I Have No Power To Help Those Who Will Not Help Themselves

, , , , , , | Right | February 6, 2020

(I work for a company that does outsource billing support for an electric company in another state. Today, this happened.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Power Company]. My name is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I need to pay my bill. I got a shut-off notice.”

Me: “Certainly, I can help you with that. Can I have your account number, please?” *looks up the account* “To keep your service on, we’d need a payment of $148.73 by 5:00 pm today. How would you like to pay that? We accept checks by phone, VISA, and MasterCard.”

Customer: “I don’t have that much.”

Me: “All right, what are you able to pay today?”

Customer: “Seventy-five bucks.”

Me: “Tell you what. I’ll set you up on a payment arrangement — $75 today and we’ll add a portion of the remainder to your next few bills until it’s paid off.”

Customer: “No! I ain’t going on a payment arrangement.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Open your ears, dips***; I said I ain’t going on no f****** payment arrangement!”

Me: “First of all, please watch your language. Secondly, if you went on the arrangement you’d be back to current within a month or two, and you’d keep your electric service on in the meantime.”

Customer: “You’re going to take my $75 and you’re not shutting off my d*** service.”

Me: “Sir, if you only pay the $75 without the arrangement, I can assure you that your service will be shut off come 5:00 pm.”

(Our company uses remote capable or Smart Meters. The power goes off at 5:00 pm on the disconnect notice due date if payment or an arrangement is not made.)

Customer: “F*** you. I’ll pay it online.”

(This was around 4:30 pm. A little after 5:00, out of curiosity, I pulled up his account again. True to his word, he did pay $75 online. Yes, his service was shut off for non-payment. He called back and ended up screaming his way to a supervisor. Now, not only did he need to pay the remainder of the past due to get reconnected, but he also was charged a $500 deposit since he had been shut off before. Karma’s a b****.)

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