Thursday, March 19, 2009

Propane companies = crooks

At one time I can remember my brother saying, "I want to live off the land. I want to move to Montana, build a cabin and live free of all these trappings that keep us chained down."

Well, as we were paying bills the other day my brother's words came back to haunt me. There's nothing quite like being cheated out of your hard-earned pay by a bunch of supposedly legit companies to make your day complete, is there? Recently, my husband and I decided to switch propane companies. Well, it was by far the smartest move we ever made. One, we're paying about half of what we used to pay. Now, take a moment, close your eyes and imagine the word half. Yes, we cut our bill in half and all we did was switch companies. That tells you the other company is as crooked as the day is long if they're charging twice as much, doesn't it? Oh and the best part is, the old company still has their tank in our yard. It seems we need to call to have them come and pick it up. The catch? We need to pay a fee to have them pick up their own damn tank. Yep, that's right. They own the tank. All we did was lease it. We paid a fee every single time they came out and filled it. Now, we have to pay another fee to have them come and get their friggin' tank. Back in school we would have been taught that cheating people was wrong. Something tells me the propane companies were out sick that day, what do you think? With the new company we bought our own tank. Period. It's ours. No fees, no bullshit.

Back to the bill paying. So, we open our cable bill, which happens to also be our internet bill. My husband's mouth drops as he sees that it's jumped by $35. We didn't DO anything to cause it to spike. So, he calls the cable company. Why is our bill suddenly higher? It turns out we're paying more because our old plan ran out, so now we're being charged more. He stays on the line for awhile and attempts to get us changed to a new plan. Thankfully, it works and we're back down, not quite to where we were, but close. So, you have to wonder, how many millions got bumped but just paid to avoid the hassles of dealing with these annoying assholes? How many millions of dollars do they make because of their sneaky business practices? New plan my ass. It's another way for them to rip us off. A few dollars here, a few there, it's easy to overlook it. Assume our introductory rate ran out, etc. You know what's so frustrating? They're the only company around our area with this type of fast connection. They have us over a barrel and they know it.

Between the cable company and the propane company I looked at my husband and said, "I'm about ready for a wood stove and oil lamps!" Sometimes I wonder if it'd be simpler to ditch modern conveniences and go back to the old ways. It wouldn't be a whole lot different from the way I grew up. There were a lot of winters we simply didn't have the money to pay the heat, so dad cranked up the wood burning stove. I personally never felt the difference. After all, I was still warm, still happy and it was still Home Sweet Home.

There's a special place for crooks like these. I'm sure of it. And it's not a sunny happy place either!


Mia Varano said...

OK, don't even get me started on taxes. That's the biggest form of thievery EVER and it's not voluntary. At least you can switch cable companies. And here in California we're going to get hammered - our sales tax will be almost 10% and they're increasing out gasoline tax too. The government needs to stop spending our money and our grandkids' money! Thanks, that felt great...

Mary Ricksen said...

It's so sad that our country has become a haven for crooks. From the banks, right on down to your cable company. What happened to earning an honest buck. It seems everyone has a hand in your pocket trying to squeeze money from you. I got so sick of the cable company raising fees, I got an antenna. You can get the major channels, and we don't watch a lot of TV. That's how you get back at a cable company.
If we all had the same attitude things might change.

Unknown said...

It's amazing how the companies can do that, and it just seems to be happening more and more lately.

BrennaLyons said...

Mia, you do know that the federal income tax bill never actually passed in Congress, don't you? No kidding. They were two votes short, and they still make us pay it!


Anonymous said...

Look at the news. The crooks get away with things and if we are lucky you might hear about it once. Of course you have to listen good because most of the time it is a one to two sentence blurb about the bad guy.
My opinion...this is why we are all in the shape we are in.

BrennaLyons said...

Personally, I gave up cable 4 YEARS ago and never looked back. Why? We were already paying $30 per month for BASIC special stations, no On Demand, BASIC! And they wanted to raise it another ten a month for a channel we didn't want and wouldn't watch. Make it a premium channel, but don't punish me with it!

So, Tamer and I talked it over. We were watching 3 TV shows weekly and a few more occasionally. We can purchase whole seasons of shows we like for $20-50 per season, depending on the show. So, even at an average of $35 per show for three shows and two seasons a year, that comes out to $210 per YEAR vs. $480 per year for cable we'd mostly waste.

I can watch some shows I like on the NBC site or Hulu. I can purchase some on Amamzon Unbox...or DVD. So tell me, why would I ever go back?

who really wants to disappear to a friend's farm in WA state...with the satellite internet and no interruptions

Saroya said...

I would love to dump cable tv, but hubby golfs and works, nothing else. So bad weather his tv is on 24 hours a day unless i go turn it off when he is asleep. Then he complains that everything costs to much.

The WA state outback, I just got home Tuesday from my daughters place in Colfax, quiet, White tail deer, coyotes, and more stars then you can shake a stick at.

