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I'm getting screwed by National Grid


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#1 Huuuge Bills

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:06 PM

Sorry in advance for the length.

I had to move in January, and had an apartment all lined up. 2 weeks before moving day, the new landlord decides to give the apartment to her son (no down payment was required, so there was nothing I could do about it).

I had already lined up the gas, electric, fios, etc. to be turned on at the new place before I knew I was losing the apartment. When I got another house lined up, obviously I switched all of the accounts to the new, new place.

When I finally moved, all of the services were turned on with no problem. Now, 5 1/2 months later, National grid added a $481 charge to my electric bill. They turned on the electric at the first apartment, even though I wasn't living there.

After 3 long calls that went around in circles, they finally told me to fill out a dispute. I did, and they promptly declined it. They say it's my fault that I didn't make sure they didn't turn on the electric at both places, and that I have to pay in full, or my electric will get cut off.

Now I'm wondering what I can do to get these charges dropped. Can I take them to small claims court? And if I do, would I win? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#2 Just Jack

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:11 PM

Call one of the local television stations that has one of those Consumer Reporters. Usually that will be enough to get it resolved without having to go to court.

#3 jboyst62

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:19 PM

I will tell you a popular phrase.  Do not give up.

I have won some pretty amazing battles with companies like Verizon Wireless, Windstream, Time Warner, Best Buy, Walmart and Alltel by sticking to the basics.  I kept track of everyone I spoke to and documented what they said.  I used their mispeakings as a way to show that I just do not understand what is going on.  I called many of those 5 times a week.  Not to annoy them but to try to resolve things.  Most recently I had Windstream activate a number to port forward.  They came unscheduled, a week after the appointment, cut TW's services to my house, and then wanted to bill me double for scheduling them to come back and fix it.  I got my bill reduced from over $70 to $19.87.  I called and asked if I can pay in cash at the offices and if all forms of currency were accepted.  I showed up with all pennies and about got my arse kicked.  I explained to them that I just simply want someone to explain to me why I am paying the remaining balance when I was told I would have my bill prorated for 2 weeks - which comes to $6.  I was then told I would receive a call Tuesday morning of last week.  I received no call from the regional manager and tomorrow will call and ask for her boss.  I will just follow up the ladder until I get an answer that pleases me.

I guess, at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself how much is your time worth?  I took some time to research Windstream, I have seen they are losing A LOT of customers and that they are having problems in their corp offices.  I found all of their loopholes in their structure and exploit all of them - most noteably that Windstream bought the local company LexCom and has been kept as a seperate entity in most dealings, this along with the fact that they do not keep customer notes makes it easy prey.  Verizon keeps notes on every call, including how the customer acts, FYI.

Anyway, I hope I motivate you.  I hope you can see maybe its not worth it or maybe that money or the principle is worth it.

A few other notes:
- Most of the time when their is an issue where you'd like to speak to a manager or another rep to get more help they pass you along to a colleague who is just as powerless.  Use sugar to get the bees out of the hive before you take a whack.
- If you are not getting the words you want to hear hang up, back off, come back another time.
- Keep records of who you talk to, not neccessarily ID numbers, just names.  It makes you sound more organized, legit, and authoritive.  "I do not understand, when I spoke to Scott and Angela they said that this could be resolved by ..."
- Don't be a jerk yet don't let them try to rationalize with you.  I great example is when speaking to Windstream a woman told me that since they did services for me why don't I think they should get paid for them?  Then asked if I agreed.  I said I do not understand your example, and she went to speak, I did not let her get a word in when telling her that the services were not what was agreed upon and while there was no contract signed a verbal contract holds up and this has caused me a great deal of time as well as paying TW to resolve the issue.

Edited by jboyst62, 05 June 2011 - 07:26 PM.


#4 KD in CT

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:28 PM

View PostHuuuge Bills, on 05 June 2011 - 07:06 PM, said:

Sorry in advance for the length.

I had to move in January, and had an apartment all lined up. 2 weeks before moving day, the new landlord decides to give the apartment to her son (no down payment was required, so there was nothing I could do about it).

I had already lined up the gas, electric, fios, etc. to be turned on at the new place before I knew I was losing the apartment. When I got another house lined up, obviously I switched all of the accounts to the new, new place.

When I finally moved, all of the services were turned on with no problem. Now, 5 1/2 months later, National grid added a $481 charge to my electric bill. They turned on the electric at the first apartment, even though I wasn't living there.

After 3 long calls that went around in circles, they finally told me to fill out a dispute. I did, and they promptly declined it. They say it's my fault that I didn't make sure they didn't turn on the electric at both places, and that I have to pay in full, or my electric will get cut off.

Now I'm wondering what I can do to get these charges dropped. Can I take them to small claims court? And if I do, would I win? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Take who to small claims court?  It's not the electric company's fault you didn't move into the first place.  They performed the service you contracted for so they have every right to expect payment.

