In the beginning, there was the electric company, CP&L. And then some well meaning but shortsighted person said, “Let there be deregulation”. And so there was competition. And everything went to hell after that!
I have lived in the same place and paid my electric bills regularly for 10 years. When deregulation came to Texas, in January 2001, I didn’t get a bill from CP&L. Lots of people didn’t get bills that month. We were told to be patient and let the change happen, and then we would all get our bills with no penalty payments.
In March, when I still hadn’t received a bill, I called CP&L. After making my way through voice mail hell, I explained my problem to a phone rep who spoke broken English and I was told that I would receive a bill promptly. And they were so sorry for my inconvenience! Yeah right. Next month, I still hadn’t received a bill, so I went through the same exercise again, and again was told that the problem would be fixed immediately. I called a third time the next month. Same reply. At that point I gave up. My blood pressure was dangerously high from the frustration of dealing with phone reps 4000 miles away who didn’t really care anyway.
Fast-forward to this summer. It is July in south Texas. I still haven’t paid an electric bill. My elderly father is being moved to a nursing home, and his home has been sold, so I called CP&L and told them to cut off his electric and send me the bill. They cut off my power instead! In July, in south Texas with three digit daytime temperatures.
After four hours on the phone, they finally agreed they made a mistake and promised to turn my power back on. The rep looked up my account and never said anything about unpaid bills. Apparently I was in good standing and they were terribly sorry for my inconvenience. (I spent the night in a motel. I should have billed the bastards!) Power was restored the next day.
Ten days later, I got a bill from CP&L for more that $3,000.00. Actually quite fair I thought but I still called them to discuss it. They agreed to reduce the amount due and I paid the balance promptly.
I got a bill in August and paid it. I got a bill in September and paid it. This month, October, I have not received a bill. So I called CP&L on Monday and asked about this month’s statement, since I know the due date is the 24th of the month.
I was told I have overpaid more than $500.00, resulting in a credit balance and that is why they haven’t sent me a statement. Apparently they owe me money. What the hell!
What do I do now? Who are these incompetent simpletons? If I had stock in CP&L I would sell it.