NaBloPoMo Day 7: Fire of a Thousand Suns

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Last night I got a frantic call from my wife from work. She was livid, to the point of tears.

Let me back up and overshare with you for a moment. You’re reading my blog, so I assume you don’t mind the occasional spot of oversharing, right?

We are on a balanced billing program with our electric bill. The balanced billing cycle ended, and it was time for the company to either refund us the money that we had overpayed over the previous term, or charge us the difference. This was over one of the hotter summers Austin has experienced, so we were charged the difference. This made our electric bill more than two and a half times what we budget, so we started scrambling to make sure everything that needed to get paid got paid.

The decision was made to call our Internet provider and ask them to delay the autopay draft for a couple of weeks. We were told that the autopay had been canceled and that the one scheduled for that day had been reversed. That was Thursday.

Doing this left us just enough to squeak by until next paycheck, enough for groceries, gasoline, and medications.

Last night I got a frantic call from my wife from work. This is where we came in, if you’ll recall.

Our Internet provider had submitted the payment request to the bank, which of course honored it, taking more than half of what we had left for groceries and gasoline. (We’d already purchased the meds on Thursday.) There was nothing we could do except stew in our rage until this morning, when the third person my wife spoke to assured us the payment would be reversed in the next day or two. (My wife handles customer service situations for the two of us; having 20 years experience as a customer service representative in her life helps her to mine the little known things that can be done through the right methods of conversation.)

So now, we wait to see if they honor their word and actually reverse the charge. If they don’t, we’ll handle things as best as we can then. It’s time to relax and enjoy our weekend.

But we’ve learned our lesson. Time for us to keep record of our customer service calls. This is just the final straw in bad customer service that we’ve received from various companies over the last several weeks, and we’re tired of it.

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