it takes your time to fix things…. especially utility companies that have monopolies in the market…

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  15. That….Sucks…. I’m going to make a note to double check mine…

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  18. 101 Centavos says:

    This is unfortunate, but gas or telephone or cable companies, with an assured monopoly, don’t really have to care about customer service. Perhaps that’s the reason they make a safe and boring investment. :-)

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