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Author Topic: Power Is Shut Off Over One Cent  (Read 3402 times) Average Rating: 0
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KostaNY
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« on: May 16, 2006, 02:08:14 PM »

Power Is Shut Off Over One Cent
From Associated Press
May 16, 2006 8:16 AM EDT

FLINT, Mich. - It was just a penny, but to Consumers Energy it was enough to cut off power in a local home. Jacqueline Williams, 41, of Flint had an electricity bill of $1,662.08 and paid all of it, except for one cent. That wasn't enough for the power company, which blacked her out for seven hours Wednesday.

The CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary told Williams the power would not be turned on until the penny was received.

"I went down there, paid my penny and got a receipt," Williams told The Flint Journal.

Shortly after, the electricity was turned back on.

"All of this for one penny," said Williams, who went to the state Department of Human Services for help in April and was told the agency would pay most of the bill.

But she was still short more than $500.

Williams, a Social Security recipient, went to the Salvation Army, where she received $430.67, and Consumers agreed to match $430.66 toward the bill.

However, she was still one cent short.

A Consumers Energy spokesman said that the utility had no choice in the matter, though he was not aware of any similar incidents where service was stopped for one cent.

"This was the first one I've heard about," said Terry DeDoes. He said the company has many programs to help people who fall behind in their utility bills.

Williams said she doesn't want to find herself in the same situation again.

"I'm praying to God I stay on top of my bills," she said


http://my.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20060516/44694e40_3ca6_1552620060516406296268
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serb1389
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006, 02:17:28 PM »

And people gripe about getting rid of the cent!   Cheesy Cheesy   Tongue
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KostaNY
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2006, 02:21:53 PM »

Just wondering wouldn't it cost the power company more to actually shut off the power and than turn it back on ? Talk about greed at its finest. Sounds more like a personal vendetta against the customer. This is unheard of. If they really wanted the penny so bad, why couldn't they just add it on to the next bill ?ÂÂ  
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 02:22:40 PM by KostaNY » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 12:27:39 AM »

Just wondering wouldn't it cost the power company more to actually shut off the power and than turn it back on ? Talk about greed at its finest. Sounds more like a personal vendetta against the customer. This is unheard of. If they really wanted the penny so bad, why couldn't they just add it on to the next bill ? 
Maybe they just had no cents.  Cheesy
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Fr. George
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 02:47:52 AM »

And I was saving my two coins for the Charon, to put on my eyes when I die....
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2006, 09:25:21 AM »

Doesn't suprise me at all.  DTE/Consumers is horrible abut this sort of thing.  I have a story about them but i don't want to get mad this early in the morning.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2006, 10:32:30 AM »

It does seem a bit excessive over one penny.  I can't even see the "slippery slope" argument working here.  Maybe a policy of "any balance from $9.99 down will be forwarded to the next month's bill."  That might seem a bit reasonable.
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2006, 10:43:53 AM »

Reminds me of something which happened at my office a few months ago.  We had sent away for some medical records and they were sent with an invoice.  We fully paid the invoice by check.

Thereafter, the company sending the records made a small clerical error and sent us a "balance due" of 2 cents.

One of the partners at my firm, taped a nickel to the "balance due" portion (which coincidentally was incorrect) and put a little not next to the nickel asking for 3 cents change.

He never got the change, and we never got another invoice.  I'm sure they got the message.  Wink
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KostaNY
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2006, 02:17:08 PM »

Reminds me of something which happened at my office a few months ago.ÂÂ  We had sent away for some medical records and they were sent with an invoice.ÂÂ  We fully paid the invoice by check.

Thereafter, the company sending the records made a small clerical error and sent us a "balance due" of 2 cents.

One of the partners at my firm, taped a nickel to the "balance due" portion (which coincidentally was incorrect) and put a little not next to the nickel asking for 3 cents change.

He never got the change, and we never got another invoice.ÂÂ  I'm sure they got the message.ÂÂ  Wink

Talk about trying to make a statement  Grin.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2006, 11:16:29 PM »

Reminds me of something which happened at my office a few months ago.  We had sent away for some medical records and they were sent with an invoice.  We fully paid the invoice by check.

Thereafter, the company sending the records made a small clerical error and sent us a "balance due" of 2 cents.

One of the partners at my firm, taped a nickel to the "balance due" portion (which coincidentally was incorrect) and put a little not next to the nickel asking for 3 cents change.

He never got the change, and we never got another invoice.  I'm sure they got the message.  Wink
I actually read an urban legend about a "man who battled a $0.00 charge that would not go away."  There's no real evidence that this ever happened, but the story sure is funny.  Cheesy

From http://www.snopes.com/business/bank/zero.asp

In March 1992 a man living in Newtown near Boston Massachusetts received a bill for his as yet unused credit card stating that he owed $0.00.

He ignored it and threw it away.

In April he received another and threw that one away too.

The following month the credit card company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel his card if he didn't send them $0.00 by return of post. He called them, talked to them, they said it was a computer error and told him they'd take care of it.

The following month our hero decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome credit card figuring that if there were purchases on his account it would put an end to his ridiculous predicament. However, in the first store that he produced his credit card in payment for his purchases he found that his card had been cancelled. He called the credit card company who apologized for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it. The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue.

Assuming that having spoken to the credit card company only the previous day the latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.

The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.

Finally giving in he thought he would play the company at their own game and mailed them a check for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the credit card company nothing at all.

A week later, the man's bank called him asking him what he was doing writing a check for $0.00. After a lengthy explanation the bank replied that the $0.00 check had caused their check processing software to fail. The bank could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their customers that day because the check for $0.00 was causing the computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the credit card company claiming that his check had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a check by return of post they would be taking steps to recover the debt.

The man, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for her birthday, bought her a typewriter instead.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2006, 11:34:55 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Fr. George
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2006, 11:46:12 PM »

Wow - people think of some whoppers, don't they?  Of course, I could see some of this happening in Newton (sign #1 of a bad story - misspelling the name, i.e. Newtown isn't correct), as many of the people up here in MA are quite strange.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2006, 11:30:50 PM »

I think this situation may have vbeen caused by someone in management who suffers from "I'M THE BOSS SYNDROME".  I have worked for people like that. No matter how stupid their decisions . . . they're the boss.
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