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Old 11-17-2009, 11:52 AM  
Big Dog Big Dog is offline
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MGE Sucks

So I am leaving the house today, and there is an MGE vehicle parked in front. I drive over to see a woman standing next to my gas meter. She explains she has turned off my gas due to non payment. WTF? She also cannot turn it back on, as she is a collector (although I was home and there was no knock on my door to collect), and that I have to call to get it turned back on.

I pay my bills via a bill pay service, meaning they get the bills, scan them in, and send me a notification of amount and due date. It has worked very well for years now. As I am calling to get my service turned back on, I find that I received a bill on 11/12 and paid it (received in their office today). When I actually looked at the scan I find it says final warning, cutoff, blah, blah. Then I look at history and see that I have not received a bill from them since June. WTF?

So I am told they will not turn on my gas until tomorrow. I say no way, get passed up to a supervisor, and I start to try and find out what has happened.

She basically says it's my fault because I didn't pay...I say I paid every bill I received, and then it's my fault because I didn't notice I wasn't getting bills. We examine further...I am set up for e-bills. Now it's my fault because I signed up for e-bills and didn't pay. I argue I haven't done anything different in years, and that the fault is theirs, and they need to turn my service back on today.

Finally we find out that I did sign up for e-bills so long ago that I used an email address from a provider I haven't had in 5 years or more, and that I was receiving both e-bills (although I wasn't) and paper. Now it comes to light that in June they announced (via a slip of paper in the bill) that if you have e-bills set up they will discontinue your paper bills unless you respond. Well, of course I didn't respond...because even if that was scanned in by my bill pay service, I didn't look at it...and realistically it came with all the other junk they send...trying to sell return address labels, rubber stamps, checks, etc. who would look at it?

NOW THE FINAL KICKER...her system shows failed attempts at email delivery on June 4th and 5th! So it's my fault I was not paying bills they were only sending to an email address they knew I was not receiving!

Still, they are not going to come turn on my service today. Throughout these calls, I am pretty agitated and tired of the condescending 'but sir, you signed up for e-bills, we have no control over that'. So I end with my only recourse. Since MGE is a monopoly and I have no other option (excepting propane I suppose, if there is no city ordinance against it) I explain to her I will be calling every radio and tv station in the city this afternoon (not a bluff btw) and seeing if anyone wanted to pick up the story...that they probably would not, but I was committed to making the calls since I felt it my only recourse.

"I'll send in the order to have your gas turned on today."

Of course she wouldn't guarantee when, so it's likely to be as late as they feel they can go, but it's just so damn ridiculous that through a series of errors primarily on MGE's part they did not feel responsible to turn my gas back on today. It's also a sad state that to get these monstrous monopolies (gas, electric, insurance, etc.) to do anything you have to fight and fight, and the lesson learned is that customer service doesn't matter, but the squeaky wheel gets oiled.

Ok, done now...just wanted to vent.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
Donger Donger is offline
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No offense, but if you signed up for e-bills and gave them an email addy that you don't check, how is it not your fault?
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
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And people wonder why I prefer not to use the net to pay bills.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
Mr. Flopnuts Mr. Flopnuts is offline
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:59 AM   #5
Big Dog Big Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
No offense, but if you signed up for e-bills and gave them an email addy that you don't check, how is it not your fault?
I suspect I did sign up for email bills IN CONJUNCTION with regular bills probably 5 years ago. Since I was getting regular bills (via my bill pay service) all this time, I never gave it a thought. Apparently they changed their policy with (imo) inadequate notice, and forced change based on customer inaction vs. customer action (a recipe for disaster). Further...they KNEW I was not receiveing the bills since June.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #6
Nixhex Nixhex is offline
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That is a shitty deal. However, how do you not notice you haven't had to pay a gas bill in months? Even if I didn't get a bill I know that the gas bill is a due every month and it is in my budget. Just sayin'.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #7
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Even if you didn't get the bills... didn't you notice you hadn't paid for gas in 6 months?
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dog View Post
I suspect I did sign up for email bills IN CONJUNCTION with regular bills probably 5 years ago. Since I was getting regular bills (via my bill pay service) all this time, I never gave it a thought. Apparently they changed their policy with (imo) inadequate notice, and forced change based on customer inaction vs. customer action (a recipe for disaster). Further...they KNEW I was not receiveing the bills since June.
And you didn't notice that funds weren't being withdrawn all those months for your gas bill?
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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Originally Posted by milkman View Post
And people wonder why I prefer not to use the net to pay bills.
I've been using Quicken since 1999. No complaints or issues from me.
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If it's effective, who are you, me, or anybody else to call it abuse? I worked with a guy back in Moberly who would shove a finger up his son's ass each time he had anything worse than a C on his report card. If he came home with 2 D's and an F, that's 3 fingers (and this was a big dude). Does that sound hideous and disgusting? Absolutely. Did the kid ever get anything worse than a C after this rule was implemented? Not a chance.

I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, but does it make the child because of it? Think about that for a second.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:04 PM   #10
milkman milkman is offline
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I've been using Quicken since 1999. No complaints or issues from me.
I was paying bills on line.

I had the online receipt for a bill paid that the company said I didn't pay, and it took me months to clear up that mess.

Not doing it again.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:04 PM   #11
Pestilence Pestilence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixhex View Post
That is a shitty deal. However, how do you not notice you haven't had to pay a gas bill in months? Even if I didn't get a bill I know that the gas bill is a due every month and it is in my budget. Just sayin'.
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Even if you didn't get the bills... didn't you notice you hadn't paid for gas in 6 months?
These.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:07 PM   #12
Big Dog Big Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild1 View Post
Even if you didn't get the bills... didn't you notice you hadn't paid for gas in 6 months?
Well, this is why I said in my post they are primarily to blame. I pay bills by looking at what bills are there (in my email via bill pay service), verifying the amount seems correct, and just paying them...so I don't really pay attention to the recurring ones that are within normal range (i.e. gas, electric, water, trash removal, etc). This is how I missed it.

They missed...knocking on my door today (as the collector was suppose to...I was home). Verifying my email when they changed their policy. Addressing the fact they knew my email was incorrect. (They found a way to contact me for the final bill, which I paid right away....imagine that)
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:10 PM   #13
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #14
Big Dog Big Dog is offline
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #15
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there's no lower profession than bill collecter, all they do is hound you, hello it's a resession idiot! pick up a frickin news paper people are out of work!!
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