Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another unsatisfied customer

So I have had this blog posted for just a few days now and I did get one response from a former Dominion Peoples customer.

She explained to me a situation very similar to mine (although with less money involved of course! Afterall no company in their right mind would charge over $1,500 for a month of gas!). She stated that she had a lot of problems with the customer service at Dominion as well - she tried to dispute a gas bill that was too high and had no luck with the company.

She told me that she eventually just paid the bill so that it would not be sent to a collection agency. She however did get multiple postal mailings regarding this bill for months after the account was closed, so at least she knew it was still outstanding. I did not receieve anything of this sort, but I found it interesting that she did.

I hope to get more former/current Dominion Peoples customers to speak up about the difficulties that they have had with the company. I imagine that there are many out there but I do not know how many eyes these posts will get in front of!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dominion Peoples Gas Company : A Pittsburgh Tale

Have you ever been charged an absurd about of money for a gas bill?

Has your gas company refused to explain to you why you have been charged an absurd amount?

If so, you will enjoy this tale:

In 2003, I lived in a Pittsburgh house while enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh. I lived in a 6 bedroom house with 5 roomates. Dominion Peoples was the provider of the gas for the house. This was an older house, we expected high heating/gas bills during the cold winter months in Pittsburgh. We got what we expected and paid our bills accordingly. The gas bill was divided into 2 accounts because the lower and upper levels on the house were controlled by 2 different thermostats - we tried to get the whole bill on one statement, but we were told it could not be done.

So we fast forward to June of 2003, when our school year was completed and we were ready to move out of the house and into another. We called to close the account and have the final bill sent to a new address. I asked for the final amount and was told $135.00. I was a little suprised since this was the summertime and $135 is far from what we should have paid. However, I just wanted the account closed so I told them to forward the bill to our new address. Three weeks later, I received 2 bills from Dominion Peoples - one for $749.00 and one for $811.00. Needless to say, I was utterly shocked and assumed that there was a huge mistake! How could anyone use over $1,500 worth of gas in a summer month!!

So I persistantly called Dominion Peoples customer service, every day for a week. I got what some would call the run around. I was told:

"well our meters don't like sir, this is what you owe"
"hold on while I transfer you" (heard this a few times - every time when I was 'transfered' the line disconnected)
"we will have someone get back to you on this" (never heard back from anyone)

Finally I did hear from one customer service rep. that I would get a new "adjusted" bill in a short period of time. I never recived a bill, tried to call again and was told that no account was found in my name. At this point, I believed (foolishly) that Dominon Peoples had retified the error and that was the end of it.

In the time between June 2003 and now, I have had many credit checks run on me (moving into aparments, for other purchases, etc.) and no Dominion Peoples Gas line items ever were displayed.....until now, in April of 2007! I submitted my information to get pre-approved to buy a new home.....and Dominion Peoples Gas now shows up on my credit report, for the amounts of $749.00 and $811.00.

Now I am forced to pay this absurd amount of money just to get a new home at a decent interest rate. 4 years later, Dominion Peoples still believes they are owed this money.

I never received a letter or a phone call from a collection agency in the last 4 years and this never showed up on any other credit report. I contacted the collection agency and they informed me that they sold the account to ANOTHER collection agency. Finally after many, many cell phone minutes wasted, I spoke to a woman and I am setting up the payment of this money (unwillingly of course, but I want to buy a new home!)

Speaking with Dominion Peoples at this point is pointless as they don't even know the account existed now. So let this be a warning to everyone out there. DOMINION PEOPLES WILL ATTEMPT TO OVERCHARGE YOU! Please be careful, I would hate to see this happen to anyone else.

To me the name of Dominion Peoples is tarnised forever and I now make sure that anyone who uses Dominion Peoples is very careful of their billing statements, gas used, etc. I encourage any stock holders to sell immeadiately because eventually Dominion's billing tactics will come back to bite them.

If you have had this happen to you (with Dominion or another utility, I would love to hear your story) email me at cwcst12@yahoo.com.

Just say NO to Dominion Peoples!