Wednesday, September 9, 2009

American Electric Power SUCKS!!!!!!!!

Okay, I had told y'all about how my electricity got shut off last month. So, to make a long story short, I had mailed a check to American Electric Power for $199.26 on July 24. Evidently they did not receive that check, or they did not post it to my account.

So, in order to get the electricity turned back on I made a payment by telephone from my checking account. Well, gosh and by golly, my original check of $199.26 cleared the bank about 10 days later.

So, I'm thinking, "Cool! I won't owe hardly anything this month to AEP, seeing as I PAID THEM TWICE LAST MONTH." But nothing could be further from the truth.

I opened my mail today to see a "Disconnect Notice." AEP is going to cut my electricity off AGAIN if I do not pay $122.30 by tomorrow. And my total current bill is $400.19!

"What?" So, I called up the toll-free number, and spoke with a very nice young black lady (I know she's black...because I know). I was armed with all of my electric bills, my check stubs, etc. before calling the toll-free number.

She (I think her name was Shaquanda) and I walked through all of my account history for the last 6 months, and lo and behold...AEP was right! Back in May of this year I evidently did not receive my electric bill. But, in June the "old balance" appeared on my bill.

So, I wrote a check for $188.32 to handle the old balance and the new balance in June. No problem.

But not so!

Because I have been late with two stinkin' payments, and had my electricity cut off once, the EXTREMELY SUCKY AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY is requiring me to pay an almost $400 "deposit." So, I asked Shulequila if there was any way to get this deposit deal waived. She says that she must transfer me to a "Supervisor." Cool...I'll just go through this with the Supervisor and get it all straightened out.

After 'splaining the whole comedy of errors in my nicest, most gentlemanly way, Ms. Supervisor tells me "There really is no way to waive this. It is company policy that when an account has been past due, and has been disconnected that a deposit is required."

So, me...being my gentlemanly Christian self replied, "Look, I have been with AEP/SWEPCO almost all of my adult life...and I'm old, so that's a long time! I'm not the kind of guy that doesn't pay his bills. This is all obviously a mistake of either mail service, or posting by your accounting office."

She replies, "I'm sorry Mr. Reeves, there is really no option according to our company policies." So, I reply, "Well, let me talk to someone above know, a Supervisor's Supervisor."

She replies, "Mr. Reeves, there is no one above me. I'm telling you that you will have to pay the deposit." To which I reply, "I can't believe this...I am going to call my Public Service Commissioner and..."

At this point she cuts me off, and says, "The Louisiana Public Service Commission is well aware of our policies, and has appro..."

At that point, I cut her off and said, "Never Freakin' Mind! I'll go pay the DAMN BILL!" Then I slammed the phone down in her ear.

And I want to tell y'all that I am not one bit proud of myself. That Supervisor is probably somebody's Momma, somebody's wife, and somebody's daughter that does a hard job... I am not proud one bit! She's got to go home tonight and cook dinner, or mess with her kids and their homework, or try to convince her husband that he is God's gift to women...or maybe just chill out alone. I should not have lost my Christianity with her.

In fact, if you're reading this darlin' (I don't remember your name), please accept my apology. Sincerely.

But your company SUCKS!!! And I imagine you already know that...


  1. You're a better man than I am Andy. Here's my story. I have had homeowners insurance with AllState ever since moving to Colorado and buying our first house here, so almost fifteen years. Back in December I got a call from AllState telling me they had a great deal for me and could save me a ton of money with some changes to my insurance policy. I was interested and had them compare the old and new, and decided the new was better, so I said: "OK". Then I more or less went on my way.
    February came, and along with it was a cancellation notice from AllState saying that they no longer covered homes in my area (I probably even blogged about this). So I went to the Hartford and got insurance after my insurance agent said there was nothing he could do to get the policy reinstated.

    Now, fast forward to September. Monday we get a nasty letter from AllState notifying us that they were canceling our policy for lack of payment. "Policy? WHAT policy?"

    So, figuring this is just some automated mailroom error, I call them. In India. I try to explain the situation to the Indian woman, no doubt someone's mother, sister and child. Eventually she told me she had to transfer me to another department. So she did.

    And so I had to go over the whole story again. Eventually the guy (American this time) on the phone determines that they in fact erred, they had not canceled my original policy when they "changed" to the new one. So they actually billed my escrow account for TWO payments, one for each policy. Then they only canceled the NEW policy, the old policy was still in effect. So I said, fine, just cancel that one too, but make sure you note that it was canceled by YOU, not by me, and that I never missed a payment.

