My Electric Day

First some background info... about three weeks ago one of my roommates moved out. Electricity had been in his name, and he canceled service before I could put it in mine, so for about two weeks the electricity in my apartment was not actually registered to anyone. I got a note from the landlord saying there was a problem with my electricity, and I figured that it was in reference to this so I called and left a voicemail. When I didn't hear anything back I figured it was all taken care of.

Until yesterday.

8:30 am: I discover a new note on my door as I am leaving. It is marked "Emergency."
8:35 am: I call my management office and leave a voicemail.
10:00am: having not heard from them I call again. I am told that my apartment is "drawing electricity from the hall" and that they plan to disconnect my apartment from electric entirely until I resolve the problem. They suggest I call ConEd to see if I can get it resolved.
10:20am: I call ConED. They say that, yes my apartment is getting electricty from the building's supply, but that it is a wiring problem and that I should tell management that it is their problem to fix, not mine.
10:40: I call management and am put on hold for about 20 minutes before I get disconnected.
11:00: I call management again and am put on hold for about 20 minutes before I get disconnected.
11:20: I call management and speak to someone for about 10 minutes, relaying what ConEd has said. They reply that this is not the information they received. They were told that the wiring had been altered so that my apartment bypassed my electric meter and went to theirs. Angrily I ask if they are accusing me of stealing electricity. They hem and haw a bit but never actually reply no to that question. I discover in the midst of this that I have been speaking to a receptionist the whole time and never actually to one of the managers. I ask to speak to a manager but I'm told that I can't. She's "busy." I demand to speak to a manager. I am put on hold for about 15 minutes and then disconnected.
12:20: I opt to call ConEd rather than management. ConEd explains that my meter malfunctioned about a year ago and has not been reporting any usage since August of '06. I reply that I have been receiving a bill of approximately $30 each month, but the operator laughs and says that taxes and fees run that much and that I have not actually been paying for my electricity. Since my submeter failed all my usage has been defaulted to the building's main meter. It happened at roughly the same time that Brett assumed the bill so he never noticed the drop in rates, not having a previous experience to compare it to. Mark and I didn't see the bills, we just trusted that they were being paid, as was the deal. Again ConEd emphasizes that this is a wiring problem, not a billing problem. As far as they are concerned I am square. I paid my bill, in the amount that arrived at my door, on time every month. I had no way of knowing anything was wrong. According to them the meter needed to be reset and possibly rewired and the problem would be solved.
1:00: I call management and am put on hold for about 20 minutes before I get disconnected.
1:20: I call management and finally get to speak to an actual manager. She VERY rudely explains to me that three apartments in my building have been stealing electricity from the building supply, and that in fact one of the apartments doesn't even have an account registered to it with ConEd at all. I politely explain that I don't care about any other apartments, that I don't know anyone else in the building, and that I only want to discuss me, and my apartment. I go on to explain, in detail, what ConEd had explained to me. She again says that that is not what the ConEd inspectors had told them. I suggest that she look at the report again, as the ConEd operator had read me part of the inspection report and it didn't mention anything being rerouted or rewired, merely that my meter had failed. I also pointed out to her that it was illegal for her to disconnect me from electricity because according to ConEd I had both an account, and a meter assigned to me which was all I needed to be in good stead with them. Management retorted that "someone" had to pay for the electricity. I said I would look at any itemized bill that they sent me from ConEd, but that I was not willing to pay just any random figure that they came up with. Unhappy with assessment but knowing she was beaten the manager gave up. I got her to say out loud that the electricians would be visiting my apartment, and that I would in no way be disconnected from electricity for more than a few hours. I left it at that, about 2:00pm.

We'll see what happens next.

3 Response to "My Electric Day"

  • vinnie Says:

    Good for you for sticking to your guns!

    I had a phone issue eariler this year that took a about two weeks to clear up so I know from utility company bureaucracy...it's never fun.

    And my only dealings with a managment company have been bad, they are useless.


  • Mark Says:

    Why does Con Ed hate us? We don't live in Queens!


  • Ari-Asha Says:

    I stop in occasionally to look at and enjoy your blog, watched the show go up and the book get published...

    I gotta say-BRUTAL. Large monolithic companies with poor customer service...just BRUTAL. Don't they get it? At some point they will need help...and payback's a drag. Hope your lights stays on.