Unfiltered Story #168386

, , | Unfiltered | September 26, 2019

Thanks to some odd wiring notes on our power meter, we commonly get bills for the usage of another house on our street, and they bills for ours. When chasing it up with the company, we were both told to both send in letters or emails to explain the scenario so that the company could sort it.

This mistake has happened multiple times, so our neighbour refuses to pay anything on his bill (even his own usage) until the invoice is correct, which can then lead to pending disconnections, which because of the company’s masterful handling of utility maps, intermittently dispatch to our property.

So, it was not as much of a surprise as it could have been when the meter box made a ‘ping’ noise as it opened at my house one evening. I scooted through the garage to the meter, and caught the worker with the box still open. After explaining the situation, and demonstrating the bizarre meter notes, he followed his procedure to call the company on cellphone and ask them for further instruction. They spoke a few moments, then he put the phone on speaker so we could both follow the outcome – I didn’t complain, as it was quite cold.

Nothing too strange happened through the beginning of the call; I identified myself so that the record could be accessed, ran through the case history, and then the customer rep went quiet for about thirty seconds without saying anything.

Me: “Hello? Are you still there, or has the phone-?”
Rep: “Yes, I’m still here, just shut up.”
Me: “What!?”
Rep: “Just shut up! I’ve had a long afternoon, do you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?”

This is a voluntary statistical question pretty common in most interactions with government or corporate services here, allowing the various bureaus to track number, interests, and needs of the various indigenous peoples.

Me: “Negative.”
Rep: “**** off.”
Me, intelligently: “Uh- What?”
Rep: “**** off! I’ve had a bad day and I don’t need you going off at me just because you don’t want to pay your bills.”
Me: “I apologise if I sounded hostile somehow, but I’m not looking to avoid paying my charges; I have paid my usage, but the invoices have been sent to the incorrect-”
Rep: “You s are all alike, getting drunk on OUR tax dollar, ****ing it up with your friends and hundreds of fat children. Go back to the ****ing bush!”
Me: “Madam! How dare you! Get your supervisor on the call.”
Rep, continuing as though I hadn’t spoken: “- stinking up the train and ****ing breaking **** wherever social security sends you. Dole begging human trash, the lot of you!”
Me: “Supervisor. Get me your supervisor now.”

Unfortunately, my request was not adhered to, as the rep then terminated the call. The worker, aghast, just closed the box without disconnecting our power.

Me: “What the **** was that about?”
Worker: “Sir, I’m just a contractor, but I’m really sorry that you had to deal with that. I’ll be filing an official complaint when I get back to base. Have a great night.”

The rep had on the file that it was myself who had been verbally abusive, aggressive, and bigoted (against ‘good white folk’), but it got put aside quickly enough when the worker’s official complaint came through. Thankfully as well, the day after that, the company apologetically contacted me to make amends for having messed up the billing once more; though it hasn’t prevented the mistake from occurring again, I thankfully have not had to deal with the same call rep who decided that I must be of Aboriginal descent from a partial conversation on the phone.