The question is, did you have a signed lease at the first place, cause if you did than you should be suing the landlord who screwed you.  If you didn't have a signed lease, big mistake on your part to order utilities before you took possession.

#5 Huuuge Bills

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:50 PM

View PostKD in CT, on 05 June 2011 - 07:28 PM, said:

Take who to small claims court?  It's not the electric company's fault you didn't move into the first place.  They performed the service you contracted for so they have every right to expect payment.

The question is, did you have a signed lease at the first place, cause if you did than you should be suing the landlord who screwed you.  If you didn't have a signed lease, big mistake on your part to order utilities before you took possession.

I asked them to not turn it on at the first place, and instead only at the second. I made the same exact call to the cable, gas, phone, etc companies. No one else had a problem with it. Every call I said the same thing, I was just changing the address at which it was being turned on.

And I would be taking National grid to court to drop the charges, nothing more. Although that's what I'm here for. To see if this is something I can take them to court for. Or do I have to take another route to get this resolved.

I will be calling them again tomorrow to see what can be done.

#6 KD in CT

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:53 PM

View PostHuuuge Bills, on 05 June 2011 - 07:50 PM, said:

I asked them to not turn it on at the first place, and instead only at the second. I made the same exact call to the cable, gas, phone, etc companies. No one else had a problem with it. Every call I said the same thing, I was just changing the address at which it was being turned on.

And I would be taking National grid to court to drop the charges, nothing more. Although that's what I'm here for. To see if this is something I can take them to court for. Or do I have to take another route to get this resolved.

I will be calling them again tomorrow to see what can be done.


Ok, I didn't get that from your first post.  If you canceled the order it before it was turned on than I agree you shouldn't have been charged anything.

Certainly can't hurt to call back and argue it.   Good luck

#7 The Avenger

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:42 AM

Your state attorney general's office may also be a good resource - often times they have some sort of consumer protection department that can help. There's also the public utilities commission as National Grid is a utility.

#8 Huuuge Bills

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:36 AM

Alright, called NG today, they told me to shove it....

View PostThe Avenger, on 06 June 2011 - 07:42 AM, said:

Your state attorney general's office may also be a good resource - often times they have some sort of consumer protection department that can help. There's also the public utilities commission as National Grid is a utility.

So I payed a visit to the public utilities commission, they said they would call the NG executive offices. If they still refuse to drop the charges, I have to request an informal review.

So it seems to be moving in the right direction, thanks for the help guys. :thumbsup:

#9 Stl Bills

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:56 PM

View PostJust Jack, on 05 June 2011 - 07:11 PM, said:

Call one of the local television stations that has one of those Consumer Reporters. Usually that will be enough to get it resolved without having to go to court.
I'd do this, I saw one on the news just last week where a local city installed new water meters and a families first bill with their new meter went from aprox $30 to over $500.  Obviously it was a faulty meter reading but the utility office would not refund their money, one call to the news and they got their money asap.

#10 Huuuge Bills

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:40 AM

Just to wrap up:

The executive office of national grid calls me today, and after 5 1/2 months, they finally listened to the original call (they save all calls apparently).

The woman on the phone sounded embarrassed, and admitted to hearing me ask twice for them to cancel the order at the first house.

My account is being credited for the full amount.  :thumbsup:

#11 The Poojer

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:34 PM

way to stick to your guns!  Congrats on getting it resolved. :thumbsup:

View PostHuuuge Bills, on 08 June 2011 - 10:40 AM, said:

Just to wrap up:

The executive office of national grid calls me today, and after 5 1/2 months, they finally listened to the original call (they save all calls apparently).

The woman on the phone sounded embarrassed, and admitted to hearing me ask twice for them to cancel the order at the first house.

My account is being credited for the full amount.  :thumbsup:


#12 \GoBillsInDallas/

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:47 PM

View PostHuuuge Bills, on 06 June 2011 - 11:36 AM, said:

Alright, called NG today, they told me to shove it....

Why would Nervous Guy tell you to shove it?

#13 Booster4324

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:58 PM

View Post\GoBillsInDallas/, on 08 June 2011 - 06:47 PM, said:

Why would Nervous Guy tell you to shove it?

Have you talked to Nervous Guy before?  :unsure:

#14 BarkLessWagMore

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:03 AM

View PostHuuuge Bills, on 08 June 2011 - 10:40 AM, said:

Just to wrap up:

The executive office of national grid calls me today, and after 5 1/2 months, they finally listened to the original call (they save all calls apparently).

The woman on the phone sounded embarrassed, and admitted to hearing me ask twice for them to cancel the order at the first house.

My account is being credited for the full amount.  :thumbsup:

score one for the good guys!! Congrats.