    He said he couldn't do that without a copy of my new policy.

    I told him there was no way I was going to send him any information whatsoever about me, my policy, the price of tea in Nepal or the phases of the moon. I told him I did not consider AllState to have ANY RELATIONSHIP whatsoever with me, and I wasn't interested in providing private information about my financial life to any company I no longer cared to do business with. He said OK, just give me a verbal of the day my new policy went into effect.

    I didn't have that info, so I said I'd have to call back. He gave me his "team number" and said he would put all the right notes in the computer and all I'd have to do is call back with the date of coverage. I told him I considered even that to be a complete imposition on me to make up for their own bureaucratic incompetence and their inability to both keep their agents from poaching from each other, and to ensure that accounts were managed properly.

    So I called Hartford, got the coverage date, and called AllState back. This time I got a woman. She couldn't find any of the notes, did not acknowledge the "team number" I had gotten and told me "there's nothing we can do." I asked to speak to her supervisor and she said there was no point because they couldn't adjust my policy without a copy of my new insurance.

    By now my office neighbors were probably easily hearing my end of this conversation. I was not pleased.

    So I told her "This is your last chance to clean up your own mistake and get my policies cleaned up without any indication of lack of payment. If I hear 'can't do it' one more time, I'm calling the Colorado State Insurance Commission and filing a formal complaint against AllState."

    She said she couldn't do anything, so I hung up and went to the Insurance Commission website and filed a complaint.

    We'll see how that goes.

  2. Jeepers Cosmic...

    I think you're wrong! You're a better man than I am!

    I mean...I blew my top over just mailman, and posting errors. If I had lived your story, I may have killed somebody!

    I am going to contact my Public Service Commissioner (Foster Campbell, who I really, really despise) and lodge a complaint.

    But I'm also going to go and pay the damn bill tomorrow. It's hot, and I know that if I don't pay the bill, it will be even hotter come Friday when they cut my juice off.

    Cosmic, I follow your blog pretty closely, and I don't remember you blogging about this. But it would make one heckuva post when the final chapter is written...I'm just saying.

    BTW: I have AllState homeowners insurance (I did not even want to buy from them, but State Farm had quit writing homeowner policies in Louisiana when I got the final deed to my house).

    I have filed ONE homeowners claim in all of my 30+ years of home ownership...and I was fabulously thrilled with the customer service, the adjuster, and the speed of payment from The AllState.

    But I dealt mostly with Americans on the deal...

  3. I filed one claim on my homeowners insurance too. It's a funny story, sorta. We were on vacation and asked a friend to watch the house for us. The house had a finished basement and one of those deep well windows in the basement.

    For some reason our house watcher went into the backyard and turned the water hose on. I dunno why, we didn't ask him to water anything. But he did. And he left it on. With the hose falling down into the window well.

    So, the next day he checks the house and there's six inches of water in the basement (water I paid for, by the way). So he called me. As it turned out I had to leave my vacation to deal with a work emergency (we had been purchased by Qwest and they had recalled all employees at their expense). So I got home the next day and we managed to vacuum, towel and squeegee up all the water. But not before it had soaked everything I had on the floor in the basement, which included a collecton of gaming cards, a couple of guns and lots of doodads and knicknacks.

    AllState paid the claim quickly and efficiently. They even paid for the ruined cards (at that time I was collecting Magic:The Gathering cards).

    Up until December I never would have had a harsh word for AllState.

  4. When the "man" wants to stick it to ya...bend over and pray he uses a bit of lube has been my experience...that and banging the ol' noggin on the nearest wall.

  5. Costomer Service Story - A man called the customer service center for his telephone company. After many minutes of frustration he told the representative to stick the phone up her (backside). The next day a big telephone repairman was at his door and he told the guy that either he was to call and apologize or he was going to take out the phone. The home owner called the service center and said, "Do you remember what I told you to do with the phone? get ready, he's bringing it in." MUD
    PS I can't verify this story but I have a bunch of them after working for GTE's Service Center.

  6. AEP does indeed SUCK! Without fail, I lose power about 2-3 times every month. My electricity will flicker off and on repeatedly and then shut off. I call AEP and they don't have clue why my power is off. This company is so incompetent, it isn't even funny. I had to hold back what I really wanted to say. I wish I could go to another power company, because AEP are horrible at their job. I live in a small town, so obviously they AEP never make it a priority to restore the power anytime soon.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?