…and get nothing but grief for it. This is a
rant post about how one (particularly incompetent) “gas company” employee caused me a heap of troubles.
Dad and Steve had turned the gas off this summer in order to relocate the hookup for the dryer:
We decided it was a good idea to let the gas remain off to the appliances since it was warm and major work was on hold while everyone enjoyed their summer. The water heater in there now is 10 year rated but is about to turn a whoppin’ 15 years old! I figured I had better gear up to replace that miracle, rather than turn it back on. Now that it was turned off for a few months and all that sediment had just been settling, I didn’t want to risk it failing ruining any of the progress on the house!
I assumed the right thing to do would be to call the “gas company” and let them know the gas was off: “No problem, we’ll make a note in your account. You did the right thing calling us so there is no confusion.” Simple. Easy.
Two weeks later: problem. In short, the “gas company” left me a message that they were not getting readings from my meter. (Duh, thats cause its off, remember!?) I called and explained, again, that the gas was off. They said there was no note on the account and then they proceeded to kinda accuse me of stealing gas. They needed to come out to the house and check that the gas really was turned off. All I needed to do to resolve the discrepancy was to wait for a call from their third-party contractor. Those folks would reach out to me ‘later’. Ok then. Simple. Easy.
The contractor called…a week later. Well, robo-called, technically. “Robo-Gas-Co” calls me at 8 am, sharp, with a recording that swiftly barks a number that “gas company” customers having issues are supposed to then call back. (To make an appointment with a human, I assume). [face-palm] Simple. Easy.
Only, it’s not fine and it sure ain’t easy, either! It’s some kind of twisted trick ’cause that number delivered you to yet another recording. This recording said they’d call you back if you leave a detailed message. But they only “Robo-Gas-Co” call you back, catapulting you into a cruel circle of voiceless-voicemail torture!
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Over and over, I played the voiceless-voicemail game. It’s not a very enjoyable game. “Robo-Gas-Co” says in the recording they are open from 8 – 4 (or something like that), but no human ever answers the phone. It started to feel like Groundhog Day up in this joint! I was trying to strategically place desperate call-backs at all sortsa hours in an effort to land a human on the other end of the line! Finally, I started to lose it and left this message: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya – er – ah – Veronica.” Just kidding! I didn’t really do the Princess Bride thing. However, I did call one last time and freak out, then I called back the “gas company” to see if they could give me another contractor or something. No dice, they didn’t give me help. But they did give me a letter stating that they were going to be shutting my service off for refusing to let them in my house!? I called them after getting that letter and raised all kindsa h-e-double-hockey-sticks. It launched me right into you can kiss my *bleep* mode and asked them where I should forward my phone records proving several unanswered attempts to get hold of the jerk-faces they had contracted. Within the hour, the other fools called me back, ’cause thats how the universe does in these situations. It straight-up mocks you!
A date was finally set. After that I did get two more shut off notices from “the gas company”. It was super-fun waiting on hold for extended periods of my life to chat with them repeatedly about:
1. I had the damned appointment scheduled!
2. My bill was paid in full, even a month ahead, and has never once been late. How do you shut such a customer off?
3. How is it, exactly, that they interpret blowing me off for 8 weeks while I tried in vain to get an appointment with the contractor as a refusal to let them in my house?
Anyway, the guy that came out from “Robo-Gas-Co” was pretty nice. It helped that he also hated “the gas company” as much as I did at that point. He blamed them for the problems. (Good, so we are on the same page, Good Sir!) He also informed me that he could get everything he needed without coming in my house at all. So I didn’t really need the appointment anyways. Ermahgerd! I wanted to punch him right in his ‘pretty nice’ face. (I didn’t do that! It wasn’t his fault the universe vehemently hates me.) After all that, he did at least replace my old evil meter.
One final kick in the pants? I didn’t have to even sign anything. I didn’t even need to be present. Simple? Easy? Oh well.
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