Regina Carlysle said...

That's how they get you. A few dollars added here and there, hoping you don't notice. When they've got you over a barrel, they know you'll pay.

BrennaLyons said...

Have you introduced him to Hulu and other places he can watch TV?

My friend's farm is in Vader, WA. So peaceful!


Carly Carson said...

I'm with Mia. Look at all the taxes you pay and don't even notice. There's a tax on every phone bill which was a "temporary" tax instituted during the Spanish American War (yes, more than a century ago). How many times have you paid that and you don't even know about it?

Look at the taxes you pay to drive a car: Sales tax when you buy it, excise tax every year to own it, gas tax to run it, inspection fee, registration and driver's license fees, tolls to ride on the road your taxes already paid for. Now they want to add a tax for every mile you drive? Taxes are the only totally involuntary things you pay for and they are insidious.

Yup, I feel a bit better. Gotta add, MA now wants to add sales tax to some foods. Where does it end? They're going to tax us to eat?


Anne Rainey said...

So what I'm getting is that my brother isn't the only one who wants to 'live off the land'. LOL

Feels good to do a bit of venting, huh?

Truthfully, I do this about once a week with my dad. Seriously, do NOT get that man started on taxes. For the love of all that is holy never even say the word around him!

Pat said...

I'm a firm believer in what goes
around comes around. So in the big
picture, retribution is Mine, sayeth the Lord. It's unfortunate but you hear more stories about unscrupulous business people everyday. Look at the banks etc. who threw huge parties and gave out bonuses once they had our hard earned tax dollars. I'm so sick of all the bull shit.Let the banks fail we can all do our banking with the ones who remain after the dust clears. Why should we save these greedy men. I think the woman married to the greedy man, Mrs. Maddoff should give back everything too. Why should she reap it all just because hubby's going to jail?
Anne! Look what you've started, LOL
Stepping down off of soap box and returning to the vampire story I'm editing.
We must all shop around and be careful who we do business with, now more than ever.

Amy Ruttan said...

I know. I totally understand. TOTALLY.

It really ... ugh it gets me mad.

Some of the charities that phone are getting aggressive. Today a certain organization called asking for my DH. I told them he was at work, they told me my DH promised to pay them a large amount of money we can't afford and did I know anything about it? No. They said they would call back. I phoned the DH at work, and he was furious.

He told this certain charity, NO I can't afford to give any money this year. I mean I did lose my job and we're expecting another child, but he said send me your information and maybe next year.

He said if they call when he's at home he's going to tell them they've lost his support.

And this isn't the first time a charity has been sneaky like this. I've had another organization try to GUILT me into giving them money. Even though I told them we had no extra money to give. I snapped back and told them I have my own children to feed first before sponsoring day care camps.

I understand it's hard for everyone, but these guilt measures and lying doesn't make me want to support their cause.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

This is too funny. My hubby worked in the cable industry for 18 years. Now guess what industry he works for? Yep, propane. YIKES! But I promise, he is really a nice guy.


Fedora said...

It IS crazy! Glad you're able to vent here, with people who agree with you about what's right and wrong!

Anne Rainey said...

Pat--LOL! Sorry for getting you wound up! Gotta admit though, feels good, huh?

Amy--We give to charity too, but we do the picking. Hounding me is only going to piss me off.

Anne Rainey said...

Rebecca--LOL! Oops! Sorry! I'm sure he's a good guy, we'll just hide him when folks start tossing the tomatoes! hehe!

Anne Rainey said...

flchen1--I love it when we all come out and talk about these things! I love a good debate too. Like awhile back when we talked about religion. Everyone discussed their beliefs and they kept it civil. That's awesome!

Desirée Lee said...

Playing Devil's Advocate here.

Is it in the fine print of the Terms and Conditions of your cable service that when the contract runs out, the price jumps to the "regular" or "standard" pricing schedule? So many people don't read all the terms. They just click "agree" or sign on the dotted line and then cry foul when the TOC is upheld.

I work for a telecommunications company now. With the cost of everything rising, unfortunately our prices had to also. Notices were sent out to every customer months ago, outlining the old prices, the new prices (all approved by the California Public Utilities Commission), and the effective date. (February 1st)

Here we are over a month and a half into the pricing change and every single day, EVERY SINGLE DAY, I get people calling or coming into the office to complain that their bill is higher. I finally put a stack of the notices on the counter. When people come in and complain, I asked them "Didn't you receive this in the mail? It was sent out months ago."

Every single person replied "I probably did, but I didn't pay any attention to it."

Carpe Noctem,

Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy

Isabel Roman said...

Please. I live in Jersey (and not one stupid comment about the Soprano's or that accent!) We have taxes and crap all over the place. I pay 4 sewer bills: One to the city, one to the county; one to the city & one to the county for my condo association, too!

It's all a ripp off. Don't get me started on our property taxes...