Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Anyone want to buy a kidney?

Or maybe a lung?  I can survive with one ... I think!

Only reason I'm asking is we got a power bill today and I'm seriously thinking of selling one of the children my car to pay Synergy.

Our first power bill here at the new house was for 60 days (20 of which we weren't actually living in the house) and was less than $200.  With this next bill, I was envisioning a bill around $550 due to the new ducted reverse cycle air con, so you can imagine how my heart dropped when I saw that the first number was in fact a 9.

That's right ... a 9!

And not of a two digit number ... oh no!  It is a three digit number with another two numbers after the decimal point.

I rang the soul-sucking leeches lovely people at Synergy to question the bill and was told that there is no chance the bill could be wrong as I have a brand new digital meter that has eliminated the old 'human error' factor when reading the numbers.

When I agreed with her that the meter appeared to have been read correctly, as the number on it now is higher than the number quoted on the bill, she was temporarily stumped.  I think she was expecting me to rant and rave at her for personally upping my bill so when I simply asked for help in working out how it could be so high, it took her a full minute to come up with an answer.

Apparently, all I can do is turn everything off at the power point and then turn them back on one at a time and see which one makes the meter go up the most.  Trouble is, due to the lovely new digital meter, you have to stand there for absolute ages waiting for the kilowatt number to change and there's no smaller measure so you can't really tell which item would be using the most.  On the old style meters, at least there was a a dial that sped up and slowed down to give you some indication of how much power was being used.

I asked to make a payment arrangement and was told that I have to have this bill paid off before the next one is due out, or I will be in breach of their payment terms and our power will be disconnected.  After explaining that my husband has been unemployed for the last eight weeks and that some payment was surely better than none, she agreed to my suggested terms (which would have 90% paid off before the next bill is due).  Then, after asking me if that was all, she had the gall to ask if making these payments was going to "affect any of my other financial commitments".

Quickly sorting through several responses in my head, I discarded the rudest ones and settled for a simple "yes", to which she replied "make sure you call us if you are having trouble paying your bill as we can make a payment schedule for you".  Um, wasn't that what I just did?  And didn't you just tell me that I have no choice but to pay it on your terms and your schedule?

To top it all off, she then offered another option:  having our meter tested.  "But if the meter is found to be correct, you have to pay an additional $150."  Right ... pay for testing by your technicians on a meter supplied by you ... um ... no thanks.  At least not until I have paid this bill off anyway!

Don't you just love the life of the 'responsible adult'?

1 comment:

Gypsy said...

Oh my goodness. Our Aircon is Evap- we have 4 kids and I'm a SAHM so home a lot using electricity ours was $359 for the last couple of months... that just seems crazy! And as for the woman on the phone... I'm not sure I would have been as polite as it sounded you were. If you want to do some comparisons to see where your use differs from ours drop me a line... I know I'm a complete stranger but happy to help.