May 4, 2010


First the important stuff: Rory's doing great. Awesome, actually. So good in fact, that I didn't feel bad for chastising him when I bent over to tie my shoe and he smacked me in the head with his tail because he was bouncing around in excitement. Gosh, I missed that while he was away :)

Second about moving house: I lived for 17 years in my last house. When we moved last August I called Enmax to disconnect my account at the old house and set up an account for the new place. For those of you who don't know, Enmax supplies our electricity, water, recycling, garbage and "other" services (we'll get to the other later). First thing I was told was that I'd have to pay a security deposit of twice the average monthly bill - so we're talking a total of $500 here - because I'd had late payments. Really?? How is that even possible kind sir, when YOU TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF MY BANK AUTOMATICALLY every month?!!! Oh, ok, you've checked and now I don't have to pay a security deposit? Well that's just wonderful then thanks so much. Fast forward a few months and I'm still not receiving a monthly bill for the new house. Nice girl that I am, I called them FOUR times between October and February to let them know that I appreciated their kindness in sending me bills for the old house WHICH WAS SOLD and to tell them how much I admired them because they were smart enough to send these bills to me at my new address. Oh, and by the way, could I get a bill for the actual house I live in now? Each time I called I was told the bill had gone to "Adjustments" and it would be 4 - 6 weeks before I would get a bill. "Adjustments" is obviously a dark closet with no door, just a slot, where they stick accounts they don't know what to do with. Not to worry they tell me. I can simply ignore the bills I keep getting for the old house and when the bill for the new place arrives, they'll accept installments and won't charge me interest. I finally got a bill near the end of March. I sent them a chunk of money. I called them the other day because I didn't get another bill at the end of April. Oh, the bill went out on April 26th? Okay, it should be here any day then. Can you tell me how much it was for? No? It's locked? What's locked? The bill is locked on your system because it's being ADJUSTED??? Seriously.

I got the bill today. Here's how it plays out. There's a balance forward that doesn't at all match the last amount minus the payment that I sent them (and the payment I sent them doesn't show and that's dumb, but I know they got it because the balance forward is actually less than my calculations told me; but of course that's also suspect since I don't know how it got to be less). Anyway, let's call the balance forward $10. Then there are the charges for March, let's call them $2. So, I owe them $12, right? Nope, I owe them $17. Into the amount due they've also added in something called "installment payment" let's call it $5 which brings the total amount due to $17 please pay now or we'll charge you interest. I'm no math whiz, but if I owed them $10, plus now I owe them $2 for services in March I should owe them $12. If I send them $17 like they're asking for then they will owe me $5. WTF?? On top of this, I'm checking the breakdown of charges for March: electricity yup, water yup, wastewater and drainage yup, waste and recycling yup, and other. Other??? Other what? $9.10 worth of other. I'm giving serious consideration to issuing invoices and charging for "other". I'll start on this block and then work my way north. Heck, it works for them. Turns out other is interest. Uh huh. Interest. You don't send me a bill for seven months, can't tell me anything about my account because it's either being adjusted or it's locked and now you want to charge me interest? If I hadn't been looking at this over a Corona with supper, it would have driven me to drink.

I'm going to tell you a little story - just in case you hadn't read enough already. And a bare few of you know this about me already; for the rest of you: get ready for a sharing moment. When I was a little girl, I always pictured me living on my own in a one room cabin. By myself. For whatever reason in my imagination (maybe my parents had trouble with their utility bills?) my light source in this cabin consisted of flashlights strung from the ceiling. I can't exactly explain the stove in the corner, maybe it was wood, or gas. Whatever. I also didn't consider the logistics of keeping myself supplied with batteries. Also whatever. I think my little-kid imagination was an omen. And in my current state of frustration I think flashlights as ambiance or task lighting deserve a chance. In fact, I would call Enmax and cancel my account but they'd probably send me a bill.

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