Thursday, February 01, 2007

What a Crock of Sh*t!

We went through this about a year ago and I remember posting about it. Here is the scenario.

The gas is turned off in the house and has been for months. After disconnecting the gas line to the water heater I got lazy and didn't put pipe sealer on the cap and the resulting leak was costing us $1.00 a month so I shut the gas off at the meter and haven't used it since. There is frost on the inside of several windows, the toilet water on the second floor has frozen over and got a splash of antifreeze to help prevent this. The first floor is just above 32 degrees. Two of the double paned replacement windows on the cottage side have cracked (one already had a small pellet hole when we bought the place) and the other is in the laundry room and I suspect is the result of a change in air flow due to sealing up a door. It is very cold in the house, the warmest rooms are in the basement.

This letter came from Vectren yesterday. For anyone not living in Dayton, Vectren and Vectren Source (a Vectren company) are our only supplier(s) of natural gas here. It reads;


As part of our continuing effort to provide you with safe quality service, Vectren Energy Delivery periodically inspects gas meters to insure they remain in good working condition.

It is imperative that you call our office within ten (10) days to schedule an appointment for the necessary inspection. For our inspection, we will need access to the meter, as well as access to your gas appliances and all gas appliance controls. If we do not hear from you within ten (10) days to schedule the inspection, we will disconnect your gas service due to refusal of access to premises (VEDO Tarriff Original Sheet No. 63, page 4 of 4, paragraph 4(C)(8), leaving you without gas service until you contact us to schedule the necessary inspection. If we must disconnect your service, your service will not be restored until the inspection which may be as soon as the next working day following the disconnect, or up to three working days thereafter.

To avoid the inconvenience of disconnection, please contact our Billing Department between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 812-492-6141 to schedule a time for this inspection on a day and time convenient for you. We schedule inspection appointments on weekdays, Monday-Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

We value your safety and the safety of all of our customers. We truly appreciate your immediate attention to this matter, and we thank you for the opportunity to provide gas service for you.

How I interpret this;


We have noticed that you are not using any gas during the cold weather season and suspect that you have bypassed the the gas meter.

We would like you to call us within 10 days, and incur long distance charges, so that we can send someone out to verify this for us. We not only have to look at your meter and supply lines but we also need to test your gas appliances to see if you have diverted the supply line to avoid paying our overpriced recovery charges for something that is relatively cheap to provide. If you don't call us within 10 days we are going to shut off your service because that is proof enough to us that you are guilty of stealing our gas and we have a policy that you will never see but we will quote the exact reference anyway just to prove that we are within our rights to act this way. If we have to shut you off there is no way in hell that you will get future service until you prove to us that you can't steal gas from us again. If we are wrong though we can turn your service back on very quickly.

In order to allow us to continue charging you a $7.00 billing fee each month, please contact our Billing Department between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 812-492-6141 (don't expect us to pay for your call), to schedule a time for this violation of your right to privacy on a day and time convenient for you but don't plan on making us work on weekends. We schedule inspection appointments on weekdays, Monday-Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

We really don't want to have to press charges against you or any of our customers without proof so we truly appreciate your immediate attention to this matter, and if we misjudged your character we will apologise in 150 years when the world runs out of natural gas and we have no customers to screw over..

What would you do?


Anonymous said...

You gotta love The Man.

If it weren't for these ridiculous corporations and their bureaucratic baloney, we might get on with life.

I mean, you can't expect The Man to go without his due.

I wish you the best.

Derek said...

Here we get charged a delivery charge, so you get charged even if you don't use anything. I guess it costs a fortune to get it rehooked up. I'm sure they would do the exact same thing here, it's just so typical.

Jason and Heather said...

Wow, that really is a crock of s*it. One of the things I value most is my privacy. They own everything up to the meter, beyond that is your business, not theirs. They have no right to order you to show them your appliances. I would at the very least contact a lawyer and see what they think. You guys really need to get some competition for gas service there in Dayton. Then they couldn't pull crap like that.

Anonymous said...

i would get some new jets and a propane tank :)

Anonymous said...

Thing must be set up differently in dayton than Syracuse NY. Without access to my meter in the basement National Greed our gas monopoly would have to dig up the street to turn our gas off.

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this, but I live in Oakwood and everyone received the exact same letter. It turns out they really are inspecting gas meters this summer. The guy came to our house and basically looked at the meter and checked the line for leaks. The whole thing took about 5 minutes. I really enjoyed your post, but I wouldn't worry about it this time!