Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Power in Texas

Not kidding - - this really happened to me. I decided to blog about it because (a) it really pissed me off, and (b) it's better to blog about it than to do what I would have done in say 1980. Time is a good thing with regard to mellowing one's ways.

I recently moved from the GREAT state of Oklahoma to the state located just below Oklahoma, the state of ... T. The state of Tex...dammit, to the state of TEXAS. I did it, I moved. I took my books, and if I take my books I'm there! I took my books. I now reside in the state of Texas. I think if I say it fast enough it won't hurt as badly - - ImovedtoTexas. I was wrong, it still hurts.

Well, in the state of Texas, as in the GREAT state of Oklahoma, a person needs to sign up for electrical power and pay a deposit. Seems the power companies across this nation agree that a deposit is a good thing to have in possession before allowing a person the right to plug into their power. I get that, and because I get that I did that. I signed up for power with the TXU or Texas Energy company, the one everyone directs you to when you first move to this state. I called the 800 number, I discussed at length the billing, the advantages of using TXU over the other mega choices folks down in this part of the world have regarding their electrical needs. I even discussed the possibility of paying a deposit for the usage of my kilowatts, but the guy at TXU assured me that my line or letter of credit from Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) would be good enough to waive the $300 deposit - - yes, you heard me, $300 freaking dollars if they don't accept your letter of credit. WOW. EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas!

I did the right things; I called OG&E and I set up the letter of credit to be faxed to TXU by the due date and I assumed all was well. NO..NO..NO...it was NOT well. Right in the middle of the day for absolutely NO REASON, TXU cut off my electricity. There was no warning, there was no discussion, there was no opportunity to stop them from cutting it off, they just CUT IT OFFFFFFF. Naturally I called to find out what the problem was - - except I had to use my cell phone because my home phone wasn't fully charged and it was charged by electricity! The woman a TXU informed me that I was being disconnected because the letter of credit from Oklahoma was not accepted. Now, I completely understand why a group in Texas would balk at accepting something from Oklahoma, but I was under the understanding that the two companies had made amends years ago - - that the Red River Rivalry didn't fully extend to power sources - - but I guess I was wrong.

Turns out TXU wanted me to be with OG&E a solid 5 years before using OG&E as a reference, my bad - - I lived in Oklahoma that long, but I lived in a condo complex that didn't have individual billing for part of that time, and therefore I wasn't a "customer" - - the complex was. I had to pay the complex! I had to pay on time too! I remember. I often thought I was paying more than I needed to pay but nevertheless - - TEXAS was adamant. I was forced to pay $300 in cash at the Marketplace in Gainesville, TX where they take payments -- but my story doesn't end there.

I paid the $300 ungodly deposit at about 1:15 p.m. I actually sent Caity to do it, and that's another funny story - - Caity paid the bill rather than the deposit and had to return to pay the deposit again! She learned (Thanks to Buck - the money man)
Around 8:00 p.m. when the electricity hadn't been turned on at the house I gave a call to the company by candlelight. Romantic as it may seem, sitting in the dark using Yankee Candles as a means of both heat and lighting is ridiculous when you've just shoveled over $300 in a needless deposit. The woman on the phone whose name I will use - CHRYSTAL - said that the reason I didn't have electricity was that I didn't call back to confirm that I wanted it. I only called the customer service number to let them know I had indeed paid the deposit. WHAT? WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

OK...I looked CHRSTYAL in the ear on my phone and I told her it was this lack of communication that kept Texas out of the Union in the first place! After a few more Boomer Sooner, backass remarks about how superior Oklahoma Gas & Electric is to Texas Energy,I asked her to RECONNECT ME, and I think I may have even said PLEASE. I was placed on hold - - for 18 minutes. Upon realizing that CHRYSTAL was not going to return to the phone I hung up. I recalled TXU and spoke with another woman, Anita, who was far more understanding and compassionate. After putting in the reconnect order she informed me that the purpose of the call to reconnect is to eliminate any misunderstanding as to when someone wished their service to be reconnected. Sorry - - I'm just a simple-minded Okie...I would have assumed that when the deposit was paid its very existence would purport that a person wanted their electricity restored...apparently that isn't always the case in this country ..I mean, state. Forgive me TXU...my bad.

Needless to say - because I have choices, I will use my options in the future. BOOMER SOONER.

No comments: