NYSEG Threatens My Family’s LifePosted: June 30, 2014
Inspired by Lulu O’Platt’s article in the last issue of The People’s Press, this citizen stood up for herself and her fellow NYSEG customers (aka Broome County citizens) and lodged a complaint with the New York State Public Service Commission. Below is an edited reprinting of her letter. The only way to stop these illegal service stops, which threats the lives of people every day, is to demand that they stop!
Dear New York State Public Service Commission,
I am writing because I would like an investigation into NYSEG. It isn’t bad enough that they are a monopoly here, but they are also ripping off decent, taxpaying, low and middle income citizens. If what I heard from several citizens continues, I will take legal action. Someone has to stop these robber barons that are stealing from the hardworking people who, through no fault of their own, are on a fixed income. They have no human compassion or decency for anyone. Not to mention the rude tactics they use to get their accounts paid! Well enough about how I and many people feel about NYSEG. I will begin my story about my very negative interactions with this greedy gas company.
About four months ago I moved. I put the gas and electric under my name and not much longer after that I received a bill for $134.00. I called NYSEG and the representative told me that the bill was correct. I informed her that was impossible since I just moved in. I complained to my landlord who said that’s not your real bill but they were charging me FOR the 3 month average cycle that started before I moved in. I wasn’t satisfied with the argument but I paid it.
I did not get a bill in December, but I got a bill in January stating my bill was $334.00. I immediately called NYSEG and asked why it was so high. They informed me that my December bill was $470.00 and that HEAP paid $450.00, and that they added a previous $20 balance making the bill $334.00. I almost fell out my chair! I told the representative, “HOW COULD MY BILL BE $470.00 WHEN I WORK ALL DAY, AND HAVE AN ELECTRIC WASHER AND DRYER?” She stated that only $80.00 was for electric, the rest was for GAS. I told her that was impossible because I live in a very small three bedroom and I work. My college aged daughter is home all day, but she is sleeping because she works nights. I also told her that I lived in a 4 bedroom half-house for 3 years and my bill was never over $180.00. How was this possible? She said that the yearly average was $225.00 and that was what I was being charged. Why am I getting billed for a yearly average when I’ve only consumed 4 months of gas and electric?
I asked the NYSEG representative to send a technician to check the thermostat, make sure it was working properly. She told me “NYSEG doesn’t do that, you or your landlord have to pay an electrician.” I asked my neighbor upstairs how much is her usual bill, thinking maybe I was paying for her furnace too. She stated that DSS pays her bills, but she is aware that she has never gotten a bill over $177.00, which she says is her average. I ask my landlord, again, and he told me the furnace was new and he’s never gotten any complaints from any prior tenants, which is what he says about everything!
Needless to say I have a turnoff notice for 4/30/2014 for $624.00. I work part time and have three children, one who is a year old. How can they disconnect my heat and electric? I won’t have a fridge to store my diabetes medication or her milk! Then, of course, there is the hypothermia. What is wrong with these inhuman monsters?
I have spoken to many people going through this same thing. They are afraid to speak out. I have spoken to numerous friends, coworkers, and relatives who live in the area. They all have complaints. I will be going to DSS to get a loan for this bill, but I do not know if I will be accepted. Please help me with this situation, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Broome County citizen and mother of three.