So remember when we had that little spat with our gas, water, and sewage company?  They’ve struck again!  They read our meter on January 15th.  Not February, as in 2 weeks ago, like you would think, but almost 6 weeks ago in JANUARY.  They’ve still not billed us for that reading, so on top of not knowing what we’re paying for that month, I now know that the next bill cycle, you know the one they’ll probably close in MAY, will be at least 6 weeks long.  How the hell can you budget for something that goes from a 21 day cycle (which is did twice, by the way) to a 40-something day cycle?!  This is why I appreciate living in a consumer-driven society!  If your product or service sucks and doesn’t live up to my expectation, I have options and you won’t be in business long, lest ye remove your head from your arse.  In this case, we have no option.  We’re forced to continue paying for shitty service…  And did I mention their rates just about doubled in winter?  We went from paying about .45 per unit to almost a dollar and did they mention that at all, either?  Nope…  I just about fell over when I saw my bill and had to call to find out WTF happened.  I did my math, using a ratio I had figured out before and had always had great luck guestimating within $3.00 of our actual bill (admin fees and all that jazz) and since I knew what I was seeing was WAY wrong, gave those f*cks a call.  The lady said, "Well ma’am, when the price of crude goes up so much, we have to raise our prices to keep afloat."  And you didn’t see a problem with 1.) Not telling your customers that KNOWING we didn’t have a choice but to keep our homes warm, at the very least, and 2.) Doing it during a longer-than-normal billing cycle?  SERIOUSLY?! 

          IF When DH and I buy a house, you can bet your ass I will do everything in my power to find a different company for our water, natural gas, and sewage needs.  We can’t do anything here because the management company of the townhouses determines all that and we can’t stop or start service without a new lease, and it still has to go through the management company.

          I was very careful last pay period about leaving what I thought would be enough money to cover our bill.  I have no idea what to expect because our usage went up again (though my house is still a very brisk 60-effing-degrees) and The Force only knows what they’re charging now that gas is over $3.00 per gallon again…  I’m so friggin’ pissed I could spit nails.  DH and I didn’t work this hard to pay off our credit card debt to have to dip into savings to pay ONE EFFING utility bill!!! 

          Another irritated phone call and all she could tell me was, "Not to worry, ma’am.  You will still be given 17 days to pay from the date your bill is mailed." 

          I was quick to call her on that BS, too.  "You’ve charged us late fees 3 times, and if you check YOUR records, you’ll see every one was waived because we received bills the day before they were due, with a postmark 2 days old." 

          She tried to placate me.  "If that happens again, we will be happy to extend the same courtesy."  COURTESY MY ASS!!!  You can’t hold someone’s bill for SIX WEEKS and then give them a days’ notice to pay!  I’m not paying a fee to have a payment instantly processed on your web-site because your billing department can’t do it’s THE-FORCE-DAMNED JOB!!!  I already pay an arm and a leg to keep my house just above freezing and make sure we have hot baths for the babies and lukewarm lightning speed showers for DH and I, not to mention a hot meal that isn’t microwaved once in a while and you’re telling me it’s a courtesy not to charge me a fee when you give me a days’ notice to pay my bill?! 

          And…  I’m spent…  My Force what a start to the day…

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