$4,700 Utility Bill!?!?!

WOWZERS!!!!!!!!!  Imagine my shock when I am told I have a $4,700.00 utility bill!!!!!!!!!   For me to have $4,700 utility bill, ALL of the following things would have to happen:

1) My heater or air conditioner on 24/7, 20 degrees higher or lower than the outside temperature;

2) All of my water systems dripping, leaking, cracked pipes and gushing out into the street;

3) My gas line being ruptured all month and gas flowing out into the atmosphere;

4) Steven, Vivian and I taking 5 baths a day and leaving the water running all day;

5) Have every electric system in our house plugged in, running and going 24/7, which includes leaving all lights in the house on, 24/7.

And then, even if we did ALL of that, for a one month period, I still don’t think I would have a $4,700 bill!

I did not get my utility bill this month and, upon a disconnect notice in mailbox yesterday, I called to see what was going on.  I checked my Excel Spreadsheet and noted that I did not receive a bill, but that I had the funds allotted waiting on the bill to come in.  So, upon the getting the disconnect notice, I called the City of Alexandria Utility Department to let them know that I have the money to pay my bill, it was just that I did not get a bill this month.

So, I called and imagine my surprise when they told me that my bill last month was $4,700!!!!!!  The lady said that it could not possibly be right and saw that my meter was re-read, so she recalculated my bill (I heard her tap-tap-tapping on the calculator) now I only owe $1,017.00….what???  My bill has never, ever, ever been that high!  So, I went to the Utility Office and sat there a while to talk to one of the supervisors.  After seeing two people and waiting a while, a supervisor came out and she asked me why I did not come in after getting the $4,700 bill (like this is my fault) and I informed her that I never got it.  I received a rather short typed notice that some utility bills were sent out in error, but I trashed it, not thinking about it, waiting on my bill to come in.  After all was said and done, she assumed that someone saw that my bill was $4,700 and pulled it and sent someone out to re-read the meter.  It was re-read, but no new bill was sent out.  Then, looking closer, over $500 was penalties and late fees from the $4,700 not being paid.  They forgot to adjust the bill to take those penalties off.  I never got a bill so how could I be penalized for not paying it?

They were nice about it, for once.  But she kept telling me that I should have called in….that I should have asked for a bill….that I should have known something was wrong….  hmmm…..  I always  pay my utility bill when I receive it, so usually it is paid 2 weeks before the due date.  So, I did not think it odd to not get a bill, I just assumed I had already paid it.  In my Excel Spreadsheet, based on my usage from last year, I have that amount held out in my budget waiting on the bill to come in.  If they don’t send me a bill, how will I know what to pay and when to pay?  Whatever…………

So, after all was said and done, my bill was reduced from $4,700 to around $500.  That is a BIG difference….lol…..  I still didn’t get a copy of my bill to compare my usage to last year’s usage.  When I asked for a copy of it, you would have thought that I was stupid based on the looks I got.  I told them I like to see my usage from year to year and I base my budget calculations as such.  Still got a stupid look.  I didn’t push my luck.  I paid my bill, and left.  I just hope none of that stuff appears on next month’s bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


5 thoughts on “$4,700 Utility Bill!?!?!

  1. Well, my bill for last month was over $400.00. It is normally around $250.00 to $300.00 for that time of the year. That is the savings and lower utility rates we are currently getting due to the expert negotiations made by our mayor. ….:(
    He is becoming more transparent the further he sticks his head up his…Well you know what I am refering to.

    • Mine was up $200 from last year too, but I notice that we ran the heat a whole more during that month than normal due to the ice storms and freezes we had this year. Our usage, I suspect…because I was not given my usage…was higher than normal. Unfortunately, I am a micro managing geek and I keep track of those things. I think what started me off was that when I first moved in, all of our usages were estimated. It took me about 2-3 months of complaining and bringing in pictures of my meter to show my real usage, to get someone out there to read the meter. That was back when they did not have enough meter readers.

  2. Sounds like my gas company, Dominion. My gas bills are from 300 to 600 a month in winter for a 1300 sq ft house.

    Shortly after I moved in they sent a letter to the whole neighborhood saying they wanted to install new meters and to set up an appt at MY convenience. Well mine was already brand new so I didn’t respond. One day, in winter, I came home to find my gas off and it was below freezing. They couldn’t come out that night to turn it on. So I froze all night, while already sick. Next day they said they could be out any time between 8am till midnight. I had to sit all day freezing, and not go into work, they couldn’t narrow down the time frame. After all day of waiting, they came. The guy did a pressure check of the line then put my same meter back on! I said I thought all this hassle was so u could put a new meter in. He looked at me like I was from mars and said I already have a new meter! At this point u can imagine my frustration. I told him I had said the exact same thing to them but they insisted I need a new one. So it turns off they had illegally turned off my gas since they didn’t actually perform the maintenance. Then they had the audacity to charge me a reconnection fee! I complained to the BBB and they tried to justify this insanity. Then I called the following month for something, and they tell me ‘it looks like u need a new meter!’ Omg I was ready to strangle someone over the phone! Afraid they’d shut it off again, I set up an appt for them to actually install the new meter this time. Well at the scheduled time, I hear and see the truck pull up. The guy sits there for about 15 min. Then drives off!! No call, no knock at the door, nothing! Now I realize I’m dealing w/ the most incompetent company in america. Months go by. Then they tell me for the 3rd time they want to install a new meter! By now I am contacting utility agencies to help me and reimburse me for the money they’ve stolen and time I had to freeze for nothing. Now the 3rd guy actually comes to the door. Yet stares at the worksheet w/ a very confused look and tells me he has no idea what they want him to do! I had to tell him they wanted me to get a new meter. He says, again, that I already have one. I said I know… *sigh* he decides to install new dials instead. That may have made them happy because I haven’t heard from them in awhile and eventually, after many complaints, got a reimbursement of the illegal fee. Unreal. These utility companies must all go to ‘incompetency training’.

    • Oh my! Ummm….yeah, I would have slapped myself in the head and tried hard not to slap them in the head! I have to say, our city services are top notch. I don’t have any complaints except for in the customer service area in the utility department. They always treat me like I don’t want to pay my bill or that I am trying to talk them into getting a lower bill. I am sure some people do, but not me! I just want my actual bill and I want to see it in black and white. I do keep a copy for my record and I do budget year to year accordingly. Anyway…….sorry to hear about that dilemma…certainly NOT fun when you have low paid city employees trying to think and operate a computer…that is a catastrophic combination! 🙂

  3. Pingback: All is right again…. « Perpetual Renovator

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