I came home from work today to find our electricity had been cut off all afternoon due to our neighbors’ non payment. That’s right, our neighbor hadn’t paid the electric bill so ours got turned off along with theirs. How is that possible?
Turns out that the people who lived in our house before us had cut their electric connection and instead hooked up to the neighbor’s wires with jumper cables. Our poor neighbors have been getting electric bills to the tune of $700. Finally they just couldn’t pay so they let it get shut off.
We moved in a month ago and haven’t even gotten our first bill yet so the electricity getting turned off for non payment was the last thing I thought was happening. The electric company swore that the problem was on our end. Begrudgingly, they sent someone to come look at the box after over 7 hours. Within minutes they discovered all the jumper cables.
The neighbor has the option to try and press criminal charges against the former residents but they are still responsible for the bill apparently. I’m wondering how no one caught the fraud when we switched the power to our name.
I actually had a discussion with the electric company when I was hooking it all up where I was asking why did the house have power already and who was paying for it? I was told it didn’t have power. I asked why the lights all worked then and was told they couldn’t with no power. Communication was futile so I finally just dropped the subject and was grateful to get the power in our name.
So here is my big question: what is the $27 transfer fee for? My husband was out there messing with the box trying to figure out what the problem was. That contraption of jumper cables and tampered wire has been set up like that for months. Little kids play under it. There’s been repeated lightening storms. It was a dangerous set up for a surge disaster, a fire or electrical injury. The neighbors and I are all very lucky nothing worse came of all this.
I ask again: why was this not caught when the utilities were switched over?