I Hate Utilities

I received our final Phoenix bill from Southwest Gas last week and was somewhat disturbed to find that they had charged us through April 26th, rather than April 10th, when I requested the service be terminated. I filled out their “contact us” form online to inquire about this seemingly obvious mistake. The response to my note was “call our customer service number.”

Great. I really wanted to avoid waiting in a call queue and having to speak to a human, particularly a human working for a utility monopoly. When I did get through to someone, the “explanation” I received consisted of some bullshit along the lines of “no one was home, so we couldn’t do the final meter reading on that date and just sent you the bill at the end of the cycle.” Huh? So, to recap, they read the meter remotely on all occasions except when you terminate service and then they need physical access to the meter?

Nothing about my service termination request (for which I received an email confirmation) suggested that was a requirement. No effort was made to contact me about this so-called need. I call bullshit. But just try arguing with a utility. They didn’t take a reading when they were supposed to, so we’re fucked. The bill for the whole month was $40, so we’re out roughly $20. No, it’s not a big deal and I don’t feel like wasting any more time, energy or righteous indignation over it. But it still really pisses me off. I hate utilities.

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