sarchasm

The Sarchasm Chronicles
2001-12-09 14:55:29 (UTC)

The Gas Company SUCKS.

Geez!
I hadn't realized it was over a month since my last entry!
A bunch of stuff has happened... to avoid confusion (and
endless screen-scrolling) I'll make separate entries.

The Gas Company SUCKS.
In October, as weather in my city is prone to do, we had a
cold snap. Because the house was still being shown, I
wanted to make certain I turned the heat on so that it was
comfortable to visitors (and so the pipes wouldn't freeze!).

I have been living in a Condo since Sybil and I had split
up. She had moved out of the house first and I followed suit
and moved to a new place a few months later. As soon as I
was out, the house went up for sale. Neither of us wanted to
be in the house and deal with the hassles of strangers
tromping through.

Since I was the last out of the house, I had to establish
new service in my name at the condo, while essentially
telling the utility companies that wanted most of their
services to remain active in the house for the realtors. The
Electric, Gas, and Water all had to remain on.

The Electric was the first to be shut-off (or at least the
first thing I noticed) and I had to call and re-start the
service again.

Water was the next item.
They (of course!) shut it off too, and we had to get it
turned back on for the basement-painters.

A couple of months pass - the weather turns cold - and now I
notice the Gas has been discontinued too! What a surprise -
none of them got my instructions correct. Fine. Same as with
the other pin-head utility companies... I call them up and
get the service reconnected.

The connection date arrives, I go to the house to turn on
the heat... and NOTHING. Still no gas. I call the company
and I'm told that they came to the house to turn it on, but
detected a leak and were unable to do so until I had it
fixed.

Great!
I'd been in the freaking house for over 10 years with a leak
that had gone unnoticed, but now that I'd moved out I had to
get it fixed.

"Fine" I said "Send someone out to fix it."
Their response was that the leak was somewhere between my
house and the curb, which in their world meant I was
responsible for the repair.

Wonderful!
I call Sybil and tell her the problem.
She says that we shouldn't have to pay for it because she
had opted to ay a $6 monthly charge on ever Gas bill to
cover exactly this type of situation!

Bless you!
This is exactly one of the reasons I had fell in love with
her. She was the practical one.

I call the Gas Company and tell them this.
They respond with: "The insurance isn't actually through us,
you have to call 'Gas Company Partners' to file a claim."

Fine - I ask for the number and call the "Partners."

Well... the Partners tell me that since service had actually
been discontinued, so had the insurance - they had no
intention of honoring the 10-years of premium payments and
covering my claim!

Aargh! Bastards!
I spent the next two days shuffling between different
so-called "service" personnel, all with the same result.
"Up yours - we're not covering it." I finally got one
supervisor to say that IF I could get the Gas Company to
admit THEY had made a mistake by disconnecting my service,
she would RE-EVALUATE" my claim. Not HONOR it, but
RE-EVALUATE it. Wow. Thanks.

Just before I'm ready to start my calls all over again, I
get a call from the realtor. "It's cold in your house, but
when we try to turn the heat on, we get nothing."
"Yeah, I know." After a little "what-if there's a problem?"
paraphrasing (I watch law shows on TV, I know I'm better off
not admitting anything!) I find out that when I put the
house on the market through this guy's realty company I had
also agreed to certain insurance coverages. I had assumed
that it covered the BUYERS, in case there were any problems
after the purchase, but some of the coverage was in effect
NOW. Including coverage of the GAS LINE.

Yahooo!
I stop calling the Gas Company (bastards.) And phone the
repair company. They come out that very day and make the
repair. The Foreman tells me they moved the gas meter
outside to make the Gas Co's reading easier (it also made
their repair easier) and they will leave the hole unfilled
until the Gas Co hooks up the gas. That way if there's a
problem they won't have to dig again.

I then call the Gas Company, tell them the leak has been
repaired and ask them to come back out and hook me up. I
also ask three different ways for them to call me when the
work is done, so that I can call the repair crew to fill in
the hole. They say "No problem" and take down every one of
my contact numbers. They say the work will be completed
today, and I should receive a confirmation phone call by
8pm.

You guessed it!
The next day I STILL haven't heard from them, so I give them
a call. They tell me their rep went to the site, but there
is still a leak in the line and they still can't hook it up.
They tell me that sometimes when one part of a line is
repaired it can cause a leak further down the line and that
I need to call out the repair crew again.

Fine, the Foreman essentially knew this thing could happen,
right? That's why he left the hole uncovered.

I call the Repair Co.
The Foreman tells me - "Yeah we didn't hear from you, so I
sent my guy to the site and he saw the new meter had been
installed by the Gas Co, the gas was on, so he filled the
hole."

"No, no." I respond. "I just got off the phone with the Gas
Co and they say they didn't turn it on because of another
leak." We both asked the "are you certain that's what they
said" questions, and the Foreman said he'd call the Gas Co
himself just to double-check and he'd call me back.

He calls back within a few minutes and tells me the Gas Co
rep I spoke with hadn't looked at the next screen on their
computer that showed the work had been completed - she was
still looking at the original leak report. Don't worry -
the work has been completed and your gas is now on.

I thank him for his extra work and hang up.
On a hunch, I decide to call the Gas Company myself to
confirm. I phone, speak with rep, and I'm told "No, the gas
has NOT been turned on. You still have a leak in the line
that must be repaired."

"Are you sure you're looking at the last screen of entries?"
I ask. "The Repair Co. just phone you and was told the gas
is ON, and that the completion report is on another screen."
I am told that she is indeed looking at the final screen and
that the gas is definitely OFF.

Arggh.
I ask the Gas Co rept to hold while I call the Repair Co
Foreman on the other line (of course I'm doing all of this
work and risking my new job in the process). I get them
both on the line. The Repair Guy insisting the Gas Co Girl
isn't looking at the final screen - she in turn telling him
that it's definitely off.

I ask the Repair Guy if perhaps his crew didn't see the Gas
Meter had been installed, ASSUMED the gas was on, and then
filled the hole. He said he'd drive to the house and verify
everything personally. Fine.
All three of us hung up.

About an hour later I get a call from the Repair Guy.
He's at the house, the meter is installed, the gas is ON,
and the hole is filled. Absolutely, positively, the job has
been completed.

I call the Gas Co to tell them their rep is either wrong, or
there's going to be a very big explosion and I will no
longer have to worry about somebody buying my house.

This time I get a different rep.
I ask to speak with the same one I spoke with before. She's
unavailable, but this rep assures me she can help me with
whatever problem I have.

I tell her she doesn't know what she's getting into.

I relay the scenario and ask her revise my file to say the
gas is ON, but it is absolutely on. The Repair Guy was just
at the house and he even turned the furnace on for me.

She checks the file and says:
"Oh, yes Mr. Sarchasm. Your gas service was reestablished
last night. Have a nice day. Goodbye."

Open head.
Insert wrench.
Shake violently.

Aargh.