The $27,933.55 Gas Bill

Michelle Stevens was shocked to open her mail and see People’s Gas bill for $27,933.55

Unless she paid in full, the notice threatened to shut off her gas. As an afterthought, the bottom of the bill read, “Good news. Natural gas prices are lower than last year…”

It seems a recent meter reading of 00000 was the culprit. People’s Gas had assumed that Stevens had used so much gas that she caused the numbers to overflow back to their starting number. Graciously, they agreed to send out another meter man to check again.

She says she’s learned her lesson, though. The next time a meter dude stops by, she vows to , “to take my own reading, and we’ll compare numbers.”

[via Fark]


Edit Your Comment

  1. North of 49 says:

    not just them. We got a bill for 800$ and they cut our gas for the second time even though we had 15 days minimum to pay off a 250$ back bill (including their monthly add ons every month). The company is called Terasen and it all started when they cut our gas the monday after we promised to and did pay in good faith. That generated a 400$ bill that had to be paid immediately.
    We found out later that they outsource their billing, meter reading and gas connection – three seperate groups – to other companies.

    If we could go electric, we would, but we’re stuck with both electric and gas because this pos place we have is a rental!

  2. The_Truth says:

    People complain about the most absurd stuff, and apparently, if you complain loudly enough you can get companies to bend over backwards for whatever you want!

    It makes me sick.

  3. The_Truth says:

    i hate the comment system here, my posts never go through!

  4. Ben Popken says:

    The_Thruth, we’re having sync issues. Tech is on it, they say.

  5. huh? i don’t get it truth- where is the bitterness coming from? is it the lady’s not wanting to pay a $28k gas bill? north’s getting screwed by their utilities? did the comment belong to a different post? like the lady who can’t convince creditors that she’s not dead? or the people who can’t use their phones to contest revised service agreements without accepting the agreement by doing so?

    between the resentment and the unhappiness with the comment engine, you may be in the wrong place. just a thought.

  6. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Should the bottom of the bill read “Good news, gas prices are lower than last year {for everyone on your street, because they’re now all hooked into your meter)?

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    Is People’s Gas the Great Satan of gas companies?

    They make me look back fondly at kindly, avuncular Enron. Guess they lost their killer instinct compared to Young Turks like People’s.

    Jeez, no wonder Ken Lay passed on. Died of a broken heart.

    You know, if he HAD a heart.

  8. The_Truth says:

    Nah the comment engine just hates me, failing to convey the parody of my messege (Or something).

    Of course now all the no-image-available images are filling up half my screen, ill just check back in the morning…

  9. Kangarara says:

    “Final Notice”? So.. she got several of these bills & only recently decided that perhaps it wasn’t quite right?

    (or do some people only open bills once they’re marked final notice? )

  10. Falconfire says:

    It could also be they never sent out first notices… I have seen that a lot lately, when “Final Notices” are in reality the first bill to actually show up. The best was when I got one 4 months ago for being 2 days late on a car payment (rather the bank was, I had it automatically send but it landed on a holiday)

    I called GMAC and was like WTF to which they really didnt give me a valid response other than sorry.

  11. AcidReign says:

    …..This is why you NEVER set up auto-pay on your checking account. Sure, the gas company will correct your bill, eventually, if you pester them enough. Getting all those bouncing checks corraled is going to be fun, though.

  12. This is why you NEVER set up auto-pay on your checking account.

    Maybe it depends on whose Internet Banking you use but don’t some allow you to set up exceptions for holidays?

  13. phrygian says:

    According to the article, the final notice that Ms. Stevens received was a “seperate mailing.” So, I don’t think the photo of her holding the final notice implicates her as a bill-avoider.

    I agree with Falconfire about the final notice often being the first notice. I was shocked to get a final notice 6 months after an operation, considering I’d never seen any other notices come through from the hospital. In talking to friends and family members, it seems to be a very popular tactic — at least for medically-related bills.

  14. AcilletaM says:

    I think AcidReign is referring to the gas company automatically charging $28k to her checking account when the bill came due and not Falconfire’s comment.

    I’ve always resisted utility and fauxtility (cell phone, cable) companies trying to set up autobilling with me. If it would always be on consistent charge monthly maybe but not on a bill that could have a fluctuating balance due.

  15. AcilletaM says:

    Oh, and if she thinks that is high, wait until her electricity goes up in a couple of months in Illinois. Thanks Exelon/ComEd/Ameren, you greedy {switch to nasally voice} ‘oh we are going to be so poor if we can’t make an extra billion in profit each year’ dirtbags!

  16. I think AcidReign is referring to the gas company automatically charging $28k to her checking account when the bill came due and not Falconfire’s comment.

    Oh ok. My bad.