All Monopolizing Utilities Informative - The Weasel and the eggs

Review by tracker on 2004-12-17
EVERY CITY, MICHIGAN -- This review is for all those companies that intentionally pad the bill a buck or two. I'm just curious as to how many people examine those monthly bills that tend to fluctuate a little. I've experienced this little scam (like many others) and am sure there are quite a few people out there that tend to just pay the bill if it is within a few dollars of the norm. Or... if the bill payment is automatically debited from a checking/credit account... you may be taken for a few bucks on a consistant basis and never know. Such are a few of my own examples:

Caught... AMERIGAS. I locked into LP gas rate (price per gallon) for about $50 per year. Statements I received never actually showed ppg I was paying... I assumed I was paying my "lock in" price. Wrong... upon further investigation they were sometimes charging me .50 more per gallon, etc... and they had taken me for a few hundred $ in the long run. "We're sorry, error on our part".

Caught... AT&T. Long Distance phone calls that were never placed. If calls billed had been to areas in my state I would probably have just paid without giving it a second thought... but they got obviously greedy. Don't know how much they scammed from me. "We're sorry, error on our part".

Caught... Local West Michigan Band-Aid station that pretends to be a hospital... padding bills + forward to insurance carrier + paid= Higher health care premiums for all. No apology because that would be an admission of error and one of those sets of books may have to be opened. Wouldn't go there for a flu shot.

Caught... Gas Stations. Gouging and when paying at the pump, no sign informing that if you use a certain credit card ppg will be higher. "Sorry, sign must have blown off".

Caught... SBC. Adding taxes and fees to taxes and fees. No apology, "We found a legal loophole and are proud of it".

Caught... Farm Bureau Ins. Auto coverage increased at the last minute. Accept new rate or find other coverage in 12 hours and somehow my simple economy (I've ridden faster Go-Peds) car was reclassified as a sports model. Apology for wrong classification of car, but rates stay the same 'cause on page 8, chapter 4, subchapter 5, part(c)... including subpart 2 but not subpart 3 of part (c) says: "We can do whatever we want".
"Wait a minute, when I purchased this coverage we chatted about our families almost like old friends... and when we shook hands, you didn't mention the "Bend over clause" hidden in the book... I mean policy!" Stupid me, I forgot to bring lube, my bifocal's and a contract attorney. I found better coverage... much less expensive.

Weasels stealing eggs. Everyone makes mistakes, but some intentionally scam a buck or two from hundreds or thousands of their customers on a regular basis... then when called on it they claim harmless error. For many of you reading this, I am informing you of nothing you don't already know. However to the few that just "assume" those monthly bills are correct because they are within a few dollars of the norm... look again. You may be surprised.
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2005-03-20
Posted by Slimjim on 2004-12-17:
Interesting post. Has me thinking.
Posted by SF on 2004-12-20:
I guess most people, like me, do not set down and look over their bills very well. Maybe we should.
Posted by bmckenna359 on 2005-03-20:
I don't know about the other companies but I worked for ATTW and believe me, with 65 million customers there is simply NO TIME to scam anyone even if we wanted to. Your conspiracy theory's a little much. Do you really think ATTW would spend exhorbitant amounts of money to train reps to pad your bill? Please. Be rational. I think it's a little more likely that it was an honest mistake.

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