I am a customer of Kentucky Utilities, a fairly large electricity provider. They have a program, like many utilities, that rewards folks for trying to conserve energy. I signed up for the one that allows them to put a switch on my heat pump so that they can deactivate it during peak usage times in the hot months to level their power production.
I was very happy with the service, and loved the five dollar credit that I got for each month of June through September. Then things got weird.
EON, from Germany, sold its majority stake in Kentucky Utilities to another company early last year. The tariffs were already established by regulation, so I did not feel any difference in rates, but mysteriously my five dollar per month credit for the switch on my heat pump just disappeared.
I first noticed it on my bill in August, and called them to mention it. I called them about it, and they said that their records indicated that I had opted out of that arrangement. I certainly did not, and I shall tell you why.
Except to run my heat pump for a few minutes a week in the summer to keep it lubricated, I NEVER use it! The only electricity that I use in the summer is for heating water, cooking, the refrigerator, and electronics. I open my doors and windows (they have locking screens) and put a high capacity fan to pull cooler air (after sundown) into my house. At bedtime I take it down and use it the next day.
So it makes no sense for me to withdraw from the program, because I love saving that five buck per month! Well, we went around and around for months about whether or not I terminated my participation, and they finally sent out a technician to examine the unit. It was fine, still hooked up and working properly.
I asked him whom should I call to get my credit, and he did not know because he was a contractor, not affiliated with KU otherwise. But then something else happened. I guess that the last call that I made, after he was done changed things. I called, once again asking for my credits, and was passed around a while until I spoke with a customer service representative.
He told me that he had no authority to reinstate the credit, but that he would dispatch another technician. That technician replaced my (working) unit with a more modern version, said his goodbyes to me, and left. That was about two weeks ago.
Lo and behold, I got a letter from KU in the mail with a questionairre about how satisfied I was with the energy conversation service, complete with a postage free return envelope.
I filled it out, giving them low marks in may areas (I gave high marks to the courtesy and professionalism of the technician), then wrote a letter that explained my problems with the service, mainly regarding how I had never withdrawn from it and how many, many calls that I had made to KU to rectify the matter. I figured that nothing would come of it.
Today I got a voice mail from KU that told me how much they appreciated me being a good customer who had a complaint with how they treated me with my issues. The person went on to say that I could expect to see on my next statement a $20 credit for the four months in question and an apology for taking so long to make it right!
The lesson is this: just keep up with it if you have been wronged! It took me from August to today for it to come to pass, but they did, finally, what they should have done since May. Perseverence is the issue, and I never gave up on it. Now, if I do not see the credit on my next statement, I shall try again, but I kept that voicemail on my telephone and can use that as additional leverage if they do not come through for me.
Just keep on going, and be firm but polite when you are wronged. The former Mrs. Translator was very good at getting things put right from vendors, and I suppose that I learnt from the best.
Warmest regards, and Happy New Year to everyone!
Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith